Re: virus: Does God really exist?

Ken Pantheists (
Sat, 24 Aug 1996 01:32:58 -0700 (PDT)

At 07:50 PM 8/22/96 -0400, you wrote:
>Stephen said:
>>As for knowledge of religion (How it works, what meme patterns it sets up
>>in a society, the
>>archetypes...the nuts and bolts of it) I find a lot of people make
>>generalizations and assumptions
>>that would not be tolerated in a scientific discussion.
>What is the most serious generalization/assumption error people make on
>this list? If you could communicate one change in perception to us in this
>context what would it be?

This was covered before and, as I recall, you made some very interesting
points on this. I was reacting to a lumping of Christianity in with all of
the evil power scenarios that one person can imagine. Quite often the model
of Christianity that gets bashed is a straw man-- a version that doesn't
exist, or may have existed many years ago, but is not indicitive of *all*
religious people's practices or beliefs.

Quite often this constructed "religion" is a conglomerate of steroetypes
pushed through the cookie cutter of Christian Protestantism-- completely
ignoring the many other flavours of religion or religious experience.

What about Midnight Jazz Vespers, Christian Existentialism or Christain
Darwinism? Rastafarianism? They do exist. They don't make very good villians
if your casting a movie, but they are out there.

I don't mean to step on toes. I find this list consists of, for the most
part, very thoughtful and sensitive posts.

But there are times when the anger is directed (specifically) at concepts
that are being misinterpreted and actually completely misread. That is the
very crime that the "christian" is being accused of.

So to answer your question in a short phrase--

I just want to avoid those straw men. They're useful for a few things--
starting wars, inciting hate crimes, justifying appropriation, running for
president. But why here?