From the Biblical America Resistance Front website

BARF BoardRoom/Soapbox Archive
Right and Wrong 2
By Mike Doughney

Time: Tue, 24-Aug-1999 03:19:53 GMT     

::Measure that against the poverty and
::destruction generated as the result of various
::faiths and mass movements throughout history -
::movements that rewarded obedience and punished
::people for thinking about the consequences of
::their actions. All of which were "wrong"
::outcomes, if you ask me.  Can the deaths of
::millions and the suffering of millions more ever
::be called "right" by any possible standard?
:With organizations like The Red Cross,
:The Salvation Army, & World Vision ( all which
:have their roots in a Christian world-view) on
:the scene shouldn't you feel sheepish about
:making such extremist & sensational statements.

Not at all.  Number one, the American Red Cross
was founded as a non-sectarian and non-partisan
organization and certainly no mention of
Christianity is contained in its official
history on its web page, similar to the complete
lack of a mention of Christianity in the
U.S. Constitution.  That obviously doesn't stop
the current crop of Christian activists from
claiming both as their own.

As for the Salvation Army, Worldvision, etc.
all of these organizations to some degree are
expecting to obtain conversions as a result of
their work.  Taken to the extreme, go see how
the latest religious crusades operate
( for example).  Assistance
is openly given with the expectation that that
little 'souls saved' counter in the upper right
of the web page is going to go up.

This kind of assistance - with coercive strings
attached - is not the kind of thing that should
replace public assistance, nor should it be
endorsed by political figures like the Bronx
borough president, which I witnessed in person,
by the way.

:Would time permit to list the number of
:Christian organizations that attempt to remove
:such suffering & poverty from the world? What
:about the fact that capitalists who ignore God's
:mandate for them to feed the hungry.  You know
:we have enough food in the world to feed
:everyone! Who's world-view is to blame for the
:fact that they aren't fed??????

Free-market capitalism is responsible for
creating the kind of economies that insure that
most people get fed, that problems of disease
get solved, that efficient farming is developed
to insure against famine.  Working to create
functioning economic systems is much more
effective than giving people handouts (see North
Korea today).  Unfortunately it is incorrect to
assume that free-market capitalism is supported
by all Christians, since some work against it
both across the board or to enrich their own
businesses (lashing out at secular media to
promote Christian media being the latest
example, i.e. Jerry Falwell would like to slice
a few bucks off the Teletubbies to help keep
VeggieTales afloat).

There is also some evidence that some Christian
organizations would prefer that some people
suffer, so that they can "fish."  Again, I have
this kind of statement on video tape.  Such a
statement seems quite incompatible with the idea
that Christians work to remove suffering and
poverty, as you put it.  They do work to be sure
that people that they would like to keep at the
fringes of society (queers, women who've had
abortions) are kept there in a last-ditch effort
to create a pool of people that they can convert

:Yes, I admit that history records truly the
:strange act (cruel & crazy) of people who called
:themselves Christians. However, should we blame
:the One who said "love your neighbor as

History records the "cruel and crazy" acts of
people who "called themselves Christians" in the
same way that I today record the current acts of
"cruel and crazy" people who "call themselves
Christians."  Unfortunately I find nothing
strange about it at all.  Any goodness that you
generally associate with Christianity of the
past does not automatically guarantee that such
goodness will continue.

I will also cynically point out that the "love
your neighbor" piece of scripture may be
interpreted to mean, in certain contexts, that
smiting the foreigner or unbeliever might be
acceptable, particularly among those who take
the Old Testament literally.  Certainly I have
recently seen an unbelievable piece defending,
on a scriptural basis, deceiving and lying to
unbelievers to get one's way.  It may be
incorrect to assume that what you take to be
universal standards of neighborly behavior are
to apply when a broad class of "unbelievers" or
"evildoers" is to be contained and dealt with.
It is all a matter of interpretation.
"Discernment" is a social process that really
depends on who you hang out with, doesn't it?

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