Saturday, July 23, 2016

Christianity is Stained with the Blood of the Innocent


“Christianity did not become a major religion by the quality of its truth, but by the quantity of its violence.” - Michael Sherlock

        How would you feel if Donatella Versace came up to you, and right in your face, threatened to kill you if you didn’t wear the latest line of clothes from her fashion design company? One can imagine that most people would personally sign her travel pass directed straight to hell. It does not seem like something like this would be remotely fair does it? Well, you may think that, and you would be correct, but this would not be the first time that something like this has happened in Western culture. It has happened several times, in fact. The most significant occurrence was when Christianity spread throughout the Mediterranean world. Christianity has not proven to be so peaceful a religion as it proclaims to be. Many people died for refusing to convert. “No, that can’t be. Christians are good people. They wouldn’t hurt a fly,” is probably what a lot of you are saying, right now. Well, sorry to break it to you, but its true. A lot of our ancestors were forced to follow the Christian religion against their will, and violence played a big role in convincing them to do so.
        Let's start with a basic description of the Christian religion. Christians believe in the one and only god that created everything in seven days. This god has three parts to him, the father, the son and the holy spirit. The holy spirit later impregnated a virgin woman so she would have the son of god, the messiah. The messiah later grew up to be a man that preformed many miracles. He was later crucified in order to save his follower’s souls. The Christian belief is based off a series of books which were later put together to make the “Holy Bible.” Christianity first emerged in the mid-first century in Jerusalem. It then spread throughout the Roman Empire, and eventually, the world. That spread was not always a peaceful one. Early Christians were known for inciting riots throughout the Roman world. They were even commonly responsible for gross acts of terrorism. Their actions killed innocent people in the name of god, and destroyed ancient artifacts, in the name of salvation. It was Christians, after all, who were responsible for burning the ancient Great Library of Alexandria, along with all of its knowledge, to the ground.
        The violence committed by Christian zealots got to such a height that it threatened the internal stability of the Roman Empire. Further, the movement had become so large that the Empire could no longer ignore it as a legitimate power, and it could no longer allow its people to persecute the movement. If they did either, they risked complete collapse. It was the Emperor Constantine that inherited this predicament. Rather than upping the Empire's war against the religion, he paved the way for the religion to become the official religion of the Empire. It was he that summoned the Council of Nicaea. This council spent three weeks researching and arguing about the early Christian writings that would or would not be included in a cannon of laws for the Christian faith. In the end, they assembled the basic structure of what is now the modern bible. Upon completion of this task, Constantine put the full force of the Empire behind the text. Anyone who challenged or contradicted the new text would face the severest of punishments, death, and many did.
       In 476 A.D., the Western Roman Empire collapsed under the pressure of constant invasions by German tribes seeking, but being denied, asylum in the Empire. This collapse destroyed the political unity of western Europe that had existed under Rome, reducing the region to a series of feuding fiefdoms. It also created an enormous power vacuum. This particular power vacuum was over the cultural and spiritual well being of the people in the region. The Roman Church, eventually to be the Roman Catholic Church, stepped into this vacuum with gusto, and anyone who did not recognize their divine right to dictate the will of god suffered the consequences. The church employed professionals skilled in the art of torture for those most chronic cases, and it routinely sponsored public executions to both entertain the people and to warn them against defying the will of the Roman Church. Women would be burned at the stake as witches, and men would be hung, put on the rack, pulled apart by horses, and gutted in the name of Jesus Christ's holy mercy. The Church even offered up a publication designed to out those who practiced the dark arts, the Malleus Maleficarum, or The Witches' Hammer. These tactics were used to keep Europe in a state of fear for a thousand years.
        There is, of course, then, the Holy Crusades, which lasted from the end of the Eleventh century to the end of the Thirteenth century. The background is simple. In the middle of the Seventh century, a new religion arose in the Middle East, Islam, which served to unify the Arab tribes. This unity brought forth the birth of an empire that would eventually stretch from the farthest eastern reaches of the old Persian Empire, all the way to Spain in the west. This, of course, meant that they took the 'Holy Land' from the Eastern Roman Empire and continued to advance on their capital over time. This arrangement created an expensive trade arrangement for Western Europe in the form of high trade tariffs. Under the guise of coming to the military aide of the flailing Eastern Roman Empire, Pope Urban II rallied all of Europe to send troops to reclaim the 'Holy Land' for Christendom. What followed was two centuries of sanctioned Holy War and genocide, not for salvation of any kind, but for a relief of tax penalties incurred for trade with the far East. Even worse, many of the people that were killed in the name Christ and Holy Mother Church, were themselves, Christians. It is just too bad for them that they were not Roman Christians.
        This was not the last time that Christianity found itself in the middle of a bloodbath. With the second loss of the Eastern trade routes, western Europeans began seeking alternative routes to the goods of the East. This, eventually, led them to encounter the lands and peoples of an entirely new hemisphere, the Americas, and then all of lower Africa beneath the Sahara, as well as, parts of Asia. In the Americas, as competing Empires, with the blessings of the Pope in Rome, conquered Native peoples and stole their wealth, Christianity was at the forefront of the subsequent efforts to subdue and acculturate the Natives. Empires conquered in the name of God and Gold, and the monks who followed them punished those Natives who refused to accept their new roles as a conquered people. The consequences of denial were just as severe is they had been for Europeans after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. As the Americas declared their independence from Europe, this practice spread to Africa and Asia, and the consequences for denial were the same. People were hunted like animals and their body parts were used as trophies because it was clear to Europeans that the lands they conquered were granted to them by God. If they were not, then the people already living their would have developed the land in the European fashion. God made them weak so that Europe could take their resources in his name. This, of course, was the logic that Europe used to justify the building of empires in the Americas, Africa, and Asia.
        What does this say about the Christian religion? It mainly says that the Christian religion is no different than any other religion that has ever existed. It started as an underground movement, became the religion of the status quo, and then once in power, it became the religion of Empire. Further, once in power, it did everything that was required to stay in power and expand its power. This included authorizing the killing of its own people and the destruction of the foreign 'Savages' who refused to yield to the 'Will of God.' To be fair, Islam is guilty of the same crimes and has followed the same cycle. It's faith has been spread around the world with the power of the sword, and like every religion before it, it has justified theft, rape, and murder in the name of God's divine will. This reveals something even deeper about Christianity, though, and all religions for that matter. Religion is nothing more than a tool. It is a means to end. The spread of faith is not its main goal. Its main goal is the spread of compliance or obedience. Do as you are told and your place in heaven is secured. Resist the powers that be, and you will find yourself suffering eternal torment in the fiery pits of Hell.
        The biggest thing that lends weight to this argument is the fact that Christian lore is almost entirely plagiarized. Consider the story of Moses. Moses' parents had to hide him from the Egyptian Pharaoh who was on a rampage against the first born of Israel. They put him in a reed basket and sent him down the Nile in the hopes that he would be found and raised by a good Egyptian family. He was eventually found by an Egyptian princess and raised to be an Egyptian prince until he betrayed the Pharaoh and led his people out of slavery. This mirrors, almost exactly, the Akkadian story of Sargon the Great. Perhaps, we should go back further? Consider the story of Noah and the Great Flood. This story was taken directly from the Sumerian tale, The Epic of Gilgamesh. These, of course, are not the most significant of the plagiarisms. By far, the most important and most dramatic plagiarism of all is the story of Jesus Christ, itself. The Christ was born of a virgin, Mary, and raised as a carpenter by a surrogate father until he was twelve. He then began his education as a Rabbi and teacher, and at the age of thirty, began his ministry. After three years of work, he was betrayed by one of his own disciples, turned over to the authorities for a purse of silver, and then executed. He then spent three days in Hell before rising from the dead, where he then commenced to preaching for forty days and nights. After his job was done, he ascended, alive, into the Kingdom of Heaven. This story mirrors, exactly, the story of the ancient Egyptian god Horace, who did all of these things three thousand plus years before the Christ.
       Now, consider this. All of the theft, rape, murder, conquest, and oppression that has been carried out in the name of Jesus Christ, has been carried out in the name of a god that was created out of thin air from the stories of other gods that were created out of thin air. Essentially, the Christian religion is, again, like all religions before it, proven to be nothing more than a tool used by those that have much to deprive those that have nothing of what little the have left. Further, it is also tasked with making sure that the oppressed enjoy, or accept as normal, the squalor that they are forced to endure. This is an undeniable historical fact. The cloak of Christianity is just as stained with the blood of the innocent as is every other single major religion ever invented by humanity. Consider this final reality. Somewhere in your distant past, your family worshiped the gods of what is now known as a pagan religion. At some point, for most Americans, a Catholic Monk came to your village bearing news of the one true god. Those of your ancestors that accepted this god, found themselves incorporated into a broader European culture. Those that did not, found themselves dead or exiled from their homes. Essentially, we are all victims, in some way or another, of this artificially concocted plague that seeks to rob us of our liberty and our spiritual freedom. Even worse, we still find ourselves divided by it. For the love of humanity, when will this cycle of bloodlust finally come to an end?

2 comments:

  1. versimplifies both what christianity is, treating it as something monolithic, and paints a picture of christianity as entirely negative and solely spreading via violence.
    in reality there was never one christianity, there were several christianities, with widely varying beliefs united only in a belief that Jesus christ was the savior of humankind. what each sect meant by that was completely different from each other. different sects spread in different ways and to different degrees, mostly by word of mouth at first.
    While much of christianity did spread by violence (all social movements secure dominance violently) it also spread by regular missionary work and by political treaty, basically a local king would adopt christianity to gain political advantages and then his subjects followed suit.
    The article flatly ignores the postive role of the church as often the only provider of social services in communities, and entirely ignores the revolutionary role of heretical Christian sects.
    I fear this article suffers because it falls into the idealistic blame religion first worldview common to New Atheism.

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  2. Any religion's framework is belief established by faith; with facts and truth being insignificant or even resented. By accepting any religion, the "believer" is told what God is and what he/she must do to be blessed.
    There is no tolerance for independent thought.

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