The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Interesting post on 'Orwellian' missionary thinking

Whether Mother Theresa was genuine or not, what disturbs me is the seriously warped perspective of Christians.
When they have a "crisis of faith", they are being tested by God himself and if they continue on their path, they are showing their courage.
When "others" go through a "night of the spirit", it is God that is showing them they are on the wrong path, and if they continue they are just stubborn and foolish in their heathens' ways.
When they face problems, disasters or losses, it means they are being blessed and tested.
When "others" face similar situations, they are being punished by God for their sins and unfaithfulness.
When they commit a crime, it's a temporary and unimportant falldown and they must immediately be forgiven by the victims and by the government, and not only by God and the Church.
When others commit the same crime or even a lesser crime, it is a demonstration of their viciousness, immorality, and intrinsic sinfulness.
To the others, they preach poverty, renunciation, nonviolence, celibacy and humility.
Yet, they possess and use (and misuse) immense properties and funds often to the point of extravagant luxury and criminal pursuits, they demand absolute power on all their congregation and considerable (if not absolute) power or influence on governments, they have a horrible record of violence (torture, genocide, wars etc) since their very origin, and of horrible sexual scandals (in spite of all their efforts in covering up).
I read that Teresa was known for refusing painkillers to her patients, telling them that "their sufferings were the kiss of Jesus", but when she fell ill she demanded all possible cures and a total coverage of painkillers.
I think we can do much better than that – even without the prospect of Nobel Prizes. :-)


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