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Source: (consider it) Thread: What should we do about 'our own' terrorists?
Matt Black

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The "3Ms" colonised Africa: the missionary, followed by the merchant, followed by the Maxim gun.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
So, when was there a terrorist event with that motivation and where possibly the bomber, knifeman, white-van-man cried out 'Jesus is Lord', Jesus loves you!' as he took 25 atheists with him to eternity?

You are making the assumption that the above is the only possible rallying cry all Christians anywhere could come up with - there were plenty of others willing to go with variants on "Kill them all, God will know his own".

.. and yes, as for Africa .. Congo (which introduced the concept of limb chopping as a collective punishment) was already mentioned up thread but there are others.

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The Midge
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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
The "3Ms" colonised Africa: the missionary, followed by the merchant, followed by the Maxim gun.

The coalition forces have progressed to missiles now.
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mdijon
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In East Africa Christianity largely preceded colonialism. And was spread mostly by Africans. In Nigeria the Church preceded colonialism as well.

Constantine became a Christian at a point when Christianity was already very widespread within the Roman Empire.

I don't deny that the state and Church stories are thoroughly interwoven in antiquity and in modernity. But it is extremely simplistic to suggest that the spread of Christianity was initially a matter of power and coercion.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
The issue is not pacifism versus any violence at all.

Pacifism is a possible legitimate NT position.

Christian participation in state-authorised violence in the cause of law enforcement or just war is also a possible legitimate NT position.

Crusading (ie violence specifically forcing Christianity or a particular version of it on the unwilling) on the other hand has no NT sanction whatsoever.

It seems to me to be fairly self-evident that there is a very thin line between state authorised violence, just war and - for want of a better term - crusading.

And, perhaps most importantly, those who walk in this zone seem unable to reliably tell the difference. They end up condemning everyone else's "state authorised violence" and promoting as highly ethical their own.

This is basically why I am a pacifist, fwiw. Once you start saying that violence is ok, it is very hard to stop. Then Dresden becomes acceptable, then civilian deaths from drones become unavoidable and soon there is very little difference between pigs and men.

This. The most batent example, to my mind, is that what we euphemistically call our "nuclear deterrent" is actually the credible threat to carry out the most appalling massacre of civilians in history, dwarfing all previous slaughter, and anyone raising an objection is considered a political extremist, something of a crank, and a terrible threat to security. Madness.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Christian participation in state-authorised violence in the cause of law enforcement or just war is also a possible legitimate NT position.

Crusading (ie violence specifically forcing Christianity or a particular version of it on the unwilling) on the other hand has no NT sanction whatsoever.

As Mr Cheesy notes that is a fine line and easily crossed. (The ostensible justification of Crusading was not to force Christianity on the unwilling, but to stop Muslims (or Cathars) from persecuting Christians. Likewise the conquest of the Americas was frequently justified as putting a stop to human sacrifice.)
There isn't any verse forbidding coercion in religion in the New Testament.

I think the main point is that when it comes to comparing Christian violence to violence in other religions we should err on the side against Christian self-righteousness just as when we think our personal sins.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:

Constantine became a Christian at a point when Christianity was already very widespread within the Roman Empire.

For a certain definition of widespread I suppose.
quote:

I don't deny that the state and Church stories are thoroughly interwoven in antiquity and in modernity. But it is extremely simplistic to suggest that the spread of Christianity was initially a matter of power and coercion.

It was a new cult and spread a bit. But if you look at the major expansion, it has been parallel to the expansion of Christian states.

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mdijon
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I think that map proves the point. All the areas where we know there were Christians prior to Constantine are dark blue.

Your argument rests on the light blue being all the areas where we are sure there were no Christians. Seems unlikely though given the limits of historical evidence back 2k years. It's more likely we simply don't know enough to be sure. For instance the UK has some uncertain evidence of Christianity among the Celts, and also spread among the Roman occupants.

So seeing such widespread dark blue really indicates widespread Christianity. Constantine's conversion was arguably as influenced by the power politics that Christianity was already relevant to as much as the influence being the other way around.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
In East Africa Christianity largely preceded colonialism. And was spread mostly by Africans. In Nigeria the Church preceded colonialism as well.

Constantine became a Christian at a point when Christianity was already very widespread within the Roman Empire.

I don't deny that the state and Church stories are thoroughly interwoven in antiquity and in modernity. But it is extremely simplistic to suggest that the spread of Christianity was initially a matter of power and coercion.

Christianity in the West developed in a muscular form which was associated with state power and colonialism. It is true that some places where the colonies spread had indigenous forms of Christianity, but these were often seen as being inferior to the Western forms.

It is obviously true that not all Christianity in Africa was associated with colonialism. But a vast amount was.

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arse

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
[Sure, but what about attacks on abortion clinics and staff in the USA? Those carrying out such attacks have claimed to be doing so in the name of Christ.

Deranged, yes.
Hateful, yes.
Murderous, yes.

But terrorism?

Yes. Terrorism is "the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims." Making abortion illegal is a political aim.

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Soror Magna
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If the aim is to terrorize women and the people who care for them, it's terrorism.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
It is obviously true that not all Christianity in Africa was associated with colonialism. But a vast amount was.

Very difficult to quantify the "vast amount" though.

To illustrate with the Kenyan example; in Kenya the first Christian mission was in the 1840s. They made very few converts for the first 40 years or so. They were reasonably successful in campaigning against slavery, but much less successful in promoting Christianity. The European missionaries almost gave up.

When the second generation of freed slaves continued as Christians, and were integrated more into the community, Christianity began to spread more widely in what one could describe as an "indigenous form".

Protestant missions became more active in the early 1900s and coincided with colonialism. There were quite serious power politics involved at that time.

Then the state of emergency, when the Church opposed Mau Mau and so was very clearly identified with colonial rule at that time.

Interestingly the biggest growth of church numbers and Christian numbers was after independence in the 60s.

So how does one go about assessing the role of colonialism in at all?

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Terrorism is "the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims." Making abortion illegal is a political aim.

It is a political aim, and if the anti-abortionists were blowing up random passers-by to try to persuade society as a whole to give in to their demands, then yes that would be terrorism.

Targeting the people engaged in a (perceived to be) wrongful act because the State refuses to do so is more akin to vigilante-ism.

Which is an evil, but a lesser evil than the deliberate targeting of those who have made no personal choice to involve themselves in the dispute.

I reserve the use of "terrorism" for that greater evil.

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mdijon
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You might want to use the words that way but that's not based on any definition you can reference.

(And I would submit rather prone to semantic pushing - for instance if I disagree with Catholicism and label that "wrong" is blowing up Catholics vigilantism rather than terrorism?).

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
there's a lot of truth in the old adage, 'The white man brought the Bible in one hand and a whip in the other ...'

I think it's worth making the distinction between the sort of Bible that promotes whip-carrying as a religious duty to God, and the sort of Bible that merely fails to prohibit the whip definitively.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
As Mr Cheesy notes that is a fine line and easily crossed. (The ostensible justification of Crusading was not to force Christianity on the unwilling, but to stop Muslims (or Cathars) from persecuting Christians.

There is not a self-evident "fine line" at all.

If European military action against Muslims in eleventh century Palestine had been simply a matter of preventing Muslim mistreatment of Christianity and other non-Muslim religions (which had existed on and off for the preceding four and a half centuries) is would not have been crusading, and it would have been justifiable, but we all know it wasn't that simple.

And incidentally, I have never read of Christians being persecuted by Cathars, who in any case identified as Christians themselves.

quote:
There isn't any verse forbidding coercion in religion in the New Testament.
There is an absence of verses forbidding many things (eg arson) in the NT, but that doesn't prevent us from making exegetically informed deductions from existing injunctions - and using our common sense.

quote:
I think the main point is that when it comes to comparing Christian violence to violence in other religions we should err on the side against Christian self-righteousness just as when we think our personal sins.
Would that it were that simple.

Read C.S. Lewis's The Dangers Of national Repentance for an explanation of how ostensible political humility is exploited to indulge underlying self-righteousness and judgementalism.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
It is obviously true that not all Christianity in Africa was associated with colonialism. But a vast amount was.

Very difficult to quantify the "vast amount" though.

To illustrate with the Kenyan example; in Kenya the first Christian mission was in the 1840s. They made very few converts for the first 40 years or so. They were reasonably successful in campaigning against slavery, but much less successful in promoting Christianity. The European missionaries almost gave up.

When the second generation of freed slaves continued as Christians, and were integrated more into the community, Christianity began to spread more widely in what one could describe as an "indigenous form".

Protestant missions became more active in the early 1900s and coincided with colonialism. There were quite serious power politics involved at that time.

Then the state of emergency, when the Church opposed Mau Mau and so was very clearly identified with colonial rule at that time.

Interestingly the biggest growth of church numbers and Christian numbers was after independence in the 60s.

So how does one go about assessing the role of colonialism [in] at all?

It's a no brainer 400 years before in the Iberian colonization of the Americas. In Africa the church-state wasn't so integrated. And Africa was not colonized the same way, to the same degree by far from the Portuguese onwards. There's no comparison between Brazil and Angola, the latter was a one way sewer outlet and for the export of slaves. Portugal itself didn't benefit in revenue unlike all later imperialists, it spread cancer throughout south Africa, taken up by Belgium. I don't know how one could begin to quantify the presence of Christianity in any meaningful form going counter-clockwise round the coast and progressively inland for 400 years of Western imperialist rapacity.

Christianity didn't transform virgin societies with the gospel of Christ, it provided minimal welfare and education along with jam tomorrow in heaven, it marginally softened the impact of disrupting alien civilization, most genteelly in the Protestant British colonies and possessions.

The word vast doesn't apply to the positive impact of Christianity in Africa. As everywhere else.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
There is not a self-evident "fine line" at all.

If European military action against Muslims in eleventh century Palestine had been simply a matter of preventing Muslim mistreatment of Christianity and other non-Muslim religions (which had existed on and off for the preceding four and a half centuries) is would not have been crusading, and it would have been justifiable, but we all know it wasn't that simple.

And incidentally, I have never read of Christians being persecuted by Cathars, who in any case identified as Christians themselves.

I don't think you are really understanding my point.

It's a progression of thought: first you say that the only way to run a country is by having the rule of law, next you restrict legal violence to the rulers. Then you say that the violence that the rulers do is legitimate.

So now we have a generally organised society where the vast majority of violent power is held by the government, which we hope is a democracy and which is using the violence with retraint.

I'm saying that there is a fine line between this kind of government violence and the violence which extends that violence to "crusades" abroad.

It is a bit tricky to talk about the actual "crusades" in this context because the Western societies involved were not as organised as they are today.

But it is a lot easier if one considers Western societies of the 19, 20 and 21 centuries. Here there are police forces and armies - and for the most part generally logical (albeit corruptible) legal systems with capital punishment. The vast majority of violence was retained by the powers, almost everything else is/was illegal.

I'm saying that most people would say that this is an acceptable way to use violence however I'm also saying that the problem with this is that there is a thin line between this kind of "acceptable" violence and over-reactions which involve destroying rebels and undesirables at home and in crusading wars abroad. The only difference is one of scale, but if one can argue that putting down riots or those with disagreeable views at home is legitimate then putting down those who the powers determine are trying to "destroy our way of life" is acceptable abroad.

I'm sorry if this sounds like I'm trying to teach you how to suck eggs, but I really think you had the wrong end of the stick of the point I was making.

quote:
There is an absence of verses forbidding many things (eg arson) in the NT, but that doesn't prevent us from making exegetically informed deductions from existing injunctions - and using our common sense.
That's quite an odd thing to say, in my opinion. I don't thin it adds up. If the only way to close down a concentration camp was arson, are you really trying to claim that there is an overall exegetically informed deduction which somehow says it is unacceptable?

ISTM that about the only thing it is possible to agree upon regarding the ethics of the New Testament is that the "right thing to do" depends on the context, and that the priority is on actions which show love for God and neighbour. The problem is therefore that there is no foolproof way to deduce exactly what this might be in any given circumstances - and whilst it is hard from this distance to understand how genocide can be "love for neighbour", the reality is that those who have in the past done terrible things in the name of Christianity have indeed done them because of zeal for love of God and neighbour. Simply claiming that we now have better ways to deduce the right thing to do seems to minimise and reduce their actions to the level of obvious stupidity.

quote:
quote:
I think the main point is that when it comes to comparing Christian violence to violence in other religions we should err on the side against Christian self-righteousness just as when we think our personal sins.
Would that it were that simple.

Read C.S. Lewis's The Dangers Of national Repentance for an explanation of how ostensible political humility is exploited to indulge underlying self-righteousness and judgementalism.

I think maybe you might benefit from reading rather wider than CS Lewis, if I might be so bold as to mention it.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
Very difficult to quantify the "vast amount" though.

No, it really isn't.

Go to most of Africa and study the types of Christianity that are available. In the vast majority of areas outside of Egypt and the Horn, Christian believers exist in forms of Christianity that originated - or emerged from - those exported by colonialism.

Just a fact.

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arse

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Martin60
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Aye, the vast amount of very little.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Aye, the vast amount of very little.

No idea what you're talking about. Christianity is very big in many parts of Africa.

And it is just plain wrong to say that Christianity has had marginal impact on education and health.

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arse

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Martin60
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Can you quantify that?

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mr cheesy
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Quantify what? the number of African christians? the number of places that have church hospitals and schools and no other provision?

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arse

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
As Mr Cheesy notes that is a fine line and easily crossed. (The ostensible justification of Crusading was not to force Christianity on the unwilling, but to stop Muslims (or Cathars) from persecuting Christians.

There is not a self-evident "fine line" at all.

If European military action against Muslims in eleventh century Palestine had been simply a matter of preventing Muslim mistreatment of Christianity and other non-Muslim religions (which had existed on and off for the preceding four and a half centuries) is would not have been crusading, and it would have been justifiable, but we all know it wasn't that simple.

Exactly.

quote:
And incidentally, I have never read of Christians being persecuted by Cathars, who in any case identified as Christians themselves.
Look up St Peter Martyr. You and I might not think his death counted as persecution but his death was treated as such at the time.

quote:
Read C.S. Lewis's The Dangers Of national Repentance for an explanation of how ostensible political humility is exploited to indulge underlying self-righteousness and judgementalism.
One cannot defend avarice against generosity by reading a lecture on the vices of prodigality.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
The word vast doesn't apply to the positive impact of Christianity in Africa. As everywhere else.

You seem to be using Christianity as coterminous with white-people's impact on Africa. It's true, colonialism was a vastly bad thing. But if you ask Africans what the positive experience of their Christianity is they'll tell you a different story.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
Very difficult to quantify the "vast amount" though.

quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
In the vast majority of areas outside of Egypt and the Horn, Christian believers exist in forms of Christianity that originated - or emerged from - those exported by colonialism.

Just a fact.

Emerged from or originated is a different standard. You seem to be using colonialism as a general term for white people going to Africa. I would restrict it to actually establishing a colony.

Hence if there are missionaries in Kenya in 1848 but no British rule or hegemony I wouldn't consider that colonialism, and therefore would argue that the Christianity that spread before 1895 isn't actually under colonialism. (Arguably it is under Arab colonialism but that can't really be argued as a promoter of Christianity).

Likewise if Christianity spreads after the end of British rule in 1963 I'd argue it is harder to see that as a consequence of colonial rule.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
Emerged from or originated is a different standard. You seem to be using colonialism as a general term for white people going to Africa. I would restrict it to actually establishing a colony.

It was a colonial project. White people were trying to get to Africa to establish/tame/exploit it before they actually set up colonies.

quote:
Hence if there are missionaries in Kenya in 1848 but no British rule or hegemony I wouldn't consider that colonialism, and therefore would argue that the Christianity that spread before 1895 isn't actually under colonialism. (Arguably it is under Arab colonialism but that can't really be argued as a promoter of Christianity).
Well sorry, I think that's garbage. The British, Germans, Belgians, Dutch and others had a colonial project in mind when they went out to subdue Africa and elsewhere. It took a while for them to actually set up colonies. Meh.

quote:
Likewise if Christianity spreads after the end of British rule in 1963 I'd argue it is harder to see that as a consequence of colonial rule.
Not really that hard at all if you consider that the post-colonial African countries were deeply scarred by the colonial period.

Indigenous Christianity is emerging from the ashes of colonialism, but much of it is directly influenced by the colonial past.

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arse

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mdijon
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I don't think white people were a monolithic block of identical motivations. I think there were some genuine missionaries. Two historical examples I'd point to;

a) the founding of Freetown in West Africa, funded by abolitionists wanting to establish a haven for freed slave refugees from the American war of independence. The adventure ended badly, but it demonstrates the mixture of motives at work in European dealings with Africa.

b) the evangelism of the Kenyan Coast by the second generation of freed slaves funded by CMS. Again there is a real mixture of motives on display, but a group of freed slaves were eventually able to influence the forms of Christianity still evident today.

It is too simplistic to say it was all grubby racist colonialism, although that was clearly there.

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ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
The word vast doesn't apply to the positive impact of Christianity in Africa. As everywhere else.

You seem to be using Christianity as coterminous with white-people's impact on Africa. It's true, colonialism was a vastly bad thing. But if you ask Africans what the positive experience of their Christianity is they'll tell you a different story.
Aye. We're all the survivors of history. We all stand on a pyramid of corpses. I've encountered African Christians a bit more than I have multiple British ones who've spent African fortunes doing 'missionary' work or whatever it is when you go out there and build a toilet or stand at the head of a queue of people waiting to be healed through you. And not by Western medicine. Therefore not at all except by placebo. Talking of medicine I dined with a missionary evangelical doctor to Chad. It was a VERY powerful, formative experience. She was old school, zealously pious, everything was done in the name of Christ up front - she couldn't understand a Christian doctor colleague who never wore his faith on his sleeve - AND incredibly realistic (not like those claiming to have been used for healing), that made her more than bearable. Her description of Chadian Christians had no empty claims whatsoever, it was like something Solzhenitsyn could have written. Poignantly hopeless.

I know, I know, Chad isn't Kenya. I regard Christianity as a mopping up operation after 500 years of painfully slowly patchily attenuating brutal exploitation continued by our local heirs: Amin, Obote, Selassie, Mobutu. A part of the marginal Western solution to the nightmare problems the West created in the first place. A solution not even mentioned by the piercing observer Ryszard Kapuściński.

But that's me. A former Anglo-Israelite justifier of apartheid.

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Love wins

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
I think that map proves the point. All the areas where we know there were Christians prior to Constantine are dark blue.

I think it shows that there were widespread pockets of Christianity. Probably something that could be said of many other cults at the time. This is inevitable in a polytheistic society.
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
But if you ask Africans what the positive experience of their Christianity is they'll tell you a different story.

I heard an American comedian say he was grateful for slavery, as it meant he was in America rather than Africa. Which misses the mark by a mile and at least one alternate universe.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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mousethief

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I know I shouldn't post this because when I post shit like this it gets completely ignored in most instances. But I wonder if this might have some application to the question of post-colonial Christianity in Africa.

It's not about Africa though but Alaska. As everyone in the room knows, the first Christians in Alaska were the Russians. Missionary priests and monks were sent, and had some success, although they also pissed off St. Petersburg by calling wrath down on exploitative leaders among the Russian equivalent of the Hudsons Bay Company. They had some success with the Tlingits but not a lot.

Then AK was bought by the Americans, and the Orthodox were replaced with American (mostly Presbyterian) missionaries. These had a track record of oppression and abuse (separating children from their parents so they wouldn't learn their native languages was a big complaint of the natives among many others).

Anyway one of the things that happened as a result of the Purchase was huge numbers of conversions to Orthodoxy among the Tlingit. This is seen by one Tlingit writer as a reaction to their treatment by the Americans. His description of the general feeling of the Tlingit of that time was something like, "We didn't realize how good those guys' offer was, until we met these guys." There may have been a good bit of wishful remembering going on, too, of course

Maybe some of this dynamic can be seen happening in Africa, changing the names and the denominations? I don't know. Offered for consideration.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mdijon
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# 8520

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
I think that map proves the point. All the areas where we know there were Christians prior to Constantine are dark blue.

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I think it shows that there were widespread pockets of Christianity. Probably something that could be said of many other cults at the time. This is inevitable in a polytheistic society.

So you missed the rest of the quote that I would hope you could engage with to continue this strand on the idea that there were only pockets of Christianity.

quote:
Originally part of the same post by mdijon:
Your argument rests on the light blue being all the areas where we are sure there were no Christians. Seems unlikely though given the limits of historical evidence back 2k years. It's more likely we simply don't know enough to be sure. For instance the UK has some uncertain evidence of Christianity among the Celts, and also spread among the Roman occupants.

So seeing such widespread dark blue really indicates widespread Christianity. Constantine's conversion was arguably as influenced by the power politics that Christianity was already relevant to as much as the influence being the other way around.

Then on a parallel strand of the discussion;

quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
But if you ask Africans what the positive experience of their Christianity is they'll tell you a different story.

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I heard an American comedian say he was grateful for slavery, as it meant he was in America rather than Africa. Which misses the mark by a mile and at least one alternate universe.

Sure it does. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't listen to a whole large bunch of Africans because one American comedian missed the point.

[ 03. July 2017, 04:47: Message edited by: mdijon ]

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Maybe some of this dynamic can be seen happening in Africa, changing the names and the denominations? I don't know. Offered for consideration.

There was certainly an influx of Church membership in East Africa after the end of colonialism.

What I'm less sure exists is a dynamic between two different occupying powers with different strands of Christianity on offer.

There is a dynamic between a more indigenous form of Christianity which is Pentecostal in flavour, and adopts a number of traditional African practices such as monthly all night vigils and more exuberant praise sessions and a more informal approach to church leadership versus the traditional RC and Anglican churches.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Kaplan Corday
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# 16119

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
[qb] As Mr Cheesy notes that is a fine line and easily crossed. (The ostensible justification of Crusading was not to force Christianity on the unwilling, but to stop Muslims (or Cathars) from persecuting Christians.

There is not a self-evident "fine line" at all.

If European military action against Muslims in eleventh century Palestine had been simply a matter of preventing Muslim mistreatment of Christianity and other non-Muslim religions (which had existed on and off for the preceding four and a half centuries) is would not have been crusading, and it would have been justifiable, but we all know it wasn't that simple.

Exactly.[/QB
I don't think you get it.

The Crusades did not represent the crossing of a thin line between a legitimate protecting of Christians and an illegitimate forcing of Christianity on (or simply slaughtering) Muslims and Jews (or forcing Western Christianity on Eastern Christianity as in the Fourth Crusade).

It is anachronistic to imagine that Crusaders had the remotest conception of protecting religious freedom along the lines of modern liberal pluralism.

The Crusades were launched (among other reasons) to protect Christians simply because, in the famous words of The Song Of Roland from an earlier crusading epoch: "Paynims are wrong, Christians are in the right".

The Crusades were the continuation of an existing religious tradition of killing non-Christians because they were not Christians.

There is not a single verse in the NT to justify it, and to try to argue in its defence that there is no NT verse specifically forbidding it is risible.

quote:
You and I might not think his death counted as persecution .
Precisely.

One swallow does not a summer, and one death does make a persecution - particularly when set against the hundreds of thousands of Albigensians killed.

quote:
One cannot defend avarice against generosity by reading a lecture on the vices of prodigality.
One cannot defend the use of a clear-sighted and laudable shame over Christendom's too frequent use of actual religious violence to deliberately overlook the fact that Christianity's foundation text does not contain one jot of justification for it.
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Martin60
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The parallel to Saint Peter the Martyr and the Vth Crusade that comes to mind is the assassination of Reynhard Heydrich and the liquidation of Lidice.

As for the Ist, chilialist Pope Urban II needed to unify Europe after the failure of the Carolingian dynasty left competing warrior knights rampaging across it. A manufactured external threat did the trick.

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Love wins

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wild haggis
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Crusades was as much a land-grab as anything. If you know your history, it will be clear that Crusaders attacked Orthodox Christians as well as Moslems e.g. in Aya Sophia.

It's easy to give land grabbing by the west and tribal wars wherever they are, a label of "religious" just because each side espouses a particular creed. In fact many if not most of the perpetrators will have no idea whatsoever of the tenets of their espoused religion.

As to "our own" terrorists, one just needs to think of Mosley trying to raise the Nazi flag here in Britain not so long ago, or the Tartan Army, or the Welsh who burned holiday homes and even in Ireland (I was there during the Troubles), it was more a Nationalist/British war than religious. It just so happened that most of the Nationalists were RC - but not all, and most of the Loyalists were Protestant - but not all).

The EDL is evil, there is no 2 ways about it. It is not British! It excluded those of us who are Scots, Welsh or Northern Irish. Nor is it Christian. How many of them know the basic Christian beliefs or attend church.

ISIS has a warped view of Islam. Get yourself a modern translation of the Koran and dig to see what it says.

Whether a crime is "hate" or "terrorist" it is still a crime. Why waste time arguing about names.

We need to deal with folk who kill others just because they perceive them as different, whatever their nationality, backgrounds, beliefs or religious labels/ or not.

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wild haggis

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
I don't think you get it.

The Crusades did not represent the crossing of a thin line between a legitimate protecting of Christians and an illegitimate forcing of Christianity on (or simply slaughtering) Muslims and Jews (or forcing Western Christianity on Eastern Christianity as in the Fourth Crusade).

It is anachronistic to imagine that Crusaders had the remotest conception of protecting religious freedom along the lines of modern liberal pluralism.

Ye gods, what is your problem.

Looking at if from the perspective of 21 century, it looks anachronistic, but they weren't doing that. Instead they were looking at is from the perspective of the 11 and 12 century, when it seemed entirely consistent with the religion as they understood it.

quote:
The Crusades were launched (among other reasons) to protect Christians simply because, in the famous words of The Song Of Roland from an earlier crusading epoch: "Paynims are wrong, Christians are in the right".

The Crusades were the continuation of an existing religious tradition of killing non-Christians because they were not Christians.

Well.. no not really. It is quite true to say that the Crusades were deeply embedded in geopolitical plays, but it is over-simplistic to say that it was just about killing non-Christians.

quote:
There is not a single verse in the NT to justify it, and to try to argue in its defence that there is no NT verse specifically forbidding it is risible.
There is not a single verse to justify it if you read the text with the 21 century understanding that you have. It is clearly possible to read it with a 10 or 11 century understanding and to see the text supporting their actions.

quote:
One cannot defend the use of a clear-sighted and laudable shame over Christendom's too frequent use of actual religious violence to deliberately overlook the fact that Christianity's foundation text does not contain one jot of justification for it.
One cannot simply re-write history to suggest that people in the past would have been far better if they'd been a bit cleverer and had bothered to actually read the religious texts that they said they believed in.

I can't remember the proper word for this kind of faulty historical analysis, but in simple terms it is bollocks.

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arse

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by wild haggis:
Crusades was as much a land-grab as anything. If you know your history, it will be clear that Crusaders attacked Orthodox Christians as well as Moslems e.g. in Aya Sophia.

It's easy to give land grabbing by the west and tribal wars wherever they are, a label of "religious" just because each side espouses a particular creed. In fact many if not most of the perpetrators will have no idea whatsoever of the tenets of their espoused religion.

As to "our own" terrorists, one just needs to think of Mosley trying to raise the Nazi flag here in Britain not so long ago, or the Tartan Army, or the Welsh who burned holiday homes and even in Ireland (I was there during the Troubles), it was more a Nationalist/British war than religious. It just so happened that most of the Nationalists were RC - but not all, and most of the Loyalists were Protestant - but not all).

The EDL is evil, there is no 2 ways about it. It is not British! It excluded those of us who are Scots, Welsh or Northern Irish. Nor is it Christian. How many of them know the basic Christian beliefs or attend church.

ISIS has a warped view of Islam. Get yourself a modern translation of the Koran and dig to see what it says.

Whether a crime is "hate" or "terrorist" it is still a crime. Why waste time arguing about names.

We need to deal with folk who kill others just because they perceive them as different, whatever their nationality, backgrounds, beliefs or religious labels/ or not.

A modern translation of the Qu'ran is not the Qu'ran which can only be understood by being catechized in Arabic. In the minds of many, like SCIS today, the Crusades were a doomed desperate fulfilment of the totally misunderstood as prophecy apocalypse.

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Love wins

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Kaplan Corday
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# 16119

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Instead they were looking at is from the perspective of the 11 and 12 century, when it seemed entirely consistent with the religion as they understood it.

And that understanding, ie the use of religious violence, was wrong, ie inconsistent with the teaching of the NT, their foundation religious text.

Good history involves trying to understand why people acted in the way they did at the time because of their worldview/assumptions/ understandings.

But that is in no way inconsistent with believing that what they thought was mistaken and what they did was wrong - we, including you, make these judgements all the time.

quote:
The Crusades were launched (among other reasons) to protect Christians simply because, in the famous words of The Song Of Roland from an earlier crusading epoch: "Paynims are wrong, Christians are in the right".

The Crusades were the continuation of an existing religious tradition of killing non-Christians because they were not Christians.

quote:
Well.. no not really.
Well...yes really.

The religiously inspired slaughter of pagan Saxons by Charlemagne (whose reign is the background to The Song Of Roland) is an egregious but not unique example of it.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:

So seeing such widespread dark blue really indicates widespread Christianity. Constantine's conversion was arguably as influenced by the power politics that Christianity was already relevant to as much as the influence being the other way around.

We disagree on what the divisions of blue mean. You are inferring from your POV. As, am I, I suppose. Though, having no horse in this race, I would prefer to think I am being more objective. Mightn't be.

quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
But if you ask Africans what the positive experience of their Christianity is they'll tell you a different story.
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I heard an American comedian say he was grateful for slavery, as it meant he was in America rather than Africa. Which misses the mark by a mile and at least one alternate universe.

Sure it does. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't listen to a whole large bunch of Africans because one American comedian missed the point.
I am seeing they are missing the same point. They are viewing a whole lot of history through the endpoint of their faith. It neglects what has happened for the end result they think better than what it might have been.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:

So seeing such widespread dark blue really indicates widespread Christianity. Constantine's conversion was arguably as influenced by the power politics that Christianity was already relevant to as much as the influence being the other way around.

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
We disagree on what the divisions of blue mean. You are inferring from your POV. As, am I, I suppose. Though, having no horse in this race, I would prefer to think I am being more objective. Mightn't be.

You keep dodging the 2nd paragraph. I'm not inferring from my POV, I'm presenting an argument. The light blue doesn't mean pre-Constantine evidence of absence, it means absence of evidence. At 2k years ago that means very little.

Also, to consider the history of Constantine's involvement with Christianity, he was responding to widespread dissent in his empire regarding the trinity. He wanted to bring the Arian/Catholic controversy to an end, as it was an impediment to a smoothly governed empire. That implies quite substantial sway held by both arguments, otherwise it would hardly have risen to the notice of the emperor.

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I am seeing they are missing the same point. They are viewing a whole lot of history through the endpoint of their faith. It neglects what has happened for the end result they think better than what it might have been.

I think you are leaping to a conclusion of what they might be saying. Restricting myself to those that I know, many Africans would repudiate colonialism as a very bad thing that they could have done without, but nevertheless believe that Christianity is a good thing and appreciate the missionaries.

[ 04. July 2017, 04:15: Message edited by: mdijon ]

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Well.. no not really.

Well...yes really.
This is the kind of vigorous, bold debate that really makes the Ship of Fools a great place to discuss religious topics.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Galloping Granny
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# 13814

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by The Midge:
quote:
Originally posted by gorpo:
Not to mention a christian terrorist would have to be quite an heterodox christian, since nowhere in christian scriptures or in any known christian tradition it is ordered that christians kill enemies (let alone non-christians), and in fact, it´s a distinctive christian teaching to do the exact opposite.

Crusades.
Irrelevant.

There is not a single NT verse which teaches the use of violence on the part of Christians to protect or propagate their faith.

There is religious violence in the OT, but Christianity by definition supersedes and transcends the OT.

We have, of course, had that discussion before, for example to ask how many swords the disciples needed. Or, since the government is granted the power to wield the sword does that extend to a Christian government?

The Crusades are relevant on a couple of counts. First that the modern view that the Christian faith doesn't condone violence in the name of Christianity wasn't always held to be self-evident (it's among a list of things that includes slavery etc where Christians in previous generations found support in Scripture which we fail to see today). The particular relevance is when people start to dismiss claims by the majority of Muslims that they follow a religion of peace by pointing to a minority who justify violence from their scriptures, because we have our own minority who have done the same (the vast majority of which were in our past rather than present, but that's not particularly relevant IMO). Another relevant point is that the Crusades were a particular set of wars against Islam, and so any time some political leader in the West uses the word "crusade" it recreates that religious war feeling into the situation - so, though the second Iraq war was entirely political and economic (and, unjustified under any reasonable assessment) it gets seen as a religious war by Christians against Muslims when our political leaders start using the C word. Which plays straight into the narrative of the Islamic militants, reinforces their claim of the Christian west waging a war against Islam and attracts recruits to their cause.

If I weren't falling asleep I'd read to the end but...
How did the church justify the Crusades?
How many leaders/landowners collect an army and set off because it was a chance to win honour and glory (cf ISIS)?
Why did they slaughter Jews and Orthodox Christians on the way to the 'Holy Land'?

GG

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The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the earth, and men do not see it. Gospel of Thomas, 113

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Well.. no not really.

quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Well...yes really.

quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
This is the kind of vigorous, bold debate that really makes the Ship of Fools a great place to discuss religious topics.

Really?

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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mousethief

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ISWYDD

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Well.. no not really.

Well...yes really.
This is the kind of vigorous, bold debate that really makes the Ship of Fools a great place to discuss religious topics.
Thanks for clarifying your idea of "vigorous, bold debate", which evidently consists of reproducing incidental comments from posts while deleting their substantive content.

In this case, it was the question of whether and how Charlemagne attempted to justify from the NT his massacre of Germanic heathen for not being Christian.

Any ideas?

Or does your post represent the extent of your capacity for contributing to a discussion of this particular religious topic?

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Martin60
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@GG, as I said previously, the Church was chilialiast. Millennialist. They were in the thrall of the 'prophecy' of Revelation and had to fulfil it.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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@KC. Why, how would he have needed to? By the C9th century there was no trace even of the radicalism of the Cappadocian Fathers half a millennium before, let alone Jesus.

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Love wins

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
ISWYDD

That looks like Welsh but doesn't appear in my dictionary.

I guess it means I See What You Did [something]

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arse

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
ISWYDD

That looks like Welsh but doesn't appear in my dictionary.

I guess it means I See What You Did [something]

Dere. I can't even not typo when doing an acronym. Sigh.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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