The Reasoning for Restrictions/Rules

I have been thinking a lot about rules we place on ourselves – and for many – these rules are based on the faith system they follow. If you know me, I have no problem with rule of law and the spirit and intent of laws to protect society…it makes sense to have something like that to help weed out people in society that are seeking to harm other people (which seems to be the intent behind the law – to protect individuals).

Rules play a big part of what it means to be a caring person in society. Many times we don’t realize that until we feel the effect of the rules being broken on some personal level.

In the bigger, more societal. scheme of things someone breaking into your home and stealing your hard earned property is a good example. No one likes that I am pretty sure. So they made a law to protect us from such incidences or for a way to extract justice for such an act against ‘us’ or ‘society in general’.

But rules also work in the sense they guide us in our direction. In the case of breaking n entering – well the rule for us to follow is if we steal something from our neighbor we will be held to the penalty of the law. It serves as a warning about which behaviors will and will not be tolerated in a decent and honest society. I think we can all admit we don’t mind being protected by such laws.

The law is basically just a set of rules that society has deemed as an acceptable standard for ‘good living’. We also play a real big part in the scheme – our personal self-discipline in such areas of theft, property damage, violence, etc. We also need to make the law more personal to ourselves – so that we personalize the ethics of the law into our own lives (or the spirit of the law).

Which brings me back to the biblical ethics of the Tanakh as translated in the NT. Those ideas in the NT find their basis in the laws of Torah and how they were meant to improve the lives of people – namely the reader’s societal imprint. When one thinks of these NT scriptures they need to realize this seems to be the intent of what the teachings meant (to make life better and not worse).

So when someone tells me they fear restrictions and rules being placed on people it’s pretty obvious they have not reflected deeply enough on what rules and restrictions they have put on their own lives (for the better most likely). Self discipline (or introspection practices) all revolve around such an idea of us dealing with our societal imprint and how we can improve…and that my friends is how society revolves day to day.

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55 thoughts on “The Reasoning for Restrictions/Rules

  1. I think that it is a myth that humanity needs laws or else we will all spiral into mass chaos and carnage. If laws are absolutely necessary in a society then we are admitting that we are all deviants and degenerates by nature? But this is not so (maybe all Christians are deviants and this is why they need thousands of minute rules), we are shaped by our environments more than by nature.

    I will give the ultimate example: Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany was a fascist regime and guess what – they probably had more laws than any other society at its time. For instance, being Jewish was against the law, being a friend to a Jewish person was also illegal, and then the Holocaust became a law unto itself in the Nazi occupied territories, you get the idea. Even Martin Luther King, Jr. stated that (I am paraphrasing) ‘if a law is obscenely unjust to a group of people in a society then it is demanded for those people that are harmed to disobey that law and fight to destroy it’ – this is justice. King stated this to rally his African-American brothers and sisters when they were not allowed under Jim Crow law to vote or to drink from a white persons water fountain, etc – you get the idea. Apartheid has been the law in many lands for centuries, the ‘Indian Act’ is still law in Canada and yes it has been revised but its legacy is a brutal one.

    So you see there is also a very destructive and negative side to laws, rules, mores, social norms, and lawmaking abilities in any society.

    We are not all killers and heathens and we do not need law to tell us this. But on the flip side we can find numerous examples where ‘the law’ has created mass destruction and even killers. Lawmakers are the ones to watch out for and not those that have to be over-burdened by the laws they MUST follow. I can rage on and on about private property and all the laws that revolve around this but I will spare you the boredom.

  2. Without rules there would be anarchy and this place would fall apart very quickly.

    So rules are good. For justification (of righteousness) in God’s eyes, no rules will do.

    No one will be justified in the sight of the law, but by faith in the One was sent to save sinners.

  3. “I think that it is a myth that humanity needs laws or else we will all spiral into mass chaos and carnage” (Johnny)

    Unbelievably, I agree. Saw the movie blindness the other night and realized…wait…if the world went to sh*t – I am not sure this is how people would act (like animals).

    “If laws are absolutely necessary in a society then we are admitting that we are all deviants and degenerates by nature?” (Johnny)

    Well this is where balance is needed. We are admitting there are deviants so laws are made – not that everyone is a deviant. The one’s that are not deviants will need protection from the ones that are.

    “So you see there is also a very destructive and negative side to laws, rules, mores, social norms, and lawmaking abilities in any society” (Johnny)

    Agreed – however just because a law system can be manipulated by the ‘powers that be’ does not mean making laws is neccesarily a bad thing. It just goes to show humans can make bad laws also – terrible laws in the examples you shared.

    I also think laws are good and bad – there is a balance to this. I see laws as protecting society – I can also see how laws can be too restricting to a well run society…thus I mention following the ‘intent of the law’ (which is also why I can agree with King Jr’s quote – since the intent of the law and constitution was being broken).

    I know being too restricted in one’s thoughts and actions can take away from the full experience of life. However, when law in a society is used right – it’s not meant to restrict behaviors that help others…just that which harms society.

    I also mentioned how we all personalize the ethics and intents of the law…which is Christian side I was actually getting at.

  4. “Unbelievably, I agree. Saw the movie blindness the other night and realized…wait…if the world went to sh*t – I am not sure this is how people would act (like animals).”

    I hate to say it but humanity is just another animal, just another species of mammal to be exact (one that has evolved differently), science has already proven this to be evidently true. And we already act unruly and violent on a constant basis even with all of our written laws, I should not have to give examples for this obvious truth. Not to harp too much but even the animal kingdom has its codes of conduct (not written laws of course) that they usually do not disrupt too much. These “laws” are more a code of survival than actual law (law in itself is a human invention) but again the natural environments shape codes of survival. Humanity more than likely invented its own form of law (social code) to survive and then all hell broke loose with lawmaking abilities and social strategy revolving around proper codes of conduct, blah, blah, blah.

    Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are great examples of human codes of conduct going off the rails and approaching something unnatural. These three religions really represent codes of conduct that are not based on survival of any species (although they all propose total domination of natural environments) but instead these three are bent on control of actions and thoughts of believers (and even non-believers).

  5. “I hate to say it but humanity is just another animal, just another species of mammal to be exact (one that has evolved differently), science has already proven this to be evidently true” (Johnny)

    Be careful what you think science has proven as ‘fact’ – it may change in 2 years. Just an observation with science.

    As for humans being another ‘animal’ – I disagree 100%. For example, if this is so then wouldn’t most solutions to over-population be normal? Even if this means a mass genocide to wipe out many so the land could be freed for the normal limit.

    Also, if we are just another ‘animal’ why is it humanity has progressed where so many have failed – even to the point of figuring out the universe piece by piece? Mentally, we seem to be quite a few steps ahead of the next the best evolved entity. Which makes me question whether we are an animal or not…just because we are warm blooded and walk upright doesn’t mean we are just ‘another animal’…but if you want to believe that – feel free to follow science on that one.

    “These “laws” are more a code of survival than actual law (law in itself is a human invention) but again the natural environments shape codes of survival” (Johnny)

    Small difference here that I will mention. Not only are we making laws for ourselves (externally and internally) – we are the one’s defining and looking into the natural laws animals use…which speaks to some serious differences between our way of living and a lion’s for example.

    “These three religions really represent codes of conduct that are not based on survival of any species (although they all propose total domination of natural environments) but instead these three are bent on control of actions and thoughts of believers (and even non-believers).” (Johnny)

    This is, again, your personal opinion on those religions – I in fact think within Christianity there is a code of conduct unto survival. For instance, how many Christians are killing one another – or for that matter – destroying whichever society they are in? Very few.

    One needs to remember that Christian communities are not into breaking the law – whether they live here, America, African nations, or even China. In all cases they seem to be your most ideal citizens…which means they follow the law…which in turn means they seek the preservation of society in a safe manner…which then means their code of survival is the peace of humanity/seeking to protect each person.

    Now, admitted, as humans we eat everything under the sun…Christians are not devouring the societies they live in.

  6. For example, if this is so then wouldn’t most solutions to over-population be normal? Even if this means a mass genocide to wipe out many so the land could be freed for the normal limit. (Societyvs)

    Seems to me were not exempt from viruses, disease, natural disaster, etc……
    Not much different than the animals, except we bitch about it. 🙂

    Also, if we are just another ‘animal’ why is it humanity has progressed where so many have failed – even to the point of figuring out the universe piece by piece?(Societyvs)

    How far have we progressed. Seems to me we have just found different ways to kill ourselves off more efficiently. Also, if you look at how much we pollute our enviroments and kill each other comparable to the other species, I would wonder why were not called the animals.

    “No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity. But I know none, and therefore am no beast.”

  7. “Seems to me were not exempt from viruses, disease, natural disaster, etc……Not much different than the animals, except we bitch about it.” (John)

    Agreed – those things effect us on a daily basis. However, when animals start inventing hospitals – call me so I can use their health care system. We have some innate ability to be creative enough to deal with those issues on some level (heck we even psychology for trauma victims).

    “How far have we progressed. Seems to me we have just found different ways to kill ourselves off more efficiently. Also, if you look at how much we pollute our enviroments and kill each other comparable to the other species, I would wonder why were not called the animals” (John)

    Behavioraly – I think we can be called ‘animals’ (which doesn’t say much about animal kingdoms mind you when we use that word in that way).

    The fact is, as humans we have problems – and many of them (politically and environmentally). However, we also have the resources to change that equation – and the science to look into what can change that. In some senses, as animals (if this is the label we use) – we are pretty unique specimens – causing life and death and healing and hope.

    We even have hospices for wounded and hurt animals – veterinary clinics. So we do hurt the natural order of things – we also seek it’s repair.

    I am only saying ‘there is something unique about the human sepcies as compared to any other animal kingdom’…so much so we can control each one in some strange way.

    • “I am only saying ‘there is something unique about the human sepcies as compared to any other animal kingdom’…so much so we can control each one in some strange way.” (Jay)

      So then by your estimation (which Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all expounded for thousands/hundreds of years) is that humanity is “above” the animal kingdom and they were created to subdue, “control”, and rule over the earth? Therefore humanity is not a part of a nature because they are created by god to RULE over the Earth. Is this an accurate account of your belief system?

      Therefore god is the author of all humanity as a ‘special’ creation and we are purposefully designed to RULE all the Earth and all its inhabitants and everything that has any kind of life – even those that predate us as a species and those that have been here for millions of years before us?

      How is it possible that humanity, being a quite young species, was intended to RULE over everything? What about dinosaurs – they predate humanity, as do many different sea animals. Or do you believe in the ‘Flintstone’ theory that these religions have created?

      Either way there is a hole in your theory and it is obvious. Either you believe in science or you totally reject it. You cannot say that humanity is meant to “control” because you believe that is how god has intended it to be and then say that, yes evolution is also truth. If you take the god route (that we are meant to RULE and subdue the Earth) then you must reject all scientific discoveries because these discoveries cannot explain the wisdom and power of god, otherwise known as the “will of god”. Thus you have to believe that peoples thousands of years ago are speaking the absolute truth – even though these same peoples had no idea how anything worked in the universe and had no idea how it came to be – in fact it was SCIENCE that explained the processes of the universe, not religion.

      How can animals and species that predate humanity be ruled over by humanity? This is an obvious error in your thinking. How is it that humanity is special when they were not even the first species on this planet? How special are we if we were not even the first creation?

  8. “So then by your estimation (which Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all expounded for thousands/hundreds of years) is that humanity is “above” the animal kingdom and they were created to subdue, “control”, and rule over the earth?” (Johnny)

    I will ask the obvious – isn’t this what humans do anyway – inside or outside of religion?

    “Either you believe in science or you totally reject it.” (Johnny)

    I am not a black n white thinker who see’s the world as ‘one way or the other’. I do see shades of gray you know. What does this mean?

    It means that I accept the discoveries of science but still reject the placement of humanity in a rung that seems to not fit him (if this is what they are saying – ‘just another mammal’).

    “you must reject all scientific discoveries because these discoveries cannot explain the wisdom and power of god, otherwise known as the “will of god”” (Johnny)

    Science cannot define a lot of things but we still accept them as true (like why love between people occurs). Science is not faith and never will be – and I don’t confuse that fact. Science is into explaining the processes of the planet and why they may happen the way they do (and they do a damn good job). However, science is not going to truly touch on theology or philosophy – since it’s just not a concern to them.

    But truth be told, prior to innovations of science since the Industrial Age – people still lived fairly good lives ‘not knowing the processes’. In many ways, better lives and in some ways not as enriched lives.

    “How is it that humanity is special when they were not even the first species on this planet? How special are we if we were not even the first creation?” (John)

    What does it matter if we were not first – science would even tell us ‘the stong survive’…and we ended up ruling the whole damn thing (even defining and naming everything…the Adam syndrome anyone?).

    It’s blantantly obvious we are that much different than animals – if it’s only conciousness we are talking about. However, we are so conscious that we are creative and imaginative. It’s just too far gone for me to believe we are simply animals just like any other animal when the clear ringing of humanity’s accomplishments shine so brightly as to their uniqueness.

    If evolution teaches us we are nothing but another animal – I disagree…I need more proof

    • It is not blatantly obvious that we are different. In truth it is blatantly obvious that we are more similar to animals than to god, whatever god is. Do you know what god is?

      Well you put a lot of words down in that last passage but no actual answers, just mere speculations. If speculation are all you have then you have nothing. You provide no evidence to your claims other than humanity is creative, so is the animal kingdom, all mammals are creative in their own ways, survival demands it.

      Here are my evidences: We reproduce exactly the same as other mammals, our hearts function in the exact same manner by pumping blood, we breath the exact same air and need O2 to live, we eat similar foods and we are carnivorous, we need water to live, we have the same reproductive sex organs all mammals, and there are about a thousand other similarities that are evidence to out similarity. Are these similarities just a mere coincidence? Now on the flip what makes us so different? And please give actual evidences and not just faith-based reasonings and speculations about god creating us as the rulers of the Earth.

      What exactly do humans rule? Do we rule the universe at all in any way? Or is it our blind narcissism that lets us think that we rule. If humanity were to destroy itself today by nuclear war (could happen) the universe would never notice and would not care one bit. The entire planetary system would still rotate around our sun and the universe would still exist as though nothing even happened. When you take yourself out of the picture you can see that we are a pebble in the immensity of the universe. We are not special, we are a very young species and we will eventually destroy ourselves. I guess in that way we are creative, we have manifested the perfect ways to destroy this planet. yay.

  9. “Now on the flip what makes us so different? And please give actual evidences and not just faith-based reasonings and speculations about god creating us as the rulers of the Earth.” (Johnny)

    Different – I could go on for hours but I’ll use a few small things.

    Viruses that effect us may not effect the animal kingdom and vice versa. How is it a certain virus can effect humans but not other mammals (like a whale let’s say)? Even if our hearts beat in the same way – and we take in oxygen the same way – something is quite different biologically.

    There is nothing as compex as the human brain in any other mammal (or animal). The brain, in and of itself, if it is a product of evolution was sure pretty specific on who got it and who didn’t (only 1 species has this type of brain – humans). From that creative epicentre we see the development of any and everything we see around us through-out history and only other people can comprehend it. That’s a very big difference…our consciouness.

    There is no recorded form of human that functions like an animal. Even the various evolutionary remnants they find for proof of this – they still find lodgings, utensils, and even pottery. There really is scant to no proof we ever functioned on the same thinking level of an animal (unless they think cause we hunt we are animals). We tend to find ways to even break what would seem like the natural evolutionary food chain (things bigger than us should naturally be our predators – if they are carnivores). Yet the proof of any existence of some food chain where we are not on top of it is also quite scant. I would ask this…if we are just like, let’s say primates, and the world functions by these food chains…who ate us and what is the proof for such an idea?

    Now that doesn’t quite make us animals in the same sense of other animals IMO. We can dominate any group of animals – even bigger ones – develop communities complete with housing, war materials, utensils, language, and even manipulate the landscape to benefit us. There is a marked difference between what a human can do and what an animal can do…even if only some 10,000 years of known history is the be believed. The fact we can have this conversation discussing the intricate details of this idea and a cheetah cannot – speaks volumnes IMO. We in fact seem to be making the world as humans – defining what it will be – and animals don’t have much say in those affiars (I am yet to meet an animal with that conciousness that has changed their environment to match us wherever we are).

    Now are we animals – biologically (in some ways) – yes. The genetic make-up is pretty much the same (from rna to dna). However, there are clear differences – and if you wanna believe we evolved to this aside from any other animal of the millions out there – great. Then evolution has made us gods of some sort IMO.

  10. John, on the dolphins thing, don’t get me wrong – I believe in the protection of the species and the innocent slaughter of dolphins (a smart mammal by all opinions)…I believe with our consciousness we should help to protect and not butcher.

    As for person-hood, John do you think you and a dolphin are basically the same type of being?

    Odd thing about that tragic story, which species is wiping them out and see’s some beneficial gain from the process? Bingo, humans.

    Dolphins are not people the same way a dog is not a person…they are animals – we love them but they are just not us.

    How am I saying anything even controversial? This is like unbelievable to me that such opinions exist about humanity – pit us in a war for territory in which the survival our children depend on it – and very few of us would even remotely consider the death of an animal as ‘horrendous’. We’ll wipe out a whole pack of hyenas just to provide safety in our villages if that’s what it took.

    • I never stated that you were saying anything “controversial”, I said you were stating things that were your opinion and speculations and not based on any scientific and specifically biological truth or even evidences. Either humanity has evolved as a species or we were created by a greater being(s). There is absolutely no, and I repeat no, evidence for higher creators or a single entity that is a creator but simple biology points us toward evolution as a truth based on basic biological evidences.

      I never said that we were “animals” but I said that we were a variant species that had its origins in the same pool that all life has come from, in this way we are the same but obviously humanity is a different species and no one argues with us being a different species. But we are mammals and it undeniably obvious and the evidences are immense for this truth. And I will stand by my estimation that we as humanity are not rulers nor are we more special than any other species on this planet.

      Point #1 On the subject of diseases which we cannot share with animals – this is total mythology and straight out lies. Just off the top of my head I can think of at least 5 major diseases and illnesses that have originated in animals and they have been assimilated into the humans populations and have killed millions. Those 5 are: 1. AIDS (originated in apes/monkeys), 2. Swine Flu or H1N1 (pigs), 3. Avian bird flu (poultry, ducks) , 4. Mad cow disease (bovine), and 5. the bubonic plague (rodents, rats) – also let us not forget that mosquitoes, and other bugs, carry all manner of disease and they transport those illnesses to millions of humans on a daily basis. This point is debunked.

      Point #2 – The human brain is complex and no one disputes this to be true but other mammals have similar brain functioning. Now do animals create art and the written word? Of course not, but this just proves that we are a different species it does not automatically conclude that we are the rulers and that is our inherent birthright as humans. For instance, does an ant brain work in the exact same manner as a dog or a dolphin? No, but they have a brain nevertheless. You can teach a dog to learn and to respond to human suggestions but obviously an ant would never react in the same manner. So then are dogs created as RULERS of ants? of course not. OIn fact ants outnumber anything on the face of the planet, we can count the number of dogs and humans but we could never even estimate the number of ants – that number is out of reach but even in Sask. alone there are likely billions upon billions. And that species will outlive us all if the worst were to happen, so are they not our rulers.

      Humans function like animals on a daily basis. I have already made this point. We reproduce in the exact same manner, yes the exact same manner – penis and vaginal sex, or female egg and male semen. Our reproductive sex organs are the EXACT same and we give birth and then nurse in the EXACT same manner. This happens everyday with both humanity and the animal kingdoms and it is EXACTLY the same and has been since recorded human history and will be forever. So the next time you see a human baby and a dog puppy just remember that they were reproduced in the same manner, given birth in the same manner, and then nursed in the same manner. Animalistic isn’t it?

      • Here is an update – I just found a scientific journal from 1999 (now ten years out of date) that stated that the estimated ant population on Earth is over 1 quadrillion, and that is 1 million billion ants. WOW! Humanity is a definite minority in that species race, we could never procreate like that but still we rule the ants don’t we? Even though we cannot teach them anything, we cannot kill them all and never will be able to, and we cannot even really understand their little lives underground, yet we see them everyday and they are always about doing weird things.

  11. Johnny, man, you totally swallowed the pop-bastardized version of Christianity didn’t you? painful to read your interpretation of Christianity.

    societies are built off the question “How shall we live together?” and there philosophical, theological, and governmental systems that are built to answer such questions. the Judeo-Christian model presupposes that humans are animals, but we’re also something else… made in the image of God=self conscious. we are different from animals as our thought process and daily living methods are much more complex. this doesn’t put us over the animals, but it does make us different.

    there is also something up with the human-animal as well. some call it original sin, others would call it the propensity for sin. some would say all humans need guidance in how to live with others, like teaching children to share. all are after the same meaning as all take into account that there is evil in the world and ppl are a big part of that evil.

    • Actually Luke it is not “my interpretation” because I only speak about the moralistic teachings that were taught to me by Catholic institutions and then charismatic “born-again” friends and family members and then a fundamental high school (Protestant). None of these Judeo-Christian thoughts are originally mine, or yours. So before you speak for my mindset you should understand something about it first. I make myself known and I totally reject all those things I was taught as a young man and I do not apologize for that. If they are “bastardized” it was not me who bastardized them. I just reject them and their authors, including Jesus – who never actually wrote down one word on his own, even though he could read and write – I wonder why he didn’t write anything? Maybe because he was a total fiction – an imagination, a creation out of someone’s mind? That is a more than likely explanation.

      And no, you are absolutely wrong – the Judeo-Christian theology does not once mention that we are an “animal-man” or that we evolved from anything; even you are not so foolish to state that. Darwin and other thinkers originated those theories and then biological findings of the past 150 years have tested and proven them to be true. If we are created then why do we need evolution? Evolution is irrelevant if there is a creator. And If we are evolved then why do we need god? I prefer the latter and you prefer to believe in both or a hybrid theology based in science? – that god is both real and he, I repeat HE, let us evolve to what we are now – even though we are created in HIS image? How convenient for your thought process. You can have your cake and eat it too – we can be specially created to evolve? But If we evolve under any scenarios that Christianity has usurped from science then does that not just prove that Darwin is more correct than any theological explanations of the past 5 thousand years? To me it does and if you believe in evolution then obviously it does to you as well – you must reject that god is in the process because god is not needed for life to evolve.

      In fact if you actually read your Old Testament you would see that there is absolutely no scientific explanation for creation and then a subsequent evolution of species. That was darwin and biology. Judeo-Christianity still purports that we are special creations and that is the original message of Genesis. I reject this as true. We are not special and we are not created in any image of anything. We are a species of mammal and you cannot prove otherwise.

      In fact you know what the real downfall of Christianity is? The fact that any and every interpretation is valid. Either it is a truth or it is a lie. Interpretations be damned. Christianity can be interpreted and this is the ultimate downfall of Christianity being relevant to anything in 2010. Christianity and theology can become anything, how convenient for believers.

      • And one last thing – and I have heard this one a million times in my brief dealings with European Christianity – that my interpretation is WRONG and by presupposition that means that yours is absolutely RIGHT. It follows logically that I am wrong for questioning and providing counter-point and it follows that you are right for having true and real faith. Again, how convenient for you. Your theology and INTERPRETATION is truth and everyone else’s is error.

    • “Actually Luke it is not “my interpretation” ” everything is an interpretation. Foucault would be good to read there.

      “Maybe because he was a total fiction ”

      maybe, more than likely not. Marcus Borg and the “Jesus Seminar” would be of help… but i don’t think you’d be interested.

      ” the Judeo-Christian theology does not once mention that we are an “animal-man” ”

      it does rely heavily since the 3 century B.C.E. on Platonic thought processes, mind/body/spirit connections and dualisms. animal/man would be right on par with Augustine’s doctrine of Mankind. that’s all i’m saying. although Genesis chapter 1 did get the order right of plants, animals, people…. worth noting.

      “Christianity has usurped from science then does that not just prove that Darwin is more correct than any theological explanations of the past 5 thousand years?”

      this carries with it the assumption that all Christian and Jewish theology is against Darwin. you’d be wrong. in fact there’s a lovely article written in 1884 by James Woodrow affirming evolution. wonderful theology and great article.

      “you must reject that god is in the process because god is not needed for life to evolve.”

      not like a puppet-master which many Christians want to believe in.. but yes, God is in the process because we’re still here. when ppl say they don’t believe in God it’s akin, in my mind, as not believing in existence. processes are all fine and well and good, but we don’t understand them, we have no explanation for how personalities come out.. for example we can take Man O’ War’s DNA and combine it with Genuine Risk’s (two of the greatest race horses ever) and the horse may or may not have the personality to run.. sure it has the ability.. but there’s that X factor that makes an athlete a star or not. same with people. as John calls it.. a “WOO” factor.

      “n fact if you actually read your Old Testament you would see that there is absolutely no scientific explanation for creation …”

      yup.. cause it’s not science.. it’s a creation narrative.. a MYTH. not to be taken literally.

      “The fact that any and every interpretation is valid. Either it is a truth or it is a lie.”

      nope.. i reject fundamentalist interpretations and many liberal ones as well. as for “it’s either a truth of a lie” is also invalid in my book because sometimes, things can be both. Gallelio wrote his science in narrative form.. so while the settings were a lie or MYTH if you will, the formula of understanding were all true. plus that type of dualistic thinking is a little too simple for my blood.

      “that my interpretation is WRONG and by presupposition that means that yours is absolutely RIGHT.”

      you may take it that way, but that’s not what i was getting at. i know i’m not absolutely right… period. but i also see where you’re coming from given your experience with and current views on religion. i think it’s rather shortsighted. rules and restrictions are necessary and the key isn’t LESS restriction, it’s understanding why the rules are there in the first place. that way one can determine if a law is just or not.. because, as Augustine stated, an unjust law is no law at all. given it’s MLK Jr. day here in the states, i’d point to him as well and lead you to read the Letter From a Birmingham Jail. i don’t think you’d find any ounce of the Christianity you describe in that letter.. unless you count those who it’s written to. it is fantastic theology, socially mindful, and filled with liberation, speaking about justice in the laws… it has nothing to do with science at all… but i don’t think justice does either.

  12. “also let us not forget that mosquitoes, and other bugs, carry all manner of disease and they transport those illnesses to millions of humans on a daily basis. This point is debunked.” (Johnny)

    But not all our diseases effect them back and vice versa. So handfuls of diseases do effect both species (I don’t deny that – it’s obvious). The common cold for example may not effect our pet cat or dog – even if we sneeze on them. And for many of the pets we have – their diseases do not neccesairly effect them. It wasn’t a bunk point – but I admit there are some the cross from human to animal (and vice versa). There are some that don’t…many in fact.

    “Now do animals create art and the written word? Of course not, but this just proves that we are a different species it does not automatically conclude that we are the rulers and that is our inherent birthright as humans” (Johnny)

    I think there is more to it than that simple of an explanation. I have been watching the human spark (pbs.org) and one show was about the 1% difference between us and chimpanzee’s (since we are 99% alike). However, in that 1% difference is vast, almost world-like, differences. We can teach, learn systems (ie: like math or langauge), create social bridges between one another, and yes, take care of the environment (and even shape it to our needs).

    Now those things do make us quite different, mammals yes, but quite a different sort of mammal. I think I am pointing out the obvious there.

    As for the ruler idea, I am merely pointing out what is observable from history. Humans do rule over the animals, whether we like that or not, we name them, we game them, we put them in zoo’s, we cause their extinction, we take them as pets, etc. If a human has to build a city for example…do we consult the animals of the region to find out what they would like? No, this is not the human trend anywhere he’s industrialized. It’s just part and parcel for the course that humans do this to animals (it’s hugely inconsiderate but it is what happens).

    “So the next time you see a human baby and a dog puppy just remember that they were reproduced in the same manner, given birth in the same manner, and then nursed in the same manner. Animalistic isn’t it?” (Johnny)

    I agree, we have the same reproductive process happening – but all that means is as mammals we have the same reproductive process and beyond that not much more.

    Actually, I think we are basically agreeing.

    • we are not agreeing too much because you insist that god is somewhere in the equation and I do not state that at all and I have not stated that. You still reject the idea that we are true mammals, in every sense of the word, and that our similarities connect us more than they separate us (I am speaking of animals and humanity). You will hold on to the belief, yes belief, that humanity is special because we are a creation but I cannot due to the overwhelming amount of biological evidences in the past 150 years that are not based in any faith.

      God is a concept by which we measure our self-worth and existence, to misquote Lennon, but I do not have an active conceptualization of god and what it is to be created, but you do and this is your sticking point.

      • Genesis 1:26 specifically states that “let us make Man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

        Genesis 1:28 – “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

        The key words are “dominion” and “subdue.” And no, I did not interpret this as anything than what it blatantly states. The words are clearly understood. Dominion = domination and subdue = control. This is direct Judeo-Christian theology and Judeo-Christina thought and it has not changed in 5 thousand years. The idea that humanity is dominator and controller is still popular thought, especially in Judeo-Christian circles, and it is still popular mythology among the masses. But I think we all understand that Genesis is mythology but yet these two passages out of Genesis are inherently true among that mythology?

        What does “Our image” exactly mean. Our is a pluralistic word meaning more than one. So then Our image is more than one image. Does that not confound and eradicate the whole one god theory of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam? Just saying is all. and if this one major point is false then is not the whole thing logistically false?

  13. “You will hold on to the belief, yes belief, that humanity is special because we are a creation but I cannot due to the overwhelming amount of biological evidences in the past 150 years that are not based in any faith.” (Johnny)

    True, I do believe in the creation of humans as something unique and special in accordance with the Genesis ideology (although Genesis is a myth that does not mean it does not contain some wisdom).

    As for evolution, you need to know the idea of a Creator is not needed (as you stated)…I just don’t buy it is all and I really don’t have to. Good science is about explaining the universe and it’s processes – not about the explanation of God. The idea for God is in human history and always has been – for some 10,000 years…which always makes me wonder…why? Delusion? Consciousness?

    But everything I am stating I can state based solely on observation – and you go with the biology of the species. I think in the observable differences there is about enough information to let us know – that as humans we are obviously unique compared with other animals.

  14. “The key words are “dominion” and “subdue.”” (Johnny)

    This is a definitions class if anything – about Genesis. It depends on what one what’s to objectify those ideas as. I can as easily say that passage is about the responsible control over the environments we live in as much as you can say they are about domination (which has occured). But since we are talking about the Torah here – one needs to mention ‘responsibility’ right along with that control.

    You may not agree but it’s all there. All Genesis seems to be pointing to (in a vary obvious way and some 1000’s of year prior to a single food chain being defined by science) is that humans can and will subdue (eat/live off) “fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth”. That’s also an aspect being mentioned. And I like my kfc as much as the next person to be honest.

    However, in that there also seems to be a responsibility being passed onto the human creation – care for these species of the earth. Part of being someone that ‘rules’ is being someone that can rule in a ‘good way’. Inherent in that idea is care for these fish, birds, and animals – since they are under the rule of humanity (which actually does seem to be the case).

    I will also point out God lets Adam ‘name’ all the animals (as part of being this ruler). Now you tell me, even with science, is this not what humans are doing to any and every single species they find (categorize and define them)? Yes, it is. So even science is doing that same thing – and humanity in general benefits from eating all of those aforementioned categories – for nutrition (science can also prove that).

    The difficulty in understanding Genesis seems to be that you want to see humans without any responsibility for their ‘rulership’ or that ‘rulership’ does not exist at all. Observably, and even within science, this is true. Why that is difficult to see is the part I am not getting?

  15. “What does “Our image” exactly mean. Our is a pluralistic word meaning more than one. So then Our image is more than one image. Does that not confound and eradicate the whole one god theory…” (Johnny)

    No, not if you know Hebrew or study the passage according to the terms being used there within Judaism (Christianity can speak for itself on this one – since I think when they try to find plurality of gods here they fail horribly).

    These passages occur in the creation passages of Genesis. However, what needs to be remembered God had already created and was speaking within His royal court (or the majestic ‘we’). God seems to be speaking to the created beings around him (usually understood as angels) about His creation and furtherance of creation. There is a plurality in the passage but it ain’t god(s).

    “The answer to this question is simple. If you search the Bible you will find that when the Almighty speaks of “us” or “our,” He is addressing His ministering angels. In fact, only two chapters later, God continues to use the pronoun “us” as He speaks with His angels. At the end of the third chapter of Genesis the Almighty relates to His angels that Adam and his wife have eaten from the Tree of Knowledge and must therefore be prevented from eating from the Tree of Life as well; for if man would gain access to the Tree of Life he will “become like one of us.” The Creator then instructs his angels known as Cherubim to stand at the gate of the Garden of Eden waving a flaming sword so that mankind is prevented from entering the Garden and eating from the Tree of Life.” (Rabbi Tovia Singer – http://www.outreachjudaism.org/genesis1-26.html)

    • Again the great failing in all of this is the fact that is interpreted to mean absolutely anything to anyone, whether it is in Hebrew or not. Even Jewish Rabbis interpret these passages over thousands of years to mean different things and then Christians also interpret it as something else. Is that not an error in the message itself, that it can be openly interpreted to mean anything to anyone at anytime and in any space?

      Even you have a spin on it, believers are now supposed to be environmentally friendly because that is what Genesis really is saying to all believers? That is bleeding ridiculous and is made up on the spot if you ask me. it just sounds like a melding together of whatever fits into the current worldview of the time and it will suffice as an interpretation of the text. That is not wisdom or truth, it is a simple trick to keep believers interested in an old text that is out of date and perhaps irrelevant.

      • “Again the great failing in all of this is the fact that is interpreted to mean absolutely anything to anyone…” (Johnny)

        That’s an educated opinion on your part…but in fact the text has pretty much stayed the same in interpretation since it was being read and used in Jewish circles. Jewish people have never, as far as hisorical records can tell, ever used more than a monotheistic deity. Consistency, over generations, decades, and finally milleniums.

        “it just sounds like a melding together of whatever fits into the current worldview of the time and it will suffice as an interpretation of the text” (Johnny)

        Perhaps, I won’t disregard that.

        However, let’s be absolutely clear about human history and it’s effects on animals. It really wasn’t until industrialization and modern medicine arrived that ecological systems were truly being messed up for good (that may be only 300 years or less). Prior to that ecology as we know it for animals were pretty stable…humans had their effects – nothing like today though.

        So even if I am reading in a new term (environmentalism) it is still consistent with the heart of what was originally there…protection of the ecology of this planet. This seems to be something that did exist all the time up until Industrialization, Capitalism, and Medicine.

        Industrialization = pollution/technology
        Capitalism = greed/money
        Medicine = over habitation

        These are the problems for the world in the last 300 years – which is destroying the environment for every single animal within radius of our cities…and it’s gone global.

        So note this, I may speak of reading in environmentalism (which I think was always there – care for the animals) – but it ain’t no stretch in a much changed world complete with new dangers.

  16. “although Genesis is a myth that does not mean it does not contain some wisdom.” (Jason)

    Well at least you admit to the mythology of the text. That is a start, you are in a minority with that one and you are an open heretic for that comment. Nevertheless, mythology is still mythology and mythology can be used to teach but that does not mean the goings-on in the story are true and this is supremely damaging to any faith, and/or religion, that claims to have obtained and found the absolute truth.

    But let us all consider a different worldview and mythological teaching tool, since I am bored to tears with Christianity, Judaism, and Islamic thought. Here is a Cree myth and just recognize the words in the passage regarding the relationship with the animals of the story. No one knows how old this myth is, because it was only written down on paper in recent years; which of course in European academic thought means that it is invalid and/or minor but we can get past that educational bias can’t we.

    This is an old Rock Cree story and it originates in the prairies of Canada:
    It is a Wisahkicahk (often pronounced: wis – awe – kee- chuck) story. Wisahkicahk is the Cree teacher and he is also a known trickster or prankster, but he is also a creator and innovator (depending on the story). Wisahkicahk is used as a popular teaching narrative among Cree peoples in Canada, at least he was before colonization.

    Here is the story of “Bear’s Eye Medicine”:

    Wisahkicahk kept traveling and looking for food and finally he found a Bear eating berries. “I’ll go with you, younger sibling, as you go around looking for berries,” said Wisahkicahk.
    “All right, elder brother, we’ll go together and eat berries,” said the Bear.

    They stayed together during the summer and when it came to be autumn Wisahkicahk complained that his eyes were sore. He picked up some cranberries, squeezed them, and pretended to put the juice in his eyes to heal them. Then he told the Bear to do this also, then the Bear put the juice in his eyes and they began to burn.

    “Older brother, my eyes are sore,” said the Bear.
    “Well, you did not put enough in, younger sibling, I’ll take care of you,” Wisahkicahk said. He told that Bear to lay on the ground and to turn over. As soon as the Bear had turned over, Wisahkicahk struck him on the head with a big stick and killed him. He then cooked the Bear and ate all his meat and had himself a good meal.

    End

    The meaning is obvious, but the words are very interesting. Within all Wisahkicahk stories the main character (Wisahkicahk) comments and calls all the animals either “siblings,” brother,” “cousin”, or some other kinship type of name and this is an interesting reciprocal relationship because the animals always call him elder brother or sibling in return.

    Wisahkicahk is not a deity but he is also not human and he even calls humanity as sibling or brother/sister, etc. These stories relate a teaching point and a message but at the same time there is an inherent familiarity with the animals and not necessarily a dominion or a controlling aspect and this is a far different worldview than that of Genesis. Wisahkicahk is a prankster and even a killer if need be (as in the story told) but he is always a known persona to the animal kingdom, even if he is fooling them on purpose. But this is all myth and we understand that as such, so please do not pray to Wisahkicahk because that would be stupid. Pray to Jesus, Jehovah/Yahweh, or Allah instead.

  17. “Well at least you admit to the mythology of the text. That is a start, you are in a minority with that one and you are an open heretic for that comment.” -Johnny

    are you freak’n kidding me?!?!?! in the evangelical circles you emerged from but in no way shape or form in any others.. crack a scholarly text on Genesis for Christ’s sake. check out Frank Frick’s “Journey through the Hebrew Scriptures.” that view is no where near heresy as it’s openly preached in Eastern Orthodox circles who have never, as far as i can tell, read that story literal. metaphor man! metaphor! form criticism is your friend!

    • Well you can huff and puff all you want but if Jason were to go about preaching that the Old Testament is pure mythology guess how many followers he would get, yeah about 2 – you and him. But do yourself a favour and ask him if he is viewed as a heretic (or even demonic) by the majority of Christians that he speaks to on a daily basis in North America (yes, the majority). And please do not jump all over my ass about the legacy of Christianity on this continent because it is a legacy that I did not create. I did make up your crazy rules, restrictions, denominations, in-fighting, and overall intolerant attitudes, I merely point them out and most christians get angry over it – yes even the “progressive” ones – if there is even such a thing as a progressive christian.

  18. Here is the thing about myth – they relate something true about the world – it may not be literal (as in word for word what is in the story) but may be the ideas for their thoughts on the world.

    For example, to borrow from our own culture – Saulteaux/Ojibway – they use the turtle island story. Now although we know that is not true (literally) – the content behind the idea is still held to some fair regards in Aboriginal circles.

    For instance, we were the first nations of people on the America’s…thus ‘first nations’. This idea is firmly planted in a myth story that was passed down for thousand’s of years. Yet, because it’s not literal there is no ‘fact’ to it? That’s not how myths work.

    • Yes, but the factual evidence of our stewardship and belonging on this land is found not in the mythological story it is in the history that can never be refuted. First Nations are called as such not because of a ‘Turtle Island’ story, we are called as such because evidence shows beyond shadow of a doubt that wet are the oldest living humans to inhabit this entire continent. It has nothing to do with oral stories, it has to do with hard data and evidence, myth is just used as a teaching point for First Nations (and you know this) and not a good source for evidence. Our evidence is in our actual existence as living and functioning societies on this land for countless generations before European contact.

      • “Yes, but the factual evidence of our stewardship and belonging on this land is found not in the mythological story it is in the history that can never be refuted” (Johnny)

        That’s not what First Nations groups are claiming though – that’s the tip of the iceberg (this new science – which is only as of recent). In fact, based on turtle island it is believed we not only were the first people’s here – but were ‘rose’ from this land (no northern passage nothing or previous quasi-Asian culture of some sort). This is also firmly believed in First Nations communities – based not on science – but a myth.

        So you can claim the evidence being used is scientific – but if we follow this path for our people to it’s obvious route…we also are people that ‘immigrated’ here (this according to archaeology – a science).

        I like what myth to say on this subject – we were the inhabitants of turtle island and it’s keepers – we came from this land – and as far as I am concerned (circa 1975)…I did.

  19. Jay, you hit it right on the head.

    i was talking to my Hindu friend about all her stories about gods/avatars with elephant heads and multiple arms and such and ask if she questions the “facts” and ever heard of anyone reading those stories literally. she was shocked and stated “no… hell no! it’s all metaphor but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.”

  20. Yeah, okay we are talking about myths and all of religion is myth-based – I agree with that 100%. Is it not accurate and true that all of religion is a myth in one way or another – i.e., a popular imagination that spreads among believers? Then logistically it follows that the stories about the actual existence of a god, of any kind, are all mythology and imagination. Then it follows logistically that god itself is a mythology? Jesus then is not a christ and is not a saviour and is absolutely nothing but a mythology.

    But Jesus and his uniqueness is your sticking point because that is no christian on the entire earth that can admit to themselves or others that Jesus is nothing other than the christ; not fundamentalists, charismatics, catholics, Mormons, protestants, etc.

    Why is it that Jesus is not shrouded in myth but every other religion is? You can easily admit that Judaism is filled with myth, that Hinduism is filled with myth, that First Nations spirituality are filled with myth, and all those ‘Other’ religious beliefs are myth, but NOT JESUS. This is illogical and is direct hypocrisy for people that call themselves scholars of any kind.

    Hear I will lead you: Jesus is a myth

    • like i said, Marcus Borg’s “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time” would be a helpful and short read to catch up on scholarship that has been going on since the late 1980s. John is definately a mythos about Christ. The synoptics have myths attached to Christ but there is more of the Historical Jesus in there. there are multiple Christologies and ways of looking at Christ… you’re going only off of one view… and a really limited view of that view as well.

      we are a story people. imagination is key… but that doesn’t equate that God is a “lie” as you’re trying to define and limit. nor does it logically lead to Jesus being a complete myth as there is a great deal of history we can gleen from the texts that describe his life and teachings.

      to recap my arguments:

      1. Myth does not equal Lie

      2. Myths contain historical facts.

      3. truth and fact are sperate yet closely related things.

      • Of course Jesus is no myth, he was a real person that was born of a virgin – who was inseminated by god himself (meaning that god is a male and has a penis), then he went about healing all manner of diverse sickness and casting out devils and raising the dead. Then he was crucified, battled with satan in hell, raised himself from the dead on the 3rd day, and then ascended to heaven on a cloud, and then he will eventually return to earth to proclaim his earthly kingdom, and then he will judge all the living and the dead peoples that have ever existed and then he will finally cast satan into hell along with all those poor souls that followed him (including me).

        Yeah, you are correct there is some real hard “factual” evidence in that story, and it is not shrouded in a LIE at all.

        Just for your own sake here is what myth actually means:

        1. a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, esp. one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.
        2. stories or matter of this kind: realm of myth.
        3. any invented story, idea, or concept: His account of the event is pure myth.
        4. an imaginary or fictitious thing or person.
        5. an unproved or false collective belief that is used to justify a social institution.

        This is from the dictionary, you know the place where words are described as to what they really mean and not what you want them to mean.

  21. “But do yourself a favour and ask him if he is viewed as a heretic (or even demonic) by the majority of Christians that he speaks to on a daily basis in North America (yes, the majority).” (Johnny)

    Of course I am not viewed in the highest light by many Christians – I don’t attend their churches nor keep that in touch with the many I attended churches with…but you should see me in the ‘hood’! All I really want is what Joe Strummer wanted…to learn and get to know people in a ‘real way’.

    • I like what myth to say on this subject – we were the inhabitants of turtle island and it’s keepers – we came from this land – and as far as I am concerned (circa 1975)…I did. (Jason)

      Yeah but you (jason) are predated by thousands of years of evidence that states specifically that Indigenous peoples were already on this land in what is now North America, no matter how they arrived, it is meaningless to debate because the conclusions are all the same – Indigenous peoples were the first to set-up societies on this land mass.

      Are we immigrants? In what sense? We were the very first humans to inhabit this land, so how does that give us any “immigrant” status? Be careful with calling yourself an “immigrant.” In the European sense of the history (which is all history isn’t it?), being the first to claim territory on this land mass should make us founders and discoverers; no matter if we came from Asia 40,000 or 100,000 years ago. Hell, all humanity stems out of Africa anyway, so are we not all Africans? Of course not, because even Africans never actually called themselves “Africans” thousands of years ago; they had Band (tribal) names and differing group affiliations, well before race theory was invented.

      Do not forget, European colonization and capitalism mapped this planet and then decided to name it and claim it as their own based on racial and capitalist motives – not scientific motivations. Popular history is written by the victors of war and dominators/colonizers of other peoples, and no one really disputes this to be true. Our own history is not even our own in most senses.

      Christopher Columbus is the actual mythology regarding the “new world”. Indigenous peoples were already here and they have never once left in search of greener pastures rather they mapped the lands of South and North America (which they never called it). In truth, most of the land masses of North and South America had peoples inhabiting them before European “contact”, otherwise known as colonization. Do not get me started on colonization that will go on forever, another subject that most people in Canada would rather not discuss anymore.

  22. “Do not forget, European colonization and capitalism mapped this planet and then decided to name it and claim it as their own based on racial and capitalist motives ”

    and yet you have bought into it hook, line, and sinker with your dualistic and literal understanding of the power of mythos.

    and look, i can look up defintions too!
    a. A traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people, as by explaining aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology, customs, or ideals of society: the myth of Eros and Psyche; a creation myth.
    b. Such stories considered as a group: the realm of myth.
    2. A popular belief or story that has become associated with a person, institution, or occurrence, especially one considered to illustrate a cultural ideal: a star whose fame turned her into a myth; the pioneer myth of suburbia.
    3. A fiction or half-truth, especially one that forms part of an ideology.
    4. A fictitious story, person, or thing: “German artillery superiority on the Western Front was a myth” (Leon Wolff).

    check out #2 and #3 specifically and then read Marcus Borg’s book. there is historical references that all through the Jesus narratives get passed down that 1. he was a healer 2. he performed “signs” that were surpising 3. he was a hell of a story teller 4. he wasn’t very well liked by temple authorities. facts within the myth narrative… why? if you read other histories from the time you’d get the same thing because the ancients didn’t have our western empirical, dare i say, colonized mindset. the pre-and-post-modern mindset understands a great deal from myth and story.. the modern mind not so much… seeing where you’re at, i don’t think we have anything further to talk about.

    • I am at a place called social reality and social examination in search of social truths. Christianity, capitalism, liberal democracy, and colonization are all hegemonic in Canadian society (where I live) and this is not shocking at all because it is the social truth in 2010. You cannot disprove any of it because this is the reality of Canadian society and how Canadian society was founded and how it presently functions.

      You are seemingly in the realm of searching for a reason to personalize god – which you have found in the persona of Jesus Christ. But you can never prove that god is real (that is why faith is mandatory) and you can never truly personalize Jesus because he was a human just like you and he died 2 thousand years ago. He might never have actually performed any of the things that he is claimed to have done, he certainly never claimed it as such and he never personally wrote about it. I have refuted his reality with good and sound arguments and no Christian in this land, that I have talked to and read about, can give me any other answer besides “faith.” This is fine if you believe, or if you were raised to believe, but if you do not believe then faith is nothing. I can have faith that there are aliens in another galaxy, which I do, but that does not mean it is true and I can admit to it being speculation. But you refuse to admit that you are in total speculation that Jesus is god and is the only savior. Which he is not, but you cannot admit that to anyone because that shatters your faith.

      Well you can dispute ‘colonization’ and social racism, race theory, and capitalism in this society all you want but you would be nothing other than blind and blissfully ignorant. And the overwhelming scholarly evidences are not on your side. I will give you the easiest proof – what language am I writing/speaking in right now? Any answers? Yes, it is English, yet not one iota of English blood pulses through my veins. But somehow I am fluent in the language and am totally assimilated to a European culture. By design? Of course.

      All you have to do is study the history of this land and you can see the policies and the various governing bodies, in direct coordination with Protestant and Catholic churches, put this into place. The Canadian government is an openly colonial government and still is, hell the Queen is still on our currency and we are an “independent” country. The Numbered Treaties ceded all lands to the Crown and this was also colonial design. So you can dispute and talk “myth” all you want but the evidence is available and is ever-present and its legacy is still alive and well.

      • excellent reply Johnny.. i think what you’re missing is the fact that within Christianity there is the very mechanisms in which to undo all of the -isms within it. it’s sorry to see that this religion, which is liberative to the core, has been co-opted by almost everyone yet where the gospel goes so goes freedom. I point to the slave churches and freedom movements and the civil rights movement here in the States. I have just taken Christianity in America this past semester taught by Ed Aponte a foremost scholar on Hispanic and liberation history.

        that’s the hard part about Christianity and religion, as much as we want to say that it is a tool of the oppressor (and it is and very well can be!) it is also the means to liberation as well. both histories run parallell and counter and intergrated throughout history even to this day. Take for example the Azusa Street Revival which kicked off the pentacostal movement. Completely against the larger social picture of it’s day… women leaders, mixed races, and even led by an African American! then you see the institutionalization of this where the whites took the message and created the Assemblies of God and then the African Americans took and created Church of God in Christ (CoGiC). Both are counter to the intial revival and both put women “in their place.” same with Christ’s message or any message for the matter, political, philosophical and otherwise.

        where you see oppression, i see liberation. i do recognize it’s a mixed bag… do you?

  23. No, I absolutely do not accept, and never will, that Christianity delivered in any form is meant to be a freedom movement for colonized and enslaved peoples or their societies. And you have absolutely no proof of that at all other than a few pockets of believers in the US that have internalized the lies that they were forced to swallow during slavery and original Euro-imperialism and colonization. If someone puts a gun to your head and then says to “believe” then it stands to reason that a great majority will eventually believe. And then throughout the years/centuries the introduction to the religion and the message, which can never be separated in historical terms, is forgotten. The introduction to Christianity for slaves and the colonized is a brutal one and its legacy is still a brutal legacy, no matter how many people have forgotten.

    Opium, as Marx states it accurately to be, is not a good replacement for real and true political independence, autonomy, and freedom – in every sense of the word. Euro-Christianity offers no freedoms to the peoples that it once enslaved and then colonized and it never has and never will. It offers nothing other than “faith.”

    Did Christianity lead slave revolts, did it lead to de-colonization movements anywhere at all, did it lead to independence movements in any lands where Euro-imperialism was dominant, did it support and back any revolutions to overthrow capitalist power, did it care when genocides were happening in those lands that it looted and raped, did it cry when millions were sold on the market for slavery in the US and Europe, did it even recognize the cultural destruction that it wrought in its path in any way?

    The answer is NO to all of the above. You speak of ‘liberation and freedom’ but those are political terms and not religious, ask Gandhi what those terms really mean. Christianity has never backed political revolutions or freedom movements of any kind. It has only offered opium and the hereafter in the imaginary heaven where all peoples are free to worship god; but of course the only true god is Jesus and him crucified died, and resurrected. The religions, beliefs, and traditions of the colonized are swept away and replaced with opium and this is not liberation or freedom, it is mental slavery. And if the colonized do not accept this Jesus Christ as a saviour then they are for sure going to be a slave in hell for eternity. Is that not still the very predominant Christian gospel message and the true intent of Christianity to date in Africa, Latin America, North America, Asia, China, India, etc, etc,etc? I call that a blatant control mechanism and neither liberation not freedom.

    Here are 2 quotes and you tell me which contains more freedom:

    “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33.

    “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!” – (Karl Marx, Communist Manifesto).

    The first quote is a religious ultimatum from Jesus – either you are with me or you are against me. This is the true message of Christ and his power. For if he did not have the power to cast non-confessors into hell (away from the Father) then he would have no intrigue at all and no one would have believed. Jesus’ true message is the afterlife not the earthly-life. Colonialist-Christianity, which all opium stems from, purports the exact same message to date. And we know the colonial-Christian history is brutal but the sad reality is that not much has changed.

    The second quote is Karl Marx and he asks the oppressed masses of the earth (regardless of nationality or ethnicity) to rise, fight, and unite against their oppressors in an attempt to access real freedom, earthly freedom, political freedom.

    • if you can’t accept that Christianity can be a liberative force then you miss a lot of history. best of luck with that. religion is one way to oppress, but it’s not the only way… and as it turns out, it is the best way to turn the tables on the oppressor. economics can’t do that, neither can the law… but religion has. if you don’t see that then you’re blind.

      if you wanna cherry pick bible verses, we can do that:

      Whoever is not against us is for us -Mark 9:40

      here can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye all are one man in Christ Jesus. -Gal 3:28

      the more gospel i read, the more communist get, which is ironic that Karl Marx must have as well despite his rejection of religion… he really adopts a lot of the economic ideas found in Acts 2:44-45 “they held all things in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.”

      we will agree to disagree here. peace.

      • “and as it turns out, it is the best way to turn the tables on the oppressor. economics can’t do that, neither can the law… but religion has.” (Luke)

        Who is the oppressor in your scenario? Capitalists? yeah a lot of them are oppressive – but they do not care about religion as a determinant of their oppression? No, because they care about capital and wealth and those are the tools of their oppression. And exactly when has religion forced an oppressor to change in a radical way? When, where, and how?

        If you do not see how economics and the LAW can create equality, justice, political power, economic power, political economy, social freedoms, etc, etc, etc, then you have never heard of things like constitutions, workers strikes, bills of rights, charters of rights and freedoms, anti-apartheid laws, minimum wage increases, workers rights, women’s rights, minority rights, oh my god I can literally go on and on and on and on and on. Oh man that one really gave me a smile, thanks I needed it.

  24. “No, I absolutely do not accept, and never will, that Christianity delivered in any form is meant to be a freedom movement for colonized and enslaved peoples or their societies” (Johnny)

    Interesting. You may not accept it, and may even believe historical records have your back, but as someone that studies history – I know there are 2 sides to each story and something can be told in many ways (as we look back and re-collect what happened and why).

    “And you have absolutely no proof of that at all other than a few pockets of believers in the US that have internalized the lies that they were forced to swallow during slavery and original Euro-imperialism and colonization” (Johnny)

    And religion is to blame for this? Is Christianity Capitalist? If so, where does it teach such a theory? Is the Christian movement pro-slavery…if so then let’s see the case laid out. Is the Christian movement into expansion and domination of the globe – via ruling systems – of so – where is their blue-print?

    Here’s the thing you might want to take a look into before you think religion was the cause of most of this – what plans does Jesus lay out for such ideals? I don’t want 1 or 2 scriptures in contextual pieces – I want the whole damn thing laid out – it has to be somewhere in there. I want to see the Capitalist, domineering, enslaving, anti-minority doctrine the scriptures lay out and their plan of action. If none is to be found – could it be the most obvious answer – none of these are Christian ideals as much as they are political ideas from Britain?

    I think you’re confusing Christianity with politics – and if this ain’t so – I want to see the Christian political platform and need for an army within the scriptures also?

    “The introduction to Christianity for slaves and the colonized is a brutal one and its legacy is still a brutal legacy, no matter how many people have forgotten” (Johnny)

    In Part, but you’re still partly wrong. This is the introduction to colonization (a political and philosophical scheme outside the bible)…and a cultural colonization at that (religion was used a piece of that machine). Why is it you fail to see religion was not to blame and real gov’t politics and people with actual power were? (Not saying religion is ‘off the hook’ – but they are surely ‘off the hook’ for the extent you are putting them in charge of).

    “did it even recognize the cultural destruction that it wrought in its path in any way?…The answer is NO to all of the above.” (Johnny)

    You blame Christianity for the cultural destruction? I am not saying the Euro-centric nations were not the foot soldiers – but in all honesty religion had no real power – it was an arm of the colonizers and not their throne. They used religion as an axcuse for assimilation – these were capitalists my man – they would use anything to make way for more resources.

    That is also to say that Britain and France did believe in Catholicism and various Christianites (like Anglicanism)…but by the time it gets to out soil – we are talking about a religion so corrupted by cooperation with evil empires (and horrendously lost in tradition) that it no longer resembles anything scriptural.

    If this is not the case, show me where Jesus’ teachings on violence against those who do not believe in him actually is? I mean, if the colonizers were accurate in their beliefs about the NT (or OT) – where did they come up with these ideas? You can sya the Tanakh (OT) all you want – but fact of the matter is – Judaism never lived ideals like that – and they have interpreted directly from the Tanakh (Torah and Prophets) for some 3200 years – who have they colonized?

    I think you want to blame religion for a good portion of what happened in colonized countries – and to some degree you would be right. However, in another vein, religions haven’t run countries since at least the Reformation (and even then there were monarchs) – and to blame the Christian religon for all the policies enforced on minorities is to play quite loosely with the political facts of those 300+ years.

    • If I am ‘to some degree right’ then how am I wrong?

      I was not critiquing capitalism, if you want that then go and read Marx, I can repeat his words here but he does a better job. Capitalism is an economic theory and a political entity used to build wealth in nation-states and it is now a hegemonic global economic system. Capitalism does not care about your age, your gender, your ethnicity, your religious ties, your culture, and/or your faith. If it did then Islamic countries and Islamic nation-states, Jewish nationals and Israel, European nation-states, Asian nation states, and North America would not all practice the same brand of wealth-building – but they do. And they all hold capitalism as the only way of building and sustaining their state economies. Upon this system all these nation-states agree, where they disagree and fight, and have historically fought, is over RELIGIOUS TERMS. Christianity and Judaism are not exempt – even if you want them to be. Hell there is constant war in the middle east and Israel is not innocent in all things war – neither is the US and Europe or the Islamic countries. They all engage in territory grab and they use religious means terminology to justify their claims. Capitalism only builds and sustains capital, it does not incite religious fervour.

      And I will ask you once again, since there is no answer. As a collective of like-minded believers – did Christianity lead slave revolts, did it lead to de-colonization movements anywhere at all, did it lead to independence movements in any lands where Euro-imperialism was dominant, did it support and back any revolutions to overthrow capitalist power, did it care when genocides were happening in those lands that it looted and raped, did it cry when millions were sold on the market for slavery in the US and Europe, did it even recognize the cultural destruction that it wrought in its path in any way?

      The answer is still no, therefore those believers that were full of the love of Christ, turned a blind eye. Didn’t they. You can speak for yourself but you cannot speak for history. And history is not on your side and it does not bend to your interpretation of the gospel message. Euro-Colonization used Christianity (whatever the brand or denomination) as its most effective tool to eradicate cultural norms, beliefs, mores, morals, traditions, languages, and political economy.

      Opium for the masses instead of freedom and real justice. You can’t disprove and you cannot eradicate the legacy because even you as you sit and write are the living proof of that colonial legacy. You believe in Jesus as a Messiah – who is a Jewish deity packaged-up and “given” to us by brutality and violent means during European colonization. you first chose a Euro-version of the Jesus story did you not? and then you decided to go with the Jewish one? Correct?

      The only thing that you are missing is the Cree and Saulteaux description of God and Messiah, but of course you will find no such thing because it is not ther to be found. Christianity is violent in itself and it is an imperialistic belief that demands full obeisance and space and has no respect for anything else, including the message of Jesus. Christianity kills cultural beliefs and eradicates them through its various destructive channels. How do I know this because I have lived it and seen it, and I have read similar stories the world-over. Violence does not have to come with the sword it can come with mental-conversion tactics. But the gun never hurts.

  25. And furthermore, who is to say that those European Monarchs that oversaw colonization did not have a similar belief in Christ that you do. You cannot judge their beliefs and their faith, that is against the teachings of your master. In fact aren’t you even supposed to give up all your earthly possessions (money, private property, cars, etc) and follow him at all costs. Interesting how there are no North American or European christians even the “progressive” ones that ever follow those scriptures – oh well we can’t take everything literally can we.

    Most Christians that I have seen are further toward capitalism than any kind of socialism and or Marxist thought, in fact I have never seen a christian Marxist. Marx was atheist. Do Christians own private property? yes most of them do in this land?

  26. “Upon this system all these nation-states agree, where they disagree and fight, and have historically fought, is over RELIGIOUS TERMS” (Johnny)

    OK, easy question for you – are First Nations people Capitalists? You seem to think in this terrirtory grab the only thing people in any of these countries is fighting over is religion…I tend to think it’s way more complex than that.

    Even in Canada it’s not just about religion – if it were – this would be an easy fix under the 1982 constitution amendments for human rights…correct? However, we both know that is not the case and even if Christianity disappeared from this soil it still wouldn’t solve the the crux of the problems. Why, because religion is not actually the problem.

    We have so many more factors to contend with – and religion is not even a core piece of the solution (which means it cannot be a core piece of the problem either). Land base, infrastructure, employment, treaties/contracts being kept, an economic base to work from, self-governance, education rights, consultation, etc. Now show me the big piece of the pie religion plays in that and I’ll just keep quiet.

    And it’s the same wherever you play this out – from South American nations, to South Africa, to Palestine, to Ireland, to India, to Hong Kong.

    As for the question about Christianity being a liberating force – Christianity is not a political force so how could it possibly dethrone empires – as evil as any of them are? The Christian faith has no army (and seems to teach against violence), no political head (since it is not a political party), Has no place at the tables of the leaders of the world, has no economy plan in and of itself, etc. What you are asking of a religion is to mobilize into a political force – which I contend it has never been (unless we count the Vatican in the mid centuries).

    Now I wish the residual history of religon was it was the core piece of the puzzle to blame – because man am I in the right study…but we both know this ain’t true…in fact you’re in the right study…politics.

    The only true blame one can decipher as they deconstruct where we are now and how we got here is not because Christianity existed in the European continent for some 1600 years – but because they are a bloody continent mixed in political land grabs for centuries (ie: wars of control and power of resources). In fact, at times when religion came in to some of these places the bloodbaths stopped (only to re-start again).

    That is a solid fact. Look at the history of Scotland (as an example). They warred with the Romans as the Picts (conquered by them). After they were freed – the Picts and a few others (Gaels and another group) – fought for the same small piece of land. Christianity wasn’t even introduced yet when these wars started. Eventually these 3 got so sick of fighting one another they developed a pact and became ‘Scotland’…only to be assualted by the Vikings and the Anglo’s. This trend continued, with various new groups in the mix, up until like the 20th century. This is one European country.

    Blame Christianty…puhleeze.

    Blame humanity’s need to control and conquer others – which Christian ideals actually war against in the internal self (ie: humility and equality). Add some Capital on the top of that already insatiable appetite of human consumption and we get a system that not only wants to conquer – but they need the land too for resource reasons (ie: economy and war). They develop kingdoms and political systems complete with laws and whullah…there ya have a real problem…and it ain’t God.

    “you first chose a Euro-version of the Jesus story did you not? and then you decided to go with the Jewish one? Correct?” (Johnny)

    True…thanks to the study of history I was able to decipher more of what I was taught by limited teachers (ie: pastors).

    “Violence does not have to come with the sword it can come with mental-conversion tactics. But the gun never hurts.” (Johnny)

    If conversion tactics are being considered violence these days – I guess anything goes. Mine as well make choice and opinion wrong also.

    I won’t deny the Christian religion did forced conversions – we both know this has happened. However, had the gov’t taken on that role by themselves (and not used the church as a hired hand) – do you believe anything would be different?

    • Let’s not be blind and not state that the christian religion (no matter the message and intent) and state politics have not been inter-married for centuries. And still are in many ways and in many places. But this argument is totally endless even if I can show evidences and historical truths. You can do end-around runs and you will defend the “true” faith and true believers (which of course you are apart of) and you will deride the untrue christians – until you have come to a conclusion that is best suited for your neo-christian worldview – a world where all christians are totally apolitical and do not care about politics because they only care for the spiritual realms and they always have. Fine, I will bury my head and leave your totalitarian religious beliefs untested and alone because it is obviously a hot button that you will not truly push. Because when push comes to shove you do not want to actually do any harm to christianity and its legacy, you just want to make it individualistic and accepting and tolerant of others, but you will not bend for them because they must bend for you. Fine, now the christian legacy and its marriage with nation-states is totally dead and capitalism is the only force that now is an oppressive tool and system. I won’t argue against that one. But let us go one more step, it wasn’t Jesus that did anything wrong it was his believers, fine, ok I can tolerate that. Jesus is not to be held responsible for the acts of his believers, even if he is the author and finisher of their faith.

      Fine, I will end the discussion and let it rest. You are correct and you are right. The christian faith is an absolute good and nothing bad can come from it and Jesus is truth and he is the Messiah and he is real and he loves us all and he watches over us when we sleep and he forgives us our sins; great, where do I join up?. And no, it is not true that christianity continues to do user-friendly conversions in order to turn people into happy little automatons – and no, these robots are not asked to check their pasts, histories, and even cultures at the door. And yes I am going to hell where all Marxists belong (even if they do not believe in such a non-sensical place). There the discussion is nearly completed.

      If I cannot even scratch the surface to make you guys think twice about anything truly critical about Jesus and the christian legacy then what is the point of this discussion. I am wasting my breath and my time if no one is willing to even open up a little crack to show the massive gaps in their armor. Stick together and stay united because Jesus will return and prove you right.

  27. “In fact aren’t you even supposed to give up all your earthly possessions (money, private property, cars, etc) and follow him at all costs. Interesting how there are no North American or European christians even the “progressive” ones that ever follow those scriptures – oh well we can’t take everything literally can we” (johnny)

    It’s called modernization – funny you should get on the progressive’s about that…we all can’t live in the past (circa Ad.30-33 or so). We live here and now, and the teachings need to speak to here and now (ie: 2010). It’s progressive thought mind you – but we can’t live in the past anyways.

    As for that ideal in Western countries, it can still be followed. However, times have changed and we live in a money market and cities and what have you’s. Yes Christians participate in this economy – but the spirit behind that teaching is to follow your beliefs even if they are gonna cost you (ie: imprisonment or death). The ultimate thing anyone can give is their body…Jesus taught us that…and it’s not about what you have gained in this time in North America…but how you use it. Jesus stood for his beliefs (30 years and then death)…then Peter, James, and John followed suit. It’s a call to integrity.

    I don’t attend church because you are correct about a lot of this critique and how churches spend their time and money (I have those same beefs). However, I can see in the scriptures some of the intent behind helping the poor and other sectors of society that truly need it. I see a lack of sincerity and integrity in churches – and in fact – I see a lot of what you see…except I would call them ‘tombs filled with dead mens bones’. That’s why I don’t attend church – I really have little in common with that faith (and yet I still love the teachings).

    And this is where it gets even stickier…religion and personal faith – is there a difference?

  28. “Fine, I will bury my head and leave your totalitarian religious beliefs untested and alone because it is obviously a hot button that you will not truly push.” (Johnny)

    I am not burying my head – I answered any and every single question you asked – did not duck – did not evade. I made discussion with each and every point – but still I ‘buried my head’? Why, because I didn’t arrive at the same conclusion as you on this subject? If we’re gonna talk totalitarian – you should take a gander at the things your saying are ‘unquestionable’.

    As for debating church history and it’s development of the decades (from Constantine on) – I have looked at a lot of that stuff and I am aware of many of the implications of how Christian teachings have been used…from the purging of Jewish people throughout the centuries (namely the crusades) to Luther’s diatribe on anti-semitism (which was borrowed by Nazi Germany). I see the church’s use in Britian as an arm of ‘manifest destiny’ and a land purge agenda…and the colonization of minorities. I se all these things and acknowledge they all happened.

    What I never will acknowledge is this was Jesus’ teachings. I don’t see Jesus any of this stuff directly and in some laid out fashion for people to use in the way of a cultural genocide or what have you. None of that actually exists in the texts. So for me to turn around and blame the teachings of a man from Galilee for the crusades or even residential schools – I know for a 100% fact it’s rabbit hole with no end (since there is no proof he taught such ideals – if anything is a ‘myth’ it’s that idea).

    But this is where the analytical person kicks in for me – and theologian (let’s not forget this is also my background). I study history and theology like no one’s business – and I am telling you for a 100% fact – political motives have had more to play in many of the movements within European countries than actual Christian theology (and if it was some church theology it was a twisted version that is an obvious misinterpretation to make the texts meet some political agenda of the day). The same way the USA uses a political agenda cloaked in some horrendous Christian theology…which finds no real backing in the texts (ie: a holy war).

    And I have explained this time and time again – but one more time for the record. Where does Jesus teach about tactics on war? Where is his political system? Where is his economic branch? What about foreign affairs? Where is his army? Where is his need for a land base? Etc. These things, which we hace seen accredited to Christianity over the year, are not actually in the texts themselves. It’s kind of like blaming someone for saying something they did not say in that game of whisper as one passes the secret from person to person until it gets to the end – and it sounds nothing like the original phrase.

    That being said some things have grown out of the texts themselves – and can be either interpretation or may be in the texts. Anti-semitism was a true Christian construct – and the texts, if looked at just blatantly, can be seen in that light (certain passages anyways). They seem to want to usurp the Judaism wing of the faith. One would need to understand the history of the time to get most of what is being said in actual context – but I get how an anti-semitic tradition grew from the texts.

    But we can debate any text you want – I am game – but you must be aware – I will keep them in their original context.

  29. “If I cannot even scratch the surface to make you guys think twice about anything truly critical about Jesus and the christian legacy then what is the point of this discussion” (Johnny)

    (a) Because I am more critical of various Christian ideals than you will ever be – so your approaching a well that has been tapped for that source over and over already

    (b) I have studied the history of the church in societies and am critical of the same things you are – just not in the same vent your using.

    (c) You seem to think Jesus’ teahings are to blame for all this misfortune that church has brough to the lands it has arrived on…well I’m calling your bluff – start showing me the damn teachings so I can at least approve what you are saying or defend them in their actual written context. No more of this hearsay stuff – let’s go the root of the problem…the actual scriptures you think have inspired this hatred.

    (d) As for the point of this discussion – is to learn. Maybe you don’t want to learn (I don’t know) – but you sure don’t act like you can hear this side of the room. I have heard every single thing you wrote and responded appropriately – and I am taking in your viewpoints – even if I disagree with them at this point in time. Time will move one – and maybe I change some of my opinions on various areas. This is why I blog.

    (e) I don’t care about being right – what I do care about is representing an issue fairly.

    You blame Christian thought for many an atrocity and for lacking any skill to ‘liberate’ anyone…you use Marx’s term ‘opiate for the masses’ (a drug for societal complacency).

    Well, news for Marx in Western society – we actually have an opiate for the masses – it actual opiates/alcohol and media/tv/radio/print. Marx better look into the effects of his work on Communism and that outcome in Russia and China…or would you say Marx was mis-represented by these communists? Kind of like he said soemthing but it’s original intention was not used and made him look like the ‘bad guy’?

    As for liberation, you need to study 2 movements from the bible – those within Christian thought (NT) and those within Jewish thought (Tanakh). Did you know Christianity ended an empire (possibly the strongest ever) without firing a shot? How about the civil rights movement in America? Do you understand the Jewish term ‘tikkun olam’? Do you know where ever Judaism has planted it’s feet and made communities – those same places have thrived? Hollywood started with Jewish people (all media we enjoy know grew from their creativity). Free speech is biblical construct – and many aspects of democracy.

    I am not sure what youe defintion of freedom is – but the West (which has been founded on many Christian ideals) is pretty free in all honesty.

    • I never said that Marx was misrepresented by anyone, you said that, not me. I will say that Marx was/is the most cited author of all manner of Communist belief and theory. is this not true? It was after Lenin revolted against the Tsar and the people took the power in Russia that Stalin was let into the seat of power (after Lenin dies). And then Stalin became a man and a theory unto himself, which was the forced ‘cult of personality’ and obedience to his vision for the USSR; Stalin overrode Lenin and Marx and then forgot about Marx and even killed thousands of Marxists (Trotsky for example).

      But this historical truth about Stalin (or Mao) does not mean that Marx was not the central author of the modern political theory known as Communism. Marx was the main author and everything that followed after him was not because of Marx as a human being but his theories did have influence in some ways. And there is a place for an excellent critique of Marxist thought in the totalitarianism of Stalin and Mao, and even Cambodia. Thus it would not be a stretch to say that if there were no Marx then there would be no Stalin, Mao, etc. I see no stretch in this logic? But we would also have to say that there would be perhaps no modern social-democracy, or social-democrats, (Canada, a good part of Europe) and no freedom fighters that embraced his theories and actively resisted colonial power and dictatorship – in all parts of the world. Are there good examples? Certainly, are there negative ones – yes.

      So please do not try to plead to my Marxism by holding up Stalin and Mao. I am not Stalin or Mao. I have not called you a colonizer or an oppressor. Have I? I have stated that you are ignorant to your own christian legacy, which is filled with much more examples of negativity than positive models. I can show historical truths to back my argument, all you can show is a belief in the “true faith” and the true intent of Jesus. But you do not want to admit is that maybe conversion of all the peoples of the Earth has been best witnessed by European colonization.

      By this logic it is not a stretch to say that if there were no Jesus and his teachings, no matter what they are, there would be no crusades and no horrific legacy of forced colonial-conversions that lasted for hundreds of years and wiped-out many cultural practices and spiritual beliefs, in this way the message of Christ (which is to go and make disciples of all men) was extremely violent – physically and psychologically.

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