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Serious question: Religion and violence

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by Unlucky 13, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    Serious question - no trolling.

    Why do you think that the people who are the most religious are also almost always the same ones who are the most likely to be in favor of war, and the most likely to own guns?

    Obviously, a lot of these people are Rebublican/Conservative in the US, but is it simply "following the herd", and doing the same thing that many others also do, or is there something deeper psychological that binds the two together? As a person of the total opposite belief, its difficult for me to understand, since most religions tend to push peace and forgiveness.
     
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  2. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito. Club Member

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    I think it is part of human nature. Get a group of people together who think of themselves as sharing something in common, they are willing to fight for that common thing. Which is why the people they want to go to war with are always different, and they always point out the differences.
     
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  3. MikeHoncho

    MikeHoncho -=| Censored |=- Club Member

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    To add:
    Most people are followers and mostly products of their environment/upbringing. Moreso when you can enforce this from the jump in a developing mind (indoctrination).

    It's widely accepted across the more violent religions that death should always follow the "wicked".
     
  4. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    It is a fair question though you are expressing it in a very American political way. You are defining the people who are "most religious" as the folks who yell the loudest. What about the Amish? the strong anti-war history of the mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches? Yes, the source of "Just War" theory comes out of that context but the struggle against the Vietnam War and the loudest voices against the more recent US actions in southwest and central Asia have come from the Church. As a pastor myself, I have spoken out regularly against the culture of violence and trying to solve too many problems with a gun when talking would be better.

    Yet, you are correct and there is a loooong history especially in this country. I grew up hearing preachers yell, "Kill a Commie for Christ!" and being very, very confused.

    I suppose the short answer would be that people of religious beliefs are not immune to sin. I remain a Lutheran at least in part because of Martin Luther's theological understanding of Simul Eustis est paccator which roughly translates that each of us and all of us are at the same time saints and sinners. We may only be the latter but we are never only the former! Thus sin (at its core self interest) continues to worm its way into our lives.

    Don't know if this is where you were thinking but hope it helps.
     
  5. Boik14

    Boik14 Admin Club Member Retired Administrator

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    I think a better question is: why are the most religious people often just intolerant zealots who are completely unwilling to let others live their own lifestyle like they enjoy theirs? Clearly many are willing to live and let live but others go around blowing stuff up in the name of a prophet. Others still, behead, torture, and bring other types of violence to those that speak out against their religion. Obviously we don't see that as nearly as much in the United States but it's commonplace in many areas in the middle east and Africa. In Italy someone was fined 3500 dollars for wearing a bikini on the beach which offended Muslims. Where's the tolerance? What about non-Muslims? It wasn't an act of violence but an example of the double standard that exists.
     
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  6. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Boik, I hear your anger and frankly I share it. I regularly pray, "Please God, save me from the people who say they are on my side!"

    I try to make a distinction between folks who are truly "people of faith" whatever that faith may be and those who simply use religious slogans for their own grabs at power. Unfortunately there are far too many people who profess themselves to be religious without having any grasp on what their faith truly says, nor are they willing to dialog with others regarding their views. It is a shame, a terrible shame.

    People of faith are the leading founders of hospital, medical facilities in general, and provide a huge number of "boots on the ground" workers in any and all relief efforts. Yet folks who use the name of religious traditions also create horrific evil. It is a struggle I deal with up close and personally each day.
     
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  7. Boik14

    Boik14 Admin Club Member Retired Administrator

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    Its insane Pastor. Over the years Ive explained Im not a religious man. I havent been to a temple outside of a wedding or a funeral since I was 13 and I have no plans of changing that soon. Its an absolute misrepresentation of who some of these people are. Not necessarily saying you or anyone in particular of the Jewish, Hindu, or Christian faiths, but in many cases it exists and all too often.

    The people you mention though are not of the religions I mentioned. When adherence to religious principles created a million years ago overrides "normal" in the modern era there is a problem with the religion. It proves to me that the foundation is not everlasting. It cannot endure change in society or adapt to other cultures or religion. When people cant be educated because of their religion theres a problem. When religion tells you its ok to subjugate 50% of your population due to their sex theres a problem with their religion. When religion tells you to behead another being because of sexual orientation theres a problem with religion. When religion tells you if you have sex with a goat or sheep you are still pure (according to Quranic Scholar Dr. Zakir Naik), there is a real problem with religion. When a religion preaches intolerance and violence, there is a real problem with religion. Of course every Muslim doesnt adhere to this as sternly as some others but these are all traits of Islam. Every last one of them.

    This country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and yet we allow people of every creed to worship and even preach against other religions because the concept of freedom of religion is important enough that people should have it even if a few abuse it. Yet I find it more and more concerning that I see things being done to cater to certain religions based on outdated religious principles while things that matter to other religions and atheists go completely unnoticed or are ignored. If a bikini at the beach is too much for a person of a certain religion to handle because it violates their religion, it doesnt mean we all have to observe that. Maybe she simply has no business at the beach. Maybe she simply lost sight of why people go to the beach. Females go there to get a tan. Men go there to interact with females getting a tan and throw a football or baseball around :lol:
     
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  8. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    Boik, I understand your commentary, but I was really just speaking about within the US. I won't even begin to try to understand how people in a culture where it is mandatory to be one religion see the world.

    Living in my part of the US (Ive lived in WV, VA, & TN), almost everyone is either Christian or non-religious. And just based upon my own observations of the world, the people who are the angriest, most likely to be opposed to any kind of gun control, support any and all war, or even threaten violence against people face to face almost always are from the same group who force their Christianity into the face of anyone that they can. People who are openly non-religious mostly seem to be easy going, less likely to own weapons, opposed to war, and such.

    I just wonder about the who "chicken or the egg" end of the question. Are they this way because violence and strong religious belief tend to go hand in hand, or is it simply a situation where almost all people who are strongly Christian in my neck of the woods are also strongly Republican, and therefore act this way due to politics? Had the Republican party not started using the "Religious Right" several decades ago to increase their power and influence, would many of these same people even act the crazy ways that they do?
     

  9. The ones that piss me off are the knocking on my door with pamphlets.
     
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  10. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    In my world it is the exact opposite. Not saying you are wrong in where you are or in the persons you deal with but I have non-believers coming to me in public and getting in my face when I go out wearing a clerical collar. I would suggest it may have to do with aggressive, angry folks seeking out those opposite them? The desire or perhaps even the need to convince others of the rightness of your position because deep down you are insecure about it yourselves??? I don't know.

    As to folks coming to your porch with pamphlets, I had JW's come to the door of the pastor's residence next door to the church building (and even a blind man could see the connection between the two with the walkways, landscaping, etc.) and try to convince me. I said, as calmly as I could, that their arrogance was beyond anything I could imagine. Amazingly they were offended by me being offended! It was all I could do to hold back my very, very large dog. He would have simply jumped up to be friends but they didn't know that!
     
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  11. Stitches

    Stitches ThePhin's Biggest Killjoy Luxury Box

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    That's a shame (coming from a non-believer who is from the general area to which you are from). :no:
     
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  12. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    I suspect that the notion of Religion also conveys a deeply personal view of how the world "should" be, any deviation from that perceived norm, means castle up and prepare to repel all boarders me hardees!!!

    For good reasons, either persecuted, or persecutors, a worldly view of reality whether painted in an Easter Bonnet or in a Gulag, is ingrained in Religion as a sort of survival instinct.

    That said, I've also seen a sort of "something is missing, this is not how things are supposed to be" among the non religious. So in reaching for answers outside themselves, ppl never look into the problem itself..what is on the inside, from health to thought processes.

    Not that the Charlatans have not noticed, and reaped huge amounts of money off of ppl's need to believe in something, anything.

    Religious..or not, for every religious zealot there is a Trotsky saying "Even the barricades are more important than morality"
     
  13. MrClean

    MrClean Inglourious Basterd Club Member

    He made a lot of mistakes as head of the Luftwaffe, but with this quote he was pretty much spot on:


    "Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY."

    --Goering at the Nuremberg Trials
     
  14. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Goering did not mention religion but indeed one of the tools leaders use is religious zealotry. Certainly today in the Middle East, Zealots are denouncing groups as attacking "their" view of faith as a reason for war.
     
  15. MrClean

    MrClean Inglourious Basterd Club Member

    Though Goering didn't mention religion, Hitler sure did.
    http://www.nobeliefs.com/speeches.htm

     
  16. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Hitler was baptized in a Lutheran Church. It is a reality of which I am painfully aware though many do not, you are correct.

    Like many political leaders today, Hitler expropriated religious symbols for his own use. Did you note his choice to sub serve faith to the "morality of the German Race". Since he was defining the latter, his "Christianity" became something very different.

    There are elements of the religious right today which do not recognize me as a Christian because I was baptized as an infant and because I understand certain Biblical passages in ways very different than they do. Some things never change. Unfortunately.
     
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  17. unluckyluciano

    unluckyluciano For My Hero JetsSuck

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    There's a lot of Christians who are liberal and anti gun. Just like there were a lot of Christians on both sides of the aisle for slavery, war , etc. I'm not sure I'd say more likely so much as there are more conservatives who happen to be christian.its more to me about conservatism than Christianity.
     
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  18. MrClean

    MrClean Inglourious Basterd Club Member

    I find gnostic atheists to be every bit as annoying as fundamentalist Christians. They are all so damned sure they are right and if ya don't agree with them they tend to get overbearing.
     
  19. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    In my youth, I considered myself an Atheist. Absolute. However, I realized that I was as wrong to force my opinion on others as the religious folks who shoved the bible in my face all the time. So, for about a decade, I referred to myself as Agnostic, since I had no more proof in my belief than anyone else did. Today, I just say that I'm non-religious, and truth be told, I just don't care what the truth is, because I'll never know. As long as someone else isn't trying to force their religion of beliefs onto someone else, I could care less what they believe. Its when they do that I care.
     
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  20. adamprez2003

    adamprez2003 Senior Member

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    the gun thing is a matter of culture and upbringing. religous people in south america or europe arent advocating gun rights. that's particular to the US. it obviously has nothing to do with religion or south america and europe would be advocating the same thing.


    as for hitler being a christian hahahahahahahahahaha
    hitler voiced support for christianity in public for political reasons. germany was a christian nation and its tough to get votes in a christian democracy if you are going to berate and slur the religion
     
  21. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    ap2003, I believe you are agreeing with my contention in post #16 above that Hitler used Christian images to make his own point.

    A somewhat metaphysical or philosophical question we have been skirting in this thread is what determines a person's religious identity? Is it what they say or claim to believe or is it their actions which are visible to others? I would premise that both are integral to a full understanding of religious questions but that question is open.
     
  22. adamprez2003

    adamprez2003 Senior Member

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    i do agree with your post. politicians know that religion is important to a great many citizens so most will feign their faith to whatever religion is the majority in their country (if they dont actually believe) just to get the votes. i think its pretty obvious that hitler was talking the talk but walking a completely different walk. the only politicians who outwardly voiced their disbelief were communists that i am aware of.

    i think the only way to judge or decipher one's true beliefs is to look at what they do not what they say. i do believe hitler had some interest in old germanic pagan religions and he had an interest in spiritualism (the madame blavatsky type)
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
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  23. MikeHoncho

    MikeHoncho -=| Censored |=- Club Member

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    Maybe relevant? (territorial control-wise)

    [​IMG]
     

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