Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Cruise-Holmes Split: Did Religion Play a Part?

posted by Linda Mintle

Big news last week in Hollywood. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes split after 5 years of marriage. Was I surprised?

No, but it is still sad when a family breaks up and a child is caught in the middle.

For years, I have wondered about the strange religious union of this couple. Holmes grew up Catholic and her parents are reported to be devout Catholics. Cruise is big in the Scientology church. At the beginning of the relationship, there were reports that Holmes parents objected to the marriage, but eventually came around so as not to alienate from their daughter. And interestingly, Cruise’s second wife, Nicole Kidman was raised Catholic, but never converted to his religion.

Catholicism  and Scientology and not two religions that are compatible with each other. From a Catholic perspective, scientology is not even considered a legitimate religion (www.catholic.org).

Religion does play a role in couples staying together. A study by researchers at Auburn University Montgomery found divorce rates to be inversely related to religious homogeneity. This means that when a couple has the same religion and is involved in that religion, the divorce rate is lower. Certainly other variables are at work in divorce, and people are able to overcome religious differences when there is agreement on norms and beliefs in general, but religions that are very different can certainly be a factor in marital breakup.

Religion can be a stabilizing force in a marriage. It can also be a source of great disparity and concern.

Now that the Cruise child, Suri, age 6, is starting school, you’ve got to wonder how much the Catholic roots played into Holmes decision to leave.

According to reports, Holmes converted to Scientology before the couple wed. And Cruise already had a history of his religion impacted his first marriage to actress Mimi Rogers.

So while Hollywood typically has little to say about the impact of religion on its couples, I wouldn’t rule out that religion played a role this time around.

 

 

 

Christianity: More Than a List of Dos and Don’ts

posted by Linda Mintle

My teens regularly ask me why we have rules about all kinds of things. When I answer, I try to speak to the heart of the matter. Rules are like protective boundaries but obedience comes out of a heart of love and gratefulness.

Reading the Old Testament, it is easy to see why Christianity is often viewed as a list of dos and don’ts. The Torah alone  (the first five books of the Old Testament) lists 613 “mitzvot” (commandments).  When you add to that total, centuries of rabbinical traditions that created another set of rules about how to keep the first rules…and then the traditions and customs well… you get my drift.

Actually, God had a plan for these rules all along.

He purposefully created a set of rules that He knew we humans could not keep. An annual sacrifice of a pure and unmarked lamb to absolve the lot of our collective inabilities to keep His laws was the only solution to our failed obedience.

Then, in one amazing fell swoop, God sent a perfect replica of Himself. We Christians call Him Jesus, the God-man – to fill in for the annual lamb.  For 33 years, Jesus lived a 100% pure and perfect (read: sinless) life. He de-emphasized rules and got to the heart of matters. When he was murdered, he became the human version of the sacrificial lamb.  But this time, God was satisfied for all time.  And we, out of love, desire to keep God’s commandments and receive His blessings.

So now, we’re free from the list of dos and don’ts that handcuffed us all those years ago.  Now, loves compels us to follow God’s rules as a matter of choice.  Our choice.

Because Jesus’ choice was to buy our freedom, we am no longer slaves to the law.

After Sandusky: What Survivors Face

posted by Linda Mintle

Jerry Sandusky was convicted of multiple counts of child abuse. But what about the victims who had to be so brave as to tell the story of their humiliation and victimization? Each one had to revisit the memory which could re-traumatize and reactivate symptoms depending on where they are on their healing journey.

They, hopefully, will continue to heal and recover. As I prepare to do a video shoot on sexual abuse, rape and incest, a few notes to come to mind:

1) Every 2 minutes someone in the US is sexually assaulted (RAINN)

2) Approximately 2/3rds of all sexual assaults are committed by someone who knows the victim

3) Healing usually follows four phases

a) Telling the story and reviewing how the victim responded during the attack- the victims had to do this during the trial.

b) Dealing with acute reactions like shock, mood changes, isolation, etc. Even though the abuse happened years ago, the symptoms associated can be intense and impairing.

c) Reorganization in which the victim tries to make sense of what happened and deals with intrusive symptoms like flashbacks.

d) Resolution and integration in which the victim takes action, processes the trauma and memory, and moves to a place where the perpetrator doesn’t have power over the victim any more.

My prayer for each person who testified is that resolution and integration can finally take place. That each one will be free of nightmares, anger, fear, helplessness, depression, sleeping and eating disturbances,  and other fall outs from sexual abuse. That as they choose to forgive their abuser (the memory remains, but the power of the memory lessens when forgiveness is released) and let go of bitterness, resentment and anger, that they will see the gift they give themselves by forgiving. Forgiving doesn’t mean what Sandusky did was OK, it doesn’t mean his behavior in any way minimizes the damage and wounding, it doesn’t mean that his behavior is condoned in any way–it means that each individual can finally move on and release the burden. Healing is usually a process in which layers of hurt and violation are uncovered and worked through.

Let’s pray this court decision is part of a process that moves the victims closer to that healing.

 

John Edwards and Reille Hunter Split Up: Why You Don’t Want to Read The Book

posted by Linda Mintle

John Edward’s girlfriend announced today on an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulis (Good Morning America) that she and Edwards split, they are no longer a couple.

Interestingly, this announcement comes on the heels of her new book release. When George tried to pry some understanding of what happened, she repeatedly said, “You’ll have to read the book.” At one point, she did say that she had to write it to tell the truth, that Edwards is not a demon, that she is not a home wrecker and Elizabeth was not a saint. Why is this the case? We have to read the book. Apparently we don’t understand that having an affair with a married man while his wife is battling cancer, can create problems and may even be wrong.  We have to read the book.

But Hunter was adamant in her justification for loving Edwards, even though we have to read the book to understand it.

She also stated that the love is still flowing, but they are breaking up? Why? She wouldn’t say, if we read the book, maybe we can guess.

Stephanopoulis gave it the college try and tried to get something out of his interview with Hunter, Again, why did the couple break up? “It’s private,” she replied, and she wasn’t going to talk about it. So I am guessing we need to read the book, but we still won’t know, although she is tired of hiding and wants to tell the truth. Apparently all the truthful answers were absent in the interview–because you have to read the book.

Call me slow, but I am sensing a theme here!

After watching this interview, I for one, am not going to read the book!

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