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View Diary: The Ongoing War on Christianity (172 comments)

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  •  I'm tipping and reccing (2+ / 0-)
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    tmservo433, Yahzi

    this diary despite my reservations.  First, let me emphasize that I very much like the version of Christianity that you present here.  I hope it catches on.  Second, however, I feel that I must object to your language of "hijacking".  That language suggests that there was a point in history where the Christianity you outline here was the norm and that what we're witnessing today is a deviation.  

    Historically that's just not true.  The fundamentalisms, bigotry, oppressiveness, and intolerance that we witness today have overwhelmingly been the norm throughout the history of Christianity.  Maybe this was never what Christ intended, but as a set of social institutions-- the only thing that matters where politics and governance is concerned (what people believe in their hearts is irrelevant to how power functions) --this has been what Christianity has been.  Have there been exceptions?  Sure.  There was the role some Christians played in abolition, there was MLK, there have been social gospel movements, and so on.  These things, however, have always been minority positions and exceptions in the history of Christianity, holding a vanishingly small place in the overall statistical phenomena.

    I am not trying to cause offense because, as I said, I wish more people thought like my leftist Christian friends.  I only speak up because pretending that this hasn't been representative of Christian history does an injustice to all of those who have suffered under the yoke of the dominant and oppressive forms of this incredibly powerful set of political institutions.  When folks speak like this, they behave as if GLBT people such as myself, people of other faiths, atheists, native Americans, women, etc., just have some sort of irrational hatred of Christianity, as if we pull these things out of thin air, ignoring that we've dealt with genuine exercises of powers on the very flesh of our bodies.

    •  I understand (0+ / 0-)

      What you mean.  After all, to pretend all was perfect at some point in the past would defy everything from the reformation to the crusades and oppression; it would deny the inquisition and treason.

      But I was hoping to get across the point that the -hope- of the faith, not necessarily how it has always been practice has held up for the followers core beliefs.. and many politicians are busy boo-hooing about a war on the faith; but by that standard, there are several wars on the faith.. the question is, which one is the most egregious; and the war to remove the teachings of Jesus from the modern Church has to rank higher than most others.  ;)

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:42:14 PM PDT

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      •  Isn't that sort of (0+ / 0-)

        idealization part of the problem though?  People excuse the sins of the worldly religious institutions based on the premise that it's an imperfect realization of a perfect ideal.  In this way they allow that horror to be perpetrated again and again.

        •  Aspiring to a greater cause (1+ / 0-)
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          JosephK74

          Is a tricky matter.   In the end, almost everything falls short.  People on here largely know that I am an atheist.  But it doesn't mean I can't see value in people who find hope in their religion and see good within it.   It is not for me, and I don't recognize it as a higher power; but at the same time, my telling people "abandon all of it" will be met with deaf ears.

          As opposed to encouraging people to find the hope and promise that attracted the original followers of any faith and say: how do you stand next to the higher causes proposed here?

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 04:18:31 PM PDT

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          •  Oh don't get me wrong. (1+ / 0-)
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            Yahzi

            Matters are different when discussing philosophy and practice.  When it's a matter of practice, I'm not too concerned with why people advocate the values they do, just that they advocate those values.  If one arrives at their values through Buddha, Jesus, Epicureanism, Utilitarianism, Marx, and so on is of little concern to me.  If the discussion is a matter of philosophy, then questions of true grounds become important.  I personally find many of the theism vs atheism debates uninteresting.  As far as I'm concerned, the only interesting issue of practice is how certain religious orientations affect public life and governance.  It's a purely sociological issue for me.  I thus have no truck with Liberal Catholics or Unitarians that don't negatively impact public life with their beliefs.

            The one point I'd make is that I think we need to understand that these aren't issues of private belief.  Suppose you have a Catholic of progressive persuasion that disagrees with the church on many points, advocates contraceptives, gay marriage, etc.  Great!  The problem is that if this progressive Catholic is attending a Catholic church and giving a percent of their income to that church, they are promoting an anti-gay agenda, anti-contraceptives, a pro-life agenda, etc., through how their money contributes to political efforts to engage in these oppressive policies.  In cases like this, it's not that I have a problem with a person's beliefs or theology, but with how they are providing economic funding to an oppressive organization.

            •  I think this is a reasoned, person to person (2+ / 0-)
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              JosephK74, SchuyH

              Response, however the reality remains that per population, the majority of americans are affiliated with one faith or another.   Asking them to leave their faiths, despite all of their faults is just not going to happen.  

              But, appealing to the better viewpoints of those may lead to a better political - and social climate, and in the end, we cannot cut off our nose to spite our face, we need those voters and those people who can accept both their faith and the view of social issues that aligns with the real world ;)

              Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

              by Chris Reeves on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 05:39:47 PM PDT

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    •  Wish I had seen your post before I made mine n/t (0+ / 0-)

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