[raises an eyebrow] Considering that you're gloating, I really think you have no business trying to tell others how to behave in a mature manner. I really would have preferred to just let this go, but since you seem to be insisting on bringing it to a point...
Firstly, I wasn't wrong, and your criticisms betray a rather shaky grasp of history. Now a little browsing at Wikipedia turns up the following religious wars:
Conflicts immediately connected with the Reformation of the 1520s to 1540s:
The German Peasants' War (1524–1525)
The battle of Kappel in Switzerland (1531)
The Schmalkaldic War (1546–1547) in the Holy Roman Empire
The Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) in the Low Countries
The French Wars of Religion (1562–1598)
The Thirty Years War (1618–1648), affecting the Holy Roman Empire including Habsburg Austria and Bohemia, France, Denmark and Sweden
The Wars of the Three Kingdoms (1639–1651), affecting England, Scotland and Ireland
Scottish Reformation and Civil Wars
English Reformation and Civil War
Irish Confederate Wars and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland
This is hardly exhaustive, and deals mainly with the wars connected to the Reformation. And honestly, the Reformation wasn't a war? The Catholic Church was not too far from a unified government of Europe at the time, and had amassed an enormous amount of power and wealth of the preceding centuries. So they were just going to sit back and do nothing while half their domain declared independence? Yeah, right.
And you may have noticed the Eighty Years' war in the list? 1568 - 1648? The one where the Low Countries revolted against Spanish rule? I think they may have been aided by some country or another - wait what's that big island just off the coast there called? Oh, right, England. I think the Spanish might possibly have tried to do something about that, like maybe sending a few ships?
On top of which, the Spanish Armada was in 1588 - 40 years after Henry VIII died. So yeah, that was all about him divorcing Catherine of Aragon. Did I mention that Philip II of Spain - the king who launched the Armada - was all of 3 years old when Henry divorced Catherine?
You are right that I was being sloppy in using the Crusades as an example of wars over who're the real Christians. It was a series of wars over who were the real monotheists. I usually tend to think of Christianity and Islam as the same religion, just with different cultural backgrounds. So my bad there.
I may not be able to rattle of a list of European wars over the last two thousand years off the top of my head, but I do have a pretty fair grasp of the basics - such as that there was a lot of blood shed over the Reformation.
In any case, this entire discussion was not about whether or not there were religious wars, it was not about the reformation, it was not about history or facts at all. It was about you and Jabster trying to play gotchya with me. I hate to break it to you, but I'm wrong all the time, and have no problem admitting it - and changing my opinions - when I am. A big part of the reason I came here in the first place was because I wanted to have my positions challenged, I wanted to find out where my thinking was weak, and I wanted to hear other points of view and hopefully learn something. If you aren't interested in that sort of discussion, fine by me, just ignore my posts. If you have a problem with me, then take it up in email. Like I said, my mail is my tag here at UF at yahoo.com But don't comb through posts looking for some little detail you think you can get me with and drag this nonsense into an otherwise nice and interesting discussion. I would really rather not have to write another post along these lines.
@ Blot and Zach:
I would like to suggest that the problems that Christianity sometimes causes have more to do with how people believe things rather then what they actually believe. I think that's what really needs to be addressed, and if you just swap out some of the ideas without looking at the ideological framework, you're just going to wind up with the same old problems in another form. If all you're going to do is redecorate your altar with new stuff, really what's the point?
IMO, one of the most fundamental problems with ideological thinking is that it confuses being factually right with being morally right. The one does not get you the other, and being factually right about something does not somehow make you a superior person. When you start thinking that "We're Right, everyone else is Wrong, so we're better then everyone else," it really makes very little difference what it is you think you're right about. It's always a frighteningly short step to adding, "And therefore we are morally justified in whatever we do to other people."
Instead of trying to build a new set of beliefs to identify with, what I did instead was basically to accept that the world is however it is, regardless of what I think about it. To me, that meant that getting attached to any set of beliefs was a mistake, because inevitably they would turn out to be wrong in some way. The universe is unimaginably vast, ancient and complex, and no human has ever come close to fully comprehending it. So there are always going to be surprises.
As for the question of vocabulary, remember that words are just symbols that represent meaning, empty vessels that we fill with ideas. And the primary purpose of words is communication, to let someone else understand what you're thinking. Therefore, I would advise you to use whatever vocabulary is going to best convey what you're thinking to the person you're talking to. As for the way you personally think of things, just use whatever feels right to you, what makes the most sense to you.
Like Blot said, you have a pile of bits to build with, you should just use whichever bits work best and not worry too much about where they came from. After all, an awful lot of the bits used to build Christianity are vastly older then Christianity itself. In the old Roman Empire, often quite literally. Christians often turned pagan temples into churches, or rebuilt churches on the sites of old temples, often with the same stone. And those temples had often themselves been rebuilt from even older temples...