Lone Wolf

MacAvity's picture

I know that most of you would rather we just let this issue go. And believe me, I want an end to the drama too. But I can't let it end like it's threatening to, with Lone Wolf as the only guilty party.

It's easy to say that Lone Wolf was an attention whore with some sort of persecution complex, and leave it at that. The way he periodically asked us to hate him makes it easy. It's easy to imagine that because he wanted to be persecuted, he worked himself into a delusion that he was being persecuted. But if it was a delusion, it struck me, too. I could see the anti-religion sentiment that drove Lone Wolf away, and I don't blame him for leaving because of it.

The people making anti-religion remarks were not intending to persecute Lone Wolf or discriminate against him, I know that. I can remember making at least one such comment myself, before realizing it to be inappropriate. They - we - think that they were merely expressing their beliefs, not pushing them onto others. And we were. Some may think too that their remarks would only be offensive to one who hated atheism - this is not true. There's a difference between pro-atheism and anti-theism, and that line was crossed more than once. It's fine to express one's lack of faith, and even state reasons for it, but it's inappropriate to imply that other systems of belief are inferior. If Lone Wolf had ever shown any indication that he thought atheism was bad, everyone would have turned on him at once and ripped him to shreds. Yet we, the atheists, can say almost anything negative about religion and, were it not for Lone Wolf, might never even be called out on it.

I'll repeat my analogy between homosexuality and faith, because I think it's a valid one. Neither makes logical sense. Either can bring severe persecution upon its practitioner. And each is innate and natural in some people. Yes, faith is natural. There is no culture in the world that does not have some manner of deity or deities. Scientists have even located the part of the brain responsible for the feeling that something holy exists or is present. What faith says is true cannot be proven scientifically, but the existence of faith can, and no amount of logic can truly eradicate it any more than therapy can 'cure' homosexuality. Both must be accepted.

There can be no 'love the sinner, hate the sin' in this case: To say so would be to call faith a sin, or at least something worth freeing oneself of. And that's the way people here have been treating it. Faith is not a sin; faith is a beautiful thing. I can't convert you to it, and wouldn't if I could. I can't even convert myself to it. But I do respect it, and ask you to do the same.

This isn't the Gay Atheists' Club. This is an Oasis - a little haven of tolerance. Lone Wolf came here seeking that tolerance, needing it perhaps more than anyone, and found it lacking. I pray - oh, yes, I can pray - that he finds more of it on the Russian site. I'm not asking that we bring Lone Wolf back. I'm hoping that we can be more careful with our attitudes about faith and avoid driving anyone else away in the future.

lonewolf678's picture

just to be clear.

my persecution complex as it is. now i'm sure we all remember the "hate me" journals yes? well i wrote those when i was feeling depressed and somehow convinced myself that i was the worst person to walk the face of the Earth. and so i felt that i needed to be hated not for my beliefs but for my character. but when i made a reference to be hated for my beliefs that was really just to make me feel worse. maybe pills for the depression would suffice among other pharmaceutical drugs.

i want to make it clear that the persecution complex wasen't a part of my leaving. i have always felt a slight but pronounced intolerance here. and now that i finally got tired of it and made an opinion. i must leave because this fiasco has made me appear to be a "irrational religionist". i want to be clear that i hate no one, i just dislike very much. i want to be forgotten already and i want this place to go back to the way it was before i joined in
07/01/10

MacAvity, my dear friend i cannot thank you enough for your... for everything you've said. i am forever indebted to you.
you have my undying loyalty and respect.
if you have anything you wish to ask private message me.

"Salam to the ends of the world"

Riku's picture

So, um.

I'm going to be as careful as possible because I don't want to fuel anything.

I know that the queer community is pretty non-religious, but outside of websites like this, atheists are still a minority and deal with a lot of crap. (And I'm sure that religious and queer people deal with a ton of crap too, and that sucks in so many ways... But I'm not religious so I can't speak for them.)

I feel like this should go without saying but I respect religious people. I respect spirituality and I don't think that anyone else's beliefs are less valid than mine. (or my lack thereof. However you want to word that.)

I often, extremely often, feel like that, as an atheist, my views are valued less than those of others. I've had friends put me down enough times that I just don't talk about it anymore unless I'm around other atheists (or my UU buddies because they're insanely chill).

I often feel like the feelings and views of religious people are "worth more" than those of atheists. I'm not saying that any of you are guilty of this, but I get it a lot from other people. I can't really talk about my views most of the time because I'll get chastised for trampling on people's beliefs, no matter how respectful I am about it... I tolerate conversations about supernatural business and the like all of the time and I just keep my mouth shut because nobody wants to hear what I have to say. My opinion isn't valued. Nobody really cares about how that makes me feel. As long as I protect religious people's feelings from being hurt. :/

It builds up after a while you know? So if by the time it comes out here it's frustrated and somewhat offensive I apologize.

But, the thing is... It was a journal. Most of the content here is journals. There's going to be some potentially offensive stuff posted from time to time, because people get emotional, they need to vent. Venting isn't always pretty. We all deal with a lot of shit and sometimes we let it out in ways that aren't ideal or perfectly respectful to everyone.

So nobody is in the right or wrong and can we please stop having drama now?

I'm not upset at Lone Wolf or Jeff or anyone. I don't think anybody in particular is at fault... And I wish we'd stop having sides and throwing blame around. I like all you guys. :/

And Lone Wolf I don't want you to leave (I think you're nice and I definitely don't hate you or anything.) but I understand if you do and I hope that things work out better wherever you're going.

Splash's picture

hmm...

When I clicked on one of Lonewolf's journals at the start of all this, I found the vague implication that he created friction/was not accepted here and was therefore going to leave. I had no idea why this was, or that it had anything to do with religion, so I interpreted it as a continuation of the "please hate me" posts. After reading all the comments I got annoyed and posted something rather snappish, and since it appears Lonewolf is still reading and posting, I would like to apologize for my tone in that comment. I still don't understand what prompted all of this, but I may have been insensitive and/or jumped to conclusions.

I don't wish to pass judgment on whether or not there's an anti-religious bent here. It's possible, but because I am not really religious or comfortable with religion, I'm not sure I'd notice an anti-religious atmosphere as much as I'd notice if everyone was very pro-faith here. I could probably compare this to straight people not noticing how heterosexually-inclined society at large usually is.

Why am I posting this? I'm spewing my own opinion, I suppose. I wonder if I have any place posting, since my role in this drama was walk-on at best. But I'd like to see it stop. We all say stupid things. We all have prejudices. (I bet even the people in that Russian chat room do!) Does that make it okay to treat someone/their beliefs as inferior? No. But... maybe it's a self-awareness thing, to be able to express ourselves while still having respect for others?

I'm going to posit that perhaps there is no clear-cut "right" in this situation. In fact, as best I can tell, many of those involved are now upset, no matter what their opinions. That can't be good.

I'm also going to point out that there was MASSIVE drama over the last couple of people who announced they were leaving and ask, why might this be?

Or, how about, what constitutes tolerance? What constitutes acceptance? I don't think we can have a productive discussion about either when everyone is riled up — or if we all walk around on eggshells.

And with that, I end this comment. I mean well... I think. Take from it what you will.

~~~ the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses ~ e e cummings ~~~

jeff's picture

No one is guilty...

Like most of this "debate," the problem lies in interpretation.

If I write something that I don't find offensive, and someone else finds it offensive, is it offensive? Yes and no. There is no right and wrong. It is both things. Is abortion murder? Depends who you ask.

As for the line between atheist and anti-theism being something sacred, it isn't. People like Christopher Hitchens, who I adore, is famously antitheist. If someone believes there is no God, there is no reason they can't write that here. If someone here thinks God is the best thing ever, and He has improved their life in countless ways, write about it here.

If all of this debate shows anything, it's that people are concerned with the effect of their words, but the problem is... no one really feels they said anything wrong. If my blanket statement is read by someone else as a personal attack, and when asked about it, I say that wasn't the intention... what is the next step? Censorship? People concerned about everything they write?

I mean, these are journals. We are reading other people's journals, so by definition, they can't be wrong. They are the thoughts of someone who wrote them. I can think they are wrong for me. You can think they are wrong for you. And the person who wrote them may disagree with them at some later date, as well. But the whole point of journals is to document your life and, if you do it long enough, to look back and see how you've changed. ironically, I suck at keeping journals and never do it. Go figure...

So, the goal isn't to make sure no one ever posts anything inappropriate on here. They will. Who knows, it might even be me. I often do. I may not make it through the end of this post. When I get a sense that someone doesn't care for my comments on their stuff, I take a mental note, and skip them in the future.

And that is how society works. We are all people who probably agree about a majority of things, but on certain points, we differ wildly. The goal is to learn to navigate that gracefully. If the majority of organized religions are anti-gay, which is pretty undeniable, and you're religious and on a gay site, you're a minority within a minority. Even the trans users on here probably feel they aren't as well represented as the plain ol' gays and lesbians. We go back and forth whether Oasis is more girls, more boys, etc.

Part of the success of Oasis, which was dumb luck, is that when we started the message board, I just never got around to making separate forums. So there isn't a gay forum, a lesbian forum, a forum for the 30 words that mean bisexual, a trans forum, etc. And that has been amazingly beneficial. Some 13 year old boy can write about crushing on a classmate, and the first few comments are from supportive girls. If we had divided up years ago, the site may have disappeared. So, the strength is that we're all sort of in one space.

Things can get bumpy at times, but I'd rather be here and working through it. We've had suicide attempts on here, depressed people acting out, parents e-mailing me to stay away from their kids, etc., etc., and that's part of the territory.

So, this isn't a religion debate. It is about community. For me, I would never go on lonewolf's journal and post something about atheism. That's pretty much the my takeaway from all this. If you're hoping for more, that's really all I took away from it. And until those posts, I didn't even know about any spiritual leanings or debate going on with lonewolf, although i did see the "hate me" persecution stuff, and asked about that, but I don't recall it being religious.

I posted something about embracing faith last night. I have no agenda for how anyone here lives their life. If there is a forum post, that is an invitation for everyone to discuss things. If people posted forums specifically to incite controversy, I wouldn't allow it. But it doesn't happen. I almost never delete anything but spam here.

I don't think any people are whores, and raised that issue with Super Duck and her recurring whorebags. She stood her ground, and I'm like, OK, whatever. Never brought it up again, well, until now, but you get the idea...

So, there are no lines to cross. Just boundaries to respect. But that boundary can never be not posting what anyone feels to be true, because someone else thinks it's false. Just everyone learning how to navigate those differences.

Like it or not, that will require more work on Lonewolf's part than others who got pulled into this debate or whatever it is. There's really no way around that. If every comment is interpreted as a personal attack, where none existed, I can't see how to prevent that. And if they were read as personal attacks, then I really think there is work to do on his part. I read them all back and honestly didn't see it. Other people re-read their posts through that lens and also didn't delete theirs because they didn't find it, either.

Christopher Hitchens is a good example. Like I said, he is antitheist. He doesn't believe in God and says that not only doesn't he believe, but he says that he thinks it would be a bad thing if there were a God. He wrote "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything," which sold a lot of copies. And he was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

After his diagnosis, religious people who previously disagreed with them organized prayer groups for him. The media went to him to get a comment about these prayer groups. If you follow Hitchens at all, you'll know it isn't hard to get a witty or snide comment out of him, but it didn't happen.

He said he didn't think it was doing any good, but that he respected the gesture in that it meant something positive and nurturing to the people who were doing it on his behalf.

That's pretty much what we're looking for here. Differing beliefs built on common ground.

And, unless asked anything specific, I can't imagine I'll write any more on this topic.

---
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

The Bookworm's picture

MacAvity: Thank you for

MacAvity: Thank you for opening the topic with what you did, which I found eloquent, clarifying (I missed the vast majority of the Lone Wolf thing) and I agreed with in it's entirety. With the crossing-of-the-boundry that you mentioned, I find that a) most of the time people don't say anything that overtly says "believing is inferior/immature" but many times people--both here and elsewhere--imply the same, most often in tone and b) it bothered me when people (especially my friends, who do this rather often) did this even when I was completely sure that God didn't exist. I understand where people come from when they express massive bitterness or disgust with the belief in God, especially here, considering how often homophobia is justified with God's name, I really do, but that doesn't mean I'm okay with people attacking (and I'm not saying anyone attacked Lone Wolf or anyone else--again, I wasn't here, I don't know) my beliefs concerning God (which are massively indecisive right now). Yup. That's all. *Hugs* for everyone who'd like them, cause I'm in that sort of mood.

the mouse that roared's picture

As a Smithie, Unitarian Universalist, and religion major...

I have managed to forget that much of American society tends to be homophobic, and to justify that homophobia based on their religions. I've got plenty of very faithful friends, from every religion, on campus, and all of them love me and my queer self. I'm trying to think if I know personally too many queer religious people, and I can't really.

A point about something someone said about atheists being a minority--yes, but there's plenty of religious minorities in this country that get a lot of flack, too. Not to say that to be inflammatory, just to remind you that I don't imagine all that "supernatural talk" you are bombarded with every day, unless you live in Little India or go to a Muslim school, is being heard from many more people than Christians. And while some Christians experience judgment for being Christian, not least at Smith College, I have recently been reminded that they are the majority in this country, which does often count for throwing weight around.

But not everyone does! Not everyone does. I do not have my own specific practice, although I identify more with Hindu culture, and I suppose culturally the Protestant atmosphere I breathed as a minor, than anything else. This has not been angst-free. But, probably a lot thanks to the awesomeness of living in a gay-lovin' community, I have not let my queerness get in the way of my openness to faith, mine or others. I would not say Religious=Asshole, point-blank. There'd be a lot of other descriptions I'd come up with first to match with both of them. This country's emphasis on public secularism has created this debate. In many other places, public expressions of religion--and practicing people--are so commonplace that these generalizations become more complex to make.

OK, enough theorizing from my little happy queerbubble in the sky. I know most of the rest of you live in the real world. I guess all I'm trying to say is that, even though I have yet to find the right place for mine, faith is a beautiful thing, and it makes me sad that so much of our community has limited access too it for many reasons, perhaps because of this generalization of religious=asshole, and also an idea that atheists hate religious people (not a requirement!). I wish that this were different, not because I want to enforce my amoebically amorphous faith on everyone else, but because I think it can be one positive aspect of a person's life, if the openness to it is there.

I do hope I didn't offend anyone by jumping into what clearly was a dramatic moment on oasis, years after no posts at all. I just stopped by to check into life here, and I found this, and I wanted to add my two cents. That's how it worked when I lived here, anyways.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. --Anais Nin

Riku's picture

I definitely definitely

I definitely definitely definitely do not think religious = asshole. I just want to throw that out there. Religion can be ugly sometimes but it can also be beautiful. I know that whether or not one is an asshole has absolutely zip to do with whether or not one is religious. Some people try to use their religion as an excuse but that doesn't make religious people assholes.

But most of my friends are at least somewhat more religious than I am and they alienate me for it. I feel like, at least among my IRL friends, atheism gets less respect than a religious minority. Like, if they were talking about whatever religious thing and I said "I don't believe in that because I'm Religion X" they'd respect that. They'd probably ask me about my beliefs and be open and cheery about it. But because I'm atheist, and I don't believe in any kind of afterlife or anything, they just don't want to hear about it. I still have ideas and views and opinions but since they're not faith-based they aren't worth hearing. I was not trying to make a generalization about religious people at all. That's just what I deal with from the people I know, and I was talking about how that personally affects me.

But... I think the situation here really has to do more with whether we should censor our feelings and ideas in our journals though, which I think we shouldn't. I mean, personally, I don't see the point of a journaling community if we're expected to censor ourselves in our own journals... But I think Jeff explained it better than I could've so yeah.

But you weren't here for most of the drama and the root of it has been deleted so you wouldn't really know that... But that's okay. I'm glad you pointed this out.

swimmerguy's picture

Listen

Either way, I could debate this for hours, but there are many things I would rather be doing. In fact, I have TONS of homework I need to do right this second, so I need to get on that. I have a life.
But, there was one thing that I wanted to say.

If you can't handle the tolerance level here, any real or perceived intolerance we have here on Oasis is many many times less than what you will experience in the world.
So, the real world will kick your ass if you can't handle it here.
Sure, people will always, ALWAYS say things that are or are perceived by some to be intolerant in some way, but you can really deal with it.
And if you call them out on it every time, you will quickly lose friends.
I sometimes make gay jokes myself, because I know that I'm not a homophobe, and hey, gay jokes are funny, no one's being hurt here.
It may suck that you have to deal with intolerance, but I hope it's not news to you that all life is is dealing with the crap, and trying to enjoy what you can.
This is part of the crap you have to deal with.

So, in other words, get thicker skin, learn to ignore stupid people. I don't care if you think I'm stupid, because of how little you really affect my life, and how you can do nothing to me at all unless I let you.
Same goes for me, and I'm not even talking to you or anyone when I write journals.

Sure, if you feel persecuted here, there's no reason you have to stay, I think you should go if that's what you feel is in your best interest.
But the "intolerant pit" thing seemed just a weensy bit harsh to me, when believe me, this place is at least twice as good as the regular real world.
But no one was trying to persecute you, and they will in the real world.

Also, I believe atheists would likely feel excluded more in the world anyway, as most people in the world are religious, and to always complain of persecution for your Christian faith in the modern world seems a weensy bit exaggerated, and as for the being gay part, me and everyone else here has to deal with that. I don't believe you experience a lot more intolerance than I do, which is not much...
Just sayin.

No one escapes from life alive

Dracofangxxx's picture

I agree with the Chadster

We are unusually tolerant of everything here. Well, except me, I guess.
I don't hate people, I hate people who get upset over nothing. There are huge problems in people's life, and sweating it over nothing- Hence Lonewolf's persecution fetish- really, really, absolutely bothers me. The saying "Don't sweat the small stuff" applies here very truly.

Life is absolutely too short to cry about every little problem you have.
Which, I used to do a whole ton!

And I know it bothers other people! I don't treat the internet as an anonymous, sacred place where everyone agrees on everything. If I disagree, I'm gonna have a go at it. That doesn't mean I'm persecuting him. I believe the whole problem got blown out of proportion because of a few different-sided things that were said. No- Not all of us are anti-religion.
For Lonewolf to say that was wholly wrong, considering I never saw anything inteded to hurt anybody.

I think, in getting offended, we need to take a moment to think about WHY it was written, because if it wasn't inteded to hurt- such the journals Swimmerguy wrote that may have caused some of this- It's not a big deal. You don't have to say "Hello, I'm religious, I find this offensive" and start shit.

Because in the real world, it DOESN'T usually work like that. We see something we don't like, we move on. If you don't agree, you don't have to call someone a religious hater. I, personally, have never seen anybody on here saying they HATE religion. I've seen differing opinions on it, and differing levels of tolerance, but nobody hates it.

Maybe I'm being hypocritical.

But, there is a big difference between complaining and whining. Take Super Duck- Maybe she complains alot, but she does it in a way that everyone likes to read. She isn't "Everyone hates me, This life is unfair, They're persecuting me so I'll exile myself, Gender specific pronouns make me want to kill myself"

And that, my friends, is the difference between a dramawhore and a normal person. There are right and wrong things to get overworked about. Just because you use fancy things like "I cut myself" or "I want to kill myself" and "I'm a monster" and "Nobody understands me" doesn't mean you're dark, mysterious, or full of personality.

I am guilty of this.

Which makes me understand why I have few friends- Nobody likes a Debbie Downer, or a Negative Nancy, or anything like that. There is a way to communicate your displeasement without making yourself look like a crybaby.

And this is why I don't care about being too mean on here, because after a bunch of people telling me I need to stop BAWWING over everything, I finally got it. If you stop crying and listen to what people say, problems disappear. Getting butthurt and trying to defend yourself only makes you look weak, and people will attack you for that.

Anyways, the subject of whether anything was inappropriate relies on reaction- You can politely disagree, or you can go throw a shitfit. I believe the latter is the more inappropriate part of this whole thing. Accusing people of persecuting for disagreeing on anything is just wrong, and more offending than anything I've seen.

This is Oasis, and we need to be mature here.

Riku's picture

Hey look. Sometimes people

Hey look. Sometimes people talk about self harm or suicidal thoughts as a honest to goodness plea for help. Sometimes they just need to say it to someone. For somebody to know that they're feeling that way. Sometimes they need support. They shouldn't be expected to bottle all of that up. It doesn't mean that they're a drama queen or just looking for attention. Hell, sometimes people -need- attention. That's okay too. Not everyone can deal with everything on their own.

Dracofangxxx's picture

There's a difference between

"Guys, please help me, I feel really down and I want to self- harm and I don't know what to do"
and
"BAWW I FELT SOOOO!!!!11!!1 DEPRESSED TODAY I ALMOST CUT" or
"GUIZ I AM GONNA GO KILL MAISELF SO BAI BAI"

And there are places you can go talk to to get help besides Oasis. Talking to Oasis never helped me, talking to a counselor did. People saying they're cutting without asking for help or listening to the help are doing it for attention.

That's like a drug addict being like HEY GUYS, YO, I SMOKED SOME AWESOME CRACK TODAY, AND I DID SOME HEROINE AND I GOT AIDS, BAWW, BUT YOU KNOW, GOTTA LOVE THOSE DRUGS. and we're like "Dude you need to stop" and they just don't even care.

Riku's picture

I don't think it's like that

I don't think it's like that though. I think if anybody is going to go to the extreme of telling people that they want to hurt or kill themselves, they've clearly got something going on even if it's not what they make it out to be.

And just because Oasis didn't help you personally doesn't mean it's like that for everyone. I don't know where I'd be without this site... But I'd probably be even more of a wreck than I am.

I mean, depression is a real thing and self-harm is addictive. It's a lot more complicated than "just stop" or "just look at life differently." I mean, you can say those things, and sometimes people can do those things and feel better. But often it's more complicated than that.

Dracofangxxx's picture

You really give people more credit than they deserve.

Not everyone is a precious little "I have severe depression, I can't control it"

Sometimes people are just attention whores. And this is what I'm addressing here. Oasis did help me- But not with my cutting problem. That I did on my own.

I'm not saying depression isn't a real thing- But often adolescence confuses us and we mistake normal hormonal changes and mood swings as being depressed. Especially with the lack of sleep preteens and teens are getting nowadays, we're often on edge and confused about ourselves- As this site shows- And we instead need to take a step back and think, "Is this really depression, or am I just sad sometimes".

It's okay to be upset sometimes. But full on depression is another issue compared to just being a teenager feeling normal teenager things.

Of course, I'm not saying it isn't out there- Depression is a serious problem! When it's correctly diagnosed, and not misunderstood. I find people claiming they're depressed often get a big head and blame everything on that issue, even if it's a false claim.

All I'm saying is- If you're cutting, seek help to stop- if you would like to. If you don't, don't go splaying it out on sites attempting to look like a misunderstood, sad puppy. If you think you're depressed, go get help- Don't blame all your problems on that. Just because you're depressed doesn't give you a get-out-of-jail free card. I'm not an asshole because I'm depressed, I'm an asshole because I choose to be.

Riku's picture

I feel like you're missing

I feel like you're missing my point entirely...

Usually when people are "attention whores" as you put it, it's because they have some other issues going on. Like feelings of inadequacy or something. Maybe they are just confused and don't know what "real depression" is (what ever that's supposed to mean) but I think that how they feel about their own feelings is still valid at the time, even if they later disagree with their assessment.

It's like when people think they're "in love" as kids because it's the strongest they've ever felt, and then they look back later and say "what was that? That was nothing." I mean, even if it seems silly later on, if somebody had said that to them at the time they would have been hurt. It was how they felt. People have a right to decide what their feelings mean.

And you can't really say for someone else what their problems are, how much they are affected by them, and how they should deal with them.You can guess or give advice. But it can be pretty harmful to invalidate other's feelings.

And um, the thing about depression is, it feeds itself. Yeah, people who are depressed (clinically or otherwise) are often going to blame all of their problems on it. Depression has a way of making people short-sighted like that.

I mean, I can see how it causes problems and how it's frustrating. I know what it's like to have friends that whine but refuse to help themselves. But that itself is a problem, like depression, and getting angry at it doesn't make it go away... It's easy to say "just help yourself or shut up." but as I was saying, things are often more complicated than that.

So it's not that I'm giving them credit so much as, I don't think it's fair to spite someone for not knowing the best way to deal with their problems, or the best way to express them. Especially as teenagers, we often face problems that had never even occurred to us before. Frustration and depression and attention-seeking and whatever else are pretty normal parts of growing up. Being stupid and annoying are also pretty common... But we learn from that.

Dracofangxxx's picture

Well, you seem to miss my point as well.

People have problems. We all do. Nobody deserves special treatment for that. We're all lonely, we all get sad, we all want attention.

Being upset =/= being depressed. Being upset often does not equal having depression. There's a really huge gap that I feel people leap over.

Everyone strives for attention, but going at it in a way that demeans themself isn't appropriate. It's like when four year olds paint on walls to get mommy's attention.

I'll make this simple-
I'm tired of self-diagnosis
I'm tired of "depressed" teens
and I'm tired of everyone thinking they're special snowflakes who deserve everyone's attention 100% of the time because they're so sad, hurt, and misunderstood.

I remember the day I walked into my counselors office thinking I knew exactly what I was- clinically depressed.

But you know, I was wrong.

Who WANTS to have a mental illness? Do you think it's COOL to say you're depressed? I hate that. I hate people who say they're depressed to make themselves look dark or mysterious. Maybe you don't have enough of that stupidity around you to understand where exactly I'm coming from, but Lonewolf was an example of this sort of attitude with the whole "Hate me/persecute me" thing going on.

Maybe things are more complicated than I'm trying to convey. But if you give someone tough love and have them realize how they're acting is NOT acceptable or fun to be around, they'll stop.

That's just how it is.

I just feel like people feed into this stuff way too much. It's like we're raising our kids to expect everyone to pity them. That's not how it works in the real world. It's not so much on this site- But I do see it here as well.

I don't know. Maybe it's because my sister never let me get away with being like this when I was younger, but I just don't like seeing people act like children. I'm not trying to say people with serious problems don't HAVE problems- But pity and caring should come from the heart, not because someone keeps forcing their problems on you.

Riku's picture

I don't think people deserve

I don't think people deserve special treatment just for having problems. It's definitely frustrating when people don't realize that they're not the only person with issues... But I mean, upset or depressed or whatever. It's still hard. And, if somebody says they're depressed, I'm not their therapist, it's not my place to tell them how they're feeling or what I think is going on with them.

Sometimes people do want to have a mental illness, because they want something to blame their issues on. Not because it's cool but because it becomes an excuse. I don't think it's good that people want to use mental illness as an excuse, but I can understand why they would. I think in most cases there's a lot more to it than just "oh look at me I'm so dark and mysterious".

Not only that but, I get anxiety from being around people too often. It's not severe enough to be a diagnosable problem, but that doesn't mean it's not something I have to deal with. It's not invalid because it's not diagnosed. I still have to plan around it. If I didn't acknowledge it and just made plans with people all willy-nilly I'd be a wreck. I have to let people know that I have this kind of anxiety so they understand it's not personal when I turn them down for things... I often make it out to be worse than it actually is because I'm afraid that I won't be taken seriously if I don't.

And, everyone is stupid as a teenager. Most teens do not know how to deal with their emotions constructively, so they do irritating things like self-diagnose or whatever. But they don't all do those things for the same reasons. I don't think it's fair to generalize, and I don't think it helps to spite people over it. Like, if I'm directly being affected by someone's attitude then I'll deal with it on an individual level. But in most cases it's really not my place to say what someone else is going through or how they should deal with it no matter what I think.

People have to deal with whatever it is they're dealing with at their own pace. Even if you think they're being melodramatic and irrational. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink... And you can tell someone that you're sick of their shit but that doesn't mean they'll realize things aren't as bad as they're making them out to be. Maybe you shouldn't coddle somebody that's acting that way but I don't think treating them like they're an ass for it helps either. :/

MacAvity's picture

Well...

Thanks for all these comments. Really. They've given me a lot to think about, and yeah, you're right, we shouldn't censor ourselves to avoid hurting people's feelings. I'm not sure whether I was ever saying we should - I might have been. And if I was, I was wrong.

You've helped me see now that expressing our attitudes on faith - or on anything, really - is good, largely because it can, as it's doing now, show us where our intolerances are, and set us on the road toward changing them. I mean, does anybody actually want to be intolerant? I hope not. So this sort of thing is an opportunity for us to see how we can change our own attitudes for the better - not hide them or censor them out.

The Bookworm's picture

There's censoring yourself

There's censoring yourself (BAD) and then there's expressing your opinion (uncensored in content) in a way that is at minimum respectful (GOOD)
Please all note again that I missed this and thus am not saying that in this instance any disrespect came across.

ferrets's picture

hmmm

i view oasis as a world. alot of things happen in our world, as they do in oasis. and we ar all over the place in oasis. when you comment, your trying to make a cahnge, for better or for worse, in someone elses area of the world(like giving medicine to africans or a westernized nation subjegating an asian country for its resources.) when you flip on the world news, you see major events around the globe, and you generally feel strongly about these. but you then have a choice how to deal with it. when you see that a dictator is battling revolutionaries, you have the choice of thinking "oh i hope those revolutionaris win" or grabbing your AK-47, flying across the globe, and helping take down the bloody madman who runs that country. most of use choose the first, of course, not many of us will ever be so moved by something happening far away as to go to that place and help(or harm in some cases). oasis is the same. a journal is a far off land. you can choose to read it, feel a certian way, and then go off. maybe youll help by sending a donation(a coment). but few times will your outrage be so great you feel necassary to DO something about it really. so lets imagine the offending journal(s) was a country that was forming a very powerful anti german feeling. now lets imagine lonewolf was a german citizen. even tho this country was on the other side of the globe, and had no real affect on germeny, lonewolf was extremley upset that someone would disapprove of germany to that degree, and felt personally insulted. now someone from this country might like lonewolf as a person very much, but just dislikes germany. they dont dislike lonewolf a bit becuase hes german, the just dislikle germany. but despite this fact, lonewolf is very upset, and...oh my. ive written this all out, but the way ive worded it, theres no way to make an anology for him leaving oasis since oasis represents the world. but i think it gets my point across. if i saw something in a journal i didnt like, even several times, i wouldnt just get upset by it, becuase i know it wasnt dirrected at me. lonewolf could have ignored the antireliogion here i belive. just like i ignore the "thats soooo effin gaaaaay" comments at school.

"A loving man and woman in a committed relationship can marry. Dogs, no matter what their relationship, are not allowed to marry. How should society treat gays and lesbians in committed relationships? As dogs or as humans?"

elph's picture

A good analogy:

There is a need to recognize that a distinction should be made between the general (in this case, the country --- Germany --- and its leadership) and its innocent, constituent parts (i.e., average citizens).

My personal take on when one can legitimately claim offense: It should be only if you know that an offense was intended!

With this as a guide... I don't think I have ever been truly offended following the days of occasional pre-teen scuffles.

MacAvity's picture

Ferrets: 'lonewolf could

Ferrets: 'lonewolf could have ignored the antireliogion here i belive. just like i ignore the "thats soooo effin gaaaaay" comments at school.'

This is exactly my point. Ignoring a problem like this only serves to perpetuate it. When 'gay' is synonymous with 'stupid, lame, annoying, or otherwise unpleasant,' it's impossible to feel that being gay is as socially acceptable as not being gay. Such unintentionally offensive comments contribute significantly to society's general atmosphere of 'it's not okay to be gay.' We can choose to ignore such remarks, making our own lives easier but not improving conditions for anybody, or we can take a stand (even a small one) and work toward building a more tolerant world, at the expense of our own immediate comfort.

In the outside world, we know that intolerance exists and we know that it will diminish, slowly. So we put up with more intolerance than perhaps we ought - and that's okay. We even have this site, in which we can escape the intolerance of the outside world. But here, intolerance isn't supposed to exist. That's why it's an oasis. Yet Lone Wolf saw intolerance here, and saw it not diminishing despite his solitary efforts. He felt discrimination against him - not him specifically, but against all of his ilk and creed - even in this supposed haven. He had no refuge from it, until he found the Russian site. And so he fled to there, leaving us a parting message that we must improve ourselves and fight our own prejudices to make this the true oasis it's supposed to be.

Ferrets, I like your 'world' analogy - but, as a metaphorical 'German,' Lone Wolf had real loyalty to the metaphorical 'Germany,' and would take any insult to it as a personal affront - that's patriotism. I don't know whether you have any such loyalties - to your country, school, favorite sports team, whatever - (and I know I don't), but they are real, and admirable (even if illogical). Remember, also, that each of us must be the change he wants to see in the world.

ferrets's picture

well....

im saying that things have to cahnge with time. i want the "thats so gay to go away. severley so. but...i know i personally can only put a tiny nick in it. i can help people understand its not a pleasent thing to say. but, i cant expect it to go away overngiht.

reliogon and opposing beliefs(in the past, science, paganism, and now things like homosexaulity and abortion) have always conflicted. but, its getting beter! i trully belive most denominations are becoming much more tolerent of gay people. i thin that as the unkindness twords gay people from many reliogous sources shrinks, so will the dislike of religion by many gay people. just like how science and the papcy (mostly) get along now(tho they do have the occasional disagreement). i think that one day reliogen and the LGBT community will get along, for the most part. but it wont happen overnight. both sides will be bitter for a long, long time twords each other. so i think that sadly, acceptence of reliogion in every way, shape, and form on here shan't be possible until reliogion gives some and starts treating us better. and lonewolf could have been a missionary of sorts. he could have stayed, toughed the unpleaent parts, and done small things to increase our love of reliogion. like i at school, can get my friends to stop saying "thats so gay" and a few people in my class, i cant stop everyone in my school. i could grab a meggaphone at lunch and scream at them to get it through their heads that i hte hearing all the time, then transfer to a very accepting school. but that would just make it worse for the gay people left. but instead i try to make a small change, lay the first foundations of a better future. i think lonewolf could have lain the foundation for a better future for reliogous people to be built upon in a latter time when the differnces between the reliogous and LGBT community are cooling down.

and i do lack faith twords my country. in fact i have alot of animosity twords it, heh. as for sports...ive never cared to it.
but the thing i feel feircley for is a better future for gay people everywhere.
oh and thanks for truding through my awful spelling.

"A loving man and woman in a committed relationship can marry. Dogs, no matter what their relationship, are not allowed to marry. How should society treat gays and lesbians in committed relationships? As dogs or as humans?"

MacAvity's picture

I agree. And I think Lone

I agree. And I think Lone Wolf had been trying to do that for a long time - point out when people were being unaccepting about religion, I mean. But he did it in a way that never affected anybody: either he just sounded too whiny to a lot of people, or people assumed it was only because he was biased by his own beliefs, or some other reason, no one ever seemed to notice. So I've kind of taken the torch from him, because his parting cry on the megaphone, as it were, was met rather poorly. So I, as an atheist, can (I hope) be seen as more unbiased, and make the arguments now in a less whiny way, and gently (I hope) remind people of all this when they, unmindful, transgress again in the future, as they will.

I care about Lone Wolf personally, but I also care about this cause. I think he had a legitimate complaint, and it's my goal to make this world, Oasis, a better place for people like him.

ferrets's picture

good....

cuase when we stop working towards a goal of improvment, that is when great stagnation and evil sets in.

"A loving man and woman in a committed relationship can marry. Dogs, no matter what their relationship, are not allowed to marry. How should society treat gays and lesbians in committed relationships? As dogs or as humans?"

jeff's picture

The problem, though...

is that atheism and religion believe two opposing things. So, if anyone religious read anything regarding atheism as a personal offense, there is no way to fix that. And the atheist side doesn't care if people criticize their beliefs (only bad arguments against it). Which only leaves the religious people learning to live amongst others who believe differently.

So, I don't think we need moderators on here policing things. People just have to accept that people believe different things than they do, and either learn to avoid those issues or better navigate them.

To me, the tip off was on lone wolf's original goodbye post, which had a list of 6-7 sites where he had been before, all of which weren't welcoming. Some were like Facebook, which seems strange, since you personally add your friends and where you go on there...

So, if you go from site to site to site, and ALL are unwelcoming and against you? At a certain point, you have to question what you're doing wrong.

It's like if you have the same issue in every relationship and keep blaming the other people for it going poorly, when the common denominator in all those relationships is you, not them.

---
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

MacAvity's picture

Well...

Like I've said, there's a difference between supporting one's own side and attacking the other. No one's reading just 'anything regarding atheism as a personal offense;' only those remarks which expressed a definite negative attitude toward religion - contrast that with a positive attitude toward atheism - were found objectionable.

I disagree with your assertion that 'the atheist side doesn't care if people criticize their beliefs' - if Lone Wolf or anyone here had ever said anything negative against atheism, we would have jumped on him in an instant and ripped him to shreds. Is this because whatever-that-might-have-been would be one of the 'bad arguments against it'? Are there any arguments against atheism that an atheist wouldn't see as 'bad'?

jeff's picture

Hmm..

Atheism is rooted in science, which welcomes criticism as a means of continually proving itself or updating the narrative. So no, there is no argument that would be bad, as there are no compelling ones.

There are many that would be silly, but that is when you remove atheism from science as a means to insert God into the mix. Typically, it will get to a point where you'll get to an area where science isn't as sure of something (what happened before the big bang) or an area where the person starts in about nature obviously having a 'designer,' and present that as scientific argument.

Here is an example of the banana being the atheist's nightmare, and this is a video that has been produced and distributed to debunk atheism, so not just some random nutcase online:

So, that is the best effort by organized religion to disprove atheism, without explaining why God didn't similarly make apples, oranges, or any other fruit to be as perfect, not to mention that the banana was bred, by man, to have many of the characteristics he is praising, heh.

The line on Oasis is not attacking people. Ideas are fair game. So, you can monitor Oasis to make sure no one crosses the line, but that is where the line is.

Religion is stupid -- fine
Your religion is stupid -- bad

Just want to tune your monitoring, heh, although to be fair, this topic has been discussed more because of this issue than it probably has in the past 5 years otherwise.

MacAvity's picture

Hmmm...

Can a person truly believe a 'stupid' idea without being 'stupid' himself?

And I'm not meaning that anybody should 'monitor' in a censoring way. I just think we need to check ourselves to be sure that our attitudes, not just our words, are as accepting of diversity as they should be.

jeff's picture

Yes...

Because most religious people don't truly follow their religions, even lonewolf said he didn't believe in Leviticus and some other things. The majority of religious people I know have never even read the Bible... aside from what the priest reads for them every Sunday.

So that is the line for me why religion is pretty much bad, but religious people can be OK. If they actually 100% believed it, I wouldn't be tolerant of them. But since none of them do, it's easy. Of course, if they 100% believed it, there wouldn't be any gay religious people, restaurants couldn't serve shellfish, etc., etc.

---
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

lonewolf678's picture

dude.

Leviticus is in the Old Testament. Like I'd follow an outdated book of the laws of the Levites. what was it 2000 odd years ago? lol. just thought i'd drop in for one comment.
amendment:
when i was talking about cursing the sites i was reffering to my love of the old internet and that was said out of blind angst.
so far the russian IRC place is going well. they were nicer to me in one day than most here in the 8 months i was here. of course i mean the best towards the people who have defended me. :)

MacAvity's picture

I'm so glad to hear that the

I'm so glad to hear that the Russian place is working better for you. I'm still trying here, but I think I've done about as much as I can.

jeff's picture

Umm...

The Pope still hasn't spoken against Leviticus, so... it's not like I'm making up that the text is still considered valid by many. The New Testament is considered in addition to, not instead of, the New Testament.

The whole Bible was 2000+ years ago, New Testament like 1950 years ago...

... but you are backing up the point I am making, so we're all good. ;-)

---
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

lonewolf678's picture

-.-

like any one person of the Christianic beliefs is a hardcore bible thumping stereotype. laws that belonged to the Levites in the time of Moses, come on jeff. i see some bias in you.

jeff's picture

Of course...

I'm biased in favor of following the Bible?! I'm just saying there is The Bible, the supposed word of God that few people follow, and that the Church holds up as still being relevant (minus some slavery and such), and then there is what people actually do. My point is that people do not follow the Bible, but decide what parts of it works for them. So, we're agreeing here. Religious people do not actually follow the complete text of The Bible, aka The Gospel aka The Word of God. That's cool. I don't follow it, either.

---
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

lonewolf678's picture

well,

you can look at these if you want.

http://www.ncf.ca/ip/sigs/life/gay/religion/bible2

http://www.sacred-texts.com/lgbt/index.htm

http://www.whosoever.org/bible/

the first link is a good study in my opinion.