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Sybaris

Mission Trips

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My wife and I just returned from a trek in Nepal where we went to the Everest base camp. While waiting for our flight out of there we met a guy from Tennessee who had gotten a cold when he was just two days from completing the same trek but had to return while the rest of his group pushed on. During the conversation he revealed that the trek was actually a mission trip funded by his church to check out possible villages to "plant" church members to "spread the word". I didn't know whether to puke or roll my eyes and leave. Fortunately within a few minutes we got called to the air strip and left. 

 

I just find it utterly disturbing that still, today, there are people so warped by their religion that they think it's a good thing to invade indigenous people and spread their brand of delusion. It's disgusting.

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So sad that so many cultures have already been corrupted this way :(

 

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I went on one of those; my sister went on another.  My halo used to be pretty shiny.  Seems to have tarnished some though . . . .

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I've mentioned before on this forum a distant relative who went to a Greek island to build houses, after which they went around handing out Bibles. In telling us about this, he said,

 "And some of them threw them at us," and he chuckled. What an idiot. All these folks just don't get it.

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Yes, but Christianity, it's organization, community and customs is probably better than whatever indigenous culture is being supplanted. This is easy to demonstrate. Is head hunting, arranged marriage, taboo, etc, really noble, natural and pure? Nope. It's societal, and imperfect. 

I'm glad to be free of my catholic upbringing. But, if it wasn't for them, we'd  still be sacrificing virgins.  

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5 hours ago, Pain said:

Yes, but Christianity, it's organization, community and customs is probably better than whatever indigenous culture is being supplanted. This is easy to demonstrate. Is head hunting, arranged marriage, taboo, etc, really noble, natural and pure? Nope. It's societal, and imperfect. 

I'm glad to be free of my catholic upbringing. But, if it wasn't for them, we'd  still be sacrificing virgins.  

Measles. It kills off these nasty savages doing their nasty things. Then we can go in and pollute their forests and lands so we get rich.

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20 hours ago, Pain said:

Yes, but Christianity, it's organization, community and customs is probably better than whatever indigenous culture is being supplanted. This is easy to demonstrate. Is head hunting, arranged marriage, taboo, etc, really noble, natural and pure? Nope. It's societal, and imperfect. 

I'm glad to be free of my catholic upbringing. But, if it wasn't for them, we'd  still be sacrificing virgins.  

 

You are making an unfair generalization about indigenous cultures. All cultures have their positives and negatives including Christianity. For example, while Christians don't practice head hunting, many of it's practitioners support capital punishment. And I'm not aware of Asian cultures sacrificing virgins. And from what I know so far I see much in the Native American culture that is superior to Christianity. For example, their attitude about their relationship to the earth. And the concept of total war was brought to Native Americans by white Christian men. And while I can't find my source for this, I once read that Lewis and Clark returned to Washington with an Indian chief who was surprised to see poor people on the streets. The chief said that in their culture no one goes hungry, while in America today, according to a story on CNN, there are 13.1 million households where children go hungry. Yes, I acknowledge that these cultures have their negatives, but I can't agree with the notion that Christianity is superior. Such an attitude is part of the problem I have with the religion.

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It's the basic assumption that they're not good enough as they are, simply because they are different from us.  

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On 10/28/2019 at 12:39 AM, Pain said:

Yes, but Christianity, it's organization, community and customs is probably better than whatever indigenous culture is being supplanted. This is easy to demonstrate. Is head hunting, arranged marriage, taboo, etc, really noble, natural and pure? Nope. It's societal, and imperfect. 

I'm glad to be free of my catholic upbringing. But, if it wasn't for them, we'd  still be sacrificing virgins.  

Have you traveled a lot outside of where you are from? Maybe you have...

 

If you haven't, I want to encourage you to travel and experience other cultures before you pass judgements. I bet if you traveled to Nepal you would be welcomed wholeheartedly and warmly. Even if they are economically and technologically backward, humanity isn't missing there. All it takes is to travel and experience other cultures to find out that other cultures are good in their own way - even though they may be not similar to yours.

 

For others - I have mentioned this before - but take a look at Joshua Project and you will find out how a certain group of people is bent upon invading and destroying other cultures around the world.

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30 minutes ago, Karna said:

Have you traveled a lot outside of where you are from? Maybe you have...

 

If you haven't, I want to encourage you to travel and experience other cultures before you pass judgements. I bet if you traveled to Nepal you would be welcomed wholeheartedly and warmly. Even if they are economically and technologically backward, humanity isn't missing there. All it takes is to travel and experience other cultures to find out that other cultures are good in their own way - even though they may be not similar to yours.

 

For others - I have mentioned this before - but take a look at Joshua Project and you will find out how a certain group of people is bent upon invading and destroying other cultures around the world.

 

X2. International travel is one of the most educational and worthwhile things a person can do. And that travel should be individual and not within packaged tours which tend to keep you within your group and comfort zone. Meeting people from other cultures and discovering how they think expands one's world view and teaches that there are many ways of thinking and being, all of which are valid, and none of which is particularly superior to another.

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@Pain if you haven't read THIS speech before, it's so worth the time. I reread it a couple times a year. It's by the linguist Daniel Everett who studied the Pirahã in Brazil. Here's a snippet for you:

 

So I gave them my testimony and I told them about my stepmother committing suicide. When I got done telling them, they all burst out laughing, and I said, “What are you laughing about?” I was really hurt. “Why are you laughing?” They said, “We don’t kill ourselves. You people kill yourselves? What is this?”

I realized they don’t have a word for worry, they don’t have any concept of depression, they don’t have any schizophrenia or a lot of the mental health problems, and they treat people very well. If someone does have any sort of handicap, and the only ones I’m aware of are physical, they take very good care of them. When people get old, they feed them.

I remember one man who was too old to get around. He couldn’t hunt, he couldn’t even gather firewood anymore. They would bring him food every night and help him chew it, even helping him with his jaw. I said, “Does it bother you to give him food? I mean, he’s not doing anything.” They said, “When I was a little boy, he put food in my mouth and took care of me, and now he’s an old man and I take care of him.”

 

@Sybaris your trip sounds amazing. What was your favorite part?

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One issue in understanding other cultures is the bias, intentional or unintentional, that arises on each side of the cultural divide. (Another of those issues is that the history of a conflict is written by the victor.) I'd recommend two books as providing some insight as to this bias. One is An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. This is not a fun book; it's a look at the history of this country from a perspective not taught in K-12 schools, and the story is how one culture was essentially wiped out by another. Another is A People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn. Again, much of what is in this book is not in the traditional histories. I think what one learns from reading these books is how one culture can overwhelm and dominate another, and that Western culture, and American culture in particular, is one of those that is filled with hubris and thinks that its way of being, doing and thinking is the best way and should eagerly be accepted by everyone else.

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How much heavy lifting  have the Nepalese  done world wide? Name a Nepalese  hospital  in a country outside of Nepal. They wouldn't build one because they are racist and culturally narcissistic. Plus, they simply don't have the means. They may have agencies, and lobbyists in other  countries. With grinning staff and a lotus corporate logo, yes. But improving the lives of strangers? Nope.

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9 hours ago, Pain said:

How much heavy lifting  have the Nepalese  done world wide? Name a Nepalese  hospital  in a country outside of Nepal. They wouldn't build one because they are racist and culturally narcissistic. Plus, they simply don't have the means. They may have agencies, and lobbyists in other  countries. With grinning staff and a lotus corporate logo, yes. But improving the lives of strangers? Nope.

Ease up, there, Pain.  This thread is about christian mission trips.  Not which cultures/races are inferior.

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One can do heavy-lifting like building hospitals, schools, etc. only if one has resources. Obviously the Nepalese folks do not have those resources. On a smaller scale, consider a family that has a hand-to-mouth existence. They cannot obviously do financial charity since they have to feed themselves first. Now if they had surplus finances then it would be expected of them to give some to charity. The Western world has those surplus resources and so can do the heavy-lifting...which is a good thing. 

 

But should we go into how those resources came about? We will then have to tread into history. And there are many skeletons in the Western world's closet; think about wealth amassed through colonization, think about cheap/free labor through slavery, think about genocide of native indigenous people to grab their land and resources. From my perspective, this wealth wasn't truly obtained by fair means. A common theme through these skeletons of the past has been religion. Christianity was used to either subdue the indigenous people or to make their way of life similar to their conquerors. It is another thing that we get to enjoy the fruits of the ills that one group of people inflicted on another.

The noble and rightful thing to do here was to do the heavy lifting selflessly. With the advancement and benefit of the other world in mind. But man is selfish and will not do it if there is nothing to gain from it.

 

If the Nepalese were expansionists, like the Europeans were, they could have used force and perhaps their religion to do the same and we could have been in a similar position now with a different majority religion.

 

Even today, the major heavy lifting that happens in the third world countries, has big religious undertones to it - Convert to enjoy the spoils.

 

Something to think about.

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On 10/28/2019 at 1:39 AM, Pain said:

Yes, but Christianity, it's organization, community and customs is probably better than whatever indigenous culture is being supplanted. This is easy to demonstrate. Is head hunting, arranged marriage, taboo, etc, really noble, natural and pure? Nope. It's societal, and imperfect. 

I'm glad to be free of my catholic upbringing. But, if it wasn't for them, we'd  still be sacrificing virgins.  

 

You only have 2 posts and this one sounds like something from The Onion. If there is an ounce of sincerity in your post then it would be reasonable to assume you have not traveled much in which case this seems appropriate........

 

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” - Mark Twain

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