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Atheist Community of Austin
Christianity and Conflict

There is a dichotomous principle that I have observed among Christians which I term 'peaceful conflict'. Maybe a more accurate term would be passive aggressiveness. I will leave it to the kind readers of this board, whether Atheist or Christian, to suggest other appropriate terms. The gist of it is this: For all their talk of peace and love and understanding and unity, Christians go out of their way to incite conflict. On a personal level, it is confined to individuals and groups; on a larger scale, it is armed conflict and government policy.

There is a good reason for this behavior. In the Christian world view, this planet is occupied enemy territory. Satan has been cast from heaven to earth and he is the ruler of this age. There are spiritual principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. Christians see themselves as being armed for the tearing down of these systems and for them, it is very literally a war. They see it as their duty to take the offensive against the 'enemy'. They stir up trouble by telling someone else how he or she should live or trying to legislate morality. They push and then when they are pushed back, they cry 'persecution!', conveniently ignoring the fact that they are the ones who instigated conflict in the first place. Their idea that the world will hate them becomes a self fulfilling prophecy because they make the world hate them. Their term for it is spiritual warfare; my term for it is bullying. This idea of spiritual war came from Paul and his writings (assuming he was the actual author). Those who wrote about Jesus portrayed him as both a peace maker and a fighter. So for them, there is precedent.

Of course, not all Christians are this committed (fanatical) about it. Many are quite happy to sit passively by while the world goes to hell and rely on their fire insurance policy to secure them a place in heaven. They are not the obnoxious ones; they are the smugly selfish ones who don't give a damn about anyone else who doesn't conform to their beliefs. If they took their religion seriously and believed what it says about the lost state of man, they would do something. Thankfully, to our relief as Atheists, they don't. I guess that's some consolation.

Conflict and contradiction is what religion is all about. There are theocratic groups that literally want the Old Testament to become the law of the land, they know what is best for everyone. I think that anyone who has read about the Salem witch trials should recognize these ideas are very dangerous.

I don't know if we should be so grateful that some Christians are doing nothing even though they do not agree with these extremists. Maybe that is because many of them are waiting for the theologians (or someone else) to solve the problems for them. That's what makes religion so totally worthless in terms of addressing any problem.

If these extremists' dream of an America ruled by their religion is ever realized we'd all just be waiting on Armageddon and the return of their Savior God. These extremists do not want to protect the environment or endangered species because they don't believe human activity causes the extinction of animals or global warming, and they want creation taught as a science. I guess that's how you get people to sit back and do nothing to prevent the plundering and destruction of the earth. Before very long there will not be enough topsoil to produce enough food to feed the people on this earth, and pollution of the water is destroying the oceans. If people really understood what the problems are they would find peaceful solutions to these religious "wars" and chuck that "good book" before we are all burning in hell or drowning in the ocean from global warming. Christian la la land will soon have to wake up when these kinds of problems are staring them in the face, along with the fallacy of a religion that teaches that the earth cannot be destroyed. Do they believe that if there were a nuclear war the earth would still be inhabitable? I just bet they will be the first one's to blame the scientists for not doing something! None of the crusaders (political or religious) are addressing these issues. Instead the clergy and the politicians are using religion and the blame game to avoid the issues. Just blame the problems on some group that is vilified (atheist) or deemed inferior (everyone else) and then provoke your followers to go on campaigns of hate while encouraging them to force their Christian "principles" and "politics" on everyone everywhere. Their heaven is everyone else's hell.

If there are any human beings in the world that might have some courage or ethics left they will not be found in politics or in the clergy. Both of these parasitic groups' terms in office hang on the stupidity of their followers. They both blame our problems on other groups for the publics lack of enthusiasm, and the clergy puts the atheists at the top of their blame list. Neither atheists nor any other group are causing the decline in their followers; these groups' own actions are doing it for them. Along with the fact that many people around the world are discovering the uselessness and the deception involved in religion and government.

There are great hostilities between religious groups all around the world, and they are at odds about their God/s and what He intended people to believe. These differences are exploited for political and economic reason continually, and religious differences furnish the opening to start up another war. Maybe eventually they will have to set aside their imaginary friend and the "sane people" will want to have real problems addressed by real people with genuine solutions. Most of these extremists will not give up their "favored person status" and start dealing with "reality" until things get really bad. I think that they will never stop until things reach the no turning back point, and then they will not be able to wait on an imaginary, omnipresent, omnipotent being that never does anything. Until then they will never admit that browbeating and bribery is required to force people into god-fearing slavery. Change you can believe in would be a nation of people that want to live in peace and work on the things that would have real meaning in their lives and in their children's lives. Why wouldn't saving the planet be a lofty goal if they were so in need of a purpose?

"I will leave it to the kind readers of this board, whether Atheist or Christian, to suggest other appropriate terms. The gist of it is this: For all their talk of peace and love and understanding and unity, Christians go out of their way to incite conflict."

My term would be a**holes. On the World News tonight there was a story about a preacher named Scott Lively that went to Uganda and "encouraged" Ugandans to fight the "homosexual agenda." They are having anti-gay rallies and becoming raving mad lunatics whipped into an angry frenzy by these preachers. They're possibly going to pass a law that make "sodomy" an offense you can be hanged for.

It reminds me of the woman preacher in the movie "Jesus Camp," her name was Becky. She thought it would be just great if we could get the children in America to be as "radical" for god as kids in Palestine-the crazy b*tch ought to have to go live on the Gaza strip and see if she still thinks all of the going nuts for god stuff is so great.

Scott Lively is the author of the book 'The Pink Swastika'. Lively is a California preacher who seems to think that gays could take over the world. Guess what Scott - gays don't procreate. I guess that might be why he took his bright ideas to Uganda where homosexuality is a crime and most gays are married and probably do have children.

Another preacher from Uganda is the charismatic pastor named Martin Ssempa. It has been reported that Martin Ssempa had links to PEPFAR, the often-used term for the AIDS Relief package of former President George W. Bush. It placed a great deal of emphasis and a huge chunk of funding for abstinence-only programs. It's reported that Martin Ssempa's Makerere Church received funds from PEPFAR. Many Evangelical organizations in the US also developed a sudden interest in AIDS when George W Bush came forward with PEPFAR and also funding for his Faith-Based Initiative. In 2006 a GAO study found that much of the money that could be traced went to staff salaries and benefits, and that few Federal regulations required for receiving public funding had been applied.

Ssempa is known for his crusading that included burning condoms in the name of Jesus and arranging the publication of the names of homosexuals in cooperative local newspapers while lobbying for criminal penalties to imprison them. He heads Ugandan campus AIDS eradication organization. And he is burning condoms? Where do they get these bete noire (detested persons)? It was reported that he shows gay porn at his church. I hope they served popcorn, because most of the gays in Uganda get married and attend church to cover up the fact that they are gay. They need a whole lot more Jesus. Oops! It looks like they bit off more Jesus than they can chew. Seems to me heterosexual rape of women and genocide is a bigger problem in Africa (but is that a crime?) as was depicted in the award winning film Hotel Rwanda.

Barack Obama selected Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural prayer (because of his work in Africa) and that generated intense scrutiny of the pastor's involvement in Africa. This scrutiny has revealed a web of alliances with right-wing clergymen who have sidelined science-based approaches to combating AIDS in favor of abstinence-only education.

A December 12, 2008 UN report charges Warren's African allies, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame and Uganda's President Youwerie Museveni (both Rwanda and Uganda were declared the world's first "Purpose Driven" nations) with continuing to fuel the conflict in the Congo by supporting the renegade army of Laurent Nkunda, whose recent military offensive has created hundreds of thousands of refugees. Rawanda and Uganda have been indicted, in a series of consecutive United Nations reports presented to the UN Security Council, released between 2001 and 2003 for repeatedly invading and violating the sovereignty of the Democratic Republic of The Congo, and supporting renegade armies in that country, in order to loot the Congo's immense natural wealth. The more than one decade long running conflict has claimed an estimated 5.4 million civilian lives.

In November 2006, French anti-terrorism judge Jean-Louis Bruguière called for the prosecution of Rwandan President Paul Kagame allegedly ordering the plane carrying the former president of Rwanda, Juvénal Habyarimana, and the former president of Burundi, Cyprien Ntaryamire, to be shot down with ground-to-air missiles. This act of terrorism is generally credited with triggering the wave of violence that swept across Rwanda within hours of the assassination.

Combining the social outcast status of homosexuals in a deeply conservative culture with the stigma of AIDS has got to impair the social workers ability to work with the gay community everyone is in hiding. Nobody is openly gay in Uganda and the term gay is not used; instead they say "men who have sex with men." Experts say these bills will impede efforts to stem the spread of HIV and AIDS, especially among the category of "men who have sex with men". The U.S. embassy in Kampala has said it opposes the bill, as have other American officials. Even Scott Lively recently said that the bill goes too far.

An anti-homosexuality bill now before Uganda's Parliament would include some of the harshest anti-gay regulations in the world. The bill has an American genesis of sorts, inspired to a large extent by the visits of U.S. evangelicals who are involved with a movement that promotes Christianity's role in getting homosexuals to become "ex-gays" through prayer and faith.

Evangelical Pastor Scott Lively went to treatment after he was arrested for drunk driving in Oregon. He had the option of going to jail or going through therapy. I read that he thinks homosexuals should be given the same option. I think this boy's got worse problems than alcoholism, I think he is a little light in the loafers. A treatment program for gays. What's the crime? DWG (driving while gay) give them the option of treatment? This is so wrong (wrong isn't the right word) it's stupid, shallow and ignorant. These are people with no sense of justice or civic virtue!

Religion is harmful! And reading this I've realized that we have already explained it very well.

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