Originally Posted by Caomhanach
No, actually not. You see, I am christian too, And your tone isn't. But, I forgive you, which seems to be so lacking in our society at large. It was the reformation of Luther and Wesley that in fact opened up critical thinking that led to so much advance in the west, including ideas of freedom that have led to so many advances in all arts and disciplines. But publish a cartoon in Denmark, write a book or make a public comment and Islam reacts, and violently. Go to India as a missionary and ultra nationalist Hindus stone the car you sleep in with a son and burn you alive. Make a comment about Bollywood and your racist. Deny a wiccan coven the right to assemble and our Supreme court can and will get involved if it is carried so far. But again, and I know many of the thousands of sects do things worthy of a good laugh; the west has made christianity the but of ridicule without challenge. We have traded public courtesy for political correctness. And if you haven't noticed, bashing christianity has become the obligatory scapegoat of all things wrong, usually with a tired old white guy siting on the goat.
1. Granting forgiveness for something that did you no harm sounds condescending. The language itself is supposed to reflect a positive action of it's author but the actual intent is to point out that something requires forgiveness, which in this case is completely objective. 2. Negative Islamic reaction was absurd, I completely agree. The mainstream debate right now in Catholicism surrounds whether or not women should be priests or if gays can become members/get married whereas the mainstream debates in Islam seem to be centered around suicide attacks and killing infidels. This is problematic because the view that all Muslims are like this is completely inaccurate. These are regional arguments. The Catholics voice is out of prosperous Europe and North America while the Islamic voice is out of the middle-east. The % of hard-line Muslims in the west compared to the mid-east is unsurprisingly imbalanced, with the majority living in terrible conditions. Yes, there are rallies and death threats seen on cable news all the time coming from middle-eastern countries, but people only make a big deal about it because it's on the news. Most of the middle-east is an economic shit hole. It's a third-world region. People are oppressed, uneducated, hungry, poor and common people in the West have no idea because all that's reported is their religion. It's unfortunate. Most people don't consider the West inherently Christian anymore; it's secularized and secularizing more and more, which is a great thing considering it's diversity. However, to assume that the attitudes of hard-core Islamists is inherently
religious is fallacious, as it's also an economic resultant of both early 20th century colonialism and late 20th century oppressive national governance. Religion is an easy escape for people living in poverty, christians should especially know this. This doesn't mean I'm a cultural relativist; I firmly believe in universal rights (such as the UN's Declaration of Human Rights), but to simply pass something off as simple when it's extremely complex isn't responsible- especially when you're making a judgement. 3. Any paternalistic missionary work should be met with hostility- albeit non-violent. A country with a complex social caste system, multiple national cultures, languages and religions shouldn't have to deal with other people coming in and telling them that the way they live their life (or have tried to) is wrong. Missionary work, which has seen a transformation in most cases since the 1950s, still contains a "conversion" agenda. Globalization is nothing new, nor is cultural homogenization. That doesn't make it right, however. Diversity is what makes humanity interesting and livable. If everyone followed the same religion, ate the same food and had the same customs and practices this would be a very boring world. 4. It depends on the context of the "comment about Bollywood". Nobody thinks they're a racist. 5. The Wiccan (religion?, philosophy?) is just as far-fetched as Christianity. Not sure where the logic is in calling one religion absurd but freely acknowledging that the another is not. They're all variations on something and all have similar philosophies. Restricting a group the right to assemble is also problematic. I find humor in the irony that American Christians consider their religion endangered or oppressed in any way. Christianity is the largest religion in the United States and has been for a while. Most legislators profess to be Christian, as do most large business owners. Churches see huge attendance and the US military and it's equivalents in private military contract in the mid-east has more or less turned into giant armed missionary organizations. If Christians were the ones who were routinely demonized in the news or denied compassion as I'm sure other minorities are in the US there would be revolution. The comment above mentioned that "bashing christianity has been obligatory scapegoat of all things wrong". This is obviously untrue, but if it were I don't think it is undeserved. Christianity is nothing but the people who practice it in any given region, and in most cases the people who practice it are good people. Then again they're people like Rush Limbagh and Glenn Beck. For good measure, I'll post a transcript from Rush's show to demonstrate how the conservative movement in the US is detrimental to people's rights, in this case women.
CALLER: Well, I am changing the subject. You had been discussing recently about why women are unhappy? RUSH: Well, I've been reporting that there are people in the media studying why women are unhappy. CALLER: Yes. RUSH: Yes. CALLER: Yes. And I have been listening to that, and since the first time I heard you mention that, I knew the answer. I was in the car with my 18-year-old son on Tuesday when you were talking about that again, and I looked at him, and I said, "I know why women are unhappy. Do you?" And without skipping a beat, he said, "Yes, because they're stepping outside of their God-given roles." And I think he hit the nail on the head. And in saying that I'm not saying it's a lesser role, it's a different role, and I think that women were designed and created to nurture babies, to love them, to educate them, to teach them to achieve their full academic potential, to love their fellow man, to become entrepreneurs, and I think that they're stepping outside of that and pursuing roles and stuff that just leaves them empty. RUSH: I have a hard time disagreeing with this. Look at Hillary Clinton.
6. Luther and Wesley forwarded their causes immensely but did not "open the door" to critical thinking in the West. Luther also mentioned that Jews' homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned, money confiscated, and liberty curtailed, but that's neither here nor there. Beyond that he was a smart man and published libraries of volumes.