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Hello Everyone.

 

I hope a few of you remember me:)

 

I've been having an email "discussion" with a fundy Christian and I need your help. Following is a pertinent excerpt of our discussion about the theology of "chosen ones" and it's association to war and violence:

 

Me

Christianity has a long and sordid history of using its own theology as a justification for killing people and raping cultures. Once again - as humans - we can't get around the reality that theology can (and does) play a role in violence. And the theology of being "chosen" sits at the core of this violence.

 

Fundy Christian Response:

*sigh* this is such a red herring.. it gets pulled up every time. Certainly there are idiots that claim to be believers.. there have been idiots who have done really, REALLY stupid things in the name of their religion.. it doesn't make it good/right. All it does is manifestly provide evidence that man is basically evil and in need of a savior.

 

Yes, folks centuries ago were burned, hanged, tortured for religion.. some in the name of God.. but, in recent history it's been the Muslims who are on the world wide quest to make everyone accept their world view.

 

You can't back up your claim that the concept of "chosen" is at any core of violent acts (on the part of Christians/Jews.. Muslims.. certainly.. although, I don't think they use that terminology, do they?)

 

Or maybe you can site me any recent event where there are people killing people in the name of Christianity? Anything in the news in the US? or one of the other industrialized nations?

 

btw, save yourself some time when looking for references.. delete Wikipedia from anything you intend to use for me. I find it laughable. I don't accept it as a reliable source of anything other than folks have a great time editing it..

 

As for the recent events in Iraq etc, I really don't want to side track this to a political convo. We're not going to agree on anything there (I'm afraid)

 

Notice - Fundy doesn't want to discuss "recent events in Iraq" - because that might get too close to my original point about the connection between religion and war.

 

So...

  1. Although Bush and company have certainly used undertones of fundy Christianity to push the Iraq war.... I do need help finding something that is so stark and "in your face" that fundy can't explain it away. Do any of you have any references to news stories where Bush and cronies used religious language to push the war?
  2. Or... any "recent event where there are people killing people in the name of Christianity? Anything in the news in the US? or one of the other industrialized nations?"

 

Thanks Much - O_M

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... And the theology of being "chosen" sits at the core of this violence.

 

Fundy Christian Response:

... Certainly there are idiots that claim to be believers..

Two sentence, one from you, one from the fundamentalist, and both mean the same thing, under the pretense that it doesn't. That is exactly the problem with religion, to make statements of "them" and "us", and justify "us" in the name of whatever we currently believe to do things to "them," because they're idiots and don't know how the "true" religion should be. Your friend completely misses the point and can't see the picture here, and therefore call it a red herring.

 

Why should we call anything a "religion" or give it a name and dogma? That's where the problem starts. To separate true Christian from false Christian is already the first step to judging and making reasons and excuses for whatever the in-group wants to do.

 

And welcome back OM. Good to see ya'!

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Does this person think that "killing" is the only thing that counts as violence? If you want to see violence done in the name of Jesus just look at those lovely people from Westboro Baptist. I'm sure your fundy adversary will lump them in with the "idiots" and dismiss them, but regardless, they are committing violence in the name of Jesus. And how about abortion clinic bombings? No one has been killed, but I think most people would agree that bombing is an act of violence.

 

I've often said that arguing with fundies is a lost cause and I stick to that opinion. If you like banging your head on brick wall, have at it. Nice to see you back around here my dear.

 

Heather

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Not sure if it is religiously motivated but definitely political -- Jim D. Adkisson walked into a UU church and began shooting up the place because he wanted to shoot up dem dang libruls.

 

There was also a case of a Christian murdering an atheist simply because he wouldn't convert. If I had time, I would go find you the articles, but I gotta get ready for class.

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Does this person think that "killing" is the only thing that counts as violence? If you want to see violence done in the name of Jesus just look at those lovely people from Westboro Baptist. I'm sure your fundy adversary will lump them in with the "idiots" and dismiss them, but regardless, they are committing violence in the name of Jesus. And how about abortion clinic bombings? No one has been killed, but I think most people would agree that bombing is an act of violence.
Actually, there was an abortion doctor that a fundie murdered in the name of religion. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...750C0A962958260
"Jesus was zealous," Mr. Burt said. "Some people believe you should sit in church and pray for abortion to stop. I believe in putting feet on my prayers."

 

Asked if that includes attacks on abortion clinics, bombings and other acts of violence, Mr. Burt replied, "Whatever it takes."

Dawkins also mention an abortion doctor that was murdered by a fundie because of religion in The Root Of All Evil documentary but I'm not sure if it's the same guy or a different case which I think was a more recent case. Also, there's this recent case in Nigera of Christians murdering children that they brand as witches: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/dec/0...igh.theobserver I think this whole debate about who the true xtians are is the real red herring as this it's whole debate us vs them "we're the true followers" mentality that leads to so many disasters and divisions. And it's good to see you back, OM!
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Hello Everyone:

 

It's good to "see" you all again. :grin:

 

You've all made some good points. Hans, you're right -

That is exactly the problem with religion, to make statements of "them" and "us", and justify "us" in the name of whatever we currently believe to do things to "them," because they're idiots and don't know how the "true" religion should be. Your friend completely misses the point and can't see the picture here, and therefore call it a red herring.

 

I will call this person out on this point. All of you have made some good points and I will use them.

 

I've often said that arguing with fundies is a lost cause and I stick to that opinion. If you like banging your head on brick wall, have at it. Nice to see you back around here my dear.

 

I agree with you Upstarter. I don't know why I've allowed myself to get into a conversation with this person. They way this fundy thinks makes me head hurt. :vent: But... I'm in it now - so I might as well finish it up. It's good to see you again as well.

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Hello Everyone.

 

I hope a few of you remember me:)

 

Of course we remember you ^_^

 

Ammo, is what you asked for and ammo I give you.

 

1. A US group called The Concerned Christians, that among other things attempted to blow up a mosque in Israel.

 

http://www.religioustolerance.org/dc_conc.htm

 

2. All of friggin Ireland, seriously take your pick.

 

3. The Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda. Has been waging a bloody spiritual crusade for years now.

 

http://www.alertnet.org/db/crisisprofiles/...htm?v=in_detail

 

4. The National Liberation Front of Tripura. An Indian separatist movement backed by the Baptist church that forcibly converts and kills it's opposition.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/south_asia/717775.stm

 

5. And countless other less organized acts of religious violence, if he doesn't realize that it happens he may be too ignorant to dialogue with.

 

Hope that helps, though from the sound of it he's the type that will dismiss any evidence contrary to his view.

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You might check this out.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/dec/0...igh.theobserver

Children are targets of Nigerian witch hunt

 

Evangelical pastors are helping to create a terrible new campaign of violence against young Nigerians. Children and babies branded as evil are being abused, abandoned and even murdered while the preachers make money out of the fear of their parents and their communities.

 

Watch the video: Child 'witches' in Africa, and click here to see a related gallery

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Certainly there are idiots that claim to be believers.. there have been idiots who have done really, REALLY stupid things in the name of their religion.. it doesn't make it good/right. All it does is manifestly provide evidence that man is basically evil and in need of a savior.

 

There has been wars, on top of wars for centuries for a variety of reasons. I can't remember who said it, but they said it usually works out better for them when the leader, says he is God. Do you count the Muslims in with this notion of Christianity killing in the name of? What name Jesus? Who'd Jesus seek to kill?

 

You say Christianity used its theology, I say people used Christianity for its own purposes. It's not the religion that makes the religion bad, it's the people that make the religion bad. All philosophical based religions have meaning, as to the Golden Rule. People, twist, and form it into whatever they want it to be. Then, the great imitators and actors we are, we perform. Hitler is a good example of that. :wink: I remember you too, by the way. Good to see you.

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You say Christianity used its theology, I say people used Christianity for its own purposes. It's not the religion that makes the religion bad, it's the people that make the religion bad.

You're right in saying that people make the religion bad. In fact the religion is not something that came down from heaven as something separate from people which they then twist and distort, but was in fact a ground-up creation of people, 'by the people and for the people'. So it's not really correct to look at Christianity as something separate that has a "pure form", so to speak, and it's all a matter of people uncovering and discovering it pure truth. Christianity was and is a product of human society, and as such it is and will always be reflective of the mindsets and motives of the society practicing it.

 

To OM's point about people using its theology to justify inhuman actions, this is very true. But more precisely, it is a created mythical system for social identity that is used to rationalize a set of behaviors as consistent with that group's self image. Mapping out territories, ones' border markers, is a behavior in all social animals, and human societies are hardly any exception. We do so in even more elaborate and sophistic forms.

 

But because Christian societies rarely are affording a piece of land to map out and defend to contain their beliefs and patterns of social behavior within in order to protect and foster them, they perform this social behavior in the mythic realm, the "heavenly kingdom" of which they are the "elect", the "chosen" people of unique identity. That feature is a creation of the early Christian religion in formation in within the Roman empire attempting to identify themselves as a distinct people like the Jews by tying themselves into their epic; "they have Moses, but we have the Jesus the Christ who was before Moses and who the whole Jewish epic was really about!"

 

So at the outset, you have Christians creating borders of distinction as part of this formation process. "We are right and you are wrong" are built into it, not really as part of some religious philosophy, but as part of it being a social community. Once you have social interest as your goal, personal philosophy often gives way. Even though the myth is viewed as a top-down belief to the community, the reality is that it is a bottom-up collection of the community's beliefs which resides and presides over it, fashioned and shaped and given power by its participants.

 

So is it the theology that creates this need to isolate and see others and wrong while you're right, or are these myths of "the elect" creations of people in an act of self-interest, which subsequently are then seized upon by those who wish to use it to manipulate and control the masses for their ends? Is this theology inherently dangerous? Is viewing oneself as unique and distinct inherently bad? I would say that the answer to that would have to do with the context.

 

In social formation, it was essential to creating a sense of self-identity, without which there would be little cohesive ties to bind itself together in the stream of strong social changes. But as its borders grew and encroached upon others borders it leads to conflict. In today's world, in a global society these notions have to give way, to become flexible in order to survive alongside other social groups. It has to transcend its formative garb to become a part of the world, to become cosmopolitan. But that's the anxiety for them. To loosen ones' borders creates a sense of threat to ones identity found tied tightly within that social group. And this is precisely what was the impetus behind the birth of fundamentalism in this country, and in all of history.

 

So I guess I'd say it's not the theology, but the ability of the people in various Christian societies to grow beyond its infancy, and for the religion to be able to adjust its collective beliefs enough to do so as a whole.

 

Welcome back OM! Hope you hang around. You're missed here.

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....Fundy Christian Response:*sigh* this is such a red herring.. it gets pulled up every time. Certainly there are idiots that claim to be believers.. there have been idiots who have done really, REALLY stupid things in the name of their religion.. it doesn't make it good/right. All it does is manifestly provide evidence that man is basically evil and in need of a savior.

 

Yes, folks centuries ago were burned, hanged, tortured for religion.. some in the name of God.. but, in recent history it's been the Muslims who are on the world wide quest to make everyone accept their world view.

 

The problem with this argument is that it dismisses many Christians from earlier time periods as idiots, which is somewhat ironic because apologists will often claim the Bible was perfectly compiled because Church tradition was so accurate and pure.

Those "stupid" things that were done were justified by the Bible.

 

Or maybe you can site me any recent event where there are people killing people in the name of Christianity? Anything in the news in the US? or one of the other industrialized nations?

 

Well, George Bush stated that God told him to strike "enemies".

I assume Bush meant that the Christian God was whispering in his ear, not Allah.

This was from Ann Coulter, a rabid neocon Christian.

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war." from her column Sept 13, 2001

You might also google the words "Christian Dominionist", and that might yield some interesting information.

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So I guess I'd say it's not the theology, but the ability of the people in various Christian societies to grow beyond its infancy, and for the religion to be able to adjust its collective beliefs enough to do so as a whole.
As usual, Antlerman, I find that we are in agreement. :grin:

 

Welcome back OM! Hope you hang around. You're missed here.
Thanks Antlerman. Life is pretty busy - and so I'm not able to be on board as often as I used to. But, I do miss you all.
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Well, George Bush stated that God told him to strike "enemies".

I assume Bush meant that the Christian God was whispering in his ear, not Allah.

This was from Ann Coulter, a rabid neocon Christian.

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war." from her column Sept 13, 2001

You might also google the words "Christian Dominionist", and that might yield some interesting information.

 

Thanks Centauri - I appreciate your contributions.

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I've just one more question folks.

 

Back when I was a Catholic kid ... ages ago... the nuns taught us that we could "sin in thought" as well as in word in deed. That if we thought about sinning that was a sin within and of itself. They talked about "sin in the heart". I never believed it. And in Catholic schools they never thought to back anything they said up with scripture passages. So... here's the question... does anyone know what scripture passages that kind of theology is based off of?

 

Thanks

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Yes, but I have to look for it. It's something that Jesus says about lusting...

 

Mat 5:28

"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. "

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I've just one more question folks.

 

Back when I was a Catholic kid ... ages ago... the nuns taught us that we could "sin in thought" as well as in word in deed. That if we thought about sinning that was a sin within and of itself. They talked about "sin in the heart". I never believed it. And in Catholic schools they never thought to back anything they said up with scripture passages. So... here's the question... does anyone know what scripture passages that kind of theology is based off of?

 

Thanks

Pr. 23:7, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he"

 

Phil. 4:8, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

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I've just one more question folks.

 

Back when I was a Catholic kid ... ages ago... the nuns taught us that we could "sin in thought" as well as in word in deed. That if we thought about sinning that was a sin within and of itself. They talked about "sin in the heart". I never believed it. And in Catholic schools they never thought to back anything they said up with scripture passages. So... here's the question... does anyone know what scripture passages that kind of theology is based off of?

 

Thanks

 

That was most of the scripture above. A good example is a man that looks at women everyday lustfully. We men have testosterone :grin: and I think most men would agree that at some point in their male lives it was difficult to control. Of course, religious stuff like sinning in thought, doesn't help the situation. I think alot of people practice this avenue of belief, in the mind as well. It's difficult as I said, and personally at some points in my younger life, had problems 'looking the other way' so to speak.

 

I did however used to think that even if you had a single thought about a women, etc; that you were in sin. Then, as I got older and wiser :Old: , I felt like it was meant more into 'dwelling' in the thoughts of sin, rather than the instant thought of sin. The Catholic as well, got that doctrine in my head.

 

In a nutshell, I think it meant that one can't walk around all day entertaining sinful thoughts, or he will eventually act upon those thoughts; also even if he doesn't, God knows that persons thoughts are impure.

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Hi OM,

 

The key issue for me in this respect was really being to challenged to think about the fundamentalist's God's approach to 'us' and 'them' - in many ways what is surprising is that more evangelical christians aren't aspiring to be godlike and torturing and tormenting those who disagree with them ...

 

I think a big wake up call for me was coming to terms with the fact that I was more loving than the god I had been taught to believe in ... the thought that some christians would be happy partying whilst others they know and claim to love in this life suffer unimaginable pain in hell started to turn my stomach

 

And hey - hello ;-)

 

Alice

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OMG.. the finest people are showing up for this party. We just need one more now. Let's see if that might happen.... :grin:

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There has been wars, on top of wars for centuries for a variety of reasons. I can't remember who said it, but they said it usually works out better for them when the leader, says he is God. Do you count the Muslims in with this notion of Christianity killing in the name of? What name Jesus? Who'd Jesus seek to kill?

 

You say Christianity used its theology, I say people used Christianity for its own purposes. It's not the religion that makes the religion bad, it's the people that make the religion bad. All philosophical based religions have meaning, as to the Golden Rule. People, twist, and form it into whatever they want it to be. Then, the great imitators and actors we are, we perform. Hitler is a good example of that. :wink: I remember you too, by the way. Good to see you.

 

You are wrong in saying that is not religion that makes religion bad.

 

This sounds like guns don't kill people; people kill people. But guns are a tools that make killing people easier.*

Religion doesn't make people evil and cruel. Religion makes it easier for people to be evil and cruel, in the name of goodness of course.

 

*For every gun made with the purpose of hunting or target practice thousands are made for the purpose of killing people for good of course.

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I think a big wake up call for me was coming to terms with the fact that I was more loving than the god I had been taught to believe in ... the thought that some christians would be happy partying whilst others they know and claim to love in this life suffer unimaginable pain in hell started to turn my stomach
Hello Alice. Yes ... I agree. This is what troubles me about the particular fundy I'm currently having a conversation with. At one point I asked her the following...

 

(After giving her a short history of the modern State of Israel I asked).....How would you feel, if the United Nations - and the powerful Western, Christian Nations - came in and removed you from your home, relocated you, all of your family and friends, all your neighbors, to make way for a new Jewish nation? Because that's exactly what happened, thousands of Muslim Palestinians were forced from their homes - much the same way we forced Native Americans off their lands and put them on reservations - to make room for the modern state of Israel. How would you feel if the UN did that to you? Would you fight for your land? Would you look at the new Jewish settlers - occupying your old home and see religious violence in that?

 

And if that wasn't enough of Western Christian nations invading Muslim lands - then we began to go after their oil. Systematically down through the history of the automobile - America (and the west in general) has gone after oil underneath Muslim soil. We have used our armies, we have used economic muscle, we have used religion, we've used it all to get access to and maintain control over Mideastern oil. What would you think of Christianity if you were living in an Arab country and watching the Western Christian nations rip your country and culture apart for oil and power and wealth?

 

You know, one very important way of treating our neighbors as ourselves is the ability to put ourselves in THEIR shoes. What would you think of Christianity if you were living in their shoes, if you had been raised in their culture and believed the Koran to be literally and historically true?

 

What would you think of America, of the West, of Christianity if you saw tanks rolling down the streets of your Muslim village decorated with Christian symbols? (I had attached 3 pictures of US Army tanks and personnel carriers with Christian symbols attached/hanging off of them).

 

And in that context - you think Muslims are the only ones in the world today killing others and using religion to justify it?

 

There will never be peace until humanity can reach a point of seeing our own actions through the eyes of those we are hurting. This goes for all religions. This is what it means to "love our enemies". We don't have to agree with them. But, certainly we can ask ourselves what we would feel if we were in their shoes. We can do this much, that is the least we can do in "treating our neighbors as ourselves" and "loving our enemies".

 

The Christian I am corresponding with never answered my, "how would you feel..." questions. Not once. She just whipped out a bunch of Bible verses about God's demand that you worship ONLY Him. She didn't even try to feel empathy or put herself in the place of the people I'd been asking her about.

 

And hey - hello ;-) Alice
Hello to you too, Alice. It's good connecting with folks back here again... :grin:
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OMG.. the finest people are showing up for this party. We just need one more now. Let's see if that might happen.... :grin:

 

Hello Antlerman :grin: I've been away for awhile. Thanks for calling this a party - it is quite a reunion isn't it. I hope NotBlinded shows up. Has she been around lately. :clap:

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OMG.. the finest people are showing up for this party. We just need one more now. Let's see if that might happen.... :grin:

 

Hey ... Antlerman ... you're talk of having a party brought back memories. I remember a lot of threads... but the one that makes me chuckle the most is the "party" we had when Christian Forums went down for a few days and we were over-run with fundies. Do you remember that thread...???? :wink:

 

By the way ... is White Raven around at all???

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You are wrong in saying that is not religion that makes religion bad.

 

This sounds like guns don't kill people; people kill people. But guns are a tools that make killing people easier.*

Religion doesn't make people evil and cruel. Religion makes it easier for people to be evil and cruel, in the name of goodness of course.

 

*For every gun made with the purpose of hunting or target practice thousands are made for the purpose of killing people for good of course.

 

Chef

I think people would still be 'evil or cruel' whether religion was existent or not. It's apart of our genetic chemistry. Right?

 

As far as the guns, ....if they didn't have guns, they would find something else to use. The killing instinct is not just limited to chance, or opportunity? Right? So, by the logic your presenting, if a man intends on killing someone, whether premeditated or not, the gun is the problem. If they didn't have access to a gun, they wouldn't have committed murder? Like I said, I think whether its a gun, knife, bazooka, trip wire, poison sticks, whatever. The intent to kill is the intent to kill. The weapon is just the object of destruction.

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