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Old September 13th 07, 15:13   #51
hypatia
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

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I don't buy the whole Christian dogma bit at all, so the episode was, to me, rather pointless. I consider any suffering out of religious conviction to be well-deserved and completely self-inflicted, unless it's a case of brainwashed kids who haven't been exposed to the world and its variety early enough.
You'd prefer a character who "suffers out of political conviction" then? Is that mental pain more noble to you?

A large part of brother Edwards panic was just dealing with the fact that he was a sick, cold-blooded killer. It wouldn't take religious conviction to at least partially unhinge anyone's mind. But Edwards? Edwards mind had been specifically wiped and replaced with a personality that was "programmed" to do good and help people. Your programming would virtually guarantee you'd have a very bad reaction to any revelation of your true past.

If he hadn't stumbled upon a monestary early after his wipe, he might have had no particular religious convictions at all. But he'd still be basically a "nice guy" who has suddenly realized that he was, truly, a monster before. And just what happened to "him"? How much of "him" is really still "you"?

But your comment wil make old Mighty happy. He's always getting on my case for blaming religion for everything.

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Old September 13th 07, 15:22   #52
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

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I don't buy the whole Christian dogma bit at all, so the episode was, to me, rather pointless. I consider any suffering out of religious conviction to be well-deserved and completely self-inflicted, unless it's a case of brainwashed kids who haven't been exposed to the world and its variety early enough.
Naturally I'm biased against that viewpoint... but I don't think the statement justifiably makes sense.

You are throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Martin Luther King
Gandhi
Maximillian Kolbe

All these people suffered fates that were as a direct result of their religious conviction being a force for good.

Similarly I don't believe atheists deserved to be flagellated or beaten to a bloody pulp or killed on the basis of their lack of belief.

Conviction is not the problem - intolerance and aggressive over-assertion of a viewpoint are... and that's true whatever the religion or even non-religion.
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Old September 13th 07, 16:24   #53
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

And we, Galahad, insist on keeping the bath water around long after it's cold and dirty for fear of throwing out the baby.
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Old September 13th 07, 16:46   #54
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

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And we, Galahad, insist on keeping the bath water around long after it's cold and dirty for fear of throwing out the baby.
Hmmm... yeah but I'd probably argue the situation in the UK is different to the US.

For one thing the main problem with churches over here is weak inneffectual leadership... not aggressive posturing on the secular stage.

I don't deny it's catching on... but that's more to do with a lot of right wing christians jumping on the bandwagon of other religions activism.
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Old September 13th 07, 20:18   #55
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

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For one thing the main problem with churches over here is weak inneffectual leadership... not aggressive posturing on the secular stage.
What kind of leadership do you mean? Leading people in their faith, or in how they vote?

I know many religious folk out there do honestly think secularists are "out to get them". And undoubtedly there are some individuals who are. But most of the time secularism is fighting the abuses of the religious majority (or whomever considers themselves the religious majority). So we have laws about losing your tax-free status as a church if you are using it to influence voters, for example. You could still do it, and still be a church, you just won't have that nice tax-free status anymore. So the choice is a fair one, I think.
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Old September 14th 07, 00:01   #56
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

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What kind of leadership do you mean? Leading people in their faith, or in how they vote?

I know many religious folk out there do honestly think secularists are "out to get them". And undoubtedly there are some individuals who are. But most of the time secularism is fighting the abuses of the religious majority (or whomever considers themselves the religious majority). So we have laws about losing your tax-free status as a church if you are using it to influence voters, for example. You could still do it, and still be a church, you just won't have that nice tax-free status anymore. So the choice is a fair one, I think.
Well I was moving on because I didn't feel KF's continuation of my expression - though relevant, was applicable in the same way in Britain. As far as I know, we don't have substantial political endorsement by the church of any kind. Yes we have leaders that need throwing out... but not for the same reasons.

I've never known a church in the UK... not in my XP anyway, that advocates voting for any party. You might get a leader who talks about certain issues, but I've never heard of politicians or parties getting a seal of approval or endorsement. The most outspoken the CofE has got in terms of national politics (aside from Make Poverty History) is when it joined in a multifaith statement denouncing the handling of the Iraq conflict.

I genuinely think the relationship between our political and religious affairs is not as heavily intertwined as in America

I'd like to know if any other Brits feel my understanding of the facts is not accurate... and if they could cite examples that would be helpful.
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Old September 14th 07, 01:41   #57
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

Eh, we all have personal bathwater sitting around stagnating, Galahad. Personally I've got at least a dozen tub's worth. I wasn't speaking of nations, I was speaking of Christians in general.
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Old September 14th 07, 08:15   #58
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

Christians = stagnant bathwater! That's pretty good... I'll have to remember that one!
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Old September 14th 07, 09:10   #59
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

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Eh, we all have personal bathwater sitting around stagnating, Galahad. Personally I've got at least a dozen tub's worth. I wasn't speaking of nations, I was speaking of Christians in general.
Eh?

No I got that vibe... I just thought that that you were alluding equally to maneth's statement as much as to mine and suggesting that the grotty bathwater was equivalent to dodgy preachers who abuse their position... but it seems you have as much problems with a sit around and do nothing church as I do.

As it happens I had a bathwater callout from the almighty myself last weekend. Nothing to do with anything a preacher said. I was just simply made aware of it in a very direct fashion. I blogged about it and compared the situation to a scene from Lord of the Rings. If you want to know a little mkore, PM me or something.. I won't go into too much detail... but I also don't wish to smother people with it here.

Right back to the episode itself.

I remember when it was first broadcast in the UK, one of the reviewers was critical of the ending. They weren't happy that it was the ringleader of Edward's killers who was taken in by the monks. They felt it was an unrealistic timescale and instead suggested that it should have been the mad bomber from Convictions.

I couldn't disagree more.

The reviewer seemed to think that the moral question about taking in a character who bears the face of your friends killer, was being posed to Sheridan alone... but it's not and that is the whole point. It is Theo and the monks who are equally challenged, in fact more so because they have lost a beloved colleague who they have known a lot longer than Sheridan had.

Part of me wonders if Theo actually had on some level recognised who Edward really was... and was keeping very coy about it.

At the end of this episode, Theo demonstrates that he has a wonderful capacity for agape love not just philos for his friends and order.
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Old September 14th 07, 15:41   #60
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

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Part of me wonders if Theo actually had on some level recognised who Edward really was... and was keeping very coy about it.
That's certainly a possibility. I tend to take him at his own word, though, as he has no reason to lie. He tells Sheridan that they "try not to ask too many questions".

So I got the impression that he was very worried about Brother Edwards past, and something in it "catching up with him" now. Perhaps he'd left some kind of abusive situation, or was somehow a reformed criminal. Perhaps he was running away from something.

I'd say he definitely knew something was wrong, but he didn't feel it would be right to pursue what it was. He saw part of his job as reforming and forgiving, and teaching people a "better way". All he ever questioned was Edward's convictions about religion and the idea of helping mankind.

Perhaps that's really why I like this episode so much. On top of the interesting moral dilemma it leaves you to ponder, perhaps I just like seeing a dedicated, sincerely faithful group of monks who NEVER felt a need to push their religion on anyone. But they did feel a need to help people when they good.

If that's what is meant by "church leadership" then I'm all for it. If "church leadership" really means "influencing law" then that's when you'll find the secularists quite logically object. The USA was founded to a great extent by people who were fleeing either devastation in the homeland, or religious persecution.

I have no doubt the role of religion in England may be seen very differently than it is in the USA, since the USA was specifically guarding against any kind of use of a "state-endorsed religion", while at least previously in history the U.K. specificially had quite a colorful history trying to force people to believe in a religion that a King invented to break the political hold of the Vatican on his ruling of his empire.

But I won't even get started on popes, here.

But I certainly can see how religon is viewed differently by different people from different cultures. And I would tend to say that religious groups tend to be rather a lot of trouble when they get so highly organized and powerful that they are able to dictate to the leaders of countries what policies will and won't be allowed.

All I'll say about the American Catholics I know (who were not raised by "old-style catholic parents from Mexico) is that they never really overthrew the pope, as England did. Nah, they just ignore everything that he says.

A rule in my religion against birth control? Yea, I know that's technically true.... I just happen to ignore that rule because it's unrealistic.

I even recall the pope (former one, I believe) telling American Catholics that they must begin adhering to the doctrine of the church, or they should formally separate themselves into a new religion.

All I could think at the time was "you know, it's just so much easier to ignore you".

And, quite frankly, I'm sure the Vatican likes the monies donated to them by American Catholics. So he didn't push that point at all; as I recall, he said so only once, on one tour of the world.
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