How Religion Destroys a Civilization (A Warning For The Present Day)
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09-08-2017, 06:08 AM
RE: How Religion Destroys a Civilization (A Warning For The Present Day)
(08-08-2017 02:46 PM)unfogged Wrote:  There are many secular charities; atheists don't generally make charity contingent on listening to sermons. It's the religious that use it as a lever.

I just wanted to add as a one off commemt that I personally don't care what motivates people to give to charity as long as little kids and the elderly have their needs met.

I think some religions manipulate people to donate to them for their own missionary work, and that's what I find to be disgusting.
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09-08-2017, 06:23 AM
RE: How Religion Destroys a Civilization (A Warning For The Present Day)
(09-08-2017 06:08 AM)Aliza Wrote:  I think some religions manipulate people to donate to them for their own missionary work, and that's what I find to be disgusting.

Not only that, sometimes the work that they're doing - e.g. food aid - is contingent on people of the community attending church or otherwise performing some religious obligation.

ETA: Quel loser am I. I didn't even notice that unfogged already made that point.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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09-08-2017, 06:34 AM
RE: How Religion Destroys a Civilization (A Warning For The Present Day)
(09-08-2017 06:23 AM)morondog Wrote:  ETA: Quel loser am I. I didn't even notice that unfogged already made that point.

Two great minds.... Big Grin

It never hurts to repeat it. Maybe eventually it will sink in that when you are using charity as a lure to promote your dogma you don't get to put it on a level with unencumbered charity.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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09-08-2017, 06:58 AM
RE: How Religion Destroys a Civilization (A Warning For The Present Day)
And sometimes the religious charities are the only game in town. I joined a Christian sponsored emergency relief group where I live and had lessons in hurricane clean up, how to properly chainsaw tree debris, etc. They really stressed that the important thing wasn't helping the people in need in a disaster, but in gaining the opportunity to minister to them about Jesus. And no, I'm not going to go out and start my own charity organization, "Atheists with Chainsaws."

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09-08-2017, 07:52 AM
RE: How Religion Destroys a Civilization (A Warning For The Present Day)
(09-08-2017 06:58 AM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  They really stressed that the important thing wasn't helping the people in need in a disaster, but in gaining the opportunity to minister to them about Jesus.

Are you being serious or sarcastic? 'Cos if you're being serious that's... kinda horrifying. These guys hang around waiting for disasters 'cos it gives them a chance to recruit???

We'll love you just the way you are
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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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09-08-2017, 08:32 AM (This post was last modified: 09-08-2017 08:39 AM by Aliza.)
RE: How Religion Destroys a Civilization (A Warning For The Present Day)
(09-08-2017 06:58 AM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  And sometimes the religious charities are the only game in town. I joined a Christian sponsored emergency relief group where I live and had lessons in hurricane clean up, how to properly chainsaw tree debris, etc. They really stressed that the important thing wasn't helping the people in need in a disaster, but in gaining the opportunity to minister to them about Jesus. And no, I'm not going to go out and start my own charity organization, "Atheists with Chainsaws."

I was involved in the recovery from Hurricane Matthew, and I saw religious organizations out there on the streets mucking out homes with chainsaws. Victims of the storm can choose not to accept help if they don’t like the religion that is offering assistance, and FEMA, American Red Cross, AmeriCares, United Way, Habitat for Humanity and the city governments are all secular organizations that can be solely relied upon for assistance.

I personally worked with Catholic Charities, Lutheran Services, Jewish Federation, the LDS, the Baptists, and miscellaneous charities that are affiliated with one religion or another. Bear in mind, these agencies accept federal and state funds to operate. Services rendered with these funds (even in part) may not discriminate in any way. Evangelizing to people can be seen as a form of discrimination and intimidation. It was my experience, however, that all meetings and interactions with victims of the storm were handled in a totally secular manner. During cross organizational meetings, the topic of religion never came up except to agree that it was not an appropriate topic to discuss at all, neither among ourselves, or with storm victims.

I can’t speak to your personal experience, but there was no talk of religion from any organization at all that I encountered. I feel bad that you had that experience, but my best guess is that maybe you helped with some lone evangelical organization that chooses not to mix with the big guys. At least up the eastern coast of Florida, which was my territory, there was plenty help to be found from services that were not playing the religion card at all.


ETA: Honestly, if anyone could potentially find themselves in a situation where they need to have their house mucked out from a flood, and they can’t afford to pay a professional company for priority service on the spot, then they should seriously reconsider their emergency preparation plan if they’re going to be choosey about which person offers their services free of charge.
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09-08-2017, 09:06 AM
RE: How Religion Destroys a Civilization (A Warning For The Present Day)
(09-08-2017 08:32 AM)Aliza Wrote:  ETA: Honestly, if anyone could potentially find themselves in a situation where they need to have their house mucked out from a flood, and they can’t afford to pay a professional company for priority service on the spot, then they should seriously reconsider their emergency preparation plan if they’re going to be choosey about which person offers their services free of charge.

I don't think this excuses those offering their services though. If they have an ulterior motive... it's not a great thing. When your house has just been destroyed or you've just experienced a tsunami or something, I think the last thing you're thinking is "what ideological strings does this aid have attached to it". Those doing the charity work though, they have somewhat of a responsibility to do it in a proper manner. I realise I'm not being 100% coherent. I'm not gonna say "stop providing religious charity" - because it's good work that a lot of these guys do. But it definitely leaves me with an uncomfortable feeling.

Points for making a rather capitalist argument though Tongue "if anyone could potentially find themselves in a situation where they need to have their house mucked out from a flood, and they can’t afford to pay a professional company for priority service on the spot" Yowza. That's pretty cold. Pity the 99% Wink

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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09-08-2017, 09:35 AM (This post was last modified: 09-08-2017 02:08 PM by julep.)
RE: How Religion Destroys a Civilization (A Warning For The Present Day)
(09-08-2017 09:06 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(09-08-2017 08:32 AM)Aliza Wrote:  ETA: Honestly, if anyone could potentially find themselves in a situation where they need to have their house mucked out from a flood, and they can’t afford to pay a professional company for priority service on the spot, then they should seriously reconsider their emergency preparation plan if they’re going to be choosey about which person offers their services free of charge.

I don't think this excuses those offering their services though. If they have an ulterior motive... it's not a great thing. When your house has just been destroyed or you've just experienced a tsunami or something, I think the last thing you're thinking is "what ideological strings does this aid have attached to it". Those doing the charity work though, they have somewhat of a responsibility to do it in a proper manner. I realise I'm not being 100% coherent. I'm not gonna say "stop providing religious charity" - because it's good work that a lot of these guys do. But it definitely leaves me with an uncomfortable feeling.

Points for making a rather capitalist argument though Tongue "if anyone could potentially find themselves in a situation where they need to have their house mucked out from a flood, and they can’t afford to pay a professional company for priority service on the spot" Yowza. That's pretty cold. Pity the 99% Wink

I can be... we'll call it "practical" at times. I think I'm a very caring and charitable person who is more sympathetic than the average Joe to the needs of those who, for whatever reason, can't provide for themselves.

It's a little very hurtful to the people who are taking off from work, traveling far from home, enduring uncomfortable, temporary shelter, sleeping on cots, dining on emergency rations and physically pushing themselves to their limits, only to be told that their help isn't wanted because they're Baptists, or Mormons or whatever.

Fine. You've apparently got your situation under control. Onto the next house. Actually, they go a step further and notify a secular agency that one house refused to accept help from them, so a neutral agency can check up on them.

If you're wading in a soppy mess, and someone swings by with a shovel and a chain saw, and says, "Hey, I'll help you pull down this dry-wall. Oh, and by the way, I'm keen on Jesus," then you say, "Come on in! I need the help. Would you like a bottle of water?" When you're back on your feet, you make a thoughtful donation to that charity even if they like Jesus because those people have a proven track record of providing emergency services. You can even direct your funds to be used for emergency relief only, and they will honor that.

For better or worse on their theology, the Christians are out there rolling up their sleeves and getting dirty. If I'm ever in a disaster, I'll hope they're there to help me. If they tell me they like Jesus, that'll be fine.
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09-08-2017, 10:07 AM
RE: How Religion Destroys a Civilization (A Warning For The Present Day)
How about them that provide food aid to Christians in places like Mongolia? I've got an actual first hand account of that lying around somewhere - I'll see if I can dig it up. In the example you provided it's pretty clear cut that they're doing good work and it's hard to argue with. But in other cases it's not so easy.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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09-08-2017, 10:11 AM
RE: How Religion Destroys a Civilization (A Warning For The Present Day)
(09-08-2017 07:52 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(09-08-2017 06:58 AM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  They really stressed that the important thing wasn't helping the people in need in a disaster, but in gaining the opportunity to minister to them about Jesus.

Are you being serious or sarcastic? 'Cos if you're being serious that's... kinda horrifying. These guys hang around waiting for disasters 'cos it gives them a chance to recruit???

I was being serious but I don't want to mischaracterize them. Their desire to alleviate suffering was genuine and they believed it important to try to meet victims' physical needs (me too)- clean up and debris removal, etc- but they were very up front about the primary importance of evangelizing. To be cynical I guess you could say that's the perfect time to spread the word..."Say, that tree that just cut your house in half? If you were under it would you be in Heaven or Hell right now? Just askin'!"

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