Christianity and Oppression

It has everything to do with Christianity. For as much as people love to point out the stuff about loving thy neighbor, at it’s core, Christianity is still inherently built on supremacy, authoritarianism, and intolerance, and that’s where it will always lead- As evidenced by all of history.

As if America’s experience with this didn’t go straight back to our first settlers. We talk about how they came here looking for freedom from religious persecution as a foundational principle of our country, after they were run out of England for trying to religiously persecute everyone else. This shit is baked into our national DNA.

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Sure - if you ignore every denomination that doesn’t fit into your neat little narrative. Then sure, it’s just like you say. But if you care about, you know, actually history, you’ll see it’s actually both and, not either or.

If you ignore ALL the resistance that existed and continues to exist.

We really need to stop letting the fascists control the narrative. We’re only hurting ourselves by doing so.

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Right, right. Just like how Brock Turner was a really good athlete, and how Nazism is all about pride and heritage. I’m not ignoring the good stuff Christians have been responsible for, I’m saying that it doesn’t go anywhere even remotely near outweighing the bad.

Sure, MLK was a great man, but his actions don’t excuse the largest Christian organization in the world literally helping it’s clergy rape children. You honestly think a few hundred ministers marching for racial justice makes up for centuries of using the bible to justify slavery in the first place? I mean, I suppose it’s great that the UCC puts up a rainbow flag, but that doesn’t suddenly absolve the dozens of other denominations who are supporting gay conversion therapy and Ugandan death squads.

We’re not talking about a little money laundering or indiscretions here. We’re talking centuries-long repeating patterns of our most heinous and unforgivable crimes- Genocide, slavery, child rape, torture- And no amount of good deeds or Real Scotsmen are going to be able to divorce that from a source material that literally condones most of it.

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That is literally what you’re arguing here.

Sure, because slavery and jim crow are just minor blips in our history… /s

Did I say it did? You’re just denying that he matters at all.

And now we come to the “putting words in people’s mouth” portion of the argument? No. I’m saying that the people who fought against oppression and embrace religion to do so matter just as much as the oppressors, which you’re intent on denying. King and those preachers and the thousands of people who stood in the face of extreme forms of violence matter just as much as the people YOU claim are the ONLY ones who matter when discussing this topic.

None of which are confined to Christians or people using Christian values to justify it.

You are the one defining the scotsman here and denying others - not me.

Depends on whose theology you’re using.

As for Jesus, he literally was in opposition to an oppressive empire that was denying his people basic rights enjoyed by others in the Roman empire (who killed him for it)… But sure he was a figure who advocated for oppression…

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I think you’re reading a different Bible than the rest of us.

Don’t make the same mistakes many of the bigotry and prosperity Evangelicals make. Don’t ignore the language in the Bible that specifically forbids the bigotry that Xtianists exhibit.

The Old Testament is notoriously authoritarian but one of the key commandments is that Christians must not judge others. In the OT, God specifically and exclusively reserves the judgement of sinners to himself, and judging others is described as a sin.

In the New Testament, Jesus goes even further, stating that judging others and trying to punish them on earth is a worse sin than the one being judged.

So the source material, OT and NT, both forbid the behavior of oppressing others for perceived sin.

Not a Christian here, but one who has studied the Bible closely much the way I studied Greek mythology, as a key to understanding cultural and literary shortcuts.

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It’s almost like “Christianity”, as a term that manages to apply to a significant portion of humanity for the last dozen and a half centuries, is simply too broad to try to reduce to a plus or minus sign. You might as well be asking if people are basically good or bad at that point.

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Good point. Everyone knows you apply +/- ratings to the player, not the team.

Happy Regular Season GIF by NHL

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They are literally dictating the terms when we let them do that.

Kenan Thompson Reaction GIF by Saturday Night Live

The problem, as always, is the accumulation of power and the tools people use to do so. In this case, it’s using Christian doctrine to consolidate power. Plenty of others in history have specifically opposed that, and I see no reason to elevate one over the other, especially when plenty of other “tools” have been used as violent forms of oppression. I think we can all agree that the existence of eugenics, which was very much an accepted scientific world view at the time it was being used as a form of oppression, does not negate science as a world view. The existence of the atheistic Stalinist state does not negate atheism as a world view nor does it negate communist theory as a world view (whatever the right wingers might tell you). The existence of colonialism doesn’t negate all of the enlightenment.

Our inability to think critical, contextually, and historically is a major problem in our modern society, as seriously seems on display here. I’m in favor of calling out specific concepts (fascism, which has literally no value and was ONLY oppressive) and ideas or implementations of specific concepts when it makes sense. I am not in favor of stigmatizing over 2 billion humans because we’re too lazy to attend to reality.

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Yeah, I was born and indoctrinated into it. I’m pretty well aware of what it says- Actually reading it for myself is chief among reasons I’m not still one of them. I believe it also says that you will know the tree by its fruit- Which again, include centuries-long repeating patterns of our most heinous and unforgivable crimes.

It’s almost as if having exclusive access to the one true god and original source of all infallible wisdom and righteousness is a particularly well suited tool for that.

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Which, as has been pointed out over and over, was done in the name of power, and is not inherent to the religion or it’s teachings. It has been equally used to justify self-sacrifice and good, but somehow that doesn’t count. :man_shrugging:

Congratulations, you’ve just described all religion, everywhere, for all time.

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I mean, for serious…trying to consider questions like “would late antiquity have been better without religion” is like trying to figure out if beef would be healthier if cows evolved from salmon. The baseline you’re trying to measure against is a 100% counterfactual. What exactly do you learn from comparing to an alternative nobody knows at all?

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I just heard this wonderful podcast today:

I can’t remember if she posed the question to Father Boyle or to Christian Miller, I think the latter so it would be towards the end of the show. They were discussing religion and morality at one point and she asked about whether there’s a correlation between professed religion (any religion, but based on practicing, whatever that means) and morality (being honest, compassionate, generous, etc.). I thought sure it would be negative if not neutral, but the interviewee said there’s a body of research showing a (not huge, but nevertheless) positive correlation.
It was a good reminder not to project my own biases about religion into the whole shebeezle. Humbling.
And a great listen overall. Really optimistic.

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Religion allows persons to justify injustices from a place of unquestioned authority, but it is not alone in this regard.

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