God is not the solution to eating disorders.

Will of Godless Teens had a group come into his school to talk about overeating disorders.  Awesome!  The later high school years are when a lot of eating disorders pop up.

However, like charity often works with the Catholic church, combating real problems, in this case, was an excuse to talk about god.  The group that came in was Overeaters Anonymous, and look at their steps:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

This is 100%, unquestionably illegal.  And Will did the right thing: he documented it.  If a public school teacher is proselytizing or teaching creationism, whip out your cell phone and record it before you say a word.  Getting evidence is crucial.  Now Will can (and should) send this off to the FFRF, who will use it to make the fear of god sound like a whimper for whatever administrator failed to do their homework by checking the group’s website (or, worse, checked the website and allowed them to come anyway).

And I love this bit from OA’s website:

OA is not affiliated with any public or private organization, political movement, ideology or religious doctrine; we take no position on outside issues.

Sorry, I said “love” when I meant “loathe”.  This idea that people’s lack of belief in god could somehow be responsible for their overeating is insulting, and it certainly places you firmly in the camp of pro-religion.  You may not be affiliated with a particular religion, but you’re damn sure affiliated against non-belief.

What’s more, there is a way to make life better for people with eating disorders.  You shouldn’t beg god to help you, you should ask the experts in modern medicine and psychology.  If you have a mental illness, the solution is not to plop your ass in a pew and fork over 10% of your income to someone who doesn’t know the first thing about psychology and who does not, at all, have the ear of god.  If a person spent money on a big cross for their church before spending a penny on a psychology course, they’re not equipped to help you.

Christ, religion disgusts me.  It’s all about finding people at their weakest, so they are more likely to make bad decisions.  It’s about promising them a quick and easy solution to their troubles, even if it delays or keeps someone from getting to a doctor for help.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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