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Old 07-03-2001, 10:34 AM   #41
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Le pede:
And the reason that Christianity (as we know it) is supreme in Europe is because of (historical) persecution as well.

The point of your reference to South Korea's conversions recently escapes me. You seem to be showing that Christianity can flourish voluntarily. This is not under dispute. But Christianity has had plenty of time to secure its grip on Europe and force its way into Africa, Asia and Latin America. Because one can point out an Asian country and say, "see there are voluntary conversions there" does not change the fact that Christianity's influence, from a historical perspective stems from persecution.

Interestingly, the theology Christians are most likely preaching in South Korea can thank the brutal suppression of rivals.
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Interesting, but still not on point. I'm not disputing that there is a history of persecution related to Christianity. I was pointing out that atheism has mostly spread through governmental oppression. So I'm not sure that we are disagreeing.
 
Old 07-03-2001, 10:51 AM   #42
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Not to give Layman yet another chance to spew his overtly biased bile, but I'd be curious to read your opinion on why then Christianity didn't flood back into Russia and Eastern Europe once the walls came down?

Wait, let me guess...there are "significant" resurgences in church attendance and you have more stats and/or decades of oppression have forced God out of their hearts and minds, right?

The only good thing the former Soviet Union ever did was to quell cult stupidity (though any true student of Russian history knows that the blatant childish lies of theism were already on their way out amongst Russian literati long before the Revolution). Unfortunately, the reason they did it was to manipulate the ignorant sheep toward their cult--the cult of Statehood--so I suppose it's half a dozen of one, six of another.

Regardless, where are those millions of oppressed, closet theists now? I give you free reign to spin on this one as it will be all the more enjoyable to deconstruct cult apologietics on this particular issue, since I've never seen it addressed before.
 
Old 07-03-2001, 10:57 AM   #43
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Koyaanisqatsi:
Not to give Layman yet another chance to spew his overtly biased bile, but I'd be curious to read your opinion on why then Christianity didn't flood back into Russia and Eastern Europe once the walls came down?

Wait, let me guess...there are "significant" resurgences in church attendance and you have more stats and/or decades of oppression have forced God out of their hearts and minds, right?

The only good thing the former Soviet Union ever did was to quell cult stupidity (though any true student of Russian history knows that the blatant childish lies of theism were already on their way out amongst Russian literati long before the Revolution). Unfortunately, the reason they did it was to manipulate the ignorant sheep toward their cult--the cult of Statehood--so I suppose it's half a dozen of one, six of another.

Regardless, where are those millions of oppressed, closet theists now? I give you free reign to spin on this one as it will be all the more enjoyable to deconstruct cult apologietics on this particular issue, since I've never seen it addressed before.
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It's really irrelevant to my point, Koy. The point is that athists have mostly spread their belief by government coercion. But I'll answer your question. IMO, it's too soon to know how succesful Christianity will be in formerly communist countries. I've heard some positive information about climbing church attendance and succesful missionary work, but it's too soon to know how succesful it will be.

We'll see.
 
Old 07-03-2001, 11:09 AM   #44
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I think you're exaggerating the effects of the persecution of atheists. The evidence you provided for the French revolution does not show that the persecutions had an effect on Christianity. You suggested that they even had to accomodate to intense resistance by softening their tone into Deistic language. Now just from the evidence you presented, I question the conclusions you are drawing from it. Secondly, as has been pointed out, Stalin trashed churches and turned them into museums. But when WWII started, he reopened them. This was brought up in none other than "Animal Farm" (creatively) when Moses the crow is allowed to return to the farm with his tales about candy mountain after the farm was attacked by humans. While atheism was state sponsored, throughout the USSR's history, the Orthodox Church was still practicing.

So I am very skeptical of the conclusions you draw.

By the way, while Christianity is not the state religion here, considering peer pressure and the media, I would say that Christianity is the unofficial official religion.



[This message has been edited by Le pede (edited July 03, 2001).]
 
Old 07-03-2001, 11:48 AM   #45
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Le pede:
I think you're exaggerating the effects of the persecution of atheists. The evidence you provided for the French revolution does not show that the persecutions had an effect on Christianity. You suggested that they even had to accomodate to intense resistance by softening their tone into Deistic language. Now just from the evidence you presented, I question the conclusions you are drawing from it. Secondly, as has been pointed out, Stalin trashed churches and turned them into museums. But when WWII started, he reopened them. This was brought up in none other than "Animal Farm" (creatively) when Moses the crow is allowed to return to the farm with his tales about candy mountain after the farm was attacked by humans. While atheism was state sponsored, throughout the USSR's history, the Orthodox Church was still practicing.

So I am very skeptical of the conclusions you draw.

By the way, while Christianity is not the state religion here, considering peer pressure and the media, I would say that Christianity is the unofficial official religion.

[This message has been edited by Le pede (edited July 03, 2001).]
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Just to clarify, I don't think that the relatively brief Reign of Terror in France resulted in widespread and sustained persecution of Christians. I was responding to Turton's assertion that no other athiests had behaved in this manner. In fact, France is still predominantly a Christian nation, with 90% of the population being Catholic and only 2 million identifying themselves as athiests.

I'm not sure what the rest of your mistrust is based on. Atheists in communist countries persecuted Christians. Are you disputing this? They indoctrinated their youths in public schools and taught atheism as undisputed fact therein. Underground Christian leaders were persecuted by imprisonment, abuse, and sometimes death. Sometimes it was more severe than others, but it reamined a constant reality of life in those areas. And, it is mostly in those countries that atheism has seen any real growth. Remember, 82% of East Germany are atheists according to Ahderents.com, while only 12% of W. Germans are.
 
Old 07-03-2001, 11:49 AM   #46
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Layman,

While browsing quickly thorugh this thread, Inoticed the following comment from you:

I don't equate democractically produced laws with throwing theist in jail, beating them, destroying their property, placing their children in orphanages, or refusing to recognize the freedom of worship.

What are you talking about? What real democracy has ever endorsed these actions?

-Adam "Pompous Bastard" Gorden
 
Old 07-03-2001, 11:53 AM   #47
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Pompous Bastard:
Layman,

While browsing quickly thorugh this thread, Inoticed the following comment from you:

I don't equate democractically produced laws with throwing theist in jail, beating them, destroying their property, placing their children in orphanages, or refusing to recognize the freedom of worship.

What are you talking about? What real democracy has ever endorsed these actions?

-Adam "Pompous Bastard" Gorden
</font>
Perhaps you misunderstood. My point was that the actions of the atheists in countries like the Soviet Union and China--persecuting theist--was incomparable with the types of laws Turton was claiming represented Christian persecution in the United States. I was distinguishing democractically implemented laws, such as Blue Laws, with government oppresion of religious belief.
 
Old 07-03-2001, 12:14 PM   #48
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Well the reason I am skeptical is because of the toleration of the Orthodox church in the USSR. And I know I've heard that religions that register with the Chinese government can practice. Now I do not have detailed information on the subject--for instance I did not know that so many were atheists in the former GDR. But I do know that certain religions were/are tolerated in the USSR and China. Now as for specific policies in the GDR, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and other sattelite countries I do not have a lot of info.
 
Old 07-03-2001, 12:19 PM   #49
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Le pede:
Well the reason I am skeptical is because of the toleration of the Orthodox church in the USSR. And I know I've heard that religions that register with the Chinese government can practice. Now I do not have detailed information on the subject--for instance I did not know that so many were atheists in the former GDR. But I do know that certain religions were/are tolerated in the USSR and China. Now as for specific policies in the GDR, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and other sattelite countries I do not have a lot of info.</font>
The fact that some propped up state churches (run by the state) were sometimes allowed to function does nothing to erase the official government hostility to theism and the persecution of Christians. Sure, come worship with us where there are government spies and register yourself as a theist, which is explicitly at odds with the ruling communist party. Gaurantee that you will be watched by the government and considered a subsersive and will have no future in the ruling communist party.

Good grief Le Pede, are you becoming an apologist for the brutal communist regimes and their well documented abuse of theists?

In the United States there is no official religion, state church, and there is freedom of worship and you compare the "peer pressure" of Christians in america to governmental oppression. But when the Soviet Union and China sieze control over the "official" state church (allowing it sometimes to practice "openly"), puts its people in control, and imprisons, beats, and kills Christians who want the freedom to worship, you doubt that they were oppressive?

Have you ever read accounts of Christians in Russia? Or met with leaders of the underground church in China? Apparently not.



[This message has been edited by Layman (edited July 03, 2001).]
 
Old 07-03-2001, 12:19 PM   #50
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
KCTAN:

Well, if you or any of your fellow skeptics are going to defend China's actions against the students in Teinaman Square, Fulongong, and the underground christian church in China, I don't think we have enough common ground to continue the discussion.
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Pls do not place the democracy movement of the 89 TianAnMen issue with that of falungong & illegal xian churches.

The movement for Democracy is way above that of those 2 cults & by placing them together you're debasing the movement for democracy.

Those illegal xian churches are not wanted & those so call missionaries who started them deserved to be treated as they are being treated. They are not invited in the first place.

China does not need another cult to promote ignorant as the highest virtue. Communism itself is already bad enough.

BTW in case you still missed what I'm trying to convey to you, Atheists don't commit anything. Its the idealogists & religious people who does.
 
 

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