Christians Who Hate Christians

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Sister Joan Chittister is really nasty and hateful toward the "Religious Right." Apart from being nasty, she also has a completely muddled view of history. Check this out:

We have to choose now with whether or not we want religion, that is this thing that binds us together, that is somehow or other genetically wired in us, that, that Aristotle talks about, that all the churches talk about. Or do we want denominationalism. What, what church, what religion do we want? Do we want the religion of the Crusades and the Inquisition and the witch burnings and segregation and slavery and the oppression of women and Puritanism that led to Prohibition, that didn't last because it was somebody's creed imposed on everybody else's creed? Or do we want the religion of the peace movement that Jesus talked about, and the, the labor movement and the civil rights movement.
Except that the people behind slavery were specifically not the "Puritans"/evangelicals/"religious right." The "religious right" were the abolitionists, against slavery. And from the evangelical abolitionist movement rose the women's suffrage movement, too. And, of course, the prohibition movement.

Chittister tries to lump views together -- being pro-slavery/anti-women, and being for prohibition (or for the conditions that led to it) -- that were, in fact, on opposite sides. Charles Finney founded the modern evangelical/"religious right" movement in the 1800s (although at the time, they were basically on the left, of course). Finney's main cause was abolition, and that same movement grew to push other societal reforms, including women's rights and prohibition of alcohol. So were those people evil Puritans or peaceful followers of Christ and supporters of civil rights?

She talks about forcing creeds on people. Slavery was pushing somebody's creed on everybody else's creed. So was segregation, so was oppression of women, so was prohibition. But so was abolition. It just so happens that Chittister likes abolition -- as do we all -- so therefore she doesn't consider it "pushing" anything, but Finney and co. were all about pushing their creed on everyone else: some of it we like, some of it we don't.

History, unfortunately, does not fall into a neat little package as Chittister wants it to, with the good guys on one side and the bad guys on the other.

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"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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