Author Topic: "What the Catholic Church can teach Islam about responding to atheists"  (Read 738 times)

xSilverPhinx

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[...]
In the Middle Ages, atheism was more or less unknown in Europe. It is perfectly possible that it was fear – of the Inquisition and the other Church courts – that ensured that atheists did not raise their heads above the parapet. With the decline of a secular arm willing to co-operate with the Church, atheism (along with Protestantism) became much more visible. But the truth is that Catholicism has survived the onslaughts of both atheism and Protestantism without having the hard power of the Inquisition to act as its enforcer. (It is worth mentioning at this point that the Inquisition used the death penalty a lot more sparingly than contemporary Islamists.)
[...]

Rest of the blog post here.

The Catholic Church may have survived in recent times without the "hard power of the Inquisition to act as its enforcer", but that doesn't negate the fact that up to very recently in world history the Inquisition was a thing, and existed to judge heresy within communities. While it is no longer acceptable in the western world that religion executes people for that crime against the institution god, the Catholic Church and other Christian organisations do a world of harm with their preaching, especially in the poorer corners of the globe, where people can't count as much on quality education to immunise them from the proselyting and indoctrination, such as parts of Africa and some areas of Latin America where Christianity seems to be on the rise.

The blogger continues with:   

Quote
What has ensured the survival of Catholicism is soft power, the power of persuasion, exercised through preaching, teaching, devotion and art. It is to be noted that anti-clericals have always done their best, sometimes by legislation, to take these weapons away from the Church, by banning Church schools, making processions illegal, and confiscating Church property, as well as not allowing the Church to control printing presses. All of this is a huge backhanded compliment to the Church, for it underlines the Church’s historical success at using these means, which leads many to suspect that the Church’s more than mere survival is rooted in its proclamation of the truth and in the power of the Holy Spirit.


I find the use of the word "weapons" interesting. If they feel they're fighting a war, then are they surprised that there will be people fighting back? Also, as we all know, there's much more to their use of "soft power" then they let on, their persuasive techniques include hell for unbelievers, and in some smaller communities social ostracism for apostates - which could mean social death, to be experienced in this life. Oh joy.

No comments on the last sentence.  ::) Just laughter.
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Asmodean

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Ah, yes!

I could bitch for hours about certain religious types "fighting a war" to defend their religion, then whining about sustaining casualties. You fucking said it was a war. And then you dare complain when I [metaphorically speaking] kill your ass dead? Grow up!  >:(
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xSilverPhinx

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Ah, yes!

I could bitch for hours about certain religious types "fighting a war" to defend their religion, then whining about sustaining casualties. You fucking said it was a war. And then you dare complain when I [metaphorically speaking] kill your ass dead? Grow up!  >:(

It's just like some people's unjustified persecution complex. You take away what they perceive to be their right to trample on others and they cry out "persecution!" It gets annoying real fast.
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Ah, yes!

I could bitch for hours about certain religious types "fighting a war" to defend their religion, then whining about sustaining casualties. You fucking said it was a war. And then you dare complain when I [metaphorically speaking] kill your ass dead? Grow up!  >:(

Is this the smiting part?

Quote
It's just like some people's unjustified persecution complex. You take away what they perceive to be their right to trample on others and they cry out "persecution!" It gets annoying real fast.

Problem is the religious have gotten special treatment for so long that equal treatment does feel like oppression and persecution to them.
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xSilverPhinx

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Problem is the religious have gotten special treatment for so long that equal treatment does feel like oppression and persecution to them.

Yes, and it seems like a tactic to widen the gap between "us" and "them" in their minds.

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What oppression and persecutions do they get? They are the largest religion in the world! What do they want? A one world government?
But, uh...well there it is.
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What oppression and persecutions do they get? They are the largest religion in the world! What do they want? A one world government?

In fact certain passages in the Quran have been widely interpreted to mean that it is the goal of Islam to be the dominant (or only) religion in the world. Also, there are many Muslims who cite the Quran to support their belief that government must be subservient to Islam. So yes, there are Muslims who believe that there should be a one world Islamic theocracy.

* * *

As for the article in the OP, it's blatant chest-thumping. The use of violence by the Catholic church is mostly in the past, and the church has survived. All well and good.

The author (Alexander Lucie-Smith) compares Islam to the Catholic church: There is a violent aspect to Islam, just as there is to the Catholic church. However, that violent aspect of Catholicism has almost entirely ceased to exist. Those who promote violence in the name of Islam feel that their form of Islam is under threat. They sort of have a point, in that there may come a day when practically no Muslims use violence as an expression of their belief, just as has happened with Catholicism.

If and when that day comes, there will still be plenty of Muslims in the world, just as there are still many Catholics. The author says that "many suspect" that the continued existence of the Catholic church is due to its "proclamation of the truth and . . . the power of the Holy Spirit." They may suspect that, but a simpler explanation is that it's the result of cultural inertia, and the fact that many people find comfort in the teachings of the church. These same factors will ensure the survival of Islam even when it finally matures enough to almost entirely leave violence behind, just as has happened with Catholicism. The author more or less implies that he agrees with the violent Islamists who seem to think that without violence, Islam would whither away. They're both full of shit.

ETA: I found the article from the National Secular Society that Lucie-Smith linked to be more interesting, but also problematic. I don't see a "de facto blasphemy law" at work, rather a willingness on the part of certain non-Muslim elements in society to buy into an Islamist narrative.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 04:11:42 PM by Recusant »
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Recusant

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Re: "What the Catholic Church can teach Islam about responding to atheists"
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2016, 05:12:11 PM »
The BBC headline overstates it a bit: Louis Smith has actually received a two month suspension.

"Louis Smith: British Gymnastics bans four-time Olympic medallist over video"

Though I think that the the National Secular Society piece could have done without the hyperbole of "blasphemy law," there's a lot of the content that I agree with.
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: "What the Catholic Church can teach Islam about responding to atheists"
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2016, 09:21:23 PM »
A blasphemy law is what many of them want but I doubt any such thing will creep into legislation unless thin-skinned Muslims are the majority. Maybe I'm taking some freedoms for granted but I just don't see blasphemy laws as plausible in certain parts of the world. They'd need much more than relentless thought police and lunatics issuing fatwas to accomplish that.

What is really annoying is how we have to walk on eggshells when it comes to Islam and any irreligious comment is taken way out of proportion. Political correctness dictates that religions should be respected. Possibly the most cringeworthy persecution complex to come out of Islam is when some insist that hating Islamic religions equates to racism, making instant bad guys out of anyone who disagrees. They're just ways to silence the conversation.  :-X

[/rant]

Look at this guy. He's got those crazy eyes and looks like he's about to suffer a popped vein or three. Jeez...or should I say Moh...or something. ::) 




 
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Recusant

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Re: "What the Catholic Church can teach Islam about responding to atheists"
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2016, 11:01:19 PM »
It's only been about eight years since Britain finally abolished their blasphemy laws (which protected mainly the established church, as far as I can tell). I certainly hope that they're not going to adopt a new one any time soon. Anyway, I think this action by British Gymnastics is more about public relations than protecting the sensibilities of Muslims.

I agree that "disparaging Islam = racism" is intellectually bankrupt, but hey, my judgement on matters like this is suspect.  :lol:
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: "What the Catholic Church can teach Islam about responding to atheists"
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2016, 11:33:17 PM »
Only eight years ago? :shocked: But was it one of those laws that was taken seriously or one of those that just seem to exist to be laughed at and broken? :chin:
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Re: "What the Catholic Church can teach Islam about responding to atheists"
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2016, 01:06:10 PM »
Only eight years ago? :shocked: But was it one of those laws that was taken seriously or one of those that just seem to exist to be laughed at and broken? :chin:
It hadn't been used in decades. It was just sitting there on the books like many defunct statutes.
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: "What the Catholic Church can teach Islam about responding to atheists"
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2016, 04:22:23 PM »
Only eight years ago? :shocked: But was it one of those laws that was taken seriously or one of those that just seem to exist to be laughed at and broken? :chin:
It hadn't been used in decades. It was just sitting there on the books like many defunct statutes.

OK. :D
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Re: "What the Catholic Church can teach Islam about responding to atheists"
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2016, 12:35:14 PM »
Look at this guy. He's got those crazy eyes and looks like he's about to suffer a popped vein or three. Jeez...or should I say Moh...or something. ::) 


Yes, that Moe character seems likely to give a bearded person a ruptured aneurysm. How can you NOT point and laugh?!
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Re: "What the Catholic Church can teach Islam about responding to atheists"
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2016, 04:53:30 PM »
Look at this guy. He's got those crazy eyes and looks like he's about to suffer a popped vein or three. Jeez...or should I say Moh...or something. ::) 


Yes, that Moe character seems likely to give a bearded person a ruptured aneurysm. How can you NOT point and laugh?!

Exactly. Point, laugh and run for your life. :smilenod:
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