CEDARS (Again) Is it really about religious beliefs?

by Listener 72 Replies latest jw friends

  • Listener

    John Cedars has posted his latest blog "The Trouble with Apostates (and why it shouldn't put you off becoming one)"

    I was put off by some of the comments that he has made on his blog. I acknowledge that he is entitled to his opionin just as we are ours but I am disappointed in some of his comments.

    At this stage I'll try to be objective about it. He is defending his own position after all.

    What bothers me most is his comments about athiests and christians which he seems to identify as being in conflict with each other. These are some of his observations

    He identifies a second spectrum of Activists - the Evangelical Activist and the Athiest Activist.

    He states this is his attitude in regards to religionists

    I understand that some people need religion in their lives, and though I find it both obsolete and in most cases repulsive,

    Neither of these statements are true. Religion is not obsolete, it is very much a part of our culture and structure today, it affects nearly all of us in one way or another. As to whether religion is in most cases, repulisive, is a bold claim and one that has caused much division and serious difficulties within society, both in the past and continues today. Rather than viewing it as repulsive, aren't many of us trying to encourage a confined level of tolerance?

    JWsurvey has, and always will have, a “religious neutrality” policy displayed in our comments section...though I try to be as respectful and accommodating as possible towards believers, there is an evangelical Christian faction within the ex-JW movement, and it does not play by the same rules. While some Christians jumped to my defense over last year’s aggressive activism debacle, rightly acknowledging that harassing cult victims is anything but loving and Christlike, they were worryingly few in number. Aggressive activism and evangelical Christianity, it seems, usually go hand in hand.

    He is making an assumption that evangelical Christians are generally aggressive activists. This is extremely offensive and I believe baseless. Why has he jumped to this conclusion? Simply because he seems to have few friends that are evangelical Christians. He seems to not even consider that not all ex JWs want to be friends with him, christian or otherwise.

    as of this moment I can probably count on one hand the number of friends I have who are both Christian and genuinely respectful of my lack of belief

    There appears to be no such conflict on this forum. If anything, there is less tolerence for anyone who chooses to 'push' their views on others, whether they be atheists or christians.

    The strange thing about this is that many discussions take place here where we don't know if the poster is Christian or Atheist. A lot of the time it is not important in our goal to help and support others who are victims of the JW cult. This suggests that Cedars is either going around and asking people what their position is or they are all volunteering that information to him, but surely in being Activists, is that important? He seems to think so and he believes it is a basis for causing a division.

    for some time now the evangelical Christian faction has adopted a troubling new approach: stamping out the fledgling ex-JW atheist faction wherever it manifests itself.

    This is truelly alarming if this is true but I haven't seen evidence of it and I do fear that Cedars has infected his own mind with these thoughts. If he sees a problem personally, then I think he is looking in the wrong area. But it is an offensive statement. Unfortunately, he uses this idea to explain away attacks that are made on him, calling them 'acts of war', underhanded', 'barely tolerable of unbelievers' and so on. Then it gets worse

    The Christian evangelical faction has, to my knowledge, always been mostly populated by demonstrably-eccentric conspiracy theorists, obsessed with freemasonry, subliminal images and the illuminati, who are almost a parody of themselves.

    To him, there is a serious problem that apparently exists but all this name calling and labelling is not normally a part of Cedars more journalistic type reports. It is far from balanced.

    the elephant in the room. Whether I like it or not, a bitter war between the evangelical and atheist factions in the ex-JW community is raging – and it has just escalated.
    How can a problem escalate when it doesn't exist, to the proportions claimed, in the first place? If anything, it would be isolated to the people that he knows and has had personal dealings with.

    He has chosen to deal with it by the following means

    I wanted to let my readers and YouTube subscribers know that, from now on, I will be more open than ever about my atheism, and my channel will feature more videos specifically on that subject

    I don't understand why he would do this on his YouTube Chanel but not his blog but that's his choice and he must see some benefit in it.

    Well done Cedars, adding fuel to the fire and encouraging this hate is not good. It only proves that being an Evangelical Activist rather than the Atheist Activist has nothing whatsoever to do with it.

    How many more leads are we likely to see from Cedars in the future, will those who have previously leaked information to him still have the same measure of confidence in him?

  • cofty
    for some time now the evangelical Christian faction has adopted a troubling new approach: stamping out the fledgling ex-JW atheist faction wherever it manifests itself.


    I have yet to encounter an ex-JW christian who could make a reasonable defense of their beliefs. I would love to have a rational debate with such a person if they exist. All we get here is personal attacks, threats about hell and whingeing about why we ought to respect their superstitions. Maybe that is his point.

    Leaving the cult and becoming an evangelical is to simply swap one lot of irrational superstitions for another.

  • jookbeard
    that's generally how they seem to act Cofty, I've been on the receiving end of this type of behaviour as has Cedars in recent weeks, shame really, no chance at all that we can just try and get on with our activism together, their stupidity and childishness is breathtaking at times. Very early in my fade all those years ago I came across this behaviour from a very well known UK outreach group whose founder died a couple of years back, I always wondered why I was excluded from their activities and thought that my experiences in leaving the WTS could have been a help to others who contacted their group, I believe they had a role called an Area Representative or something very similar, yet I never heard anything from them ever, because I never embraced their version of evangelical christianity, in conversations I'd had with them I was told in no uncertain terms in was imperative I become "born again" and join up with one of their approved churches, I learnt that one former exjw who is a good friend now was subjected to even far worse name calling, ridicule and judgement because he dare question them over some minor doctrine, I wish they could see how many times they go wrong.
  • Daniel1555

    I am so happy, that I am an ex jw and that I am able to freely live according to my conscience.

    I cherish my own spirituality but I would never go and say my views and feelings are the "truth."

    Sadly some ex jws (christian AND atheistic) are still trapped in this JW thinking that their view is the truth.

    I think the most important is to respect each other. Healthy debating is good, but some tend to attack the other views in a way that doesn't show respect.

    I like cedars blog very much. And I like that he is respectful of different views.

    Even if he writes about agnosticism or atheism I am sure he will do that in a respectful way.

    If we ex jws are not respectful, this is not helping any JWs to wake up.

  • Ruby456

    I had my lightbulb moment when I realized that radical atheists who believe in secularism are expressing their sacred values and beliefs.

    Listener, this has much to do with beliefs as are the religions they are contesting. Indeed the zealotry he expressed as a witness has not gone away and has simply taken a new form - this may attract people to think about and leave JWs but it can put as many off as well

    edit: I'm not agianst having sacred values - I have them myself - but we need to realise when we are representing the other side in simple stereotypes

  • slimboyfat

    Cedars says that he finds religion obsolete, and you respond by saying that is untrue. Excuse me, are you the authority on what's going on in Cedars' head? If he says he find it obsolete then he does. End of story.

    Sheesh some people.

  • slimboyfat

    What Cedars is discussing here is the differences and tension between the anti-cult and the counter-cult movements. Douglas Cowan wrote an interesting article on the differences between the two over a decade ago.


  • Ruby456

    slimboyfat, cedars may think it is appropriate to represent religion as being obsolete and repulsive but the problem is that his claim is not rational or objective - and this needs to be pointed out

    edit was responding to you previous post above

  • Listener

    I agree Ruby456. That is why I titled it as 'religious beliefs' and not religious and atheist beliefs.

    Daniel - Sadly some ex jws (christian AND atheistic) are still trapped in this JW thinking that their view is the truth.

    Cedars makes a point of this but didn't consider it from the angle of an atheist as far as I can see.

    Cofty - I would love to have a rational debate with such a person if they exist.

    It could only be a rational debate depending on your own point of view. A Christian may feel they are being very rational and you would never agree with that.

    It's not something I like to debate about because it's not productive I prefer to discuss it but I don't know that there is much to discuss, probably because the basis of it is a matter of faith and a deep setted belief.

    Jookbeard - no chance at all that we can just try and get on with our activism together, their stupidity and childishness is breathtaking at times

    I think there is a chance, we see it here a lot of the time but you are correct that when stupidity and childishness comes into play then there's little hope, but it works both ways.

  • slimboyfat

    Good scientific evidence shows that the more secure humans feel socially, economically, environmentally, the less religious they are. Hence the most stable societies with the biggest social security nets are the least religious. So if the world becomes more unstable and dangerous religion will revive. If the world becomes more peaceful, prosperous and egalitarian it will decline or become obsolete.


    That being the case, let's hope religion is becoming obsolete!

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