Don't get me wrong about Christianity. It's very easy to bash Christians. A couple reasons for this are that there are so many of them, and they have usually been the dominant religion in any area they are found in. When they find an area in which they aren't the dominant religion, they send in religious warriors, called Missionaries (an awfully close word to Mercenaries, isn't it?). But missionaries at least aren't as bad as what they did back in the old days. Back in the days when Catholic Popes were the most powerful men in Europe, they declared crusades and marched hundreds of thousands of christian soldiers and knights off to the holy land to spill blood on their God's very doorstep. The Crusades were awful. Admittedly, the Catholics have come along way since those days of Barbarism, but they still try to force their beliefs upon others, condemn certain demographic groups and tell others (and themselves) that they're going to burn in hell for all eternity. But Catholics aren't near as bad as Southern Baptists and the Christian Coalition people. Boycotting Disney World for NOT discriminating against Homosexuals? As if they should disciminate? What they hell? Some people just don't get it.
Okay, I've said enough mean things about Christians in general. That's bad and I apologize for it. Christians are way too big a group to generalize about. Christianity includes Catholics, Protestants, Presbytarians, Baptists, Orthodoxy, Unitarians, and depending on how wide your definition of Christianity is, you can get some of the more interesting psuedo-Christian groups like Mormons. Most christians as individuals are okay. Christianity in general is not a bad institution, but some small parts of it give the rest of it a bad name. Catholics and Baptists in particular have done and said some pretty reprehensible things. I think they owe the rest of the world an apology and maybe some material restitution.
Back in it's early days, Christianity was oppressed/persecuted by the Romans. But, afterwards, having subverted the Roman empire, gained control of Europe, and made themselves the only one's with an education to speak of, Christianity came into a position of power and found themselves with the opportunity to oppress other new minority religions, ones like they once were. But did their harsh younger days of being hunted and stoned to death teach them tolerance for others? No, of course not, so they went ahead and oppressed/persecuted those less powerful than they. I suppose it's just human nature, but that reflects very poorly on Christianity in general. The Spanish Inquisition was another good one. As were the crusades.
Oh, wait, I was in the middle of saying nice things and I got sidetracked. Sorry. Right, Christianity really has done lot's of good though. For all it's evils, it's overall a good force, or at least I think so. Missionaries are where I actually see the most good done. Those missionaries who go door to door in the suburbs are one of those worst things about Christianity (the worst thing being it's need to force it's beliefs onto others), but those devoted altruistic missionaries who work in places like Guatemala or India. They raise the already fairly hellish standard of living to the barely tolerable. If only they would do it without trying to convert those they are helping. Skip to the end of this paragraph if you're likely to be offended by a reference to sex. The fact that "Missionary" position is called by that name says something about missionaries. They found what the "heathens" were doing between the sheets to be sinful and so made them stop, telling them that "Missionary" position was the only one that God endorsed, and that the others were too exciting and likely to get you sent to hell, as most exciting things do. If that's not an example of forcing your beliefs onto others, I don't know what is. That shouldn't have offended anyone, I didn't use any profanity and was pretty discrete. If I were a parent, I wouldn't be upset to have my kids read that.
Anyway, the point is that Christianity has done some pretty awful stuff, but in general, I respect them as individuals. The only problem I have with modern Christianity is they're forcing others into the faith. Some of my best friends are christians and we get along fine, cause nobody makes value judgements about each others religious beliefs.
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