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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %CHRISTIAN DOMINATION DOMINEERING LEADERSHIP EVIL+000612 %SYSTEMIC ALIENATION ESTRANGEMENT SINS GOD GOODS 000612 Why is it that Christians have so frequently tolerated domineering leaders down through the ages, and have been slow to recognize the sins and evils of: domination, coercion, violence, excommunication, rejections, exclusivity, dichotomies, and condemnations? Consider the following contributing factors: 1. Christianity has its roots in Kingdoms which depended upon military might to survive and were led by Kings, Emperors and other strong central authorities. 2. Christianity has its roots in cultures within which women and children had legal status primarily as the property of the head of the household; much as male citizens had status primarily as subjects of the King, and much as humans have status primarily as children of God. 3. Slavery was normal the cultures within which Christianity evolved; and slavery has only in recent years fallen from favor in regards to the ownership of men, but slavery has not fully fallen from favor in regards to the ownership and use of women and especially young and vulnerable females, as regards playing the roles of sexual servants. 4. Christianity came into power through the powerful acts of Emperor Constantine and his military men. Christianity, which early had strong threads of non- violent resistance within it, became beholden to a military Emperor and his domineering ways. 5. The Holy Catholic Church was a marriage of an authoritarian-church to the secular-power-struggles of Europe during the evolution of City-States and Nation- States --- with all the give-and-take of all their efforts to achieve dominance over competing forces. 6. Slavery played a major role in the evolution of the United States, and slavery's heritage of race- discrimination has played a major role in the theological lives of Christian churches ever since within the United States. 7. Christian Churches have rarely dealt forthrightly with the traditions of unbalanced power between males and females in: secular politics, church politics, and sexual relationships. Males have a long tradition of playing the dominant roles, with females assigned the submissive roles --- all with formal religious blessings. 8. The non-violent aspects of Jesus' life and teachings were not kept alive in the majority of Christian Churches down through history; and were often almost completely ignored, forgotten, and/or repressed. 9. The overthrow of patterns of rule by kings, queens, emperors, monarchs, and dictators has usually occurred only upon the initiative of domineering kinds of people --- with the assent of large majorities of the citizens; and so such overthrows have rarely given much power to small and/or weak minorities or to powerless majorities ---such as slaves, females and children. 10. Christian theological language is full of images which come from the eras of Kings and Kingdoms and of the domination of females by males. If we are to truly understand what we know of the words, deeds, and examples of Jesus --- we must find ways to peer discerningly through the dirty sheets of glass of the many generations of Christians since the days of Jesus' Earthly presence; sheets which are soiled with centuries of domination, rebellion, resentment, alienation, ignorance, and misunderstanding. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================