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Old 08-04-2005, 11:18 AM
Henry W. Coates
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I'm not going to write you a long winded response Jason, for I really feel that you don't deserve it, my friend. Your ideas as typed show a very close minded perspective that just wants to damn everything that ever has caused evil in the world (and I know you are not a close minded individual). This is an online forum and I can safely say that you are a better fast paced writer than I, so I will tackle you more head on when I see you next (Which better be soon, you ass). In your mind, you are correct, and nothing will ever change that--you have proved to yourself over and over again why religion is evil, and any argument to the contrary is doomed to fail (i've tried). In many ways, you are evangelical with your message that religion = shit.

I'll agree with you whole heartily that Christianity was (is) a missionary religion. I will agree that untold atroctices have been committed in the name of Christ. You seemingly forget, however, the good that the followers Christianity did and has done in the world. You certainly forget the good that the followers of Islam have done (in my opinion, far less evil than Christianity). The ideal of these religions is far from the actual reality. This is apparent most especially in Christianity, where whole sale hypocrisy is the norm (not so much with Catholics, who I think get it right, but with the dying protestant movement and the emergent Evangelical movement). (not so much in Islam I would say---the extremists, as far as I have gathered from my research, are actually a minority that is forcing the issue to the majority). I'd discuss the fact that you hate the fact that people in the past have been forced to convert, but I don't have the research needed. You know my view is more of a realist one, that you need to have a unifying force to create a culture, and that religion plays a great one. So, the crazy imperial bastard in me might agree that it is wrong but necessary.

Jason, your second post (a little over kill, ya think) proves that religion has been the prime motivate to kill (or at least religious identity). I agree with you, but you certainly should know it isn't as simple as that. You forget ethnic identity, various degrees of wealth and success, jealously over said differences in wealth and success, etc etc. The causes of war (hey, that's a course I'm going to be taking next year (I'll be sure to give you the notes) are much much more complicated than simply saying "RELIGION CAUSES IT! ITS EVIL CAUSE IT CAUSES DEATH! (which you didn't say, but let me use my rhetorical flourish).

BTW, Historical side note. Pope Pius saved thousands of jews, and he authorized the saving of several others. Most of the "Righteous gentiles" acknowledged in Israel are catholics. If the Pope had spoken out, said anything, the Vatican would have been invaded in a second (Hitler had the plans to do so, and certainly the historical precedent). He could not risk the end of the church proper, you know that. To point it out, most of the people who have problems with Pope Pius ? Liberal Catholics, not Jews. Why is that?
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:33 AM
Saman Asheer
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I agree with Henry. Jason's entry frustrated me, not because I couldn't find an argument against it, (because believe me, along with Henry's there are dozens), but because its something I've heard so many times that I'm sick of wasting time trying to dispute it. Anyway, you've already heard my argument in this forum so there isn't any use repeating myself. I just agree with Henry. That is all.
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Old 08-05-2005, 04:02 PM
Zachary C. Kanfer
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Jason's entry frustrated me too, first in the use of the bright green font color that hurts to read. However, I have to wonder: of all the wars fought on behalf of religion, how many were truly fought because of religion, and how many of the leaders simply used religion to whip the masses into shape to fight people that the leaders wanted killed?
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Old 08-06-2005, 12:26 PM
Henry W. Coates
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Hmm, another lapsed liberal catholic smearing Pope Pius. Instead of John Cornwall's (a liberal Catholic) book Hitler's Pope I suggust you read parts of another book, as I have. Its written by a Rabbi who lost family in the holocaust. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846

Second thing, read Vatican 2. The institutionalized anti-Semitism from the past has been eviscerated out of church doctrine. Pope John Paul II apologized foreverything, went so far as to go to the wailing wall in Jerusalem for the specific purpose of asking forgiveness for past church misdeeds against jews.

When I say the Catholics have it right, I speak in American culture, and only in the terms of hypocrisy. They are ardently anti-death penalty, anti abortion, pro poor. This, in my mind, show's character of conviction, EVEN if I disagree with it (ie the Abortion part and the anti-science). Reread that last sentence. Compare this with protestants and evangelicals, and you'll see my drift. In my opinion, I especially think evangelicals have the message skewered.

The unifying force that I mention will be clarified as in this manner --- The Roman empire adopted Christianity as a unifying force to hold their empire together. The Arab tribes adopted Islam as a unifying force to launch offensives to create and then maintain there empire. Christendom in the middle ages was the unifying particle that held the society from raging into anarchy, through out the whole period but especially during the black plague, when the world seemed at end.

One other thing that REALLY bothered me Jason is when you said , "There are certainly Christians who do good, but their Christianity is incidental." and then mentioned the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King jr as an example. In my opinion as a lapsed liberal protestant, I still say you are wrong. Rev. King held always the conviction of his salvation through Christ and thus the justice of his cause due to God's grace---this was central in his message, central in his being. To say that his Christianity was incidental is pure poppy cock. Another thing, Communism "which is a product of Christian egalitarianism and perfectionism" is just a silly statement. How bout secular idealism that is ragingly anti clerical and anti-religious?
Will you now trace its history to prove me wrong? Its a product of Europe, so yes, it does have Christian influences, but your statement implies to all who read it that Christianity is the cause of the death of all those millions slaughtered by Communists. Lets go further back, lets blame Julius Caesar. If that bastard had never invaded western europe we never would have had this problem in the first place.

Note, my spelling is awful. Leave me a lone, you jerk. Love, Henry

Last edited by Henry W. Coates : 08-06-2005 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 08-08-2005, 01:13 AM
Ian S. Broome
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Off-topic and regarding this forum itself:

This has been a very interesting "debate." I can see merit on both ends of it.

I'd like to wish you all a happy rest-of-August and I look forward to meeting everybody.

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