Hi! I was looking through the forums, and tripped into this one.
Recently, one of my former students (from a Computer Art class in a community college) asked me for advice. She wanted to know if she should become a teacher, then she added that she didn't want to teach high school because she knew how she felt about her high school teachers, and she didn't want to be hated! This was my response:
"... it was necessary to let you feel negative feelings about authorities in a safe setting, because it is ok to disagree with your teachers as long as it helps you discover what you do agree with (compare and contrast of philosophies, kind of like compare and contrast in art history studies, helps to more clearly define the differences), and sometimes you can't express anger towards your real enemies. Teachers are good punching bags, and somebody has to do it."
Similarly, I think we all feel safe expressing our negative and scary emotions and thoughts on these forums; and sometimes we may get overwrought. That is why we have site administrators looking over our shoulders, I suppose.
But, really, would anyone be able to clearly state what he or she believes if there were no contrasting opinions to compare our own with? I believe in Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, and have since I was sixteen. Before that, my parents made sure that I was a Catholic. When I had the opportunity to explore and think for myself, when I was able to exchange ideas and information with other people, I decided that I was a Christian. Later still, when my husband and I married, we came to the agreement that the Methodist church was pretty acceptable.
And, yes, my faith has helped me immensely in my struggles with MS and anything else that has been flung my way. But I don't bother other people about it, really. And I don't mind talking with other people about ideas and beliefs, without any goals in mind. I don't know that anyone has ever been influenced by my beliefs in anything, except perhaps the importance of letterspacing and kerning in graphic design. But that is what they pay me for, after all.
A Bible study group could be a very good idea. I was involved in a Bible study group in College which studied several different books over the years (I went to college for a long time), but studying Job and Ecclesiastes seemed to really address a lot of ideas relevant to our situation. Things like why me all the time? and will we ever come to some balance again? and well-meaning friends who try to explain to us what we did to make this happen. What exactly do we deserve, and consider the hippopotamus? You know, that kind of stuff!
So, there is a response to your postings, and I hope it really means something to someone! And, Ian, I only know you from some of your various postings (and you removed the ones here before I saw them). I hope you are having better days now, because I like you.
Take care all,