Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thank God For Religious Intolerance!

Because If Christofascists Unite,
We'll ALL Be Forced To Sing
"Onward Christian Soldier"!!!

If all the sects of what constitutes the "Christian Right" ever truly unite, what will happen? God only knows! For the rest of the country, it might be better if they don't. They were (almost) united in their push on Prop 8. But they still bicker on the "fine points" of theology.

Let's hope they continue - amongst themselves.

Let's hope that Protestants still think Catholics have mysterious rituals and are controlled by the pope. Let's hope that Mormons still struggle for acceptance, even though some of their beliefs are not quite in tune with the rest of the Christian community. Let's hope that evangelicals still think that Joseph Smith was a lunatic and that mainstream Protestants can't quote chapter and verse ad infinitum.

Let's hope.

For well over 1500 years the Christian "Bible Bickersons" have proven that when it comes to dogma, no one wins and everyone suffers. I'm going to go out on a limb here with my own estimate: over those 1500 years (actually over 1850 years, but who's counting?), 140 million people have died because someone thought they weren't Christian or Christian ENOUGH. In the last 800 years, Europe has experienced 780 wars, most of them backed by "God" on both sides. It was Christianity that created Europe's first "justified" wars (The Crusades) as well as the first genocide (the Cathars of the Albigensian Heresy - about 100,000 lives lost there). It decimated whole cultures (e.g. Meso-Americans of the Aztec and Incan cultures) and as late as 1850, engendered the "Bible Wars" between Catholics and Protestants in the U.S. (And yes, some people died in those too).

Not to be "Christian-bashing", BUT... which sect has ever owned up to any of this bloodshed? Sure, the Southern Baptists finally "apologized" for slavery 150 years AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation, and a pope shed tears at The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem 1000 years too late, but can any of us afford to wait centuries before the Bible Bickersons say "we're sorry we caused this little altercation"?

Whether it's Iran or Israel, gays or The Family, Mormons or Catholics, Christian sects of all kinds seem to love a fight - and a war. Any war.

The following is an example of the way Mormons and evangelicals have been going at it lately. ChristiaNet.com is a kind of forum where "believers" can get quite heated in their responses. This one was from a thread about what Mormons believe, the question: "A friend of mine is converting to Mormonism? Do any of you Christians have any advice as to what I should say to him?" It brought out the very best in them.

From ChristiaNet:

Let's make this PERFECTLY clear - I have NEVER attacked the Bible, nor have I EVER called God a liar. My whole point was that God has ultimate control over what prophecies come true and that He and He alone will or will not make them happen. This is a perfect example of how you distort my words! Mormons revere the Bible, we believe it to be the word of God BUT we are not naive enough to believe that it has never been translated incorrectly through the hundreds of translations is has undergone. We haven't discussed any of the modern scriptures so your statement regarding what I haven't said truly disingenuous.
Yes, grammatical errors and all, this Mormon is PISSED. And someone's response:
The word attack can be defined as directing unfavorable criticism against. To say the Bible has translational problems, failed prophecies, etc., is unfavorable criticism, to say the least. I believe I have been fair in using the word attack to describe your comments.
Let's face it: these two couldn't be in the same room without killing each other.

But uniting them is a much scarier thought.


Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, a very cool blog!

For the sake of accuracy however, while true the Albigensian Crusade constituted a genocide, the number of 100,000 is a gross exaggeration.

The term "Cathars" derives from the Greek word Katheroi and means "Pure Ones". They were a gnostic Christian sect that arose in the 11th century, an offshoot of a small surviving European gnostic community that emigrated to the Albigensian region in the south of France.The medieval Cathar movement flourished in the 12th century A.D. throughout Europe until its virtual extermination at the hands of the Inquisition in 1245.

There are an ever increasing number of historians and other academics engaged in serious Cathar studies. Interestingly, to date, the deeper they have dug, the more they have vindicated Cathar claims to represent a survival of the Earliest Christian Church.

Thank you!

Brad Hoffstetter
Communications Division
Assembly of good Christians

May we suggest the following online scholarly sources:
1. http://www.hereticswithoutborders.org/
2. http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/
3. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook.html

DFV said...

Thanks for the heads up about the numbers. I've read whatever I could about the Albigensian Crusade, but numbers are always mixed. I know that one city refused to give up their Cathars and thus paid the price of having the entire city massacred. If memory serves me correctly, this was about 15,000. There was also Talous and Beziers and all the smaller towns. The myths surrounding the Cathars are nothing short of awesome! It will be interesting to see if anyone can conjecture (at least) which Gnostic leader they trace their lineage to: Valentinus?