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Re: All I want for Christmas is:

by TedPride (Priest)
on Dec 11, 2005 at 16:48 UTC ( #515855=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to All I want for Christmas is:

"I think it's incredibly naive to say that christians don't become terrorists. What about the Klan? What about Pius XII?"

The Klan might have claimed to be Christians, but they obviously weren't by any interpretation of the Bible. I don't know what you're trying to say about Pius XII, but he was vocal against terrorism:
"Mit Brennender Sorge (1937) of Pius XI, and Summi Pontificatus (1939) of Pius XII, formed the basis for every protest against Nazi and Fascist policies by the Church, either by the Vatican, the popes themselves, or by local bishops and hierarchies."

Orthodox Islam, on the other hand, encourages terrorism. The more lenient forms of Islam do not, but these are more recent and have minimal doctrinal basis, which makes it hard for them to prevail. For instance:

(Koran 76: 4) "Lo! We have prepared for disbelievers chains, yokes and a blazing fire."

Kind of hard to interpret that one in a nice way. There are a number of other quotes I could put here, but I don't want to turn this into a massive firefight over Islam. I'm just trying to make the point that the Sudanese are unlikely to turn to terrorism if we don't help them (which means helping them doesn't promote the War Against Terrorism), so we'd have to be helping them on moral grounds. Sadly, the backlash in the media if even one American soldier died helping the Sudanese makes a campaign there unlikely in the near future, and I don't think anyone's there cares about UN diplomacy, such as it is.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^2: All I want for Solstice is ... Tolerance
by NamfFohyr (Scribe) on Dec 12, 2005 at 20:01 UTC
    OK, TedPride. I'm a little peeved with your characterization of Islam as fundamentally violent, in contrast with Christianity(I'm not Christian or Muslim, for the record). Basically, your argument is motivated from the literal reading and interpretation of scripture, which is exactly the behavior we all ought to discourage.

    Look here .

    What about the Crusades? The Spanish Inquisition? What about Pro-Lifers bombing/attacking abortion doctors?

    A philosophy that damns people to eternal torment only after death isn't exactly diametrically opposed to Islam's message in 76:4. For example,

    "And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (Revelation 20:10)

    "They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13:42)

    "This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13:49-50)

    I caution against polarizing your message of "Christian love" against "Muslim hate." Fanaticism and ethnocentricism are dangerous to people of all faiths. For exammple, American fascism (I'm American and Canadian) is a clearly emerging form of fanatic ethnocentricism. To me, Muslims represent a foil used by the American government to scare its population into war. As a scientist (and thinking equally stereotypically), Christians represent the decay of scientific education and research. As a Jew/Buddhist, Muslims and Christians both seem overly fixated on literal interpretation of the Bible, and manipuating their bretheren towards political ends. (How Jews manipulate their bretheren is of substantial relevance, but notably, fundamentalist readings of the 'Old Testament' are sortof impossible because the language is dead.)

    We, the Perlish, are 'doers' and 'collaborators'; stifling intercultural exchange is contrary to our overall agenda.

    After all, TMTOWTDI!

    "I'm not afraid of Al Quaeda. I'm afraid of Al Cracker." -Chris Rock
      To me, Muslims represent a foil used by the American government to scare its population into war.
      Huh? Are you saying that our government engineered 9/11? Or that Iraq was attacked on the basis of its being Muslim? It seems to me that you're responding to one simplistic view (Muslims are evil!) with another (the government is evil!).

      Now, what I'd like for Christmas is to hold a big rally for Iran: people carrying signs and chanting "Sense to Iran!" (The whole "death to..." thing has been way overdone, and it's better to improve than to destroy, anyway.)

      Caution: Contents may have been coded under pressure.
        That's definately not what I'm saying. I don't need BS 9/11 conspiracy theories to make my point. I'm saying the government's becoming fascist. Give a definition of fascism, and I'll show you that America is increasingly fitting the description.

        Actually Roy, it's funny you should bring up Iraq. Why DID the US invade Iraq? They are not an Islamic republic, nor have they threatened the US as Iran has. The answer: the population was motivated by fascist rhetoric.

        But I totally agree with your battle cry!

        Sense to the infidels! Sense to the neoconservatives!

        (Let the Iranians work on Iran, at least until we've separated oil-motives from improve-the-world-with-our-concept-of-democracy-motives).

        update: corrected "oil-motives from improve-the-world-with-our-concept-of-demoncracy-motives" to "oil-motives from improve-the-world-with-our-concept-of-democracy-motives"

        "I'm not afraid of Al Quaeda. I'm afraid of Al Cracker." -Chris Rock
Re^2: All I want for Christmas is:
by Anonymous Monk on Dec 13, 2005 at 01:36 UTC
    The Klan might have claimed to be Christians, but they obviously weren't by any interpretation of the Bible. The Christian dogma is open to abuse: try convincing my friend from Eithiopia otherwise! He grew up worshipping the Christian religion, except that he followed the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings literally; they thought their King was sent by God to guide them. Consequently, when he bought up all the food during a famine, and starved the people to death, there was less public outcry than there might have been. Even after the King was deposed, and my friend was talking over the "bad old days", his sister was shocked and afraid of his "blasphemy" for speaking ill of the old King, despite all people he had killed. Years later, exiled and powerless, the power of her past faith still held that poor girl brainwashed. I'd like to say that was a story from 200 years ago; but my friend told it to me in the late 1990s. Christianity is dangerous if abused; modern and ancient history proves it.

    What's worse, it's an ugly and violent religion at core; rife with blood, death, and sacrifices. I suspect that most people who claim the God of the Bible is a good and just being haven't really read it, or have read only very selectively and metaphorically. Read literally, there's no way the Bible is anything but horrific by modern standards of ethics.

    God condones genocide of unbelivers; both in the Koran and the Bible.

    "Exodus 32:26-28: "Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD's side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men."

    How was the Christian call to religious genocide better than the Islamic? A crusade is just another name for a jihad. Neither are acceptable.

    It's not the only case of genocide: God clearly orders and approves of the slaughter of children, and even livestock; anything even remotedly related to the hated enemy must be destroyed.

    Deuteronomy 7:1-2: "... the seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them."

    Joshua 6:21: "And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.

    God also murders little children for laughing at his priest's bald head! Isn't being torn to death by a bear a little, um, gruesome punishment for namecalling? Didn't God hear about the "sticks and stones" rhyme?

    2 Kings 2:23-24: "And he Elisha went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them."

    He not only condones the murder, but rape of children as well..

    Numbers 31:1-18: "...And they warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded moses, and they slew all the adult males. And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones...And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses...And Moses was angry with the officers of the host And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Ba'laam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord. Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the female children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."

    That's right: they kill all the men and boys, and slaughter all the women, then rape all the little girls!

    Oh, and God liked slavery, too. Christ didn't seem to mind it, either. Rather than condemning slavery, (as you would expect, given he's railing at the social order of the Church, and other social customs), he sees it as natural, and uses it as a metaphor in his parables:

    Luke 12:45-48: "The lord owner of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."

    And just in case it isn't clear, yes, these slaves are real slaves: sold as property, and possesed of few, if any rights. For example, beating one to death is only a crime if they don't live through the day before dying of wounds.

    "And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money property." Hebrew Scriptures, Exodus 21:20-21.

    But Christ was a pacifist,right? He renounced all those old-school prophecies, right?

    Actually, no. He supports the savage old laws and customs, including slavery, legal rape of women, and so forth.

    "I come not to abolish the Law and the Prophets but to fulfil them. Till heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law, till all be fulfilled" (Matthew 5.17,18)

    "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a manís enemies will be the members of his household." --- Jesus Christ(Matthew 10:34-36, NASB)

    Care to explain again how Christians aren't prone to terrorism? I just don't buy it. The 1,000 year reign of the Catholic Church where they crowned the monarchy of Europe, and maintained a standing army to discipline the unbelievers sounds like rule by terror to me. The entire faith was founded on rule by fear of the fires of Hell, and the fires of the inquistioner, for centuries.

    According to Christ, there are only two commandments a Christian must obey. Fair treatment to one's fellow man is the second, lesser commandment; blind loyal to their faith is the first, and supercedes all else. For their faith, devout men of God will kill, murder, rape, enslave or torture, according to their own Holy Scriptures. Abraham was willing to slaughter his own son to appease his God; who demanded ritual blood sacrifices, and commands an Angel of Death to slaughter children if the house is not warded with sigils of blood.

    Read the Bible again: there's a lot of ugly, ugly things in there. A moral person has only two options: disregard a lot of the text of the Bible as metaphorical (a slippery slope), or reject the whole thing altogether. Accepting slavery, genocide, and the rape of children is just too much; and it's clear in the Bible, by direct quotation and by significant omission, that all these things were approved of by the Christian god's early followers.

    If you can find a way to reconcile the bloody god of the harvest as presented in the early Bible with the kind and loving God presented by His modern followers, well, perhaps you're more imaginative than I am. I tend to be literal minded, and taking the Bible literally, there's little to recommend it.

      Posts like this anonymous one (above) make me sad. I would ignore it, but I see that at least seven registered monks spent votes supporting it, so I guess I should probably speak up, if only in the interests of having a more balanced discussion.

      I've been a Christian for more than thirty years, and have studied the Bible for much of that time, although I am not a student of Greek or Hebrew. I come to a very different conclusion than our Anonymous and somewhat long-winded friend.

      There is no question that the Old (and to a lesser degree, the New) Testaments of the Bible record some pretty ugly things. I will observe, however, that it is one thing to record an event and another to approve or endorse it. That said, there are plenty of quotable instances where God did directly instruct people to do some pretty violent things, which I will not attempt to explain or rationalize. On the other hand, it seems rather short-sighted to judge a system of beliefs only on its past. I assure you, I've been a Christian for many years now and have yet to engage in slavery, rape or genocide. I'm pretty sure none of the leaders in the churches I have attended have encouraged me in the pursuit of these crimes, either.

      Jesus said, when standing before Pontius Pilate: "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."

      Many modern Christians understand the New Covenant (which is largely explained in the New Testament) to have its primary emphasis on the spiritual, rather than material plane. Such Christians will often subordinate their desires for personal wealth and power and will even non-violently sacrifice their lives in favor of longer-term spiritual goals. This kind of Christianity is at odds with the negative caricature that you paint.

      The New Testament writer Paul sums it up in his famous "love chapter", I Corinthians 13, which (as it happens), I read yesterday: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

      Any real Christian will subscribe to the fundamental precept of love for others -- there just isn't any way to please God and still be hateful to the people He created. There have certainly been those who call themselves Christians and have perverted the message of Christ; and it seems that you have rather naively lumped us all in together. Truth is often rather more complicated. :)

      You have apparently engaged in at least a cursory study of the Bible, and you seem very hostile to Christianity, for which I'm sorry -- someone may have really disappointed or betrayed you, to cause you to throw the baby out with the bath water in this manner. Hopefully you can get to know some genuine Christians and discover that there is a lot of hope and joy and love in Christianity.

      I don't really expect to convince you of anything in particular, except perhaps that it is mean to bash someone else's religion in a public forum. I understand that you were responding to some negative remarks about Islam -- perhaps it would be enough for you to make some positive comments about that religion (if that's the system of beliefs to which you subscribe) rather than poking at Christianity. Monks (even anonymous ones) ought to be able to conduct a discussion in a more kindly and respectful manner.

      No good deed goes unpunished. -- (attributed to) Oscar Wilde

      Any religion that claims non-believers will go to hell is stupid. In that sense, I highly praise Chinese Budhism.

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