Why are we surprised when Buddhists are violent?

Dan Arnold & Alicia Turner, New York Times, 5 March 2018

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The Nya Thar Lyaung reclining Buddha is an important religious site in the Bago region of Myanmar. Credit, Frank Bienewald/LightRocket, via Getty Images

While history suggests it is naïve to be surprised that Buddhists are as capable of inhuman cruelty as anyone else, such astonishment is nevertheless widespread — a fact that partly reflects the distinctive history of modern Buddhism. By ‘modern Buddhism,’ we mean not simply Buddhism as it happens to exist in the contemporary world but rather the distinctive new form of Buddhism that emerged in the 19th and 20th centuries. In this period, Buddhist religious leaders, often living under colonial rule in the historically Buddhist countries of Asia, together with Western enthusiasts who eagerly sought their teachings, collectively produced a newly ecumenical form of Buddhism — one that often indifferently drew from the various Buddhist traditions of countries like China, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Japan and Thailand.

This modern form of Buddhism is distinguished by a novel emphasis on meditation and by a corresponding disregard for rituals, relics, rebirth all the other peculiarly ‘religious’ dimensions of history’s many Buddhist traditions. The widespread embrace of modern Buddhism is reflected in familiar statements insisting that Buddhism is not a religion at all but rather (take your pick) a ‘way of life,’ a ‘philosophy’ or (reflecting recent enthusiasm for all things cognitive-scientific) a ‘mind science.’

Buddhism, in such a view, is not exemplified by practices like Japanese funerary rites, Thai amulet-worship or Tibetan oracular rituals but by the blandly nonreligious mindfulness meditation now becoming more ubiquitous even than yoga. To the extent that such deracinated expressions of Buddhist ideas are accepted as defining what Buddhism is, it can indeed be surprising to learn that the world’s Buddhists have, both in past and present, engaged in violence and destruction.

There is, however, no shortage of historical examples of violence in Buddhist societies. Sri Lanka’s long and tragic civil war (1983-2009), for example, involved a great deal of specifically Buddhist nationalism on the part of a Sinhalese majority resentful of the presence of Tamil Hindus in what the former took to be the last bastion of true Buddhism (the ‘island of dharma’). Political violence in modern Thailand, too, has often been inflected by Buddhist involvement, and there is a growing body of scholarly literature on the martial complicity of Buddhist institutions in World War II-era Japanese nationalism. Even the history of the Dalai Lama’s own sect of Tibetan Buddhism includes events like the razing of rival monasteries, and recent decades have seen a controversy centering on a wrathful protector deity believed by some of the Dalai Lama’s fellow religionists to heap destruction on the false teachers of rival sects.

Read the full article in the New York Times.

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What Steve Bannon really wants

The Muslim Times

Whatdoes Donald Trump want for America? His supporters don’t know. His party doesn’t know. Even he doesn’t know.

If there is a political vision underlying Trumpism, however, the person to ask is not Trump. It’s his éminence grise, Stephen K. Bannon, the chief strategist of the Trump administration.

Bannon transcended his working-class Virginia roots with a stint in the Navy and a degree from Harvard Business School, followed by a career as a Goldman Sachs financier. He moved to Los Angeles to invest in media and entertainment for Goldman, before starting his own investment bank specializing in media. Through a combination of luck (a fallen-through deal left him with a stake in a hit show called Seinfeld) and a knack for voicing outrage, Bannon remade himself as a minor luminary within the far edge of right-wing politics, writing and directing a slew of increasingly conservative…

View original post 224 more words

These are the alarming parallels between the views of Steve Bannon and those held by Islamist jihadis

Views which do not fit the ideas of Bannon and his entourage are considered by them from the devil and seen as an attack on the liberty of religion, though it are they who want to muzzle those who have an other opinion than they, and are aiming at restrictions in freedom of thought, freedom of religion, and many other liberties our forefathers fought for.

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To remember

  • enemy for Bannon = secularism = responsible for progressively diluting pure Christian ideals with all sorts of modern + postmodern ideologies
  • White House = Steve Bannon’s >Bannon world view > world is in the midst of an epic battle between good + evil,
  • force of pure good = Christian civilisation > Christian society = greatest civilisation known to man

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Preceding

Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #1

Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #2

The Muslim Times

The enemy for Bannon is secularism. This, he believes, is responsible for progressively diluting pure Christian ideals with all sorts of modern and postmodern ideologies

At the time of Trump’s unexpected election victory, there was much speculation over who would really run the US Government, given the incoming President’s notorious lack of patience and attention to detail. Now that question has been answered: this White House is Steve Bannon’s.

The one element that unites every executive order and every speech the President has given since assuming office is theBannon world view. So if we are to understand the trajectory of this new American administration, we need to invest some time in trying to understand Bannon, his outlook, and where he plans to take us next.

Having studied radical Islamists for more than a decade, as I started to look into Bannon’s perspective and philosophies I started to…

View original post 135 more words

Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #1

At The Mendocino Humanist – Cheerfully Contrary there is an article which required our attention but can not reblogged, like the original article at Church and State from 2013 by Dakota O’Leary , which on its turn a review of the article by Katherine Stewart in the Guardian entitled “How Christian Fundamentalism Feeds Into the Toxic Partisanship of US Politics,”

Dakota O’Leary agrees that America has an infection. We would even say a serious problem, which did not become a lesser problem with the new president. Though that 45th president of the U.S.A. may have Jewish family, he has a racist tendency on some strange and dangerous facets, which seemed to be very much liked by neo-Nazis and extreme right Christian fundamentalists.

From certain reactions on our writings and on what we came to see in certain articles talking about Christian faith and Muslim faith we only can come to the conclusion that there are many extreme conservative and right-wing Christians blogging. A big problem with them is that they do not seem to want to listen or to accept certain things, like matters of language. For example not willing to come to understand that “Allah” is a word which is used in many languages to denote “God“. As such there are many Catholic and protestant Bibles with that word in their printed editions, but those Americans refusing to see that and to see that “Allah” is not a false god but the God of Abraham and the God of many Christians, Jews and Muslims.

ipg1That refusal to understand or to know that the English word “God” means “Allah” in many other languages gets such articles as “Muslims bow and worship allah / satan Everyday!!” or often repeated and reblogged (a.o.) Muslims bow and worship allah / satan Everyday!!, , Blasphemy!! Florida City Council Meeting Opens with a satanic prayer to satan and allah!!, Ungodly!! House of Representatives allows the sworn enemy of America to pray to allah-satan Baal on the House floor!!, with people not listening to others who dare to react to such stupid indications. They forget that such articles not only set bad blood by Muslims but also by devout Christians and by Jews who dare to speak out a tittle, because “God” or “Allah” is a title and not a name. But many American writings in the ‘Bloggosphere’ have authors who even do not seem to know the difference between a name and a tittle.

Some American writers see in that attitude of their compatriots the lack of their education and give the impression we should feel sorry for them. But than you could wonder why they not adjust their thinking when others do not mind to spend time to react to their wrong ideas and want to give them more correct information. Dakota O’Leary thinks such conservative Christians are infected with the consequence of anti-intellectualism, a steadfast refusal to acknowledge that one’s worldview is mutable, a worldview in which facts are only facts if they fit that worldview, and that anyone who disagrees with a Christian fundamentalist worldview is an “enemy” of God.

The infection has taken hold in conservative politics, where it has spread to a significant portion of the American population, and even into a significant amount of the Canadian population. Though the Religious Right lost some ground in 2000 and in 2008 the Time Magazine dared to declare “The Religious Right’s Era Is Over,” having the Republican party platform containing only two references to God and reaffirming its past positions on issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage and gays in the military but not expanding on them. Four years later the party’s platform contained again more references to God (10) and 19 references to faith, but also the first reference to a “war on religion.”Because at that time it really seemed that certain American citizens had declared a war on religion.  The first and worst victim of that war were the Muslims and the second victim the true followers of Jesus, who do not worship their Trinity. Clearly we in Europe saw their battle against president Obama, some even claiming he would be a Muslim, and their battle against anything which had a social flavour, loathing it as ‘communist’. Normally one would expect from a good Christian that he is willing to share with others and to help those in need, but the American Christians with a big mouth are not at all prepared to share anything from their wealth with the needy or to contribute to a healthcare system when they are in good health.

Citing what it calls the Obama administration’s

“attempt to compel faith-related institutions, as well as believing individuals, to contravene their deeply held religious, moral, or ethical beliefs regarding health services, traditional marriage, or abortion,”

the platform accused “liberal elites” of trying to

“drive religious beliefs — and religious believers — out of the public square.”

From many writings on several blogs we in Europe could only conclude that several Tea-party members and extreme conservative Christians, mostly Creationists, wanted to gag the more liberal or freethinking Christian authors.

In Katherine Stewart’s article in the Guardian entitled “How Christian Fundamentalism Feeds Into the Toxic Partisanship of US Politics,” Stewart notes:

I don’t believe for a moment that this hysterical voice [Christian fundamentalism] that screeches in America’s political sphere is the authentic voice of religion in America. Most religious Americans want to mix it up at lunch! They want to make friends across party lines, and they want to help people who are less fortunate. A survey by the Public Religious Research Institute, released on 24 October, reveals that 60% of Catholics believe the Church should place a greater emphasis on social justice issues and their obligation to the poor, even if that means focusing less on culture war issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Earlier this year, in response to the Ryan budget, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops joined other Christian leaders in insisting that a “circle of protection” be drawn around “essential programs that serve poor and vulnerable people”.

So why is it that the so-called “values voters” are urged to vote against the politician who supports choice, not the politician who wants to shred that “circle of protection” for the poor and vulnerable? Why is it that when politicians want to demonstrate just how religiously righteous they are, they talk about banning same-sex marriage and making contraceptives hard to get, instead of showing what they have done to protect the weak?

There is an obvious answer, and it is, in a sense, staring you in the face every time you watch a political debate or read about the latest antics of Focus on the Family and the AFA. The kind of religion that succeeds in politics tends to focus on the divisive element of religion. If you want to use religion to advance a partisan political agenda, the main objective you use it for is to divide people between us and them, between the in-group and the out-group, the believers and the infidels.

The result is a reduction of religion to a small handful of wedge issues. According to the religious leaders and policy organizations urging Americans to vote with their “Biblical values”, to be Christian now means to support one or, at most, a small handful of policy positions. And it means voting for the Republican party.

Dakota O’Leary says

Christian fundamentalists are not to be confused with mainstream evangelical Christians.

and he might be right because it seems to apply mainly on principally North American evangelicals. But we must be aware their language or their voice is spreading as a virus, and could come to infect several European, African and Asiatic evangelical and Pentecostal churches, coming to brew mischief between all the denominations who have people who in their language have “Allah” for the English word “God”. They also stir up trouble in regions where there are many Muslims who than find a stick to throw at the Christians. It gives than reason for Muslims to get on the wrong side because it makes it clear that Christians would prefer to worship an other God than the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus and his disciples.  In Christendom and in Christianity there is already the problem that those words gets mixed up and that the majority of people who call themselves Christian worship three gods instead of the One God, like real Christians worship the God of Abraham, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah Who is Only One. But those real Christians also come into problems by those extremist Christians who claim they are worshipping Satan or Baal, and as such give every Muslim reason to believe so.

One good thing about is is that several trinitarian Christians are noticing to Whom Jesus prayed (“Allah” Jehovah God) and that they are seeing that the doctrine of the Trinity is a false human doctrine. Bad thing or a regrettable matter caused by those North American writers is that they are pushing away many Christians in the hands of Muslims teachers so that they become Islamic converts, instead of coming to non-trinitarian Christian groups which there is choice enough here in our regions. We encountered already many previous Catholics who now became Muslim and to whom we try to show that Jesus is the way to God and that real Christianity is the following of Jesus as the son of God and not as a god son.

Not only on the level of loosing Catholic and protestant believers to the Muslim Faith because of those Christian fundamentalists we also see that the position of our teachers and preachers gets undermined. The symptoms of the infection of anti-intellectualism brings an erosion on education, not only in the States but also in the Old World. Escalating attacks on teachers as bad citizens, teachers’ unions as greedy “takers”, the evolution vs. creationism debate, resistance to stem cell research (or any kind of scientific research that conflicts with their Biblical worldview), fundamentalist emphasis on voucher system to create taxpayer funded fundamentalist schools, fear of a changing, increasingly pluralistic society (the current face of which is the extraordinary power fundamentalists give to the LGBT community as the force eroding American morality and bringing down the entire nation), and a negative economy which is generating public support by those who consider themselves members of the Religious Right by demonizing public education as a “liberal conspiracy” to take their children away from God. Many who see how those extremist want to have their will also on educational matters, prohibiting children to learn about the normal evolution in this world and coming to accept that dinosaurs really existed and that our world still evolves, makes many now wanting to be part of a religion that prohibits to see the reality of our world.

Calling anything that disagrees with a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible a product of Satanic manipulation makes many religious people to doubt their faith and to abandon it.

Today we also might find an oversimplification by the idea that there is a clear right and wrong (based on Biblical laws, or cherry-picked verses), the universe is either moral or immoral, and that so-called “assaults” on religious “freedom” of fundamentalists signify an invisible war between the forces of God (or “good”) and the forces of Satan (or “evil”).

Ames, Fisher

American essayist and Federalist politician of the 1790s who was an archopponent of Jeffersonian democracy Fisher Ames.

According to the North American extremists there may not be such thing as Religious Freedom or Freedom of belief, because every one all over the world has to come to speak English and using their words and terms on all levels and should come to believe that what they believe. Lots of Americans do forget many of their ancestors just left the Old Word to get more freedom. They also seem to have forgotten that the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was signed January 16, 1786, and is commemorated each year on National Religious Freedom Day. Thomas Jefferson’s landmark statute became the basis for Congressman Fisher Ames’ establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Consitution.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

Today the majority of North Americans seem to want against that idea and do not want to leave other people enter their nation and want to make sure no person shall have an other faith than they.

Those who want prayers being said in class should remember that all religious people should be respected and in such instance should have prayers according to their faith too. If they want certain specific prayers being said they should do that in their own private schools, like Catholic Schools, Anglican Schools, Presbyterian, Evangelical etc religious schools, like there should also to be the freedom to have a Muslim or a Hindu school. But the State School should be open to everybody, allowing people to wear their own religious symbols, be it a little cross, a fish, a Davidstar, a yarmulka or other head covering. Each government all over the world should take care that every person can feel himself or herself happy in an environment where there is no discrimination for skin-colour or religious affection.

Some Americans do forget that they want to limit freedom of speech and freedom of religion by demanding to have only their religion presented in public schools.

Breitbart News’s Senior Editor-at-Large Rebecca Mansour goes so far to say taht

“The symbols and celebration of Christmas have shaped our history [and] Western Civilization,

having so called christians to think that she noted Christianity’s “transformative” impact on the old pagan world and the culture of Germanic barbarian warrior tribes, forgetting Christmas is totally a presentation of all the pagan elements, and is even an abomination in the eyes of God.

Christianity and broader Judeo-Christian values, suggested both Bannon and Mansour, reinforce Western Civilization’s sense of purpose in the face of internal and external threats.

The migration of tens of millions of Muslims to Europe in recent decades, said Bannon, is an existential threat to Europe and modern iteration of aforementioned civilization conflict between Western and Islamic societies: “The entire situation with this mass migration and refugee situation, which is really, there is no doubt, is starting to destroy Europe.” {Judeo-Christian Values essential to Victory of Western Civilization vs. Islamic Invasion of Europe}

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Preceding

American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder

Governments need to be more proactive to ensure racism is kept in check

Added commentary to the posting A Progressive Call to Arms

You are what you wear

Allowing dress code according liberty of religion

Meditating Muslimah on “hijab to be a religious obligation”

A British judge rules that mother can’t indoctrinate son with religion

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Additional reading

    1. Responses to Radical Muslims and Radical Christians
    2. You might be an extrimist if …
    3. Religious Practices around the world
    4. Religious Freedom in a Multicultural World
    5. Christians acting towards filmbusiness
    6. Being Charlie 8
    7. Coming closer to the end of 2015 and the end for Donald Trump as presidential candidate
    8. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
    9. >The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
    10. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
    11. Preventing conflicts and war
    12. Don’t be Muslim
    13. Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam
    14. Where is the USA wanting to go with the freedom of their people
    15. Migrants to the West #2
    16. Migrants to the West #10 Religious freedom
    17. Who is a Jew?
    18. God’s forgotten Word 5 Lost Lawbook 4 The ‘Catholic’ church
    19. Being in isolation #1 Baptists making an important choice
    20. Couple Ordered to Stop Holding Bible Study at Home Without Permit
    21. Cambodia: A land where the Gospel is taking root
    22. Lack of religious freedom South Sudan
    23. People of Faith for Obama video
    24. Women in France running with naked bosom all right but with covered bosom penalised
    25. 34th World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF)
    26. ank” rel=”bookmark noopener”>Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
    27. 60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century

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Further related

  1. Religious Freedom
  2. [Review] Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future, by Donald R. Prothero
  3. Christian values; Porn stars and religious freedoms
  4. Violent extremists up to interpretation by homeland security chairman Mike McCaul
  5. The argument for deluded losers
  6. Great Thor they are at it again. They seem unable to understand secular country and religious freedom for religion and from theirs. Hugs
  7. On religious freedom
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  11. January 16, 2018 – National nothing-day – national without a scalpel day – national fig Newton-day -national religious freedom dayAttorney General Jeff Sessions scores 8 out of 20 on Religious Freedom
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  14. Freedom from Religion coalition warns Colorado school that evangelical program could have “legal ramifications”
  15. Julian Mann: Make no mistake. This Ofsted plan is a threat to religious freedom. — Conservative Home
  16. Clergy uphold full “religious freedom” at Bethesda abortion clinic
  17. First Amendment Issues: Islamic Prayer Allowed in Schools, but War against Christianity
  18. Radical Muslims, Environmentalists, and the Green Jihad

Act of Faith held on February 6, 1481

Religious fanaticism and fundamentalism of all times

In the United States of America lots of people cry “murder and fire” and say Muslims are killing so many Christians in the hope to exterminate the Christian Faith. Their fear is ungrounded. Those Americans do forget it are not “The Muslims” but just fanatical Islamic terrorists, like the world also knows of such Christian fundamentalists. They also overlook that Daesh/ISIS/ISIL kills more Muslims than it kills Christians, so they do much more damage to the Islamic faith than to Christian faith.

Lots of Christians have forgotten what the crusaders and soldiers of the inquisition have done of damage to many people cross Europe and Asia. They where of the same breed as Al-qaeda, Daesh, Boko Haram, and contemporary fundamentalist Muslims and fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Buddhists.

In the thirteenth century Pope Innocent III and Pope Gregory IX established the dreaded institution to combat heretical groups and gave an easy instrument or weapon in the hands of rivals so that they could kill the ones standing in competition and to get their treasures, enabling them to enrich their own convent or cleric group.

Those in charge of the inquisition were so violently we can not imagine how lots of innocent people had to suffer greatly. The severity of both the questioning and the punishment is not so far off from the techniques used today in Africa and the Middle East. Like today those charged had no rights granted and those who came in the defence of the accused made them selves vulnerable and next prey of the inquisitors. Those who “snitched” on them could do so secretly. A victim was not permitted to challenge the witnesses against him or her.

In the country where for 7 centuries people of Jewish-, Christian- and Muslim- faith could live in peace and wealth under Muslim rulership,beautiful constructions where made and science developed magically. The Muslim Empire extended from North Africa to the Chinese border and in all the regions the people where allowed to have their own religion and where appreciated for their own craftsmanship.  Thanks to the Moors we also got citrus, avocado and other exotic crops which quickly spread across Europe. The Moors also introduced universal literacy and whilst the Greek philosophers were not wanted or allowed by the Papists in Spain they could be freely read.

During the 12th century, scholars from all over Europe flocked to the great libraries at Toledo to translate (into Latin) classical Greek and Arabic texts. These scholars would introduce a new approach to knowledge, based on rational inquiry, that would inspire the founding of prestigious universities at Oxford, Paris and elsewhere.

The wealth of the south was a thorn in the eye and Christian armies from northern Spain managed slowly to retake Moorish cities from their Muslim rules. By 1250, only Grenada at the southern tip of Spain remained under Muslim rule.

IsabellaofCastile03.jpg

Isabella I Queen of Castile wife of Ferdinand II of Aragon

File:Torquemada.jpg

Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada

When the Queen of Castille, Isabella married the king of Aragon (her second cousin Ferdinand) their armies  succeeded to seize Grenada so that Spain could be unified in 1479. But they where not so at ease and were almost paranoid with fear of revolt. This made them highly susceptible to the whispers of the queen’s confessor, the Dominican Tomas de Torquemada. Of Jewish origin himself, he told her that Christianized Jews were secretly practising their Hebrew faith and corrupting good Christians. Isabella horrified and frightened asked the pope for permission to establish the inquisition in Spain, which was granted.

In his capacity as grand inquisitor, Torquemada reorganized the Spanish Inquisition, which had been set up in Castile in 1478, establishing tribunals at Sevilla (Seville), Jaén, Córdoba, Ciudad Real, and, later, Zaragoza. For him all sorts of ‘other behaviour’ where good to make some one suspicious and to torture people. Not only so called crimes of heresy and apostasy but also sorcery, sodomy, polygamy, blasphemy, usury, and other offences where punished hard. Our Christian brothers who like Jews and Muslims only believed in the One True God became now also persecuted in the south of Europe.

Torquemada’s implacable hostility to the Jews probably exercised an influence on the decision of Ferdinand and Isabella to expel from their dominions all Jews who had not embraced Christianity. Under the edict of March 31, 1492, more than 40,000 Jews left Spain.

In all cases of doubt torture was authorized in order to obtain evidence and under continuous sadistic torture, suspects incriminated other people. These in turn accused almost anyone they could think of just to please their captors and win a reprieve from their torment. Every confession added to the alarm of the Catholic king and queen, suggesting widespread corruption of the Christian faith.

The first Spanish “Auto da fe” (meaning “Act of Fait.)” was held on this day February 6, 1481, when six men and six women, who refused to repent of alleged backsliding, were burned at the stake. They were but the first. 13,000 “heretics” were tried in the first twelve years of the Spanish Inquisition. The number of burnings of so called “heretics” at the stake during Torquemada’s tenure has been estimated at about 2,000. Dressed in a penitent’s gown, they were marched in processionals to the stake and urged to repent even as they were bound for the ordeal. Those who confessed were strangled before the fire was lit. Those who refused to admit wrongdoing, or who defiantly clung to their “heresies” were burned alive.

The Spanish Inquisition ran for 327 years and was not abolished until 1808, during the brief reign of Joseph Bonaparte. In those three centuries, close to 32,000 people perished in the flames. About 300,000 others were forced to make some kind of reconciliation with the church. Even the 1808 “end” to the Spanish Inquisition wasn’t really the end. Incredible as it may seem, King Ferdinand VII re-established the dreadful apparatus in 1814! Six years later, revolution swept it away, but that did not mean all hostility against other believers than Roman Catholics had gone.

Today in several countries we see again some people who call themselves ‘Christian’ to stand up and demanding to fight against those who belief differently than them. Mainly from North America are messages or text spread with false messages, trying to have others believe that Europe is totally invade by Muslims who molest or attack European women.

The apparatus of the inquisition which was not restricted to Europe got exported it to the new world by Spain, where Mexican and Peruvian authorities burned men and women to death, starting in the sixteenth century. Portuguese priests also operated an inquisition in South America, Goa, India. and today there are fundamentalist preachers and neo-Nazis who cry for a new religious war against those who do not have the same faith as they.

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Additional reading

  1. Inquisition also bad for Jews
  2. A dialogue about the earth moving and spinning around the sun
  3. Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam
  4. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #1 Christian Reform
  5. Anti-church movements and Humanism
  6. Propaganda war and ISIS
  7. Is the practice of religious freedom in danger in the United States of America
  8. Mean voices on the Internet and free speech

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Related

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  2. Ashamed to be muslim
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  6. The Racists Are Complaining About Muslim Indoctrination In Their Schools — Reblog
  7. Love, Hate and Other Filters – A Muslim girl faces Islamophobia, love and her Dreams
  8. Political Islam And The Pearl Clutching Of Moderate Muslims
  9. Whoa ! I didn’t know ! Damn ! !
  10. Hidden History: When Muslims Ruled in Europe
  11. Nobody Expects The Spanish Inquisition…
  12. The Weekly History Thread
  13. The Gospel is the answer. There is no other.
  14. Tomás de Torquemada: Grand Inquisitor During the Spanish Inquisition
  15. The Spanish inquisition had its roots in 1250s – ended in 1834 – almost 500 years timeline

History’s Most Famous Execution

David Matthew a committed Christian since the age of twelve who reached the blessed age of 77 and was a schoolteacher for 14 years, then went into the Christian ministry, to be by now still very much on a journey of faith having become now a lot less dogmatic on doctrinal issues than he used to be, and a lot more Jesus-focused, always tried to keep up with current thinking on evangelical Christianity and wrote about it.

He has been disturbed to keep coming across once-keen Christians, including some church leaders, who, in the face of the challenges of raising questions about traditional views or proposing new ways of looking at certain biblical passages, have lost their faith altogether. He therefore wrote a.o. the book: “ A Poke In The Faith: Challenges to evangelical faith and how to survive them”.

He also looked at “Did God Kill Jesus?: Searching for love in history’s most famous execution by Tony Jones (HarperOne, 2015).” and asks “What happened to the cross“.   He also made a very nice “synopsis of the bookin which we found the following text we do like to share with you:

History’s Most Famous Execution

We should be clear on the basics about Jesus. Born in 6 or 4BCE, he was reared in Nazareth, in the fairly prosperous region of Galilee. He was, like Joseph, a tekton, ‘craftsman’ — not necessarily a carpenter. At the age of 30 he merged from obscurity into his public ministry. The core of his message was:
‘A new age is dawning — the rules by which followers of Yahweh lived their lives, while not irrelevant, are in need of
a serious overhaul; the spirit of those rules has been forgotten amid the attempts to keep those rules; I’ve come to redefine the relationship between God and humanity.’ (p70)
The ultimate rule, he taught, is love —which should extend even to one’s enemies.
The apocalyptic aspects of his teaching (a common and popular genre at the time) were directed chiefly at the political situations of his day. His miracles were not primarily to show his deity but to demonstrate God’s rule and show how it reaches out to the marginalised in society.
Jerusalem, where Jesus headed at the end of his ministry, was the centre of Jewish religious life. The Gospel writers focus on his last week there. Each of the four has its own angle on it. They focus on his trial, sufferings and death.
The Gospels show little interest in who actually killed Jesus (or, indeed, in what his death accomplished), but together they portray him as crucified by the Romans at the instigation of the Jewish leaders.
His resurrection led his followers to see his death cosmically and theologically, as an act of God.
At a human level, the early church put the blame chiefly on the Jews, while later centuries blamed them entirely, on the basis of Matt 27:25 — a verse which has had a terrible anti-Semitic legacy. The Gospels do tie Jesus’ death to the Passover. His passion takes place during the build-up to Passover. His last act is to eat the Passover meal with his followers. Like the original Passover lamb, the blood of Jesus liberates the people.
Paul, however, takes this much further…

Paul’s Cross-Centred Life

Paul got to know the Jesus story backwards: starting with the resurrected Lord. He never heard Jesus teach, nor witnessed his miracles (note of the editor: he might have witnessed some miracles, but we do not know that, but for sure he would have heard about them from first hand witnesses) , and never mentions his life — the focus is on his death and resurrection.
He sets these in the context of Israel’s story, a key feature of which was the law. Paul concludes that the law killed Jesus (Gal 3:13).

‘The cross’, for Paul, means ‘the gospel’, and it is the lens through which he interprets everything else. He opens up his thinking on it chiefly in Romans 3, and Romans 7 – 8. In Rom 3 God is faithful, and it is through Jesus, the faithful Israelite, that he fulfils his covenant promises. Jesus is the ‘sacrifice of atonement’ — literally the place of atonement, or Mercy Seat. In other words, he sums up everything that has gone before in Israel’s history. In Rom 7 – 8, all of human sin is concentrated in Jesus, and in him on the cross all sin is condemned.
If the Gospels show Jesus as the Passover sacrifice, Paul presents him as the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) sacrifice. Both are valid emphases, but different.
According to Paul, in the cross God showed himself to be on the side of all human beings, Jews and Gentiles alike, and through the cross he shows us how to live right, recognising that we have been crucified with Jesus. We are called to live out the example that God set on the cross: self-limitation, humility and submission.

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Preceding

Review: What happened at the cross?

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Additional reading

  1. Christian values, traditions, real or false stories, pure and upright belief
  2. The saviour Jesus his human side
  3. Redemption #4 The Passover Lamb
  4. Death of Christ on the day of preparation
  5. Hebraic Roots Bible Matthew Chapter 28
  6. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  7. Glory of God appearing in our character
  8. Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2
  9. Matthew 2:7-12 – Pawns of Herod, the Magi Find the ‘Child’
  10. Anointing as a sign of Promotion
  11. Preparing for 14 Nisan
  12. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
  13. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  14. A Messiah to die
  15. Lost senses or a clear focus on the one at the stake
  16. Jesus the “God-Man”: Really?

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Related

  1. Events That Changed History
  2. The Outrageous Story
  3. Torsten Jantsch on Jesus, the Savior: The Soteriology of the Lukan Doppelwerk
  4. Jesus Led The Way
  5. We Preach Christ Crucified …
  6. Did Jesus Christ die on Good Friday or not?
  7. The Mathematics of Caiaphas and Christ
  8. A New & Glorious Morn
  9. No Sweat, No Thorns, in New Jerusalem (2)
  10. The One You Pierced!
  11. Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
  12. When God seemed to be an atheist
  13. No Need for Sleep in New Jerusalem
  14. Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? … by Alice ..
  15. ”Moksha With Jesus Christ”

Review: What happened at the cross?

We never hear such thing as people having an “idea that God killed Jesus”, but with trinitarians such ideas are possible, the same as they think God gave Himself on the cross for the sins of the people.

Naturally when a church creates all sorts of false teachings, starting with making Jesus in their god, they continually have to create new false teachings, like Jesus having a mother than God would have to have a mother a.o..

It is curious to see how different protestant groups handle with the atonement and do not see that Jesus did not do his own will (what he would have done if he is God) but did the will of God, and as such gave himself as a ransom for all.

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To remember

Jesus is the most fully realized revelation of God that we’ve got, and what we can see of God in the life of Jesus is the perfect example of self-limitation and humility. (p238)

  • many Christians naively believe that the Payment Model (or penal substitution theory) = commonest view in Western world =  only one => ‘atonement wars’
  • Tony Jones, associated with the ‘emergent’ stream of Christianity, his book sets out all the major (plus a few minor) theories of the atonement and tries to reach a balanced assessment of each one.
  • God’s with us, expressed in the cross, => ours with him. = what the atonement is really all about.
  • Trinitarians must believe God is by nature self-limiting, choosing to use his sovereign freedom to unite himself to humanity in the person of Jesus, and especially in the sufferings of Calvary.
  • Some believe that the frequent emphasis on a bloodthirsty God, marked by punishment and sending folk to hell, is one reason for the decline of Christianity in some of its historic bastions.
  • rivalries developed, leading to violence. Sacrifice developed as a safety-valve: violence was perpetrated on an innocent victim, making everyone feel better, at least for a while. Meanwhile, the person sacrificed was perceived as almost divine, because their death had had such a powerful violence-quenching effect on the society
  • Nowhere does the OT law explicitly condemn child sacrifice (the closest it comes is Lev 18:21), though the practice was common among Israel’s neighbours.
    But Israel did not practise it (Jephthah’s killing of his daughter is a rare exception).
    Animal sacrifice, by contrast, soon became an integral part of Israel’s worship, and it was the blood that made it valid
    (Lev 17:10-16). Two kinds of blood sacrifices were seen as appeasing God: the guilt offering and the sin offering (the kind offered at Yom Kippur). These continued through the desert years, and continued when the Israelites were settled in the land, becoming more elaborate, in spite of the prophets’ condemnation (e.g. Hos 6:6). Their practice continued into the time of Jesus.
  • So God took something that humans were already doing — being violent and shedding blood — and made it sacred. He
    went along with them where they were at, but did not see it as the ideal, and he took human sacrifice out of the picture.
    The sacrificial system controls violence, giving it boundaries.
  • occasional verse talks of God’s anger at particular sins or human behavior that God considers an abomination, > overarching message of scripture is clear = God created us, God loves us, + God wants the best for us. => Bible = rife with stories of God going out of his way to set people on the right path — despite our failures, despite our sins.
  • A lot of us have grown increasingly uncomfortable with the regnant interpretation of Jesus’ death as primarily the propitiation of a wrathful God. 1. we don’t experience God as uber-wrathful toward us. 2. it simply doesn’t make sense that God would game the whole system so that he has to kill his own son just to vitiate this wrath. It just doesn’t smell right. (p26)
  • Calvin + others upped the ante from Anselm => not just that Jesus made our payment for us, = he pays a penalty on our behalf — a penalty that we cannot pay. In theological jargon, this is how it goes from substitution to penal substitution, the “penal” connoting the penalty. This change happened during the Reformation, and it remains popular today. (p113)

  • supposed to learn about love from God => idea God predestined us to sin = results in our eternal damnation + requires God’s Son to die on the cross, teaches very little about love. (p132)

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Additional reading

  1. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  2. Atonement And Fellowship 7/8
  3. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  4. Omniscient God opposite a not knowing Jesus
  5. Redemption #2 Biblical solution
  6. Redemption #4 The Passover Lamb

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Further related

  1. 15/01/2018: Atonement 10
  2. Facets Of Redemption
  3. Mimesis and atonement
  4. A better way to view the atonement of Christ: Christus Victor
  5. Athanasius as Interpreter of the Trinity: Why the Nicene Creed and Penal Substitution Are Incompatible, Part 2 | New Humanity Institute
  6. Thinking Outloud: Atonement
  7. Triune Atonement in Westminster
  8. How to Understand the Once for All Sacrifice of Jesus Christ
  9. What the crucifiers didn’t understand
  10. Penal Substitutionary Atonement Exemplified In Film
  11. Irenaeus and the Problem of (Greater) New Testament Wrath
  12. Penal Substitutionary Atonement – a myopic narrative.
  13. Review: Tom Wright on the Crucifixion

Dave's Deliberations

This book’s title may mislead you. It is really an examination of the main theories of the atonement; the idea that God killed Jesus on the cross is just one aspect of the Payment Model of the atonement. The book is:

Did God Kill Jesus?: Searching for love in history’s most famous execution by Tony Jones (HarperOne, 2015).   

dgkjlargeThe ‘atonement wars’ are raging right now, in spite of the fact that many Christians naively believe that the Payment Model (or penal substitution theory) that they have been taught—and which remains the commonest view in the Western world—is the only one there is. Jones’s book sets out all the major (plus a few minor) theories of the atonement and tries to reach a balanced assessment of each one.

The major ones he designates the Payment, Victory, Magnet, Divinity and Mirror models. He assesses each against the answers it offers to…

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