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Old 02-28-2001, 11:49 AM   #1
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Post Biblical Disrespect for Other Religions?

The Bible is full of disrespect for other religions, something worth mentioning since its worshippers never tire of whining about disrespect for *their* religions.

Best known is the abundant vilification of other religions as "idolatry" -- statue-worship. However, I don't see how paganism is any more fundamentally idolatrous than certain branches of Christianity.

But I wonder why nobody in the Bible has a good laugh at theological anthropomorphism; it took a pagan, Xenophanes, to point out that people have this tendency to imagine that the deities that they worship are in ther likeness.

And even some of those on the inside, as it were, did not escape -- the Gospels are full of vilification of scribes and Pharisees, and the story of some Pharisees being self-righteous hypocrites about adultery is the sort of thing that would normally be called crude religion-bashing.
 
Old 02-28-2001, 04:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by lpetrich:
The Bible is full of disrespect for other religions, something worth mentioning since its worshippers never tire of whining about disrespect for *their* religions.

Best known is the abundant vilification of other religions as "idolatry" -- statue-worship. However, I don't see how paganism is any more fundamentally idolatrous than certain branches of Christianity.
</font>

Yes, you might be right in some respects there. Suffice it to say that many Christians(especially in the Reformed perspective) do condemn practices of other branches as being idolatrous. That attempts logical consistency at least. Then the secularist complains and calls these Christians who reject the kissing of the Mary idol's feet(more common in South American Catholocism) as "bigots" rather than trying to follow pure, idolless religion.
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
But I wonder why nobody in the Bible has a good laugh at theological anthropomorphism; it took a pagan, Xenophanes, to point out that people have this tendency to imagine that the deities that they worship are in ther likeness.
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God appears as a torch in the Bible, as a flaming fire and pillar of smoke, and is referred to by Jesus as "Spirit." A lot goes in to argue against the case that God is just a really big human. ("Is God a man that He should lie?") Honestly the extreme obviousness of the "human" like gods of Zeus and the like shine forth the "god in their own likeness" while YHWH forbid that He be made into an image. Because nobody could tell what God is really like, and would surely misrepresent Him in trying to. If He were just a man-made Superman, such taboos would not exist.
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
And even some of those on the inside, as it were, did not escape -- the Gospels are full of vilification of scribes and Pharisees, and the story of some Pharisees being self-righteous hypocrites about adultery is the sort of thing that would normally be called crude religion-bashing.
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Not religion-bashing, but bashing of "religious people", and apparently deserved. I believe it is philosophically unsound to condemn a religion for the actions of it's followers- because it is guilt by association rather than a true look at the "religion" itself. Jesus spoke against many Pharisees, but he also ate with them on several occasions and had disciples amongst them. But it did relate to how he believed they were following a corrupted Judaism of man-made rites and rules- different than what God had intended from the beginning.




[This message has been edited by a_theistnotatheist (edited February 28, 2001).]
 
Old 02-28-2001, 04:47 PM   #3
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[a_theist...]
Yes, you might be right in some respects there. Suffice it to say that many Christians(especially in the Reformed perspective) do condemn practices of other branches as being idolatrous. That attempts logical consistency at least. Then the secularist complains and calls these Christians who reject the kissing of the Mary idol's feet(more common in South American Catholocism) as "bigots" rather than trying to follow pure, idolless religion.

[Me:]
I'm not sure which "secularist" holds that sort of opinion.

And it must be said that there is a lot to be said for that view of Catholicism, although even pagans had known the difference between deities and statues of them.

[a_theist...]
... Because nobody could tell what God is really like, and would surely misrepresent Him in trying to. If He were just a man-made Superman, such taboos would not exist.

[Me:]
However, the Biblical God is often described in very anthropomorphic terms, and I know of no direct criticism of theological anthropomorphism in the Bible.

[Me on JC vilifying scribes and Pharisees...]

[a_theist...]
Not religion-bashing, but bashing of "religious people", and apparently deserved.

[Me:]
But this is the sort of thing that gets the goat of many self-styled Defenders of the Faith.

Consider, for example, Madonna's infamous "Like a Prayer" music video, in which she prays before the status of a saint, followed by that statue coming alive and her making out with that saint. A certain Rev. Donald Wildmon got very indignant over it, calling it an insinuation that all Christians are uptight over sex.
 
 

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