The existence of God is not subjective...

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 23, 2013 at 1:03pm

Christian "Empathy" - PART VIII:

More Glorious events in US history (cont.)

  • By the 1860s, "in Hawai'i the Reverend Rufus Anderson surveyed the carnage that by then had reduced those islands' native population by 90 percent or more, and he declined to see it as tragedy; the expected total die-off of the Hawaiian population was only natural, this missionary said, somewhat equivalent to 'the amputation of diseased members of the body'."

20th Century Church Atrocities
  • Catholic extermination camps
    Surprisingly, few know that Nazi extermination camps in World War II were by no means the only ones in Europe at the time. In the years 1942-1943 also in Croatia existed numerous extermination camps, run by Catholic Ustasha under their dictator Ante Paveli, a practicing Catholic and regular visitor to the then pope. There were even concentration camps exclusively for children!

    In these camps - the most notorious was Jasenovac, headed by a Franciscan friar - orthodox-Christian serbians (and a substantial number of Jews) were murdered. Like the Nazis the Catholic Ustasha burned their victims in kilns, alive (the Nazis were decent enough to have their victims gassed first). But most of the victims were simply stabbed, slain or shot to death, the number of them being estimated between 300,000 and 600,000, in a rather tiny country. Many of the killers were Franciscan friars. The atrocities were appalling enough to induce bystanders of the Nazi "Sicherheitsdient der SS", watching, to complain about them to Hitler (who did not listen). The pope knew about these events and did nothing to prevent them.
  • Catholic terror in Vietnam
    In 1954 Vietnamese freedom fighters - the Viet Minh - had finally defeated the French colonial government in North Vietnam, which by then had been supported by U.S. funds amounting to more than $2 billion. Although the victorious assured religious freedom to all (most non-buddhist Vietnamese were Catholics), due to huge anticommunist propaganda campaigns many Catholics fled to the South. With the help of Catholic lobbies in Washington and Cardinal Spellman, the Vatican's spokesman in U.S. politics, who later on would call the U.S. forces in Vietnam "Soldiers of Christ", a scheme was concocted to prevent democratic elections which could have brought the communist Viet Minh to power in the South as well, and the fanatic Catholic Ngo Dinh Diem was made president of South Vietnam.

    Diem saw to it that U.S. aid, food, technical and general assistance was given to Catholics alone, Buddhist individuals and villages were ignored or had to pay for the food aids which were given to Catholics for free. The only religious denomination to be supported was Roman Catholicism.
  • The Vietnamese McCarthyism turned even more vicious than its American counterpart. By 1956 Diem promulgated a presidential order which read:
    • "Individuals considered dangerous to the national defense and common security may be confined by executive order, to a concentration camp."
    Supposedly to fight communism, thousands of buddhist protesters and monks were imprisoned in "detention camps." Out of protest dozens of buddhist teachers - male and female - and monks poured gasoline over themselves and burned themselves. (Note that Buddhists burned themselves: in comparison Christians tend to burn others). (Continued....)
Comment by archaeopteryx on September 23, 2013 at 1:24pm

Christian "Empathy" - PART IX:

20th Century Church Atrocities (cont.)

  • Catholic terror in Vietnam (cont.)

Meanwhile some of the prison camps, which in the meantime were filled with Protestant and even Catholic protesters as well, had turned into no-nonsense death camps. It is estimated that during this period of terror (1955-1960) at least 24,000 were wounded - mostly in street riots - 80,000 people were executed, 275,000 had been detained or tortured, and about 500,000 were sent to concentration or detention camps.

To support this kind of government in the next decade thousands of American GI's lost their life....

  • Rwanda Massacres
    In 1994 in the small african country of Rwanda in just a few months several hundred thousand civilians were butchered, apparently a conflict of the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups.

For quite some time I heard only rumours about Catholic clergy actively involved in the 1994 Rwanda massacres. Odd denials of involvement were printed in Catholic church journals, before even anybody had openly accused members of the church.

Then, 10/10/96, in the newscast of S2 Aktuell, Germany - a station not at all critical to Christianity - the following was stated:

"Anglican as well as Catholic priests and nuns are suspect of having actively participated in murders. Especially the conduct of a certain Catholic priest has been occupying the public mind in Rwanda's capital Kigali for months. He was minister of the church of the Holy Family and allegedly murdered Tutsis in the most brutal manner. He is reported to have accompanied marauding Hutu militia with a gun in his cowl. In fact there has been a bloody slaughter of Tutsis seeking shelter in his parish. Even two years after the massacres many Catholics refuse to set foot on the threshold of their church, because to them the participation of a certain part of the clergy in the slaughter is well established. There is almost no church in Rwanda that has not seen refugees - women, children, old - being brutally butchered facing the crucifix.

According to eyewitnesses clergymen gave away hiding Tutsis and turned them over to the machetes of the Hutu militia.

In connection with these events again and again two Benedictine nuns are mentioned, both of whom have fled into a Belgian monastery in the meantime to avoid prosecution. According to survivors one of them called the Hutu killers and led them to several thousand people who had sought shelter in her monastery. By force the doomed were driven out of the churchyard and were murdered in the presence of the nun right in front of the gate. The other one is also reported to have directly cooperated with the murderers of the Hutu militia. In her case again witnesses report that she watched the slaughtering of people in cold blood and without showing response. She is even accused of having procured some petrol used by the killers to set on fire and burn their victims alive..."

As can be seen from these events, to that shining example of empathy,- Christianity - the Dark Ages never came to an end....

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 23, 2013 at 2:15pm

RE: "Onward Christian Soldiers, eh?" - Angela is suggesting using Christianity to teach empathy, I believe it's important to examine the track record of Christianity as a tool for teaching empathy.

Comment by Strega on September 23, 2013 at 2:47pm

Yes, well everyone knows if you rearrange the letters that spell JESUS you get EMPATHY-MAN.

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 23, 2013 at 3:41pm

Found a cool T-Shirt:

Support Intelligence, Sleep with an Atheist
Comment by archaeopteryx on September 23, 2013 at 5:59pm

"Are there not better examples, in terms of current inappropriate behaviour"
Yeah@ what Strega said.

In attempting to demonstrate the effectiveness of Christianity as a shining example of empathy, which, if I recall, was our subject of contention, one must look at the entire history of the sect, as using only current examples says little about the history of the subject, as in, "Well, in the last five minutes, no one has killed, tortured, or raped anyone in the name of Yeshua, so that conclusively proves that Christianity is an excellent example of empathy!"

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 23, 2013 at 6:04pm

"It represtents what happens and what people will do when lack of empathy becomes endemic thoughout whole populations.

"What do you think?"

I think that using Christianity as a good example of empathy has had 2013 years to demonstrate its effectiveness, and so far, it has been found extremly lacking - let's let another 2013 years go by, and if it's effectiveness has improved, feel free to say, "I told you so!"

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 23, 2013 at 6:11pm

"But first i want to say that I dont agree with what they did but I think I can see what they were beginning to see and that is - when the human being is not cultured it operates on a primitive level. The missionaries would have believed something like, 'if we can civilize them, they will be less like an animal'"

Why? We Humans are quite likely the least happy of all of the other animals.

"they eat when they are hungry," and made love "openly whenever they feel like it."

Sounds to me like a sweet way to live --

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 23, 2013 at 7:20pm

You once remarked that I reminded you of an (obnoxious) older brother - ok, so you didn't say, "obnoxious," but I could hear you thinking it, so from that point of view, you shouldn't feel it overly patronizing (because that's what older brothers do) when I say I think of you as a misguided little sister. If you want to teach ethics, I have no objection to your doing that, or advocating it, if you don't intend doing it yourself, but look to all of the great philosophies and choose from among them, that which you feel best fits our times, mention Yeshua and the "Golden Rule" attributed to him by anonymous writers who never met him, in passing, making sure to mention all of the myriad of others who said something similar thousands of years before he ever came along, if he ever actually came along.

You said earlier:

"So why should anyone trust men if they're so easily fooled?....Im more cautious of stupid men than I am of stupid Christians arche."

Exactly, and who wrote the Gospels that described what a perfect life Yeshua lived? Anonymous men - anonymous, so you can't say, "This one was brilliant, you can tell by the quality of his later books, but that one's an idiot and not worth believing." Anonymous.

Yes, of course I recall Thalidomide, and all of the deformations it caused, and the lives it ruined, but I suspect that had a lot more to do with the greed of pharmaceutical companies and the greed of professional lobbyists, who lobbied the Drug Inspection agencies to get it OK'd, and the greed of the agents within those agencies, who likely took bribes to pass it for public distribution. And yes, they could certainly have benefited from a course in ethics, growing up, but they had the Bible, with it's "Golden Rule," and yet we had Thalidomide on the market, so it didn't seem to have done a lot of good.

You mentioned earlier, on this thread or another, all of the people who were being imprisoned for crimes they committed, due to lack of empathy - can't argue with you there. But what percentage of those were educational drop-outs who possibly wouldn't have ever attended an ethics class, had one been taught?

I don't have THE solution, but I don't believe it's any more likely to be found in the Bible, than in a Superman comic book, and the Bible has had 3000 years to prove it's effectiveness. Superman may well not be the solution either, but I DO think it's time to start looking is SOME other direction.

Comment by Strega on September 23, 2013 at 7:21pm

its a formula that I believe provides some type of remedy for the basic human psyche.

Why do you believe this?  Can you clarify at least some elements of this formula?

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