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Old 11-09-2004, 06:12 PM   #1
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"Religion is a bloody disgrace"

Written by a Reform Jew, for The Guardian.

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The alibis and excuses - they are not really Christians or Muslims because proper Christians or Muslims do not believe/do those things; you mustn't tar everyone with the same brush, some of them are nice, sincere, peace-loving people; people are entitled to their beliefs, you should listen to them; or, worst of all, "What can we do?" - simply underline our moral and spiritual bankruptcy. Wimps, the lot of us.

In fact, the situation is getting worse and worse. Except in northern Europe, both Christianity and Islam are growing at a rate so staggering that Matthew Arnold must be spinning. What is emerging is a phenomenon that the Anglican theologian John Bowden has described as "terrifying", forms of faith that are "very hostile to other faiths and driven by a sense of malevolent activity by hostile powers that have to be combated". Religion which is aggressive, triumphalist and thrives on conflict.

....

f only we were able to assert a shared platform that transcended the platitudinous, to stand up to those who pervert our traditions, and to work together for a justice that involves compromise and humility, we might even end up stemming the decline of faith in northern Europe. By demonstrating that religion still offers meaning, purpose and human values, rather than being at best an irrelevance or at worst a bloody disgrace.
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Old 11-09-2004, 06:22 PM   #2
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Thankyou!
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Old 11-09-2004, 07:07 PM   #3
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YEAH!
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Old 11-09-2004, 07:15 PM   #4
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there's a lot of truth in that article.
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Old 11-09-2004, 08:27 PM   #5
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Not all Christians and Muslims are violent fundamentalists....
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Old 11-09-2004, 08:37 PM   #6
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"Religion which is aggressive, triumphalist and thrives on conflict"

How about PEOPLE are aggressive, triumphalist and thrive on conflict? People have an extraordinary talent for taking anything originally intended for good and bastardizing it. It what we're good at.

The article , however, does make some good points.
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Old 11-09-2004, 08:38 PM   #7
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But violent fundamentalists are Christians and Muslims.
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Old 11-09-2004, 08:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
But violent fundamentalists are Christians and Muslims.
Maybe b/c a huge hunk of the world's population is either a Christian or a Muslim? I'm really not amused with all the "religion = violence" threads lately. Please. Lets see some numbers proving that religion is dangerous b/c a significant amount of religious persons are currently supporting or engaging in violent fundamentalist activity....oh, right, these people are using the most extreme examples of wackos and using them to stereotype boths Muslims AND Christians. Violent fundamentalists are DERANGED, that's what they are, regardless of what "religious" mask they choose to hide behind.
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Old 11-09-2004, 08:55 PM   #9
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That is all well and good, most people are not violent and I am not trying to argue that - but when people attempt to disown the deeds of the few, but at the same time advocate them in private - it is dishonest.
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Old 11-09-2004, 09:36 PM   #10
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You all seemed to enjoy this side.

Read the other side. A book called "The Jesus I Never Knew" by Phillip Yancey. Get a glimpse of what christianity was meant to be.
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Old 11-09-2004, 10:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
You all seemed to enjoy this side.

Read the other side. A book called "The Jesus I Never Knew" by Phillip Yancey. Get a glimpse of what christianity was meant to be.
Meant to be is different than what far too often is.

What I notice in this article is that the forms of both Christianity and Islam that seem to be making the most gains are the worst forms of each. Certainly most reasonable people don't believe that all Christians and all Muslims are hate filled wackos.

That said, the violent fundamentalists in each group (Christian and Muslim) are growing in power and scope. And, you know, it's not up to me, as neither Christian nor Muslim, to deal with them -- it's up to the normal Christian and Muslims to rein these idiots in and tell them "You will NOT sully this religion! You will NOT fuck up the good things the rest of us have worked for and believe!" To those who do say "we aren't all like this" that is true, but it is also true that the squeaky wheel gets the oil, and the violent fundamentalists are extremely squeaky, so they get noticed the most. By ignoring them you give them power, you must actively counter them.
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Old 11-10-2004, 02:17 AM   #12
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Well, if you're going to put in fundamental Christians into the mix (who, today anyway, aren't really all that violent) you might as well throw the Zionists in. Its just a bit rich that an article, written by a Reform Jew, doesn't seem to call on a religion which has also, in practice, proven to be almost as divisive and confrontational as Christianity, though I will concede that neither of those are taking the form of suicide bombers).

I just think if you're going to call the way we deal with other religions spineless, and start throwing rocks in a glass house, so to speak, you should include the other monotheistic religion, especially when the Israel/Palestinian conflict is still as horrific as it is.

The article raises a few good points, but I don't appreciate the self-righteous tone of the author.

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Old 11-10-2004, 02:26 AM   #13
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Zionism does not denote fundamentalism and has some association to secularism, in fact some religious Jews oppose Zionism on the basis that a Jewish nation founded by man is blasphemous. The hardcore religious nuts are definitely not productive.

You see we have to drag fundamentalist Christians into the argument for the simple reasons that they are very easy targets for abuse, literallly nobody cares if Christians are criticised or their beliefs mocked because they are the unpopular and big monolithic religious block that the secular west rejects with vigour. It provides the scant protection one requires to hold some more respected and revered religions of the world to account.
/there is some sarcasm in that last paragraph, but it is not far from the truth - Christians are targeted more than others in the media because it is acceptable to do so, I think that criticism of religion should be more uniform.
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Old 11-10-2004, 05:18 AM   #14
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It's not religion per se that's evil, the evil is in having the wrong approach and mentality about your religion. If you're convinced you're right *and* you think you've got the right to stomp on people who are different, you've got problems. I have a religion myself; I'm Catholic. I do not think I have the right to stomp on people who are different, therefore I don't have a problem.
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Old 11-10-2004, 08:24 AM   #15
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Some good points A_Wanderer.

Well, the reason I brought Zionism up is because not only do I think its destructive, but I have heard too many of my Jewish friends relate to me just how bloody terrifying some of the Zionists they've met are. I don't know, it does sound like a form of fundamentalism to me.

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