Opinion

Missions: Is it love or colonization?

John Chau, right, in October 2018. Photo via Instagram

(RNS) — John Allen Chau’s life could be summed up in two sentences, according to his family.

He loved God.

And he had “nothing but love for the Sentinelese people.”

Chau, a young missionary from the United States, was killed on Nov. 17 while illegally attempting to invade the land of the North Sentinel Islanders, an indigenous group protected from all outsiders by the Indian government.

When he landed on the island, he was shot and killed by arrows fired by the Sentinelese.

After his death, people — including indigenous Christians — flocked to social media to consider what our attitudes toward this situation should be. Were the indigenous peoples protecting themselves or attacking? Was Chau a missionary or a colonizer?

Or both?

For a young Christian man who “had nothing but love for the Sentinelese people,” where was the line between love and colonization?

Perhaps it was the line of law drawn around a protected indigenous group that risks being wiped out by outsiders. Outsiders, including missionaries like Chau, whose presence threatened their culture and their well-being, bringing the risk of outside influences and disease.

For many Christians, the need to protect indigenous groups conflicts with their mission.

Clouds hang over the North Sentinel Island, in India’s southeastern Andaman and Nicobar Islands, on Nov. 14, 2005. Christian missionary John Allen Chau was killed by inhabitants of the island on Nov. 17, 2018. Indian law forbids outsiders from approaching the island. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)

Growing up in the Southern Baptist Church, I was taught that there were two types of people in the world: saved and unsaved, reached and unreached. According to the Joshua Project, there are 7,076 people groups in the world that are “unreached,” meaning that “few identify as Christians or have knowledge of Christianity.”

Missionaries, therefore, must take Jesus to the lost of the world, to share his love with those who have no knowledge of the infallible Holy Bible.

This missionary mindset was one I carried throughout much of my early life. Even though I was born in Indian territory and grew up on Native land, in our home we practiced evangelical Christianity more than our traditional Potawatomi ways. Even as an enrolled citizen of my tribe, I did not understand that the Christian faith I practiced was the same kind of faith that colonized my own ancestors. As an adult, I’m decolonizing, asking if it’s possible to practice Christianity and follow Jesus in a different way. That means I must question the mission of the church to convert the “unreached.”

In the process, I’m learning that even people with good intentions can become tools of oppression within evangelical institutions and still call it love.

Chau was a product of this kind of Christianity, and the problem with this kind of “love” is that often under its veil there lies deceit, assimilation and colonization. The incident with Chau is a case in which a people group stood up against this kind of message, and it’s important that we understand why.

We can take a quick look at the history of America and see why a people group would oppose outsiders who come in the name of Jesus. Missionaries and colonizers often worked hand in hand, leading to genocide, colonization and assimilation done in the name of Jesus.

One instance was Indian boarding schools, designed to “kill the Indian, save the man,” which stripped Native children of culture in order to make them into civilized, white Christians. The Doctrine of Discovery gave European Christian explorers and missionaries the right to dominate the people of any land they deemed “undiscovered,” all in the name of God.

A lithograph print of the missionary ship “Duff” arriving at Tahiti circa 1797. Print by Kronheim and Co. London/Creative Commons

Ironically, missions work, which sometimes ends in the total annihilation of a people group either literally or culturally, is simply seen as doing the good work of Jesus.

So, pastors stand at the pulpit on Sunday mornings, quoting Romans to their congregations: “And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’”

Churches see missionaries as heroes who bring salvation. Congregations throw parties to send out those who are called, they lay hands and pray, they ask for the lost to have eyes that are open to the work of their gospel. Yet, they seem unaware that indigenous peoples see them as invaders who bring destruction, or are indifferent to their point of view, because as Christians, they are the ones whom God has called, so they must be on the right and honorable side of history.

And there’s a whole industry that promotes the heroic nature of mission work.

According to the International Journal of Frontier Missiology, money that goes toward unreached peoples (unlike reached people groups who are already Christians) is estimated at $450 million per year. The Traveling Team, which calls itself a missions conference on wheels, uses language to romanticize the work of reaching those who are deemed unreached throughout the world, as if a mighty, holy adventure awaits.

 It is no surprise that Chau’s death is seen as martyrdom or godly sacrifice in many churches.

North Sentinel Island is in the Bay of Bengal, among India’s southeastern Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Image courtesy of Google Maps

To indigenous peoples, it is no surprise that Christians believe they have the sacred right to go into places inhabited by indigenous peoples like the North Sentinel Islanders. We know what it means to have our lands invaded and our people killed off by disease brought by those who purported that they were simply bringing the love and power of Jesus with them.

So, in light of John Allen Chau, the North Sentinel Islanders, and the gospel according to the American church, we need to have a conversation about what love is, and what colonization is, and the fact that they are not one and the same.

(Kaitlin Curtice is a Potawatomi author and speaker. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of Religion News Service.)

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Kaitlin Curtice

121 Comments

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  • What an incredibly sad story. At least now the love of Christ will not be infecting these people with a disease that wipes them out.

  • Never mind “Missions”, what about, by way of whataboutism, Anthropological Survey of India: “Is it love or colonization?” Or maybe you just don’t know your anthropology.

    “T N Pandit [is] the anthropologist who is among the few men to have made contact with the Sentinelese tribe. … [He was] the first anthropologist to land on the island and interact with members of the tribe … Pandit was lead anthropologist with the Anthropological Survey of India when he carried out several trips to the Sentinel Island between 1966 and 1991. … Pandit says their team worked hard to win the trust of the Sentinelese islanders. … During their first trip to the island, however, Pandit and his … 20-member team, including armed local security officials, landed on the island and managed to make it to their settlement.

    “We tried to venture into their territory”, he said. “The Sentinelese hid in the forest. I believe they are aware of the power of a firearm and did not want a confrontation.” And he’d do it again! “On a sunny day, I would like to pay an old-fashioned visit [again].”

    Oh by the way, wanna know what else this Rogue Anthropologist said? “Tribes in Andamans have recently shunned efforts to be converted. In Nicobar islands, however, both Christianity and Islam have made an entry”.

    AW SNAP.

    Source: T N Pandit, interviewed in Mallica Joshi, “It took some coconuts, and 25 years: The killing of a 27-yr-old tourist on the Andamans has brought the reclusive Sentinel tribe into the spotlight: An 83-yr-old anthropologist recalls his years of waiting, numerous visits, and many gifts, including a pig and buckets, leading up to one solitary meeting with them one fine day”, The Indian Express, November 25, 2018.

  • What about “the love of [anthropology] infecting these people with a disease that wipes them out”?!

    Cf. T N Pandit, interviewed in Mallica Joshi, “It took some coconuts, and 25 years: The killing of a 27-yr-old tourist on the Andamans has brought the reclusive Sentinel tribe into the spotlight: An 83-yr-old anthropologist recalls his years of waiting, numerous visits, and many gifts, including a pig and buckets, leading up to one solitary meeting with them one fine day”, The Indian Express, November 25, 2018.

  • It’s basically Russian Roulette. There were reports that he got a lot of immunizations before he went on this trip, but in the end it could be something as simple as a common cold virus that he could unleash on them. Back in 1880 several of these tribe members were captured and taken to Port Blair, where two died from an illness. The younger members survived and were returned.

    It’s hard to tell what might happen. It’s taking chances every single time.

  • “In 1880 … two died from an illness” – “a disease that wipes the[ir entire race] out”?!

    Some “Russian Roulette”, that. Especially since the island remains inhabited long after “1880”!

  • The history of contact with the outside world has included tribal populations being decimated. We may not even know if Chau’s presence kills off anyone from what would otherwise be a mild illness.

  • “As an adult, I’m decolonizing, asking if it’s possible to practice Christianity and follow Jesus in a different way.”

    Yes, Kaitlin, it absolutely is possible and something ALL of us should be asking ourselves every day. HOW do we bear witness of the best-known truth on every subject—–irrespective of certain passages of the Bible (such as the main takeaways from Genesis and Revelation for starters which are misleading at best and outright myth at worst)? HOW do we give practical assistance to people who need assistance? HOW do we project real kindness, not meddling, and gently let it slip that Christians do kindness because Jesus asks it of us. How do we actually serve the best interests of other people? HOW do we keep our motives clean when “messing with” other lands?

  • Some 80% of native Hawaiians— of an estimated population of between 200,000 and 300,000– were dead of imported diseases, measles being a big one, between first contact and approximately 80 years later.

  • He may have claimed to “love” the islanders, but that doesn’t mean he did.

    First piece of evidence? He went there, KNOWING that he might carry a disease which could easily wipe them all out. Getting all of those vaccinations doesn’t change his certain knowledge of the danger he posed to them. All he needed was a common cold, for which THERE IS NO VACCINE.

    Second problem. LOVE again. despite the claims of some Christians to the contrary, Love requires knowledge of the people, not an assumption of superiority. As a gay man, as a Jew, as an atheist— in short, for most of my life— I have had so called Good Christians tell me they really, really lovely me, right after or alongside the most vile spew about my life, my relationships, my relationship with god and morality, my danger to everything good and holy. All of it their garbage, and nothing to do with me.

    Sorry, I don’t buy that story, either

    The missionary mindset, even after 2000 years of documentable failure, and 7000 identifiable groups of people not reached, assumes not only that the poor, benighted darkies need to hear the Christian message, but that they haven’t yet heard it and rejected it, and that they couldn’t possibly prefer their own faith to that of the superior Christians who will teach them the superior faith. As Chau himself more or less demonstrated, you just need to say it in Xhosa, probably loudly and severally, and the poor benighted etc will get it.

    It didn’t work that way, either.

    Colonization is a good word for it.

  • The whole missionary mindset was always presumptuous and unethical. The current supporters of the hapless John Chau are downright immoral…and now endanger indigenous people with their intelligently designed deadly pathogens.

    If every religion used the Christian Evangelical’s logic — the Sentinel Islanders would be overrun with people spouting quackery, while perpetuating a potential genocide…Perhaps these islanders also need some visitors bringing Buddhist Karma, Hindu reincarnation, a taste of the Jewish Talmud…and of course they should know about God’s final prophet, Muhammed, or was that last prophet Joseph Smith?…Whose Mormons (old name) have recent experience wiping out the native peoples…a Christian specialty.

    I have no love for India’s Hindu nationalism…but any law to criminalize unethical and dangerous missionary work is fine by me. A few more dead John Chau’s is no great loss…but better yet — prosecute these Jesus spouting a$$holes before they can do damage. They can try converting some heathens in third world prisons while at the same time protecting their Christian asses from some un-Levitical love.

  • Yes, and if that was the case — these missionary idiots still would not have coerced these people into accepting their fraudulent Christian savior. A Lose-Lose proposition…disgraceful — WTF makes missionary minds so poisoned.

  • But what “we may … know” is “in 1880 … two died from an illness” – “a disease that wipes the[ir entire race] out”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! … There. “Wipe[d out” with a !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and then some more !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • My 2nd gut reaction to this piece of ClickBait is, Oh so Kaitlin Curtice, this is all about you. Not John Allan Chau. Useful guy after all.

  • So based upon your logic, man should not explore, interact with other cultures nor participate in commerce?
    Sorry to break the news to you and the other self-righteous hand wringers. Life is full of risk and consequences.
    Left up to you, we would still be farming by hand and living in huts.

  • Kaitlin: so you have the benefit of knowing Christ, because somewhere along the line the Word was introduced to you or your family. As a Christian, you would agree that this is the most important gift ever provided to you.
    Now, you seem to identify more as a Potawatomi, and less as a Christian; seemingly opposed to others receiving the gift of salvation as your family did.
    As far a decolonization, let me know how you are going to deal with no technology, no modern medicine and no conveniences that resulted from colonization.

  • “As an adult, I’m decolonizing, asking if it’s possible to practice Christianity and follow Jesus in a different way.”

    If I may make a suggestion, Kaitlin, please read Ref 1 from about Page 14 onwards. The author distinguishes between the Bible and theology. He proposes that large parts of theology can be discarded, as they are anyway not the voice of Jesus. The author then suggests how the Bible can be read in such a way that false religion, idolatry, freedom of consciences and the like no longer find a place.

    Ref 1
    http://www.academia.edu/19646482/Rethinking_Inter-religious_Dialogues

  • You mentioned Hawaiians and the fact that 80% died from “imported” diseases:
    1) seeming to imply the “importing” is intentional, and
    2) that contact among different peoples should be avoided.
    Regardless of the intent of the visitor, exposure to disease is possible; BOTH ways; is it not?

  • Parker12, time runs in one direction only. We get to question the present and future value of colonization on our cellphones while riding elevators.
    Also, people can be (and are) both native and Christian. The way that looks does not have to comport with your American idea of what you want that to look like.
    this is a chance for us to pause and consider what the Gospel really is, and not just an accessory to colonization.
    The relationship of God’s people to land covenants ended with the coming of the Christ, Jesus.
    Biblically, Americans are not God’s chosen people; this is not our promised land.

  • I have zero sympathy for John Chau or the missionary group that sent him. This was not his first attempt to go to the island and the group deliberately ignores hostile intentions and warnings when given.

    Missionary work was always a tool of colonization and genocide. Its the 21st Century, We’ve run out of excuses for annihilating isolated cultures.

  • it’s always interesting to hear people question “colonization” 500 years after the fact when they have directly benefited from it; especially living in the obscene luxury most Americans have.
    Infrequently does one hear gratitude to the men that risked all in exploration of this world; for knowledge, resources or power. In the past, mans transformation from cave dweller to city builder was celebrated; now its questioned and condemned.

  • So just to clarify which group you hate more:

    1) evangelizing Christians, or
    2) white, male, European explorers.

    Who do you select?

  • Love is one of those words that gets thrown indiscriminately around til the point that it loses its meaning. I think “love” involves an element of respect for differences. If you feel the need to change someone, to make them just like you, it isn’t love that you are expressing.

    I think that kind of “love” (the “love” expressed by missionaries) is really an expression of deep underlying fears. Fear that you may not be in possession of the TRUTH–that the other guy might know something that you don’t. That the only way to ease your fears and confirm your beliefs is when everyone believes what you believe.

  • 3) People is who deliberately ignore repeated warnings with grave consequences to do something obnoxious and hazardous to others.

    #1 are annoying but acceptable when they understand the concept of consent. This guy and his organization didn’t. His death was entirely foreseeable and unnecessary.

    #2 History is history. It exists. One need not have an opinion on it. Just a perspective. Many problems in the developing world can be traced back to conquest and colonialism.

    Nowadays explorers are scientists. People not hemmed in by imperialist goals. People with a duty not to harm the hunan subjects of their study.

  • Missionaries, historically, has been about cultural supremacy and arrogance. The goal oftentimes was to make the savage civilized through Jesus. But that was and continues to be problematic. It requires that one adopt the view that whatever others believe is fundamentally wrong and that you, as a Jesus believer, are better than them and know better than them and you will stop at nothing to impose your beliefs on others. So it is not a question of whether they are colonizers or lovers. They are arrogant and culturally ignorant.

  • 1) no, that wasn’t what I was implying. The first contact was I believe in 1776. The germ theory of disease came much much later. People didn’t know then.

    2) I didn’t say that either. This is a matter of personal responsibility, not the accidents of international contacts.

    3) Yes, it could go both ways. There is evidence that isolated Africans eating bushmeat — chimpanzees and other great apes — contracted HIV through this, and spread itoutside ofthenush through their contacts with people who weren’t so isolated. But again, that isn’t the point here. Chau went to the island KNOWING he could infect these people with his diseases, and result in the deaths of everyone. And he simply didn’t care.

    That they could have given HIM a disease is certainly possible, but that was HIS choice to expose himself, same as on one of my frequent trips to Mexico if I choose to drink a local tapwater or eat uncooked vegetables. For him, going to this isolated island, knowing that he could infect them with the disease for which they had no immunity, that was his choice to expose them.

    It’s the mark of a truly sociopathic personality.

  • That doesn’t mean that we cannot question the violent domination that was used to get here with all of our nice stuff. Just because we like our nice things and the good parts of who we are doen’t negate calling out our genocidal slaveholding past; or give us a pass on facing the ways we still drag our dominance into the present.
    It’s always interesting to hear people question decolonization from a position of vast power and privilege, as if what we have now would actually be threatened by it. Do we need to perpetuate violent dominance in order to have what has already been built?

  • Just to inject a dollop of sanity into your discussion: Sentinel Island is under the control & protection of the nation of India.

    Nobody’s gonna colonize Sentinel Island. No Christian n 2018, including the late missionary Mr. Chau, has even expressed any plans or desires to colonize Sentinel Island.

    Mr. Chad ignored the law, ignored wiser counsel, ignored the lethal disease risk to the island people, he even ignored the unique final warning of a Sentinel child”s arrow striking his Bible. So Chau paid the ultimate price.

    But you can afford to feel sympathy for him. You can afford to respect the good things he did for refugees and underprivileged. Life is short for all of us, and Heb. 9:27 exist’s for all.

  • The world is a dirty place with limited resources. Whether you admit it or not; or like it or not – at the most basic human level; we fight for our own individual survival.
    Our similarities of culture or need for resources binds is together to form tribes and nations.
    You can ponder whether is was right to colonize America all you want; or whether colonizing the moon is morally correct.
    But when it comes down to someone yelling fire in a dark movie theater; self preservation comes first.
    I guarantee if there were 2 billion barrels of oil under that island; and India needed it- those bows and arrows would be no match for bullets and tanks.

  • I agree he should have made better choices.
    I disagree that we should wring our hands for colonization in general.

  • (RNS) — John Allen Chau’s life could be summed up in two sentences, according to his family.
    He loved God.
    And he had “nothing but love for the Sentinelese people.”

    If John had had love, and a shovel, it would not have changed the outcome of his trip but it would have been more beneficial towards the people he loved. The community that encouraged and supported him need to understand that.

  • Chau has attempted this before and was turned back by authorities. His death was both unnecessary and entirely preventable.

    He sought to colonize the island for his sect. To erase the existing culture and religion. He was not invited nor were his efforts requested by the natives. He did not seek their consent in any way. He was an interloper, a trespasser. He received the obvious and expected results of such self absorbed and foolhardy actions.

    He was not a refugee nor the underprivileged. Quite the opposite. He came by his own volition and relied on a tone deaf form of Christian privilege to absolve his actions and likely harms to himself and others.

  • I take it that your answer to my last question is ‘yes’.
    We all make choices. Just don’t drag the holy name of Jesus into a way that is not his way.
    “Fear not”, says the Lord.
    I’m going to go read some words with red letters now.

  • Just a minor note: I did not claim that Mr. Chau himself was a refugee or underprivileged.

    I said that he HELPED a bunch of refugees and underprivileged — from more than one nation, I might add. Nobody can take that achievement away from him.

  • Glad that Kaitlin is “decolonizing”, regardless of whatever particular colonialism (or maybe just plain libbie confusion) she may be feeling so much angst about.

  • “Missionary” has almost always been used as an excuse and cover for colonialism. When the early church commanded that believers go into all the world and preach the good news, I doubt the intention was to make sure that everyone wear pants and develop western manners.

  • Fair enough. But a good measure of the blame also goes to the organization which sponsored his last trip. It is clear from their own communications that they have a general disregard for the consent of the peoples they send their missionaries to.

  • As a Christian, I’ve always preferred St. Francis’ approach to evangelization: “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.

  • Well, you’re correct that Jesus has astonishing and incomparable power when his witnesses are presenting him and themselves as honest, forthright, loving, forgiving, selfless, kind, trustworthy, altruistic, and actually helpful. I wouldn’t recommend you, or me, or anyone else going out to meet folks acting “as if I’ve gone crazy”, however. We don’t want them to think everything about Jesus is crazy, do we?

  • You don’t “wear pants and develop western manners”, then? Now, see, you remain unevangelized and God & Jesus don’t care.

  • Hey that’s a neat & tidy & healthy attitude. I could use some Zzzz right about now.

    My respect for Atheism & LGBT communities is decreasing by the minute, every time they comment on RNS, article by article. So uuuuggggllllyyyy they’ve become.

    Was I wrong about them!

  • The other day a 11 year old Atheist heard someone way younger than you say that expression, “God & Jesus don’t care.”

    “Aren’t you going to ask me,” I said to the little kid, “‘What about their sidekick, Holy Spirit? Does he or she (or it) care?'”

    “I’m not a born-st*pid Atheist”, she replied, “okay?”

  • The phrase “perpetuate violent dominance” appears to include protecting your own country’s borders.

  • Yes, “but any law to criminalize unethical and dangerous missionary work is fine by me” since you’re only here to carp at religion.

  • “I think ‘love’ involves an element of respect for differences.”

    If true, that means you don’t love your fellow human beings IF they adhere to religious beliefs, especially Christianity.

  • “For him, going to this isolated island, knowing that he could infect them with the disease for which they had no immunity, that was his choice to expose them.”

    Only if:

    – he knew he could infect them

    – he actually had pathogens that would infect them

    – they actually have no immunity

    all of which is speculation.

    But it does advance your usual bashing of “religionists”.

  • Prior to modern medicine and involving the arrival of Europeans and others rife with STDs and chronic diseases like tuberculosis.

    By your logic the fact that the odds were 1 in 3 or better that drinking water in a city in Europe in the 17th century would infect you with something that could kill means people today should not drink water.

  • “Creative … futile” – because destructive would’ve been painful for you.

    I didn’t have the heart to tell you straight up that all born-from-above, fired-up and die-hard followers of THE Christ Jesus of the gospels, epistles and revelation – “as [each] a Jesus believer, are better” – than Etranger!

  • The story is about missionaries. I made a comment specifically about missionaries. If the story were about French winemakers and I made a comment about French winemakers believing they had the best wine in the world, that would not mean that I thought Italian winemakers would never be guilty of the same thing. I can’t believe I have to explain how the language and context works….

  • The story you linked to shows more negative affect of religious missionary work…so it proves my point a little better.

  • No, what it proves is you’re selective.

    You are here to carp at religion and religion adherents, and your “point” which applies to everyone is being applied to one group you happen to dislike.

  • Prescinding for a moment about how the word “love” might be used trivially, whatever that might mean, and noting your further negative assessment of “many Christians, taken as a whole your comments indicate you don’t love your fellow human beings IF they adhere to religious beliefs, especially Christianity.

  • Well, my point does not apply to everyone actually. Missionaries are a particular group with a particular behavior that fits my criticism. But sure, there are others who seek to destroy the culture fabric of groups/societies who are not religious. But that was not the topic here…

  • You made the comment as though missionaries were particularly good examples, if not the only practitioners, of cultural supremacy and arrogance.

    Unless you’re suggesting that if the story were about French winemakers you would assert that they were practitioners of cultural supremacy and arrogance, your example doesn’t answer my question and seems to indicate you don’t really grasp how the language and context work.

    So, since you’re taking the position that contrary to my impression based on your posts over a long period of time that you’re here to carp at, denigrate, and ridicule religion – especially Christianity – and nothing else, you’ll prove I am wrong by describing who besides missionaries do you include in your assessment.

    Otherwise I think we’re done here.

  • Poor thing. My comment was made about what missionaries believe and how they act. Period. No one would ever think I was saying they are the only practitioners of cultural supremacy and arrogance….

  • I have no idea how…I also have no idea why you just keep posting a link to the comments section we are commenting in lol. Going a bit nuts there?

  • Interesting. I was talking about missionaries. I do not believe that includes all religion and its adherents.

  • Thank you – you too. I think you spiraled into craziness. Proved absolutely nothing. Made absolutely no point. God bless.

  • The history is that tribes in the archipelago suffered from large losses of life from disease after contact with explorers.

    In any case, it wasn’t Chau’s decision to make. His journal included references to hiding from Indian maritime patrols. He knew what he was doing was illegal and probably the reasons for it.

  • Apparently it was Chau’s decision to make since you note he kept a journal and knew it was illegal.

    End of speculation, end of Chau, back to reality.

  • Once again your attempts to “demonize” me only demean and demonize yourself. Stop painting me with a broad brush. There are some folk I like very much and some folk I don’t like very much and a few that I love. I try to judge people by the content of their character NOT by superficial qualities such as the religion they profess/pretend to believe.

    People display the content of their character with their day to day words and actions–how they treat other people, how they treat other living things–plants, animals and our planet, and how they treat themselves–such as whether they choose lies over reality, sacrifice their moral principles to preserve their Authoritarian World View or for political control of our government and courts.

    You show us daily that your character leaves something to be desired.

  • How many quotations from your posts over the last year attacking religion in general and Christians in particular would required to cut the cr-p that you don’t have a ‘tude towards religion in general and Christians in particular?

    It has been brought to your attention repeatedly, repeatedly you deny it, and then you take another shot at religion in general and Christians in particular.

  • No.

    I asked if you mind if I blocked you, and you responded:

    “Please do! You’re so inane and obnoxious.”

    Bad move.

  • I took a few minutes to scan your posts:

    https://disqus(DOT)/home/discussion/alternet/trumps_border_violence_is_sick_entertainment_for_his_fans_and_they_love_it/#comment-4218100287

    With the Evangelical Christians there are some violent folk but most are simply obedient sheep, mindless, doing what they are told to do, pretending to ignore the worst of Trump.

    https://disqus(DOT)/home/discussion/religionnews/john_chau_and_the_dangers_of_missionary_work/#comment-4215949208

    Great harm has been done to many people on many continents in the name of “saving” people from Sin and/or for Christ!

    https://disqus(DOT)/home/discussion/religionnews/when_christians_sell_out_christians_for_political_power/#comment-4068540743

    They have tarnished the whole name/concept Christian! Which is fine with me!

    https://disqus(DOT)/home/discussion/religionnews/the_faith_of_ronald_reagan/#comment-4103580388

    Christianity has really been about OBEDIENCE, not about inner transformation!

    https://disqus(DOT)/home/discussion/religionnews/in_new_film_fireman_turned_prophet_says_trumps_wall_end_of_roe_are_gods_plan/#comment-4115131713

    Could it be to expose the hypocrisy of Evangelical Christians?

    https://disqus(DOT)/home/discussion/alternet/a_fast_growing_christian_movement_believes_trump039s_election_is_part_of_god039s_plan/#comment-4123955596

    To test Evangelical Christians in order to bring about an end to the form of Christianity that has twisted and perverted Christs message?

    https://disqus(DOT)/home/discussion/alternet/pulitzer_winning_reporter_reveals_the_039smoking_gun039_on_trump_and_russia/#comment-4133749524

    It started with the aftermath of the Civil War, was fed by Christian preachers preaching an “us versus them” religious philosophy, ….

    https://disqus(DOT)/home/discussion/religionnews/who_you_calling_the_anti_christ_rudy/#comment-4139970931

    Christianity has had this need to demonize the “other”, all of those that reject their beliefs, or are different in other ways–homosexuals, immigrants, poor, educated, Atheists, people of other faith traditions, and Democrats! It seems to be the ONLY way they can feel good about themselves–look those “others” are evil and we are the “holy” ones!

    ***

    Due to space limits I quit there.

    Not ONE negative comment about atheism, liberals, agnosticism, nothing.

    A drumbeat of constant negative assessments of Christians.

    Please stop posing as an enlightened fair-minded individual.

  • no, Parker12, the logic is to learn from experience and not repeat the mistakes of the past .

    when a virulent disease appears in one area of the world there are more and more understanding of the need for medically based protocols governing the contacts between people . this is not a new concept, nor an outdated one .

    life is full of risks, true . but there is no place for people taking irresponsible risks .

  • that is the subject of history books .

    here i am not attempting to assign blame for anything, just noting that much we humans have done did not turn out so well .

    and certainly the first contact between peoples often provides instances of that .

  • Hmmmm… interesting.
    You seem to imply blame in your comments, but can’t seem to get them down on paper.
    I prefer to focus on the positive and am grateful for what has been provided by those that came before.

  • The “Mission” statement of the National Catholic Reporter, your home base online for more than these past 3 years, reads:

    “NCR connects Catholics to church, faith and the common good with independent news, analysis and spiritual reflection.”

    Yet to the question in this article, “Missions: Is it love or colonization?” – your answer “17 hours ago” was, “Neither love nor colonization [but] fanaticism. And perhaps even cultish behavior.”

    Ergo: the National Catholic Reporter’s “Mission … connect[ing] Catholics to church, faith and the common good with independent news, analysis and spiritual reflection” – is, as you put it, “neither love nor colonization [but] fanaticism. And perhaps even cultish behavior.”

    Why have you never told them that? And why are you practicing “fanaticism [and] even cultish behavior” with them, while condemning John Allan Chau for the very same thing that you’ve been up to over there at RNC?

  • The descriptive words “independent”, “analysis”, and “reflection” seem to take the edge off the notion of fanaticism do they not?

  • GOTCHA. Since my brother in The Christ Jesus, John Allan Chau, as an “independent” soul-winner, did practice “analysis and spiritual reflection” just as NCR does, he, therefore, according to your Lukewarm Pseudo-Catholic Sacramental Logic, did, in fact, “take the edge off [your own] notion of fanaticism”!

  • you dont break into your neighbor’s house with a smile and a hug just to tell him about some glorious hallucination or dream you had, so stop evangelizing bronze age sky god mythologies to people who are minding their own business and already living as they wish.

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