Preemptively answering questions #1: Why do I harp on the fact that many religious folk have (historically) resorted to “torture and slaughter”?

The above question is equivalent to Conservatives asking why “Leftists” tend to “harp on slavery and Jim Crow”.   After all (the “reasoning” goes): it’s 2016, and nobody — not even the KKK and other (openly) “White Supremacist” groups — are in any kind of position to actively enforce a return to Slavery/Jim Crow, even if they wanted to do so.

The answer is two-fold:

  1.  Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
  2. Orwell’s “Memory hole” exists in real life.

There is a definite impetus both among self-identified Christian “laity”, and among the “clergy” of various Denominations to hand-wave away inconvenient facts related to the “Christianization” of Europe (at sword-point), the suppression of purported “heresy” by means of torture/slaughter of “heretics”, etc.  Even the cuddly-fuzzy “NALT”-types do it, to some degree.  The mere fact that they essentially disavow centuries of “Christian” history so as to better market their warm-fuzzy, “Affirming” variant tacitly requires that their intended audience evade the fact that “Christianity” floated to historical prominence on an ocean of blood — the blood of “unbelievers”, and “heretics” alike.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martyrs_Mirror

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxe’s_Book_of_Martyrs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_trials_in_the_early_modern_period

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_wars_of_religion

THIS is the essential problem with (most) Fundie Protestants: they are completely ignorant of the history of what they claim to “believe”.

Here’s the thing: nobody “believes” in a vacuum.  Typically, the (purported) “Salvation” experience takes place within a very specific context — which could be as simple as: an individual, experiencing a serious personal crisis in their individual life, being “pressure-sold” on some variant of “Christianity” — at a point where that individual is incapable — either emotionally or intellectually — of UNDERSTANDING what they now claim to ‘believe”.

In other words — even from an explicitly Christian frame of reference — the Fundie animus on “feel it in your heart”/”Simple faith”, etc. necessarily leaves (so-called) “Young Christians” utterly defenseless against “false teachers” intent on “tickling their ears” with “unsound doctrine”.

I am INCAPABLE of the level of stupidity required in not actually attempting to LEARN ABOUT SOMETHING WHICH I CLAIM to “believe”.

I am also utterly unpersuaded by “personal testimony” about the “personal relationship” they supposedly “feel in their heart”.  Y’know why?  Wesley Willis had a very “Personal relationship” with his “Hell-ride Demons”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wesley_Willis

What is equally galling is the fact that the myriad of “Christians” wandering around, intent on shoving their “Great Commission” down everyone else’s throats at the first opportunity — all regard one another as doctrinally corrupt.

(Witness, for example, the seething contempt directed toward “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and Mormons.)

So, no.  I am also not going to restrict my inquiries to any one line of organizational agitprop.  (For example: JW’s explicitly “warn” their members against even inadvertently exposing themselves to the “ear-tickling”, from other Denominations/sects/cults.)

That’s the thing: the line between “Denomination” and “insular, ethnoreligious subculture really isn’t that sharp in most cases.

Hasidic Jews, Mennonites, Hutterites, Amish, etc…..but you get the idea.

Self-imposed isolation ensures that the self-segregated group will be ‘self-correcting”, in the long run, in that the resultant “inbreeding’ will eventually result in total physical — and cultural — degeneracy.

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/genetic-disorders-hit-amish-hard/

http://www.beliefnet.com/news/2005/02/the-gentle-people.aspx

So, yeah: exclusionary subcultures eventually become inbred, and (given enough time) eventually become nonviable.

Etho-religious subcultures are, in this sense, both “self-limiting” and “self-correcting”.

Personally, I think that’s a good thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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