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post #1 of 139 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2007, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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Proselytizing: Freedon of Religion or Religious Imperialism

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In a Sept. 5 op-ed piece in The New York Times, the Indian writer Chitrita Banerji noted that Mother Teresa’s charity toward the dying in Calcutta was often accompanied by last-minute pressure to convert to Christianity. Are such efforts really an expression of our cherished freedom of conscience, or are they a form of religious imperialism directed toward those who are so poor in this world that their only hope lies in the next world?
Interesting. Discuss.

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post #2 of 139 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2007, 02:25 AM
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Re: Proselytizing: Freedon of Religion or Religious Imperialism

I can't stand being forced to do something. For example, Tom Cruise setting up his Scientology tents stopping people as they walked past. Or Madonna trying to convert African children to Kabballah when they gave them treatment. Why not just supply good in a charitable way and leave it at that? It's like they had ulterior motives. Let them die and leave them alone. Why hassle them at that moment? If you want to give them comfort, then hold their hand and talk to them as they die. Or better yet, help them out before they even get sick.

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post #3 of 139 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2007, 02:36 AM
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Re: Proselytizing: Freedon of Religion or Religious Imperialism

I once remember a South Park episode of "missionaries" forcing christianity upon starving africans who were so hungry they'd try to eat the bibles



I may be sort of OT and banal, but people who try to recruit the poor into their religion in exchange for food/help are just pathetic. These people don't even know what they're going to be eating at their next meal, I don't think they really care about religion or if god exists, and forcing a religion on them in just like mindless recruiting, as most of them probably don't even have the mental capability of critical thinking



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post #4 of 139 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2007, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Proselytizing: Freedon of Religion or Religious Imperialism

I was an atheist most of my life. It wouldn't be honest to even say I'm an agnostic now. I'm just not convinced there's no god. Having said that, if you BELIEVE that it makes a difference if somebody converts to your religion before they die, how can you NOT try to convert them?

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post #5 of 139 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2007, 04:57 AM
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Re: Proselytizing: Freedon of Religion or Religious Imperialism

From what I understand, according to some people, Mother Theresa was to be far from perfect, to put it mildly.

The problem is, if you need to convince other people your religion is true, then your religion is most certainly a lie. If there would be a true religion, there would be no need to convince other people, it would be obvious to all of us.

One of the - conscious or not - motivation of religious people to help the poor is to convert them, no doubt about it.
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post #6 of 139 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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Re: Proselytizing: Freedon of Religion or Religious Imperialism

Of course mother theresa would try to have the young convert to Christianity, she is a Chrisitan nun!

volcana sometimes you amaze me.
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post #7 of 139 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2007, 07:20 PM
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Re: Proselytizing: Freedon of Religion or Religious Imperialism

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Originally Posted by Volcana View Post
I was an atheist most of my life. It wouldn't be honest to even say I'm an agnostic now. I'm just not convinced there's no god. Having said that, if you BELIEVE that it makes a difference if somebody converts to your religion before they die, how can you NOT try to convert them?
How about out of respect? How about because one's faith is highly personal and nobody elses business? How about because nobody appreciates anyone trying to impose their beliefs on them, even by subtle means?

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post #8 of 139 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2007, 07:32 PM
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Re: Proselytizing: Freedon of Religion or Religious Imperialism

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Of course mother theresa would try to have the young convert to Christianity, she is a Chrisitan nun!

volcana sometimes you amaze me.
Being a Christian nun doesn't excuse obnoxious behavior. Anyone trying to convert me to their religion is being obnoxious. Anyone trying to convert one of my children to their religion is beyond obnoxious, it's an unacceptable imposition. I don't give a rat's ass what kind of head-gear or collar a person is wearing or what they think their calling is, if they start trying to indoctrinate my children they'll find they've bitten off more than they can chew. It's no better than me pulling a devout Christian's child aside and saying, "Oh, by the way, there is no God, it's made-up bullshit, just like the Easter Bunny." It's no better, no worse. It's extremely inappropriate. You don't fuck with someone's child. You might find yourself trying to pick your teeth up off the ground with broken fingers.

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post #9 of 139 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2007, 07:50 PM
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Re: Proselytizing: Freedon of Religion or Religious Imperialism

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Being a Christian nun doesn't excuse obnoxious behavior. Anyone trying to convert me to their religion is being obnoxious. Anyone trying to convert one of my children to their religion is beyond obnoxious, it's an unacceptable imposition. I don't give a rat's ass what kind of head-gear or collar a person is wearing or what they think their calling is, if they start trying to indoctrinate my children they'll find they've bitten off more than they can chew. It's no better than me pulling a devout Christian's child aside and saying, "Oh, by the way, there is no God, it's made-up bullshit, just like the Easter Bunny." It's no better, no worse. It's extremely inappropriate. You don't fuck with someone's child. You might find yourself trying to pick your teeth up off the ground with broken fingers.
There is nothing obnoxious in trying to convert people. The brand of religion should be tame though.

Yes there is no God, so what???? Religion is like a club where you have to adhere to a code of values. Communists did not care about religionand their system collapsed. Where communism has survived like in North Korea, the Kims have invented their own religion where the leader is a living God.
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post #10 of 139 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2007, 08:03 PM
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Re: Proselytizing: Freedon of Religion or Religious Imperialism

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There is nothing obnoxious in trying to convert people. The brand of religion should be tame though.

Yes there is no God, so what???? Religion is like a club where you have to adhere to a code of values. Communists did not care about religionand their system collapsed. Where communism has survived like in North Korea, the Kims have invented their own religion where the leader is a living God.
So, there would be nothing obnoxious about me hanging around in front of churches, synagogues and mosques trying to "convert" the faithful to atheism? It's perfectly acceptable for me to "convert" other people's children to atheism?

There can be no double standard here and still be fair minded. You can't have it both ways.

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"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Menken
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post #11 of 139 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2007, 08:09 PM
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Re: Proselytizing: Freedon of Religion or Religious Imperialism

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Originally Posted by Lord Nelson View Post
There is nothing obnoxious in trying to convert people. The brand of religion should be tame though.

Yes there is no God, so what???? Religion is like a club where you have to adhere to a code of values. Communists did not care about religionand their system collapsed. Where communism has survived like in North Korea, the Kims have invented their own religion where the leader is a living God.
Sort of a sawed-off God with a bad haircut!

"When we are young we generally estimate an opinion by the size of the person that holds it, but later we find that is an uncertain rule, for we realize that there are times when a hornet's opinion disturbs us more than an emperor's" - Mark Twain

"The noblest work of God? Man. Who found it out? Man." - Mark Twain

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Menken
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post #12 of 139 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2007, 10:24 PM
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Re: Proselytizing: Freedon of Religion or Religious Imperialism

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There is nothing obnoxious in trying to convert people.
Worst than that, taking advantage of people who are ill, poor (in other words, without hope) to pressure them to convert to your religion is morally repulsive.
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post #13 of 139 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2007, 10:38 PM
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Re: Proselytizing: Freedon of Religion or Religious Imperialism

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Yes there is no God, so what???? Religion is like a club where you have to adhere to a code of values.
There is no God, so what, you say. Well, if there is no God, then Christianity, Islam and Judaism are lies, and their entire system (including code of values), completely fall apart. So it extremely matters if there is a God or not.
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post #14 of 139 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2007, 10:49 PM
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Re: Proselytizing: Freedon of Religion or Religious Imperialism

There's a big difference between exposing people to other views (whether it's about religion or whatever) and pressuring them, especially in situations like when helping the poor. It's actually almost immorant IMO.
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post #15 of 139 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2007, 11:09 PM
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Re: Proselytizing: Freedon of Religion or Religious Imperialism

depends on who's doing it and how their doing it.

I know if my friends knew the secret to "eternal life" or "heaven" or "nirvana" or whatever, I might expect them to share the secret with me.

Of course if I show no interest in the secret, they should then leave me alone about the secret.

And contrary to popular believe the overwhelming majority of Christians are like that. If you tell them to get lost, they'll leave you alone unless you feel that getting Christmas cards or a "G-d Bless you" after you sneeze is religious imperialism.

But I tend to think that's a lack of tolerance on the atheists' part, a little Anti-Religious Imperialism
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