Thread: 'killing the Christians' thread Board: Oblivion / Ship of Fools.

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Posted by Steve Langton (# 17601) on :
by Tubbs;
As far as I can see any issue, according to you, requires us to face up to Constantinianism. It appears to be your stock answer to any question.

I do appreciate this is a bit difficult for Hosts/Admin, but....

In this case the people 'killing the Christians' in various Muslim or significantly Muslim areas are doing it, on their own say-so, on the basis of what Muhammad and the Quran teach about the relationship of Islam to the state. The simple fact that Muhammad responded to exile by getting an army together and going back to conquer his former home city and set up an Islamic state, for example.

This is, in a different religion, the exact equivalent of the issues that in Christian terms we have been loosely summing up as 'Constantinianism'. A religion entangled with the state so that wars are fought in the name of the religion (and/or 'God is on our side' is the plea in issues non-religious in themselves); and that people within the religious state are persecuted and killed for being heretics/dissenters/infidels.

Also I've seen more than a bit of evidence that the persecution of Christians is related to the past and still too present Constantinian/'Christian country' attitudes in the west. A particularly notable case was when that desert processing plant was attacked and the native Muslim workers were told that they were safe, "We've come to kill the Crusaders", meaning the 'Christian' European consultants etc.(many of whom were probably not actually Christian at all). In that case foreigners were the target, but I've seen reports where similar logic was used in relation to native Christians assumed to support the 'Crusaders'.

I could, as I'm sure you can imagine, go on quite a bit on similar lines. But seriously, this really is an issue where my concerns are directly relevant to the thread topic, not some external thing I'm trying to impose on it.

My response to Komensky is a case in point; he argued from the history in a way that seemed to suggest that Christianity had started from similar views to Islam and had itself only in modern times got round to realising that killing peoplee who disagree is a bad idea. And apparently expressing the hope that Islam might eventually have a similar change of mind.

That is not a particularly hopeful or helpful view of the matter, and as I pointed out, doesn't say much for the Son of God who apparently needed us wonderful modern people to put him right on the matter! It seemed to me to be useful to point out that there was a different interpretation of that history available, which, agreed, might not produce the instant results of bombs and missiles but in the longer run could offer better understanding all round.

Seriously, how is that 'derailing the thread' in which people who aren't taking that kind of point into account seem to be rather flailing around somewhat less than coherently?

As for

It (Constantinianism) appears to be your stock answer to any question.
Can I ask Hosts/Admin to give some serious thought to how pervasive this issue is and how much difference it can make to things. It makes a difference to the current thread whether Christianity should be seen as similar to Islam about religion-and-state relationships, or as radically different. A lot of other issues also have rather different dynamics depended whether they are discussed in terms of a state religion or a 'free church'. And again, often people are just bashing their heads against proverbial brick walls if they don't recognise the existence of those different dynamics.

I'm tempted to carry on even further, but I do recognise my tendency to be prolix, so I'll leave it for now.
Posted by Teufelchen (# 10158) on :
[Not a host]

Steve, you appear to be taking as read various claims about the histories of Christianity and Islam, and their meanings, that are not going to be universally or even widely accepted. This goes a long way to explaining the responses you are getting.

Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
Is this a complaint about the ruling? Complaints have to be on the basis that the 10C's and/or related Board guidelines have been misapplied?

How do you think they have been misapplied?

For the benefit of other Shipmates, here is my ruling. And here is Tubb's Admin reinforcement. And here is a relevant earlier Styx thread.

H&A have already ruled that discussions on Constantinianism can take place in a thread for that purpose but that the topic and your views on it must not be allowed to dominate other threads.

My recent ruling was simply a reminder of this precedent. There was nothing new in it.
Posted by RooK (# 1852) on :
For the exact same reason that I don't wade into every discussion referring to my deeply, sincerely-held belief that organized religions are all 99% idiotic bullshit, we don't want you to waste everybody's time with constant, lengthy, predictable explanations of your Favourite Topic™ everywhere.

Please abide by the previously-stated limitations: if you want to badger on about Erastianism - or whatever - start a thread on that topic.

Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
Out of interest, I can see why no-one wants every thread to turn into a discussion as to how Constantine Was Wrong and how we all need to discover the One True Faith of Anabaptism. But Eutychus' last intervention seems to me to imply that raising the issue as to whether or not Christians should be pacifists is off limits in discussing whether or not we should intervene militarily in the Middle East. For some people (not me, btw) that's a fairly salient point in any given conversation on the subject and hardly illegitimate when other people are talking about boots on the ground and what not. At the moment the dialectic looks a bit like this:

Interventionist: ISIS are horrible, we should totes intervene!
Prudential Anti-Interventionist: No way Jose! Look at how well that worked in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
Pacifist: Hang on! This is the wrong argument. When Jesus told Peter to put his sword away he disarmed every Christian!
Host: Arguments about Constantinism should be made on another thread.

Now I disagree profoundly with the pacifist but I can't see the objection to his (or her) putting forward the point in that context.
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
Originally posted by Callan:
But Eutychus' last intervention seems to me to imply that raising the issue as to whether or not Christians should be pacifists is off limits in discussing whether or not we should intervene militarily in the Middle East.

It didn't say that and was certainly not intended to imply it.

Martin60 equated a certain stance on pacifism with the standpoint of Steve Langton, who has attracted hostly and adminly attention for his one-note tendency to blame Constantinianism for all Christianity's woes (as well as all the evils of Islam), and more specifically to do so almost to the exclusion of posting anything else.

Steve Langton had already been warned once on the thread by admin for bringing this hobby horse onto it, and another poster had pointed out that it was unfair to keep interacting with Steve Langton on that point after an injunction not to.

I stepped in primarily because Martin60's post could be read as baiting Steve Langton, after all that had happened.

As I see it (i.e. this hasn't been discussed further backstage yet), discussion on that thread of pacifism with regard to military intervention in the Middle East is fair game. What is off-limits - on that thread - is framing that debate in terms of "Constantinianism is the root of all evil", and/or making statements that could be construed as attempts to lure Steve Langton back into territory likely to incur adminly wrath for him on that thread.

I hope that clarifies things.
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :

I'm happy to confirm Eutychus' post re discussions of pacifism per se in the context of that thread. We're just trying to prevent such discussions re-centrering on the "hobby horse".

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