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Author Topic: Scape Goating the Church  (Read 1183 times) Average Rating: 0
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Gamliel
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« on: January 22, 2011, 03:22:33 AM »

Hi
    I am not sure if this has been brought up before, but some atheists like to blame Cristianity for much historical violence, such as anti-semitism, the plight of the native Americans, the Crusades, the religious wars of the 1600s, etc.  I am not sure how to respond to it.  Sure, people in the Church made mistakes, and some were guilty, but many were not.  Seems like there is some steretyping and scapegoating going on.
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011, 05:28:11 AM »

People in the Church were not involved in Crusades or the plight of the Native Americans.
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011, 10:14:39 AM »

People in the Church were not involved in Crusades or the plight of the Native Americans.

That is a rather prideful non-response and plays into the hands of the opponents of Christianity as a whole, not just Orthodoxy.
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Shiranui117
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011, 12:40:42 PM »

Hi
    I am not sure if this has been brought up before, but some atheists like to blame Cristianity for much historical violence, such as anti-semitism, the plight of the native Americans, the Crusades, the religious wars of the 1600s, etc.  I am not sure how to respond to it.  Sure, people in the Church made mistakes, and some were guilty, but many were not.  Seems like there is some steretyping and scapegoating going on.
Then those atheists are not well-versed in history. The Crusades were political affairs caused by a desire for power-hungry Europe to control more land, with retaking the Holy Land being used as a justification. A justification is not the same as a motive. It was the same affair with the Native Americans; we wanted their land and their resources, so we used the argument of their paganism for a justification, not a motive.

Though it is sad to see Christianity to be used even as a justification for war, shouting "FOR CHRISTIANITY!!" at the onset of a war to get more people on board with it is a far cry from waging wars in the name of Christianity, as a motive for war.

Edit: Things like the Thirty Years' War do indeed come much closer to Christianity being a motive, but even this is not the case. Unifying one country under one religion (or, in this case, branch thereof) does wonders for political stability, and using religion as an excuse to strike down your rivals. The Thirty-Years' War was at least as much about political freedoms and rights, as well as maintaining power within the Holy Roman Empire, as it was about religion. Throw in the fact that states within the HRE were actively organizing against each other and bringing in other European countries to help out...

Also, I agree with KBN1.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 12:57:25 PM by Wandering Sheep » Logged
KBN1
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 12:55:27 PM »

I think the best response is to agree that such events are tragic and that they are right to be upset by them. 
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88Devin12
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 01:16:55 PM »

I think (as usual) we must clarify what we mean by "The Church"; as Atheists, Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox will all use the term in different contexts. As Orthodox, we can definitely say that no member of the Church participated in the Crusades, the plight of the Native Americans, the Western European conflicts of the 1600s, the Spanish Inquisition, etc...
Christians themselves were involved, but the Church wasnt, as Protestants and Roman Catholics aren't a part of the Church.
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scamandrius
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2011, 01:23:04 PM »

Atheists need to look at their own "violent" history against humanity and the scores of people killed, maimed, tortured before they get all self-righteous about the Church's own sins.
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2011, 01:26:56 PM »

Atheists need to look at their own "violent" history against humanity and the scores of people killed, maimed, tortured before they get all self-righteous about the Church's own sins.
Ahh, yes, the Soviet massacres of Christians, and Hi--*is shot before Godwin's Law can be invoked*
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2011, 01:47:45 PM »

I think (as usual) we must clarify what we mean by "The Church"; as Atheists, Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox will all use the term in different contexts. As Orthodox, we can definitely say that no member of the Church participated in the Crusades, the plight of the Native Americans, the Western European conflicts of the 1600s, the Spanish Inquisition, etc...
Christians themselves were involved, but the Church wasnt, as Protestants and Roman Catholics aren't a part of the Church.

Yes, BUT - but the broader context, and one that impacts all believers, is the broad brush used by opponents of believers. Standing on the sidelines and saying, that was them not us - will leave you open to attack when issues that involve brutality by nominally orthodox rulers or peoples is brought up in response. I don't want to start a side discussion on those issues, but there are those of us who will try to 'spin' history to 'justify' such acts just as there are those who try to explain and or justify the Crusades or the Inquisition from an opposing point of view.
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88Devin12
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2011, 06:36:17 PM »

I think (as usual) we must clarify what we mean by "The Church"; as Atheists, Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox will all use the term in different contexts. As Orthodox, we can definitely say that no member of the Church participated in the Crusades, the plight of the Native Americans, the Western European conflicts of the 1600s, the Spanish Inquisition, etc...
Christians themselves were involved, but the Church wasnt, as Protestants and Roman Catholics aren't a part of the Church.

Yes, BUT - but the broader context, and one that impacts all believers, is the broad brush used by opponents of believers. Standing on the sidelines and saying, that was them not us - will leave you open to attack when issues that involve brutality by nominally orthodox rulers or peoples is brought up in response. I don't want to start a side discussion on those issues, but there are those of us who will try to 'spin' history to 'justify' such acts just as there are those who try to explain and or justify the Crusades or the Inquisition from an opposing point of view.

I don't think the Orthodox Church justifies any brutality, even when committed by "Orthodox" rulers...
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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2011, 07:07:50 PM »

People in the Church were not involved in Crusades or the plight of the Native Americans.

That is a rather prideful non-response and plays into the hands of the opponents of Christianity as a whole, not just Orthodoxy.

I disagree. I think it is simply a factual statement.
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« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2011, 10:19:04 PM »

Atheists need to look at their own "violent" history against humanity and the scores of people killed, maimed, tortured before they get all self-righteous about the Church's own sins.

But they'll claim it wasn't because of atheism. Which is false because once you merge atheism with a government that's when you have the GULAGS, Prison Camps, etc.
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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2011, 10:29:13 PM »

People in the Church were not involved in Crusades or the plight of the Native Americans.

That is a rather prideful non-response and plays into the hands of the opponents of Christianity as a whole, not just Orthodoxy.

Ok but you both have valid yet distinct points.   Orthodox can rightly point out that Orthodoxy was not involved in these things without being triumphalist.   It is a statement of fact, and an important one at that to show that "Christianity" did not do these things, as the Orthodox Church was not involved.  In fact, just this statement of fact by those who do not know it may begin to turn their emotions that they had against Christianity to a possible re-looking at it based on fact.  By the same token, we cannot fail to point out that it was sick persons (and ignorant persons following the orders of sick persons) who did these things, and cannot make it seem as if the whole of the RC people who were complicit in all of this.   I think Michal already would agree with this point and was not trying to make an argument against it.   
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Alveus Lacuna
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2011, 10:33:10 PM »

Did Orthodoxy ask the crusaders to come to their aid and free the Holy Land again?
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2011, 10:41:45 PM »

Atheists need to look at their own "violent" history against humanity and the scores of people killed, maimed, tortured before they get all self-righteous about the Church's own sins.

But they'll claim it wasn't because of atheism. Which is false because once you merge atheism with a government that's when you have the GULAGS, Prison Camps, etc.

Yes, but as I point out on our parish website, there is overwhelming evidence here:

Quote
Question:    I am having struggles with my faith.   I was referred to you by a priest.  I am not Orthodox, although I have been looking into it.  Nonetheless, on a "bigger picture," there are many that have claimed that religion has been a big problem.  I read the response you gave in the "Ask Father" section of the website.  Do you have specific statistics to back up your claims?  It would be helpful to those who are trying to make up their mind.  If it is true, why do the anti-religious people keep saying that religion is such a big problem if it is not true?    P from Tampa FL

Answer:  This is a huge issue these days, since there is a battle as to what our world should look like:  faith-based or faith-less.   Here are the specific statistics on mass democide/genocide:

1. 76,702,000 Murdered by the ATHEIST Communist Chinese Regime
2. 61,911,000 Murdered by the ATHEIST Soviet Gulag State  
3. 20,946,000 Murdered: The NEO-PAGAN/ATHEIST Nazi Genocide State
4. 10,214,000 Murdered: The depraved ATHEIST Chinese Nationalist Regime

Consider that these four alone are responsible for 169,773,000 murders, which is 36,626,000 more murders than entirety of democide murders from the beginning of human history.   But wait, we are not done yet!  We have to consider some of the others:  

5. 5,964,000 Murdered: Japan's Savage SECULAR Military
6. 2,035,000 Murdered: The ATHEIST Khmer Rouge "Hell State"
7. 1,883,000 Murdered: Turkey's SECULARIST MUSLIM Genocidal Purges
8. 1,670,000 Murdered: The ATHEIST Vietnamese War State
9. 1,585,000 Murdered: ATHEIST communist Poland's Ethnic Cleansing
13. 1,503,000 Murdered: The Muslim Nationalist Pakistani State
14. 1,072,000 Murdered: The ATHEIST regime of Tito and the balkan communists

Consider that just the first four ATHEIST regimes alone, the largest mass murderers in history, exceeeded the amount of people who populated the planet earth at the time of Christ.  There is nothing in the crusades or inquisition or even in the extreme muslim instances of genocide that even compares to the multi-millions of human beings who lost their lives to atheist regimes.   It is not religion, but rather Atheist and Secularist (God-less) states that have been the cause of the most massive attrocities on the history of the earth.  That is a statistical fact.  If you would like to check these statistics please do so:  http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM and http://freedomspeace.blogspot.com/2005/11/reevaluating-chinas-democide-to-be.html.   As for why anti-religious people say untruths, there are several reasons.  One is simply ignorance.  But a second reason is more important.  Although we have several atheists who are ethical, without God and an objective moral code, there is nothing in their worldview that tells them that to lie and bear false witness is wrong.  Thus, an ethical atheist is the exception rather than the rule.   Many adopt utilitarian ethics, which ultimately lead to some evil conclusions by God's standards.
  http://www.forgodiswithus.org/Ask%20Father2.html


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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2011, 03:45:37 AM »

Hi
    I am not sure if this has been brought up before, but some atheists like to blame Cristianity for much historical violence, such as anti-semitism, the plight of the native Americans, the Crusades, the religious wars of the 1600s, etc.  I am not sure how to respond to it.  Sure, people in the Church made mistakes, and some were guilty, but many were not.  Seems like there is some steretyping and scapegoating going on.

When people turn to such arguments it's actually a giant logical fallacy. This is why I find books by Dawkins, Hitchens, et al to be worthless because most of their arguments are purely illogical. Their fallacious nature is also not a formal fallacy, where the structure of the argument is flawed, but a material fallacy where the conclusions they draw from the argument are flawed (thus rendering the argument and/or conclusions false).

Consider this:

The argument, "Christians caused the Crusades, therefore Christianity is false" is the fallacy of composition (this is the first of many fallacies in this argument). It assumes that something in the part reflects upon the whole. So we say, "John is a boyscout and John hit that old lady. Therefore, all boyscouts like to hit old ladies." While that might be true of John, it certainly isn't true of all boyscouts.

When I am faced with this argument, I generally turn it on them and say, "80% of the prison population in America is African-America. So this must obviously mean there is something wrong with being African-American that causes you to commit crimes, correct?" This almost immediately begets a response of, "Of course not!" to which I say, "You're right! But the logic of the aforementioned bigoted statement is the same logic you use against Christians." I mean no offense by the example used, merely to show the danger in the atheist's logic.

Other atheists will look past composition and simply argue that Christianity was the cause of the Crusades. But this also brings about the fallacy of questionable cause. Just because A seemingly causes B doesn't mean that A is the cause of B. For instance, were Christianity the cause of the Crusades, then we should see other evidence of Christians performing Crusader-like actions throughout history - that is, peaceful Christians should be abnormal. However, the opposite is true. What we see - especially in the first three hundred years of Christian history - are a people who border between quasi-pacifist and fully pacifist. Furthermore, to defeat the cause argument one could easily point to not only the early history of the Church, but also to the Scriptures themselves and the teachings of Christ to see how the Crusades - though militarily and politically necessary (the First Crusade at least) - contradicted Scripture.

Of course, the same above test can be applied to Islam or atheism to see if they are the cause of violence. In the case of Islam, the answer is yes. In the case of atheism, the answer is far more ambiguous. Not all atheists have allowed for warfare, however, there's on "stop-gap" to speak out against violence in atheism, at least no justifiable way to do so. To be fair, in order for Marxism to succeed (as a true form of Marxism and not some neo-Marxist mentality where religion is co-opted rather than attacked), it has to adopt a materialistic view of the universe (i.e. atheism). But this doesn't mean that all forms of atheism would support a Marxist view.

Regardless, the argument, "Christianity has killed people!" is an empty argument as there's no logical basis to said argument. Furthermore, as many others have pointed out here, there is egg on the face of everyone in this instance.

Finally, I might add, the Orthodox suffered under the Crusades and did not invoke the Crusades.
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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2011, 12:35:32 PM »

Prospective priests are state asked the questions in an effort to tracheophyte out those with paedophile tendencies but the service has been accused of "scapegoating" gay men in the affect.

According to the New Royalty Present, the questions formation from asking near unisexual experiences to whether applicants suchlike children writer than fill their own age.
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« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2011, 03:06:02 PM »

Prospective priests are state asked the questions in an effort to tracheophyte out those with paedophile tendencies but the service has been accused of "scapegoating" gay men in the affect.

According to the New Royalty Present, the questions formation from asking near unisexual experiences to whether applicants suchlike children writer than fill their own age.


What are you talking about? this post makes no sense.
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« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2011, 03:49:13 PM »

Prospective priests are state asked the questions in an effort to tracheophyte out those with paedophile tendencies but the service has been accused of "scapegoating" gay men in the affect.

According to the New Royalty Present, the questions formation from asking near unisexual experiences to whether applicants suchlike children writer than fill their own age.


What are you talking about? this post makes no sense.

It doesn't make sense because it is a bot and not a person.
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« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2011, 04:01:50 PM »

Hi
    I am not sure if this has been brought up before, but some atheists like to blame Cristianity for much historical violence, such as anti-semitism, the plight of the native Americans, the Crusades, the religious wars of the 1600s, etc.  I am not sure how to respond to it.  Sure, people in the Church made mistakes, and some were guilty, but many were not.  Seems like there is some steretyping and scapegoating going on.

I'm going to have to echo what others have said: stating that, as many have, "religion is the cause of most of the world's violence" is a naive and isigetic (putting meaning in, instead of pulling meaning out - exegetic).  Religion has been (mis-)used by those who want power to attempt to justify their endeavors since the beginning of time*. It has become a significant atheist rallying call in the modern era to discourage people from being religious, but it overlooks the evidence (letters, proclamations, contemporary historical accounts, memoirs, etc.) left behind by those tyrants who did the deeds.


*Especially from the Judeo-Christian POV: The Devil used God's commands and creation - the beginning of true religion - and warped their meaning in order to get Eve to fall.
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« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2011, 04:26:19 PM »

I just want to add that e=mc^2 is a formula par excellence that allows us to understand the oneness of both energy and matter.  It is also been used to create the atomic and hydrogen bombs.  So perhaps, this leads to a strong case of the misuse of scientific studies in our history.

Atheists who use religion as a cause for violence in the world fail in their logic for a couple of reasons:

1.  They use emotion to make sense of their rejection of theistic beliefs, while decry theists for using poetic language to describe their own religion.
2.  Because the majority of the world is religious, inevitably the majority of the world's deaths will be caused by a majority.  Sooner or later, if atheism actually becomes a majority, that would be the cause of world's problems.
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