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Everything posted by Kellerman

  1. Funny you mention Catholics, because I'm from a French Catholic area, and a lot of them take it pretty seriously that Pope JP2 said that hell wasn't a place, but the consequence of sin itself, a state of separating oneself from God. There's a big difference between how a child is taught about the concept of sin for themselves vs how the church is used as a tool of oppression against those who are different. I've met ultra conservative Orthodox Greek Christian leaders with extremely regressive social values, but who taught their own congregants a very compassionate version of sin, w
  2. I wonder if this is a global Christian thing or particular to certain sects or regions or cultures. I participated in two churches as a kid and the atrocious evangelical church in my hometown definitely taught that we kids should feel extreme shame about sin, but the Anglican Church taught us none of that, and the United Church ministers I know don't teach that.
  3. See, for me, I wrapped my mind around "sin" as being a fundamental human capacity for destructive behaviour, of which we are all capable. I worked with children for years, they are capable of incredible cruelty. We all are. So if I conceptualize that we are "born with sin" meaning we are all born with the capacity for cruelty, destruction, etc, then I'm actually pretty okay with teaching young children about being born with sin. It's pairs with the concept that none of us are perfect. If sin is the thing that is imperfect in us, then it's something that we can know about ourse
  4. I lived on a farm as a kid, you couldn't pay me enough to go back.
  5. I wasn't raised Christian, but I was exposed to a few wildly different sects of Christianity and the main impression I got was that there a lot of ways to interpret this whole Christianity thing. I think the biggest change I went through was a re-interpretation of sin. I always cringed at the notion that we're all "bad" and need to ask forgiveness to be accepted into the exclusive Jesus-club in the after life. I was like "eff that", I left home as a teenager, there was no way I was subscribing to a father figure who was telling me I fundamentally wasn't good enough and that o
  6. As I said, I must have misinterpreted. I've gone back and reread and see where I made my mistake. I'm on my phone and sometimes read too quickly. I did misread your initial post to imply that you *did* believe that Christianity was responsible. My bad. Very sloppy comprehension on my part.
  7. PaulS, your recent answers seem incongruous with your previous posts that seemed to suggest that you *did* think that Christianity was somehow uniquely necessary or qualified to enlighten people, or something to that effect. I'm now really confused by your answers to my latest comments, so obviously I misinterpreted something along the way.
  8. Totally agree. The question about whether or not Christianity caused the conquest and colonialism doesn't really resonate with me though, as in all of the history I've read, the powers that be that colonized were rarely very pious in their Christianity, and conflicts between kings and the church were rampant. Christianity and Islam are, however, tremendous tools of social oppression, which we still see so obviously in the US. So I can absolutely see how having that tool could have catalyzed/facilitated the process. You nailed it, this concept of a superior diety instead of the univer
  9. K, but the Inuit do know God. They have a deep sense of the divine and value connectedness with it. It's not like other cultures are walking around ignorant of the divine. They just don't subscribe to the particularly Christian doctrine version of it. From my perspective, there's divinity, and there are ways to understand it. Christianity is one way to try and understand it, which can be in itself interpreted in so many different ways. There isn't even a consistent "Christianity" out there. So if there are wildly different belief systems calling themselves "Christian", then h
  10. Do you not see how other religions and world views could impart the same positive values as Christianity? Do you truly believe that only Christianity promotes love and respect for human kind?
  11. Most cultures haven't benefitted from Christianity, because the spread of Christianity was largely through conquest and colonialism. You can't separate the religion from its cultural and anthropological history, and Christianity has a horrific track record. Also, these weren't "minor" cultures, these were the dominant cultures in these areas in the past, and European settlers murdered and oppressed them into either total non-existence or minority status. The legacy of the Christian church in the world is not a humane one, and certainly not one any of us should be proud of.
  12. Uh...I don't think so. I've mentioned a few times that I study a lot of Indigenous culture and spirituality and that pre-exists Christianity by tens of thousands of years and preaches some of the most beautiful beliefs I've ever seen in an extant civilization: gender equality, respect for gender non binary, equal respect for nature as there is for humans because humans are just part of nature, children viewed as gifts, elders respected, restorative justice, etc, etc, etc. Of course these myriad variety of cultures aren't a monolith either, just as Christianity isn't, but none of th
  13. I will never disagree with that. As I said, I'm quite fond of my people on many fronts.
  14. Ehhh...Nordic people in Nordic countries might be on average happy, but they're also pretty well known for their racism and insular sense of culture. So I'm not convinced by this argument. Also, there are Christian societies all over the world. I mean, there's a reason so many clergy in North America are starting to come from South America. It's the fastest growing religion in China. There are tons of Christians in Africa, and do you know where the fastest rate of growth of Christians is in the entire world?? Iran. So I'm not convinced that Christianity around the world has become
  15. To me, the question that always needs to be looked at is whether this is cultural homophobia hiding behind Christianity. Where I live is quite LGBTQ open, and there are tons of LGBTQ friendly Christian churches. So progressives can choose one of these churches, and homophobes can find themselves a homophobic church, because as open as we are, it still very much exists here. So from my perspective, I don't really see homophobia as a Christian thing, I see it as a cultural thing that wraps itself in what they think is the protective coating of bible verses. This particular exam
  16. Perhaps because I grew up in an extremely multicultural environment, I refuse to see "God" and "religion" in such simplistic, monolithic terms. God and religion mean such wildly different things to different people. How one relates to God and religion will depend heavily on what the norms of their upbringing were. If one is raised in a community where the norm is to be involved in a highly regressive, repressive, anti science Christian Church, then absolutely, it will take superior critical, independent thinking to reject that. And ABSOLUTELY there will be a huge correlation betwee
  17. I don't know about the laws where you live, but where I live it's illegal for a business to discriminate against their clients, and I take huge issue with a business refusing to service a black person because the owners are racist. That violates our human rights laws. Then again, I live in a country that has hate speech laws, so the business owner isn't even legally allowed to express overtly hateful racist thoughts, much less put them into practice in a public facing business.
  18. Let's see how best I can illustrate this... Time is just a perceived dimension, so I don't bother with any construct that involves any before or after life. I don't think it's relevant. What I do notice is that humans have for millenia perceived a concept of light and dark, good and evil, whatever you want to call it. It's affected me on a gut level the duality of humankind, the capacity for loving compassion and cruel detachment. My understanding of heaven and hell, as best as I can possibly articulate them are connectedness and division. We experience more grace the mo
  19. I'm so grateful this isn't the reality where I live. These stories always blow my mind.
  20. I gave an example of entire cultures who perceive spirituality as going beyond their individual experiences and even beyond human or living being experiences. For you, that's just more examples of individuals having their own perceptions, for me, it's an example of humans who are tapped into something larger than themselves. That's why I say I cannot and don't endeavour to prove it. I can't answer your question to any degree of satisfaction, because if it's totally reasonable and rational for someone to write off the experience and just neural perception. I know because I'm a
  21. K, I wanted to come back to this because I don't want to just not answer. However, I'm a bit on the back foot as I was quoted completely out of context and would have framed the quoted statement completely differently had I initiated my own contributions to this thread. So here goes. I study quite extensively traditional indigenous ways of knowing. There are a lot of I initiatives in the north to coordinate the traditional knowledge of indigenous people with scientific research in terms of managing resources because different forms of knowledge can work synergistically. Anyway, whe
  22. It's a function of any toxic group though, not just religious ones. Religion just happens to be a very effectively rallying point around which toxicity can rally. Economics and politics are other effective rallying point that effectively stirs hateful and oppressive rhetoric. Anger and righteous indignation can be harnessed to fuel many toxic identities. Blaming religion is short-sighted. You could entirely eliminate religion and the problem would still persist in myriad other forms. Convincing, charismatic leaders who rile people up and stoke the flames of outrage will
  23. I can't and don't try to prove anything of the sort. My argument is not that spirituality legitimately exists, and definitely not that I can prove it, my argument is that spirituality/religion can co-exist in a complementary fashion with science. I cannot be clearer about this. I do not see untestable things as incompatible with science.
  24. It's not something I can or try to prove.
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