Monday, January 01, 2024

Conservative Faith Can Never Bring Peace

"'People kill for money or for power,' DeMello's Holy One teaches. 'But the most ruthless murderers are those who kill for their ideas.' It is not belief that causes war, it is believers who refuse to allow others to hold ideas other than their own." - Joan Chittister

This is why when you look through history, there are not examples of successful conservative religious societies.  They cannot tolerate other religions.  There is no peaceful coexistence.  Even if all are converted to the same faith, the orthodox will discover heretics.  Conservative religion despises, yet needs, the 'other'.

In my last years as a Christian, I had taken to announcing questions and conclusions I was coming to regarding my faith.  On one occasion, I got a retort on FB from one of my pastors.

Me: I believe Christianity competes with other religions, and that is a mistake.

Pastor:  REALLY? Jesus said, “go and make disciples of every nation.” Guess what his disciples did. They went out and made disciples of Jews, Gentiles, Idol worshippers, and people of all religions. That’s not competition, that’s obedience to Jesus. We Christians still follow Jesus’ commands, whether you think that is a mistake or not.

Our church was not a particularly heavy-handed conservative fellowship but showing an aversion to conversion was enough to categorize me outside the faith.  

There is no peace in conservative faith while unbelievers and folks of other religions remain.  Presently, "obedience to Jesus" when converting others is not violent but it has not always been so.  We can look around the world at conservative religions and see that they don't play well with others.  

I don't suspect America's conservative faithful would fare any better should they acquire real power.  Remember this, moderate believer, when you assume that voting for a conservative Christian is a good thing.  History and present-day global examples tell us otherwise.  There are legions of Christians in America who would use the force of law to make you obedient to their vision of 'Jesus'.

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