Converting Scientologists to Christianity: A How-To Blog

ClearedSP

Patron with Honors
If so, yeah, she said that it was adopted by Constantine as a unifying factor. Religion as unifying factor.

Well, sort of. Constantine's wife's brother was a political rival, and Constantine was intent on crushing him. Prior to attacking Rome, his brother in law's seat of power, he had a vision which told him that if his soldiers put a Christian symbol on their shields (the chi rho), they'd slaughter the opposition. So they did, and they did. He then had his brother in law's severed head paraded around Rome, and sent it to Carthage to show the southwestern part of the Empire who was boss.

Using violence to destroy political opposition is a KIND of unification.
 

TG1

Angelic Poster
Anybody interested in talking about the OP? Scientology and Christianity? Or Christianity in the twenty-first century?

TG1
 
Anybody interested in talking about the OP? Scientology and Christianity? Or Christianity in the twenty-first century?

TG1

Yes. But not with someone who judges 21st century Christianity on what some naughty Romans and Byzantines did over a thousand years ago.

The Anabaptist Jacques
 

Mick Wenlock

Admin Emeritus (retired)
Read the letters of Pliny. Compare with records of the 4th & 5th Centuries of the Imperium after the rise of christianity to political power. Above all read the histories and not simply christian apologetics.

Have you actually READ the christian Apologetics you are busily dismissing? Like Polycarp - who was put to death by the Roman Administration long after Pliny the Younger died (whose letters I presume you are referring to, rather than Pliny the elder?) Hardly indicative of Christian pogroms and genocide. In fact the "Imperium" as you loftily call it persecuted Christians for 3 hundred years even while Christianity was gaining a stronghold throughout north africa and the mediterranean. The Coptic church was flourishing during that period.

I asked you for your sources about the evil stuff that you are accusing early Christians of - and you managed to cite a historian who wrote at the time when the Christians were being butchered - not butchering -and then nothing else. Where are your sources for all this mayhem that you claim went on AFTER Nicea for example?

So post Nicea - 325 AD - what are your sources - apart from the movie of course - for Christian persecution of pagans?

Now we can certainly point to Clovis/Louis and the battles and wars of the Frankish kingdoms but they were as political as they were religious. Even in England during this period as Christianity was expanding throughout the country I have never seen any reference to large massacres of pagans merely because they were pagans but only because of tribal wars. Do you have some source that says different? I have read the Anglo saxon chronicle and I cannot remember one item like that - perhaps you have one? Also Bedes History does not mention it either. France during this time was pagan - it only started to become Christian with the conversion of Clovis in 496. So far the pagans seem to have been doing ok

So where does that leave us? You have not come up with a simple reference to back any claim you have made thus far except to instruct me to read Pliny's letters - many of which I read in Latin class lo, these many years ago. And Pliny PREDATES the time period you were talking about.


The later advance of Islam into Europe had nothing to do with the initiation of the christian persecution of pagans. That was a much much later time period. Although to some degree they were influenced in that Islam drew on christianity and christian traditions for much of its early inspiration.


Mark A. Baker

A "much later" time period? How on earth do you figure that out? I did not say it was connected to the persecution of pagans - though I would remind you that in the Christian world of the time Saracens/Muslims/Arabs - were pagans and from the Islamic viewpoint Christians were unbelievers and pagans too.

The Islamic conquest of Spain started in 711. It lasted for 500 years . it came close to invading France.

In 640 or thereabouts the Muslim Caliphate was busily attacking the Christian strongholds in Egypt, North Africa and Cyprus.

If you are going to argue this Mark - you may want to start sorting out your history. The Caliphates initiated war and conquest on Christians - not the other way round. Or do you have some reference about the savagery of the Coptic Church?

After Nicea in 325 the Church in Rome was given "official" status by Constantine. That by no means spread Christianity - the French were not even converted as I wrote above until Clovis in 496 and even then that was a small minority in what would become Frankland. It was not until Charlemagne in around 800 that Christianity even became dominant in most of western Europe.

by 410 Rome and its surroundings was fighting for its life against waves of - wait for it - pagan invaders until it finally succumbed to Odoacer in 476.

So where was all the Chrsitian inspired massacres?

Time to put up a source.
 
Have you actually READ the christian Apologetics you are busily dismissing? Like Polycarp - who was put to death by the Roman Administration long after Pliny the Younger died (whose letters I presume you are referring to, rather than Pliny the elder?) Hardly indicative of Christian pogroms and genocide. In fact the "Imperium" as you loftily call it persecuted Christians for 3 hundred years even while Christianity was gaining a stronghold throughout north africa and the mediterranean. The Coptic church was flourishing during that period.

I asked you for your sources about the evil stuff that you are accusing early Christians of - and you managed to cite a historian who wrote at the time when the Christians were being butchered - not butchering -and then nothing else. Where are your sources for all this mayhem that you claim went on AFTER Nicea for example?

So post Nicea - 325 AD - what are your sources - apart from the movie of course - for Christian persecution of pagans?

Now we can certainly point to Clovis/Louis and the battles and wars of the Frankish kingdoms but they were as political as they were religious. Even in England during this period as Christianity was expanding throughout the country I have never seen any reference to large massacres of pagans merely because they were pagans but only because of tribal wars. Do you have some source that says different? I have read the Anglo saxon chronicle and I cannot remember one item like that - perhaps you have one? Also Bedes History does not mention it either. France during this time was pagan - it only started to become Christian with the conversion of Clovis in 496. So far the pagans seem to have been doing ok

So where does that leave us? You have not come up with a simple reference to back any claim you have made thus far except to instruct me to read Pliny's letters - many of which I read in Latin class lo, these many years ago. And Pliny PREDATES the time period you were talking about.




A "much later" time period? How on earth do you figure that out? I did not say it was connected to the persecution of pagans - though I would remind you that in the Christian world of the time Saracens/Muslims/Arabs - were pagans and from the Islamic viewpoint Christians were unbelievers and pagans too.

The Islamic conquest of Spain started in 711. It lasted for 500 years . it came close to invading France.

In 640 or thereabouts the Muslim Caliphate was busily attacking the Christian strongholds in Egypt, North Africa and Cyprus.

If you are going to argue this Mark - you may want to start sorting out your history. The Caliphates initiated war and conquest on Christians - not the other way round. Or do you have some reference about the savagery of the Coptic Church?

After Nicea in 325 the Church in Rome was given "official" status by Constantine. That by no means spread Christianity - the French were not even converted as I wrote above until Clovis in 496 and even then that was a small minority in what would become Frankland. It was not until Charlemagne in around 800 that Christianity even became dominant in most of western Europe.

by 410 Rome and its surroundings was fighting for its life against waves of - wait for it - pagan invaders until it finally succumbed to Odoacer in 476.

So where was all the Chrsitian inspired massacres?

Time to put up a source.

Mark,

Don't mess with Mick. He can get medieval on your ass.

That's Durendal slung across his shoulder!

The Anabaptist Jacques
 

Claire Swazey

Spokeshole, fence sitter
Yes. But not with someone who judges 21st century Christianity on what some naughty Romans and Byzantines did over a thousand years ago.

The Anabaptist Jacques

Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat the past.

There was a guy who did that- made every mistake and shitty deed you could find, after saying he never would. Guess what his name was. Guess.

Starts with Lafayette...
 
Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat the past.

There was a guy who did that- made every mistake and shitty deed you could find, after saying he never would. Guess what his name was. Guess.

Starts with Lafayette...

Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat the tenth grade.

The Anabaptist Jacques
 

Claire Swazey

Spokeshole, fence sitter
Well, sort of. Constantine's wife's brother was a political rival, and Constantine was intent on crushing him. Prior to attacking Rome, his brother in law's seat of power, he had a vision which told him that if his soldiers put a Christian symbol on their shields (the chi rho), they'd slaughter the opposition. So they did, and they did. He then had his brother in law's severed head paraded around Rome, and sent it to Carthage to show the southwestern part of the Empire who was boss.

Using violence to destroy political opposition is a KIND of unification.

It totally is. D00d, I've seenAlien vs Predator.
 

Claire Swazey

Spokeshole, fence sitter
Ok, so why's that bad?

I think that mixing politics (especially the running of a country or an empire) with religion leads to abuse and bloodshed.

Seems to me that this is one of the reasons for the bloodshed involved with organized religion in re historical events.

I'm sure there are other problems endemic to organized religion, however. And of course, I truly was kinda meandering.
 

Claire Swazey

Spokeshole, fence sitter
That is how the word is used.

But that isn't what an historian is.

You're using a descriptive dictionary, not a prescriptive one.

The Anabaptist Jacques

D00d, she's a scholar and someone who writes 700 page long well researched books on history. And they aren't historical novels, either.
 
D00d, she's a scholar and someone who writes 700 page long well researched books on history. And they aren't historical novels, either.

True. And she's good at it.

But she is an educator, not an historian.

It may be the popular use of the word, but there is a distinction between someone who just writes history and a historian.

I've written lots of articles and papers on history, but I don't consider myself an historian.

For one thing, I don't do primary source research and I don't think she does either.

For example, I have a friend who has two PhDs and a Master's from three of the best schools in Europe.

She's taught in Paris, St Petersburg, Bucharest, Zurich, and the University of Chicago.

She has written many books with primary sources.

She just learned Turkish so she can do primary source research on her next project.

She is an historian.

If I took all of her books and summarized them for another book easier for people to read, that wouldn't make me an historian.

There are so many levels in this field, but the word historian is reserved for those that increase the level of historical data available rather than summarize what is already known.

That's all I'm saying, and in the field of history that's what an historian is.

The Anabaptist Jacques
 
Southern Baptists? Oh, goody. That's actually my specialty. But I do other dialects as well.

When you go up against Christianity, you're really inviting the big guns. Lots of them. Hundreds of millions. But fewer every year. :)

Let me just say, I'm actually down with Jesus. Cool guy. Tough guy. If you can believe the Bible, which is always an interesting debate.

But Christians, the whole mass lot of 'em? Not so much.

Of course, every once in a while I meet a very nice Christian who's exceptionally kind and unjudgmental and generous and everything you'd expect one of those cats to be. And I bet that person would act and be the same way if he or she were a (cough) Scientologist. Or an atheist. Or a Wiccan. Or a Martian.

A few months ago I was on a 2 1/2 hour flight with a guy who was determined to witness to me. I warned him not to. I told him I could quote him under the table. I told him I'd tell him everything he didn't know about his denomination. (Southern Baptist, of course.) But he insisted.

Questions?

TG1

no tiggy

no questions

just a very deeply felt gratitude to you for publishing a few words of personal affirmation of the wisdom of the teachings of the nazarene
 
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