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Old 08-30-2001, 01:09 PM   #16
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Well, it is their 'civil disobedience' that will get sixteen Afghans executed. I am highly critical of missionaries, mostly due to the fact that I am opposed to proselytizing, and I often wonder if these 'do-gooders' are really doing it for the benefit of the people or their own selfish impulses to appear holy to the people they know back home? It reminds me often of the parable of the rich man in the front of the temple praising how wonderful and good and holy he is, while you have the beggar sitting in the back lamenting his sins. And, according to the gospels, who made into heaven first?

These 'aid workers' had better shape up and stop trying to convert people. Trust me. I know some evangelicals who were planning on going to Tibet to proselytize under the guise of 'English education.' Lying bastards. As the book of Ecclesiastes states, 'There is an appropriate time for everything.' This is not the appropriate time!

Melon

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Old 08-30-2001, 02:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
Well, it is their 'civil disobedience' that will get sixteen Afghans executed. I am highly critical of missionaries, mostly due to the fact that I am opposed to proselytizing, and I often wonder if these 'do-gooders' are really doing it for the benefit of the people or their own selfish impulses to appear holy to the people they know back home? It reminds me often of the parable of the rich man in the front of the temple praising how wonderful and good and holy he is, while you have the beggar sitting in the back lamenting his sins. And, according to the gospels, who made into heaven first?

These 'aid workers' had better shape up and stop trying to convert people. Trust me. I know some evangelicals who were planning on going to Tibet to proselytize under the guise of 'English education.' Lying bastards. As the book of Ecclesiastes states, 'There is an appropriate time for everything.' This is not the appropriate time!
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Melon, that's ridiculous. Do you know Christ's comman before he ascended to his Father's right hand? If so, you know that he said to go into all nations, making disciples of all men. Most people evangelize because they want to spread the word of God, and to see men come to ever-lasting life. These people don't have the right to publicly worship as they please. Don't you see anything wrong with that? It's odd that you cry out for civil rights, but when it comes to things that don't match up to your philosophical and religious beliefs, you don't seem to pay much attention. Melon, you've got a serious issue with Christianity, and it often comes across as spiteful and condescending. If you were in Afghanistan and publicly spoke out against Islam the way you speak out against Christianity on the internet, you could face death. That's a horrible thing, can't you see that? Everyone should have the right to worship or not worship the God of their choice.
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Old 08-30-2001, 05:56 PM   #18
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Originally posted by melon:
Well, it is their 'civil disobedience' that will get sixteen Afghans executed. I am highly critical of missionaries, mostly due to the fact that I am opposed to proselytizing, and I often wonder if these 'do-gooders' are really doing it for the benefit of the people or their own selfish impulses to appear holy to the people they know back home? It reminds me often of the parable of the rich man in the front of the temple praising how wonderful and good and holy he is, while you have the beggar sitting in the back lamenting his sins. And, according to the gospels, who made into heaven first?

These 'aid workers' had better shape up and stop trying to convert people. Trust me. I know some evangelicals who were planning on going to Tibet to proselytize under the guise of 'English education.' Lying bastards. As the book of Ecclesiastes states, 'There is an appropriate time for everything.' This is not the appropriate time!

Melon

My parents spent the prime years of their lives as missionaries. You might be shocked to find that not only did they bring medicine and literacy to the people we worked with, but that they spent a good five years just living in the village, learning the culture, the language, the people, etc. before even starting to share the Gospel. They didn't hide why they were there, but if you have some image in your mind of missionaries being wide-eyed fanatics holding natives at gunpoint and forcing them to swear on a Bible, perhaps you need to join the century we live in.

I've seen the hopelessness in people's eyes as they carry out ceremonies to coerce the spirits of their ancestors not to harm them, I've heard them wailing as they carry their loved ones to an early grave brought on by preventable illnesses, I've worked alongside them in their fields, I've laughed and cried with them. I've also seen the hope ignite in them at the idea that life could be more than a fear-filled journey of rituals and burials. I have a very clear memory of the last time I was in the village that my heart still calls home. Sitting in the little wooden church, seeing the familiar faces that I love, and choking back tears when these strong stoic men and women came to me and told me how grateful they were that my parents had come all the way from across the world to share the story of salvation with them...and that although they didn't know if we'd meet again on this earth that we would surely be together in heaven.

Obviously, I can't be fully objective about this. It was my childhood. I'm too close to the situation. But I'll be damned if I have to sit back and watch you spout off and call amazing people like my parents and others like them "do-gooders" and "lying bastards" when you have no first-hand knowledge whatsoever of the situation. My parents have the courage and the willingness to put their lives where their beliefs are. And that's more than I can say for the majority of people I've met.

-sula
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Old 08-30-2001, 06:43 PM   #19
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I have to agree with Sulawesi and Bama on this. Melon, there are some missionaries that just go out there for the "glory and fame" back home(obviously the ones your basing your entire opinion upon), but there are way too many that truly care and even put their lives on the line for the people in the area they are serving their missions for you to make such generalizations. My brother was a missionary in the West Indies and much of his time was spent giving service to the people there, such as helping them mend their houses, providing food, etc...and he also taught English classes at the church. While serving there he was held at gunpoint, was threatened with a knife, and had stones thrown at him, not to mention many verbal attacks from people who did not agree with his religious views. And no, he never forced his views on anyone, or tried to pressure them into listening to what he had to say. He made great friends with many of the people there and continues correspondance with some of them even now. Melon, I do not think you know enough about the situation in Afghanistan or the people who were missionaries there to say that they were just "do-gooders" looking for glory back home. That is a very narrow-minded and prejudiced view.
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Old 08-30-2001, 07:36 PM   #20
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Well, Melon, I must say that I am disappointed that someone who values tolerance and freedom of speech and religious expression as much as you do would make such a response. You always speak of how you are a strong defender of the separation of churhc and sate (so and I) but you seem to be okay with the acts of the theocratic rule of the Taliban when it comes to Christian aid workers, then you "blame" the execution of Afghan Christians on these aid workers.

I'm not even seeking any violent action against the Taliban; I only hope to bring attention to the situation, and hopefully peaceful diplomatic pressure.

And I take personal issue with your attack on missionaries; my aunt and uncle were missionaries in Botswana in the 70s, and my cousins grew up there; our own Johnny Swallow spent his Spring Break or summer vacation on a mission trip in Latin America; many of these people, as Sula and Cathy have mentioned, bring help to the less fortunate, something I am guilty of not doing enough. Melon, what if Mother Teresa had been called to Afghanistan instead of Calcutta, India, and some of her acts were deemed by the Taliban to be "proselytizing"?

Perhaps I should have been more broad in my problems with the Taliban, including their declaration in April that Hindu citizens would be required to wear yellow arm bands in order to be easily identified among the majority Muslim population. They said it was for the safety of Hindus, but it seems it was really to make it easier to ostracize and/or persecute them (see: Nazi Europe leading up to World War II). People flee Afghanistan and escape to IRAN of all places for asylum! Iran, FYI, is another theocracy, but even Iran is better than Afghanistan! Let's look at Amnesty International's passage on Afghanistan and the Taliban:

Human rights abuses by the warring factions against members of rival ethnic groups occurred throughout 1999. Taleban forces burned homes, destroyed orchards, wheat fields and irrigation systems and forcibly displaced more than 100,000 mainly Tajik people. The UN imposed financial and aviation sanctions on the Taleban for not surrendering Osama bin Laden to stand trial for his alleged involvement in US embassy bombings in August 1998. Women, children, human rights defenders, members of ethnic groups, people accused of homosexual activity, and refugees were systematically targeted by the Taleban and other warring factions on the basis of their identity. Taleban courts imposed sentences of death, amputation and flogging after apparently unfair trials.

That's from AI's 2000 Country Report for Afghanistan, and THAT is just the introductory paragraph; if you wish to read the whole thing, click here: www.web.amnesty.org/web/ar2000web.nsf/ebbd3384655495f2802568f500615e2f/f45d4bd4ae8ee428802568f200552988!OpenDocument

Perhaps you think the only bad theocracy is the "Bible Belt" of the Southern U.S. which you often rail against; however, I live in that area, and no one has been jailed lately on the basis of their religion.

And Trash Can and Bonoman, please remember that "turning the other cheek" does not mean to turn a blind eye to injustice and oppression; I still feel that my rage is justified.

~U2Alabama
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Old 08-30-2001, 07:40 PM   #21
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Allow me to clarify:

I am not opposed to foreign aid workers. I am opposed to those who blatantly pose as foreign aid workers--and yes, they do actually give aid--but their primary motive is religious conversion. This is exactly why I'm opposed to Bush's 'faith-based' proposal!! Last I heard, lying was a sin too.

Melon

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Old 08-30-2001, 07:44 PM   #22
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And I do hate the Taliban. They are poor excuses for Muslims. They may have the force and the loud voice to say they are 'right,' but Islam, for well over 1000 years, preached tolerance of those of other religions. Yes, it was the Muslims who protected the Jews in Palestine before, during, and after the Crusades, while the Christians were busy killing them. It's a real big shame that things had to change, but that seems to be the trend amongst the 'religious' nowadays--they have incredibly short collective memories.

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Old 08-30-2001, 07:50 PM   #23
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Finally, foreign aid workers will do nothing to rid the Taliban. The only way that will happen is by military force. If the Taliban were running a European nation, NATO would have already slaughtered them. Of course, it is more than notorious that the U.S. doesn't get involved very often in non-Caucasian countries.

And I do apologize for sounding harsh. I'm having issues with organized religion lately. It's hard being both religious and an intellectual, not to mention another thing a few of you know about. Forgive me if you have been offended.

*sigh*

Melon

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Old 08-30-2001, 07:52 PM   #24
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BTW, Iran is considered 'liberal' amongst the Muslim world. I do suggest procuring a National Geographic feature on Iran. It shouldn't be too hard to find, as it was only published in the last year or two. Basically, there is far more to it than the Western negative press.

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Old 08-30-2001, 08:32 PM   #25
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Wow, this has turned into a hot debate.
Perhaps I should clear up some of my earlier comments.
I am saying that these good people were fully aware of the dangers they would face, and they decided to risk all that for God anyway!
They feel so strong about their mission and the Truth, as they see it, that they walked in as lambs into a wolf's den, to HELP and serve fellow human beings. Damn the consequences!
My God, I admire that!
Bless these poor souls! ("Poor"? Hmmm... They may in fact be very "rich", and I dont mean money-wise).
Civil disobedience for human dignity and justice IS a very necessary practice. It is also a very dangerous practice. One must be willing to stand up for what they
believe and "suffer the consequences" ; for the change that is very necessary.

Jesus Christ did it. And He died for it. BUT look what He brought to the world by it! http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08374c.htm

Mahatma Ghandi did it. And he died for it. And look what he brought. http://www.mahatma.org.in/

Dr. Martin Luther King did it. And he died for it. And look what he brought. http://www.wakeamerica.com/past/spee...ng_082863.html

These men DID "turn the other cheek". Of course it does not mean to "turn a blind eye". It means to "expose" the aggressor. It means to NOT give the power to the aggressor by retaliating.

My God, think about it. All except one of the apostles was murdered because of what they taught; because of what they believed.
They knew of the dangers, but they also knew about "the big picture".

So do these "captives" in Afganistan.

Jesus of Nazareth had something to say about such folks at the very end of the Beautitudes. http://www.preciousmomentscommunity....eatitudes.html


Peace
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Old 08-30-2001, 09:14 PM   #26
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Trash Can:

I understand your perspective now that you have explaine it. Thanks.

Melon:

Granted, Iran has made some "reforms" since the post-Ayatollah Komeini regime, but even as recently as 1996, they jailed 2 Christian priests when it was discovered that they converted after being born into Muslim families. After diplomatic pressure (which was influenced in no small part by Amnesty International and several religious groups), they were released and tasted freedom. They disappeared and were murdered a few days later, executed by fundamentalists for the crime of apostacy, which they had earlier been jailed for.

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Old 08-31-2001, 03:01 AM   #27
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Old 08-31-2001, 03:18 AM   #28
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Another thing,

Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
Allow me to clarify:
I am opposed to those who blatantly pose as foreign aid workers--and yes, they do actually give aid--but their primary motive is religious conversion

I don't understand why you oppose evangelism when you're a Christian?

foray


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Old 08-31-2001, 04:34 AM   #29
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oops...
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Running to Stand Still-"you gotta cry without weeping, talk without speaking, scream without raising your voice."

"we're not burning out we're burning up...we're the loudest folk band in the world!"-Bono

[This message has been edited by Christy Moore (edited 08-31-2001).]
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Old 08-31-2001, 08:27 AM   #30
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I would like to know more about how the Taliban found out about the activity of the people being prosecuted.

They must not have been very descreet?
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