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Old 03-25-2005, 08:58 AM   #46
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Originally posted by all_i_want
come on now, numbers from the crusades alone would be enough to sweep off the numbers from (edit) religious communist oppression. in the larger sense, communism will be more of fad that lasted one century, in comparison to thousands of years of history
Please look at the crusades more closely. They were driven more by political power than theologically inspired violence.
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Old 03-25-2005, 09:07 AM   #47
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Please look at the crusades more closely. They were driven more by political power than theologically inspired violence.
yes, maybe for the commanders, kings, the pope it was about politics. but for the foot soldiers, pilgrims it was about serving god and being good christians. what matters is the motivation of the soldier who strikes a blow to his enemy, does he do it to achieve a political goal, or does he do it in the name of god?
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Old 03-25-2005, 09:12 AM   #48
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Do you believe that most involved with in the Crusades did so out of their own understanding of their faith, or because they were told to by an authority over them?
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Old 03-25-2005, 09:27 AM   #49
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if they went there willingly, yes. maybe not the professional soldiers, but the others who joined them later on, the pilgrims, farmer-turned-soldiers did go there looking for glory and they found strength in their belief, that crushing the heathens was worth the trouble of thousands of miles land travel.
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Old 03-25-2005, 09:35 AM   #50
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people in the middle ages took the words of the church quite literally:

Leo IV (847-855): Forgiveness of Sins for Those Who Dies in Battle With the Heathen

Given to the Frankish Army

Now we hope that none of you will be slain, but we wish you to know that the kingdom of heaven will be given as a reward to those who shall be killed in this war. For the Omnipotent knows that they lost their lives fighting for the truth of the faith, for the preservation of their country,, aiid the defence of Christians. And therefore God will give then, the reward which we have named.

In Migne, Patrologia Latina, 115: 656-657, and 161:720,


another one:

Medieval Sourcebook:
Pope John VIII:
Indulgence for Fighting the Heathen, 878

John VIII to the bishops in the realm of Louis II [the Stammerer].

You have modestly expressed a desire to know whether those who have recently died in war, fighting in defence of the church of God and for the preservation of the Christian religion and of the state, or those who may in 'he future fall in the same cause, may obtain indulgence for their sins. We confidently reply that those who, out of love to the Christian religion, shall die in battle fighting bravely against pagans or unbelievers, shall receive eternal life. For the Lord has said through his prophet: "In whatever hour a sinner shall be converted, I will remember his sins no longer." By the intercession of St. Peter, who has the power of binding and loosing in heaven and on the earth, we absolve, as far as is permissible, all such and commend them by our prayers to the Lord.

yet another one:

Urban II:
Speech at Council of Clermont, 1095, according to Fulcher of Chartres

"All who die by the way, whether by land or by sea, or in battle against the pagans, shall have immediate remission of sins. This I grant them through the power of God with which I am invested. O what a disgrace if such a despised and base race, which worships demons, should conquer a people which has the faith of omnipotent God and is made glorious with the name of Christ! With what reproaches will the Lord overwhelm us if you do not aid those who, with us, profess the Christian religion! Let those who have been accustomed unjustly to wage private warfare against the faithful now go against the infidels and end with victory this war which should have been begun long ago. Let those who for a long time, have been robbers, now become knights. Let those who have been fighting against their brothers and relatives now fight in a proper way against the barbarians. Let those who have been serving as mercenaries for small pay now obtain the eternal reward. Let those who have been wearing themselves out in both body and soul now work for a double honor. Behold! on this side will be the sorrowful and poor, on that, the rich; on this side, the enemies of the Lord, on that, his friends. Let those who go not put off the journey, but rent their lands and collect money for their expenses; and as soon as winter is over and spring comes, let hem eagerly set out on the way with God as their guide."


how were these any different from the 72 virgins promised to the suicide bombers? people sacrificed their lives to fulfill these foolish dreams, and it was not just because they ordered to do so, but because they believed these ridiculous promises.
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Old 03-25-2005, 09:39 AM   #51
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Only on the word of one in power with different motivations. Religion didn't cause these wars. A few people acted in ways to maintain power for themselves and discouraged, if not prohibited, individuals from understanding their faith for themselves.
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Old 03-25-2005, 11:13 AM   #52
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


The "glory of the motherland" got many to sacrifice their lives.

which, one could argue, operates in exactly the same way that religion operates -- subjugating the autonomy of the individual for the sake of the imagined greater good.

religion is a thought system, no matter which way you slice it. and like any system, or institution, it's bottom line is the perpetuation of its existence.

and, horrifying as the Nazis were, in the grand scheme of things, more death has resulted for the "glory of god" than for the "motherland."
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Old 03-25-2005, 11:21 AM   #53
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Only on the word of one in power with different motivations. Religion didn't cause these wars. A few people acted in ways to maintain power for themselves and discouraged, if not prohibited, individuals from understanding their faith for themselves.

with all due respect, i think we're all making distinctions between God and Religion. religion can and often is used as a tool by those in power to move the masses for political/economic/military gain.

you can say, "well that's not religion, that's people using religion."

to that i'd respond that religion is entirely unique in that it's bottom line authority is both absolute, unknowable, and literally wields the power to promise a soldier life after death in battle -- no country can give you that.

yes, leaders manipulating religion are the problem; but so is religion, due to it's absolutist nature.

here's what i think is an astounding quote from an equally astounding PBS Frontline documentary called "faith and doubt and ground zero":



"From the first moment I looked into that horror on Sept. 11, into that fireball, into that explosion of horror, I knew it. I knew it before anything was said about those who did it or why. I recognized an old companion. I recognized religion. Look, I am a priest for over 30 years. Religion is my life, it's my vocation, it's my existence. I'd give my life for it; I hope to have the courage. Therefore, I know it. And I know, and recognized that day, that the same force, energy, sense, instinct, whatever, passion -- because religion can be a passion -- the same passion that motivates religious people to do great things is the same one that that day brought all that destruction. When they said that the people who did it did it in the name of God, I wasn't the slightest bit surprised. It only confirmed what I knew. I recognized it.

I recognized this thirst, this demand for the absolute. Because if you don't hang on to the unchanging, to the absolute, to that which cannot disappear, you might disappear. I recognized that this thirst for the never-ending, the permanent, the wonders of all things, this intolerance or fear of diversity, that which is different -- these are characteristics of religion. And I knew that that force could take you to do great things. But I knew that there was no greater and more destructive force on the surface of this earth than the religious passion."

--- Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete, catholic priest and professor of theology at St. Josephs Seminary in New York
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Old 03-25-2005, 11:34 AM   #54
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I once stayed at a motel where the pool was filled with very loud kids and teenagers who were fully clothed, shoes and all. They were making the water all dirty and making it impossible for anyone else to swim. I complained at the front desk, after all, one of their rules was no cutoffs or shorts, only real bathing suits were allowed. She told me the family told her it was against their religion to wear bathing suits so she had to let them trash the pool or they'd sue! These were no Amish, the girls were braless with spaghetti straps on their tops and one of the boys was in mesh with his nipples hanging out. It's my opinion that they just plain forgot their bathing suits and used this as an excuse, knowing it would fly, which it did. It's wrong to abuse freedom of religion that way, IMO.
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Old 03-25-2005, 02:30 PM   #55
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Irvine, that passage from the monsignor was magnificient, the most complete and truest explanation I've seen about the glory and destructiveness of religious passion.
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Old 03-25-2005, 02:44 PM   #56
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Irvine, that passage from the monsignor was magnificient, the most complete and truest explanation I've seen about the glory and destructiveness of religious passion.

it's stayed with me for years. the show that it's from, "Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero" was, hands down, the most astonishing piece of filmmaking/documenting/reporting/philosophizing about 9-11 that i have ever seen.

check out more quotes from the program, from people of all faiths, including atheists:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl.../religion.html

(yet another example of PBS being the finest source of news available in the united states and why ratings-driven news kills actual journalism dead)
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