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Archive for October, 2008

Missionaries are Colonialists

Gregory F. Fegel

Pravda, RUSSIA

Christian missionaries make no secret of the fact that they use medical services, education, and employment opportunities to lure impoverished indigenous populations throughout the world into conversion to Christianity.

The religious and cultural Imperialism performed by missionaries nearly always goes hand-in-hand with political and economic Imperialism. Christian missionaries often work in partnership with the CIA, with the US government, and with wealthy corporations to subvert the religion, the culture, the economy, and the politics of vulnerable indigenous populations. The CIA often uses planes owned by Christian missionary organizations and flown by Christian missionary pilots to smuggle drugs, arms, and prisoners.

 

According to the popular and scholarly history of Christianity, the early Christian Church found its greatest appeal and attracted its greatest number of converts from the poor people of the Roman Empire. The early Christian churches raised money through a tithe, or ten per cent income tax, levied on their members, and the early Christian church is said to have had a strong ‘sense of community’, which implies that it had a well-organized social, financial, and political network among its membership.

Using your wealth to purchase other people’s loyalty is a game as old as humanity itself. Rich men use their wealth to attract women, unscrupulous employers use material incentives and disincentives to manipulate their workers, and wealthy countries like the USA use their national wealth to keep their citizens loyal to the cause of aggressive and genocidal Imperialism. But historical longevity and common practice don’t make the manipulation or exploitation morally or ethically right.

Organized religions are inherently POLITICAL organizations. There is a fundamental difference between the financial enterprise and political machinations of an organized religion versus a mass of independent, unaffiliated believers, philosophers, and mystics who do not support any organized religion.

Christianity and Islam are known as proselytizing religions because they make an organized and systematic effort to gain converts, and they often provide services, products, or employment to attract converts. Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism show far less zeal about gaining converts, which is why you almost never hear about Jewish, Hindu, or Buddhist missionaries.

Modern medical and nursing schools usually teach their students the moral principle that the provision of medical services should never be used as a means to proselytize or promote a religion, but that does not deter many Christian health care providers from doing exactly that. Most of the medical and charitable organizations based in Christian countries are fronts for Christian proselytizing activities.

One of the largest international medical relief organizations based in the USA, Northwest Medical Teams, states in their recruitment brochure that their chief ‘mission’ is to ‘spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ’, that their medical relief services are subordinate to their stated goal of proselytizing Christianity, and that their medical relief work is merely an ‘aegis’, or facade, for spreading Christianity.

During the CIA’s illegal Iran/Contra scam of the 1980s, Christian missionary pilots and planes smuggled drugs into the USA and arms into Central America and Iran. Now the CIA is using Christian missionary planes to smuggle heroin from Afghanistan, cocaine from Latin America, and for ‘rendition’ flights of ‘Terrorist’ prisoners to secret prisons that practice torture and commit extra-judicial executions.

The USA’s Faith Based Initiative law provides Christian missionary organizations with taxpayer funds that are used to proselytize Christianity to indigenous populations throughout the world. Christian missionaries are the leading edge of a religious, cultural, economic, and political aggression supported by the US government.

When missionaries bring outside wealth to an impoverished Third World country and use that wealth to provide services that are meant to attract converts, they are interfering with the local social and economic structure as well as the local cultural traditions. Indigenous people who take advantage of the privileges provided by the missionaries and convert to Christianity partake in a social organization that uses foreign wealth as a tool to eliminate the indigenous culture and replace it with Christianity.

A small and reclusive population of a few hundred people with a primitive Stone Age culture lives on North Sentinel Island, in the Andaman chain, which is administered by the government of India. To protect the culture of the inhabitants of North Sentinel Island, the Indian government has wisely banned anyone from visiting the island. I approve of the Indian government’s policy of protecting the unique culture of the North Sentinels from outside influence. If anyone on North Sentinel Island should ever desire to leave, they can build a boat and do so.

Among a total of 195 nations in the world today, fifty-seven of those nations have a legally established, official State Religion. There are fourteen nations that claim Christianity as their State Religion, twenty-six nations that claim Islam as their State Religion, six nations that claim Buddhism as their State Religion, and the Jewish State of Israel. The Jewish State of Israel discriminates against its non-Jewish citizens and within its borders Israel officially prohibits the proselytizing of any religion other than Judaism. Many people believe that Israel has a ‘right to exist’ in this manner as a Jewish State.

Many Islamic countries strive to protect the cultural identity of their citizens by enforcing a ban on preaching any religion but Islam. Considering the aggressive, insidious, and highly political nature of Christian missionary programs, the banning of non-Moslem religious preaching by Moslem governments makes sense.

Currently there is no officially Hindu State anywhere in the world, but perhaps India should become a Hindu State in order to protect its indigenous religion and culture from the predatory missionaries and State-sponsored cultural Imperialism that are coming from both Christian and Moslem countries. If the Jews have the right to establish and maintain Israel as a Jewish State, then the Hindus certainly have a right to establish and maintain India as a Hindu State.

When Western leaders talk about a ‘Clash of Civilizations’, what they really mean is Judeo-Christianity and corporate Capitalism versus all non-Christians and non-Capitalists. Christian missionaries are essentially colonialists working for Christian cultural Imperialism.

When the Hindus of India rise up in riot and drive out the Christian missionaries and the Christian ‘cash converts’, they are doing what the Iraqi, Afghani, and Palestinian Freedom Fighters are doing. They are protecting themselves and their indigenous culture from wealthy and unscrupulous invaders who have no respect for them or for their culture. I wish the Hindu nationalists well in their efforts to defend and maintain the independence and survival of their indigenous culture and religion against the onslaught of predatory and disrespectful foreigners whose goal is to replace indigenous traditional cultures with a global Christian empire.

If Christian missionaries want to come to India and try to make converts to Christianity, let them come with empty pockets and compete on a level playing field. And if most of the locals don’t want the missionaries interfering with their traditional way of life, they have the right to make the missionaries and their converts leave.  

english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/106593-2/

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Do Nuns Die Virgins? By Mavis Makuni

http://www.bishop-accountability.org

image for Ugly Betty star Salma Hyek takes nuns on Rio tripThe Roman Catholic Church has suffered adverse publicity worldwide over the last few years after sordid tales of sexual abuse perpetrated by priests and bishops were unearthed in the United States and other countries.

In March 2002, the international news magazine Newsweek published a report under the headline, “Sins of the Fathers” which detailed how priests and bishops in different dioceses of the Catholic Church in the US had molested young boys and girls for about 50 years.

They had got away with these offences for so long because of an intricate cover-up strategy adopted by the church. This involved transferring culprits to dioceses where they were not well-known after complaints or whispers about their immoral and illegal behaviour.

The scandal was shocking in that the Catholic Church, which has one billion adherents worldwide, stood accused alongside secular organisations of covering up rape, child molestation and paedophilia.

The church’s hypocrisy in pretending that priests and nuns adhered to their vows of celibacy when the widespread abuses exposed in press reports showed otherwise raised many questions.

One was why the church stuck to this doctrine if it was too difficult for some clerics to adhere to it.

The lifestyles of nuns and priests have always fascinated lay-people who have wondered whether it is humanly possible for mere mortals to overcome fleshly desires and stick to their vows of poverty and celibacy all their lives.

There have always been whispers about the sexual escapades of priests and nuns even here in Zimbabwe but these are always difficult to ascertain because of the aura of secrecy surrounding religious orders.

But lo and behold, the secret is out and it’s official. The headquarters of the Catholic Church, the Vatican, has conceded that not all is well.

A number of reports have confirmed that thousands of nuns worldwide cannot keep their vows of chastity because they are raped or coerced into having sex by priests or bishops.

“The Holy See is dealing with the question in collaboration with the bishops, and with the International Union of Superiors General”, said Papal spokesperson Joaquin. Navaro – Vallis.

Navaro – vallis, who was quoted in the National Catholic Reporter, added: “Certain negative situations cannot cause to be forgotten the frequently heroic fidelity of the great majority of male religious priests”.

The Vatican statement was prompted by a report in the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica about the scandal:

A number of reports written by senior members of women’s religious orders have also confirmed that the sexual abuse of nuns by priests is a serious and prevalent problem.

In the 1990s Sister Maura O’Donohue a medical doctor, briefed Cardinal Eduardo Matinerz, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for religious life on a report she had written while she was the AIDS co-ordinator for the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development based in London.

In her report, quoted in the Catholic National Reporter, O’Donohue said the sexual abuse of nuns by priests had been documented in 23 countries, including Zimbabwe. The rest are Botswana, Burundi, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Tonga, Uganda, United States, Zambia and Zaire.

O’ Donohue said she initially reacted with “shock and disbelief” at the magnitude of the problem.

“For example”, she said, “a superior of a community of sisters in one country was approached by priests requesting that sisters be made available to them for sexual favours”.

She said in some instances, some priests even advised sisters to take contraceptives, misleading them into believing that the pill prevented the transmission of HIV.

Some Catholic medical professionals have complained of being pressured by priests to procure abortions for religious sisters impregnated by clerics.

In a similar report compiled in 1998, Sister Marie McDonald said that priests sometimes exploited the financial dependency of young sisters or took advantage of spiritual direction and the sacrament of reconciliation to extort sexual favours.

She said some of the factors that gave rise to these sexual indiscretions include the fact that celibacy and chastity were not important values in some countries and because of the inferior position of women in society and the church sisters found it impossible to turn down clerics who ask for sexual favours because priests are authority figures who must be obeyed.

“Moreover, they are usually more highly educated and they have received a much more advanced theological formation than sisters,” she said.

The priests could also use false theological arguments to justify their behaviour, such as, “We are both consecrated celibates. That means we have promised not to marry. However, we can have sex together without breaking our vows”.

In another report. O’Donohue noted that celibacy could have different meanings in different cultures. She cited the example of a vicar general in an African diocese who gave a different view of celibacy. “Celibacy in the African context means a priest does not get married but does not mean he does not have children”

According to the National Catholic Reporter, if a nun became pregnant she was the one who was asked to leave the congregation while the priest responsible could continue with his ministry.

In some cases, priests had relationships with several women, some of them the wives of church members.

“In such circumstances husbands are angry about what is happening but are embarrassed to challenge their parish priests”.

Last year a newspaper in the U.S State of Missouri, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, published a report showing that 34,000 nuns had suffered sexual abuse.

Researchers at the university of St. Louis, who conducted the survey on which the report was based said, the sisters were sexually abused by priests or other nuns.

Last month, Associated Press reported on a lawsuit in which six plaintiffs in Louisville claimed that they were abused by Roman Catholic nuns while living in an orphanage in Anchorage in the 1905s and 1960s.

This means that although O’Donohue and McDonald’s reports depict nuns as the victims of predatory priests and bishops, they themselves are not blameless.

O’Donohue said the AIDS pandemic had drawn attention to issues which may not have had much significance in the past. “The enormous challenge which AIDS poses for members of religious orders and the clergy is only now becoming evident

Observers quoted in the Catholic National Reporter said in the wake of these embarrassing revelations, the Roman Catholic Church was taking steps to address the problem.

A Benedictine leader in Rome said, “Several monasteries already have guidelines in case a monk is accused of sexual misconduct, taking care of the individuals concerned, the victim included. We need sincerity and justice”.

A Vatican official who spoke to the National Catholic Reporter anonymously said the culture in the Roman Catholic Church was changing. “The response from church leaders is more aggressive and swift and in general there is a climate within religious life that these things have to be discussed. Talking about it is the first step towards a solution“.

RELATED STORIES:

BBC’s Documentary @ http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/italy-screens-controversial-pedophile-documentary/2007/06/01/1180205462935.html

Ex-nun’s confessions set to rock Church @ http://sites.google.com/site/hindunew/conversions 

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2004_07_12/2004_10_14_Makuni_DoNuns.htm —

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Gandhi’s Love Letters to Hitler  
By Seth Frantzman, FrontpageMag
 
On September 25, five American religious organizations plan to host a Ramadan dinner for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his upcoming visit to the United States. These include the Mennonite Central Committee, the Quakers, the World Council of Churches, and Religions for Peace.
How is it that these Christian “peace” organizations are willing to break bread with a declared warmonger and Holocaust denier? An answer lies in the troubling history of these organizations – a history that includes a shameful alliance with Nazi Germany during World War II.  

 

The pacifist-Nazi axis dates to the 1930s. None other than the worldwide spokesman for non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi, wrote letters to Adolph Hitler that were deferential in their tone and abhorrent in their implications. A 1939 letter was apologetically described by Gandhi as a “mere impertinence” and included the following signoff: “I anticipate your forgiveness, if I have erred in writing to you. I remain, Your sincere friend, Sd. M. MK Gandhi.”

In a letter dated December 24, 1940, Gandhi assured Hitler that he had no doubt of “your bravery or devotion to your fatherland.” Zionist appeals for Gandhi to support a national home for the Jewish people, meanwhile, fell on deaf ears, as he insisted that “Palestine belongs to the Arabs.”

Not only did Gandhi reject the cause of a Jewish state but he effectively echoed Nazi propaganda, as with his warning that “this cry for the national home affords a colorable justification for the German expulsion of the Jews.” 

 

Even more supportive of Hitler were the Mennonites. In a letter dated September 10, 1933, the Conference of East and West Prussian Mennonites from the German city-state of Danzig wrote to the Fuhrer to express its “deep gratitude for the powerful revival that God has given our nation through your energy” and wished Hitler a “joyful cooperation in the up building of our Fatherland through the power of the Gospel.”

If its enthusiasm for hosting Ahmadinejad is any guide, the Mennonite Church has learned little from this dark chapter in its past. On the contrary, the church’s alliance with the Iranian leader is an extension of its hard-line anti-Israel politics, which find expression in its funding of books advocating the so-called “right-of-return” for Palestinian Arabs – a policy that, if implemented, would mean the destruction of Israel. 

 

One finds a similar antagonism for the Jewish State in the activism of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the “peace” arm of the Quakers. As an example of what it calls “Quaker values in action,” the AFSC includes its campaigns to “challenge” American support for Israel. A supporter of the PLO, the AFSC not only backs radical anti-Israel groups like Zochrot but opposes Israel’s attempts to defend itself against Palestinian terrorism. That the Quakers are now willing to sit down to dinner with the man who has openly called for Israel to be wiped off the global map should not be entirely surprising.

 

By any reasonable standard, self-styled peace activists might be expected to condemn leaders who support terrorism and who unashamedly seek the destruction of other nations.

But just as advocates of non-violence found a way to accommodate the genocidal designs of Adolph Hitler, so they have been willing to make peace with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And just as Gandhi never expressed remorse for his “dear friend” letters to Hitler, its unlikely that these supposed believers in non-violence will break a dinner date with his Iranian heir.

http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=75C8F746-EDD4-49DC-9B18-2C740EEEB316

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