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HolyGround >> Christians destroying Pagan religious sites

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9/10/10 5:57 PM
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zealot66
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 One that springs to mind is St. John Chrysostom who led an angry mob in Ephesus to destroy the temple of Artemis. 

thats something to ponder when we are discussing the burning of the Koran. Jesus kicked the money changers out and ultimately destroyed the temple of the now defunct temple Judaism. 

BTW, the primary objective of Muslims when conquering a city was to build a mosque on the conquered city, ala the dome of the rock. 
9/10/10 6:25 PM
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martial_shadow
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While Christians destroyed many Pagan holy sites througout Europe, the Middle East and north Africa- Christians did not destroy the Temple in Jerusalem.
9/10/10 6:58 PM
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zealot66
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 Im very aware of that. I wrote my senior thesis on the Jewish Revolt that led to the Romans sacking the temple. What I was referring to was Jesus predicting the destruction of the temple by slaughter. In essence Gods judgement.
9/10/10 8:01 PM
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martial_shadow
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cool then.
9/10/10 10:32 PM
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Ridgeback
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zealot66 -  One that springs to mind is St. John Chrysostom who led an angry mob in Ephesus to destroy the temple of Artemis. 

thats something to ponder when we are discussing the burning of the Koran. Jesus kicked the money changers out and ultimately destroyed the temple of the now defunct temple Judaism. 

BTW, the primary objective of Muslims when conquering a city was to build a mosque on the conquered city, ala the dome of the rock. 

 The difference is destroying idols native to one's own culture (former pagan priests in Anglo-Saxon England would destroy the idols in their own temples upon conversion) vs. destroying the idols of those outside the faith and culture to enrage them.  
9/11/10 11:52 AM
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zealot66
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 Most people are unaware that the Jewish revolt actually broke out over some greeks desecrating the torah and causing riots in caesarea, then the Romans stepped in, etc. 

Seems like Buddhists are the least likely to start a war over their religion. I tend to see buddhism as more of a philosophy of self 'enlightenment' than a full blown God worshipping religion.
9/11/10 3:48 PM
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Ridgeback
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zealot66 -  Most people are unaware that the Jewish revolt actually broke out over some greeks desecrating the torah and causing riots in caesarea, then the Romans stepped in, etc. 

Seems like Buddhists are the least likely to start a war over their religion. I tend to see buddhism as more of a philosophy of self 'enlightenment' than a full blown God worshipping religion.

 Yes you could say Buddhism is not a theistic religion in the western sense.  I mean they believe in reincarnation so they are assigning divinity qualities to something beyond the physical universe, but not to a personal god certainly.

I would say very few wars are started over religion but religion is always a mitigating factor like any other intrinsic part of human experience.  Even with the Jewish revolt desecrating the Torah is the straw that breaks the camel's back, not the single cause of the conflict.  I think the same goes for the Muslim world.  The West has a general flagrant attitude of desecration towards what they hold dear.  

Buddhism in an of itself doesn't lead to violence, but plenty of devout Buddhists have been as bloody as any other religious groups.   You also have the flip side that Buddhists can be pretty darn callous towards human suffering since they see it all as but one spoke in a larger wheel.  The Buddhist response to the Tsunami disaster a few years back was pretty cold as a whole.  Of course there are wonderful Buddhists as well who are far more Christ like compared to many Christians.
9/11/10 8:34 PM
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Grakman
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Buddhism may lack the concept of a creator god, but certain segments of Buddhism are rich in deities, gods, devas, and other holy beings to whom the people pray. In the Pure Land sect for example, by chanting the name of Amhitaba Buddha it is hoped that one can be born into his 'Pure Land' and either become a buddha or reincarnate to help others stuck in samsara. I guess it depends on how one defines 'god.'

I think sometimes we ( I used to anyway) have this idea that other religions are somewhat more monolithic than our own because we learn about them mainly from books, which usually just give an overview of the history and more common beliefs. In reality though there is often a great difference of opinion and teaching on issues small and large, just like in Christianity.
9/11/10 8:43 PM
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Grakman
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Edited: 09/11/10 8:44 PM
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Ridgeback - 
zealot66 -  One that springs to mind is St. John Chrysostom who led an angry mob in Ephesus to destroy the temple of Artemis. 

thats something to ponder when we are discussing the burning of the Koran. Jesus kicked the money changers out and ultimately destroyed the temple of the now defunct temple Judaism. 

BTW, the primary objective of Muslims when conquering a city was to build a mosque on the conquered city, ala the dome of the rock. 

 The difference is destroying idols native to one's own culture (former pagan priests in Anglo-Saxon England would destroy the idols in their own temples upon conversion) vs. destroying the idols of those outside the faith and culture to enrage them.  
Ridge... there was a lot more destruction of pagans and pagan temples than just converted priests. I don't have links in front of me and time to research and put them up right now but I ask you is it really necessary for me to even do this research? Once Christianity became the religion of the empire... it wasn't pretty.  I'm not one of those who believe the church murdered millions of old women during the 'Burning Times' or any of that nonsense, but there was plenty of forced conversion and burning and pillaging going on even without that.
  
Besides that, is it a good thing to destroy the idols of one's own culture, even if you personally have converted? I know, of course, that societies weren't that tolerant back then (no kidding) but I don't think in hindsight we should look back and whitewash what happened.
9/11/10 9:31 PM
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Ridgeback
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Grakman - 
Ridgeback - 
zealot66 -  One that springs to mind is St. John Chrysostom who led an angry mob in Ephesus to destroy the temple of Artemis. 

thats something to ponder when we are discussing the burning of the Koran. Jesus kicked the money changers out and ultimately destroyed the temple of the now defunct temple Judaism. 

BTW, the primary objective of Muslims when conquering a city was to build a mosque on the conquered city, ala the dome of the rock. 

 The difference is destroying idols native to one's own culture (former pagan priests in Anglo-Saxon England would destroy the idols in their own temples upon conversion) vs. destroying the idols of those outside the faith and culture to enrage them.  
Ridge... there was a lot more destruction of pagans and pagan temples than just converted priests. I don't have links in front of me and time to research and put them up right now but I ask you is it really necessary for me to even do this research? Once Christianity became the religion of the empire... it wasn't pretty.  I'm not one of those who believe the church murdered millions of old women during the 'Burning Times' or any of that nonsense, but there was plenty of forced conversion and burning and pillaging going on even without that.
  
Besides that, is it a good thing to destroy the idols of one's own culture, even if you personally have converted? I know, of course, that societies weren't that tolerant back then (no kidding) but I don't think in hindsight we should look back and whitewash what happened.

 I was in no way attempting to white wash.  I was pointing out the difference between destroying the idols of one's own culture and destroying what is sacred to others.  And yes we should throw down the idols of our cultures.  The American idolatry of wealth and sainthood of the industrialist would be a good place to start.  And also keep in mind that as Christianity spread around the world what was good in a culture and didn't directly contradict Christian teaching was kept and transformed.  Hence the native peoples of Alaska who converted to Christianity keep their totem poles, but give them a new Christian identity.  And of course the fact that we celebrate Christmas and Easter when we do speaks to the fact that these were pagan feasts long before they were Christian ones.
9/12/10 11:03 AM
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martial_shadow
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Most of the books I've read say that once Augustine converted, there was a 10 year civil war in the Empire between the old power structure and the new one he was setting up.
9/12/10 11:06 AM
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zealot66
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 I see the difference Ridge is pointing to. Getting rid of our 'own' sacreligious idols and conquering and destroying someone elses. Good point in comparison. I didnt think about that. 

Buddhism, its also true that there are different varieties to them. I spent a couple of months in thailand and frequented buddhist temples and was blessed during Songkran, the thai new year. The whole suffering thing in buddhism is a doctoral thesis especially to the western mind. Wild packs of dogs run around the country because the buddhism in them doesnt want to destroy anything with a soul. Yet, Muay Thai's traditions are steeped in buddhist ritual. I have performed them but in talking with some people, Thais dont care what God you are praying to or getting in touch with before a fight. They are very tolerant. It is a sacred sport. Funny, they wont put wild rabid dogs to sleep but have kids live in fight camps , which btw, given the choices of the rural folks, it is a Pure Benefit to become a Nak Muay.  I loved that sport first and foremost. Im too old to fight now with my back but there is a spiritualism to it when you immerse yourself in it.
9/12/10 7:27 PM
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Ridgeback
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martial_shadow - Most of the books I've read say that once Augustine converted, there was a 10 year civil war in the Empire between the old power structure and the new one he was setting up.

 You mean Constantine?  Augustine was a Bishop in Hippo (unless you mean the one from Canterbury).  
9/12/10 8:13 PM
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martial_shadow
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You're right, Constantine. But the 10 year civil war was well documented.
9/12/10 9:51 PM
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Ridgeback
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martial_shadow - You're right, Constantine. But the 10 year civil war was well documented.

 My understanding was that Constantine didn't convert until the end of his life.  You are right that his hold on power was very precarious at first.  Keep in mind too that the worst of Christian persecutions immediately preceded his legalization of Christianity.  The people who were murdering Christians before were not in a mood to suddenly be friends.  

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