Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by SpidermanTuba, Feb 8, 2006.
Yes, I have studied these things extensively.
You are simply confused. Some laws in Leviticus were to Gods chosen people, the Jews, exclusively, and only as part of a covenant, which was to expire at some time. Kinda like, some laws are permanent, some are temporary, ex. the current tax cut laws, due to expire.
The burning of incense at the altar was a specific law for the specific people at the specific time, while the fact that homosexuality is a sin is a law of Gods that doesnt change.
Now, I think you need to go take a course on reading matters IN CONTEXT so that you dont get too confused about things, and start reading about how some of the greatest scientists actually thought the world was flat and then you would assume they were stupid, oh, but dear me, that was 2,000 years ago, yes, we must read things in context dear.
The OT laws were given because people's hearts were hard. The only rules that were given ALL AT ONCE were the Ten Commandments. They should have been more than enough. If the people would have lived in relationship with God, they could have asked Him directly in every instance what they should be doing.
I think many of these laws were given in this context: The Israelites were wandering the desert for 40 years. Moses spoke face-to-face with God on their behalf. These people, like us today, were constantly putting a toe over the line. How far could they go? I think Moses was in a back-and-forth conference with God... "Here's what they're doing NOW, Lord. What should I tell them? Ok, I told them that, but now, they're doing this..." until a huge list of picky rules was in place. This was not what God wanted; He wanted each individual to follow the recognition of truth that God wrote on each person's heart.
So when Jesus ascended, He sent the Holy Spirit to live in each person, whomever would invite the HS in. He made it abundantly clear that it was NEVER those picky rules that would get us to Heaven. It was the giving up of our own will to live in obedience to the Abba, minute-by-minute. Rules on paper can be twisted, but loving obedience to the Father of All ensures that all will live in peace. (This will only be perfected in Heaven, since on earth, some people choose no to follow the Father at all; and those who choose to follow Him are constantly struggling against these others, and their own selfishness>)
You've studied Christian theology extensively enough to excuse anything that looks a bit funky in all that old dogma. Now, how about showing the same level of studiousness and rationalization in regard to Islam? Why not look at some of the more inflammatory or bizarre statements in Islamic teachings "IN CONTEXT," as you say? And if you're not willing to, then stop complaining that not everyone is willing to stretch themselves as far as you in rationalizing Christian errors and problems through history.
I'm curious your view on other Christian behaviors over time (since you said we should judge a religion by what its followers do, and hence condemn Islam). The Inquisition? The burning of heretics at the stake? The Salem witch trials? Colonialism justified via "spreading the word to the heathens"? Irish Catholic terrorism towards Protestants? All those endless religious wars in Europe? The intense political correctness that makes is nearly impossible for an atheist to run for office in the U.S.? The Catholic heirarchy's toleration of pedophile priests?
(Just to be clear--I am NOT saying Christianity is a "bad" religion. I don't believe there are any bad religions. I believe religion is a human institution, and like all human institutions it fails and goes astray. As a Hindu, I believe God calls to people through many paths, and a popular path is Christianity.)
Get into the present. The muslims are burning embassies over cartoons. It's worse than we are, RIGHT NOW. THe past is the past, moron. Your habitual retreat to a mindless moral relativism is impeding your personal and intellectual growth.
The past violence by people in the name of Christianity should have been condemned at that time and would be condemned today. The violence needs to be more than condemned--it needs to be stopped. How would YOU convince the muslims to stop? I don't think you would try. You would tell them that it's OK because other religions were violent in the past so they get a "turn".
[Homer Simpson voice]
Dillo, I do understand your point. Of course I don't want to justify current Muslim violence. I've repeatedly condemned it.
Here's a very useful word that people around here might want to start using: Islamist. Conservative columnist David Brooks used it today in the NYT to express much of the same frustration people here have been aiming at all Muslims--but more accurately. I'll agree with everyone here that Islamists are in a very bad place right now, doing stupid things.
Here's how I see it. Our battle is not with any army or any religion. Our battle is two-fold:
1. We have to convince moderate Muslims not to become Islamists.
2. We have to bring Islamists into the political process, contain and control their violence, and help them learn to co-exist with other belief systems.
In order to accomplish these things, we should change some elements of our approach and our language:
We should immediately make a public commitment to the Geneva conventions and give prisoners in our custody lawyers, with exceptions being made only in the most extreme instances, e.g. an Al Qaeda operative whom we have reason to believe knows where Osama bin Laden is or of an imminent attack. Even that person should be interrogated with the most effective known techniques--which are NOT torture, as even many military interrogators have bemoaned.
By showing that we treat prisoners fairly and give them a political process, we show that we stand for justice and are not anti-Muslim. Today's NYT reports that 45% of the inmates at Guantanamo are likely innocent, and only 8% are Al Qaeda. Every day we hold them, we bring down our image and lose a step in the hearts-and-minds war.
We should make a careful distinction between Islamists (i.e. conservative, fundamentalist and often violent Muslims) and Muslims as a whole, and do everything we can to show our positive side to the latter group. For example, we could help more after the Pakistani earthquake. We should completely desist from putting down Islam as a religion, and recognize that the real enemy is fundamentalist zealotry and violence, which Christians are also prone to. Where there are legitimate grievances, we should address them, rather than seeing this as capitulating to the enemy. This more humble approach should replace the chest-thumping, cowboy metaphor language that Bush is prone to.
I could go on about specifics, but I hope you see my point: playing into Christian "us" versus Muslims "them" is the way to make things worse, not better.
so you wish to apease them further and hope the start to behave properly.....
What---muslims are too stupid to figure this out on thier own ? I have never advocated a Christian/Muslim showdown. They can deal with that amongst themselves. I want an American/Muslim showdown. Until they put down thier favorite method of dealing with everyone (KILL EM ALL), they are unapproachable and undeserving of negotiation of any kind.
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