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A religious discussion

By jardinier ·
As I browse through other discussions, I note that there is a strong tendency to branch off into some religious side thread.

This would suggest to me that some people are hanging out for a really hot religious debate and I believe I have the topic to suit.

?Either Christianity is true, or it is the greatest fraud ever perpetrated upon human kind.?

I don?t think I have ever thought of myself as a Christian, but mainly for social reasons I have attended a variety of churches on and off throughout my life. Thus I am moderately familiar with Scripture, very familiar with essential doctrines, and very, very familiar with which aspects of this religion are accentuated by different groups or denominations.

So for most of my life I just thought of Christianity as one of the several major religions in the world ? just one of several ways to reach God, The Truth, Enlightenment, Heaven, Nirvana or whatever.

HOWEVER on my recent foray into discussions at two American Christian websites ? which like TR have members from other countries besides the USA ? I encountered an overwhelming emphasis on certain aspects of this religion which had not been stressed ? nay even had been bypassed ? in mainstream churches.

Well here it is in a nutshell. According to the predominant views expressed at these websites, the quintessential doctrine of Christianity is all about who will be saved and spend eternity with God (in all three persons ? Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and who will spend eternity in hellfire. The requirements for salvation are (1) by the grace of God (quite arbitrary according to which school you follow) and (2) accepting that Jesus died on the cross to pay for your sins.

Leading an ethical life is fine too, but it is the BIG either/or that overrides all other considerations.

These hard-core ?Bible Based? Christians for the most part believe that people belonging to established Christian denominations are as surely **** bound as Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, atheists, agnostics and so forth.

Personally I think this is garbage, but it does highlight the way in which Christianity is unique among religions. It is the ONLY major religion which offers this black-and-white ultimatum ? eternal heaven or eternal ****.

Of course all religions conveniently teach that reward or punishment will be dealt out AFTER death ?- whether it be heaven and **** or reincarnation -- so that you have to take it on faith anyhow.

Because of its evangelical nature, coupled with colonisation of large parts of the world by Europeans, Christianity is the most widely practised religion in the world with 33 per cent of the world?s population as nominal followers.

In an event known as the ?Rapture? ? in the end times, when Jesus returns, all the ?good? Christians (those who follow the correct doctrine) will be lifted up to heaven, and the rest of the unfortunate human race will be dispelled to **** to suffer very hot conditions for all eternity.

Now if Christ DOESN?T return, then all the bloodshed, guilt and other negative by products of this religion will have been in vain.

As you all know, I have my own interpretation of Christianity which includes some mystical aspects, but I DO NOT, never have and hopefully never will believe in an ETERNAL state of anything.

Eastern religions ? especially Hinduism and its offspring Buddhism -- teach that enlightenment or whatever can be achieved by various clearly set out paths. It is only Christianity ? and perhaps Islam (of which I know very little) ? which place salvation in the hands of a God who chooses by a whim who will be saved.

I have not set out this preamble as well as I would have liked, but no doubt other thoughts will occur to me if people respond to this discussion.

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Killing in the name of..

by Dr Dij In reply to A religious discussion

Religion at its worst is a bunch of cr*p, inciting its followers to hate crimes. Christianity in the past especially, and Islam currently (for the poorer, less educated followers in particular).

At its best, it keeps people from doing a bunch of things they shouldn't and at times help people with charity and self help. Why should everyone have to re-think up A) daily code of life, B) reasons to wonder at the marvels of life on earth.

Problem is, much is petrified thought, as people take it too literally. Christians in taking the bible word for word, and Muslims for taking paragraphs from the Koran out of context, telling them to kill all non-believers.

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don't blame religion for this...

by UncleRob In reply to Killing in the name of..

you should blame human nature,
it's in our nature to take advantage of others, to harm others, to kill others, just for personal gain. This isn't something that religion (I would hope in any form) doesn't dictate to anyone to do, pretty much the opposite.

Human civilization as we know it for the most part (yes there are lots of good people out there, unfortunately though I would have to concede that there is much more bad out there than good) is made up of the most uncivilized creatures on the planet.

You can't blame religion for that or God.

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by neilb@uk In reply to don't blame religion for ...

...the Spanish Inquisition have happened without the Catholic Church?

...anti-Semitism have been quite so ingrained in Western society were it not for the Christian Church?

...the Holcaust have happened without the Christian Church?

It is a fact that the Jews do not accept Jesus and this can be seen in the absolute silence on the part of Israel concerning her most influential son. The Jews at the time of Jesus saw that the impossible claims made for Jesus as the new God of the Gentile Christians simply spurned the universal God of Judaism. The raising of Jesus to a deity destroyed whatever interest there may have been on the part of Jews in his teachings.

This antipathy of the Jews towards the teachings of Christ was duly noted and, once in power, instead of putting the teachings of Jesus into practice, Christians began a reign of anti-semitic terror throughout the Roman world. This has continued down through the centuries. In the name of Christ, Jews were treated with contempt, hunted down, tortured cruelly, and killed.

This culminated in the Holocaust.

Although Christian apologists vehemently argue that the Catholic Hitler was "no Christian", the Christian Chruch's attitude towards the Jews is directly responsible for the widespread European anti-semitic attitude that made the Holocaust possible.

I'm afraid, Uncle Rob, that I can blame religion. And if God exists, I blame Him above all.


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Part is tit for tat - but that does not make it right

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Would

In the early days the Jews used to hunt down and kill the Christians, and help the pagan Romans do that too. Later Christains returned the favour. That does not make either set of actions right.

Mind you anti-semitism also covers Arabs and Muslims as well as Jews.

The real truth of the actions that you mention above is that people with a hunger for wealth and power actually did things to hurt the Jews to enlarge their wealth and power - they did this by talking up lies about the Jews. BTW the Inquisition took in more than just Spain, that was just where it was the worst and they also killed many Christians who they saw as heretical. Touch and go if they killed more Christians than Jews - no one is really sure as the exact figures were not kept.

Regarding dear old Adolph - he was a communist and the National Socialist Party was just a variant of Marxist communism with a touch of Lennonism and Stalinism but aimed at one nation taking over the world instead of international communism. Adolph may have been born a Christian but he was not a practicing Christian and actually denounced all religions during his days as a communist commisar in Vienna.

During the holocaust Adolph caused millions of people to be killed, Jews, Muslims and Christians. The vast majority of the Romany people that he had murdered were Christians, and he killed a much higher percentage of them than he did Jews. He came closer to exterminating the Romany people than he did the Jews, yet we see little of that - as they were a small ethnic group after Stalin had done his best at exterminating them in the 1930's. Amrka nd Stalin also had a go at killing off the Jews in the 1920's and 1930's.

Religion is the teachings put forth by various prophets etc. God gave us all the free will to do as we wish. You should blame the people who distort the teachings to their own ends, both those within and without the church itself (whatever church that is).

To blame God for the actions of Stalin and Hitler is like blaming you for the actions of your son when he is 35. You wish to blame the father for the actions of the grown son - not reasonable.

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Adolf was a communist ?

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Part is tit for tat - but ...


Come out with that one at a neo-nazi rally. Before you go, leave an address for flowers.

Adolf was no more of a communist than Vladimir or Joseph.

His socialist policy such as it was was to promise work for the german people during the Weimar period. Making bombs and cracking them ff mainly. As they didn't have any work this was popular.

Then he carried on the volk mysticism of the fatherland the Kaiser had used at the end of WWI to prove the rightness of german superiority.

He was a great orator, a demagogue supreme and an unprincipalled opportunist, but a communist, no way.

His attacks on the jews were based on them beinga a successful social elite and different. He directed german rage at the uniquely stupid treaty of versaille at them. They enjoyed the release, they enjoyed the exertion of control, he gave them a meaning and then floated into power on their gratitude, where upon he turned into a real bad b'stard.

Don't set me off on the church in WWII.

They supported and abetted Hitler and his regime, actively or passively. They did it in fear of their lives, which makes all the crap they spouted when sending off young boys to get shot, burnt, dismembered and blown to pieces in the service of germany even less palatable.

The catholic church in particular could have hurt Hitler and Mussolini very badly, they didn't, so yet again they were guilty of not practicing what they preach.

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Thanks, Tony. Saved me the bother

by neilb@uk In reply to Adolf was a communist ?

I was up close to your neck of the woods for a wedding in Bradford. It was a Catholic Church do and I'm feeling a bit stressed and anti-religious after keeping quiet all the way through.

Black pudding for breakfast in the hotel in Otley - cracking! Drove back across Ilkley Moor through Huddersfield, Holmfirth and across the moor to Glossop then down across the High Peaks. Nice countryside you've got but I'm a bit underwhelmed with Leeds...

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Leeds isn't a nice place

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Thanks, Tony. Saved me th ...

Sheffield is much friendlier. Course in yorkshire you best bet is always out of the cities.

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Deadly, Hitler was a fascist not a communist

by mjwx In reply to Part is tit for tat - but ...

The two ideologies are worlds apart. Fascism is ultra right-wing while communism is ultra left-wing.

Hitler was also a staunch anti-communist/anti-marxist. So much so prior to the war he was trying as hard as he could to ally with Britain against Stalin. Good thing the Poms wouldn?t have a bar of it.

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let me ask you....

by UncleRob In reply to Would

You raise a very good point and you obviously have a lot more knowledge on this topic than I could ever offer but let me ask you this... do you blame the gun for killing someone or do you blame the man for firing the gun against someone, or do you blame the man who invented the gun?

How people use religion to satisfy their own needs (most of the time selfish) & justify their actions isn't the religion itself, it's how people choose to use & interpret that religion.

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You miss my point a little

by neilb@uk In reply to let me ask you....

I was suggesting that anti-semitism that has been endemic in Continental Europe and Russia for the last millenium is mainly down to the Christian Church, Catholic and Orthodox. Without the longstanding anti-semitism of Germany and, especially, Poland, the Holocaust would not have been so easy to justify, perpetrate and hide.

Ernest, above, made some points about the Jews persecuting Christians but, really, I think we can dismiss what he had to say were we to weigh up one hundred years of Jewish "persecution" of the Christian against seventeen or eighteen hundred years of revenge by a religion that boasts about its capacity to love! Oh. And Adolf Hitler was born and raised a Catholic and no amount of Christian propaganda can make that untrue.

Alas, the "Gun" analogy is really a little too simplistic for me to bother with, and I live in a society where guns are not common!

Religion is a lot more complicated and a lot less rational than a gun. I'm not necessarily saying that any of the larger Church sects are still doing nasties on the rest of us but the last two thousand years have had their effect on the society that we have today and not all of it good.


p.s. I'm Welsh, not Jewish, by the way...

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