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Evangelical Missionaries A Cause Of "agony" In The World


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Missionaries are the lowest of the lowest scum. They have for centuries ushered in acquiescence to colonialists paving a way of slave-mentality amongst locals so that they can be exploited by those with guns and aspirations, among other despicable things.

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I agree with all of the above. Even well-meaning missionaries leave horrors and pain in their wake.

 

The world will be far better without any of them - or if they would just stop pushing their stupid god and just get on with being good and helpful people. If they ever were in the first place.

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I read this brief article and felt ashamed (and not for the first time) at the arrogance I had as a believer: my belief that somehow, Christianity had something everyone needed. Not only did I deeply believe they needed it, but above many other real needs.

 

Boy, was I wrong.

There's nothing to be ashamed about especially since you've come to realize you were wrong. We all were just as or even more obnoxious and/or arrogant as you claim you were. That's one of the by-products of being in their cult and that is exactly what it was.

 

What Vigile wrote is also right on the mark - they are the lowest of the scum because of the horrors they've wrought.

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I've long believed that the tribes were best off left alone. Let everyone go their own way. Stop travelling the world to "inferior" peoples to get them to follow "the one true path". I was reading something about a papua new guinea tribe that after conversion, went downhill, became an impoverished tribe. They gave up their old ways to add up to the better, western christian ways, and it has lead to their unbecoming.

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my aunt was a missionary in Papua New Guinea and I remember her as a wonderful, kind lady who everybody, including the indigenous people, loved. It saddens me to ponder on the possibility that her life's work, which I had always admired, was perhaps in vain at best, and at worst actually harming the people she felt so passionately for.

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my aunt was a missionary in Papua New Guinea and I remember her as a wonderful, kind lady who everybody, including the indigenous people, loved. It saddens me to ponder on the possibility that her life's work, which I had always admired, was perhaps in vain at best, and at worst actually harming the people she felt so passionately for.

That's the thing, most think they're doing what's best for the tribes when in reality they're not. Sure, it may at times not come out so bad as the example I described. A world with less missionaries would be a good thing. The kind ones should just join the kind philanthropists and help people. I'm sure they would if they knew what their work is capable of doing.

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My dad was a missionary to Haiti for a while. The group did build a school (where Christianity was taught, of course) and provided some medical and dental care. They would not, however, provide the thing Haiti needs most - birth control.

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My dad was a missionary to Haiti for a while. The group did build a school (where Christianity was taught, of course) and provided some medical and dental care. They would not, however, provide the thing Haiti needs most - birth control.

And probably also not protection against STD's either, right? No condoms. No sexual education. A poor country made poorer, unable to feed itself.

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I've long believed that the tribes were best off left alone. Let everyone go their own way. Stop travelling the world to "inferior" peoples to get them to follow "the one true path". I was reading something about a papua new guinea tribe that after conversion, went downhill, became an impoverished tribe. They gave up their old ways to add up to the better, western christian ways, and it has lead to their unbecoming.

 

That's exactly the biproduct of missionaries. Mining and banana companies probably wanted cheap labor. Send in the missionaries, turn the tribes into Jesus capitalists and treat them like slaves. When they forget how they used to live before and the mining companies pull out after raping their resources, they turn into helpless alcoholics and impoverished beggars. Fuck 'em, the lazy bums. If they were so smart, they'd pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and start a chicken franchise or something.

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my aunt was a missionary in Papua New Guinea and I remember her as a wonderful, kind lady who everybody, including the indigenous people, loved. It saddens me to ponder on the possibility that her life's work, which I had always admired, was perhaps in vain at best, and at worst actually harming the people she felt so passionately for.

That's the thing, most think they're doing what's best for the tribes when in reality they're not. Sure, it may at times not come out so bad as the example I described. A world with less missionaries would be a good thing. The kind ones should just join the kind philanthropists and help people. I'm sure they would if they knew what their work is capable of doing.

If there's nothing but good intentions, I can't really see people like Owen's aunt as the lowest scum. I would save that label for violent criminals and politicians. Also, even though those Haitians weren't given birth control, they provided a school, medical, and dental care, so its a bit irrational to say that this was more harm than good don't you think?

 

Vigile, is there more to read about the role of Christianity in disenfranchising natives? I look at places like China and it looks like the imperialists carved up that country just fine without converting the place. I'm just curious.

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Just do a little mental exorcize here. Consider if tribal Africa was better or worse off than an Africa swimming in starvation and disease -- a 20th century phenomena, and you get a pretty good picture of what the biproduct of the well-intended god botherers has been. There has of course been a great deal of study into this as well, but this exercise sums it up quite well IMO.

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There's nothing to be ashamed about especially since you've come to realize you were wrong. We all were just as or even more obnoxious and/or arrogant as you claim you were. That's one of the by-products of being in their cult and that is exactly what it was.

Thanks Raoul. I am so broken by this. Painful memories of the arrogance of my youthful fervor!

 

When I started working in the 'real' world, which was fraught with pain, suffering, complex social systems and hurting human beings who were doing their best, I began to see that Christianity's solution was not a solution at all. It was merely an inert membership in a fake club. The further I got into the world and its problems (in my work) the more problems I saw at the intersection of Christianity and reality. I became more and more contemplative about this 'intersection'...until I lost my faith completely.

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When I began to work with indigenous people as part of my work, I really began to come undone in my faith after seeing first hand the devastation wrought by the missionaries. In Canada, there was a systematic effort to take the "Indian" out of the children. This resulted in horrific residential schools, language banning, and rampant abuse of all kinds. Entire nations here have been culturally raped and destroyed. Many of the people are shells of who they could have been due to the ongoing impact of the missionaries. Entire nations have been devastated, and the upshot of it all is addiction, broken families, a diminished sense of self, and systematic cultural discontinuity.

 

The stories are absolutely horrific.

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There's nothing to be ashamed about especially since you've come to realize you were wrong. We all were just as or even more obnoxious and/or arrogant as you claim you were. That's one of the by-products of being in their cult and that is exactly what it was.

Thanks Raoul. I am so broken by this. Painful memories of the arrogance of my youthful fervor!

 

When I started working in the 'real' world, which was fraught with pain, suffering, complex social systems and hurting human beings who were doing their best, I began to see that Christianity's solution was not a solution at all. It was merely an inert membership in a fake club. The further I got into the world and its problems (in my work) the more problems I saw at the intersection of Christianity and reality. I became more and more contemplative about this 'intersection'...until I lost my faith completely.

P, it's so uncanny and yet, at the same time, wonderful how similar so many of us are regarding our escape from the cult. The clash between reality and the world vs the pseudo spirituality and denial of reality which is what you actually described is no different than what I and so many others around here have had to deal with. Then we (including you of course) come to a brick wall and are faced with the decision to either keep plodding along in the denial or to simply face facts and realize that everything we've been taught has been based on nothing more than human opinions - most of which were developed in ancient/Bronze age times.

 

The final thing with me was an incident that followed quite a lot of other incidents - nothing of merit to describe. But I just looked out the window and said, out loud, "I get it! I finally get it"

 

What I got, of course, was the lightbulb going off in my head telling me that it was nothing more than hyperbolic bs. I decided, right then and there, that I was going to finish out this journey without any fear or care as to whether or not a Santa Claus in the sky was actually there. It means nothing to me one way or another. It has no effect as to what decisions I have to make or how I'm going to conduct myself from now on. Funny thing is that I've never felt so sure and clear headed in my life.

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Guest Babylonian Dream

I never called anyone the lowest of scum, so I don't need to back that claim. Also, not all of them have good intentions. I don't count "civilizing the inferior savages and giving them the right religion" well intentioned, those ones exist as well. One of my old pastors was one, he went to Fiji, and was so disturbed because these "pygmies" as he called them "could be heard chanting in the hills to demons". As he put it.

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It makes me distinctly uncomfortable as well to consider my old admiration for missionaries. Now I see it as an imperialistic, narcissistic, ethnocentric assault on human dignity. Of course, that's just the folks going to societies they consider "savages." Quite a few missionaries seem to be heading out lately to the barbaric wilds of San Diego, London, Paris, and Honolulu. Very challenging, but at least the people there have adequate defenses against the perky blandishments of these egotists.

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I remember reading an article a year or so ago on a progressive Christian webzine called Relevant that talked about the destruction of cultures due to the spread of Christianity. It made me really sad. I mean we have lost so much history and culture as a result of the spread of this religion.

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Guest Babylonian Dream

I remember reading an article a year or so ago on a progressive Christian webzine called Relevant that talked about the destruction of cultures due to the spread of Christianity. It made me really sad. I mean we have lost so much history and culture as a result of the spread of this religion.

Yes it is very sad. So much knowledge lost because of this ethnocentrist phonomenon.

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I remember reading an article a year or so ago on a progressive Christian webzine called Relevant that talked about the destruction of cultures due to the spread of Christianity. It made me really sad. I mean we have lost so much history and culture as a result of the spread of this religion.

Yes it is very sad. So much knowledge lost because of this ethnocentrist phonomenon.

 

It really has become ethnocentric to America. I concur.

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I just watched this (it's long) and parts of it are really dumb (moderator *cough cough*) but Hitchens and Fry are awesome in this. The question on the table is about "the catholic church is a force for good in the world".

 

Get a big bowl of popcorn and enjoy. :D

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My background and training was in missions. Studying the history of Christian missions was heartbreaking and brought about a lot of discussion in our classes. During one of our cultural anthropology classes, we were challenged to tackle and discuss various case studies in small groups. Over and over again, it was pounded into our heads by our teachers to question everything-- to discern between Truth and Culture. Just because something made us uncomfortable, or went against one (or several) of our American Evangelical values, didn't mean it was wrong or needed to change. When going into another culture, you are the one who has to change first and foremost. You must learn long before you presume to teach anything. And when you do, take care that you do not impose your culture. "Allow the gospel to adapt to their culture" and "celebrate the diverse expressions of God/love you find throughout the world" were highly emphasized, as well as not getting distracted by side issues that deter from the Love.

 

... Why does the church struggle to apply this on our "home turf?"

 

Anyway, there is a scale for this. The "C" scale. C was for "Contextualization." There were five levels. Or six? It's been too many years. This is my first time pulling this random crap out of my head since graduation...

 

It was used largely in referring to Muslim converts, but it applies to all converts in general quite easily. Essentially, C1 is like what we're talking about in this thread. Complete cultural conversion. Converts become cultural islands, losing all context and relation to their own culture in every area of their life, often down to even language (though not always). On the other extreme, you have C5 converts. The great thing about C5 converts is that they're the sort that fundies would probably say "aren't real Christians." Haha... I love that. And then, of course, there's every sort of moderation in the middle.

 

There is a lot of controversy in the missionary world about where along the C scale to shoot for, and there are diehards in every camp. Ted Haggard is totally a C1 (big surprise). He came and spoke at one of our school's conferences. He ended up going on and on about how missionaries (us) needed to bring capitalism to the world to help bring people out of poverty. Actually, he was essentially saying, "AMERICA! FUCK YEAH!" He was met with icy silence, as we were a school of a lot of more radical C5 types with zero sense of nationalism. The entire student body ended confronting him in a heated debate at the following morning's session. Faculty said it was the most engaged they had ever seen the students at a conference. Note: This was just a few short years before Ted's whole male prostitute thing hit the fan.

 

 

 

Just bringing clarity, since I am qualified to do so. Knowledge is power! And, yeah, the way missions has been done (and the way many still do it) is flat out wrong. Cultures are beautiful. Their unique expression of humanity is freakin' awesome. Why would we want global sameness? Forget painting the town red-- Western Christians are painting the world beige.

 

 

NOTE: I was intentionally writing much of the information from a mildly "Christian perspective" and wording. It was an attempt at "how they see it." Don't worry... I haven't crawled back or anything.

 

 

ALSO NOTE: It was this very training to question everything and not presume that my culture=truth that eventually led to the demise of my faith.

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"Allow the gospel to adapt to their culture"

 

I'm glad to hear some missions groups are attempting to leave a lighter footprint, but the quote above makes it a losing battle. In the end, attempting to impact something as profound as religious belief has to leave a cruel stamp on their culture.

 

ALSO NOTE: It was this very training to question everything and not presume that my culture=truth that eventually led to the demise of my faith.

 

Ha ha. Christians are right to fear a more liberal treatment of their message. My deconversion too was essentially kicked off by reading 'kinder and gentler' material.

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Things Fall Apart

 

Anyone interested in a better understanding of the impact missionaries have had on Africa, this book is a good place to start. I had to read it for a class when I was in school. It's an interesting and informative read. It gives a fictionalized account of the impact a mission had on an African tribe.

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