The treasure and shame of organized religion.

wil

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a figment of your imagination
When we think of the wars, atrocities, sexual abuse, hemophobia, slavery, segregation and more that organized religions have supported, concealed, carried in their histories...what if the worst is yet to come?

I see all the world's organized religions in having value, having sparks of inspiration, having a basis, roots which are honorable yet controlled and diluted by man, and greed.

It is like our politicians...they start with a passion a goal of governing, of supporting growth and justice for their constituents...yet once elected the goal is to stay in office...to fundraise for the next election because they need to stay in power to do the good they can do from that place of power...that the end justifies the means.

I see..albeit naively maybe an analogical alignment between the two.

It ain't that religions have not done tons of charitable work, it ain't that they haven't done good, but that the lies and cover-up of obvious issues and hypocrisy...the divisions have created cracks in the foundation. Cracks which need to be exposed, examined fully, and repaired or the foundations will crumble, and the walls tumble...and the baby will be lost with the bathwater.
 
In the case of Mao, he was his own god. If you didn't see him like a god, you could be executed. Even today people bow down to his embalmed corpse. Such irony for a man who didn't believe in gods.
 
In the case of Mao, he was his own god. If you didn't see him like a god, you could be executed. Even today people bow down to his embalmed corpse. Such irony for a man who didn't believe in gods.
This book:

Mao: The Unknown Story is a 2005 biography of the Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong (1893–1976) that was written by the husband-and-wife team of the writer Jung Chang and the historian Jon Halliday, who detail Mao's early life, his introduction to the Chinese Communist Party, and his political career. The book summarizes Mao's transition from a rebel against the autocratic Kuomintang government to the totalitarian dictator over the People's Republic of China. Chang and Halliday heavily cover Mao's role in the planning and the execution of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. In that capacity, they note that Mao is responsible for an unprecedented death toll during peacetime that ranged from 40 to 70 million people.
 
It ain't that religions have not done tons of charitable work, it ain't that they haven't done good, but that the lies and cover-up of obvious issues and hypocrisy...the divisions have created cracks in the foundation. Cracks which need to be exposed, examined fully, and repaired or the foundations will crumble, and the walls tumble...and the baby will be lost with the bathwater.
I can tentatively agree ... I only say tentatively because, as in anything, exposing the cracks to effect repair requires a particular disposition ... and frankly I don't see much of that about in the world. A rod for our own backs, to be sure, but there it is.

Do you ever wonder why 'orthodox' traditions are so poorly represented here? A couple of Catholics – no Copts, no Lutherans, no Greek or Russian Orthodox. Why not? Because why would they, really? A Jew, a Muslim ... and notably a couple of recent posters with a very reasoned and ecumenical approach ... but generally? Nah ... why should I?

And I tend to think those of us who've been around here for some time, what do we have in common? Hides like donkeys.

Do I get genuine inquiry about my faith? Rarely. Normally it's someone looking to have a bash at 'organised religion', or to tell me I'm wrong.

I don't proselytise here ... most of the time I challenge misinformation and false assumptions or flawed assertions.

Believe me, I would dearly like to see the Church expose, examine and repair ... but not in public. I'm not a fool nor so naive to think that would benefit anyone.

(And when we do apologise, we get it thrown back at us, or dismissed with a glib comment.)

+++

And broadly speaking, of course, everybody kicks the institutions until something bad happens, and then they demand to know why the institution isn't doing something about it.

It's down to us. We are our institutions.

If we all cared for our own gardens, and delighted in sharing our produce with our neighbour, who knows what kind of world we might have?

+++
 
Believe me, I would dearly like to see the Church expose, examine and repair ... but not in public. I'm not a fool nor so naive to think that would benefit anyone
And the truth will set you free...

Or crumble the house of cards...

Are those two different is the question?
 
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And the truth will set you free...

Or crumble the house of cards...

Are those two different is the question?
It will get you killed, that's for sure?
 
Do you ever wonder why 'orthodox' traditions are so poorly represented here?
Absolutely!

It is beyond their understanding to accept other beliefs as anything but blasphemy and heresy. All the devout anything have had issues here.

And any believer in any tradition will have moments of turmoil and raised blood pressure here.

We all prefer the sanctity of segregated thought supported by similar minds, all rowing in the same direction.

Catholics or Muslims, or theosophists...have a challenge here....more orthodox...more likely for more issues.

Remember MuslimWoman. Christian turned Muslim by reading the Quran. An open mind leads to change of belief when new info is presented. But as she went down the path fully growing in her new found faith she had to leave us. She could no longer communicate with us. I loved her explanations of the clothing, her conversion, her moving to Egypt...but then we became a sin she could no longer abide. We lost her to the orthodoxy which cannot allow thoughts counter to Tradition.

You are a rarity my brother. All who are here for conversation and enlightenment are a rarity! The normies are those that come to pontificate, "educate", proselytize and convert....

Nobody likes their beliefs challenged....and most organized religions don't want their congregations to explore other beliefs...it is a fear of loss...a fear their hooks are not in tight enough for other beliefs to not challenge.

All my opinion of course...but I think you guys rock (if i am honest, mostly because you let me splash in this pool)
 
And there you have it ...
The racist past of Unity is embarrassing to say the least and horrifically unenlightened.

They in their wisdom admitted a black woman to their ministry classes to be ordained. But then would not let her or her children's swim in the pool on campus. Too many folks worried their blackness would rub off!

Their missionary side wanted to expand into the black community...but they were behind the curve on being serious about breaking American apartheid thought. Sunday is still the most segregated day in America.

Lol, and anytime I bring white people to my church they get some notions challenged...from the pulpit and the congregation..lol...it is like required thinking showing up here!
 
It is beyond their understanding to accept other beliefs as anything but blasphemy and heresy.
No. Blame is not really helpful.

All the devout anything have had issues here.
That's rather the point I was making.

And any believer in any tradition will have moments of turmoil and raised blood pressure here.
Why? You assume because of their outrage. I rather sense because of the ill-received traditionalism.

We all prefer the sanctity of segregated thought supported by similar minds, all rowing in the same direction.
And some like to share and compare...

Catholics or Muslims, or theosophists...have a challenge here....more orthodox...more likely for more issues.
Exactly. The more off-the-wall, the better received, that's the majority IO vibe ... that's all I'm saying.

Remember MuslimWoman.
Fondly. We had some good dialogue.

But as she went down the path fully growing in her new found faith she had to leave us. She could no longer communicate with us. I loved her explanations of the clothing, her conversion, her moving to Egypt...but then we became a sin she could no longer abide. We lost her to the orthodoxy which cannot allow thoughts counter to Tradition.
D'you seriously think that?

The normies are those that come to pontificate, "educate", proselytize and convert....
Unlike the IO normies who are here to show us how wrong we are.

Nobody likes their beliefs challenged....
Clearly.

and most organized religions don't want their congregations to explore other beliefs...it is a fear of loss...a fear their hooks are not in tight enough for other beliefs to not challenge.
And yet ecumenism flourishes in the world outside of IO ...

All my opinion of course...but I think you guys rock (if i am honest, mostly because you let me splash in this pool)
Not my pool, chum ... that's rather the point ... more your pool, if I'm honest.
 
Going through some stuff at the mo', so maybe a bit low on resilience, more inclined to call a spade a spade ... apologies if I offend.

Mea culpa.
 
I can tentatively agree ... I only say tentatively because, as in anything, exposing the cracks to effect repair requires a particular disposition ... and frankly I don't see much of that about in the world. A rod for our own backs, to be sure, but there it is.

Do you ever wonder why 'orthodox' traditions are so poorly represented here? A couple of Catholics – no Copts, no Lutherans, no Greek or Russian Orthodox. Why not? Because why would they, really? A Jew, a Muslim ... and notably a couple of recent posters with a very reasoned and ecumenical approach ... but generally? Nah ... why should I?

And I tend to think those of us who've been around here for some time, what do we have in common? Hides like donkeys.

Do I get genuine inquiry about my faith? Rarely. Normally it's someone looking to have a bash at 'organised religion', or to tell me I'm wrong.

I don't proselytise here ... most of the time I challenge misinformation and false assumptions or flawed assertions.

Believe me, I would dearly like to see the Church expose, examine and repair ... but not in public. I'm not a fool nor so naive to think that would benefit anyone.

(And when we do apologise, we get it thrown back at us, or dismissed with a glib comment.)

+++

And broadly speaking, of course, everybody kicks the institutions until something bad happens, and then they demand to know why the institution isn't doing something about it.

It's down to us. We are our institutions.

If we all cared for our own gardens, and delighted in sharing our produce with our neighbour, who knows what kind of world we might have?

+++
This is excellent.
For sure, it does seem that there are a minimal few people who are strong supporters of orthodox traditions --
I wonder how to go about doing a survey of what reasons people who attend church would, or would not, want to engage in interfaith dialogue?
Yes, I think it would be wise if theologians of the major churches explored material like was found in these blogs and tried to find ways to respond to it -- But also -- To what end? Would the goal be to turn non believers into believers? Or would the goal be to respect non believers more? To support non believers in some other way - for example, by vigorously promoting religious freedom an interfaith dialogue with they also in mind?

The point of interfaith dialogue, my thought is, is to help people understand and respect one another's differences better and uncover some previously unknown commonalities.
 
I don't proselytise here ... most of the time I challenge misinformation and false assumptions or flawed assertions.
Excellent. And I think there is someone else in our midst who wants to do this but does not have the finesse.
Perhaps many or most or all want to do this in some ways.
The trick is to do with without insulting people.
Not alway easy even with the best efforts.
You manage well.
I think my grandpa's extremely heterodox church had that very desire -- well they did proselytize but I think they felt they were challenging centuries of misinformation and false assumptions and flawed assertions -- and they were pretty polemical and dogmatic about it.

But what are the reasons people seek interfaith dialogue?

For me it's curiosity driven by fascination with the whole enterprise -- of the mission of religion in this world, speculations about the world to come, and the role it plays in people's lives.

And curious and fascinated about WHY people are convinced by what they are convinced by -
Given that religious beliefs, no matter how cherished or deeply held -- are usually extremely far from being certain, incontrovertible, verifiable facts.
 
The racist past of Unity is embarrassing to say the least and horrifically unenlightened.

They in their wisdom admitted a black woman to their ministry classes to be ordained. But then would not let her or her children's swim in the pool on campus. Too many folks worried their blackness would rub off!

Their missionary side wanted to expand into the black community...but they were behind the curve on being serious about breaking American apartheid thought. Sunday is still the most segregated day in America.

Lol, and anytime I bring white people to my church they get some notions challenged...from the pulpit and the congregation..lol...it is like required thinking showing up here!
I didn't know about that part of Unity's history.
Also your allusion to bringing people to your own church is so interesting.
I'd love to know more about ALL of it!
I did sort of wonder why Unity wasn't more multicultural, but it was somewhat sort of.
There is a strong division between black and white and other congregations in all denominations
Including SDA which as a denomination seems pretty represented cross racially, but the individual congregations seem very segregated
That's one of the things that stops me going to a local SDA -- easy to get to, but I feel like I'd be intruding into someone else's culture and would feel like a fish out of water and not belong.
But in my congregation anyway, a very popular member of our congregation, a black woman, went to Unity Village and became a minister and did guest speaking with us for awhile.
And when we replaced our very popular minister, a black woman minister was the new minister.
But that's all within the last 10 years too.
 
I wonder how to go about doing a survey of what reasons people who attend church would, or would not, want to engage in interfaith dialogue?
I'd say for one it's not for everybody ... but then again, a lot do so at a given level ... my neighbour is Muslim, and we talk. a near neighbour is Hindu and took our daughter (theirs was a school-friend) to a celebration at their Temple, and went as far as dressing her accordingly!

She still treasures the photos.

In many, many parishes their is outreach and ecumenical dialogue ... I wonder if its that people who don't attend a church assume it's not going on?

Yes, I think it would be wise if theologians of the major churches explored material like was found in these blogs and tried to find ways to respond to it --
Perhaps there is fruitful exchange going on in other quarters?

If a theologian writes a sensational text challenging some cornerstone of religious understanding, they're lauded and become best-sellers.

If a theologian proceeds to do precisely the same by the scholarly method and peer-review and response, the books sell to libraries and hardly anywhere else, and cost a small fortune!

The public has a thirst for sensation and entertainment. Theology is neither.

Whatever, IO is an oasis – the other forums are generally a nightmare.

In his cardinal days, Ratzinger delivered a 90-minute speech. Nothing was reported, other than one comment – one comment out of 90 minutes – which, was taken out-of-context, declared a sensational condemnation of Islam (it wasn't) – publishers knew it would incite the mob. So they reported it, and it did, and a woman was murdered on the strength of it.

But also -- To what end?
Ecumenism achieves a lot of good in a lot of ways.

Would the goal be to turn non believers into believers? Or would the goal be to respect non believers more?
The latter, I think.

The change in attitude towards Hebrew scholarship, and the comments they have to offer on early Christianity, has advanced rapidly opver the last 50 years, beginning post-WWII, for obvious reasons, but nevertheless now you'll find Christian and Jewish sources cited in materials – as I have done here.

The point of interfaith dialogue, my thought is, is to help people understand and respect one another's differences better and uncover some previously unknown commonalities.
True ... but too often it's to bandstand.

But that's an ad hominem, or straw-man or whatever, so I apologise ... but it is true we get a fair few rock up here to tell us all what we're doing wrong, or often to tell others what's wrong with their particular belief...

The only forum I know marked for the quality of its exchange was a Greek Orthodox and a Traditionalist one –both sadly gone. But both were policed quite vigorously to stop the kind of slanging-match that IO has a greater tolerance for.
 
@Thomas I think in spite of a few different beliefs in our faiths what is important is the same. I do not support the bashing of Catholics especially by other believers because we are still the Church and we are brothers and sisters in Christ and Paul spoke strongly against division. I look forward to meeting you in eternity.❤️
 
It ain't that religions have not done tons of charitable work, it ain't that they haven't done good, but that the lies and cover-up of obvious issues and hypocrisy...the divisions have created cracks in the foundation. Cracks which need to be exposed, examined fully, and repaired or the foundations will crumble, and the walls tumble...and the baby will be lost with the bathwater.
Yet we are taught "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone."

You paint your neighbors with a very broad brush. Are you guiltless in any of this? I would ask what good works you have done, but that is an answer you need to tell yourself in honesty, nobody else needs to know (including me).
 
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