Talk:Christianity and violence

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This page is so disorganized[edit]

There is one section that has the same title as the article. There should be a theological section on the Christian teaching on violence, then the history of the Church's persecutions of other religions down through history, and the complicity of Christian churches in national wars, racism, the Holocaust, anti-semitism, the atom bomb, slavery, hate crimes, capital punishment and violence against women. The final section should be on Christian opposition to slavery, war, persecution, and anti-semitism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bdubay (talkcontribs) 03:47, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

The history of Christian violence is missing[edit]

The article is missing the historical record of Christian violence, which I intend to correct--when i have the time.Bdubay (talk) 15:24, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

I reverted the material that you added today. Please see WP:NOTESSAY (point 3), WP:NPOV, and WP:NOR. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:40, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Please, there was no original research! The section I contributed was properly documented with references and links to lots of related material. Are you one to censor this contribution? You have left a large gap in the coverage of the subject. Bdubay (talk) 23:20, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
What I meant by original research was where, for example, you presented your own opinions and interpretations in Wikipedia's voice. I promise you that it was not my intention to censor anything, nor for that matter to give your contribution short shrift. Please consider presenting those historical events where they are applicable within the existing sections of the page, and please present the information in a neutral manner that does not engage in advocacy. That's not my personal agenda; it's just the way that Wikipedia works. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:35, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
Tryptofish, I am sorry that my contribution appeared to advocate something. It is sometimes difficult to plainly state the facts in a neutral manner without causing offense in others. Could you please point out where i am not being neutral or objective? Objective scholarship demands stating the hard facts of history. I sincerely believe that the topic deserves a "history' section to show that the subject is anything but abstract and theological but has had real effects on the lives of millions. To leave out the history of deliberate Christian programs of persecution against members of other religions is to leave a big whole in this discussion.Bdubay (talk) 17:23, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
That's OK, you don't need to feel sorry! Here's the diff of the revert that I made: [1]. Since that time, other editors have been revising the page extensively. If you'd like to discuss including the perspectives you were trying to add, as part of the ongoing revisions, that would be fine. It seems to me that the material that I reverted contained statements of opinion in Wikipedia's voice. For example, in the first line, "Christians do themselves no service by denying...". If something like that is to be in Wikipedia, it would have to be more like: "According to [scholarly secondary source], 'Christians do themselves no service by denying...'". --Tryptofish (talk) 20:41, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Tryptofish, thank you for responding. I am happy people are still working on this page. I believe that the page should at least cover the following eras of Christian persecution of other religions: 1. Christian persecution of pagan religions beginning with Theodosius I. Gibbon has a full chapter on this. 2. The Crusades. 3. the Roman and Spanish Inquisitions, which would include the persecution of native religions in both North and South America under both the Spanish Conquistadores and North American colonists. The Popes as late as Pope Leo XIII were still in favor of killing heretics. There were 15 centuries of active persecution by Christians of heretics and members of other religions. Finally, the subject would not be complete without a section of the Christian support of slavery. The Catholic Church did not get around to condemning slavery until Vatican II in 1964. The historical extent of authorized Christian violence is nowhere reflected in the current page. I should not have to point out that these are all matters of facts agreed upon by historians and not issues of private opinion. Bdubay (talk) 01:06, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
In my opinion, every one of those topics is, indeed, appropriate for this page. My advice would be to present it, however, in terms of what sources say, rather than expressing evaluative conclusions in Wikipedia's voice. Jytdog, I know that you have been working on this page, so maybe you could take a look at this. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:27, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Tryptofish, I am glad you see the need for a factual treatment of the history of Christian violence. I would be glad to offer all the documentation you require if you would please restore the original text. It would help me immensely if you could point out the passages you feel are POV and i will change them and give appropriate references. There are countless sources documenting this history. It is an embarrassment of riches, but I will be happy to sort them out for you if you wish to cooperate. Bdubay (talk) 01:15, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I was pinged. It appears that the discussion is around this set of edits. Bdubay to be frank, that doesn't display anything close to WP:NPOV, from the first line to the last. The angry screed that you wrote has no place here - it is just pure WP:SOAPBOX and I am surprised that you are arguing to retain any of it. Further, there are almost no sources - the whole thing is pretty much WP:OR (and sources like this are not acceptable). I get it - I really do - that you are passionate about this Bdubay but you have to put the work in, to do this in a measured, scholarly way, to make it acceptable in Wikipedia. Put your mind where your passion is. There are serious people who have done serious work in this area - here, for example, is just one bibliography. It is an important topic, and you need to honor it by applying work and discipline to creating a high quality, very well-sourced, carefully considered treatment of it. That's all I have to say. I intend to do work to flesh out this article too but have been hammered at work. Jytdog (talk) 02:00, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Hello, JYtdog, As I mentioned before, I will be glad to provide you with the references needed to support my assertions. But all i get from you and Ttyptofish so far are a lot of name calling and vague statements about POV and angry screed. What I don't see from either of you are the statements you find objectionable (Other than the first sentence). Please, if there is any statement that strikes you as unverifiable or is the result of an impassioned screed please let me know. I will attend to it and supply the verification.

Any page claiming to cover Christianity and violence should cover these major periods that are matters of historical agreement: 1. Christian persecution of pagan religions. You already have a page dedicated to that. 2. Religious violence in the Crusades. 3. Religious persecution in the Roman and Spanish Inquisitions. 4. Persecution of Native religions in the colonization of Africa and the Americas. You have one page on the Americas. 5. Religious violence in the Christian wars of Europe. You already have a page on that. 6. The long Christian practice and support of slavery.

Before we go any further in this subject, don't you agree that all these subject should be covered in this article? I don't know why, in the name of fairness and objectivity, you would want to deny any of them. All the discussion (e.g. the bibliography you referenced) about religion and violence has to start with a clear view of this history. .Bdubay (talk) 23:29, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I am very sorry that you cannot see what is wrong with what you wrote. If you gave an inkling you were open to learning I would put more time into working with you, but you continue to actually defend what you wrote, when you have heard from two experienced editors that the entire thing was unacceptable - you drew huge, unsupportable generalizations, and make judgements of your own throughout, with non-WP:NPOV language, and it is almost entirely unsourced. Read what you wrote and compare it to pretty much any historical article in WP and you will see how it differs. But I don't have time to try to teach somebody who is uninterested in learning. Jytdog (talk) 00:03, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

about your last paragraph, which was jaw-dropping for me, see Criticism_of_Christianity#Negative_attitudes_in_Nazi_Germany Jytdog (talk) 00:36, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
i've addressed most of the things you raised. Jytdog (talk) 04:43, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Jytdog, You and Tryptofish have only made it very clear that you were offended by my contribution, but you were not specific. Labeling items as POV or WP:NPOV is too generic and vague to be helpful. What precisely were "huge, unsupportable generalizations?" What were judgments of my own and not derived from the sources I cited? When i first discovered this page, there was no mention of historical events. it was mainly Christians commenting on violence in general. As scholars, you should know that one cannot make moral judgments without first seeing what people do. I don't think you realize the contemporary importance of this subject, considering all the debate about islamic violence. It is important first to lay down empirical facts as known in history, and not hide from them. Bdubay (talk) 15:56, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I gave you several specific examples, which you have not responded to. (Really! You ask for examples, I give you some, and you ignore them. argh.) You are making accusations of bad faith or ignorance about others, instead of dealing with the problems with what you did. You have not acknowledged the work I did in the article yesterday. Your behavior adds up to WP:TENDENTIOUS which I invite you to read and reflect on. Until you actually respond to what I have written and ask authentic questions, going forward, I am not responding to your further per WP:SHUN. Jytdog (talk) 16:23, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Jytdog, you pointed out one paragraph, my last paragraph, which you called jaw-dropping. Anyone who knows about the centuries of anti-Semitism among Christians would not find that jaw-topping. As Goldhagen and others have observed, the Shoa would not have taken place without the efforts, compliance, and silence of millions of German Christians, including priests and bishops. You think that Hitler's willing accomplices were Muslims or atheists? These are simple issues of fact and should be stated as such. Any honest historian can show you that for nearly 1,500 years, Christians conducted persecutions against heretics and other religions. Bdubay (talk) 01:55, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Tryptofish and Jytdog: It is still disturbing that you refuse to put up a section entitled the History of Christian Violence. I don't think Wikipedia can afford to appear that it is white-washing the complicity of Christians in the atrocities and crimes they have committed as a matter of policy over the centuries. This history is unique. There is nothing like it in Islam or any other religion.

Christian acts of violence were not sporadic or incidental as the page now implies. They were part of official policies and modes of operation. They began with Augustine persecution of the Donatists and continued through to the end of the Mexican inquisition in the 1800s.

They were repeatedly enforced by Popes, bishops, saints, and councils. It is disingenuous to blame these crimes on the government or "the times." They were acts religiously motivated and caused by religious officials.

The 300-year persecution of paganism is the worst violation of freedom of speech of religion in history. It was very thorough, banning not only pagan worship and practices, but also pagan books, libraries and schools, leaving almost no record of that religion (the religion of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle) and little of the science. By the 10th century, there was scarcely a non-Christian text or library in all of Europe except for Spain and ireland. In the 13th century, Aquinas had to go to Spain to find a text of Aristotle. That persecution put the progress of western civilization behind by 500 years.

The long support of anti-Semitism, slavery, war, and capital punishment is also part of that same tragic history. They were not the acts of individual Christians, but Church-supported institutions, with direct and considerable effect on national and foreign policies.

As a Christian with a conscience and as an American with strong beliefs in the principles of the Bill of Rights and the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, I want to know in detail that history of those crimes. Until we Christians recognize and acknowledge that history, we are doomed to repeat it. if you need the references for all this, let me know. but you have to revert the section first.Bdubay (talk) 19:11, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

I've been away from this page for a little while, and I feel the need to comment. I do not really think that it's true that all I have said to Bdubay has been "a lot of name calling and vague statements about POV and angry screed." I think that I did point you to how to write content in conformance with WP:NPOV, and it's not that difficult to follow through on it. That said, I continue to agree that the page would be improved by addition of some of the topics that have been listed in this discussion, so long as the addition is done in conformance with the ways that Wikipedia does things. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:42, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

This article is a nightmare[edit]

Not in touch with mainstream scholarship and overflowing with supersessionism which most of the world got over, oh about 50 years ago. I will be doing a rewrite with appropriate, mainstream sources. kind of a bitter bummer to find this article in such a retrograde state. Jytdog (talk) 20:26, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

First, total agreement regarding the miserable shape of this articles of the "religion X and violence" type which have been kind of problematic for at least a few years. I wish I could say I'd help but finding good sources that deal with the topic is I imagine very difficult but I'm willing to offer what help I can.John Carter (talk) 20:43, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
I had a bit of a jolt on seeing the talk section header on my watchlist, having been here through numerous I-don't-like-it efforts to delete the page entirely. But since the actual intent is to update and improve the page, I'm all for it. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:20, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
I took a course in the bible and violence some years ago ... will dig up my notes, articles, and books and fix these, one of these weekends! sorry to have scared you, trypto. :) Jytdog (talk) 00:36, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
note - i fixed most of the issues that prompted me to write the above over the past few weeks. the article still needs improvement, of course. Jytdog (talk) 12:42, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes this article is a nightmare. Disorganised, outrageously POV, essentially one long anti-Christian screed (and I am not a Christian nor even much of a sympathiser). Prominent among its many fundamental errors is attributing the Torah and 'Old Testament' to Christianity. (talk) 10:06, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't agree with you that the article is outrageously POV, and the "Old Testament" is very much part of Christianity - this was decided way back in the 2nd century, when Marcionism was determined to be heresy and the OT was definitively included in the Christian canon. But please point out specific passages that you think need improvement. thanks. Jytdog (talk) 12:33, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Christian terrorism[edit]

Okay, material from Christian terrorism has now bled over to this article. Does Wikipedia really want dozens of articles slightly differing in names with "pretty much" the same content? This does not seem efficient for maintenance purposes. What is the difference between "Christianity and violence" (a poorly named article BTW, which is why Wikipedia tries to discourage "and" articles) and Christian terrorism? Student7 (talk) 14:22, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

they are separate. this is broader as is clearly shown in the "Christian violence" section, which has a subsection per WP:SUMMARY taken from the lead of the christian terrorism article. This is normal WP procedure for related topics. Jytdog (talk) 14:52, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
1. So because this is "broader", it should contain everything (or summarize everything) from Christian terrorism?
2.Minor point, more easily addressed: The recent forced Hindu conversions are listed under "Christian terrorism" in that article, but added to "forced conversion" here. I think this should be consistent, wherever it appears. Student7 (talk) 18:41, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
1) not what I said and not what is in this article. 2) this is also discussed in the main article cited in the forced conversion section. things often have multiple catogorizations. it's unclear what your point is... Jytdog (talk) 18:48, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
1) Do you support importing all examples from Christian terrorism, including those under subsections there: 1.1 Central African Republic, 1.2 Great Britain, 1.3 India, 1.3.1 Tripura, 1.3.2 Odisha, 1.3.3 Nagaland, 1.3.4 Manipur, 1.4 Lebanon, 1.5 Northern Ireland, 1.6 Norway, 1.7 Romania, 1.8 Uganda, 1.9 United States?
1a) Do you intend to merge these two articles?
1b) If they are "different", how are they "different"? What (in words here on the talk page) make them "different?"
2) Is forced conversion from Hinduism to Christianity an issue to be listed under "Forced conversion" or is it an issue to be listed under "Christian terrorism?"
1) no
1a) no
1b) answered above. it is common as dirt in WP to have articles on a subtopic that are discussed in a main article on the topic. i can't believe you are not aware of this but in the bizarre off-chance that you are not please do read WP:SUMMARY. christian terrorism is a subtopic of christianity and violence.
2) why does it have to be one thing? many things and events have multiple aspects. the immaculate conception is relevant to mariology, notions of original sin and some christologies; should it only be treated only in one article as one thing? likewise the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has environmental aspects, legal aspects (civil and criminal), corporate governance aspects, and so on.
3) Please respond - what is your point with all this? Jytdog (talk) 20:12, 27 September 2014 (UTC)