Christianity Is the Most Violent Religion

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by Gangsta twosix, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. Asmodean

    Asmodean Slo motion rider

    Lot's of early christians were killed by pagans. Paganism must be an atrocity to humanity.
     
  2. Driftwood Gypsy

    Driftwood Gypsy Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    in self defense, i'll bet...
     
  3. Asmodean

    Asmodean Slo motion rider

    Don't bet, follow your own advice from the not watching tv thread and read up :p Yes, yes, I understand it was a matter of speech ;) I was being sarcastic in your quote of me too of course. It just makes it obvious to me it does not matter if they were christian or pagan. In early medieval times christian kingdoms were spreading christianity to heathen kingdoms, this was not done in the first place because of any religious motive, only under the banner of it as usual. Before there were any christian kingdoms in europe many christians were slaughtered and persecuted by the romans who technically were pagans. This was not done out of self defense at all.
     
  4. Christianity adopted a lot from pagan rituals.
     
  5. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    I think trying to explain these things in strictly religious terms misses the point. The early Christians were regarded as atheists in the Roman Empire, because they rejected their civic duty of paying minimal respect to the pagan gods, especially deceased emperors--and because of alleged cannibalism in feasting on human flesh and blood (of Jesus) in the eucharist services. This led to a series of persecutions of Christians by Romans, beginning with Nero during the 60s. Obviously the motive for that wasn't, strictly speaking, religious. Nero scapegoated the Christians to take the heat off of him for the fire in Rome that he was being blamed for. In the fourth century, Constantine embraced Christianity, for what I think were political reasons, and gave increasing power to the Christians, which they proceeded to abuse by becoming persecutors themselves--beginning with other Christian sects. The Arians were declared heretics at the Council of Nicea, and persecuted, after which the Arians persecuted the persecutors when they (the Vandals) conquered North Africa. Both were cases of Christians persecuting Christians. It's not a pretty picture, but I think it has more to do with human nature than with any particular religion.
     
  6. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed and Confused Staff Member Super Moderator

    Look here, with footnotes for Christian atrocities.

    A highlight, one or two examples from each category:
    If I counted correctly, this list contains 100 examples like the ones above.
     
  7. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    Yes, the big "if". But assuming that the body count is accurate, I still have some problems with it that are recurrent in atheist rants about the inherent violence of Christianity: (1) It lumps together a wide variety of groups, and paints them all with the same brush, just because they call themselves Christian. Some Christian groups have a longstanding commitment to pacifism, e.g.: Quakers, Amish, Mennonites, Jehovah's Witnesses. Others also have been pretty well-behaved: Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, Disciples of Christ, etc. The Churches that are responsible for most of the pre-Enlightenment atrocities you cite is the Catholic Church and their sixteenth and seventeenth century Protestant opponents, so if this is an anti-Catholic diatribe, at least narrow it down. By the way, the Catholics are now officially pacifist and are unlikely to be engaging in any witchhunts and Inquisitions in the forseeable future, so what's the point.
    (2) It assumes that everybody who uses the Christian label is one, regardless of how wildly their conduct departs from the teachings of Jesus--e.g, the barbarian Crusaders. When I call myself a Christian, I'm identifying with a philosophy of "love thy neighbor, turn the other cheek." It's hard to see how anyone could miss that message, although some obviously have. (3) It includes examples that are mostly centuries old and specific to conditions of the Middle Ages and Reformation eras. (4) It accepts uncritically claims to Christian-sponsored genocide in the Americas and Hawaii, based on David Stannard's methodological travesty, which equates pestilence with genocide, without showing causal intent;the quotation by the Rev.Rufus Anderson is shockingly callous, but he was one individual, and nothing said indicates more than approval of deaths from pestilence, not deliberate cause of genocide; (5) The most recent example, during World War II, of Croatian death camps run by Franciscans is a culturally specific instance of virulent local anti-Semitism that has no general applicability to Chrstianity or Europe. One might as well say that Americans are anti-Semites or guilty of the Holocaust because they're mostly caucasians like the Nazis. (6) It omits atrocities by non-religious groups that dwarf the figures you cite. Stepahane Courtois estimates that Communism is responsible for killing more people than the Nazis: 94 million--65 million by the Communist Chinese, 20 million by the Soviets, 2 million each by the Cambodians and North Koreans, and the rest by various other Marxist-Lenninist regimes like the Cubans. And what religion were the perpetrators. Why none at all. They were officially atheists, believers in dialectical materialism. Does this make all atheists responsible? Of course not, but if I applied the same "logic" we've been getting in these posts, it would.
     
  8. Driftwood Gypsy

    Driftwood Gypsy Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Yes, right after they killed the pagans.
     
  9. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    It is important to note that there is a big difference between a Christian carrying out an atrocity and a Christian carrying out an atrocity because of Christian doctrines. If you seriously want to claim that people are carrying out atrocities because of Christian doctrines then you can't just point out atrocities committed by Christians. You must provide arguments and evidence to demonstrate that the atrocities were motivated by Christianity.

    Hitler and Stalin had mustaches, but that fact alone cannot be used to argue that people with mustaches carry out atrocities, you would have to provide an argument linking possessing a mustache to carrying out atrocities.

    The same is true for atheism. It does not good to point out atrocities carried out by atheists. You have to demonstrate that atheism has something to do with the atrocities.

    Personally I think that there are people who are willing to do horrible things, and people who aren't, and it has nothing to do with their faith or lack of faith.
     
  10. Driftwood Gypsy

    Driftwood Gypsy Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    I can't think of any atrocities performed in the name of Atheism. And more still in the name of Buddha.
    I'm sure Buddhist MONKS might have recruited kamikaze pilots (though I haven't read the source), but I can guarantee you that is NOT the Buddha message, unlike Mohammed and Jesus who are less clear and back very violent books.
    I've never seen a Yoga book tell me to kill gays.
     
  11. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    Neither can I. I actively deny claims to that effect, see my previous post in this thread about the Holocaust and Stalinist purges.

    You haven't read the source but you are already sure that it had nothing to do with Buddha's message? That is a mistake, you should study it first and arrive at conclusions later, otherwise you reveal that you want Christianity to be violent and you want Buddhism to be peaceful, and that is an emotional argument, not a rational one. You have committed yourself to a position while admitting to not knowing the facts. In this case you are factually wrong, those Buddhist supporters of fascism believed that fascism was the perfect political extension of their spiritual beliefs. Those are their words, not mine.

    Can you provide a direct quote from Jesus in which he tells people to commit atrocities, or that committing atrocities is acceptable (please no quotes from genesis, exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy)? I am asking that genuinely as I have never read the Bible in its entirety and I am willing to admit that I missed those scriptures.

    Also can you point to a historical atrocity, and provide an argument demonstrating that the guilty parties were motivated by Christian doctrines (not just an atrocity carried out by Christians, which would not be sufficient to prove your point)? The argument linking the doctrines to the atrocity is the important part. Just as it does no good for someone to point out that Stalin was an atheist, and that he personally signed the orders for many of history's worst atrocities (which he did).
     
  12. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed and Confused Staff Member Super Moderator

    I hate getting into these arguments, but posted that list because some think that the Roman persecution of Christians, was much worse than the Christan persecutions of others, including their own. It wasn't.

    Okie, the if I was referring to was my count of incidences that the list referred to, not the number of individuals killed.
    1.) Everyone knows that not all individuals in a group are not responsible for the group's action unless they condone it by their silence and allegiance to the group.
    2.)
    The "Barbarian" Crusaders were sanctioned by the Church.
    3.)Yes it does, that is called history.
    4.) I'd have to research Hawaii, but are you saying that Christians did not kill millions in the Americas who were not considered "human"?
    5.) Again I haven't researched this, but if true you are saying that death camps run by Christan Priests is the same as me and the Nazis both being caucasians?
    6.) Communism is a governmental institution, not a religion or atheistic organization. Communism can have a religious base, or atheistic base, or be a combination of both. In the examples you sited, some deaths were due to religious beliefs, most were not. Stalin outlawed private farming and when the people resisted, he eliminated them. He also wanted to eliminate those who had joined the party to further their careers. Foreign technicians were purged by imprisonment and death. And many suspected of aiding the Germans were removed from their homelands and left to die in remote areas.
     
  13. Driftwood Gypsy

    Driftwood Gypsy Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Buddhist SUPPORTERS. Not Buddhist monks. Not Buddha. I've read enough to highly doubt that anything in Buddhism says harm others.
     
  14. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    I am neither a fascist nor a Buddhist so I have no dog in this fight. However in the period leading up to the second world war there were Buddhists in Japan arguing that Fascism was the perfect political extension of their Buddhist beliefs. They claimed that they were Fascists because of Buddhism. I know a little bit about Buddhism and I agree with you that Fascism is not a perfect extension of Buddhism, but the point should be clear in the context of this thread. We are talking about religious motivation for atrocities, and these religious people were admitting, actually arguing, that they were fascists because of their religious beliefs.

    Now consider fascism in Germany. I know that many Christians were sympathetic to the Nazi regime because the Nazis were fighting the 'Godless communists', but I am not aware of anyone in Germany in that time claiming that they were fascists because of Christianity. There were Christian Fascists, for sure, but they, to my knowledge, did not claim that they were motivated to be fascists by Christian doctrines (and there were many who claimed that Christian doctrines motivated them to fight against the Nazi regime).

    Now I would like to use all of this to argue again for a point I made earlier. There was a Japanese fighter pilot named Saburo Sakai. He was sent on a Kamikaze mission, and for a number of reasons he failed to complete the mission (read his book Samurai!, it's amazing) and he survived the war. After the war he became committed to Buddhism and said that because of his Buddhist beliefs that he would never be able to fight again. On one hand we have fanatical supporters of Japan's imperialistic war claiming that Buddhism motivates them, on the other we have a Buddhist saying that because of Buddhism he could never fight again. This leads me to the conclusion that I spoke of before: People who are willing to commit atrocities will do it regardless of their faith or lack of faith, and people who are not willing will not do it regardless of their faith or lack of faith. I am willing to bet that if Saburo Sakai had become a Christian after the war, that he would have said that because of Christianity he could never fight again. I think he became the kind of person who could not kill anymore, and he would have been able to reaffirm that in whatever belief he adopted after the war.

    Also I am still waiting for quotes from Jesus supporting atrocities, and an argument linking the atrocities committed by people who were Christians to Christian doctrines.
     
  15. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed and Confused Staff Member Super Moderator

    Here:
    This:
    Another interesting site:
    And lastly, why is the Old Testament always considered to be off limits to those who attempt to persuade us that Christianity is not violent, at least in part?
    And isn't the Old Testament still a part of Christianity?

    Check out he links.
     
  16. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    In the event that this post is a response to my posts: I did ask for quotes from the New Testament but not because I think that the Old Testament is 'off limits'. In my first post in this thread I even said that I was aware of all of the awful stuff in the Old Testament, however if someone wants to argue that Christianity is the most violent religion then they should be able to demonstrate this with the texts that are most important to Christian doctrines, which are found in the new testament. Otherwise why not argue that Judaism is the most violent religion?

    Also I have argued in other threads that the New Testament is a fulfillment of the Old Testament, and I have at various points argued that Christians are bound to what is written in the Old Testament. As a matter of fact however most, if not all, Christians that I have ever spoken to personally actively deny that they are bound to the Old Testament, and most of them even admitted to not ever reading the Old Testament. So, regardless of whether you think it is right, most Christians will tell you that they don't particularly care what it says in the Old Testament. That is why I was disregarding Old Testament quotes.

    I have also criticized Christians by saying that if they don't want to be bound to and associated with that abhorrent text known as the Old Testament then why do they insist on printing their scriptures in conjunction with it? I level the same criticism against Muslims who claim to follow a peaceful religion and yet continue to print holy books with violent and abhorrent scriptures in them. If you are nonviolent then purge your scriptures of all that violent nonsense.

    However my main point in this thread was to argue that people who are not willing to commit atrocities will find a way to reaffirm that in their faith, and people who are willing to commit atrocities will find a way to reaffirm that in their faith. I think that these people are willing or unwilling before they read the scriptures and that their actions have more to do with their character than with their religion or lack of a religion. Some Christians may have found support for the Holocaust in their faith, others found the reasons to condemn it in their faith. I think it is simplistic in the extreme to blame religion. Look again at that quote from Hitler, do you know of any Christians who agree with him? I don't.
     
  17. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    It's largely because of their retention of the Old Testament that Christianity is the largest world religion. In the first century, the Old Testament was greatly admired by pagans because of its antiquity and its moralism. Jewish wannabes would hang out at the temples, but were reluctant to take the plunge to conversion, which would have meant circumcision and the dietary laws. Along came Paul and told them they could be Jews without those requirements, and were even better than Jews--the true rightful followers of Yaweh. All they had to do was accept Jesus, His sacrifice and His Resurrection, and they would be justified by their faith alone. Of course they retained the Old Testament. There was no New Testament. Paul's letters in the first decades of the first century were the beginnings of what became the New Testament. There were factions of Christians who weren't happy about these developments. The Jerusalem Church, under the leadership of Jesus' brother, sent out minders called by Paul "Judaizers" or the "circumcision party", who visited several of the churches Paul established and tried to undo his work by telling the folks they couldn't be Christians without first becoming Jews and submitting to Jewish law. At the other extreme was Marcion, who had the same view of the Old Testament that Emanresu has, and taught that it was the work of an evil demigod, Yahweh, who was not the true God who sent Jesus. But Paul's faction prevailed--partly because the Jerusalem crew were exterminated by the Romans after the rising in the 70s but also because without the prestige of the ancient scripture, Marcionites and later Gnostics were viewed as jut another new cult.

    But the Old Testament isn't all blood and guts and atrocities (most of which probably never happened). The Prophets, who came after Yaweh completed His anger management class, gave us stirring, inspiring calls to justice, peace, love and understanding that have no counterpart in other literature. Jesus, of course, was part of this tradition, and when asked what a person needed to do to have eternal life, He'd say keep the Commandments--especially the two most important ones: Love God and Love Thy neighbor. After Paul, the answer changed to : accept that Jesus rose from the dead and died for our sins. What Jesus would have made of that is the subject of debate. But Paul's mutant meme became an evolutionary success.
     
  18. high anxiety

    high anxiety Banned

    Rather than bag Christians, the only ones who are putting in the time and money to actually relieve world suffering, lets cut through the egocentric intellectualisation of people like ^^ who post an empty hate ridden rave then post a photo of themselves. I have met such people. Usually have no self esteem and few friends, so they over compensate in ...words. Big clap for the egos.
    Now I would like to post something very simple, which requires thought outside of ego. Look into the key factors of Satanism. Hate, murder, the need for worship, the abuse of children, the denial of monotheism, greed, possession, the torture of animals, the disregard for any thing outside of their agenda, mind control, idol worship....
    Now see if you can draw parallels in the religions of the world....Take Hinduism for example. We have all of the above. We have child molesters fronting as "Gods" (gurus) We have murder of baby girls, the cast systems continues even tho it was outlawed in the 1940's. We have ceremonies where horses are sacrificed and the streets run with their blood, starvation etc etc all of the above. You don't need to think or look too hard or think too much or assert your own ego. Just open your eyes. For those who quote the fat idol, you might like to aquaint yourselves with the fact that almost nothing is known about what he said, yet so much is written. Refer to the canononical writings in Pali....You can match the evil agenda here, as he doesn't even acknowledge God. Effectively it is not even a religion! I have nothing more to say, as there is nothing more to say. I will not reply to what I consider to be egocentric stupidity coming from everyone on this thread other than oakiefreak. Who actually knows what he is talking about.
     
  19. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    You keep recycling irrelevancies. (1) Yes there are terrorists calling themselves Christian. I'd call the ones who blow up gay bars and abortion clinics terrorists. So what? (2) Yes Hitler tried to claim he was motivated by Christianity. He was a madman. So what? (3) Yes, there is language in the John Gospel that can be interpreted that non-Christians can't get to heaven. It appears only in that Gospel, and it can be interpreted differently, as Progressive Christians do. John first presents Jesus as the Logos, wisdom or enlightenment, and then says only by that means can people connect with God. I'd agree with that. (3) I've already addressed the Old Testament question at length. It contains a lot of inspiring messages, and needn't be taken literally. Christians are under a "new covenant" so the violence in the Old Testament is irrelevant.
     
  20. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    Everyone? Really? What did I say that was so egocentric and stupid? I have been arguing through this entire thread that Christianity is not a violent religion, and that people who are willing to commit atrocities will commit them regardless of their faith, and that people who will not commit them will not commit them regardless of their faith. Is that really an egocentric and stupid position? If so, why? I didn't feel stupid when I said it, and I don't feel stupid now when reading it again.
     

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