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Author Topic:   Is Christianity Evil?
1.61803
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From: Lone Star State USA
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(1)
Message 31 of 120 (761991)
07-07-2015 10:40 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
07-05-2015 7:00 PM


where would we be without religion?
Most blanket statements are usually matters of opinion.

It is true that religions including Christianity are evil, however
they can also be a source for good.

As with all things there seems to be a distribution of good and evil when it comes to the human experience and religion is no different imo.

I personally think that religion serves as a way to unify people as well as cause wars and tear us apart.

The building of hospitals and schools are good.
The wars and destruction are bad.

The charity good and the extortion bad.

There are religious scientist that make great contributions to mankind as well as atheist scientist that do so as well.

A interesting question is what would humanity be like today if not for religion?
Would we have ever made it out of the dark ages? Would knowledge have been preserved?
Every great civilization seems to have hit upon some version of religion. Some of the greatest architectural achievements where religious shrines. Religous evil and good are part of our story and I can not think it is all evil.


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

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jar
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Posts: 28437
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


(4)
Message 32 of 120 (761993)
07-07-2015 10:49 AM


My position on the question of whether or not Christianity is evil.
Recently the question was asked whether or not I consider Christianity to be evil and if I think Fundamentalists and Evangelical Christians are evil. For the record, I do not think Christianity is evil, nor do I think Fundamentalists and Evangelicals are evil.

So now that that part is out of the way, how do I really feel about it?

As a Christian I think one of the first things needed is some personal honesty. That is, it seems to me, a basic tenet and requirement of the faith, the religion called Christianity. It is inherent in the confession. We are expected to honestly look at ourselves, our lives and our behavior and see where we have done wrong, where we have failed to do right, to acknowledge those failings and try to do better in the future.

When I was little, (probably about three or four because this strange new man had joined the family; my dad who had been overseas when I was born), Dad would take me for walks. I remember that one key part of every walk was that I herd the baby ducks and keep them together. This was hard and demanded full concentration. Often one of the baby ducks would dart off on its own and only because my dad saw it and called out to me was I able to catch it and direct it back to the others.

Other grown ups passing by would often ask what I was doing. Herding baby Ducks, my father would proudly say. While he talked with them, it was my job to make sure the big folk didnt accidentally step on one of the baby ducks. Most big folk, you know, cant see invisible baby ducks. Only I and my dad could see them and we had to keep them safe.

Were the baby ducks real? At the time, absolutely. They lived in a special place under the front porch and only came out when I called them. They were MY responsibility, and I kept them safe.

Would I teach a three year old today to herd baby ducks? Absolutely.

Would I expect the three year old to eventually grow up and realize that invisible baby ducks are only possible when in the presence of a Daddy and his new son, that they are a wonder and creation of the age and time? Certainly.

When I was little I also believed, believed very strongly that Christians were good and everybody else was wrong. Then we moved into a Jewish neighborhood. Ours was the only goyim family. I knew that Goya had been a great painter so being called a little artist didnt bother me much. Then I learned exactly what goyim meant.

One day one of the big kids was picking on my little brother, knocked him down and called him a dirty goyim. I totally lost my temper and headed straight towards the bigger kid. He must have seen the look in my eyes that said retreat is the better part of valor because even though he was bigger than me by a good bit, he took off running for home with me right behind. He reached his door just as my hand reached out to grab him and he slammed it shut.

Were the big folk that stepped on baby ducks evil because they simply couldnt see them? Was the big kid, who later became a good friend by the way, evil?

As we grow and learn more we hopefully gain from the mistakes we made in the past. Today, when I talk with a dad whose three year old son is diligently herding invisible baby ducks I am careful to make sure I dont step on any, and when (as always happens) I do almost step on one I am careful to thank the lad for warning me and to always ask before I put my foot down if there is a duck beneath. Today I try to remember what it felt like to be goyim, and the rage and fury I felt when my little brother was knocked down and called dirty goyim.

We are the sum of our experiences.

I am also a Christian. As I see Christianity is both a set of teachings and also the body, the communion of Christians down through the ages. Some Christians were great, some evil, most simply forgotten. All though were Christian.

Later I learned more of the history of this thing, this communion called Christianity. What I learned was not always pleasant, much in fact was horrific. Very little was as simple or serene as what I had been taught.

What I learned was that down through the ages many horrific things were done in the name of Christianity and by Christians. Protestants oppressed Catholics, Catholics oppressed Protestants, and both oppressed every other religion. Down through the ages the Jew came in for special attention, being expelled from nearly every country and their property seized. Time after time it happened.

I learned about how the Native Americans were taken from their homes, given new names, had their hair cut, forbidden to speak their own language, sent to Christian Schools where they had to learn a new religion, how their old religion was mocked and forbidden.

I learned how the Codices and tablets were burned by the Padres that accompanied the Conquistadores, what happened in Hawaii, what happened throughout South and Central America.

I saw the white church members standing at the curbs shouting Let the dogs loose or Turn on the hoses, and saw the Christian Schools popping up like toadstools as the white Christian parents pulled their kids out of public school so they would not have to sit next to a monkey. I saw churches that had been bombed or burned out, bodies of people working for equal rights after they had been shot, sometimes mutilated.

I look around today and see other Christians shouting God hates Fags and voting time after time to ban same-sex marriages and claiming that Islam is barbaric.

Christianity must, IMHO, accept responsibility for the evil as well as the good done in its name.

In discussions at EvC and at other places, when the more horrific acts are brought up, one response I often hear is They were not real Christians or That is not what Christ taught. I disagree with the former, and agree with the later. I also think that using either as an excuse or as a way to shirk responsibility is dishonest. Granted it is not what Christ taught but it IS what Christians did, and in every case I examined, the people were honest, sincere and believed strongly that what they were doing was right and that it was the Christian thing to do. They were all sure that they were morally right.

The Missionary teacher that helped bring the poor savages to the Missionary School, who clothed the kids, cut their hair, gave them good Christian Names, taught them to read and maybe even write, taught them about GOD did so to save the kids souls.

The Padre that accompanied the Conquistadores and that burned the Codices did it for what they saw as the best of reasons, saving souls. This refrain has been repeated time after time and over issue after issue. It is only later, when we look back on the sermons written on how to civilize the savage, what the place of the Blackman in society is, on the terrible wrong we did in destroying cultures and beliefs that we realize how wrong we were.

If we are to avoid make such errors in the future, I believe we must honestly acknowledge what we have done in the past, that but by the grace of GOD those people could be us and that we too are capable of committing such horrific acts. If we try to claim that they were somehow different than us, that they were not real Christians, then I fear we are bound to continue down that path.

Looking at things today, seeing the Christian support for denying civil rights to homosexuals, the growth of Biblical Creationism and the ID movement I have little hope.

From jar - On Christianity back almost a decade ago.

Since then there have been a few rays of hope. More and more chapters of Club Christian are finally fully recognizing basic human rights and both Creationism and ID appear totally Dead on Arrival.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 12820
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


(1)
Message 33 of 120 (761997)
07-07-2015 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by Tangle
07-07-2015 4:53 AM


Re: Division
Tangle writes:

They've all been invented by mainstream organisations that call themselves Christians.


No they haven't. Most of your objections are common to many religions. " Women are inferior creatures" is probably as common outside religion as in. Christians may have inherited evil from human nature or borrowed it from somewhere but it's a stretch to suggest that they "invented" anything.

As Jon said in the OP Christianity began as a "pacific" religion, certainly more pacific than its Mosaic roots. The evil in it is largely superimposed, not inherent.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Tangle, posted 07-07-2015 4:53 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Phat, posted 07-07-2015 3:15 PM ringo has responded
 Message 43 by Tangle, posted 07-07-2015 5:13 PM ringo has responded

  
saab93f
Member (Idle past 64 days)
Posts: 265
From: Finland
Joined: 12-17-2009


Message 34 of 120 (761999)
07-07-2015 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by jar
07-07-2015 10:49 AM


Re: My position on the question of whether or not Christianity is evil.
The Missionary teacher that helped bring the poor savages to the Missionary School, who clothed the kids, cut their hair, gave them good Christian Names, taught them to read and maybe even write, taught them about GOD did so to save the kids souls.

The Padre that accompanied the Conquistadores and that burned the Codices did it for what they saw as the best of reasons, saving souls. This refrain has been repeated time after time and over issue after issue. It is only later, when we look back on the sermons written on how to civilize the savage, what the place of the Blackman in society is, on the terrible wrong we did in destroying cultures and beliefs that we realize how wrong we were.

That was surely thought-provoking. I am personally of an opinion that people are good and tend to want to do good things unless proven otherwise. That naturally means that majority of Christians are good and do good.

All the more the examples you wrote are a portrayal of pure evil IMO. If there was a supernatural entity that did not stop the missionary nor the Padre then I cannot conceive a greater evil. What a deity would see it best to drag children from their families and cultures - an omnipotent??


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by jar, posted 07-07-2015 12:34 PM saab93f has responded
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jar
Member
Posts: 28437
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 35 of 120 (762004)
07-07-2015 12:34 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by saab93f
07-07-2015 11:55 AM


Re: My position on the question of whether or not Christianity is evil.
All the more the examples you wrote are a portrayal of pure evil IMO. If there was a supernatural entity that did not stop the missionary nor the Padre then I cannot conceive a greater evil. What a deity would see it best to drag children from their families and cultures - an omnipotent??

Often a parent can see a child doing wrong but still not intervene or even be able to intervene. If humans are to have freewill then humans must also be responsible for their actions.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
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saab93f
Member (Idle past 64 days)
Posts: 265
From: Finland
Joined: 12-17-2009


Message 36 of 120 (762006)
07-07-2015 12:42 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by jar
07-07-2015 12:34 PM


Re: My position on the question of whether or not Christianity is evil.
Often a parent can see a child doing wrong but still not intervene or even be able to intervene. If humans are to have freewill then humans must also be responsible for their actions.

Ain't that just a cop-out like No True Scotsman?

People in your examples were doing honestly what they thought their God required. They had zero thought about the folks they subjugated, none whatsoever. I honestly cannot help but think that it was the religion that made the otherwise decent people do horrible things.


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 Message 35 by jar, posted 07-07-2015 12:34 PM jar has responded

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jar
Member
Posts: 28437
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 37 of 120 (762008)
07-07-2015 1:11 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by saab93f
07-07-2015 12:42 PM


Re: My position on the question of whether or not Christianity is evil.
People in your examples were doing honestly what they thought their God required. They had zero thought about the folks they subjugated, none whatsoever. I honestly cannot help but think that it was the religion that made the otherwise decent people do horrible things.

No cop out but maybe a little honesty.

But it is not God who made anyone do anything but rather the people themselves. People do evil things, I do not question that. People do evil things based on beliefs, religion, personal morality, anger, greed, the list can go on forever.

No one denies that in those cases it was their religion, their beliefs that drove their behavior.

They did have thoughts about the folk the oppressed, killed, subjugated and they did what they did for the benefit of the people they oppressed, killed and subjugated.

You and I may well think they were wrong, but that is based on our beliefs.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by saab93f, posted 07-07-2015 12:42 PM saab93f has responded

Replies to this message:
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saab93f
Member (Idle past 64 days)
Posts: 265
From: Finland
Joined: 12-17-2009


Message 38 of 120 (762017)
07-07-2015 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by jar
07-07-2015 1:11 PM


Re: My position on the question of whether or not Christianity is evil.
They did have thoughts about the folk the oppressed, killed, subjugated and they did what they did for the benefit of the people they oppressed, killed and subjugated.

They did what they thought THEIR god required. They never shed a thought about others as equal human beings.

You talk about free will - where was the free will of those subjugated? When the choice was between death or conversion, all talk about freedom or free will is absurd.


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Phat
Member
Posts: 9260
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 39 of 120 (762018)
07-07-2015 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by saab93f
07-07-2015 11:55 AM


the question of whether or not Christianity is evil.
saab93f writes:

If there was a supernatural entity that did not stop the missionary nor the Padre then I cannot conceive a greater evil.

Which brings up more of a philosophical question of how such a Deity teaches its "children".

jar writes:

It is only later, when we look back on the sermons written on how to civilize the savage, what the place of the Blackman in society is, on the terrible wrong we did in destroying cultures and beliefs that we realize how wrong we were.

If children---or humans in general---are simply prevented from doing "evil" by GOD---presupposing that GOD could directly intervene...or whether we are expected to culturally and sociologically learn our own lessons over time...thats the point.

Perhaps Tangles point is the idea that humans would behave better were religions simply out of the way.

They did what they thought THEIR god required.

Which brings up the question of accepting personal responsibility for our actions versus blaming GOD, Satan, or Republicans for our choices and actions.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


God created war so that Americans would learn geography. Mark Twain
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." Mark Twain

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Phat
Member
Posts: 9260
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 40 of 120 (762023)
07-07-2015 3:14 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by 1.61803
07-07-2015 10:40 AM


Re: where would we be without religion?
1.61803 writes:

As with all things there seems to be a distribution of good and evil when it comes to the human experience and religion is no different imo.

I personally think that religion serves as a way to unify people as well as cause wars and tear us apart.

It has been my experience that conversion and/or acceptance (or often rejection) of a religion or religious philosophy is done on a personal level---through relationship with others. It is one thing to reject and/or accept ideas logically. We do that every day.

The reason that I attend church is not because I need a special place to worship GOD as I understand GOD. Nor is it to gather as a club...I am a loner by nature. I attend because of my personal relationships with people.


God created war so that Americans would learn geography. Mark Twain
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." Mark Twain

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 Message 31 by 1.61803, posted 07-07-2015 10:40 AM 1.61803 has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9260
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 41 of 120 (762024)
07-07-2015 3:15 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by ringo
07-07-2015 11:48 AM


Re: Division
ringo writes:

As Jon said in the OP Christianity began as a "pacific" religion, certainly more pacific than its Mosaic roots. The evil in it is largely superimposed, not inherent.

Groupthink? Crowd Mentality?

God created war so that Americans would learn geography. Mark Twain
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." Mark Twain

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by ringo, posted 07-07-2015 11:48 AM ringo has responded

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jar
Member
Posts: 28437
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 42 of 120 (762034)
07-07-2015 4:26 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by saab93f
07-07-2015 2:51 PM


Re: My position on the question of whether or not Christianity is evil.
They did what they thought THEIR god required. They never shed a thought about others as equal human beings.

You talk about free will - where was the free will of those subjugated? When the choice was between death or conversion, all talk about freedom or free will is absurd.

But I agree that was the wrong decision. That does not make God or Christianity evil. That makes what they did evil and the God they created evil.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by saab93f, posted 07-07-2015 2:51 PM saab93f has responded

Replies to this message:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 4409
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 43 of 120 (762037)
07-07-2015 5:13 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by ringo
07-07-2015 11:48 AM


Re: Division
Ringo writes:

No they haven't.

Yes they have. Now what?

Most of your objections are common to many religions.

Exactly, they're all wrong, we just happened to be discussing Christianity.


As Jon said in the OP Christianity began as a "pacific" religion, certainly more pacific than its Mosaic roots. The evil in it is largely superimposed, not inherent.

If all Christians just stuck with 'do as you would be done by' we'd have nothing to argue about but they don't. Christianity grew into schismed power hungry institutions from Constantine and before that it was a divisive mess with many variants of your club Christian kicking around saying weird and wonderful things about what they thought it all meant.

The evil is definately superimposed but it's also intrinsic, as soon as someone says that only my way is the right way, everything else follows.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by ringo, posted 07-07-2015 11:48 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by Jon, posted 07-07-2015 11:35 PM Tangle has responded
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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 44 of 120 (762048)
07-07-2015 11:35 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Tangle
07-07-2015 5:13 PM


Re: Division
The evil is definately superimposed but it's also intrinsic, as soon as someone says that only my way is the right way, everything else follows.

Again, where's your evidence?

It's not even remotely evil for people to disagree or feel right.

What's more, the 'superimposed' evil (which you readily admit to) was largely from secularat the very least non-Christiansociety, such as the concerns of running an empire, building wealth, etc. All sorts of stuff that had nothing to do with Christianity before Constantine got it wrapped up in Rome.

Right now your claim that "[l]eft to their own devices, religions would be as primitive and destructive as extreem Islam is today" is looking like a pretty good load of nonsense.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Tangle, posted 07-07-2015 5:13 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by Tangle, posted 07-08-2015 2:08 AM Jon has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4409
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 45 of 120 (762052)
07-08-2015 2:08 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by Jon
07-07-2015 11:35 PM


Re: Division
Jon, Christianity without people and their interpretation of it doesn't actually exist does it?

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by Jon, posted 07-07-2015 11:35 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by Phat, posted 07-08-2015 2:13 AM Tangle has not yet responded
 Message 48 by Jon, posted 07-08-2015 6:44 AM Tangle has responded

  
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