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Author Topic: Does Christianity inherently spread hate? Help me stop my possible apostasy.  (Read 5498 times) Average Rating: 0
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Volnutt
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« on: September 23, 2011, 12:11:22 AM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

England is the country where the word "holocaust" is actually first used in it's modern sense! And don't even get me started on France, Spain, and the US. I forget which character it was in Ulysses who said the only reason Ireland didn't have a history of persecuting Jews is because they never let any in the country to begin with (I know that's hyperbole, but still...)

I'm having a hard time believing Christianity, let alone Orthodox Christianity, can really be the true way of God when it is constantly followed by this cancer which seems to be so pervasive in the Christian world even today. I know there are hateful Jews, but it seems like Judaism has been followed by such a specific and pernicious targeting of a single people even though they are probably the most savagely abused group on the planet.

I don't know what to do.
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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2011, 12:23:08 AM »

I will pray for you.

It is true that we are to love all unconditionally, including our perceived or real enemies.

However, that unconditional love is impossible without Christ. Only as we begin to grow in theosis, will our love begin to grow.

In the meantime, we need to stop seeing faults in others because Christ told us not to judge.

Look at the Prayers before Communion where each of us is to admit that we are unworthy to receive our Lord in Holy Communion, because we are chief among sinners. In spite of this, He bids us to come to Him. Without Christ, we will remain in our sins. With Christ, we can grow in theosis and become Saints.

Therefore, let us pray for each other and not judge.
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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2011, 12:28:06 AM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians....

I don't know what to do.
Do you have any Jewish friends?
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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2011, 12:30:12 AM »

There is no inherent anti-semitism in the Orthodox faith, but there are anti-semites who happen to be Orthodox.
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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2011, 12:31:39 AM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians....

I don't know what to do.
Do you have any Jewish friends?

I know that you were asking this question of Volnutt. However, I have a dear Jewish friend, and he loves the Orthodox Church. He was in the Diaconate program until he had a major heart attack which weakened his health. He is so grateful that he is part of the Orthodox Christian Church. His love is very apparent and everyone cherishes him as a living saint.
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2011, 12:33:02 AM »

There is no inherent anti-semitism in the Orthodox faith, but there are anti-semites who happen to be Orthodox.

Very true.

Christ is the head of our Church. Is Christ anti-Semitic? No.
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2011, 12:36:50 AM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians....

I don't know what to do.
Do you have any Jewish friends?
No. Why?
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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2011, 12:38:09 AM »

Ethiopia is certainly an exception to the rule. Ethiopia was a Judaic nation before it converted to Christianity, and there is no inherent anti-semitism in Ethiopia.


Selam
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« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2011, 12:39:04 AM »

There is no inherent anti-semitism in the Orthodox faith, but there are anti-semites who happen to be Orthodox.
That's an easy thing to say, and I used to say it, but the vast history of anti-semitism throughout "Christendom" then becomes a pretty hard thing to swallow as being essentially a giant coincidence.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 12:56:37 AM by Volnutt » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2011, 12:43:42 AM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

England is the country where the word "holocaust" is actually first used in it's modern sense! And don't even get me started on France, Spain, and the US. I forget which character it was in Ulysses who said the only reason Ireland didn't have a history of persecuting Jews is because they never let any in the country to begin with (I know that's hyperbole, but still...)

I'm having a hard time believing Christianity, let alone Orthodox Christianity, can really be the true way of God when it is constantly followed by this cancer which seems to be so pervasive in the Christian world even today. I know there are hateful Jews, but it seems like Judaism has been followed by such a specific and pernicious targeting of a single people even though they are probably the most savagely abused group on the planet.

I don't know what to do.
People often break down and persecute heretics, even in Christian societies.
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« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2011, 12:47:36 AM »

Ethiopia is certainly an exception to the rule. Ethiopia was a Judaic nation before it converted to Christianity, and there is no inherent anti-semitism in Ethiopia.


Selam
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_Israel#1627_-_the_mid-19th_century
Quote
During the reign of Emperor Yeshaq (1414–1429) who invaded the Jewish kingdom, annexed it and began to exert religious pressure. Yeshaq divided the occupied territories of the Jewish kingdom into three provinces which were controlled by commissioners appointed by him. He reduced the Jews' social status below that of Christians[73] and forced the Jews to convert or lose their land. It would be given away as rist, a type of land qualification that rendered it forever inheritable by the recipient and not transferable by the Emperor. Yeshaq decreed, "He who is baptized in the Christian religion may inherit the land of his father, otherwise let him be a Falāsī." This may have been the origin for the term "Falasha" (falāšā, "wanderer," or "landless person").

Quote
Later on the forces of the Ethiopian emperor invaded the kingdom in the region of Begemder and massacred many of the Jews in that region throughout a period of seven years. The Christian armies were exceptionally merciless. The Emperor Yacob Zara (reigned 1434–1468) even proudly added the title "Exterminator of the Jews" to his name. Although the area of the kingdom became significantly smaller afterwards, the Jews were able to restore their mountain kingdom eventually
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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2011, 12:48:10 AM »

Ethiopia is certainly an exception to the rule. Ethiopia was a Judaic nation before it converted to Christianity, and there is no inherent anti-semitism in Ethiopia.


Selam
RABBI YEFET ALAMO SAYS that he is, and always has been, a dreamer. He had to be a dreamer, he smiles, to survive. Almo, 52, emigrated from Ethiopia, an agrarian society, to Israel, a post-industrial society, at the age of 22. His dreams, he says, helped him face anti-Semitism in Ethiopia.

http://www.ethiosun.com/tag/anti-semitism/



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« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 01:23:16 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged

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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

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« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2011, 12:49:16 AM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

England is the country where the word "holocaust" is actually first used in it's modern sense! And don't even get me started on France, Spain, and the US. I forget which character it was in Ulysses who said the only reason Ireland didn't have a history of persecuting Jews is because they never let any in the country to begin with (I know that's hyperbole, but still...)

I'm having a hard time believing Christianity, let alone Orthodox Christianity, can really be the true way of God when it is constantly followed by this cancer which seems to be so pervasive in the Christian world even today. I know there are hateful Jews, but it seems like Judaism has been followed by such a specific and pernicious targeting of a single people even though they are probably the most savagely abused group on the planet.

I don't know what to do.
People often break down and persecute heretics, even in Christian societies.
Sure, but to the this extent, both persecution and general hatred?
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2011, 12:50:02 AM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

England is the country where the word "holocaust" is actually first used in it's modern sense! And don't even get me started on France, Spain, and the US. I forget which character it was in Ulysses who said the only reason Ireland didn't have a history of persecuting Jews is because they never let any in the country to begin with (I know that's hyperbole, but still...)

I'm having a hard time believing Christianity, let alone Orthodox Christianity, can really be the true way of God when it is constantly followed by this cancer which seems to be so pervasive in the Christian world even today. I know there are hateful Jews, but it seems like Judaism has been followed by such a specific and pernicious targeting of a single people even though they are probably the most savagely abused group on the planet.

I don't know what to do.
People often break down and persecute heretics, even in Christian societies.
Sure, but to the this extent, both persecution and general hatred?
Why are there no Cathari, Bogomils, or Paulicians hanging around today, Volnutt? Why does the Nestorian Church have such a small membership compared to 700 years ago?

And the hate was definitely on both sides. The difference was who had power.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 12:53:01 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

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« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2011, 12:55:25 AM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

England is the country where the word "holocaust" is actually first used in it's modern sense! And don't even get me started on France, Spain, and the US. I forget which character it was in Ulysses who said the only reason Ireland didn't have a history of persecuting Jews is because they never let any in the country to begin with (I know that's hyperbole, but still...)

I'm having a hard time believing Christianity, let alone Orthodox Christianity, can really be the true way of God when it is constantly followed by this cancer which seems to be so pervasive in the Christian world even today. I know there are hateful Jews, but it seems like Judaism has been followed by such a specific and pernicious targeting of a single people even though they are probably the most savagely abused group on the planet.

I don't know what to do.
People often break down and persecute heretics, even in Christian societies.
Sure, but to the this extent, both persecution and general hatred?
Why are there no Cathari, Bogomils, or Paulicians hanging around today, Volnutt? Why does the Nestorian Church have such a small membership compared to 700 years ago?
I'm not saying Christians never killed anybody but Jews. I'm saying the Jews always get the rump end of it in a society where Christianity has taken route, even when other undesirables are tolerated, it seems.
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« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2011, 12:57:09 AM »

I'm not saying Christians never killed anybody but Jews. I'm saying the Jews always get the rump end of it in a society where Christianity has taken route, even when other undesirables are tolerated, it seems.
Other undesirables?
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« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2011, 01:16:19 AM »

I am one who could probably not read St. John Chrysostom's Homilies Against the Jews for the reason you imply, that Christian-majority history and culture have tended to breed antisemitism.  (Or they seem to...eventually, more often than not.)  Not that reading them would turn me anti-Jewish, but rather have too much difficulties with this particular saint, whose homilies otherwise (on the Gospels and Epistles, the relative few that I've read) I really like and find to be a good bridge of sorts between Protestantism and Orthodoxy/Catholicism.  Suppose, you could always remain Protestant, and then remain by apparent default Jewish-friendly, either as an interfaith ('all paths lead to God', 'they have the first and still everlasting covenant' one could say about the Jews) liberal Protestant, or an Israel-loving "they are God's chosen people" Evangelical.  Or, if you want to become Orthodox, you could painfully endure and try to cut through the seeming grime of history and suggestive anti-Jewish leanings in some of the prayers and patristic writings, and remember the point underlying it all, which is the sincere hope that the Jews, individually and collectively, will turn to Christ.  Stick with the passage in Romans (can't give it, sorry) where Paul expressed his own conviction that 'the Jews will be saved'.

The seeming anti-Jewishness/antisemitism of many Orthodox (I am not saying most, or a plurality as if one of any type exists) does sometimes add to my hesitancy of Orthodoxy's absolutist, "One True Church" claims, and want to believe that Messianic Judaism, in some form yet to be seen and exclusively for ethnic/prior religious Jews, could be a viable option for more Jews to become Christians and not feel they were denying everything Jewish in their culture.
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« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2011, 01:34:12 AM »

I'm not saying Christians never killed anybody but Jews. I'm saying the Jews always get the rump end of it in a society where Christianity has taken route, even when other undesirables are tolerated, it seems.
Other undesirables?
Gypsies, etc. In quote marks of course.
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« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2011, 01:34:48 AM »

I am one who could probably not read St. John Chrysostom's Homilies Against the Jews for the reason you imply, that Christian-majority history and culture have tended to breed antisemitism.  (Or they seem to...eventually, more often than not.)  Not that reading them would turn me anti-Jewish, but rather have too much difficulties with this particular saint, whose homilies otherwise (on the Gospels and Epistles, the relative few that I've read) I really like and find to be a good bridge of sorts between Protestantism and Orthodoxy/Catholicism.  Suppose, you could always remain Protestant, and then remain by apparent default Jewish-friendly, either as an interfaith ('all paths lead to God', 'they have the first and still everlasting covenant' one could say about the Jews) liberal Protestant, or an Israel-loving "they are God's chosen people" Evangelical.  Or, if you want to become Orthodox, you could painfully endure and try to cut through the seeming grime of history and suggestive anti-Jewish leanings in some of the prayers and patristic writings, and remember the point underlying it all, which is the sincere hope that the Jews, individually and collectively, will turn to Christ.  Stick with the passage in Romans (can't give it, sorry) where Paul expressed his own conviction that 'the Jews will be saved'.

The seeming anti-Jewishness/antisemitism of many Orthodox (I am not saying most, or a plurality as if one of any type exists) does sometimes add to my hesitancy of Orthodoxy's absolutist, "One True Church" claims, and want to believe that Messianic Judaism, in some form yet to be seen and exclusively for ethnic/prior religious Jews, could be a viable option for more Jews to become Christians and not feel they were denying everything Jewish in their culture.

The only problem with this is that by becoming Christians any formerly "observant" Jew is going to be denying everything Jewish about their culture, at least in the eyes of their family and community, no matter what form of Christianity they were to adopt. This attitude isn't because Christians have been by and large anti-semitic over the years, the attitude was part of the Jewish psyche back when they were the ones persecuting us.

Anti-semitism is inexcusable, as is any sort of shedding blood over other matters of heresy, but above all Orthodox Christians are people, and as such are prone to sin. It is fallen nature to hate and fear those who are different, and every culture rotates who it hates and fears on a cyclic basis. Just an example: in post-Hastings England a Saxon was worse than a Jew in the eyes of the Norman, a century or two later Jews topped the list, a century or two after that it was Afghans or some other form of brown person who didn't know their place in the Empire. And at all times in the UK better Jewish than Irish.

In Russia Jews might be reviled at one period, or the Polish, or Germans, or the French, all depending on prevailing sympathies at the time. We tend to hear more about anti-semitism for one reason- Jews have a very long memory, and a religious habit of sitting around at least once a year and reciting all the wrongs that have been done to them.
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« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2011, 01:35:34 AM »

I'm sorry, people. This thread has kind of been in overeaction. Thanks for your responses. I'll be ok.
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« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2011, 01:40:01 AM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

England is the country where the word "holocaust" is actually first used in it's modern sense! And don't even get me started on France, Spain, and the US. I forget which character it was in Ulysses who said the only reason Ireland didn't have a history of persecuting Jews is because they never let any in the country to begin with (I know that's hyperbole, but still...)

I'm having a hard time believing Christianity, let alone Orthodox Christianity, can really be the true way of God when it is constantly followed by this cancer which seems to be so pervasive in the Christian world even today. I know there are hateful Jews, but it seems like Judaism has been followed by such a specific and pernicious targeting of a single people even though they are probably the most savagely abused group on the planet.

I don't know what to do.
Ultimately, people are sinners. Please don't let Christian sinfulness keep you away from the Church.

Now, I in no way wish to justify wrong actions committed by Christians, but the street goes both ways. Only in our secular (and increasingly anti-Christian) culture has Church ever been portrayed as the great Jewish persecutor. Many events throughout history were responses to things the Jewish community had started. Many times the Christians provoked Jewish actions by committing evil against them first. Both communities have wronged each other and both need to forgive each other.
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« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2011, 02:01:50 AM »

Because you live in Western society and Jews have been the most prominent minority within our society for the last millenia-and-a-half you are most aware of Western anti-semitism. But the fact is that prominent minorities, particularly if those minorities self-consciously attempt to hold to their separate status, always end up persecuted. That's not to excuse the societies in which it happens but to point out that this is not a problem with Christian society, but with human society.
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« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2011, 02:07:13 AM »

I'm sorry, people. This thread has kind of been in overeaction. Thanks for your responses. I'll be ok.

My prayers. God grant you many years.
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« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2011, 02:11:11 AM »

I'm sorry, people. This thread has kind of been in overeaction. Thanks for your responses. I'll be ok.

My prayers. God grant you many years.
Thanks.
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« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2011, 02:28:16 AM »

Ethiopia is certainly an exception to the rule. Ethiopia was a Judaic nation before it converted to Christianity, and there is no inherent anti-semitism in Ethiopia.


Selam
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_Israel#1627_-_the_mid-19th_century
Quote
During the reign of Emperor Yeshaq (1414–1429) who invaded the Jewish kingdom, annexed it and began to exert religious pressure. Yeshaq divided the occupied territories of the Jewish kingdom into three provinces which were controlled by commissioners appointed by him. He reduced the Jews' social status below that of Christians[73] and forced the Jews to convert or lose their land. It would be given away as rist, a type of land qualification that rendered it forever inheritable by the recipient and not transferable by the Emperor. Yeshaq decreed, "He who is baptized in the Christian religion may inherit the land of his father, otherwise let him be a Falāsī." This may have been the origin for the term "Falasha" (falāšā, "wanderer," or "landless person").

Quote
Later on the forces of the Ethiopian emperor invaded the kingdom in the region of Begemder and massacred many of the Jews in that region throughout a period of seven years. The Christian armies were exceptionally merciless. The Emperor Yacob Zara (reigned 1434–1468) even proudly added the title "Exterminator of the Jews" to his name. Although the area of the kingdom became significantly smaller afterwards, the Jews were able to restore their mountain kingdom eventually



Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity retains may Judaic elements, and Ethiopia is the only truly Judaic Christian nation in the world (in the sense that Ethiopia made the natural transition from Judaism to Christianity). Certainly, Ethiopian history contains unfortunate records of anti-semitic actions and policies, but today Ethiopia enjoys a healthy relationship with Israel and demonstrates a comparatively more postive view of Israel than most other Orthodox communities.


Selam

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« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2011, 05:31:07 AM »

Selam to you all  Smiley
dear Volnutt, I am sorry that human history is riddled with human evil done even in the name of good, however christianity as the Savior thought it is never a religion of hate.

as to Ethiopia having an anti semetic hate I think we need to clarify what we mean, although some sorces seem to distort it to fit thier end in thier atempt to rewrite history by modern standards. so here is my two cents for all that it is worth, i will leave the remaining research of History for those concerned to get a balanced information not only from wiki written by biased sources who are writting to fit their agenda and to give credit for thier cause.I am going to dwell on the meaning of the term anti Semite throughout as it is relevant to what we mean when we say it , and what it was ment when it was used to commit atrocities against humans of jewish ancestry.

Anti Semitism as I understand it to mean is a hate against a persons of judaistic ancestry, it is a racial hate.  Under this definition A Jew can be a Christian or a Muslim or practicing Judaism, he or she will be the victim of anti Semitism because of the racial nature of the hate. As we have seen in the holocaust the extermination is based on race. To those who were anti Semites The fact that many Jews practiced Judaism was a secondary factor. In Ethiopia no such racial hate against Jews have ever existed. In fact those who were ruling power took great pride of their Jewish ancestry and saw it as the legitimate source of their authority to rule. However there is intense dislike for the judaistic religion practiced by those who remained unconverted by the Christian movement in Ethiopia.  In Ethiopian history The increasing social and political religious tension between Ethiopians who practiced Judaism and Christianity eventually culminated in an all out war that resulted in the toppling of the great Christian Dynasty of Axum by a Judaism practicing woman named Judith ‘yodit’ or as she is mostly known in the Christian highlands as Judith the horrible, Judith the fire for her burning everything she wanted to destroy including people. She remains the most known and glorified legend woman in Ethiopian history for her brutality, and extermination of the Christian ruling family and the Christians and their church and monasteries. Many Ethiopian ancient manuscripts and churches are said to have been destroyed by her under her unchallenged 40 year rule. Until the Christian Zagewe dynasty took over power from her. After that the bête Israel retreated into the remote countries of the land and continued to live isolated lives in the middle of an overwhelming Christian majority. Unfortunately there were attempt by kings (who claimed proudly to being the eradicators of Jews i.e. Ethiopians who still practiced Judaism) who see them as potential threats still  some of the royal family were known to be practitioners of Judaism still to convert them into Christianity by demanding they abide by the religion of the land.  Those that converted became part of the general society with no racial stigma as this was not a racial issue for the Ethiopians. When the forced conversion did not fully  work, they were left alone but the religion they practiced continued to be seen as one that openly rejects the Christ and God’s will for mankind. The same holds true for Islam in Ethiopia, there was a time that after the constant invasion of the Muslims , those Ethiopians who practiced Islam were seen as  tools of the enemy force and they  were by royal edict forced to renounce their religion for the state religion of Christianity. This of course did not work, as the emperor died soon after his short lived campaign of re-Christianizing Ethiopia by the hand of his enemies the Muslim invaders. The bête Israel who remained isolated freely practiced their religion in their respective community once seen as powerless to be of any eminent political threat. Since social acceptance of their religion or way of life is nearly nonexistent they lived and functioned in isolation. Anti Semitism as it is now portrayed as a racial discrimination is definitely nonexistent, in Ethiopia unless we can say the Christian Jews of Ethiopia hated their Jewish ancestry and their Judeo-Christian culture and attempted to exterminate themselves. We all know that the bête Israel of Ethiopia are under a lot of political and social even religious persecution, in Israel. There is even a racial persecution that goes on, to the point of rejecting the blood donations of the Ethiopian Jews. what names can we then give such persecution? Anti -Semitism, committed by the Semitics themselves? No, there is more to the story than that. By the same token in the case of Ethiopia the sad unfavorable conditions of the bête Israel faced is not a racial extermination or hate, rather it is a religious and sociopolitical hostility that went on as most imperfect human history indicates in this world. To conclude , for Ethiopians their judaistic ancestry is a secred ancestry, however that does not mean those Ethiopians who practiced Judaesim had it easy in this land of judeo Christian heritage. Those two religions and the followers have been hostile to one another in one form or another. But at no point in their history were the Ethiopians anti Semites that’s just distorting the meaning of the term. Even today when Ethiopians speak of the Jews of at the time of Christ, they speak in terms of what they believe they know the difference between the apostles who were Jews and those who persecute them who were also Jews. They refer to the converts as Christians and to the non converted as Jews who still practice Judaism (ayihud) as the Jews who were persecuting the Christians were not practicing anti Semitism rather a religious persecution, the hostility and in some cases the persecution of Ethiopians who practiced Judaism by the Christian kings was also a religious and political persecution never a racial one. So if anti Semitism means anti practicing of Judaism religion then yes it has existed and still dose among some, but if it means a racial hate of judaistic ancestry then nothing can be further from the truth, as all the imperial titles of the Christian Ethiopian kings would indicate for those who would quickly refer to history from the right sources.

selam
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« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2011, 06:11:11 AM »

Selam to you all  Smiley
dear Volnutt, I am sorry that human history is riddled with human evil done even in the name of good, however christianity as the Savior thought it is never a religion of hate.

as to Ethiopia having an anti semetic hate I think we need to clarify what we mean, although some sorces seem to distort it to fit thier end in thier atempt to rewrite history by modern standards. so here is my two cents for all that it is worth, i will leave the remaining research of History for those concerned to get a balanced information not only from wiki written by biased sources who are writting to fit their agenda and to give credit for thier cause.I am going to dwell on the meaning of the term anti Semite throughout as it is relevant to what we mean when we say it , and what it was ment when it was used to commit atrocities against humans of jewish ancestry.

Anti Semitism as I understand it to mean is a hate against a persons of judaistic ancestry, it is a racial hate.  Under this definition A Jew can be a Christian or a Muslim or practicing Judaism, he or she will be the victim of anti Semitism because of the racial nature of the hate. As we have seen in the holocaust the extermination is based on race. To those who were anti Semites The fact that many Jews practiced Judaism was a secondary factor. In Ethiopia no such racial hate against Jews have ever existed. In fact those who were ruling power took great pride of their Jewish ancestry and saw it as the legitimate source of their authority to rule. However there is intense dislike for the judaistic religion practiced by those who remained unconverted by the Christian movement in Ethiopia.  In Ethiopian history The increasing social and political religious tension between Ethiopians who practiced Judaism and Christianity eventually culminated in an all out war that resulted in the toppling of the great Christian Dynasty of Axum by a Judaism practicing woman named Judith ‘yodit’ or as she is mostly known in the Christian highlands as Judith the horrible, Judith the fire for her burning everything she wanted to destroy including people. She remains the most known and glorified legend woman in Ethiopian history for her brutality, and extermination of the Christian ruling family and the Christians and their church and monasteries. Many Ethiopian ancient manuscripts and churches are said to have been destroyed by her under her unchallenged 40 year rule. Until the Christian Zagewe dynasty took over power from her. After that the bête Israel retreated into the remote countries of the land and continued to live isolated lives in the middle of an overwhelming Christian majority. Unfortunately there were attempt by kings (who claimed proudly to being the eradicators of Jews i.e. Ethiopians who still practiced Judaism) who see them as potential threats still  some of the royal family were known to be practitioners of Judaism still to convert them into Christianity by demanding they abide by the religion of the land.  Those that converted became part of the general society with no racial stigma as this was not a racial issue for the Ethiopians. When the forced conversion did not fully  work, they were left alone but the religion they practiced continued to be seen as one that openly rejects the Christ and God’s will for mankind. The same holds true for Islam in Ethiopia, there was a time that after the constant invasion of the Muslims , those Ethiopians who practiced Islam were seen as  tools of the enemy force and they  were by royal edict forced to renounce their religion for the state religion of Christianity. This of course did not work, as the emperor died soon after his short lived campaign of re-Christianizing Ethiopia by the hand of his enemies the Muslim invaders. The bête Israel who remained isolated freely practiced their religion in their respective community once seen as powerless to be of any eminent political threat. Since social acceptance of their religion or way of life is nearly nonexistent they lived and functioned in isolation. Anti Semitism as it is now portrayed as a racial discrimination is definitely nonexistent, in Ethiopia unless we can say the Christian Jews of Ethiopia hated their Jewish ancestry and their Judeo-Christian culture and attempted to exterminate themselves. We all know that the bête Israel of Ethiopia are under a lot of political and social even religious persecution, in Israel. There is even a racial persecution that goes on, to the point of rejecting the blood donations of the Ethiopian Jews. what names can we then give such persecution? Anti -Semitism, committed by the Semitics themselves? No, there is more to the story than that. By the same token in the case of Ethiopia the sad unfavorable conditions of the bête Israel faced is not a racial extermination or hate, rather it is a religious and sociopolitical hostility that went on as most imperfect human history indicates in this world. To conclude , for Ethiopians their judaistic ancestry is a secred ancestry, however that does not mean those Ethiopians who practiced Judaesim had it easy in this land of judeo Christian heritage. Those two religions and the followers have been hostile to one another in one form or another. But at no point in their history were the Ethiopians anti Semites that’s just distorting the meaning of the term. Even today when Ethiopians speak of the Jews of at the time of Christ, they speak in terms of what they believe they know the difference between the apostles who were Jews and those who persecute them who were also Jews. They refer to the converts as Christians and to the non converted as Jews who still practice Judaism (ayihud) as the Jews who were persecuting the Christians were not practicing anti Semitism rather a religious persecution, the hostility and in some cases the persecution of Ethiopians who practiced Judaism by the Christian kings was also a religious and political persecution never a racial one. So if anti Semitism means anti practicing of Judaism religion then yes it has existed and still dose among some, but if it means a racial hate of judaistic ancestry then nothing can be further from the truth, as all the imperial titles of the Christian Ethiopian kings would indicate for those who would quickly refer to history from the right sources.

selam


Thank you Hiwot!


Selam
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« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2011, 09:46:28 AM »

Volnutt,

I recomend you read René Girard, a very good philosopher on the origins of violence in culture and society and who examines deeply the issue of violence in Christianity.

Check these books:

The Scapegoat
http://www.amazon.com/Scapegoat-Ren%C3%A9-Girard/dp/0801839173/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_6

I See Satan Fall Like Lightning
http://www.amazon.com/See-Satan-Fall-Like-Lightning/dp/1570753199/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_8

Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World
http://www.amazon.com/Things-Hidden-Since-Foundation-World/dp/0804722153/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_c

Basically, according to Girard finding scapegoats to be innocent sacrificial victims to appease psychological-social unrrest - under the self-deceit of appeasing gods or fighting for ideals - is a common human trait in all cultures. Societies only find order after and because of the sacrifice of an innocent. All myths and even modern narratives, though, take the point of view of the angry mob and describe the sacrifice as something justified. Edipus must be blinded. Uranus should be exiled. The Jews must die. Americans must die. Muslims must die.  All with "good" reasoning.

The biblical narrative though is completely different from such narratives even if taken only in its literary value. Look at Abel, Joseph, Job, John Baptist, Christ, Stephen and even later martyrs. The Bible and the Church stubbornily refuse to accept the accusations of the mob. In other society the consensus around the need to kill the "scapegoat" dominates the "history" of the event. Not with the Bible. It records that Abel is inocent. Joseph is inocent. Job resists with all his inner strength the accusatory slander of his own friends until God Himself appears to prove he is innoncent. John was the greatest of the sons of man. Jesus is the Lamb of God, inocent blood. Stephen throws at the face of Synedrium that they were in the "tradition" of the angry mob, murderers of inocent prophets. The Bible does not allow the demonization of the victims while all the other religions actually adopt and sanctify these narratives.

He notices that the judgment of Socrates is one of the few events in classic antiquity where a non-Christian source goes out of its way to show that the victim is inocent despite de collective consensus over his guilt and it is, therefore, a fitting precursor for Christianity.
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« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2011, 10:38:57 AM »

It's fallen human nature. People kill other people, using any difference (religious, ethnic, and political differences seem pretty popular) as an excuse, and when they can't find one, they make one up. It's what people do in this fallen world. All of fallen human nature is the same. No one is innocent. No one.

It's probably not the answer you're looking for or the one you want to hear, but it's the truth. Forsaking Christ isn't going to change anything for the better. If anything, dwelling on this could possibly cause you to harbor anger and resentment, which isn't positive at all. What's even worse is to entirely forsake Christ over something which the entire human race is guilty of, as if that is going to somehow make you less implicated in that which the entire (even the Jews have done it to others) human race is guilty of.

We live in a sinful world. There is no way around it. The only way to overcome this sinful world is through Christ.
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« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2011, 12:05:20 PM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

England is the country where the word "holocaust" is actually first used in it's modern sense! And don't even get me started on France, Spain, and the US. I forget which character it was in Ulysses who said the only reason Ireland didn't have a history of persecuting Jews is because they never let any in the country to begin with (I know that's hyperbole, but still...)

I'm having a hard time believing Christianity, let alone Orthodox Christianity, can really be the true way of God when it is constantly followed by this cancer which seems to be so pervasive in the Christian world even today. I know there are hateful Jews, but it seems like Judaism has been followed by such a specific and pernicious targeting of a single people even though they are probably the most savagely abused group on the planet.

I don't know what to do.
You seem to think that this is exclusive of Christian societies, which is absolutely false. Look at the the atheistic communist regime that has killed more people than an religious society in all of history. Look at all of the unborn that have been killed by a post-christian secular society. Look at all of the people slaughtered by muslims. Look at all of the people killed by pagan Rome,etc. You see, it is not Christianity that is the cause of hatred but our fallen human nature. It is a thing common to all human societies.
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« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2011, 12:05:20 PM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

England is the country where the word "holocaust" is actually first used in it's modern sense! And don't even get me started on France, Spain, and the US. I forget which character it was in Ulysses who said the only reason Ireland didn't have a history of persecuting Jews is because they never let any in the country to begin with (I know that's hyperbole, but still...)

I'm having a hard time believing Christianity, let alone Orthodox Christianity, can really be the true way of God when it is constantly followed by this cancer which seems to be so pervasive in the Christian world even today. I know there are hateful Jews, but it seems like Judaism has been followed by such a specific and pernicious targeting of a single people even though they are probably the most savagely abused group on the planet.

I don't know what to do.
read the history of non-Christian societies, and compare Christendom to them, not to the idealized utopia you have constructed in your mind, a utopia uninhabited by real people.
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« Reply #31 on: September 23, 2011, 01:41:57 PM »

Volnutt,

I recomend you read René Girard, a very good philosopher on the origins of violence in culture and society and who examines deeply the issue of violence in Christianity.

Only one Girard reference a week. I already dropped his name this week. //:=)
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« Reply #32 on: September 23, 2011, 01:47:49 PM »

Wow,

Papist and Isa finally agree and both are wrong.

How does this address the question in any meaningful way? Oh THEY are worse!

And was he suggesting a migration to the Early Roman Republic?

Bottom line. Most "Christians" ain't. And Orthodox countries have loved killing and torturing Jews for a long time, Hitler was just better at it or more efficient.

Vollnut hang in there. Don't other people, even if it is the majority of Christians especially Orthodox define what Christianity or Orthodoxy is, if we do, then we MUST concede your point.

Stick close to Gospels. Not so much to history.

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« Reply #33 on: September 23, 2011, 01:48:55 PM »

Ethiopia is certainly an exception to the rule. Ethiopia was a Judaic nation before it converted to Christianity, and there is no inherent anti-semitism in Ethiopia.


Selam

I am so glad this triumphalism was corrected quickly in this thread.
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« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2011, 01:56:23 PM »

I do agree; let's not justify the hate that surely existed (although probably not in everyone at that time, as stories will help back that up). Christ is more than that. We are a fallen, very fallible people. Secular humanism and education has shown the world that in some ways, we can be better people. But the story of Jesus Christ completes the picture. I really can't think of anything else that does.

Loving in the purest form that we are called to hates nothing except for evil.

And Aaron, Protestantism wasn't always "Jewish-friendly," like you're thinking of the Zionists dwelling in Evangelical churches now. When I went to the Holocaust Memorial Museum, it stood out to me that they really mentioned Luther when talking about anti-Semitism in Christianity. I also think there was a mention of the Catholics, but nothing about Orthodoxy. Not that it excuses ANYONE on those three denominations for evil behavior, but I just wanted to add a comment on that.
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« Reply #35 on: September 23, 2011, 02:45:29 PM »

Which countries today are anti-Semitic, besides the Arabic/Islamic countries?
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« Reply #36 on: September 23, 2011, 02:57:56 PM »

This thread like all is getting off the OP. It wasn't anti-semetism per se.

Read the subject line.

Does Christianity spread hate?

Yes

Do Christians spread hate?

Yes

You can parse what Christian/ity is to a point where you can deny the above by begging the question or no True Scotsman, but anyone with a bit of sense would say yes.

But for Volnutt and certainly for the rest of us the question is what would Christ have us to be?

As said, Volnutt has come to terms with this for a moment regarding this question.

But any "Christian" who doesn't without qualification answer to the questions put forth by the subject line with yes is in delusion and probably not able to effectively deal with folks who Christianity and Christians have harmed.

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« Reply #37 on: September 23, 2011, 03:06:21 PM »

I honestly don't know how to respond to your post.  What you say is true.  There are many things within Christendom, Orthodoxy in particular, that I find unsettling, not just the anti-semitism.  I will not attempt to justify it.  And not to belittle what you are experiencing right now, it is certainly real and powerful, but don't allow your emotions to take over, to control you.  It is completely normal to experience doubt and times of dryness, especially in this age, and especially considering that your concern is valid.  It is in these times that Our Lord waits patiently for us to call out to Him in prayer.  No one here, save God, can quell these thoughts and feelings.  I am confident that if you call out to Him, not seeking earthly knowledge, but Knowledge from above, the Lord will satisfy the sincere desire of your heart.  In my own personal experience, it requires excruciating patience.   
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« Reply #38 on: September 23, 2011, 03:25:34 PM »

No the Church does not spread hate. That's just sheer pseudo-intellectual cynism.

The "hate" being talked about here is the persecution of the "other", however this "other" is identified.

This kind of persecution exists in all human groups. Including in the groups formed by these "others" against those they themselves regard as "others".

Therefore it is a human trait, not a Church trait. It is a human trait that happens through the Christian humans because they are humans, not because they are Christians.

Just like goodness, character and other virtues are not properly Christian but human potentials. What the Church does is that which no other human groups do: produce saints. Not everybody in the Church is a saint, but only in her saints occur.

It's like pointing out how many of the geniuses of the past had very low vices and then try to say they were not that great. It's just envy speaking there. The fact that they had so many vices just makes it more wonderful they have produced their great works, since millions with the same vices are unable to do anything similar. Likewise with the Church. Since men in her are so like every other men, it is even more miraculous that despite that, we still have people like the saints.
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« Reply #39 on: September 23, 2011, 03:27:38 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Ethiopia is certainly an exception to the rule. Ethiopia was a Judaic nation before it converted to Christianity, and there is no inherent anti-semitism in Ethiopia.


Selam

Ahem, what?  I beg to differ on that analysis Wink


stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #40 on: September 23, 2011, 03:40:41 PM »

By the way, St. Paul said he was willing to loose Christ if that would help save the Jews. And so did Moses.
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« Reply #41 on: September 23, 2011, 03:43:06 PM »


If one thinks back.....to about.....oh Cain and Abel.....It seems fallen humanity has always persecuted each other out of jealousy, pride, ego, etc.

Please, don't fool yourself into thinking this is strictly a Christian phenomenon. 

Also, don't get hung up too much on Jewish persecution or the Holocaust (which WAS tragic) but, wasn't the only genocide the world has seen.

Mankind can be cruel, and often is.

Christianity teaches love, peace and being non-judgmental.  Whether you want to hear it or not, it truly is not the Church at fault, but, her fallen followers.
The Church does not condone persecution or killing.

The Church battles to save souls, not to condemn them.

Don't worry too much about it.  God will sort it all out in the end.
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« Reply #42 on: September 23, 2011, 03:49:31 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

If one thinks back.....to about.....oh Cain and Abel.....It seems fallen humanity has always persecuted each other out of jealousy, pride, ego, etc.

Please, don't fool yourself into thinking this is strictly a Christian phenomenon. 

Also, don't get hung up too much on Jewish persecution or the Holocaust (which WAS tragic) but, wasn't the only genocide the world has seen.

Mankind can be cruel, and often is.

Christianity teaches love, peace and being non-judgmental.  Whether you want to hear it or not, it truly is not the Church at fault, but, her fallen followers.
The Church does not condone persecution or killing.

The Church battles to save souls, not to condemn them.

Don't worry too much about it.  God will sort it all out in the end.

Amen Amen.

5 Million non-Jews including many Catholic/Orthodox Poles and Russians were murdered alongside those 6 million Jews, and nearly 20 million Russians died in the War, so clearly its more complicated than Zionist conspiracies would have us convinced as a "us against the Jews" kind of thing.  In this context, I think your post is absolutely correct.  It has become part of humanity's fallen nature to hate other human beings, be it out of racism, xenophobia, or just spite.  Sometimes this manifests as black against whites, or Christians against Jews, or Somalis against Ethiopians, etc etc.. but it is the same intrinsic hatred that drives these illogical, irreverent ideologies.

It is good for us to be transparent though, and to discuss these matters openly and freely, that our misconceptions and misunderstandings might be resolved through dialogue.  I also feel that we Christians have to do this same thing in regards to Islam, on this forum and in general, there is a lot of backlash, racism, xenophobia, bigotry, and hatred expressed against Islam, and seemingly with impunity that!

Intolerance anywhere against any peoples threatens the harmony and security and mutual respect of ALL humanity, there are no winners in that, just universal loss of human dignity which God implanted in us from Creation. Is God a racist? Doesn't God allow His Sun to rise up each morning on the just and wicked alike? Maybe we should pray to learn by His example..

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #43 on: September 23, 2011, 03:57:04 PM »

This thread like all is getting off the OP. It wasn't anti-semetism per se.

Read the subject line.

Does Christianity spread hate?

Yes

Do Christians spread hate?

Yes

You can parse what Christian/ity is to a point where you can deny the above by begging the question or no True Scotsman, but anyone with a bit of sense would say yes.

But for Volnutt and certainly for the rest of us the question is what would Christ have us to be?

As said, Volnutt has come to terms with this for a moment regarding this question.

But any "Christian" who doesn't without qualification answer to the questions put forth by the subject line with yes is in delusion and probably not able to effectively deal with folks who Christianity and Christians have harmed.



One day, when Muslims become a minority, I fear Christians will be called "inherently Islamophobes" for its reaction and relationship to them.

If we're talking about fifth century Judaism, we are talking about a totally different Judaism than today.  In a post WWII world, it would be hard to find any right-minded Christian to publicly express any anti-Semitism.  In fact, if anything it seems that the Western, Christian majority nations today are the ones protecting Jews, not angry against them.
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« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2011, 05:37:07 PM »

Wow,

Papist and Isa finally agree and both are wrong.

How does this address the question in any meaningful way? Oh THEY are worse!

And was he suggesting a migration to the Early Roman Republic?

Bottom line. Most "Christians" ain't. And Orthodox countries have loved killing and torturing Jews for a long time, Hitler was just better at it or more efficient.

Vollnut hang in there. Don't other people, even if it is the majority of Christians especially Orthodox define what Christianity or Orthodoxy is, if we do, then we MUST concede your point.

Stick close to Gospels. Not so much to history.


My point was not that non-Christian societies are worse than Christian ones. My intended point was to argue that Christianity is not the cause of evils and injustices anymore than other ideologoy. In fact, since such evils and injustices seem to be present in many different kinds of societies, from pagan, to Christian, to atheist, that is not the ideology that causes the injustices, but rather a fallen human nature and inclination to sin.
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« Reply #45 on: September 23, 2011, 05:37:07 PM »

Does democracy spread hate?

Yes.

Do democrats spread hate?

Yes.

Does totalitarianism spread hate?

Yes.

Do totalitarianism spread hate?

Yes.

Hmmmm.  seems we are out of luck.
This thread like all is getting off the OP. It wasn't anti-semetism per se.

Read the subject line.

Does Christianity spread hate?

Yes

Do Christians spread hate?

Yes

You can parse what Christian/ity is to a point where you can deny the above by begging the question or no True Scotsman, but anyone with a bit of sense would say yes.

But for Volnutt and certainly for the rest of us the question is what would Christ have us to be?

As said, Volnutt has come to terms with this for a moment regarding this question.

But any "Christian" who doesn't without qualification answer to the questions put forth by the subject line with yes is in delusion and probably not able to effectively deal with folks who Christianity and Christians have harmed.


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« Reply #46 on: September 23, 2011, 05:37:07 PM »

Please tell me what evils The Church has done. I haven't found a one.
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« Reply #47 on: September 23, 2011, 06:17:34 PM »

Wow,

Papist and Isa finally agree and both are wrong.

How does this address the question in any meaningful way? Oh THEY are worse!

And was he suggesting a migration to the Early Roman Republic?

Bottom line. Most "Christians" ain't. And Orthodox countries have loved killing and torturing Jews for a long time, Hitler was just better at it or more efficient.

Vollnut hang in there. Don't other people, even if it is the majority of Christians especially Orthodox define what Christianity or Orthodoxy is, if we do, then we MUST concede your point.

Stick close to Gospels. Not so much to history.


This is what I did when I was a Protestant. I ignored everything else but the Gospel ideal. I don't think it's a valid approach anymore. If Church history doesn't have a part in defining our Christianity then we're left with the same shallow archeologizing which fuels the continued fractioning of the Protestant churches.

But if Christ is really with us till the end of the age, if the Spirit is really guiding us into all truth- then to me this indicates Christianity should be a force for good. It should make society, not just individuals, objectively better. If this isn't happening, then I have a hard time believing this is the way of God.
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« Reply #48 on: September 23, 2011, 06:22:29 PM »

This thread like all is getting off the OP. It wasn't anti-semetism per se.

Read the subject line.

Does Christianity spread hate?

Yes

Do Christians spread hate?

Yes

You can parse what Christian/ity is to a point where you can deny the above by begging the question or no True Scotsman, but anyone with a bit of sense would say yes.

But for Volnutt and certainly for the rest of us the question is what would Christ have us to be?

As said, Volnutt has come to terms with this for a moment regarding this question.

But any "Christian" who doesn't without qualification answer to the questions put forth by the subject line with yes is in delusion and probably not able to effectively deal with folks who Christianity and Christians have harmed.


Don't blame them. I unduly focused on the Jews because that's what was weighing on my mind yesterday. I can say similar things about Gypsies, indigenous tribes, various heretics...
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« Reply #49 on: September 23, 2011, 06:57:03 PM »

People do wrong things and then escape reprimand by involving religion. Judaism insists that the jewish nation is superior to all, this is both a political and religious claim, and as such it is racist and religionist. Islam teaches the killing and pillaging of all the non-believer (kafirs) until they pay a tribute tax (jizya). CHristianity teaches us to love our enemies and even those that persecute us.
does this mean that all Jewish people are racists and religionists, all Muslims are genocidal barbarians, or all christians forgiving saints?
No is the simple answer, there are some genocidal jews, some saintly  jews, some racist jews, the sam applies to all the three religions mentioned.
it simply means that although some christians are worse than some of the followers of the other religions, christianity in itself is superior. not because it claims superiority but because logical analysis dictates that it is superior as it teaches peace over violence. the acts of individuals do not reflect the ideology of a religion.

God bless
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« Reply #50 on: September 23, 2011, 06:57:38 PM »

Does democracy spread hate?

Yes.

Do democrats spread hate?

Yes.

Does totalitarianism spread hate?

Yes.

Do totalitarianism spread hate?

Yes.

Hmmmm.  seems we are out of luck.
This thread like all is getting off the OP. It wasn't anti-semetism per se.

Read the subject line.

Does Christianity spread hate?

Yes

Do Christians spread hate?

Yes

You can parse what Christian/ity is to a point where you can deny the above by begging the question or no True Scotsman, but anyone with a bit of sense would say yes.

But for Volnutt and certainly for the rest of us the question is what would Christ have us to be?

As said, Volnutt has come to terms with this for a moment regarding this question.

But any "Christian" who doesn't without qualification answer to the questions put forth by the subject line with yes is in delusion and probably not able to effectively deal with folks who Christianity and Christians have harmed.



I love posts with no sematic value.

Thanks.
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« Reply #51 on: September 23, 2011, 06:59:20 PM »

This thread like all is getting off the OP. It wasn't anti-semetism per se.

Read the subject line.

Does Christianity spread hate?

Yes

Do Christians spread hate?

Yes

You can parse what Christian/ity is to a point where you can deny the above by begging the question or no True Scotsman, but anyone with a bit of sense would say yes.

But for Volnutt and certainly for the rest of us the question is what would Christ have us to be?

As said, Volnutt has come to terms with this for a moment regarding this question.

But any "Christian" who doesn't without qualification answer to the questions put forth by the subject line with yes is in delusion and probably not able to effectively deal with folks who Christianity and Christians have harmed.


Don't blame them. I unduly focused on the Jews because that's what was weighing on my mind yesterday. I can say similar things about Gypsies, indigenous tribes, various heretics...

I am praying that Christ will come soon.

Is the world getting worse? Or is the news media more adept in reporting negative news?

Either way, we must not lose faith, hope, and love. Christ said that near the end of time, as His Second Coming nears, that the faith of many will grow cold and that hateful wars and family strife would be everywhere, as it is today. However, we know not the hour nor the day of His Second and Glorious Coming. It could be tomorrow, or it could be in another thousand years. Only God knows.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and save us.

I too had a difficult catechumenate. I am praying for you.
Have you prayed the Paraclesis to the Theotokos (the one prayed during the Fast of the Theotokos)?

This prayer has really helped me gain hope. Also ask your priest for help and for his prayers.



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« Reply #52 on: September 23, 2011, 07:04:45 PM »

This thread like all is getting off the OP. It wasn't anti-semetism per se.

Read the subject line.

Does Christianity spread hate?

Yes

Do Christians spread hate?

Yes

You can parse what Christian/ity is to a point where you can deny the above by begging the question or no True Scotsman, but anyone with a bit of sense would say yes.

But for Volnutt and certainly for the rest of us the question is what would Christ have us to be?

As said, Volnutt has come to terms with this for a moment regarding this question.

But any "Christian" who doesn't without qualification answer to the questions put forth by the subject line with yes is in delusion and probably not able to effectively deal with folks who Christianity and Christians have harmed.


Don't blame them. I unduly focused on the Jews because that's what was weighing on my mind yesterday. I can say similar things about Gypsies, indigenous tribes, various heretics...

I am praying that Christ will come soon.

Is the world getting worse? Or is the news media more adept in reporting negative news?

Either way, we must not lose faith, hope, and love, because Christ said that near the end of time, as His Second Coming nears, that the faith of many will grow cold and that wars and family strife would be everywhere, as it is today. However, we no not the hour nor the day of His Second and Glorious Coming. It could be tomorrow, or it could be in another thousand years. Only God knows.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and save us.

I too had a difficult catechumenate. I am praying for you.
Have you prayed the Paraclesis to the Theotokos (the one prayed during the Fast of the Theotokos)?

This prayer has really helped me gain hope. Also ask your priest for help and his prayers.




I actually don't go to Church right now (I don't want to go into the reasons, sorry). Thank you though. Your advice is good.
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« Reply #53 on: September 23, 2011, 08:24:17 PM »

Ethiopia is certainly an exception to the rule. Ethiopia was a Judaic nation before it converted to Christianity, and there is no inherent anti-semitism in Ethiopia.


Selam

I am so glad this triumphalism was corrected quickly in this thread.


"Ethiopia was a Judaic nation before it converted to Christianity." This is not triumphalism, but simply a fact.

"...there is no inherent anti-semitism in Ethiopia." Please note that I never said there is not any anti-semitism in Ethiopia, but that there is no inherent anti-semitism in Ethiopia. Now, this point may be debatable, depending on how one understands the word "inherent". Sister Hiwot and brother HabteSelassie have provided some valuable information on the subject. Personally, I will defer to Hiwot, since she is Ethiopian and has both historical and experiential knowledge of the issue.


Selam
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« Reply #54 on: September 23, 2011, 10:32:39 PM »

Please tell me what evils The Church has done. I haven't found a one.

Well, if I'm not mistaken, a significant number of monasteries in Russia - at one time - had serfs.  Some might call this an evil.

The truth of the matter is that the Church has, probably, committed a great number of sins and evils.  The Church is not The Church because it refrains from wrongdoing.  The Church is The Church because it is the Bride of Christ.  If a holy man has a wife who cheats someone, does she cease to be his wife?  If a holy man has a wife who robs the holy man's friends, does she cease to be his wife?  The Bride of Christ has sinned, but she repents.  That is the key.
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« Reply #55 on: September 23, 2011, 10:39:30 PM »

Does democracy spread hate?

Yes.

Do democrats spread hate?

Yes.

Does totalitarianism spread hate?

Yes.

Do totalitarianism spread hate?

Yes.

Hmmmm.  seems we are out of luck.
This thread like all is getting off the OP. It wasn't anti-semetism per se.

Read the subject line.

Does Christianity spread hate?

Yes

Do Christians spread hate?

Yes

You can parse what Christian/ity is to a point where you can deny the above by begging the question or no True Scotsman, but anyone with a bit of sense would say yes.

But for Volnutt and certainly for the rest of us the question is what would Christ have us to be?

As said, Volnutt has come to terms with this for a moment regarding this question.

But any "Christian" who doesn't without qualification answer to the questions put forth by the subject line with yes is in delusion and probably not able to effectively deal with folks who Christianity and Christians have harmed.



I love posts with no sematic value.

Thanks.
OK then, name a human institution which hasn't been (mis)used to spread hate.

Of course, you can try to do without human institutions
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #56 on: September 23, 2011, 10:47:13 PM »

Does democracy spread hate?

Yes.

Do democrats spread hate?

Yes.

Does totalitarianism spread hate?

Yes.

Do totalitarianism spread hate?

Yes.

Hmmmm.  seems we are out of luck.
This thread like all is getting off the OP. It wasn't anti-semetism per se.

Read the subject line.

Does Christianity spread hate?

Yes

Do Christians spread hate?

Yes

You can parse what Christian/ity is to a point where you can deny the above by begging the question or no True Scotsman, but anyone with a bit of sense would say yes.

But for Volnutt and certainly for the rest of us the question is what would Christ have us to be?

As said, Volnutt has come to terms with this for a moment regarding this question.

But any "Christian" who doesn't without qualification answer to the questions put forth by the subject line with yes is in delusion and probably not able to effectively deal with folks who Christianity and Christians have harmed.



I love posts with no sematic value.

Thanks.
OK then, name a human institution which hasn't been (mis)used to spread hate.

Of course, you can try to do without human institutions


That wasn't my point, that Christianity somehow cornered that market on hate, but to deny or even offer it up with apology isn't very helpful to those who have been hurt by it or those who are distanced due to it.

Agree. It's true.

And to the measure of which "society" is worse is anti-Christian as it reduces everything to some hedonic calculus.

I'm just saying to Volnutt, you are right and . . .



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« Reply #57 on: September 23, 2011, 11:10:01 PM »

In my own experience it isn't useful to think in terms of large group behavior. Christians did this, Jews did that, Ethiopians did neither.

The Orthodox version of Christianity is extraordinarily powerful in terms of re-shaping you spiritually. Throwing yourself into it will be a full time job. Don't worry about anyone else's faults or errors. It's a distraction.

If someone is hateful they are not being a Christian or at least have stumbled a bit. The Church is a Spiritual Hospital, don't be too shocked when you run across people who need help. It's an opportunity for repentance for them and forgiveness for you. All things can work for the good. 
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« Reply #58 on: September 23, 2011, 11:13:28 PM »

Yes. Luke 14:26.
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« Reply #59 on: September 24, 2011, 01:03:15 AM »

Wow,

Papist and Isa finally agree and both are wrong.

How does this address the question in any meaningful way? Oh THEY are worse!

And was he suggesting a migration to the Early Roman Republic?

Bottom line. Most "Christians" ain't. And Orthodox countries have loved killing and torturing Jews for a long time, Hitler was just better at it or more efficient.

Vollnut hang in there. Don't other people, even if it is the majority of Christians especially Orthodox define what Christianity or Orthodoxy is, if we do, then we MUST concede your point.

Stick close to Gospels. Not so much to history.


This is what I did when I was a Protestant. I ignored everything else but the Gospel ideal. I don't think it's a valid approach anymore. If Church history doesn't have a part in defining our Christianity then we're left with the same shallow archeologizing which fuels the continued fractioning of the Protestant churches.

But if Christ is really with us till the end of the age, if the Spirit is really guiding us into all truth- then to me this indicates Christianity should be a force for good. It should make society, not just individuals, objectively better. If this isn't happening, then I have a hard time believing this is the way of God.

You have to be more specific.  Which part of history are you talking about?  And which churches?  Was there an endorsement?  Was there a patriarchal support of persecutions?  Things like that need to be answered before one can address the issue.  Is it honestly at every single point in time Orthodoxy has always practiced (I use my words carefully, because I understand the whole "follow the gospel" message isn't clicking) anti-Semitism?
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« Reply #60 on: September 24, 2011, 03:18:36 AM »

Russia, Romania, Serbia, Greece, Poland, Ukraine, talk to any Jew from these areas-it's endemic. I really don't think it would be if thses countries weren't Orthodox.

I'm sure similar things apply to Gypsies.
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« Reply #61 on: September 24, 2011, 03:21:27 AM »

Did you know that many people in Greece and even the monks on Mt. Athos were involved in rescuing and saving the Jews during WWII?

Many Jewish musicians play at Greek Orthodox weddings and vice versa.

Have you noticed how Jewish and Greek dances are similar?
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« Reply #62 on: September 24, 2011, 03:33:30 AM »

Did you know that many people in Greece and even the monks on Mt. Athos were involved in rescuing and saving the Jews during WWII?
Yes, thankfully there are good people in these societies. I wish Met. Antony Khrapovitsky was a saint for the same reasons.

But what about your average man on the street? I've heard too many anecdotes to the contrary. Just ask Marc here.
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« Reply #63 on: September 24, 2011, 09:36:18 AM »

Russia, Romania, Serbia, Greece, Poland, Ukraine, talk to any Jew from these areas-it's endemic. I really don't think it would be if thses countries weren't Orthodox.

I'm sure similar things apply to Gypsies.

And this is all present?
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« Reply #64 on: September 24, 2011, 09:38:17 AM »

I'm the first person to bitch and moan about the Greeks, but I've never detected a strain of anti-Semitism amongst them. They are more likely to be vehemently anti-American.

You may be painting with a broader brush than is necessary, my friend.
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« Reply #65 on: September 24, 2011, 09:53:08 AM »

Noah was ante-Semitic.
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« Reply #66 on: September 24, 2011, 10:08:11 AM »

Did you know that many people in Greece and even the monks on Mt. Athos were involved in rescuing and saving the Jews during WWII?
Yes, thankfully there are good people in these societies. I wish Met. Antony Khrapovitsky was a saint for the same reasons.

But what about your average man on the street? I've heard too many anecdotes to the contrary. Just ask Marc here.

But Protestants in the USA also have a history of Antisemitism and they have a totally different Theology in most cases. I have met Socialist-Atheists who were vehemently Anti-Semitic. The reasons run deep and are complicated. And yes, Christianity in it's accusation of Decide ( God Killing) is certainly one of the streams that feeds this.

So what? Here is a Taoist maxim. "The bigger the  Front the Bigger the Back"

In other words, if something  is True the more you will also notice falsity just an inch away from it. In Christian terms, the more you experience Gods' ultimate Truth the more push back you will get from the Evil One.

I have a Reader friend at Church. He discusses with me how when he was an Evangelical he was very bigoted and Anti-Semitic. Now that he is Orthodox he has grown out of it, by in large. It helps him to talk to me about it sometimes.

I would suggest dealing with one person at a time and not try to extrapolate errors further.
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« Reply #67 on: September 24, 2011, 10:45:24 AM »

Did you know that many people in Greece and even the monks on Mt. Athos were involved in rescuing and saving the Jews during WWII?
Yes, thankfully there are good people in these societies. I wish Met. Antony Khrapovitsky was a saint for the same reasons.

But what about your average man on the street? I've heard too many anecdotes to the contrary. Just ask Marc here.

But Protestants in the USA also have a history of Antisemitism and they have a totally different Theology in most cases. I have met Socialist-Atheists who were vehemently Anti-Semitic. The reasons run deep and are complicated. And yes, Christianity in it's accusation of Decide ( God Killing) is certainly one of the streams that feeds this.

So what? Here is a Taoist maxim. "The bigger the  Front the Bigger the Back"

In other words, if something  is True the more you will also notice falsity just an inch away from it. In Christian terms, the more you experience Gods' ultimate Truth the more push back you will get from the Evil One.

I have a Reader friend at Church. He discusses with me how when he was an Evangelical he was very bigoted and Anti-Semitic. Now that he is Orthodox he has grown out of it, by in large. It helps him to talk to me about it sometimes.

I would suggest dealing with one person at a time and not try to extrapolate errors further.


I'd also suggest that if one looks at Church history, one finds that monasticism really grew strong when a small Christian population got fed up with the majority Christian population around them with their hypocrisies.  Honestly, once Christianity becomes a majority and a rule of law in a cultural society, history teaches that it loses the actual Christian essence of true Christian living.

It's not just anti-semitism, it's frankly just a lesson of forgetting who you are.

If you read the Old Testament, this was a story of God's people, but most of the time, God's people were not acting like God's people.  Doesn't mean there's no truth there.  It simply means that the true people forget themselves.

And this goes for other religions as well, although I would argue Islam even as a minority religion had its warrior instincts from the very beginning.

"Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matt. 7:13-14

It's interesting Christ even prophecies right here His own followers will not be perfect, no matter how much He encourages and teaches them.
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« Reply #68 on: September 24, 2011, 11:54:33 AM »

The topic of Christians and Jews is a difficult one.  There has always been tension between the two groups.  I recall watching a documentary series hosted by Abba Eban that was very informative.  He laid the blame for anti-semitism on both groups.

Part of the problem with being a practicing Jew is that it forbids common interactions with Gentiles.  In fact, Judaism has even pronounced solemn curses against Christians:

"For apostates who have rejected Your Torah let there be no hope, and may the Nazarenes and heretics perish in an instant. Let all the enemies of Your people, the House of Israel, be speedily cut down; and may You swiftly uproot, shatter, destroy, subdue, and humiliate the kingdom of arrogance, speedily in our days! Blessed are You, O Lord, who shatters His enemies and humbles the arrogant."
http://www.answers.com/topic/birkat-ha-minim

Rabbi Ramak (d. 1570) documented that Jews were, as part of their morning prayers, to bless God with, "Blessed art Thou, Lord of the Universe, that Thou hast not made me a Gentile."  The strictest of Jews will not even greet a gentile on the street (side note: I was in the Jewelry District in LA a few years back, and was surprised how many of the Hassidim smiled and nodded to me as an Orthodox clergyman.  I returned their salutes with 'Shalom' and got big grins.  Perhaps it was the beard...).

Eban acknowledged that Judaism made dealings with Gentiles extremely complicated, and often reliant on non-practicing Jews as intermediaries.  The problem is that non-practicing Jews are going to tell Gentiles what Jews really think of them, and then you are off to the races (literally and figuratively).

Royal houses in Europe also used Jews for their own purposes, since Jews needed protection from the authorities as a minority group, and so feudal lords found ways letting Jews handle the less popular tasks of banking and tax collection.  Jews could easily be blamed and expelled if the lord's policies upset the locals too much.  This also fed the culture of anti-semitism.

In the previous century, however, when Judaism has been attacked (either by Hitler or Stalin), so has the Orthodox Church.  Many Orthodox bishops and clergy opposed Hitler's plots in the Third Reich, and paid dearly.  Stalin's paranoia against the Jews was concurrent with his oppression of the Church.

All that being said, Church leadership was not always properly responsive to anti-semitism.  For example, the Russian Orthodox Church proclaimed official opposition to the 1905 pogrom, but at other times were silent.

It is all very sad.  However, I do not think that you will find in this era any type of anti-semitic policy.  While there are still very hard feelings amongst Middle Eastern Christians regarding Israeli treatment of Palestinian Christians, there is still no talk of eradicating Jews as a people.
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« Reply #69 on: September 24, 2011, 12:01:21 PM »

Did you know that many people in Greece and even the monks on Mt. Athos were involved in rescuing and saving the Jews during WWII?

Many Jewish musicians play at Greek Orthodox weddings and vice versa.

Have you noticed how Jewish and Greek dances are similar?

That's true, I like them both.  Smiley
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« Reply #70 on: September 24, 2011, 09:30:21 PM »

I'm the first person to bitch and moan about the Greeks, but I've never detected a strain of anti-Semitism amongst them. They are more likely to be vehemently anti-American.

You may be painting with a broader brush than is necessary, my friend.
Sorry, I shouldn't have extrapolated like that.
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« Reply #71 on: September 24, 2011, 09:35:16 PM »

Did you know that many people in Greece and even the monks on Mt. Athos were involved in rescuing and saving the Jews during WWII?
Yes, thankfully there are good people in these societies. I wish Met. Antony Khrapovitsky was a saint for the same reasons.

But what about your average man on the street? I've heard too many anecdotes to the contrary. Just ask Marc here.

But Protestants in the USA also have a history of Antisemitism and they have a totally different Theology in most cases. I have met Socialist-Atheists who were vehemently Anti-Semitic. The reasons run deep and are complicated. And yes, Christianity in it's accusation of Decide ( God Killing) is certainly one of the streams that feeds this.

So what? Here is a Taoist maxim. "The bigger the  Front the Bigger the Back"

In other words, if something  is True the more you will also notice falsity just an inch away from it. In Christian terms, the more you experience Gods' ultimate Truth the more push back you will get from the Evil One.

I have a Reader friend at Church. He discusses with me how when he was an Evangelical he was very bigoted and Anti-Semitic. Now that he is Orthodox he has grown out of it, by in large. It helps him to talk to me about it sometimes.

I would suggest dealing with one person at a time and not try to extrapolate errors further.

Yeah, that's probably what I need to do. I'm not sure how though.
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« Reply #72 on: September 24, 2011, 09:39:10 PM »

You make good points, Minas and Father Giryus.

Maybe I should just start a journal for Chcken Little rants like this instead of a thread where people can actually make reasonable points to me, heh...
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« Reply #73 on: September 24, 2011, 09:39:50 PM »

The topic of Christians and Jews is a difficult one.  There has always been tension between the two groups.  I recall watching a documentary series hosted by Abba Eban that was very informative.  He laid the blame for anti-semitism on both groups.

Part of the problem with being a practicing Jew is that it forbids common interactions with Gentiles.  In fact, Judaism has even pronounced solemn curses against Christians:

"For apostates who have rejected Your Torah let there be no hope, and may the Nazarenes and heretics perish in an instant. Let all the enemies of Your people, the House of Israel, be speedily cut down; and may You swiftly uproot, shatter, destroy, subdue, and humiliate the kingdom of arrogance, speedily in our days! Blessed are You, O Lord, who shatters His enemies and humbles the arrogant."
http://www.answers.com/topic/birkat-ha-minim

Rabbi Ramak (d. 1570) documented that Jews were, as part of their morning prayers, to bless God with, "Blessed art Thou, Lord of the Universe, that Thou hast not made me a Gentile."  The strictest of Jews will not even greet a gentile on the street (side note: I was in the Jewelry District in LA a few years back, and was surprised how many of the Hassidim smiled and nodded to me as an Orthodox clergyman.  I returned their salutes with 'Shalom' and got big grins.  Perhaps it was the beard...).

Eban acknowledged that Judaism made dealings with Gentiles extremely complicated, and often reliant on non-practicing Jews as intermediaries.  The problem is that non-practicing Jews are going to tell Gentiles what Jews really think of them, and then you are off to the races (literally and figuratively).

Royal houses in Europe also used Jews for their own purposes, since Jews needed protection from the authorities as a minority group, and so feudal lords found ways letting Jews handle the less popular tasks of banking and tax collection.  Jews could easily be blamed and expelled if the lord's policies upset the locals too much.  This also fed the culture of anti-semitism.

In the previous century, however, when Judaism has been attacked (either by Hitler or Stalin), so has the Orthodox Church.  Many Orthodox bishops and clergy opposed Hitler's plots in the Third Reich, and paid dearly.  Stalin's paranoia against the Jews was concurrent with his oppression of the Church.

All that being said, Church leadership was not always properly responsive to anti-semitism.  For example, the Russian Orthodox Church proclaimed official opposition to the 1905 pogrom, but at other times were silent.

It is all very sad.  However, I do not think that you will find in this era any type of anti-semitic policy.  While there are still very hard feelings amongst Middle Eastern Christians regarding Israeli treatment of Palestinian Christians, there is still no talk of eradicating Jews as a people.


It may make sense since the Sumerians talked about a very close-knit exclusive group of nomads they called "Habiru", which might be where the word "Hebrew" comes from.
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« Reply #74 on: September 24, 2011, 10:08:43 PM »

The Old Testament does make it fairly clear that the Gentiles are full of vile practices, but at the same time there is anotion that one day the Gentiles will repent and worship God.  We see how St. Paul and St. Peter and the rest of the Apostles struggled with this duality of isolation and openness.  Christians to this day are still trying to work through how to be 'in the world but not of the world.'

So, we are just about as hated as Jews.  Of course, we have a ways to go to catch up to the Jewish experience of anti-semitism, but we are definitely on the same track.


It may make sense since the Sumerians talked about a very close-knit exclusive group of nomads they called "Habiru", which might be where the word "Hebrew" comes from.
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« Reply #75 on: September 24, 2011, 10:28:13 PM »

The Old Testament does make it fairly clear that the Gentiles are full of vile practices, but at the same time there is anotion that one day the Gentiles will repent and worship God.  We see how St. Paul and St. Peter and the rest of the Apostles struggled with this duality of isolation and openness.  Christians to this day are still trying to work through how to be 'in the world but not of the world.'

So, we are just about as hated as Jews.  Of course, we have a ways to go to catch up to the Jewish experience of anti-semitism, but we are definitely on the same track.


It may make sense since the Sumerians talked about a very close-knit exclusive group of nomads they called "Habiru", which might be where the word "Hebrew" comes from.

Under Islamic governments in Egypt, the Coptic and Jewish minority seemed to enjoy mutual sympathy with their dhimmitude status, that is until the WWII era.
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« Reply #76 on: September 25, 2011, 12:19:23 AM »

I'm the first person to bitch and moan about the Greeks, but I've never detected a strain of anti-Semitism amongst them. They are more likely to be vehemently anti-American.

You may be painting with a broader brush than is necessary, my friend.
Sorry, I shouldn't have extrapolated like that.

I don't take the least bit of offence. Like I said, I would be the first to bitch and moan.

I just have to be fair on my tribe sometimes (also, I thought you might benefit from my caution to you).
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« Reply #77 on: September 25, 2011, 12:26:47 AM »

I'm the first person to bitch and moan about the Greeks, but I've never detected a strain of anti-Semitism amongst them. They are more likely to be vehemently anti-American.

You may be painting with a broader brush than is necessary, my friend.
Sorry, I shouldn't have extrapolated like that.

I don't take the least bit of offence. Like I said, I would be the first to bitch and moan.

I just have to be fair on my tribe sometimes (also, I thought you might benefit from my caution to you).
Thanks I do.
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« Reply #78 on: September 25, 2011, 01:13:40 AM »

Did you know that many people in Greece and even the monks on Mt. Athos were involved in rescuing and saving the Jews during WWII?

Many Jewish musicians play at Greek Orthodox weddings and vice versa.

In regard to  latter statement, Jewish musicians certainly performed at my brother's wedding.

In regard to the former statement, the pro-Jewish stance of the Church of Greece and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America during WWII seems unambiguous:

Quotes from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/greece/greece.pdf):

"In contrast to many Catholic and Protestant religious leaders in Europe, who either supported the Nazi policy of extermination of the Jews, or did nothing to stop it, Archbishop Damaskenos of Greece formally protested the deportation of the Jews."

"After learning of the deportation of the Thessaloniki Jews in March 1943, Damaskenos sent a letter of protest to the Germans. This letter was composed by the famous Greek poet, Angelos Sikilianos, and was signed by many members of the Athens intelligentsia. Damaskenos included this passage from the Bible,  There is neither Greek nor Jew," emphasizing that, in the Greek Orthodox religion, all people are the same."

"When General Stroop, high SS and police leader for Greece, found out who was behind the letter, he threatened to shoot Damaskenos. The archbishop bravely reminded the German that, "According to the traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church, our prelates are hung and not shot. Please respect our traditions!"

"Damaskenos called Police Chief Evert of Athens to his office and said, "I have spoken to God and my conscience tells me what we must do. The church will issue false baptismal certificates to any Jew who asks for them and you will issue false identification cards." Due to the courageous stance of Archbishop Damaskenos, thousands of Greek Jews were spared."

"The Germans chose March 25, 1944, Greek Independence Day, to deport the Jews of Volos, and any Jews remaining on the Greek mainland. Due to the valiant efforts of Rabbi Pessah, Archbishop Ioakim (honored at Yad Vashem as "Righteous Among Nations"), and the EAM, 74 percent of Volos’ Jews were saved. Of more than 1,000 Jews living in the city in March 1944, only 130 were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau."

"The Jews of Zakynthos share a similar history with the Jews of the Ionian islands, except that all 275 Jews of Zakynthos survived the Holocaust. The courageous actions of Bishop Chrysostomo and Mayor Loukas Carrer in helping those individuals led Yad Vashem to include them in the "Righteous Among the Nations." In 1944 Mayor Carrer was ordered at gunpoint to hand over a list of Jews residing on the island. The list was presented to the Germans by Bishop Chrysostomos containing only two names: Mayor Carrer and Bishop Chrysostomos. The bishop bravely told the Germans, "Here are your Jews. If you choose to deport the Jews of Zakynthos, you must also take me and I will share their fate."

The meaning of all of this is that the hierarchy of the Church of Greece was willing to sacrifice their lives for the lives of the Jews.

It is unfortunate that is is more difficult to document the North and South American Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in this regard due to the trickiness of finding the correct terms for microfilm documentation, but Archbishop and future Patriarch Athenagoras was a proponent for Jewish causes. For example: NY Times, Aug 30, 1944 pg15: "ASK GOVERNMENT TO SUCCOR JEWS" "Rabbis and Greek Churchmen Make Plea to Congress, British Embassy and White House".

The emphasis being that the Orthodox Church that I know and grew up in was not antisemitic.











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« Reply #79 on: September 25, 2011, 01:20:04 AM »

Thanks, Opus. That's good to know.
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« Reply #80 on: September 25, 2011, 10:03:56 AM »

Is Hinduism inherently hateful towards Islam?  Is Taoism inherently hateful towards Buddhism?  Is Islam inherently hateful towards Christians?  Is Lutheranism inherently hateful towards Catholics?  We could go on and on and on, but we must remember that it is people who practice these religions and people do stupid things.  I think you will find in every religion on earth some practitioner who is hateful towards a practitioner of another  religion.  That is just the price we pay for the fall and for our own mortality.
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« Reply #81 on: September 25, 2011, 02:15:53 PM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

England is the country where the word "holocaust" is actually first used in it's modern sense! And don't even get me started on France, Spain, and the US. I forget which character it was in Ulysses who said the only reason Ireland didn't have a history of persecuting Jews is because they never let any in the country to begin with (I know that's hyperbole, but still...)

I'm having a hard time believing Christianity, let alone Orthodox Christianity, can really be the true way of God when it is constantly followed by this cancer which seems to be so pervasive in the Christian world even today. I know there are hateful Jews, but it seems like Judaism has been followed by such a specific and pernicious targeting of a single people even though they are probably the most savagely abused group on the planet.

I don't know what to do.
People often break down and persecute heretics, even in Christian societies.
Sure, but to the this extent, both persecution and general hatred?
Why are there no Cathari, Bogomils, or Paulicians hanging around today, Volnutt? Why does the Nestorian Church have such a small membership compared to 700 years ago?
I'm not saying Christians never killed anybody but Jews. I'm saying the Jews always get the rump end of it in a society where Christianity has taken route, even when other undesirables are tolerated, it seems.

And the same is true for Christians living in Jewish societies be it the Himyarite Kingdom of Arabia, the Khazar khanate, or the modern state of Israel. When you look only at anti-semitism as some golden criterion, things degenerate into very warped understandings. Instead, look at the broader picture. There have been no perfectly Christian societies just as there have been no perfectly Christian people. Even the saints admit that they are the worst of sinners. Instead of judging societies or the Church, why not examine yourself. That's what we're called to do, after all. If we leave Christianity because of some fault we perceive in it, I would argue we were never Christian to begin with, because we never got off our soapbox high horse and humbled ourselves enough to receive the gift of God.
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« Reply #82 on: September 25, 2011, 02:38:40 PM »

Quote
"According to the traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church, our prelates are hung and not shot. Please respect our traditions!"

Nice one, Archbishop.
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« Reply #83 on: September 25, 2011, 04:46:44 PM »

Quote
"According to the traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church, our prelates are hung and not shot. Please respect our traditions!"

Nice one, Archbishop.

*Ahem*

Hanged.
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« Reply #84 on: September 25, 2011, 05:09:43 PM »

Quote
"According to the traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church, our prelates are hung and not shot. Please respect our traditions!"

Nice one, Archbishop.

*Ahem*

Hanged.

Waiting for someone to fall into that.

The hanged / hung distinction is fluid and ever changing.  More and more in print and speech people are using hung.

I still say hanged.

But like hung out with my best- for real- brahs at the bar last night. It was like literally epic.
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« Reply #85 on: September 25, 2011, 05:27:02 PM »

Did you know that many people in Greece and even the monks on Mt. Athos were involved in rescuing and saving the Jews during WWII?

Many Jewish musicians play at Greek Orthodox weddings and vice versa.

In regard to  latter statement, Jewish musicians certainly performed at my brother's wedding.

In regard to the former statement, the pro-Jewish stance of the Church of Greece and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America during WWII seems unambiguous:

Quotes from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/greece/greece.pdf):

"In contrast to many Catholic and Protestant religious leaders in Europe, who either supported the Nazi policy of extermination of the Jews, or did nothing to stop it, Archbishop Damaskenos of Greece formally protested the deportation of the Jews."

"After learning of the deportation of the Thessaloniki Jews in March 1943, Damaskenos sent a letter of protest to the Germans. This letter was composed by the famous Greek poet, Angelos Sikilianos, and was signed by many members of the Athens intelligentsia. Damaskenos included this passage from the Bible,  There is neither Greek nor Jew," emphasizing that, in the Greek Orthodox religion, all people are the same."

"When General Stroop, high SS and police leader for Greece, found out who was behind the letter, he threatened to shoot Damaskenos. The archbishop bravely reminded the German that, "According to the traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church, our prelates are hung and not shot. Please respect our traditions!"

"Damaskenos called Police Chief Evert of Athens to his office and said, "I have spoken to God and my conscience tells me what we must do. The church will issue false baptismal certificates to any Jew who asks for them and you will issue false identification cards." Due to the courageous stance of Archbishop Damaskenos, thousands of Greek Jews were spared."

"The Germans chose March 25, 1944, Greek Independence Day, to deport the Jews of Volos, and any Jews remaining on the Greek mainland. Due to the valiant efforts of Rabbi Pessah, Archbishop Ioakim (honored at Yad Vashem as "Righteous Among Nations"), and the EAM, 74 percent of Volos’ Jews were saved. Of more than 1,000 Jews living in the city in March 1944, only 130 were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau."

"The Jews of Zakynthos share a similar history with the Jews of the Ionian islands, except that all 275 Jews of Zakynthos survived the Holocaust. The courageous actions of Bishop Chrysostomo and Mayor Loukas Carrer in helping those individuals led Yad Vashem to include them in the "Righteous Among the Nations." In 1944 Mayor Carrer was ordered at gunpoint to hand over a list of Jews residing on the island. The list was presented to the Germans by Bishop Chrysostomos containing only two names: Mayor Carrer and Bishop Chrysostomos. The bishop bravely told the Germans, "Here are your Jews. If you choose to deport the Jews of Zakynthos, you must also take me and I will share their fate."

The meaning of all of this is that the hierarchy of the Church of Greece was willing to sacrifice their lives for the lives of the Jews.

It is unfortunate that is is more difficult to document the North and South American Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in this regard due to the trickiness of finding the correct terms for microfilm documentation, but Archbishop and future Patriarch Athenagoras was a proponent for Jewish causes. For example: NY Times, Aug 30, 1944 pg15: "ASK GOVERNMENT TO SUCCOR JEWS" "Rabbis and Greek Churchmen Make Plea to Congress, British Embassy and White House".

The emphasis being that the Orthodox Church that I know and grew up in was not antisemitic.

I also found this:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/greekbishop.html

Quote
VIRTUE AND COURAGE

The Greek Orthodox Church and the Academic World of the Greek People Protest against the Persecution

The letter that was sent by Archbishop Damaskinos to Prime Minister K. Logothetopoulos is a monument of courage, national dignity and respect for human ideals.

This historical document, unique in the annals of occupied Europe, was signed by representatives of the major cultural institutions and organizations on behalf of the Greek people. It required “virtue and courage” to sign such a document in those dark times.

And a wiki article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archbishop_Damaskinos_of_Athens

This is such a unique story of a Metropolitan who also held political power to gain the peace and righteousness of Greek people.  How come this man isn't canonized a saint yet?
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« Reply #86 on: September 25, 2011, 05:34:15 PM »

Quote
"According to the traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church, our prelates are hung and not shot. Please respect our traditions!"

Nice one, Archbishop.

*Ahem*

Hanged.

Waiting for someone to fall into that.

The hanged / hung distinction is fluid and ever changing.  More and more in print and speech people are using hung.

I still say hanged.

But like hung out with my best- for real- brahs at the bar last night. It was like literally epic.

No, it isn't fluid and ever-changing. When speaking of (especially official) executions, it's "hanged."
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« Reply #87 on: September 25, 2011, 06:10:58 PM »

Quote
"According to the traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church, our prelates are hung and not shot. Please respect our traditions!"

Nice one, Archbishop.

*Ahem*

Hanged.

Waiting for someone to fall into that.

The hanged / hung distinction is fluid and ever changing.  More and more in print and speech people are using hung.

I still say hanged.

But like hung out with my best- for real- brahs at the bar last night. It was like literally epic.

No, it isn't fluid and ever-changing. When speaking of (especially official) executions, it's "hanged."

Wanna bet?

I'll put $1000 that in "legitimate" print media hung has grown in acceptance over the last 30 years. Certainly in spoken language. In fact, hanged in spoken American English is the rare case.

You might want to google around, if you don't keep abreast of updated trends in data mined frequency of use of words in the English language by register, age, sex, etc.

Data mining > Your Grammar Book.
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« Reply #88 on: September 25, 2011, 06:16:27 PM »

Waiting for someone to fall into that.

Wanna bet?

I'll put $1000...

You really were waiting, weren't you?
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« Reply #89 on: September 25, 2011, 06:24:09 PM »

Waiting for someone to fall into that.

Wanna bet?

I'll put $1000...

You really were waiting, weren't you?

I got bills to pay!
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« Reply #90 on: September 25, 2011, 07:07:19 PM »

You might want to google around, if you don't keep abreast of updated trends in data mined frequency of use of words in the English language by register, age, sex, etc.

Data mining > Your Grammar Book.

In any case, I don't know how to go about mining data. I'll stick with my dusty old style guide.
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« Reply #91 on: September 25, 2011, 07:35:22 PM »

Please tell me what evils The Church has done. I haven't found a one.

Well, if I'm not mistaken, a significant number of monasteries in Russia - at one time - had serfs.  Some might call this an evil.

The truth of the matter is that the Church has, probably, committed a great number of sins and evils.  The Church is not The Church because it refrains from wrongdoing.  The Church is The Church because it is the Bride of Christ.  If a holy man has a wife who cheats someone, does she cease to be his wife?  If a holy man has a wife who robs the holy man's friends, does she cease to be his wife?  The Bride of Christ has sinned, but she repents.  That is the key.

Well, then there was the Old Believers. The Church killed plenty of them.

A few examples:

The Burning of Archpriest Avvakum and another Old Believer:


Feodosia Morozova after her arrest. She was starved to death.
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« Reply #92 on: September 25, 2011, 07:36:17 PM »

I always use hanged when talking about the style of execution in the past tense, for what it's worth.
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« Reply #93 on: September 25, 2011, 07:41:49 PM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

England is the country where the word "holocaust" is actually first used in it's modern sense! And don't even get me started on France, Spain, and the US. I forget which character it was in Ulysses who said the only reason Ireland didn't have a history of persecuting Jews is because they never let any in the country to begin with (I know that's hyperbole, but still...)

I'm having a hard time believing Christianity, let alone Orthodox Christianity, can really be the true way of God when it is constantly followed by this cancer which seems to be so pervasive in the Christian world even today. I know there are hateful Jews, but it seems like Judaism has been followed by such a specific and pernicious targeting of a single people even though they are probably the most savagely abused group on the planet.

I don't know what to do.
People often break down and persecute heretics, even in Christian societies.
Sure, but to the this extent, both persecution and general hatred?
Why are there no Cathari, Bogomils, or Paulicians hanging around today, Volnutt? Why does the Nestorian Church have such a small membership compared to 700 years ago?
I'm not saying Christians never killed anybody but Jews. I'm saying the Jews always get the rump end of it in a society where Christianity has taken route, even when other undesirables are tolerated, it seems.

And the same is true for Christians living in Jewish societies be it the Himyarite Kingdom of Arabia, the Khazar khanate, or the modern state of Israel. When you look only at anti-semitism as some golden criterion, things degenerate into very warped understandings. Instead, look at the broader picture. There have been no perfectly Christian societies just as there have been no perfectly Christian people. Even the saints admit that they are the worst of sinners. Instead of judging societies or the Church, why not examine yourself. That's what we're called to do, after all. If we leave Christianity because of some fault we perceive in it, I would argue we were never Christian to begin with, because we never got off our soapbox high horse and humbled ourselves enough to receive the gift of God.
You're right. I do need to judge myself. I'm a terrible, hateful little man.
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« Reply #94 on: September 25, 2011, 08:13:58 PM »

You're right. I do need to judge myself. I'm a terrible, hateful little man.

You keep saying stuff like that and I'm gonna come down there and flog you with a wet noodle...

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« Reply #95 on: September 25, 2011, 08:47:23 PM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

England is the country where the word "holocaust" is actually first used in it's modern sense! And don't even get me started on France, Spain, and the US. I forget which character it was in Ulysses who said the only reason Ireland didn't have a history of persecuting Jews is because they never let any in the country to begin with (I know that's hyperbole, but still...)

I'm having a hard time believing Christianity, let alone Orthodox Christianity, can really be the true way of God when it is constantly followed by this cancer which seems to be so pervasive in the Christian world even today. I know there are hateful Jews, but it seems like Judaism has been followed by such a specific and pernicious targeting of a single people even though they are probably the most savagely abused group on the planet.

I don't know what to do.
People often break down and persecute heretics, even in Christian societies.
Sure, but to the this extent, both persecution and general hatred?
Why are there no Cathari, Bogomils, or Paulicians hanging around today, Volnutt? Why does the Nestorian Church have such a small membership compared to 700 years ago?
I'm not saying Christians never killed anybody but Jews. I'm saying the Jews always get the rump end of it in a society where Christianity has taken route, even when other undesirables are tolerated, it seems.

And the same is true for Christians living in Jewish societies be it the Himyarite Kingdom of Arabia, the Khazar khanate, or the modern state of Israel. When you look only at anti-semitism as some golden criterion, things degenerate into very warped understandings. Instead, look at the broader picture. There have been no perfectly Christian societies just as there have been no perfectly Christian people. Even the saints admit that they are the worst of sinners. Instead of judging societies or the Church, why not examine yourself. That's what we're called to do, after all. If we leave Christianity because of some fault we perceive in it, I would argue we were never Christian to begin with, because we never got off our soapbox high horse and humbled ourselves enough to receive the gift of God.
You're right. I do need to judge myself. I'm a terrible, hateful little man.

We all are sinners. Let us pray for each other.
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« Reply #96 on: September 25, 2011, 08:58:40 PM »

Volnutt, this story may interest you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiune_Sugihara

... (interest, as opposed to solve all your problems) ...
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« Reply #97 on: September 25, 2011, 10:06:54 PM »

Volnutt, this story may interest you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiune_Sugihara

... (interest, as opposed to solve all your problems) ...
I love Sugihara. Another person I wish was a saint. Thanks.  Smiley

I would have written a paper on him for school but there's only like two English sources.

I also knew about Abp. Damaskinos, et al. already. It's just I'm such a pessimist I tend to give the bad more weight than the good, I suppose.
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« Reply #98 on: September 25, 2011, 10:09:41 PM »

You're right. I do need to judge myself. I'm a terrible, hateful little man.

You keep saying stuff like that and I'm gonna come down there and flog you with a wet noodle...


laugh
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« Reply #99 on: September 25, 2011, 11:03:04 PM »

Volnutt, this story may interest you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiune_Sugihara

... (interest, as opposed to solve all your problems) ...
I love Sugihara. Another person I wish was a saint. Thanks.  Smiley

I would have written a paper on him for school but there's only like two English sources.

I also knew about Abp. Damaskinos, et al. already. It's just I'm such a pessimist I tend to give the bad more weight than the good, I suppose.

Because more bad than good usually happens in the world anyway.  It's just a fact of human nature, not of one particular nature.  But good has been proven much more powerful than bad, but easily forgotten.
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« Reply #100 on: September 25, 2011, 11:11:28 PM »

At first, I though this was an 'icon' of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

You're right. I do need to judge myself. I'm a terrible, hateful little man.

You keep saying stuff like that and I'm gonna come down there and flog you with a wet noodle...


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« Reply #101 on: September 26, 2011, 12:33:03 AM »

At first, I though this was an 'icon' of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

I must admit, I have been touched by the Flying Spaghetti Monster's noodly appendage. May his sauce be upon me. Ramen!
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« Reply #102 on: September 27, 2011, 05:37:05 AM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

See, you are using your head now. I suggest you keep at it. I used to be Orthodox myself, but like you, I saw that there is evil in Orthodox societies just like everywhere else. That is only part of the story, but now I am an atheist. Ask yourself. Do you believe in God because you actually have evidence that he exists, or do you just believe because you want to believe in him? If the answer is the latter, then I have six words for you: Santa Claus. Easter Bunny. Tooth Fairy. Do you see my point? Maybe the reasons why you are questioning in faith have solid grounding in reality? And if that is so, may I suggest that you don't need the opium that is religion?

-From an "apostate" to a potential apostate.
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« Reply #103 on: September 27, 2011, 06:26:04 AM »

I do believe there is evidence, but ultimately even if God didn't exist I'd rather pretend He did. Even if religion is devoid of warmth, it's still better than atheism which is devoid of even the idea of warmth.

Reality becomes nothing but a big game. What would I do, go on a drinking binge, have an open relationship, go psych myself up with a bunch of humanists at a rally, sit on the beach and masturbate about my own beautiful mortality? Still can't hold back that eternal night.

When there's no objective meaning, then nothing really matters.

Pro tip: Get rid of your assumption that all the Christians here never think about these things, "See, you are using your head now." People don't often respond well to condescension.
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« Reply #104 on: September 27, 2011, 06:33:20 AM »

Another cradle who discovered the notions of unbelieving white people in first-year philosophy class and thinks the rest of us will all similarly awaken if only we would open the pages of Hitchens/Dawkins.
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« Reply #105 on: September 27, 2011, 06:39:58 AM »

Another cradle who discovered the notions of unbelieving white people in first-year philosophy class and thinks the rest of us will all similarly awaken if only we would open the pages of Hitchens/Dawkins.
If only they could see behild the empty rhetoric.
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« Reply #106 on: September 27, 2011, 06:40:45 AM »

Another cradle who discovered the notions of unbelieving white people in first-year philosophy class and thinks the rest of us will all similarly awaken if only we would open the pages of Hitchens/Dawkins.
If only they could see behild the empty rhetoric.

I'd settle for them having some respect for our intelligence, but my hopes for humanity are generally pretty low.
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« Reply #107 on: September 27, 2011, 06:44:05 AM »

Another cradle who discovered the notions of unbelieving white people in first-year philosophy class and thinks the rest of us will all similarly awaken if only we would open the pages of Hitchens/Dawkins.
If only they could see behild the empty rhetoric.

I'd settle for them having some respect for our intelligence, but my hopes for humanity are generally pretty low.
Well clearly we have been deluded along the way.
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« Reply #108 on: September 27, 2011, 08:50:20 AM »

At first, I though this was an 'icon' of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

I must admit, I have been touched by the Flying Spaghetti Monster's noodly appendage. May his sauce be upon me. Ramen!
Worship of the FSM evolved in China, as an offshoot of Doughism (cf. chapter 82 of the Dough De Jing). Claims of influence from India are complete Naan-sense.
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« Reply #109 on: September 27, 2011, 10:17:28 AM »

I do believe there is evidence, but ultimately even if God didn't exist I'd rather pretend He did. Even if religion is devoid of warmth, it's still better than atheism which is devoid of even the idea of warmth.

Reality becomes nothing but a big game. What would I do, go on a drinking binge, have an open relationship, go psych myself up with a bunch of humanists at a rally, sit on the beach and masturbate about my own beautiful mortality? Still can't hold back that eternal night.

When there's no objective meaning, then nothing really matters.

Pro tip: Get rid of your assumption that all the Christians here never think about these things, "See, you are using your head now." People don't often respond well to condescension.

There are different types of Atheists. In the past they would challenge religion but as a worthy opponent. Today, there is a different type. They mock religion and laugh it off as irrational.

The third type are social activists who deny God but serve the poor and oppressed.
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« Reply #110 on: September 27, 2011, 10:38:05 AM »

I do believe there is evidence, but ultimately even if God didn't exist I'd rather pretend He did. Even if religion is devoid of warmth, it's still better than atheism which is devoid of even the idea of warmth.

Reality becomes nothing but a big game. What would I do, go on a drinking binge, have an open relationship, go psych myself up with a bunch of humanists at a rally, sit on the beach and masturbate about my own beautiful mortality? Still can't hold back that eternal night.

When there's no objective meaning, then nothing really matters.

Sometimes sacrifices have to be made. Have the courage to look into the abyss...
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« Reply #111 on: September 27, 2011, 10:38:05 AM »

There are different types of Christians. In the past they would challenge atheism but as a worthy opponent. Today, there is a different type. They mock atheism and laugh it off as irrational.

The third type are social activists who deny atheism but serve the poor and oppressed.
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« Reply #112 on: September 27, 2011, 11:21:19 AM »

Well, the truth is that this argument about 'using your head' works as badly for religion as it does for politics.  After all, most people will say that they use their 'heads' to decide what political party to join... and there are how many?

Even science goes through changes in terms of its theories and assumptions.  My grandfather remembered when pharmacies routinely filled prescriptions containing mercury, and now we treat it as a high-level toxin.  These changes are all made by men who, in their time, were very much using their 'heads' and also very wrong.

So, now we are told that there is no God and that the Big Bang started it all... except no one has figured out how the bang started and how a bang made atomic particles out of nothing.

Yes, that makes loads of sense to me!   Cool story, bro!  Cheesy

If you want to be serious and really use your head, try this: remove Christianity from history, then close your eyes and think about how the world would be right now.  If you look on the influence of Christianity on history, you will see that it has made far more positive contributions than negative.

It is not a religion that instantly makes people perfect, but rather points them in the right direction... if they can be directed at all.


See, you are using your head now. I suggest you keep at it. I used to be Orthodox myself, but like you, I saw that there is evil in Orthodox societies just like everywhere else. That is only part of the story, but now I am an atheist. Ask yourself. Do you believe in God because you actually have evidence that he exists, or do you just believe because you want to believe in him? If the answer is the latter, then I have six words for you: Santa Claus. Easter Bunny. Tooth Fairy. Do you see my point? Maybe the reasons why you are questioning in faith have solid grounding in reality? And if that is so, may I suggest that you don't need the opium that is religion?

-From an "apostate" to a potential apostate.
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« Reply #113 on: September 27, 2011, 06:59:07 PM »

I do believe there is evidence, but ultimately even if God didn't exist I'd rather pretend He did. Even if religion is devoid of warmth, it's still better than atheism which is devoid of even the idea of warmth.

Reality becomes nothing but a big game. What would I do, go on a drinking binge, have an open relationship, go psych myself up with a bunch of humanists at a rally, sit on the beach and masturbate about my own beautiful mortality? Still can't hold back that eternal night.

When there's no objective meaning, then nothing really matters.

Sometimes sacrifices have to be made. Have the courage to look into the abyss...
I have looked into the abyss many times. I don't like the dental plan.

I'm sorry my post sounded flippant. I've spent a lot of time thinking about it and I really am convicted atheism leads to nihlism and that if nothing ultimately matters, then there is absolutely no good reason to serve the poor rather than kill them.

I thank God there are atheists who don't follow their position to its fullest implications and I'm sure they're good people, I just think they're living irrationally.
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« Reply #114 on: September 27, 2011, 07:46:26 PM »

There are different types of Christians. In the past they would challenge atheism but as a worthy opponent. Today, there is a different type. They mock atheism and laugh it off as irrational.

The third type are social activists who deny atheism but serve the poor and oppressed.
That's because the atheism of today is just fashionable
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« Reply #115 on: September 27, 2011, 08:10:43 PM »

I do believe there is evidence, but ultimately even if God didn't exist I'd rather pretend He did. Even if religion is devoid of warmth, it's still better than atheism which is devoid of even the idea of warmth.

Reality becomes nothing but a big game. What would I do, go on a drinking binge, have an open relationship, go psych myself up with a bunch of humanists at a rally, sit on the beach and masturbate about my own beautiful mortality? Still can't hold back that eternal night.

When there's no objective meaning, then nothing really matters.

I think you (and many other people) are using religion as a moral and existential crutch. Why should "nothing matter" if there is no god? It matters that I want to live my life to the fullest. It matters that I love my family. It matters that I am anticipating having a good breakfast tomorrow morning. It matters that I care about other people. I don't need religion or any higher philosophy for this. I don't know of many depressed, nihilistic atheists. As I said in a previous post, morality is a result of evolution. It comes from within us and not from some divinely ordained commandments. Your life is what you make of it. It's up to you to find meaning in life. You don't need to hold on to the apron strings of "God" in order to do so. It's sad that you feel you are so incompetent to find meaning in life on your own that you would rather believe in an untrue religion than go without religion. By saying so, you are implicitly admitting that morality and meaning can come from people rather than from God - the people who invented the religion you would believe in out of necessity would also invent the "meaning of life" you seek within that religion.

Well, the truth is that this argument about 'using your head' works as badly for religion as it does for politics.  After all, most people will say that they use their 'heads' to decide what political party to join... and there are how many?

Even science goes through changes in terms of its theories and assumptions.  My grandfather remembered when pharmacies routinely filled prescriptions containing mercury, and now we treat it as a high-level toxin.  These changes are all made by men who, in their time, were very much using their 'heads' and also very wrong.

So, now we are told that there is no God and that the Big Bang started it all... except no one has figured out how the bang started and how a bang made atomic particles out of nothing.

Yes, that makes loads of sense to me!   Cool story, bro!  Cheesy

If you want to be serious and really use your head, try this: remove Christianity from history, then close your eyes and think about how the world would be right now.  If you look on the influence of Christianity on history, you will see that it has made far more positive contributions than negative.

Science does change, but it has managed to prove a great deal of things. A lot of theoretic models constructed by scientists (atomic theory, evolution etc) have been proven to be fact. You, on the other hand, don't seem to offer much by way of evidence that God exists, mainly questionable moral arguments that prove nothing.

The big bang didn't "create" atoms (or rather the elements that make up atoms). As I said in my first post, science believes that the substance of the universe was never created but always existed, and just changes its form (when you think about it, you exempt the creator that you believe in from the necessity of being created that you believe in, so why shouldn't I believe that something always existed and no new substance was ever created?)

As for the "positive contributions" of Christianity, that is a highly subjective issue. One way or another, I don't think you need a church or a religion to do good. Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religion, for example, nor are the United Nations. As society evolves away from religion, it will find, as it has been finding already, secular ways of organizing people for the greater good of society.

A note to Achronos - I don't follow atheism because it's a "fashion", just as I'm sure you wouldn't be Orthodox if it were "fashionable" just to be fashionable yourself. I simply believe that belief in God lacks substance in fact.





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« Reply #116 on: September 27, 2011, 08:11:38 PM »

There are different types of Christians. In the past they would challenge atheism but as a worthy opponent. Today, there is a different type. They mock atheism and laugh it off as irrational.

The third type are social activists who deny atheism but serve the poor and oppressed.

That is not factually accurate. The Christian Church was far more dominant in society than any small niche of Atheists. The Church did no "Challenging"..They were shot at from below until the Russian Revolution when Atheism had State Power backing it..

 I can think of no time that Atheism was ever accused of being "irrational" by the Church.

Rationalism is the tool of Atheists not the Church. The Church preaches Faith. It's appeals to reason are secondary.

So basically you just made all that up to be snarky.. Nice job.
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« Reply #117 on: September 27, 2011, 08:15:02 PM »

There are different types of Christians. In the past they would challenge atheism but as a worthy opponent. Today, there is a different type. They mock atheism and laugh it off as irrational.

The third type are social activists who deny atheism but serve the poor and oppressed.
That's because the atheism of today is just fashionable

Unrelated items... I have known Socialist activists who chuck great educations to go work in coal mines and sweat shops and live in poverty. That's not exactly being fashionable.
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« Reply #118 on: September 27, 2011, 08:28:51 PM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

England is the country where the word "holocaust" is actually first used in it's modern sense! And don't even get me started on France, Spain, and the US. I forget which character it was in Ulysses who said the only reason Ireland didn't have a history of persecuting Jews is because they never let any in the country to begin with (I know that's hyperbole, but still...)

I'm having a hard time believing Christianity, let alone Orthodox Christianity, can really be the true way of God when it is constantly followed by this cancer which seems to be so pervasive in the Christian world even today. I know there are hateful Jews, but it seems like Judaism has been followed by such a specific and pernicious targeting of a single people even though they are probably the most savagely abused group on the planet.

I don't know what to do.

The Church has traditionally engaged in polemics against Judaism, as She has against other false faiths. This has also been used as a pretext for injustices against those who practice those faiths (not just Jews, but Muslims, Catholics, Protestants etc), notwithstanding the fact that the Church also condemns all injustice. If you want to lay all the blame on the doctrinal polemics, you can, but that is about as reasonable as laying all the blame for Stalin's mass murders on Karl Marx (which some do, but I think that's a stretch).

The problem is not Christianity. The problem is fallen human nature. Is there really anything more to be said?

PS I think it's actually debatable whether Eastern Europe was the worst place to be Jewish for most of history (in some parts at certain times, probably e.g. Ukraine during the Chmielnicki uprising). We could start a whole new thread on that, but e.g. I would recommend taking a look at what Alexander Solzhenitsyn had to say about actual Russian-Jewish relations in the two hundred years since eastern Poland was annexed by Russia in the late 18th century, and also Judith Herrin's book "Byzantium" in her chapter on Byzantine relations with Jews and other ethnic groups.
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« Reply #119 on: September 27, 2011, 08:30:18 PM »


I think you (and many other people) are using religion as a moral and existential crutch. Why should "nothing matter" if there is no god? It matters that I want to live my life to the fullest. It matters that I love my family. It matters that I am anticipating having a good breakfast tomorrow morning. It matters that I care about other people. I don't need religion or any higher philosophy for this. I don't know of many depressed, nihilistic atheists. As I said in a previous post, morality is a result of evolution. It comes from within us and not from some divinely ordained commandments. Your life is what you make of it. It's up to you to find meaning in life. You don't need to hold on to the apron strings of "God" in order to do so. It's sad that you feel you are so incompetent to find meaning in life on your own that you would rather believe in an untrue religion than go without religion. By saying so, you are implicitly admitting that morality and meaning can come from people rather than from God - the people who invented the religion you would believe in out of necessity would also invent the "meaning of life" you seek within that religion.
And your crutch is this idea that you can craft your own meaning of life out of nothing but your own preferences. What do you do if you care about other people but someone else wants to torture and kill them? What if the majority of society decided that their meaning lies in destroying, raping, and pilaging? What gives you the right to tell them not to? Does might make right? Oh wait, that's an objective standard...

Morality contains two basic components, the description of what people do and the "ought," what they should be doing. Evolution can only tell us what people happen to do, not what they should do. To only rely on half the equation like that makes a travesty of the very idea of morality.

Religion posits that there is an Absolute which is beyond us and which calls us to account for the way which we live our lives. Atheism lacks the very idea of such almost by definition, else it contradicts itself.
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« Reply #120 on: September 27, 2011, 08:32:04 PM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

England is the country where the word "holocaust" is actually first used in it's modern sense! And don't even get me started on France, Spain, and the US. I forget which character it was in Ulysses who said the only reason Ireland didn't have a history of persecuting Jews is because they never let any in the country to begin with (I know that's hyperbole, but still...)

I'm having a hard time believing Christianity, let alone Orthodox Christianity, can really be the true way of God when it is constantly followed by this cancer which seems to be so pervasive in the Christian world even today. I know there are hateful Jews, but it seems like Judaism has been followed by such a specific and pernicious targeting of a single people even though they are probably the most savagely abused group on the planet.

I don't know what to do.

The Church has traditionally engaged in polemics against Judaism, as She has against other false faiths. This has also been used as a pretext for injustices against those who practice those faiths (not just Jews, but Muslims, Catholics, Protestants etc), notwithstanding the fact that the Church also condemns all injustice. If you want to lay all the blame on the doctrinal polemics, you can, but that is about as reasonable as laying all the blame for Stalin's mass murders on Karl Marx (which some do, but I think that's a stretch).

The problem is not Christianity. The problem is fallen human nature. Is there really anything more to be said?

PS I think it's actually debatable whether Eastern Europe was the worst place to be Jewish for most of history (in some parts at certain times, probably e.g. Ukraine during the Chmielnicki uprising). We could start a whole new thread on that, but e.g. I would recommend taking a look at what Alexander Solzhenitsyn had to say about actual Russian-Jewish relations in the two hundred years since eastern Poland was annexed by Russia in the late 18th century, and also Judith Herrin's book "Byzantium" in her chapter on Byzantine relations with Jews and other ethnic groups.
Thanks. I'll take a look at those.
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« Reply #121 on: September 27, 2011, 08:42:15 PM »

Maybe OT, but I was talking recently with a priest in my traditionalist jurisdiction, and he was quite frank about all the negative aspects he saw in Greek culture (he's not Greek, but his parish is mostly Greek; he himself is of Anglo-Saxon background and used to be in ROCOR). His point was that the dogmatic truth of Orthodox need not blind us to the faults of particular Orthodox individuals or even nations.
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« Reply #122 on: September 27, 2011, 09:16:31 PM »

I'm sorry my post sounded flippant. I've spent a lot of time thinking about it and I really am convicted atheism leads to nihlism and that if nothing ultimately matters, then there is absolutely no good reason to serve the poor rather than kill them.

I thank God there are atheists who don't follow their position to its fullest implications and I'm sure they're good people, I just think they're living irrationally.

Fwiw, while I probably disagree with you on atheism, I didn't think your post sounded flippant. I appreciate that you struggle with these issues and try to think about them. I guess I was just trying to be encouraging... even in the darkest of times and states, there's still reason to go on IMO... my situation and what yours (or anyone elses) might be are obviously different, I just... well I hate quoting movies to make a point about "profound" stuff, but like Tom Hanks said at the end of Castaway, no matter how bad it gets, you just have to keep going, cause you never know what's just over the horizon... (now I feel dirty for quoting a movie to make a point about life...)  Smiley
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« Reply #123 on: September 27, 2011, 09:16:31 PM »

There are different types of Christians. In the past they would challenge atheism but as a worthy opponent. Today, there is a different type. They mock atheism and laugh it off as irrational.

The third type are social activists who deny atheism but serve the poor and oppressed.
That's because the atheism of today is just fashionable

You speak of atheism in the same way that atheists speak of Christianity, as though it's just one big unified group that can be defeated with a few argumentative jabs of the sword. There are as many types of atheists as there are types of Christians. I'm not an atheist, but if I did go down that path again I can assure you it wouldn't be a fashionable one, and people like Dawkins, et al. would think me crazy. Wink
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« Reply #124 on: September 27, 2011, 09:16:32 PM »

There are different types of Christians. In the past they would challenge atheism but as a worthy opponent. Today, there is a different type. They mock atheism and laugh it off as irrational.

The third type are social activists who deny atheism but serve the poor and oppressed.

That is not factually accurate. The Christian Church was far more dominant in society than any small niche of Atheists. The Church did no "Challenging"..They were shot at from below until the Russian Revolution when Atheism had State Power backing it..

 I can think of no time that Atheism was ever accused of being "irrational" by the Church.

Rationalism is the tool of Atheists not the Church. The Church preaches Faith. It's appeals to reason are secondary.

So basically you just made all that up to be snarky.. Nice job.

I made it up to try to show you the faults in your own post. Didn't seem to work.
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« Reply #125 on: September 28, 2011, 01:17:15 AM »

Right here, you decide to read my mind without any sort of evidence.  How very irrational and unscientific!  You 'think' but you are not thinking, because you make assumptions about me you cannot prove.  Such a weak premise makes everything you say afterwards equally suspect.

If you were a bit more rational, you would actually engage me in a few questions as to why I believe what I believe.  Then, perhaps, you could draw some conclusions.  But, seriously, right now you are projecting assumptions upon a lot of people you don't know.



I think you (and many other people) are using religion as a moral and existential crutch....
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« Reply #126 on: September 28, 2011, 03:28:39 AM »

There are different types of Christians. In the past they would challenge atheism but as a worthy opponent. Today, there is a different type. They mock atheism and laugh it off as irrational.

The third type are social activists who deny atheism but serve the poor and oppressed.
That's because the atheism of today is just fashionable

You speak of atheism in the same way that atheists speak of Christianity, as though it's just one big unified group that can be defeated with a few argumentative jabs of the sword. There are as many types of atheists as there are types of Christians. I'm not an atheist, but if I did go down that path again I can assure you it wouldn't be a fashionable one, and people like Dawkins, et al. would think me crazy. Wink
That comment was more jeered towards the pop atheism that is espoused today.

Oh and I know your form of atheism would need more than just a few jabs of the sword, it'll need a wrecking ball
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« Reply #127 on: September 28, 2011, 05:54:49 AM »


If you were a bit more rational, you would actually engage me in a few questions as to why I believe what I believe.  Then, perhaps, you could draw some conclusions.  But, seriously, right now you are projecting assumptions upon a lot of people you don't know.


Well, I've already asked people to show me the evidence. Why do you believe in what you believe?

And your crutch is this idea that you can craft your own meaning of life out of nothing but your own preferences. What do you do if you care about other people but someone else wants to torture and kill them? What if the majority of society decided that their meaning lies in destroying, raping, and pilaging? What gives you the right to tell them not to? Does might make right? Oh wait, that's an objective standard...

Morality contains two basic components, the description of what people do and the "ought," what they should be doing. Evolution can only tell us what people happen to do, not what they should do. To only rely on half the equation like that makes a travesty of the very idea of morality.

Religion posits that there is an Absolute which is beyond us and which calls us to account for the way which we live our lives. Atheism lacks the very idea of such almost by definition, else it contradicts itself.

I already indicated that there is no complete moral absolute in atheism. Much of morality is of necessity subjective. The fact that you want there to be an absolute and therefore ascribe it to religious teaching does not mean that the religious teaching is true and that its god and his divine-ordained morality exist in actual reality. You simply need to accept that if objective morality doesn't exist without God and if there is no God, then objective morality is impossible, just like there is no Santa Claus. Your wanting something to exist does not make it exist.

But if this is such a problem for you, how come so many atheists are honest, kind people and constructive members of society?

Here are two good short videos addressing this very question:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aCRHjH6d4Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JK9ov28pnk

And I never said that I can craft meaning of life only out of my own preferences. I said that I can do what I want as long as I don't harm other people.
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« Reply #128 on: September 28, 2011, 05:59:03 AM »

So basically morality is arbitrary.

Atheists then shouldn't be moral is the conclusion. Goes back to what I said awhile back that atheism rejects all morality.
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« Reply #129 on: September 28, 2011, 06:04:49 AM »

So basically morality is arbitrary.

Atheists then shouldn't be moral is the conclusion. Goes back to what I said awhile back that atheism rejects all morality.

May I suggest you watch the two videos I uploaded before you make such cavalier comments? Yes, morality is to a great extent arbitrary, but it most certainly does not follow that atheists shouldn't be moral. I think I've said enough on this myself, again, I suggest you watch the two videos I linked to above. They eloquently explain why atheists are moral, and IMO have a better morality than religious people at large.
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« Reply #130 on: September 28, 2011, 06:14:05 AM »

But if this is such a problem for you, how come so many atheists are honest, kind people and constructive members of society?
Either because their beliefs are inconsistent or they don't follow their follow their own beliefs.

And I never said that I can craft meaning of life only out of my own preferences. I said that I can do what I want as long as I don't harm other people.
If life has no objective meaning then there is no reason not to harm others. Hitler and Stalin did absolutely nothing wrong. If you don't see the absurdity in such a position then all I can say is, if you ever come to my house I'm hiding the good silver.
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« Reply #131 on: September 28, 2011, 06:17:25 AM »

I don't have access to youtube at the moment.

Again so morality as you say is arbitrary, so basically atheism is incapable of providing a morality that is consistent and coherent. Got it.

Oh and for the record a comprehensive study conducted by Putnam of Harvard University and Campbell of Notre Dame has found that religious people are more charitable than those that are irreligious.

http://pewforum.org/Religion-News/Religious-people-make-better-citizens-study-says.aspx
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« Reply #132 on: September 28, 2011, 07:31:21 AM »

Either because their beliefs are inconsistent or they don't follow their follow their own beliefs.

Why are they inconsistent? We believe there is no god. That's the one common thing to us. There is no underlying philosophy or concept of morality that is inherent to being and atheist. Only the lack of belief in gods.


If life has no objective meaning then there is no reason not to harm others. Hitler and Stalin did absolutely nothing wrong. If you don't see the absurdity in such a position then all I can say is, if you ever come to my house I'm hiding the good silver.

First of all, what you're writing does not prove the existence of God or even give a shred of evidence in support of his existence. It merely expresses your wish that there be an objective morality. Second of all, who is to say that religious morality is 100% objective? It depends on what religion you follow, even what priest you ask (e.g. some Orthodox priests approve of birth control, others don't. And that's just one minor example). Finally, for the umpteenth time, people act morally because they have evolved to do so. We can and do find much objective common ground in this matter. In pretty much all countries, both the most religious and the most secular, there are laws against things like theft, disorderly conduct, murder, fraud, etc. From an evolutionary point of view, not doing to people what you don't want them to do to you makes sense. If you respect others, they'll respect you. It's so simple, if anything in secular morality is objective, it's this basic principle. And you don't need religion for it, only common sense.

Your claim that I would want to steal from you because I'm an atheist is ridiculous. I wouldn't steal your silver because I would respect your right to your property and because I am grateful to be a guest in your home. How would being an atheist change that?
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« Reply #133 on: September 28, 2011, 08:30:54 AM »


Why are they inconsistent? We believe there is no god. That's the one common thing to us. There is no underlying philosophy or concept of morality that is inherent to being and atheist. Only the lack of belief in gods.
Well, granted some of them could be amoral and are just living benevolently because they happen to feel like it, but I would assume the lion's share of them actually believe in moral oughts. As I said, to be an atheist and to do so is inconsistent.

First of all, what you're writing does not prove the existence of God or even give a shred of evidence in support of his existence.
I never said it proves the existence of God, only that being an atheist and a moralist is illogical.

Second of all, who is to say that religious morality is 100% objective? It depends on what religion you follow, even what priest you ask (e.g. some Orthodox priests approve of birth control, others don't. And that's just one minor example).
The existence of difficult moral judgments doesn't mean morality isn't objective.

Finally, for the umpteenth time, people act morally because they have evolved to do so. We can and do find much objective common ground in this matter. In pretty much all countries, both the most religious and the most secular, there are laws against things like theft, disorderly conduct, murder, fraud, etc. From an evolutionary point of view, not doing to people what you don't want them to do to you makes sense. If you respect others, they'll respect you. It's so simple, if anything in secular morality is objective, it's this basic principle. And you don't need religion for it, only common sense.
Evolution only tells us people as a whole do what is conducive to the survival of the group. Why should group survival be the universal good though? Why not wish humankind would go extinct so that other species might flourish? What someone who values power over respect and would rather step over people to gain it? How about a psychopath who wishes to kill everyone and then himself? You can't tell him he's wrong.

Your claim that I would want to steal from you because I'm an atheist is ridiculous. I wouldn't steal your silver because I would respect your right to your property and because I am grateful to be a guest in your home. How would being an atheist change that?
First of all, what's a property right if there are no moral absolutes? Second, you said you don't believe in moral absolutes so for all I know you're lying to me. For all I know you think stealing my silver is moral relative to some set of aims of yours.

That's my point, once we take out the objective standard, morality is completely up in the air.
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« Reply #134 on: September 28, 2011, 01:41:35 PM »

I know our newest poster here is a bit abrasive and difficult, especially with the one-line comments in some of the threads. Nonetheless, I have to be honest, it's when I see Christians try to argue against atheism in threads like this that I am most sympathetic to atheism. I've said many times that I didn't first leave the Church because of guys like Dawkins and Hitchens and Harris (who I had never even read at that point, and still pretty much have barely read), but rather because of Paul and St. John Chrysostom and so forth. Same thing here... I don't sympathise with atheism because the arguments of Čika-Gliša are so good, but rather because the arguments of Christians are so bad. It's sort of like scanning a post of Christian objections to atheism or unbelief, and I'm thinking: "No, don't agree with that; nah, not quite right; I think that's a misunderstanding; that's probably not correct either; etc." and I'm left with the growing question... well, what do I do then? 
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« Reply #135 on: September 28, 2011, 02:12:07 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

In my own experience it isn't useful to think in terms of large group behavior. Christians did this, Jews did that, Ethiopians did neither.

The Orthodox version of Christianity is extraordinarily powerful in terms of re-shaping you spiritually. Throwing yourself into it will be a full time job. Don't worry about anyone else's faults or errors. It's a distraction.

If someone is hateful they are not being a Christian or at least have stumbled a bit. The Church is a Spiritual Hospital, don't be too shocked when you run across people who need help. It's an opportunity for repentance for them and forgiveness for you. All things can work for the good.  
Amen Amen.  

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Honestly, once Christianity becomes a majority and a rule of law in a cultural society, history teaches that it loses the actual Christian essence of true Christian living.

I would argue against this, as it invalidates the Orthodox of less active Christians.  We have had these kinds of discussions before, regarding how "Orthodox" people should live, and which jurisdictions, or regions, or countries, or peoples are "less Orthodox" than others and honestly, this is nonsense! If folks practice the Seven Divine Mysteries in a consecrated, recognized, and legitimate Church then they are Orthodox, regardless of their degree of participation.  As the above quote mentioned, "the Church is a spiritual hospital" and some folks are practically cured and some folks are on life-support in the Apostolic ICU, however we are ALL Orthodox, whether priests or laymen, active choir members or the folks who wander in a few sporadic Sundays a year, board members or politically indifferent members, adults and children alike and everyone in between.  We are ALL Orthodox, regardless of the degree of our participation, or how Orthodox we appear to be outwardly.  The Church functions within the world, within human societies, and is a human institution blessed by Grace, and as such, is analogous to humanity in general, flaws and all.  The Mysteries are perfect, the people are not.  So we can not speculate on "losing Christian essence" or even try to define "true Christian living" because there is no such thing Wink  (See Luke 18:9-14)

stay blessed,
habte selassie

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #136 on: September 28, 2011, 04:03:01 PM »

There are different types of Christians. In the past they would challenge atheism but as a worthy opponent. Today, there is a different type. They mock atheism and laugh it off as irrational.

The third type are social activists who deny atheism but serve the poor and oppressed.

That is not factually accurate. The Christian Church was far more dominant in society than any small niche of Atheists. The Church did no "Challenging"..They were shot at from below until the Russian Revolution when Atheism had State Power backing it..

 I can think of no time that Atheism was ever accused of being "irrational" by the Church.

Rationalism is the tool of Atheists not the Church. The Church preaches Faith. It's appeals to reason are secondary.

So basically you just made all that up to be snarky.. Nice job.

I made it up to try to show you the faults in your own post. Didn't seem to work.

I get it. Sorry that I was snarky back at you.

All issues dont have an equal sign between them. "This" is not always like "that". Giving matters a realistic weight is important.
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« Reply #137 on: September 28, 2011, 04:04:50 PM »

I know our newest poster here is a bit abrasive and difficult, especially with the one-line comments in some of the threads. Nonetheless, I have to be honest, it's when I see Christians try to argue against atheism in threads like this that I am most sympathetic to atheism. I've said many times that I didn't first leave the Church because of guys like Dawkins and Hitchens and Harris (who I had never even read at that point, and still pretty much have barely read), but rather because of Paul and St. John Chrysostom and so forth. Same thing here... I don't sympathise with atheism because the arguments of Čika-Gliša are so good, but rather because the arguments of Christians are so bad. It's sort of like scanning a post of Christian objections to atheism or unbelief, and I'm thinking: "No, don't agree with that; nah, not quite right; I think that's a misunderstanding; that's probably not correct either; etc." and I'm left with the growing question... well, what do I do then? 

Make a list of the terrible arguments and lets see what you mean. Feel free to summarize.
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« Reply #138 on: September 29, 2011, 06:58:40 PM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

England is the country where the word "holocaust" is actually first used in it's modern sense! And don't even get me started on France, Spain, and the US. I forget which character it was in Ulysses who said the only reason Ireland didn't have a history of persecuting Jews is because they never let any in the country to begin with (I know that's hyperbole, but still...)

I'm having a hard time believing Christianity, let alone Orthodox Christianity, can really be the true way of God when it is constantly followed by this cancer which seems to be so pervasive in the Christian world even today. I know there are hateful Jews, but it seems like Judaism has been followed by such a specific and pernicious targeting of a single people even though they are probably the most savagely abused group on the planet.

I don't know what to do.

I'm still trying to figure out where the anabaptists have done these things.
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« Reply #139 on: September 30, 2011, 01:26:23 AM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

England is the country where the word "holocaust" is actually first used in it's modern sense! And don't even get me started on France, Spain, and the US. I forget which character it was in Ulysses who said the only reason Ireland didn't have a history of persecuting Jews is because they never let any in the country to begin with (I know that's hyperbole, but still...)

I'm having a hard time believing Christianity, let alone Orthodox Christianity, can really be the true way of God when it is constantly followed by this cancer which seems to be so pervasive in the Christian world even today. I know there are hateful Jews, but it seems like Judaism has been followed by such a specific and pernicious targeting of a single people even though they are probably the most savagely abused group on the planet.

I don't know what to do.

I'm still trying to figure out where the anabaptists have done these things.

They, and the Quakers (with whom I identified a number of years before going High-Church wannabe) don't count, as they are new and small in numbers.  Where prototypes of them may have existed in the past, they were persecuted probably to extinction by the State-supported Church, if they didn't die beforehand (more hopefully) under the persuasive arguments of theologians and parish priests. Undecided
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« Reply #140 on: September 30, 2011, 03:35:47 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


I'm still trying to figure out where the anabaptists have done these things.

Well, maybe all those Cathars, Waldensians, Donatists, and Arnoldists (the first European anabaptist movements) were too busy assassinating Catholic government officials and priests while burning and looting Churches to pay any attention to the Jews Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #141 on: September 30, 2011, 05:57:20 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


I'm still trying to figure out where the anabaptists have done these things.

Well, maybe all those Cathars, Waldensians, Donatists, and Arnoldists (the first European anabaptist movements) were too busy assassinating Catholic government officials and priests while burning and looting Churches to pay any attention to the Jews Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
That's not quite fair. Although there may have been ideological influence as with the Cathars on the Waldensians, none of these movements are materially related.
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« Reply #142 on: September 30, 2011, 07:06:59 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


I'm still trying to figure out where the anabaptists have done these things.

Well, maybe all those Cathars, Waldensians, Donatists, and Arnoldists (the first European anabaptist movements) were too busy assassinating Catholic government officials and priests while burning and looting Churches to pay any attention to the Jews Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
That's not quite fair. Although there may have been ideological influence as with the Cathars on the Waldensians, none of these movements are materially related.

Okay, cool, I'll start my own church and it will have all the same doctrines as the Orthodox Church and, by virtue of its very been-around-for-five-minutes-ness and lack of temporal power, it will have never persecuted or harmed anyone. Indeed, I expect my new church will quickly acquire the holy glow of persecution itself.

What defines the Orthodox Church is it's doctrine. Our saints are saints because of their doctrine, our fathers are our fathers because of their doctrine and our bishops stand in succession from the apostles because of their doctrine.

Join some obscure sect of Buddhism that has been persecuted by all the others if you want to find a sinless institution to sign up to. Personally, I prefer the Truth.

By the way, I haven't forgotten to pm you!
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« Reply #143 on: September 30, 2011, 08:34:57 PM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

England is the country where the word "holocaust" is actually first used in it's modern sense! And don't even get me started on France, Spain, and the US. I forget which character it was in Ulysses who said the only reason Ireland didn't have a history of persecuting Jews is because they never let any in the country to begin with (I know that's hyperbole, but still...)

I'm having a hard time believing Christianity, let alone Orthodox Christianity, can really be the true way of God when it is constantly followed by this cancer which seems to be so pervasive in the Christian world even today. I know there are hateful Jews, but it seems like Judaism has been followed by such a specific and pernicious targeting of a single people even though they are probably the most savagely abused group on the planet.

I don't know what to do.

I'm still trying to figure out where the anabaptists have done these things.
The last time the Anabaptists were in power, the persecuted not only Jews, but every non-Anabaptist for that matter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munster_rebellion
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« Reply #144 on: September 30, 2011, 08:38:07 PM »

We can wrangle with it and say that it is all people not following the teachings of Christ, not acting as Christians, etc. but either way the fact remains that in every single society which has had a long term Christian majority and a culture influenced by Christianity has been tainted to some extent by antisemitism. Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans- for most of history AD were probably the worst places on earth to be Jewish and probably remain so to this day. The reason World War II Germany had so many Jews in the first place is they were fleeing Eastern Europe.

England is the country where the word "holocaust" is actually first used in it's modern sense! And don't even get me started on France, Spain, and the US. I forget which character it was in Ulysses who said the only reason Ireland didn't have a history of persecuting Jews is because they never let any in the country to begin with (I know that's hyperbole, but still...)

I'm having a hard time believing Christianity, let alone Orthodox Christianity, can really be the true way of God when it is constantly followed by this cancer which seems to be so pervasive in the Christian world even today. I know there are hateful Jews, but it seems like Judaism has been followed by such a specific and pernicious targeting of a single people even though they are probably the most savagely abused group on the planet.

I don't know what to do.

I'm still trying to figure out where the anabaptists have done these things.
The last time the Anabaptists were in power, the persecuted not only Jews, but every non-Anabaptist for that matter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munster_rebellion
I didn't mention that because those were rather heterodox by anabaptist standards. They weren't pacifists, they practiced polygamy, and they had a lot of Judaizing doctrines.

It'd be like using the Abecedarians as the model of all anabaptism.
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« Reply #145 on: September 30, 2011, 08:43:22 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


I'm still trying to figure out where the anabaptists have done these things.

Well, maybe all those Cathars, Waldensians, Donatists, and Arnoldists (the first European anabaptist movements) were too busy assassinating Catholic government officials and priests while burning and looting Churches to pay any attention to the Jews Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
That's not quite fair. Although there may have been ideological influence as with the Cathars on the Waldensians, none of these movements are materially related.

Okay, cool, I'll start my own church and it will have all the same doctrines as the Orthodox Church and, by virtue of its very been-around-for-five-minutes-ness and lack of temporal power, it will have never persecuted or harmed anyone. Indeed, I expect my new church will quickly acquire the holy glow of persecution itself.

What defines the Orthodox Church is it's doctrine. Our saints are saints because of their doctrine, our fathers are our fathers because of their doctrine and our bishops stand in succession from the apostles because of their doctrine.

Join some obscure sect of Buddhism that has been persecuted by all the others if you want to find a sinless institution to sign up to. Personally, I prefer the Truth.

By the way, I haven't forgotten to pm you!
So all Communists are murderers just because Stalin was?
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« Reply #146 on: September 30, 2011, 09:35:29 PM »

Join some obscure sect of Buddhism that has been persecuted by all the others if you want to find a sinless institution to sign up to. Personally, I prefer the Truth.

That's sigline quality, that is.
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« Reply #147 on: October 01, 2011, 02:11:01 AM »

I don't know of any obscure sect of Buddhism that has been persecuted by all the others.
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« Reply #148 on: October 01, 2011, 03:22:53 AM »

I don't know of any obscure sect of Buddhism that has been persecuted by all the others.

Do you really think Theravada and Mahayana and all the rest are gong to let you find out about the Buddhist group who they have persecuted for their true belief? If you are willing to make a pilgrimage to Sri Lanka I will tell you where you must go and what you must do to find the group of which I speak. But Beware! Once you are initiated there is no turning back.
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« Reply #149 on: October 01, 2011, 03:49:33 AM »

I don't know of any obscure sect of Buddhism that has been persecuted by all the others.

Methinks it was hyperbole.  Sweet sweet hyperbole.
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« Reply #150 on: October 01, 2011, 04:02:37 AM »

I don't know of any obscure sect of Buddhism that has been persecuted by all the others.

Methinks it was hyperbole.  Sweet sweet hyperbole.
I love me some hyperbole.
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« Reply #151 on: October 01, 2011, 02:41:11 PM »

Name a Communist sect that eschews all violence.

So all Communists are murderers just because Stalin was?
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« Reply #152 on: October 01, 2011, 03:14:16 PM »

Join some obscure sect of Buddhism that has been persecuted by all the others if you want to find a sinless institution to sign up to. Personally, I prefer the Truth.

That's sigline quality, that is.

I hate to pile on when the mood is good, but indeed. That is pure internetz.

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« Reply #153 on: October 01, 2011, 07:02:40 PM »

Name a Communist sect that eschews all violence.

So all Communists are murderers just because Stalin was?
I don't think the CPUSA nor the various people identifying as Christian Communists (which includes some Orthodox) are planning on planting any car bombs.
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« Reply #154 on: October 02, 2011, 12:01:09 AM »

That's not what I asked.  I asked about their official stand(s) on the use of violence.

Name a Communist sect that eschews all violence.

So all Communists are murderers just because Stalin was?
I don't think the CPUSA nor the various people identifying as Christian Communists (which includes some Orthodox) are planning on planting any car bombs.
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« Reply #155 on: October 02, 2011, 12:12:14 AM »

That's not what I asked.  I asked about their official stand(s) on the use of violence.

Name a Communist sect that eschews all violence.

So all Communists are murderers just because Stalin was?
I don't think the CPUSA nor the various people identifying as Christian Communists (which includes some Orthodox) are planning on planting any car bombs.
http://www.cpusa.org/faq/

Quote
Communists believe that social change can only be accomplished through the united action of mass movements which express the majority will of the people. Peaceful methods of change are not only the right thing to do, they are the most effective way to unite and mobilize the greatest majorities.

Violence, on the other hand, is a tool of the big corporations and the governments they control. To preserve their power, they use violence against workers' and people's movements.

In contrast, Communists seek to change society peacefully. We work to expand every democratic and electoral avenue as part of our fight for working class political and economic power.

Our party believes that it is possible to make fundamental transformations using the electoral process, the Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights.
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« Reply #156 on: October 02, 2011, 01:10:49 AM »

I know our newest poster here is a bit abrasive and difficult, especially with the one-line comments in some of the threads. Nonetheless, I have to be honest, it's when I see Christians try to argue against atheism in threads like this that I am most sympathetic to atheism. I've said many times that I didn't first leave the Church because of guys like Dawkins and Hitchens and Harris (who I had never even read at that point, and still pretty much have barely read), but rather because of Paul and St. John Chrysostom and so forth. Same thing here... I don't sympathise with atheism because the arguments of Čika-Gliša are so good, but rather because the arguments of Christians are so bad. It's sort of like scanning a post of Christian objections to atheism or unbelief, and I'm thinking: "No, don't agree with that; nah, not quite right; I think that's a misunderstanding; that's probably not correct either; etc." and I'm left with the growing question... well, what do I do then? 

So what you're saying is... you feel that the saints and the Church Fathers were very primitive, or backwards?  Because they had a different understanding than we do, and everyone knows how we're supposedly so "advanced" in our high-tech world.  If you are saying this, then I can sort of understand where you're coming from..

There were questionable statements by most saints.. like where St. Paul said a woman should be silent in a church, and if she has a question.. she should only ask her husband and no one else. I still have trouble with some of the aspects of the Church's teachings when it comes to every day morality issues...

But I don't typically question the faith itself.  To me it's just an inner knowing, the beauty.. the icons.. the eucharist.  When I pray, especially the Jesus prayer -- I am filled with a peace.. that seems to make everything better.  I know some will say I use the Church and Jesus as an emotional blanket, and that may very well be true.  But I don't try to run away from life's problems, just because they're hard.. so it wouldn't be that much of a blanket.

Every time I see the icon of St. Mary of Egypt, I am reminded of her story -- and I feel that she's "been there, done that." and understands a lot of the spiritual and carnal struggles I go through.  So EVEN there, there's just an "inner knowing".. that goes beyond this Western scholastic.. "everything must make sense to me before I can accept it."   Because Orthodoxy has a lot of mysteries, and the Holy Trinity is the greatest mystery of all!  If you can tell me how Jesus is both God and man simultaneously.. without confusion, then I congratulate you and bow to you.  Because the Incarnation is equally as mysterious!
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« Reply #157 on: October 02, 2011, 05:53:30 PM »

I read through the entire FAQ, and it does not renounce violence.  It states that they do not believe it is necessary to effect the changes they are presently seeking.  They basically say just enough to maintain the idea that they support the Constitution, but their premise is that Constitutional rights such as private property should be regulated by the State.The FAQ has less to do with governance than electoral strategy.

Thanks for making my point: Communism relies on violence because all states rely on violence.  No government can exist without violence as a means of preserving order or defending national interests (i.e. 'the workers' in Socialist parliance).

Communism, from its inception, has involved violence, and there has never been a non-violent expression of Communism because collectivization requires mandatory 100% compliance.  Such compliance requires force, because humans simply are not that docile.


That's not what I asked.  I asked about their official stand(s) on the use of violence.

Name a Communist sect that eschews all violence.

So all Communists are murderers just because Stalin was?
I don't think the CPUSA nor the various people identifying as Christian Communists (which includes some Orthodox) are planning on planting any car bombs.
http://www.cpusa.org/faq/

Quote
Communists believe that social change can only be accomplished through the united action of mass movements which express the majority will of the people. Peaceful methods of change are not only the right thing to do, they are the most effective way to unite and mobilize the greatest majorities.

Violence, on the other hand, is a tool of the big corporations and the governments they control. To preserve their power, they use violence against workers' and people's movements.

In contrast, Communists seek to change society peacefully. We work to expand every democratic and electoral avenue as part of our fight for working class political and economic power.

Our party believes that it is possible to make fundamental transformations using the electoral process, the Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights.
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« Reply #158 on: October 02, 2011, 08:30:59 PM »

I see a renunciation.
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Peaceful methods of change are not only the right thing to do, they are the most effective way to unite and mobilize the greatest majorities.
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« Reply #159 on: October 03, 2011, 03:38:57 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


I'm still trying to figure out where the anabaptists have done these things.

Well, maybe all those Cathars, Waldensians, Donatists, and Arnoldists (the first European anabaptist movements) were too busy assassinating Catholic government officials and priests while burning and looting Churches to pay any attention to the Jews Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
That's not quite fair. Although there may have been ideological influence as with the Cathars on the Waldensians, none of these movements are materially related.

What unites all of those movements was (A) they were proto-Protestant and (B) the resulted to violence and even assassination as a politico-religious strategy

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #160 on: October 03, 2011, 04:37:57 PM »

I know our newest poster here is a bit abrasive and difficult, especially with the one-line comments in some of the threads. Nonetheless, I have to be honest, it's when I see Christians try to argue against atheism in threads like this that I am most sympathetic to atheism. I've said many times that I didn't first leave the Church because of guys like Dawkins and Hitchens and Harris (who I had never even read at that point, and still pretty much have barely read), but rather because of Paul and St. John Chrysostom and so forth. Same thing here... I don't sympathise with atheism because the arguments of Čika-Gliša are so good, but rather because the arguments of Christians are so bad. It's sort of like scanning a post of Christian objections to atheism or unbelief, and I'm thinking: "No, don't agree with that; nah, not quite right; I think that's a misunderstanding; that's probably not correct either; etc." and I'm left with the growing question... well, what do I do then? 
Interesting. I find that the arguments that atheists make are embarrassingly sophomoric.
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Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
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« Reply #161 on: October 03, 2011, 05:03:09 PM »

That's not what I asked.  I asked about their official stand(s) on the use of violence.

Name a Communist sect that eschews all violence.

So all Communists are murderers just because Stalin was?
I don't think the CPUSA nor the various people identifying as Christian Communists (which includes some Orthodox) are planning on planting any car bombs.
http://www.cpusa.org/faq/

Quote
Communists believe that social change can only be accomplished through the united action of mass movements which express the majority will of the people. Peaceful methods of change are not only the right thing to do, they are the most effective way to unite and mobilize the greatest majorities.

Violence, on the other hand, is a tool of the big corporations and the governments they control. To preserve their power, they use violence against workers' and people's movements.

In contrast, Communists seek to change society peacefully. We work to expand every democratic and electoral avenue as part of our fight for working class political and economic power.

Our party believes that it is possible to make fundamental transformations using the electoral process, the Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights.

This is such a crock and anybody who believes in it is also full of it.

ADDED: A big OOPS and please forgive me for my intemperate language. For the time for me to read the exchange and respond to it, I had thought that I was in Politics. So, let me rephrase: I would not believe anything that CPSU says as this organization has forfeited the right to be believed; for decades they have lied to the American people.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 05:29:03 PM by Second Chance » Logged

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« Reply #162 on: October 03, 2011, 05:42:35 PM »

There is no perfection on the earth. All groups are made up of sinful people who have passions and don't live up to their ideals. But the Orthodox Church has Christ, who alone is sinless. So, despite all the horrible people who have been members of the Church together with all the wonderful and mediocre people, I would take the Orthodox Church over anything else, because it has Christ. I came to Orthodoxy because of Him.
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« Reply #163 on: October 03, 2011, 06:08:15 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


I'm still trying to figure out where the anabaptists have done these things.

Well, maybe all those Cathars, Waldensians, Donatists, and Arnoldists (the first European anabaptist movements) were too busy assassinating Catholic government officials and priests while burning and looting Churches to pay any attention to the Jews Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
That's not quite fair. Although there may have been ideological influence as with the Cathars on the Waldensians, none of these movements are materially related.

What unites all of those movements was (A) they were proto-Protestant and (B) the resulted to violence and even assassination as a politico-religious strategy

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Hmm, I don't know anything about the Arnoldists but you'll have to show me where the Waldensians were violent. Also, the Cathars were Gnostics, it's not really fair to class them as Protestants.
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