Verbal Abuse, Religion and Truth

Verbal Abuse, Religion and Truth

By Patricia Evans

Can a person be truly religious and still indulge in verbally abuse behaviors on a regular basis? I don’t think so.

The religious person seeks truth.
The verbally abusive person denies truth.
In some way all verbal abuse is a lie.

There are millions of people on planet Earth organized into many groups that feel united in their way of being harmonious with God. These groups compose the religions of the world.

I think of religion as a way-of-being, of holding convictions, and of standing by principles deemed good or God-like. Unfortunately, a person may pretend to be an all knowing God rather than to be God-like–good and true. Pretending to be a God is like pretending to know all things and therefore to have the power to define another person. “You’re a…. You’re just trying to….” Declaring the reality of another person is certainly not good, true, or god-like. It is verbally abusive. Because it is like playing God, it is like taking the name of God in vain.

Following are six of the world’s great religions. They are listed in alphabetical order. Let’s see what they tell us about the way a truly religious person treats others.


Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.


All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.


Do not unto others what would cause you pain if done to you.


No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.


What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man.


Regard you neighbor’s gain as your own gain and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.

The following questions ask us how we relate to others. They invite everyone to consider his or her way of being in relationship.


by Rabbi Levi Meier, Ph.D.
Chaplain, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles
Clinical Psychologist

To Consider
Do my words respect the divine image of another?
Are my words intrusive or impolite?
Am I conscious of my tone of voice?
Am I conscious of the language of my body?
Do my words seem to include, or do they exclude?
Do I speak about someone the same way I speak to him or her?
Will my words diminish the dreams or spirits of another?
Will my words bring healing and peace?
Will my words hurt another?
Should these words be spoken? Now?
Are my words true?
Are my words kind?
Can my words anticipate a need?
Will my words help another?
How can my actions supplement my words?

We invite religious and spiritual leaders to share their thoughts on religion and verbal Abuse. We will consider all contributions.

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