Posted by Jon Bonine (+168) 15 years ago
After reading some of the others posts about nation-building, I thought of the reconstruction of the American south following the civil war. I realize that it might not be a complete match, but what could we learn from that reconstruction project that might be applicable to Iraq? (It might be a case of what not to do also...)
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10198) 15 years ago
It's not an area I've read much on Jon . . . all that comes to mind is: carpetbaggers, corruption, the Compromise of 1877, and that after 1865 2/3 of the nation's military facilities were (and still are) located in the South. They are probably lessons we could draw from some of this, but I suspect we won't.
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Posted by Bob Wildrick (+63) 15 years ago
One thing that can be learned is the South has risen! You should see the Yankees fleeing the rust belt for jobs and the weather here in the south. This doesn't apply to Floridia. The Floridiots are fleeing up this way because of the high taxes, insurance and hurricanes. What should happen is cut it loose on a line from Jacksonville to Perry, floating the lower part down and attach to Cuba. The remainder annex to Georgia and Alabama.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17954) 15 years ago
Yes, there are lessons to be learned...after the North gave up on reconstruction in the late 1870s and left the newly emancipated blacks hung out to dry, it was pretty much business as usual for 80-90 years until the civil rights movement (which started grass roots in the South) stirred up the pot, resulting in the Civil Rights Act of 1964....maybe if we bailed out of Iraq, we can can expect the Iraqis to develop some form of democratic government in around 80-90 years.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15285) 15 years ago
The south in this period of time is the birthplace of modern day pietism in the "evangelical church" which has surrendered most of it's power to the republican party.
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Posted by Jody Collis (+214) 15 years ago
I don't understand why the powers that be ever thought the US could successfully `rebuild' Iraq, since our values are diametrically opposed (and have been for over 2,000 years). What if Russia would have decided that the US was being poorly managed during the cold war and they invaded us so they could `fix' our country? How receptive would we have been to that and how successful could it have been? It's the same story with Iraq. Why would they want people, whose major values are opposite of their values and who they despise, come in and tell them how to run their country? The Middle East can't even keep peace among themselves. How can we swoop in a suddenly fix it? Why do we think we know what is best for them anyway? It seems ludicrous and hopeless to me.
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Posted by Bob Wildrick (+63) 15 years ago
Richard,
You are absolutely correct in your assessment of Christianity in the South. Historic Reformed theology ie Lutheran, Presbyterian is almost nil. Even the PCA which has its headquarters in Atlanta has barely a clue. But the North is even worse. It has sold out to the secular/progressive Democrat/Socialist party.
Bob Wildrick
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 15 years ago
Small nit - Lutheranism is not a part of the Reformed church tradition. Something tells me you're not coming from a PCUSA perspective either
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15285) 15 years ago
"Small nit - Lutheranism is not a part of the Reformed church tradition. Something tells me you're not coming from a PCUSA perspective either"

You might want to rethink your statement. I am pretty sure that Martin Luther was the epicenter of the reformation or "reformed church" tradition.

I am also pretty sure that Bob is coming from the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) perspective, which is much different that PCUSA. There is a lot of similarity between the PCA and LCMS.

John Calvin signed the Augsburg Confession.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 15 years ago
Actually, he wasn't. The term "Reformed Church" refers explicitly to those churches developed from the teachings Huldrych Zwingeli and John Calvin, and espouse what is usually termed "Reformed Theology" - Predestination, Total Depravity, Limited Atonement, etc( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TULIP ), whereas Traditional Lutheranism isn't terribly far in some ways from the Catholicism that it corrected - Infant Baptism, Sacrements of Confession and Communion, belief in the Real Presence, etc.

In doctrine of grace terms, Lutherans are Semi-Pelegian while the Reformed Churches rejected Pelagius outright.

Now, obviously, not all Reformed churches are full five-point Calvanists, just as not all Lutherans are WELS or LCMS in outlook, but there are signifigant theological difference between the two traditions.

I'm not sure what you'd call a mixed Lutheran/Presbyterian congregation - Plutherans maybe, or perhaps Lesbyterians.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17954) 15 years ago
Jesus H. Christ, what does any of this have to do with the reconstruction of Iraq? I submit respectfully to Larry that we start a new Theology forum, for those who wish to debate such points.

I can even start the first thread....

Woody: "Ask her why she thinks the Book of Concord is not in line with the Scriptures!"

Kelly: "Because it's not."

Woody: "HERETIC!"
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 15 years ago
Sorry - tangents are like crack.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15285) 15 years ago
Whatever. No point in arguing with an "expert". Besides, I gave up arguing for lent. Without Luther, Calvin and and Zwingli would have had nothing to "reform".
I am LCMS and am NOT pelagian or semi-pelagian.

Funny how every time someone has started a "Theology" thread on this site it gets overrun by "experts" who don't believe much of anything but their own self righteousness.

Meanwhile, we are "supposed" to be reconstructing Iraq. Take it away Gunnar.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (edited 3/9/2007).]
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 15 years ago
Alright, then I'll make an attempt to pull my tangent back into the realm of what we're "supposed" to be discussing.

To Gunnar (and apparently, Richard) these distinctions are somewhat pointless bible-geek speak, and, for most westerners, they are. Wind the clock back 400 years however, and they take on an importance that is very alien to our modern way of thinking. The Thirty Years War, for example, was fought between Lutherans, Catholics, and Calvinists (and whatever poor Anabaptists who got in the road) over issues as petty as infant baptism, church hierarchy, and wordings of the various creeds. Tolerance was not an option, because the Church could not be conceived of as separate from the State. Eventually, Christians of all stripes learned how to (mostly) tolerate one another - but it's taken a long time to come to this point.

Why is this relevant? If one looks at Iraq today, it's not too hard to see Germany in 1618, with sectarian majorities seeking to purge "their" areas of any minority religions, with a healthy dose of cynical manipulation on the part of both the religious and secular leadership.

What does this all mean for reconstructing Iraq? It means it's going to be hard, and that people are going to act in ways that seem self-defeating and frustrating to our sensibilities, and it probably means that we're going to need to figure out a way to encourage religious tolerance and moderation, instead of ever more defensive fundamentalism.

In other words, more like the ELCA, and less like the LCMS.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15285) 15 years ago
"To Gunnar (and apparently, Richard) these distinctions are somewhat pointless bible-geek speak, and, for most westerners, they are."

Well, if I am identified as anything, I am a "Bible-geek". I too believe that such distictions in church history are very important, as is the proper distiction and understanding of doctrine. Many of the challenges and beliefs we have in our society are the result of mis-understood and/or mis-applied Christian doctrine.

Out of charity, I will ignore your ELCA -vs- LCMS comment.



[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (edited 3/10/2007).]
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Posted by Barb Holcomb (+404) 15 years ago
I heard a presentation this week from an Iraqi physician, formerly in the Iraqi Army and then worked for a time in the Ministry of Health after the fall of Saddam. He's left Iraq because of threats to his and his family's life. It was very interesting. His take is that most of NOrth, West and Southern Iraq is safe - the exception being those areas of mixed cultures. The biggest barrier to rebuilding is lack of security. Once they have security - they can focus on rebuilding. Most interesting was that he said this isn't about religion or culture - it's about politics. If you understand the history of the Sunni, Sheaa, Kurd cultures and how they fit in with Arabs and their origins in the Muslim religion - it makes sense.
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