Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
DonRocks

Attempting To Convert Remote Island Peoples to Your Faith

Recommended Posts

I'm leery to post this, but I'm fascinated in the generational changes in people's reactions to what are essentially two instances of the same story, 66-years apart.

[Please don't be tempted into launching the obvious criticism, "X is a Y" - we should be above such a banal observation; this is more about change in peoples' attitudes over 2-3 generations.]

In this article, click on the Life Magazine 1952 Story, entitled, "Martyrdom in Ecuador" - it really is a fascinating contrast.

"Martyr, or 'American Dickhead?'" by Ruth Graham on slate.com

I will say this, however: On a certain level, there isn't *that* much difference between what these missionaries did, and what Al-Qaeda has done - in both cases, they're prepared to destroy societies, as well as give up their own lives, in order to follow God's word.

Compare and contrast with "The Three Hermits" by Tolstoy which you can read right here in five minutes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, DonRocks said:

I will say this, however: On a certain level, there isn't *that* much difference between what these missionaries did, and what Al-Qaeda has done - in both cases, they're prepared to destroy societies, as well as give up their own lives, in order to follow God's word.

I'd say there's very little difference. The blind zeal and arrogance in religion continues to amaze me. Look at the All Nations website's info on how to tell Muslims that Islam is wrong, but their's is the one true religion.  https://allnations.us/train-and-go/good-news-refugee-neighbors/

I guess all North Sentinelese will continue going to hell when they die just because they never heard of christianity, let alone accepted its biblical fables as truth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Al Dente said:

I'd say there's very little difference. The blind zeal and arrogance in religion continues to amaze me.

I guess all North Sentinelese will continue going to hell when they die just because they never heard of christianity, let alone accepted its biblical fables as truth.

It has probably happened since the dawn of human awareness: People don't want to die. Thus, the search for the Fountain of Youth, Quack cures, the believe in an Afterlife, etc. - people simply don't want to entertain the possibility that when they die, they're simply dead, and honestly, I can't blame them. 

That said, Al Qaeda doesn't want to save non-believers; they want to destroy them, so I'm not on-board with the "very little difference" stance; I do believe that in both cases, the missionaries actions were based on love for their fellow man, but yes, there is a blind zeal, and perhaps even arrogance, at play here, as in, "my way is the only way."

(According to traditional Christian tenets, the North Sentinelese haven't yet "heard the word," and because of that, they won't go to Hell (similar to a child dying before the age of accountability)) - that said, the bible says some pretty awful things. I personally don't see how you get to pick-and-choose what to believe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This *just* popped into my mind - I certainly haven't been sitting around dwelling on it:

What do people think about imposing a progressive view of women's rights onto, for example, Saudi Arabia, or a progressive view of gay rights onto, e.g., Uganda? This is meant to be taken in context with the rest of the above discussion, and is certainly not meant to start a firestorm - I'm not sure there are any easy answers.

Personally, I'm just as sure these progressive views are "as correct" as these missionaries were about their views on Christianity - does that give me the right to impose my views on other societies that don't want to hear about them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DonRocks said:

(According to traditional Christian tenets, the North Sentinelese haven't yet "heard the word," and because of that, they won't go to Hell (similar to a child dying before the age of accountability)) - that said, the bible says some pretty awful things. I personally don't see how you get to pick-and-choose what to believe.

I'm not sure what traditional tenets are. Here's Focus on the Family's view: 

"What about Those Who Have Never Heard?" by Robert Velarde on focusonthefamily.com

The founder of Focus on the Family is James Dobson, an evangelist with enormous influence among conservative christians. 

Al Qaeda wants to destroy non-believers because they follow the same logic as Dobson-- you should have come to the obvious conclusion that our god exists, so therefore, if you're not already a believer, you deserve to die.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, DonRocks said:

This *just* popped into my mind - I certainly haven't been sitting around dwelling on it:

What do people think about imposing a progressive view of women's rights onto, for example, Saudi Arabia, or a progressive view of gay rights onto, e.g., Uganda? This is meant to be taken in context with the rest of the above discussion, and is certainly not meant to start a firestorm - I'm not sure there are any easy answers.

Personally, I'm just as sure these progressive views are "as correct" as these missionaries were about their views on Christianity - does that give me the right to impose my views on other societies that don't want to hear about them?

Having just gotten to this thread, I read the 1st post and immediately started wondering if/when the "leap" would be taken to expand this to social and political ideas.   Since I don't feel that anyone, including my government, has ever seriously asked me whether they should go ahead and impose anything on others (nor do I think that they're going to start doing so), I'm relatively safe from deep thinking this.  However, on a more micro level, I'm sure my life is full of examples where I've done what I could to "enlighten" others to my "progressive" way of thinking & I don't seem to be particularly guilt ridden by it.  We do what we do, both individually & as a collective, to push things in the direction(s) we believe in (at the time).  And if we happen to have the power (militarily, politically, economically, socially...) to "make it so", we will.  "Should we?" is not a question that has ever been successfully answered.  That's my opinion/belief and I hope you'll come around to it... or else.

ETA: on a purely emotional "gut" level, I certainly hope someone figures out how to "convince" religions to stop looking backward for the answers.  If there's any kind of deity, I find it impossible to believe it created us with brains so that we'd let them atrophy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, DonRocks said:

I will say this, however: On a certain level, there isn't *that* much difference between what these missionaries did, and what Al-Qaeda has done - in both cases, they're prepared to destroy societies, as well as give up their own lives, in order to follow God's word.

While I tend to think of both of these things as bad... I would like to say that I see a difference in that Al-Qaeda has killed likely as many Muslims as non-Muslims.  Maybe someone of a different type of Islam.  Not to say Christians haven't gotten into physical battles/wars with other Christians- certainly Catholic/Protestant wars happened for a VERY long time.  But saying that Al-Qaeda only kills non-believers to me is a false statement, as to me they, like ISIS, have become a political group who are not just following religious zeal.  I also think that going to a place you are strictly prohibited from going to a group of people who clearly want to be left alone is a do at your own risk, and accept all consequences and I don't think any government should be spending resources on this, it just was what it was.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ktmoomau said:

I also think that going to a place you are strictly prohibited from going to a group of people who clearly want to be left alone is a do at your own risk, and accept all consequences and I don't think any government should be spending resources on this, it just was what it was.  

Katelin, how would you compare the North Sentinelese with the Branch Davidians at Waco?

I'm not sure there's much overlap here, other than the desire to be left alone - in case anyone wants a refresher:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don,

The US Government did not issue a proclamation saying you could not go to Waco, TX, and I am not sure they had a history of killing person who went onto their territory previously, but I don't know a lot about it.  I would compare this more to going to North Korea without permission and trying to convert people there to not be communist or to not follow their leader.  You know you are prohibited from doing it, and you know someone has died before doing it.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×