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Is Christianity Political?

Is Christianity a Political Movement?


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formerroadie

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Read the fuggin Bible!

"Now go attack the Amalekites and totally destroy them. Do not spare them, put to death men, women, children, infants, cattle, sheep, camels, and donkeys." - 1 Samuel 15:3

For example. Find something like this occurring in the name of "secularism" (Communism doesn't count).

The wars in the OT are not justification for war. That is horrible interpretation and should not be followed. My church does not. We don't even read the OT in our calender except during lent and only the portions that refer to the suffering servant in Isaiah. Here, this is a quote from an encyclical from the patriarch of the Greek church:

"We stand firmly against those who violate the sanctity of human life and pursue policies in defiance of moral values. We reject the concept that it is possible to justify one's actions in any armed conflicts in the name of God."

You see, in my church, scripture is highly valued but is also a part of tradition, as it was from the beginning. Therefore, one can argue against said craziness like those wars in the OT. So, it is NOT canonized in all churches at all times. Have people used it to justify their violence: yes. But it has never been a doctrinal canon to do violence. So, you must blame individuals at certain times in history rather than blaming the religion.

For example, during the crusades, the Christians of the east took a passive stance. The monks took in both crusaders and moors alike when they were wounded. No questions asked. It has been that way for eastern monks since their inceptions. You see, the west often ignores the east, which is, 1) where Christianity originates (it is not a "western" religion in the sense of origins) and 2) the east holds the second largest church in the world and more recently, many westerners have joined the east as well. We have a strong sense of human dignity and at the center of our doctrine is the idea that all humans are Images of God and therefore ought to be treated with such dignity. No death penalty and no war. Of course, my church has had its horrible moments in history, but that is due to people being mislead to think they are doing what's right rather than following proper doctrine.
 

Redress

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It's doctrine makes it far more inclined to violence and authoritarian rule than, say Buddhism or secularism. That is fact that you could learn for yourself if you actually studied religions instead of dropping your little "well other people do bad stuff too" card and pretending you have a point.

Did I mention secularism or Buddhism? The point, which you missed, is that judging current Christianity by the actions of those hundreds of years ago is foolish. Christianity does not have a monopoly on atrocity, and is not the most or least guilty. It's also irrelevant in relation to the modern world and this discussion as to whether Christianity is political.
 

Toothpicvic

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Which does not make Christianity political. You are changing subjects now.
I already told you it's more commercial than political. And when it's political, it's only political for the sake of commercial gain. It has had no proof of its legitimacy and it never will. "Creationism", the resurrection, and the like have been thoroughly debunked (not that they ever had any proof to begin with).
 

Toothpicvic

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Did I mention secularism or Buddhism? The point, which you missed, is that judging current Christianity by the actions of those hundreds of years ago is foolish. Christianity does not have a monopoly on atrocity, and is not the most or least guilty. It's also irrelevant in relation to the modern world and this discussion as to whether Christianity is political.
Only the actions of those from 100s of years ago? What about Fred Phelps, Jerry Falwel, Pat Robertson, Ted Haggart, pedophile priests, Operation Rescue, the IRA, the KKK, the CSA, the Aryan Nations, David Koresch, Jim Jones, etc etc etc
 

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I already told you it's more commercial than political. And when it's political, it's only political for the sake of commercial gain. It has had no proof of its legitimacy and it never will. "Creationism", the resurrection, and the like have been thoroughly debunked (not that they ever had any proof to begin with).

You are still wrong. You see Christianity as a monolith, when it is not. To refer to a comment I made earlier, there are subsets within the larger set of Christianity who are commercial, who are political, and so on. They do not however make up the whole of the set of Christianity. This is similar to how Islamic terrorists are a subset of the larger set of Muslims. They are not the whole of the set.
 

formerroadie

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Only the actions of those from 100s of years ago? What about Fred Phelps, Jerry Falwel, Pat Robertson, Ted Haggart, pedophile priests, Operation Rescue, the IRA, the KKK, the CSA, the Aryan Nations, David Koresch, Jim Jones, etc etc etc

Good examples, but what about the ones who represent the opposite like, say, Martin Luther King, The Patriarch of Constantinople, Saint Maximovich, etc. You see, those who cause the violence and craziness are usually the loudest and therefore held up as the examples of the entire religion. In the end, that is unfair.
 

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Only the actions of those from 100s of years ago? What about Fred Phelps, Jerry Falwel, Pat Robertson, Ted Haggart, pedophile priests, Operation Rescue, the IRA, the KKK, the CSA, the Aryan Nations, David Koresch, Jim Jones, etc etc etc

Are those the entirety of Christianity? I don't think so. This will be the first year in awhile that I don't spend part of christmas day at the Mel Trotter ministries helping them feed homeless people(who consist of a large number of vets) a nice meal for christmas. That group has to be lumped into the overall set of Christianity as well. Looking at only one or the other gives you an incomplete view.
 

Catawba

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Isn't political purpose the whole reason it was invented?
 

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I was responding directly to your point. :doh If you want to stay on topic, I'll try to do the same.

Sorry, I assumed you where actually trying to talk about the topic. That is where I made my mistake. Should I assume you are only going to try and bitch about Christianity and not talk about the subject then?
 

Catz Part Deux

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Good examples, but what about the ones who represent the opposite like, say, Martin Luther King, The Patriarch of Constantinople, Saint Maximovich, etc. You see, those who cause the violence and craziness are usually the loudest and therefore held up as the examples of the entire religion. In the end, that is unfair.

I think that what comes into play in the U.S., at least, though, is when large voting blocks of religious folks start to dominate public policy on the basis of their "religious views." So, when it is the majority of a particular group that becomes politicized, at what point does the tipping point occur that we become the Holy Roman Empire? Because, as you well know, the pope played a hugely political role in Europe for a thousand years or more, and dictated state policy, much like religious conservatives have been attempting to do in the U.S. over the last 20 years.
 

formerroadie

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I think that what comes into play in the U.S., at least, though, is when large voting blocks of religious folks start to dominate public policy on the basis of their "religious views." So, when it is the majority of a particular group that becomes politicized, at what point does the tipping point occur that we become the Holy Roman Empire? Because, as you well know, the pope played a hugely political role in Europe for a thousand years or more, and dictated state policy, much like religious conservatives have been attempting to do in the U.S. over the last 20 years.

That's just it. You presuppose that there is a majority of the Christian population voting and acting in that manner. That is not necessarily true.

Yup. The RC did that after splitting from my church. We have a unique situation in history in that Religion/Politics/Kinship are not completely intertwined. Most of the world have this understanding and don't put things in compartments. We do. In fact, this sort of understanding of seperation of religion and politics is a post enlightenment invention. Before the enlightenment, it was unheard of. That said, those vocal Religious Right are not the majority of Christians in this country. They are just the vocal asses people hear instead of those who have a more level head and actually think. I used to be a conservative protestant. Trust me, I know the culture.

There are also many in this country that don't claim religious affiliation but hold some of the conservative view points of said religious groups. I agree with you in that we have to keep church and state separate but to demonize an entire religion based on a portion of it is unjust.
 

Dav

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Ad hominem without supporting evidence.

Your own posts are the supporting evidence.

You have not yet responded to our assertions that according to your logic, age, race, and height, among other things, are political. Does this mean you have no rational argument you can use to defend your lack of logic?

So, then, why does Christianity get a pass?

...:doh

I try to discuss your comparison of Christianity with fascism/Nazism, and now you're asking why they're getting "a pass"?

So you're saying that all religious beliefs, including atheism, are comparable to fascism/Nazism?

Did you miss the story in the religion section about the father (a pastor) who dripped melted plastic on his daughter because she was a witch?

And yeah, this is all about peace and tolerance:

"But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say, "You helped this happen."

-- Rev Jerry Falwell, blaming civil libertarians, feminists, homosexuals, and abortion rights supporters for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, quoted from John F Harris, "God Gave US 'What We Deserve,' Falwell Says," The Washington Post (September 14, 2001)

I'm sorry, but you cannot tell me that if this guy had his way, they wouldn't be burning (or at the minimum), incarcerating non-believers.

What percentage of Christians in America do you think favor torturing/killing non-believers?

I think that what comes into play in the U.S., at least, though, is when large voting blocks of religious folks start to dominate public policy on the basis of their "religious views." So, when it is the majority of a particular group that becomes politicized, at what point does the tipping point occur that we become the Holy Roman Empire? Because, as you well know, the pope played a hugely political role in Europe for a thousand years or more, and dictated state policy, much like religious conservatives have been attempting to do in the U.S. over the last 20 years.

Please tell me who these religious conservatives are, and how they are trying to dictate U.S. policy. Specific examples, please.


Not that it matters, since even if 99% of Christians wanted to impose their beliefs on everyone, the fact would remain that Christianity itself is not a political movement. Any more than, if all blacks wanted to impose rule based on race, the black race would not be a political movement.
 

Toothpicvic

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Are those the entirety of Christianity? I don't think so. This will be the first year in awhile that I don't spend part of christmas day at the Mel Trotter ministries helping them feed homeless people(who consist of a large number of vets) a nice meal for christmas. That group has to be lumped into the overall set of Christianity as well. Looking at only one or the other gives you an incomplete view.
Prove that those individuals would not have fed the homeless, had they not been members of the Christian religion. Buddhists are generally much more supportive of others than Christians are.
 

Redress

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Prove that those individuals would not have fed the homeless, had they not been members of the Christian religion. Buddhists are generally much more supportive of others than Christians are.

And there would just as likely have not been as many people organized to do good. It goes both ways. Christianity is not a force of good, or evil. It's simply a belief system that can be used for either.
 

Toothpicvic

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And there would just as likely have not been as many people organized to do good. It goes both ways. Christianity is not a force of good, or evil. It's simply a belief system that can be used for either.
But it's an incorrect one, so until Christians learn to keep their beliefs out of politics, I will continue to call them out on it. BTW, are you sure that church feeds homeless gays? I occasionally visit a church in my town that feeds the homeless (unless they're gay - in which case they have to commit themselves to undergo "therapy" first).
 

formerroadie

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I thought it was invented to manipulate the masses which seems very political to me.

Christianity was a sub group of Judaism in its inception. It was a small group of people who agreed to follow Jesus across the empire. There was no grand mastermind scheme behind it.
 

Toothpicvic

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Christianity was a sub group of Judaism in its inception. It was a small group of people who agreed to follow Jesus across the empire. There was no grand mastermind scheme behind it.
Christianity is based more on St. Paul's doctrine than Jesus'. Paul "claimed" to have had a vision from Christ and claimed that he was speaking for Jesus, even though his version of Christianity was much different.
 
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formerroadie

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But it's an incorrect one, so until Christians learn to keep their beliefs out of politics, I will continue to call them out on it. BTW, are you sure that church feeds homeless gays? I occasionally visit a church in my town that feeds the homeless (unless they're gay - in which case they have to commit themselves to undergo "therapy" first).

Oh Lord, you need to meet some good Christians for a change. Yeesh. You should call out Christians who place politics at the center of their faith. You go. I do the same. It doesn't justify blanket statements about the religion in general.
 

Toothpicvic

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Oh Lord, you need to meet some good Christians for a change. Yeesh. You should call out Christians who place politics at the center of their faith. You go. I do the same. It doesn't justify blanket statements about the religion in general.
Ah and that's the danger of liberal "tolerance" - or really, being unwilling to make a stand on anything.
 

formerroadie

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Christianity is based more on St. Paul's doctrine that Jesus'

Ok Tooth. It seems you are going to argue with anything I say no matter what it is. I said nothing about the origins of the teachings nor whom they listened to. Paul taught them to follow Jesus. Therefore, they were following Jesus THROUGH the teachings of Paul. This is a HUGE discussion which tomes and tomes have been written on throughout the church's history. On a message board, your going to get the surface bare minimum of responses.
 
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