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Subject: Alright... rss

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Moshe Callen
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Now that the whole dust up on the recent thread has settled down, I'm starting this thread to try (probably futilely) one more time to get others to see my point of view on missionaries and missionizing. Let me be clear, I am not interested in making others agree necessarily with my point of view (as for example rinelk was trying to insist I should) but simply to see it. This is precisely because it is the idea tht one must convince others rather than having a conversation merely for the sake of mutual understanding which to my mind is part of the problem.

My objection is not to certain missionaries nor certain missionary practices but to the entire concept of missionaries. Hence uption2's idea I was painting missionaries as all alike is not only absurd but also entirely beside the point. What is objectionable is being a missionary.

Now certain people have claimed that supposedly this stance is hypocritical. First, who cares if it is if the point is valid? Second, it's not because I do not support pushing anyone to change their ideas. The examples used in past which this person supposed in a private GM "proved" the hypocrisy were frankly absurd in their attempt to stretch a comparison.

The objection was never to helping people nor even being an obviously religious organization and helping people. Group which just help people in whatever way while being identifiably associated with a religious group are not a problem if they simply do it because they feel their religious scruples tell them it's a good thing to do but there are no strings attached.

When a group provides services which potentially mean the difference between life and death or even between a significantly improved manner of living and a greater degree of poverty, then the person offering the assistance suddenly is in a position of power over the person receiving the help. It does not matter if the person insists, "I will give the help no matter what." Nevertheless a real pressure exists to do anything the benefactor wants. This is especially so because the recipient might be thinking that the benefactor is more likely to give more or longer prolonged assistance to someone who does what they want, and almost certainly the person receiving aid will be thinking that way, even if only subconsciously. In other words, the person getting the aid will almost certainly feel that they cannot say, "No," whatever the missionary may be saying to the contrary.

This is the origin of the Sages' comparison to rape. Imagine in such a scenario the person giving the aid asked for sexual favors instead of changing religions. Certainly that would be viewed as coercive without the person being able to give genuine consent. Why is changing religion different here? It's not. That is spiritual rape.

Now, what if no aid is offered? Missionizing is absolutely not the free exchange of ideas some missionaries and their supporters try to pretend it is. It's a one-way conversation comparable to a sales pitch. The missionary will never in such an exchange be convinced to change religions but the target of the missionary inevitably will be unless the person forces the missionary to go away. How do you do that though? If one walks away, the missionary follows. Often the missionaries are greater in number than the target. Intimidation, if only psychological, is inherently part of missionizing.

Is that latter case "spiritual rape" though? Yes, because again, the missionary has an agenda from the beginning, one about which the missionary may or may not be up front. It's not a conversation exchanging ideas; everything is going one way. Is it because the missionary know the person and therefore knows a change of religion would genuinely be good for the person? No. The missionary does not care who or what the person is. It is a tactic of unrelenting pressure to get the target to change religions for no other reason than that the missionary has decided for them it is a "good" thing. That is "spiritual rape".

Does it matter how sincere the missionary is? Why would it? Is a date rapist who feels he showed his date a good time any less of a rapist?

Again, do not care if this convince anyone to adopt my own point of view on the matter. I'm not seeking to push my beliefs on anyone nor was I in the thread which this grew out of.
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Boaty McBoatface
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I agree with you that should not be given with a secondary agenda (not matter how well intentioned (arrogant?) that agenda is. I also disagree with aggressive missionary behavior. But I do not disagree with missionary per se, just the actions of some. Everyone has to have a right to express what they believe to others, and to express that belief. But they have no right to take no for an answer, or to use underhand or backdoor tactics, nor to pester or refuse to go away.
 
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Moshe Callen
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Missionizing is not "expressing what you believe to others"; it's not an exchange of ideas. It is often disguised as that but fundamentally that's not what it is. If it were then the missionary would be a likely to change vies as the target. That simply is not the case.
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I wish you luck in your entirely futile attempt to convince people of something in this forum. Not that I didn't see your initial point, or addtionally think that it was completely unnecessary to be a princess about the whole thing.
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whac3 wrote:
Missionizing is not "expressing what you believe to others"; it's not an exchange of ideas. It is often disguised as that but fundamentally that's not what it is. If it were then the missionary would be a likely to change vies as the target. That simply is not the case.
No, that would be an exchange of ideas, not telling others what you believe. Besides some missionaries have changed their views, not often to be sure, but it does happen.
 
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whac3 wrote:
This is the origin of the Sages' comparison to rape. Imagine in such a scenario the person giving the aid asked for sexual favors instead of changing religions. Certainly that would be viewed as coercive without the person being able to give genuine consent. Why is changing religion different here? It's not. That is spiritual rape.


This only holds up if aid is only given on the assurance that a person converts (not just the opportunity to share) or if the person only gets to talk about the selling point of sexual favors rather than the guarantee of them.
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GameCrossing wrote:
whac3 wrote:
This is the origin of the Sages' comparison to rape. Imagine in such a scenario the person giving the aid asked for sexual favors instead of changing religions. Certainly that would be viewed as coercive without the person being able to give genuine consent. Why is changing religion different here? It's not. That is spiritual rape.


This only holds up if aid is only given on the assurance that a person converts (not just the opportunity to share) or if the person only gets to talk about the selling point of sexual favors rather than the guarantee of them.
Not wholly, A person may fell they have to listen, even if they do not. The mere fact you are attaching aid to missionary work implies they are linked (even if that is not your intention. This is especially problematic as so many 'christian' aid charities do in fact link (directly) receipt of aid with listening to engaging in religiously related activity.
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Moshe Callen
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GameCrossing wrote:
whac3 wrote:
This is the origin of the Sages' comparison to rape. Imagine in such a scenario the person giving the aid asked for sexual favors instead of changing religions. Certainly that would be viewed as coercive without the person being able to give genuine consent. Why is changing religion different here? It's not. That is spiritual rape.


This only holds up if aid is only given on the assurance that a person converts (not just the opportunity to share) or if the person only gets to talk about the selling point of sexual favors rather than the guarantee of them.

No, it doesn't because there is perceived pressure to convert-- and it's not an insignificant amount. The other person cannot read the missionary's mind. All they know is that, "They're offering help and they want me to convert."

The missionary has an obvious position of power over the person being helped. It's exactly comparable to a boss asking an employee for a "favor". Does the employee feel free to say no, whatever the boss has in mind? No.
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Koldfoot wrote:


I wonder if you are trying to persuade yourself?

It's pretty weak, although I also wonder if you are taking extreme examples as common. Well funded missionaries can have power, granted. And power can corrupt. But your hypothetical implies missions are primarily to exert power. It may be that certain missions need to reevaluate their practices, but I think your position is not well rooted.



No, he is saying it is primarily to convert, which it is.
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Koldfoot wrote:


I wonder if you are trying to persuade yourself?

It's pretty weak, although I also wonder if you are taking extreme examples as common. Well funded missionaries can have power, granted. And power can corrupt. But your hypothetical implies missions are primarily to exert power. It may be that certain missions need to reevaluate their practices, but I think your position is not well rooted.

?

No, it recognizes they have power.
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The argument itself had no problem in the first place: It seems pretty defensible to me. Its moral underpinnings are just not that commonly seen in western philosophy because it's a culture that happened to be the conqueror most of the time. Nothing wrong with cultural wars if you always win them and all that.

While I do not feel about it as strongly as I do, I share your same sensibilities here. For me, it mostly ends up applying to the morals of influence in smaller ways. You don't need to be a tribe to have a culture, and it's not so easy to draw the line between innocent influence and use of power to destroy a worldview.

It's precisely because I see a lot of dialectic as a form of violence that I think that even trying to defending your own ideas at inappropriate times, in a way that doesn't respect the opinion across from you, is a small version of the same effect. And that's why I'd not derail Lynette's thread.
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Okay. First, apparently my headcold is affecting the quality of my one-liners. I wasn't putting forward a serious argument, I was just trying to invoke the imagery of someone sitting down and laying out a series of discussions of the merits of giving a handjob in exchange for a few pairs of shoes and some mosquito netting.

But to try and ask a serious question (and forgive the headcold if I'm not doing a good job of it), but I need to know if there's a difference between missionizing and proselyting. I ask because part of the previous missionizing discussion talked about the destruction of culture, which doesn't necessarily relate to aid for the less fortunate (which instigated the whole thing).

So is there little-to-no-difference between knocking on someone's door out of the blue, airing a TV commercial inviting you to get a Bible/Book of Mormon/ whichever scripture you choose, driving heathen natives to the brink of genocide, and offering to rebuild a home destroyed in a typhoon but including an altar room that wasn't there before and then telling them all about the significance of it and how they really need to use it?
 
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GameCrossing wrote:
Okay. First, apparently my headcold is affecting the quality of my one-liners. I wasn't putting forward a serious argument, I was just trying to invoke the imagery of someone sitting down and laying out a series of discussions of the merits of giving a handjob in exchange for a few pairs of shoes and some mosquito netting.

But to try and ask a serious question (and forgive the headcold if I'm not doing a good job of it), but I need to know if there's a difference between missionizing and proselyting. I ask because part of the previous missionizing discussion talked about the destruction of culture, which doesn't necessarily relate to aid for the less fortunate (which instigated the whole thing).

So is there little-to-no-difference between knocking on someone's door out of the blue, airing a TV commercial inviting you to get a Bible/Book of Mormon/ whichever scripture you choose, driving heathen natives to the brink of genocide, and offering to rebuild a home destroyed in a typhoon but including an altar room that wasn't there before and then telling them all about the significance of it and how they really need to use it?
Yes there is a difference, the fact that you are (in Essene) liking the aid to the visionary effort leads to the impression they have to do X to get Y, whereas if someone comes to my front door I have no reason to even answer it. So yes I do difference, it is a difference of a practical hold over you.
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I'm completely d'accord with you on this; I just don't think Lynette's thread was a good place to discuss it.
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Missionizing is when the purpose of an encounter is to proselytize. So I would say they are the same but you might use hte latter word differently than I do. Missionizing is not for example answering a question when someone asks although it might be doing so if one doesn't just stop once the question is answered.
 
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Simon Mueller wrote:
I'm completely d'accord with you on this; I just don't think Lynette's thread was a good place to discuss it.

I will admit to poor tact in letting the conversation go on but did not expect the harsh reaction I got nor see easily how to end it. Hence, late as it may be, I've taken it to another thread.
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Koldfoot wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Koldfoot wrote:


I wonder if you are trying to persuade yourself?

It's pretty weak, although I also wonder if you are taking extreme examples as common. Well funded missionaries can have power, granted. And power can corrupt. But your hypothetical implies missions are primarily to exert power. It may be that certain missions need to reevaluate their practices, but I think your position is not well rooted.

?

No, it recognizes they have power.


Would you believe I have heard this sermon numerous times?

It boils down to this, missionaries should be underfunded. Not every church subscribes to this, but I do believe there is much merit. Most missionaries do not have power and are effective. No doubt, missionaries who wield power are despised and ineffective.

You're not getting that missionaries, by virtue of being missionaries, hold power relative to those they are targeting.
 
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whac3 wrote:
Koldfoot wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Koldfoot wrote:


I wonder if you are trying to persuade yourself?

It's pretty weak, although I also wonder if you are taking extreme examples as common. Well funded missionaries can have power, granted. And power can corrupt. But your hypothetical implies missions are primarily to exert power. It may be that certain missions need to reevaluate their practices, but I think your position is not well rooted.

?

No, it recognizes they have power.


Would you believe I have heard this sermon numerous times?

It boils down to this, missionaries should be underfunded. Not every church subscribes to this, but I do believe there is much merit. Most missionaries do not have power and are effective. No doubt, missionaries who wield power are despised and ineffective.

You're not getting that missionaries, by virtue of being missionaries, hold power relative to those they are targeting.
Maybe 100 years ago, when they had the backing of colonial governments. But that is not true today, that is why aid is so a powerful tool for them.
 
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Simon Mueller wrote:
I'm completely d'accord with you on this; I just don't think Lynette's thread was a good place to discuss it.
Then Moshe's (and my) request to not be included should have been allowed without comment.
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slatersteven wrote:
Simon Mueller wrote:
I'm completely d'accord with you on this; I just don't think Lynette's thread was a good place to discuss it.
Then Moshe's (and my) request to not be included should have been allowed without comment.


Have you seen RSP?
 
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I am only going to address one thing on this topic here. I have my own response to the other thread... "thread" half written I am just waiting to calm down a bit myself to finish and post it because hurt and angry don't begin to describe my feelings right now.

What you describe is at "best" akin to sexual harassment, which while detestable, is not the same as rape. (And I am not agreeing it is even that but that debate isn't one I am ready to engage as upset as I am)

As a woman, every time you compare evangelizing and/or missionizing to rape as far as I am concerned you are trivializing one of the worst things that can happen to us. Just as surely as Gary is when he tries to justify some subset of rape humor.

I have yet to meet a woman who was raped who wouldn't feel their experience was being highly trivialized if one compared their rape trauma to the experience of having to listen/talk to about some topic they didn't want to talk about. Even in a high pressure situation.

Or even the need to take help from somebody who was oogling them and made inappropriate remarks and hinted directly that perhaps somebody "owed" them some sexual favor for the help. That is still not the same as rape. I have dealt with exactly this situation and I was not in anyway "raped".

Even if on some incredibly rare occasions they were in some situation were they actually were trapped in some way and being forced listen/talk about a topic they found horrible. Like if they had been made to go to religious schools by their parents and hated it. I would still lay out good money that you will be hard pressed to find very many women who experienced both and think that being raped wasn't orders of magnitude worse.

I have been literally trapped and had to listen to people hammer on me verbally about things I disagreed with. Even occasionally with people who held major influence over my career and well being and who I had to pretend to at least be willing to consider they might be right and make proper mouthing noises to keep my job or get a decent grade.

I have have also been forcibly abused, as in held down by my hair and had somebody controlling my body, keeping me trapped while they screamed at me. Including sometimes hitting me.

I would take being trapped and talked too for hours and hours over being forced to submit and bodily controlled for even 10 minutes any day of the week. And I thankfully have never actually been RAPED... my abuse came at the hands of people trying to control me in other ways for other purposes. I imagine being molested and/or raped is orders of magnitude worse then the physical abuse I did/do experience.

So whatever your reasoning... be aware that EVERYTIME you use rape as your emotional bat to put spin on your view, you are offending, at least me as a woman, by trivializing rape far far more than you are offending me as a Christian. And I suspect you are offending other women as well. In addition to actively trivializing the concept of how horrible rape is.

And with that I am done... I will read any replies but I am not going to respond to any that try to tell me how rape actually is in anyway an ok "comparison" because I fear I won't be able to remain even this civil if I have to try to address it again.

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Dispaminite wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Simon Mueller wrote:
I'm completely d'accord with you on this; I just don't think Lynette's thread was a good place to discuss it.
Then Moshe's (and my) request to not be included should have been allowed without comment.


Have you seen RSP?
Yes? that is not the point. If something should not be discussed, then don't pass judgement on peoples views.
 
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slatersteven wrote:
Dispaminite wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Simon Mueller wrote:
I'm completely d'accord with you on this; I just don't think Lynette's thread was a good place to discuss it.
Then Moshe's (and my) request to not be included should have been allowed without comment.


Have you seen RSP?
Yes? that is not the point. If something should not be discussed, then don't pass judgement on peoples views.


If you didn't want it to be discussed, you wouldn't have posted in public though. You would have geek-mailed Meer in private. The very act of objecting in public is putting it up for discussion.
 
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Koldfoot wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Koldfoot wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Koldfoot wrote:


I wonder if you are trying to persuade yourself?

It's pretty weak, although I also wonder if you are taking extreme examples as common. Well funded missionaries can have power, granted. And power can corrupt. But your hypothetical implies missions are primarily to exert power. It may be that certain missions need to reevaluate their practices, but I think your position is not well rooted.

?

No, it recognizes they have power.


Would you believe I have heard this sermon numerous times?

It boils down to this, missionaries should be underfunded. Not every church subscribes to this, but I do believe there is much merit. Most missionaries do not have power and are effective. No doubt, missionaries who wield power are despised and ineffective.

You're not getting that missionaries, by virtue of being missionaries, hold power relative to those they are targeting.


Outside of funding, how?

Did you read the OP? That didn't mention funding.
 
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Meerkat;

It's rape if the deed is done without proper consent. The comparison does not originate with me and I think it dead-on.
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