Religion Sept 3, 2003 2:57:27 GMT -5
Post by Yomi on Sept 3, 2003 2:57:27 GMT -5
About evangelization. I am well aware that the Catholic Church has their reasons for it, but I am quite incapable to explain them all to you guys now. ^^; But I do know this. Missionaries are actually supposed to respect the person's decision whether they want to believe in Christianity or not.
That's the first I've heard. You should read some texts from the late nineteenth century - especially the ones written by bishops and cardinals (or those guys up high in the church hierarchy) who wanted to flood China with missionaries so that they could convert the heretic and pagan masses and reap in more souls for the church. That sound like respect? Not likely - Christianity did not have such a wonderful reception in China when the west started to divide up the country into semi-colonies because of its aggressive push to convert.
Did your asian friends actually force you to go, Yomi-san? If they did, well that's just wrong.
In this world Fibby, you'll realize most of the things we say are left silent, but the message is perfectly communicated. If you don't go to Sunday Church with them and take part in all their Church social events because you can't stand being preached at all the time about something you don't believe, which they think you'll gradually believe if they say it often enough, then you just naturally won't become friends. So the implied equation?
- Go to Church --> Join in church activities --> friends.
- Don't go to church --> don't join in church activities --> no time together to socialize --> NOT friends.
So what say you to that?
And I must say, the food and clothing aren't bribes, as you seem to think it is. ^^; Are you saying that you can't quite believe that they brought it out of the goodness of their hearts? The reason why they came there is to evangelize, true.
Did you just answer yourself Fibby? They went to evangelize (which means to convert), but lets conveniently bring along some very much needed gifts that these people are lacking.
It's the government's fault - they should never have allowed those miserable depths of poverty to occur in the first place so that these evangelists have ammunition. If they did so out of the kindness of their hearts, I always ask - WHY - why bring the bible? Is receipt of the food and clothing conditional with sermons and preaching? Their kindness and love is clearly demonstrated in their gifts - the people won't doubt that. So, tell me, why the bible? Why is it part of the whole package?
Freebies is one of the most simple and effective marketing strategies. And look! The target audience are desperate, starving people who really need food and clothing. --> this is where opinions diverge - the facts are there, make what you will of it. From these facts, I say they're bribing people to join because I profess to understand and be acquainted with the less wonderful side of humanity. You on the other hand, can remain optimistic about the facts and hope that there are no ulterior motives involved.
But then, I don't think they came there to force those people to believe in Christianity,
If they forced people to believe in Christianity, I'll be one of the first to volunteer to join the army and wipe them out. You need to see the difference between outright force and a different sort of force which doesn't involve violence or physical force.
If those people do not want to believe, then it's okay. I'm quite sure those missionaries didn't come there and say, "Believe and we'll give you food! If not, STARVE!" or anything to that effect. ^^;
You've obviously never seen that South Park episode where the above hypothetical DID occur. South Park speaks the blunt truth - the missionaries DON'T say you'll starve, but once they have enough of the community on their side, they'll ostracize those who don't believe. We've lost a lot of friends that way actually - they start to believe in Christ and the Church, and when you don't want to join in their faith, you drift apart and one day, you realize you're not even talking to each other anymore.
Human politics is very easy to understand Fibby. Ostracizing parts of the community which don't believe in Christianity is evident in European history alone. It is not confined to Christianity either - all aggressive religions do it - e.g. the fundamentalist interpretation of Islam is to destroy anyone who is an unbeliever. I believe Christianity used to have a similar policy themselves with all the burning of heretics. Christianity's history has never been one of tolerance, and if you flip through any history book, it'll show you.
I admit there are 'missionaries' that are subject to being rather *ahem* but please do not make generalizations.
I don't think so. I was approached on the street towards Christmas (?) last year by a missionary on the streets of Melbourne. He was a great guy and all - friendly, decent looking, a respectable type of man. But guess what - he was targetting Asians specifically, and he knew how to speak Chinese as well - so that he could spread his god's word in China. Nice guy, really, but the bloody gall of that man to reduce my belief into a subset of 'his' god just pissed me off. I already told him that I didn't believe in Christianity, and he after another 30 seconds of conversation (mainly from his side), he said:
"So, what do you think god's plan for you is."
For f*ck's sake, I just bloody told you I don't believe in your god and I believe in Buddha, whom you've dismissed as a mere mortal inferior to your god. I didn't punch you for that, and I was so ready to take him on in the streets before my friend saw my face and dragged me away.
The guy was seriously really friendly and I'm sure he's a good man, but I think active conversion is just wrong. Stop pestering people about their beliefs, stop telling them that their beliefs are WRONG or NOT THE RIGHT ONE or that YOURS IS THE ONLY TRUE GOD - because ALL missionaries do that, and it's offensive. Full stop.
Did you ever stop and think of the possibility that the reason why their objections are always heard when talking about such subjects (abortion, war, divorce, etc) is because there is a universal morality (or whatever you call it) governing most of us
NO! That's EXACTLY what I mean. It's NOT a universal morality. It's THEIR MORALITY. Take abortions and stem cell research (linked because it involves embryos) - they say it shouldn't be done because embryos have souls. That's not universal morality. That's Christian belief in souls in an embryo. The aethiest part of the community don't believe in souls, therefore think that embryos are nothing but a cluster of cells, therefore there is nothing wrong with doing testing on them or aborting them. The religious people then scream that the aethiest part of the population are bloody murderers for butchering unborn 'babies' when they just can't seem to see/accept that not all people subscribe to their belief! And no - I DON'T appreciate being baselessly called a bloody murderer because it's distasteful and offensive and because I certainly don't see myself as committing murder.
Don't tell me you guys think killing off people for pleasure or for personal gain is fine and dandy. If you do, well that's just sad.
I initially objected to the war (I assume we're talking about the latest Iraq one) for other reasons that do not involve god. The Church's line against the war was that "it is an un-christian thing to do". Well pardon me, I'm not Christian but I'm Buddhist and Buddha says that killing is just bad. If I were aethiest and supported the war, I certainly won't give a scrap for being labelled un-christian because I'm not one!
And what about gay marriages? In the debate about whether the government should pass laws allowing gay marriages or not, the Church steps in once again and is against it because God says homosexuals are unnatural. Is that a universal morality? No - lets keep the lines very clear. That's YOUR morality, not mine: I see nothing wrong with same-sex couples. If your God deems it wrong, so be it, but how dare you impose it upon people who don't believe in your god? How dare you say that it's a 'universal morality'? By saying that your religion's beliefs embody 'universal morality' just shows that your religion doesn't respect other religions.
You see what I'm getting at now Fibby?