Sign the Petition: https://saveyourinternet.eu/
EDRI Article: http://ow.ly/VEpH101689Z
Techdirt article: http://ow.ly/gs9b101689X
by Mike Masnick
Today is GDPR day, and lots of people are waking up to a world in which EU regulations are having a widespread (and not always positive) impact on how the internet works. As we’ve detailed over the past couple of years, while there are many good ideas in the GDPR, there are also many ridiculously bad ones, combined with poorly thought out drafting, and we’re already seeing some of the fallout from that. But, believe it or not, there’s an even larger threat from the EU looming, and it’s received precious little attention: the EU’s new copyright reform proposal is set to be voted on next month and it will truly be disastrous to the internet. As it currently stands, it will require widespread censorship in the form of mandatory filtering and also link taxes that have already been shown to be harmful to news.
European Parliament member Julia Reda is sounding the alarm and asking people to speak out. As she notes, many of the folks now freaking out about the GDPR wish they got involved over two years ago when it was being debated. And if you’re concerned about how problematic this new copyright reform will be for the internet, now is the time to speak out (yes, even if you’re not in the EU):
On the topic of copyright, you NOW have the chance to have an influence – a chance that will be long lost in two years, when we’ll all be “suddenly” faced with the challenge of having to implement upload filters and the “link tax” – or running into new limits on what we can do using the web services we rely on.
In stark contrast to the GDPR, experts near-unanimously agree that the copyright reform law, as it stands now, is really bad. Where in the case of the GDPR the EU institutions pushed through many changes against the concerted lobbying efforts of big business interests, in the copyright reform they are about to give them exactly what they want.
Parliament and Council have had over a year and a half to fix the glaring flaws of the Commission proposal – but despite their growing complexity, the latest drafts of both institutions fail to meet basic standards of workability and proportionality
Reda’s post goes on to detail the many, many problems of the current copyright proposal — in which merely linking to a news site may require paying money (link tax) and where concerns about how that might negatively impact the entire internet are being woefully ignored. Perhaps even worse is the mandatory filtering idea. The big record labels and movie studios have, of course, been pushing for this kind of thing for years to get back at Google (mainly) and Facebook (a little bit). But, here’s the thing: both Google and Facebook already have those filters (and spent tens of millions of dollars on them). This kind of law fucks over everyone else.
And, it’s actually even worse than a mandatory filtering rule — because the EU realized that such a rule would violate other EU laws. So, instead, it decided to hack away at intermediary liability protections to make mandatory filtering necessary:
Make platforms directly liable for all copyright infringements by their users, and then offer that they can avoid that unreasonable liability if they can show they’ve done everything in their power to prevent copyrighted content from appearing online – namely, by deploying upload filters (Article 13, paragraph 4). Which remain totally optional, of course! Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
Tragically, the only remaining point of disagreement in Council is whether this proposal is bad enough, or should be made worse.
We’ve already spent years explaining how this will lead to widespread censorship online, but it will also be a disaster for basically all of the non-Google/Facebook platforms out there. Mid-size companies like Github have already talked about how this could effectively destroy its ability to operate, and lots of other sites would be impacted as well. Any kind of forum site would be at serious risk. Reddit, Pinterest, Twitch, Imgur, WordPress, Medium, Vimeo. This would create massive liability for all of those sites, making it nearly impossible for many of them to function in the EU.
Reda notes that a new draft could make this situation even worse in noting that even having filters won’t be enough to avoid liability:
Mr Voss’ latest draft expands the scope of the censorship machines proposal to all web platforms (a) whose purpose is to “give access to copyrighted content uploaded by users” and which (b) “optimise” that content. What counts as optimising? Among a long list of actions, we find that “displaying” the uploads already makes platforms legally liable for any copyright infringement they may include (Recital 37a).
And in his version, web services can’t even avoid liability by implementing upload filters. To protect themselves from being sued, they would need to get licenses from all rightsholders that exist on the planet before allowing user uploads to go online, just in case the upload may contain (parts of) any of their works.
He also claims that checking every new user upload for whether it includes one of hundreds or thousands of specific copyrighted works somehow does not constitute “general monitoring” (Recital 39), which would be forbidden – now that’s some wishful lawmaking.
As Reda also points out, most of the EU member states appear to be supportive of these horrible ideas (or even pushing to make it worse). What now stands between this horrible law making a mess of the internet is just the EU Parliament which is currently scheduled to vote on this in late June (probably the 20th or 21st). If you are in the EU now is absolutely the time to speak up. If you’re outside the EU, it also would help to speak up and let the EU Parliament know that this is a horrible idea that will have significant problems for the wider internet, free speech and innovation.
((((((((((((Mark Zuckerberg)))))))))))) faces European parliament: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3L5xTvj_HCc
EU social media regulation: http://ow.ly/RqP210148C4
UK Government to regulate Internet: http://ow.ly/Oty11015spi
Woman criticising EU’s open border policy: http://ow.ly/2fMx1015s9W
Creative commons, royalty free images & Videos used in this video presentation are sourced from https://pixabay.com/ and https://videos.pexels.com/ and Wiki Media Commons. These are public commons images.
May 31, 2018
Someone OD’d on spy thriller novels.
Ukraine staged the murder of a Russian dissident journalist in Kiev on Tuesday in what it said was a sting operation to foil a Russian assassination plot.
Arkady Babchenko sent shock waves around the world when he arrived at a news conference on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after being reported dead.
Ukrainian security chief Vasyl Hrytsak said a sting had been set up to catch hitmen paid by Russian forces.
Russia described events in Kiev as an “anti-Russian provocation”.
Ukrainian police say they made one arrest.
Babchenko’s wife said on Tuesday she had found her husband at the entrance to their apartment block with bullet wounds in his back, and he was reported to have died in an ambulance on the way to hospital.
That story was widely reported by media around the world, until Wednesday’s sudden and extraordinary development.
There were gasps and applause at the press conference in Kiev as Babchenko entered the room. He thanked the Ukrainian security services for saving his life and said he had had no choice but to take part in the sting.
Now I know what you’re thinking.
Perhaps this is a conspiracy, and the man standing before us at the press conference is merely wearing Babchenho’s face, like the skin-changer from Game of Thrones. Obviously in the employ of the Russians, of course.
Or perhaps it’s more like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn coming back from the dead to their own funeral. A simple misunderstanding with a simple climax as the prodigal son returns home.
Or perhaps I’m low-balling it.
Perhaps this is something truly biblical that we are witnessing like the resurrection of Christ.
The more banal explanation: this was a botched Ukrainian intelligence false flag to blame on Russia in the run-up to a campaign against Donetsk during the World Cup.
The “woke” Kievan narrative: this was a sting operation to reveal secret Russian operatives trying to kill Babchenko.
The enlightened Stormer perspective: dude looks like a low-T mensch and worse, he’s a journalist. Russia probably didn’t want to assassinate him, but they should go ahead and do so now, just to send a message to the world.
But wait, it seems that the journalists still have a modicum of self-awareness:
Russian investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov, a former colleague of Babchenko, said the sting had “crossed a line big time”.
“Babchenko is a journalist not a policeman, for Christ sake, and part of our job is trust, whatever Trump & Putin say about fake news,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’m glad he is alive, but he undermined even further the credibility of journalists and the media.”
Yeah, no shit man.
You guys really blew it. The entire world media was accusing Putin of murdering innocent journalists and trying to get countries to boycott the World Cup/go to war with Russia.
And it turned out that it all was some of the fakest news that has come out in recent years.
Ya done goofed, lol.
You gave the Russians their counter-narrative on a silver platter.
Now, whenever you try to put blame on Putin for something, he’ll just point out – rightly so I might add – that you have literally no journalistic integrity or credibility to speak of.
Everyone in the West figured this out during the Trump campaign, but now you’re helping bring Eastern Europe up to speed.
And for that, we here at the Stormer thank you.
[Editor’s Note: CEC and Locust Blog does not endorse the views of this article]
If all Western science and technology were to disappear overnight, the church would not be affected in the slightest; what matters is that the preaching of the gospel continues without pause, nothing else. Christianity and racialism are fundamentally incompatible ideologies.
The Christian religionist is at a crossroads; he must choose between the gospel or the survival of Western civilization and the European race. He cannot choose both. A Christian religionist who is genuine can only side with the survival of Christian orthodoxy, otherwise he would be an apostate, forever denied eternal salvation.
Christianity is a perversion of the instinct for self-preservation. This makes it a destroyer of entire civilizations and peoples. Embracing Christianity is an act of suicide for those who allow themselves to be influenced by its doctrines. In a world where evolutionary survival is a zero-sum game, Christianity stands opposed to the interests of the European race and Western civilization.
Jesus Christ is a mythological figure. The gospel narratives, his personal “biographies,” are not based on any underlying historical reality. What we know of Jesus comes not from eyewitness testimony, but largely contradictory hearsay written some forty or fifty years after his supposed death. Unlike the mythical Jesus with whom he is often compared, the philosopher Socrates is significantly more well-attested in the historical record. Contemporary eyewitnesses like Plato and Xenophon wrote detailed accounts of the life and death of Socrates.
The discovery that the first Christology was a “high” one provides additional evidence substantiating the mythological origin of Jesus. This is contrary to the position maintained by the older 19th century biblical scholarship, chiefly represented by Wilhelm Bousset’s “history-of-religion” school. This approach is best exemplified in the now forgotten Kyrios Christos. In this work, Bousset argued that cultic veneration of Jesus only became a reality when the original Palestinian faith community was exposed to Hellenistic and Oriental influence.
In contrast to Bousset’s “history-of-religion” approach, modern biblical scholars argue that the original Palestinian faith community began with a “high” Christology. Maranatha was an Aramaic prayer transferring the title lord (YHWH) to Jesus, asking him to establish his kingdom on earth in fulfillment of Old Testament eschatological hopes of a coming Messiah. The “high” Christology embraced by the first Palestinian believers paved the way for Gentile views of Christ as an object of religious devotion. Among the earliest Gentile believers, Jesus was worshipped, placed on an equal footing with God himself and designated Kyrios, the Greek form of the tetragrammaton in the Septuagint. He was even the object of prayer. This makes Jesus no different from any other mythological figure venerated in the ancient world, such as Dionysus or Hercules.
The inescapable conclusion is that Jesus is a figment of the imagination, like the gods of the ancient Greeks. To those who argue that Jewish monotheism was a barrier to the immediate divinization of some mortal, it must be pointed out that the Logos theology of Hellenistic Judaism first presented the word of god in semi-anthropomorphic terms, laying the groundwork for the explicit “binitarian” character of primitive Christianity.
Christianity is, first and foremost, the invention of mostly illiterate 1st century Palestinian Jews, among whom Saul of Tarsus was the most influential. He later changed his name to Paul. He was often denigrated by his opponents as “weak” or “unimpressive” in person. A 2nd century extra-canonical source reinforces this impression, describing the apostle as “a man of small stature, with a bald head and crooked legs, in a good state of body, with eyebrows meeting and nose somewhat hooked…” Paul was the first to spread Christianity across the Mediterranean, imbuing the new missionary religion with a thoroughly expansionist character.
Christianity is the quintessential Middle Eastern religion. Just because the language of the New Testament is koine Greek does not make this religion any less of a Semitic invention. To claim otherwise would be like translating the Analects of Confucius into English and then claiming that Confucianism is a Western religion because the medium used for its transmission is the English language. Even the few pagan elements in the religion, such as the Johannine prologue’s use of the Stoic Logos, is filtered through the lens of Old Testament Judaism. The Gospel narratives are Jewish legends based on Jewish ideas of Messiah, resurrection, kingdom of god and so on. Not only is Christianity thoroughly Jewish in origin, but the major theological doctrines of the New Testament are derived from the Old Testament and the intertestamental Judaism of the Greek and Hasmonean periods. The spread of Christianity across the Mediterranean was the work of enterprising, itinerant Jews.
As Christianity developed an established institutional framework within the empire, theologians began to find themselves in dialogue with Jews and pagans who were hostile to the new religion. These discussions necessitated the borrowing of Greek and Latin philosophical terminology to better express orthodox teaching with greater precision and clarity. This was done not only for apologetical purposes, but to win over cultured pagans by applying a thin veneer of intellectual respectability to the doctrines of primitive Christianity. Despite these cultural borrowings, Christianity remains a fundamentally Semitic religion.
Scholars have long noted the great appeal Christianity has always had for the lowest dregs of humanity. Few intellectuals were ever attracted to the religion; those who converted became anti-intellectual extremists who turned their back on Western culture and civilization. The 2nd-century Latin theologian Tertullian, one of the most bigoted Christian anti-intellectuals to have ever lived, famously asked: “What indeed has Athens got to do with Jerusalem? What concord is there between the Academy and the Church? … We want no curious disputation after possessing Christ Jesus, no inquisition after enjoying the gospel! With our faith, we desire no further belief.” Contemporary pagan philosophers frequently observed that the earliest converts were drawn from the ranks of simple folk. Celsus, an early pagan critic of the new religion, wrote that it was Christian policy to turn away the wise and the educated. “Their favorite expressions,” wrote Celsus, “are ‘Do not ask questions, just believe!’ and: ‘Your faith will save you!’ ‘The wisdom of this world,’ they say, ‘is evil; to be simple is to be good.'”
The educated pagan was contemptuous of folk belief. They had to have some basis in science and philosophy. Anything else was “superstition.” In classical antiquity, superstition was defined as fear of “daemons” and belief in the supernatural causation of natural and physical phenomena, such as disease. To the pagan intellectual, Christianity embodied everything they hated about superstition. What made Christianity especially reprehensible was that it had inherited all the worst features of Judaism, namely intolerance and bigotry. The religion also spread like a contagious disease.
The triumph of Christianity led to a complete reversal of elite pagan values in late antiquity. The educated man now embraced wholeheartedly the beliefs of the semi-barbaric multitudes. St. Augustine, originally educated in the classical curriculum and trained in rhetoric, could state with confidence that all diseases were of supernatural origin, in open defiance of well-established Greek medical practice. Whereas before Constantine, there existed a significant gap between the beliefs of the educated pagan and the hoi polloi, after Constantine, there was no such gap. For the first time in classical antiquity, the elite and the masses were indistinguishable in terms of belief, with all naively subscribing to veneration of saints, their relics and miracles.
The triumph of Christianity in the West was the triumph of a profound ignorance that lasted centuries.
Christianity was a key factor in Rome’s decline. When the church became the dominant institution of late classical antiquity, it became a significant drain on the economic resources of the empire. This was not a simple wealth transfer; funds for pagan temples and shrines were not simply diverted from secular coffers to finance ecclesiastical growth. Unlike the pagan cults, the Nicene state religion was administered by a vast centralized bureaucracy, whose reach was empire-wide and whose officials were more numerous and more highly paid than those of the state. Revenue that could have been used to improve infrastructure, such as the building of roads, bridges, aqueducts and theatres went towards the building of useless structures like churches and monasteries and the feeding of “idle mouths”: monks, priests and bishops, who contributed nothing of material or economic value to the state. This tremendous waste of resources becomes even more staggering when one considers the relatively low level of technological and scientific development in the empire. Actual labor-saving devices were rare, so productive labor was done by hand or with the help of oxen. The amount of manpower needed to feed, clothe and house the “idle mouths” of the Christian church was considerably more than what was needed for a typical official of the Roman civil service.
The enormous talents of men like Athanasius and John Chrysostom, who would have been better employed defending the empire as able generals and rulers, were instead wasted on expanding the power and influence of the church in daily life. Indeed, valuable manpower and material resources squandered in the service of “idle mouths” is a recurring theme in the history of Christianity. The Christian concern for “idle mouths” exerted a profoundly dysgenic effect on the European gene pool. Europe’s cognitive elite, instead of passing on their genes, were encouraged to withdraw from society and embrace the spiritual discipline of perpetual chastity. This negatively affected average population IQ, leaving the church with an abundance of easily controlled and docile serfs less able to maintain the civilization around them with each passing generation. Thomas Aquinas was the prime casualty of this destructive waste of human talent. His genius would have been more profitably employed in the field of medicine or experimental physics; instead, it was foolishly squandered on angelology and other medieval superstitions.
Apologists typically deny Christianity’s role in imperial decline, retorting that Byzantium survived the fall of the Latin West. They fail to realize that the east was far richer and more populous. This allowed the Byzantine state to better absorb the tremendous internal damage caused by the depredations of the parasitical Nicene state religious cult. There are also geographical reasons for Byzantine survival. The eastern emperor had a much shorter frontier to defend. Constantinople, the imperial capital, was surrounded by a series of massive fortifications begun by Constantine and completed in the early 5th century. These were virtually impregnable to barbarian invaders. Unlike the east, the west had no second line of defense.
The Nicene state religious cult forced Rome to her knees, drawing the curtain over classical antiquity. The civilizational collapse that followed is known as the Dark Ages, when post-Roman Europe underwent a significant decline in living standards. When Christians were at their most powerful, the roads and highways that covered the empire fell into disrepair; use of bridges and aqueducts virtually ceased; knowledge of building in stone and mortar almost disappeared; literacy, such as it was, disappeared, with the exception of the clergy; personal standards of hygiene disappeared; indoor plumbing disappeared; large areas of the former empire were depopulated, and lastly; use of coinage nearly ceased, signifying an end to the complex monied economy of Roman times. Christian hegemony in Byzantium led to centuries of scientific and technological stagnation. There was even a Byzantine Dark Age that lasted for hundreds of years. During this period, borders shrank, cities were reduced to fortified enclaves, money gave way to barter, and Byzantine literature consisted of reams of insipid hagiography.
This was the world of Christianity: a world of profound darkness, where brutal men, under the guise of religion, tyrannized over a weak and helpless populace. The Dark Ages were Christianity’s gift to Europe. They were ushered in by Christians, presided over by Christians and prolonged for centuries by Christians. Europe endured one of its darkest hours when Christians were at the apogee of their power and influence.
Christianity is dangerous because it elevates ignorance over reason. In the gospel, Jesus encourages his followers to be like “sheep,” the most docile of animals. Here, the ideal Christian is a rustic character of little education. Jesus said that unless one becomes a child again one cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. In response to doubting Thomas, Jesus said: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” The apostle Paul echoed this point of view when he wrote “the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of god.” Through a program of religious indoctrination from cradle to grave, the church forced Europeans to accept these beliefs as so many divinely revealed truths from heaven. Widespread acceptance of these beliefs helped retard scientific and technological progress in Europe for over a thousand years.
The fathers of the church promoted “holy ignorance” as an ideal to be emulated. Tertullian is noted among patristic writers for his militant anti-intellectualism. Although one of the most prominent despisers of classical philosophy and science, he was by no means in the minority. His attitude is typical of ecclesiastical officials during the patristic and medieval periods. This long list of Christian anti-intellectuals includes Tatian, a noted apologist who regarded all pagan scientific and philosophical achievement as worthless, even harmful to the Christian faithful. Clement of Alexandria, another prominent ante-Nicene writer, argued that education was not necessary for salvation. Origen donated his extensive collection of pagan literature because of the fundamental incompatibility between secular learning and Bible study. The 4th century Apostolic Constitutions, an early work of canon law considered authoritative in the east, commands the Christian believer to shun all pagan learning as “strange” and “diabolical.”
Basil of Caesarea advised the faithful: “Let us Christians prefer the simplicity of our faith to the demonstrations of human reason … For to spend much time on research about the essence of things would not serve the edification of the Church.” Ironically, Basil is considered an example of moderation by apologists for Christianity. He believed that the usefulness of pagan literature should depend on level of scriptural agreement, making philosophy and science a kind of second- or third-rate handmaiden of theology. Writings least in accord with the Bible, almost all secular philosophy and science, were to be consigned to the trash bin.
Athanasius of Alexandria scorned all secular wisdom as blasphemy against the crucified god. In his famous hagiography of St. Antony, the illiterate monk is portrayed as a wise man. Despite his illiteracy, Antony’s hermit-like existence is considered the “perfect pattern of anchoretic life.” Antony even asks visiting pagan philosophers to become just like him in his “wisdom,” even though he is ignorant of all worldly learning.
The homilies of John Chrysostom, a noted anti-intellectual of the 4th century, are filled with vile denunciations of philosophy and science. He even periodically exhorted the Christian faithful to empty their minds of all secular wisdom. John routinely spewed vitriol against the classical heritage, advocating its systematic eradication, but only to magnify the power and influence of the gospel in daily life. Preaching before an elite audience in Constantinople, John’s vision was of a radically pure and ascetic Christianity, one stripped of all pagan influence. Given his oratorical ability and considerable powers of invective, as well as high standing in the patristic canon, there can be no doubt that John’s great hatred of secular knowledge played an influential role in the church’s decision to censor and suppress the writings of classical antiquity.
John Cassian, the great spiritual guide of Latin Christendom, advised the monk to seek out the company of uneducated peasants for his own personal edification. The abbot Arsenius, a former imperial tutor, regarded his education in classical Greek and Latin as inferior to the “wisdom” of illiterate Egyptian monks. The 4th century Christian ascetic and theologian Evagrius Ponticus declared: “Blessed is the man who has attained infinite ignorance.” The 5th century Statuta Ecclesia Antiqua banned the clergy from reading pagan books, unless their anti-Christian and heretical opinions needed to be refuted. This was incorporated into the 12th century Decretum Gratiani, a source of canon law for the Roman church until 1918.
Although considered a text-based religion, Christian teachings were orally transmitted until Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in 1440. Patristic and medieval Christianity viewed literacy in a negative light. Church tradition had always maintained that the first apostles lived in a state of “blessed ignorance.” In imitation of these men, Christians refused to teach their congregations how to read and write, especially during the first three centuries of the church’s existence. The ante-Nicene church produced no translations of the Bible for the indigenous populations of the provinces and frontiers, even though these populations were in regular contact with itinerant missionaries since the earliest days of primitive Christianity. The few patristic exhortations to Bible reading were aimed at a small minority of educated Christians. Centuries of theological controversy contributed to a view of Bible reading as a subversive undertaking. It was actively discouraged by the clergy, who ensured that the common people under their pastoral care would remain illiterate for generations. During the Middle Ages, church councils were convened to forbid the laity from having in their possession the Bible in Latin or any of the Romance languages. The penalty was burning at the stake for anyone caught translating the Bible into the vernacular.
Paideia suffered under the new ecclesiastical and Christian imperial bureaucracy. Officials of church and state had more important things to do then educate little children in the rudiments of Latin grammar and arithmetic. Illiteracy deepened and became more widespread under Christian influence. The anti-educational priorities of the church, increasing in virulence with the passage of time, discouraged more and more people from getting an education. This continued until literacy vanished from entire regions of post-Roman Europe. The Christian church’s deep-seated hostility to learning and scholarship, besides its positive estimation of ignorance and illiteracy, maintained western Europe at a prehistoric level of development for centuries.
The 4th century, which saw the triumph of Christianity, was a period of significant intellectual decline. There were no great figures in science, architecture or medicine. The 4th century could boast of no philosophers of the same caliber as Plotinus; there were no great writers or dramatists. Schools were closed, higher studies were abandoned, and the pagan libraries were sealed shut. The intellectual and artistic productions of the age were of little depth and substance. The all-pervasive Christian hostility to the life of the mind brought about this age of sterility.
Section I: The Christian destruction of Europe’s artistic heritage
Theodosius was the first Christian emperor to systematically legislate paganism out of existence. He began by enacting a series of draconian measures, soon after his declaration that Nicene Christianity was the official state religion in 380 AD. Towards the end of his reign, legislation proscribing Hellenistic religion – the so-called Theodosian decrees – became increasingly harsh. This imperial program of cultural genocide descended into an orgy of violence and destruction in the final decades of the 4th century.
The coming storm was foreshadowed by the Christian fanatic Maternus Cynegius, appointed by Theodosius as praetorian prefect in 384. Under imperial orders to suppress pagan sacrifice and divination, he launched his own personal crusade against the Hellenistic religion. With the help of bishops, priests and an army of rampaging monks, Cynegius demolished some of the holiest sites in the Greek east. Many of these buildings housed antiquity’s greatest artistic treasures.
Archeological evidence, gathered from eastern Mediterranean sites, reveals significant temple destruction and desecration. This can be dated to the period of Cynegius’ activity in the east. Contemporary hagiographical sources, like the Vita Porphyrii, bear witness to the spectacular religious violence directed against the pagan shrines and temples of the Levant. In 386, the pagan orator Libanius, an outspoken critic of Christian iconoclasm, begged Theodosius to preserve the temples and shrines of the empire. He spoke of armies of “black-robed monks,” gluttons and drunkards, who would
hasten to attack the temples with sticks and stones and bars of iron, and in some cases, disdaining these, with hands and feet. Then utter desolation follows, with the stripping of roofs, demolition of walls, the tearing down of statues and the overthrow of altars, and the priests must either keep quiet or die. After demolishing one, they scurry to another, and to a third, and trophy is piled on trophy, in contravention of the law. Such outrages occur even in the cities, but they are most common in the countryside. Many are the foes who perpetrate the separate attacks, but after their countless crimes this scattered rabble congregates and they are in disgrace unless they have committed the foulest outrage…
Christians not only vandalized temples, they also mutilated pagan statuary and defaced inscriptions. Violent destruction of pagan religious artifacts is archeologically well-attested in the Levant and Africa, where Christian iconoclasts were at their most active. This pattern of destruction was empire-wide and can be seen in places as far away as North-western Gaul and Britain. Far more destructive than the temple destruction carried out by Christian zealots was the imperial anti-pagan legislation ending all subsidies to the once thriving polytheistic cults of the empire. Without subsidies from the imperial treasury, pagans were unable to maintain and repair their religious monuments. This was reinforced by additional legislation ordering the closure of all shrines and temples, threatening pagans with death if they continued to practice haruspicy and animal sacrifice. This condemned the empire’s major structures and artistic monuments to permanent disrepair and eventual ruin.
The widespread Christian vandalism of late antiquity was the largest campaign in world history to destroy an entire civilization’s artistic and architectural heritage. This campaign to erase the great monuments of antiquity from memory was significantly more destructive than the barbarian invasions of the 5th century. Without this added ingredient of ritualized violence, Christianity would never have become the dominant religion of the ancient world.
There was widespread, active destruction of heretical and pagan writings through book burning. Although sometimes used by pagan magistrates to destroy subversive literature, it was only during the imperially coerced Christianization of Rome that book burning increased significantly in volume and frequency. Under the Nicene state religion, book burning became a prominent form of ritualized violence against heresy and paganism. The literature that was burned was chiefly of the magical, astrological, religious, philosophical or anti-Christian variety. People had their limbs amputated for copying heretical and other banned books.
According to the book of Acts, Christianity began its campaign of active literary destruction as early as the 1st century. A group of Ephesian converts, in response to a Jewish sorcerer’s failed exorcism, gathered together their religious and prophetic books and had them burnt. This act of religious violence is spoken of with approval as an example of how god’s word spread widely, gaining influence among the people. This served as one of the chief theological justifications for the many book burnings that were carried out in Christian Rome.
Legislation that prescribed the burning of heretical and pagan, especially magical and astrological, books was enacted by Constantine in the early 4th century. These included books by Arius, the priest who denied that Christ was consubstantial with the father, and the Neoplatonist philosopher Porphyry, who wrote a book attacking the Christian religion. The pagan Library of Antioch, which contained Julian’s extensive collection of Greek and Roman classics, was burnt to the ground in 363 by the Christian emperor Jovian, an act of retaliation against Julian for replacing Christianity with Hellenistic paganism.
Imperial legislation prescribing the burning of pagan books, specifically by magicians and astrologers, is found in the Codex Theodosianus. The burning of pagan books continued into the 6th century, where it is well-attested in contemporary sources associated with the reign of Justinian. Not only were the books of heretics such as Nestorius and the Manicheans to be consigned to the flames, but also books by the hated Porphyry and other pagan critics of Christianity. The laws of Theodosius II and Valentinian, ordering their inquisitors to burn the writings of Porphyry and any pagan work judged anti-Christian, were maintained by the Codex Justinian. The Digest grants the inquisitor considerable latitude in deciding which books were sufficiently heretical, magical or anti-Christian enough to warrant being consigned to the flames.
There was a systematic and empire-wide destruction of pagan literature through book burning under Justinian. The most spectacular book burnings were carried out by Christian officials in Constantinople and Asia. Amantius, the Byzantine inquisitor, ruthlessly hunted down pagans in Antioch. He smashed their idols, burned their books and confiscated their wealth by imposing exorbitant fines. Justinian even found it necessary to ban pagans from all teaching positions in the empire. This legislation is associated with Justinian’s closing of the Neoplatonic Academy in 529, a great deathblow to secular education in philosophy and the sciences.
How successful was the church’s war on Western culture through incineration of pagan texts? The entire ancient corpus of magical, astrological and religious literature was so thoroughly destroyed that nothing has managed to survive. We have none of the many scholarly writings that could have shed light on traditional Greco-Roman polytheistic worship, such as Varro’s monumental Antiquitates rerum humanarum et divinarum. Christian officials diligently rounded up and burnt any work of philosophy written from a materialist perspective, like those by Epicurus and his followers. The fragmentary literary remains of Epicurus, a voluminous author who published over 300 books, is due to the zealous efforts of Christian book burners. Christians also successfully eradicated all pagan literature that openly criticized the Nicene state religion on both rational and philosophical grounds. Of the most famous anti-Christians, only fragments of their prolific literary output survive. Pagan anti-Christian writings were considered so dangerous that even their Christian refutations had to be incinerated along with them. Of the anti-Christian works that bothered Christians the most, Porphyry was repeatedly singled out by imperial legislation for burning, followed by Julian’s diatribe against the “Galileans.” We know that many pagans wrote against Christianity, but the fact that barely any of this literature survives is a clear indication that what Christianity could not dispel through reasoned argument, it silenced through brute force.
The monastic scriptoria played a major role in the church’s eradication of all secular knowledge. The monks would recycle parchment from secular manuscripts by scraping off the ink with a mild acidic solution; a “washed” parchment was then re-used for the copying of Christian manuscripts. This was subsequently known as a palimpsest. For centuries, manuscripts overwritten with patristic, biblical and liturgical texts were almost always of pagan origin. The systematic destruction of classical literature somewhat abated by the eve of the Carolingian “Renaissance,” but the secular writings of antiquity were still far more likely to be destroyed by Christians than any other body of literature. That this was the case is further demonstrated by examination of the ratio of classical to Christian manuscripts. When extant manuscripts are considered, the ratio is 1:25 or 4%. A 7th century copy of the Vulgate, for example, is listed by Codices Latini Antiquiores (CLA) as a palimpsest with sheaves pilfered from the manuscripts of 9 different classical authors, including Livy, Cicero, and Seneca. Given the 4% ratio, the statistical likelihood of so many classical authors being used for a single manuscript because of fortuitous circumstance is so remote it borders on the impossible. This is made even more improbable when one realizes that the libraries of the late antique and medieval periods were typically stocked with patristic, biblical and liturgical writings. The Vulgate manuscript would never have been assembled unless the church was deliberately targeting the ancient cultural patrimony of an entire civilization and people for systematic eradication.
The most notorious – and the most destructive – act of Christian cultural genocide was the deletion of Archimedes’ mathematical treatises. In their place was found a Byzantine liturgical manual. This is known as the famous Archimedes palimpsest. The most important of these manuscripts, the Method of Mechanical Theorems, reveals that Archimedes had a rudimentary understanding of the integral calculus; he was the first to calculate the area and volume of solid geometric figures using infinitesimal magnitudes. This was some 2000 years before Newton and Leibniz, the modern discoverers of the integral and differential calculus. If Christianity had not retarded scientific and technological development in ancient and medieval times, mankind would be far more advanced than he is now. Christianity was the single greatest impediment to material progress in the history of Europe.
Section III: Censorship and the Christian War on Western Culture
The ecclesiastical decision to censor and suppress classical literature was influenced by militant Christian “fundamentalists,” bigoted anti-intellectuals like Ambrose and John Chrysostom. These men, because of their prominence in ecclesiastical affairs and importance for the patristic canon, were able to aggressively push for an agenda calling for the eradication of all pagan artistic, cultural and scientific achievement. The patristic attack on the intellectual foundations of the ancient world was continued by the medieval church. Isidore of Seville, the most influential and widely read author of the Dark Ages, repeatedly warned his flock of the spiritual dangers posed by reading secular philosophy and science. The canon law of the church had long prohibited Christians from reading secular literature, excluding clergy who consulted these writings to combat heresy and paganism.
The Christianization of 4th century Rome made the church sole inheritor of the great storehouses of ancient wisdom that had been accumulated throughout the centuries. As pagans dwindled in numbers and influence, the monastic scriptoria came to dominate textual transmission, especially after 400. Guided by ecclesiastical censure and canon law, the scriptoria, with few exceptions, ceased copying secular writings for over 300 years, severing medieval Europe from the great scientific and technological achievements of the ancient past. During the Dark Ages, nearly all Greco-Roman literature was removed from circulation and replaced with patristic, biblical and liturgical writings. Works of science and philosophy, some well ahead of their time, were discarded by ecclesiastical officials as rubbish. Sometimes they were re-used for mundane purposes; relics were once found wrapped in the pages of Livy’s Histories. Italian Renaissance scholar Pietro Bembo estimated that less than 1% of all Greek literature survived the turmoil and chaos of the Dark Ages. Modern scholars have made similar estimates for the survival of Latin literature.
Christian religionists allege barbarian invasion as a significant factor in the loss of Western scientific and technical knowledge; they neglect to mention that the barbarians who terrorized the western half of the empire were also Christians. At any rate, barbarian invasion played virtually no role in the destruction of the West’s literary heritage; the majority of Greek and Latin literature was still extant by 500 AD, as the age of Germanic migration was drawing to a close. Although there is no evidence of barbarians burning books or libraries, there is an abundance of evidence implicating Christians in the active destruction and censorship of an entire civilization’s repository of secular knowledge. After the Christian destruction of the Library of Alexandria, the second most destructive act of Christian literary vandalism was the burning of over 120,000 manuscripts by crusaders during the sack of Constantinople in 1204.
|The destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria|
Apologists for Christianity emphasize the role of economic and material factors in the disappearance of Western culture during the Dark Ages. In their view, most pagan works simply disintegrated because they were written on papyrus, a fragile material. But this is a myth; papyrus is a highly durable medium, able to withstand the centuries under the right conditions. They cannot explain why the fragility of papyrus was never an issue for the transmission of classical texts until after late antiquity, when the Christian church was at the apogee of its power and influence in Europe. Other religionists speculate that the transition from papyrus to parchment in late antiquity made the copying of pagan literature a costly enterprise. This argument fails because the relative cost of papyrus and parchment cannot be ascertained from the available sources; cost is irrelevant anyway because parchment replaced papyrus in Egypt.
The Christian religionist unwittingly reveals another mode of ecclesiastical censorship and suppression: the refusal to recopy pagan works from papyrus to parchment, which happened during the large-scale replacement of papyrus with parchment in the early medieval period. Still, and embarrassingly enough for the Christian religionist, he cannot explain why Christian writings, whether patristic, liturgical or biblical, outnumber pagan writings by a staggering ratio of 25 to 1. Only widespread Christian censorship and suppression of pagan science and philosophy can adequately account for these glaring statistical discrepancies.
Apologists say Islamic conquest of Egypt in 642 disrupted trans-Mediterranean shipments of papyrus, which resulted in the loss of much ancient literature. However, the historical record reveals that the West’s barbarian rulers, as well as the Byzantine emperor, always had access to a steady supply of Egyptian papyrus. Although Egypt came under Moslem rule, papyrus manufacture remained a Christian enterprise, with Moslems now exporting it to Europe. The irony is that, although Byzantine rulers always had access to an abundant supply of papyrus, the Greek and Roman literature in their possession still gradually dropped out of circulation and vanished from library shelves.
In the Latin-speaking West, decline in papyrus as a writing material is related to large-scale abandonment of Roman forms of government. For example, the Code Justinian contains legislation mandating the use of papyrus for government documents. In keeping with Roman bureaucratic norms, the Merovingian chancery used papyrus until the late 7th century. This practice disappeared under the Carolingians, a dynasty originating in the Germanic east. Unlike the Romanized west, which was more urban and centrally administered, the Germanic east was decentralized and rural. For these reasons, parchment gradually supplanted papyrus in Europe.
In the Christian religious mind, Irish monasteries played an instrumental role in the “preservation” of Western scientific and technical knowledge, but this is a risible claim. What work of preservation was there when over 99% of all secular writings were either destroyed or suppressed by the Christian church? There was no preservation. What did manage to survive, did so in spite of Christianity, not because of it. That almost nothing of this literature managed to survive shows that the Christian church conducted a remarkably successful campaign of censorship and suppression, the most successful in all history. This is further reinforced by statistical data on book production from 400 to 800 AD. In the fifth century, 27% of extant manuscripts copied were pagan, with the rest being works of a largely patristic, biblical or liturgical nature; this declined to 7% in the sixth century, 2% in the seventh century and 1% in the eighth century, out of a grand total of 834 extant Latin manuscripts. Over a 400-year period, we see classical works being gradually removed from circulation. This is a pattern indicative of widespread and systematic literary censorship and suppression. If the steep decline in the number of classical texts copied had continued uninterrupted, all pagan scientific, technical and philosophical knowledge would have vanished from memory. Contrary to the bigoted claims of Christian religionists, we do not see “preservation.” Careful examination of the historical record reveals that the Christian church bears sole responsibility for the destruction and suppression of over 99% of Greek and Latin literature. The church’s eradication of the accumulated wisdom of the ages is one of the greatest crimes ever committed against the West. No act of censorship has been more destructive in world history than the one carried out by this institution. Without the life-giving knowledge of the ancient world, maintaining an advanced pre-industrial civilization became virtually impossible. Christian censorship and suppression of secular knowledge is the main reason behind Europe’s descent into the Dark Ages after the collapse of imperial rule in the West.
Apologists condemn all criticism of the church for suppressing the technical and scientific knowledge of antiquity as anachronistic. The fact of the matter is that progress, curiosity and reason are among Europeans’ most important inheritance from the classical world. Modern Western civilization would cease to exist without these values. The decision of the scriptoria to discard works of science, mathematics, engineering and philosophy was a complete rejection of progress, intellectual curiosity and reason. It was the rejection of civilization in favor of a prehistoric existence as the Christian ideal. As a direct result of Christianization, the scriptoria nearly ceased copying the writings of antiquity for centuries; for the first time in history, Europe was in danger of losing her ancient storehouse of scientific, technical and philosophic knowledge that would be so crucial for the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution.
Section IV: Narrowing of the Western intellectual horizon
Christians declared all-out war on the secular foundations of the Roman state. In doing so, they inevitably attacked Rome’s tradition of great art and architecture, as well as the vast storehouses of scientific and technical knowledge that had been accumulated over the centuries. Christians who desired the total eradication of paganism had nothing viable with which to replace the secular culture of the late antique world. Many Christians, conscious of the inferiority of their own religious traditions when compared to the majestic scientific and philosophical achievements of Western culture, attacked secular learning out of envy and spite. This intellectual poverty of the Christian religion induced a significant narrowing of Western intellectual horizons. The entrenchment and consolidation of the Nicene state religious cult obviated the necessity of a classical education for worldly success. Many pursued a religious vocation instead, an option that suddenly became attractive as the Christian church increased in power and influence. The 4th century witnessed the dismantlement of the public education system by zealous Christians, who were disgusted with the paganism of the classical academic curriculum. The Christian emperors, unlike their pagan antecedents, did not patronize secular philosophy and science; the administrative apparatus responsible for disbursement of state funds, now controlled by an ecclesiastical bureaucracy, withheld them in the case of teachers who specialized in the classics. This angered many of the last remaining pagans of late antiquity, who bitterly complained about the role of Christianity in spreading a general lack of interest in pursuing a secular education.
A man with a classical education was no longer as highly esteemed as he once was before the age of Constantine. The leaders of the empire’s most powerful institution, the church, contemptuously dismissed their learning as mere “worldly wisdom.” In the eyes of the church, reliance on the faculty of reason alone was the mark of demonic possession, a path fraught with snares for lost souls on the way to eternal damnation in the fires of hell. The educated man was condescending and arrogant; he was too sophisticated for the simple message of the gospels. An educated man would also question Christian doctrine, even embrace heresy, making him especially dangerous from an ecclesiastical point of view. The existence of the classical curriculum posed a significant obstacle to the imperial policy of Christianization. By downgrading and marginalizing the pursuit of a secular education, the church was able to gradually eliminate this threat, producing a more docile public, like the sheep in the parables of Jesus. From now on, Christians like Martin of Tours would have more important things to do than learn how to read and write.
The final triumph of orthodoxy over reason is enshrined in the church’s canon law, which forbade clergy and laity from reading the secular literature of antiquity. This canonical prohibition was famously enforced by Pope Gregory I, who severely reprimanded his bishops for instructing students in classical literature. “One mouth cannot praise both Christ and Jupiter at the same time,” thundered Gregory from the Papal See in Rome. The Church controlled all medieval scriptoria in Europe. Advice to monks from church leadership, ordering them to despise all secular knowledge as “foolishness in the eyes of god,” exercised a damaging influence on the scribal transmission of classical literature, merely strengthening the clerical refusal to not copy works of pagan origin. What followed was the inevitable loss of the knowledge needed to run an advanced pre-industrial society. This only worsened and prolonged the Dark Ages, reducing Europeans to a Neolithic existence in the process. Gregory’s hatred of Rome’s secular past was so fierce he was rumored to have personally hunted down and burnt every copy of Titus Livy’s History he could get his hands on. The Library of the Palatine Apollo, first established by Augustus in Rome, was burnt to the ground on his orders. This was to protect the faithful from being contaminated by the “poison” of secular Greek and Latin literature.
|Isidore of Seville|
For 200 years of western European history, Isidore of Seville was the only real “intellectual.” His Etymologies, the most popular and widely used textbook of the Middle Ages, was written in support of Christian “fundamentalism.” Although unsurpassed in topical comprehensiveness, Isidore’s intellectual depth and range of knowledge are considerably inferior to the Roman encyclopedists who preceded him. Isidore lived in a geocentric universe enclosed within a rotating star-studded sphere, not unlike the cosmology of the ancient Hebrews. The concept of infinite space was completely alien to Isidore’s way of thinking. The fact that all knowledge could be summarized in a single volume shows how drastically intellectual horizons had narrowed under Christian influence. Isidore regarded all pagan science and philosophy as heresy anathema to right-thinking Christians. The church, using the Etymologies as a guide, censored and suppressed the pagan literature quoted in its pages. Isidore further denigrated intellectual curiosity as dangerous and harmful. His widely influential Monastic Rule warned monks of the dangers of reading pagan literature; the rule stated that ideally monks should be completely ignorant of all secular knowledge. Isidore’s condemnation of secular knowledge reinforced the prevailing “fundamentalist” orthodoxy of the church, which demanded censorship and suppression of all pagan science and philosophy.
Christian religionists tout Aquinas and Roger Bacon as exceptions to the anti-scientific world-view of the church, but these men were writing in response to Aristotle, who had just been rediscovered in the 12th century. Even in antiquity, Aristotle was considered outdated. Neither Aquinas nor Bacon were scientists, none of them performed any real scientific experiments and none of them advanced science in any real or tangible way. Their achievement was to reconcile the Semitic doctrines of Christianity with the superior pagan ways of Aristotle, but the results of this were highly unsatisfactory. Aquinas was also the father of medieval scholasticism, which proved highly detrimental to the rise of modern science in Europe. Scholastic methodology was eventually mocked for its absurdities by Renaissance writers like François Rabelais. Because of the Christian emphasis on scripture and tradition as final source of authority, the church was opposed to the pagan epistemic values of public verifiability of evidence and empirical rationality. To the church hierarchy, the search for knowledge in accordance with such principles was both arrogant and dangerously heretical. Even with the reintroduction of pagan science and philosophy in the 12th century, there was still significant ecclesiastical opposition to the unaided reason as guide to truth.
The Christian church persecuted those who chose to question Christian religious orthodoxy with impunity. This fostered an environment in which pursuit of scientific and technical progress became a virtual impossibility. For example, the posthumous condemnation of the 6th century Alexandrian philosopher John Philoponus as a heretic ensured that his principled rejection of Neoplatonic and Aristotelian philosophy would remain unknown for centuries to come. This organized ecclesiastical persecution of free thinkers ruled out any possibility of material progress until the Scientific Revolution.
Despite what the facts reveal, Christian religionists have tried to distort the historical record by pretending otherwise. They believe that Christianity was a necessary ingredient, the “spark” that began the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century. This ignores the fact that science and religion, specifically Christianity in this case, are fundamentally incompatible. Christianity is about blind faith, with revelation and authority serving as the only valid criteria for the evaluation of truth. In contrast, science is the accumulation of knowledge through logical reasoning, empirical observation and measurement. Christianity is a form of magical thinking; it is not open to revision. Science, on the other hand, is continuously in search of new ideas with ever greater explanatory power. Though scientific and technological progress occurred between 400 BC to 300 AD, leading to the development of ideas that would not be surpassed until the Scientific Revolution, there was virtually no progress from 300 AD to the 12th century, the apogee of Christian power and influence in Europe.
Even Christian Byzantium, which was more successful than the post-Roman successor states of the Latin West, never made any significant progress in science and technology. Under Christian influence, Europe regressed to a Neolithic stage of existence. This is well-supported by recent archeological evidence revealing numerous medieval simplifications of the earlier Roman material culture. Trade, industry and agriculture all witnessed significant declines in technical sophistication, economic productivity and output. Population size also decreased because of overall declines in prosperity and comfort.
Ecclesiastical censorship and suppression of Western scientific and technical knowledge facilitated the spread and transmission of disease across Europe. This operated in tandem with the Christian denigration of the human body as a vehicle for sin. Instead of searching for the natural causes of disease, as the Hippocratic writers once did, the official doctrine of the church discouraged the practice of medicine by attributing all bodily ailment to the results of sin and diabolical possession. This retarded progress in the healing arts, leaving Europe at the mercy of disease for hundreds of years.
The negative influence of Christianity in Europe is revealed by the estimated mortality rates from the 14th century Black Death, one of the most devastating pandemics in human history. This was always significantly higher in regions and among populations where Christianity happened to be the dominant religion. For example, although plague reduced the population of the Moslem world by one-third, this was still less than the estimated two-thirds for Europe. These macroregional differences in mortality are also reflected on much smaller geographic scales. England under the Plantagenets lost one-half of her population to plague, whereas Mamluk Egypt lost only one-third.
Among populations, Jews had lower death rates than Christians. Their apparent immunity to the disease aroused the suspicions of their European contemporaries, who implicated them in a clandestine plot to kill Christians.
Why the differential rates in mortality between Moslem, Jew and Christian? Judaism and Islam have long maintained personal hygiene as an integral part of daily ritual practice; Christianity, because of its hostility to the body, shunned personal hygiene as worldly and materialist. The church in Spain, for example, regularly encouraged believers to avoid bathing to better distinguish themselves from the hated Moors and Jews. Differences in physical cleanliness between entire geographic regions and whole populations either mitigated or exacerbated the ravages of the bubonic plague.
The triumph of Christianity in late antiquity devalued human physical existence in the eyes of Europeans. Human sexuality was regarded as a necessary evil, to be avoided except for procreation in marriage. The church also discouraged Christians from bathing because concern for the body was viewed as an obstacle to salvation. Although it came very close, the church did not officially ban personal hygiene. Instead, the Christians who ruled Europe allowed the great network of public baths that once dotted the empire, including the aqueducts that supplied them with water, to fall into a state of permanent disrepair.
St. Jerome once said: “He who has bathed in Christ has no need of a second bath.” This injunction was taken seriously by Christian ascetics. They practiced ritual mortification of the flesh by refusing to wash themselves. They wore the same garments every day until they were reduced to rags. The stench that was produced was known by Christians as “alousia” or the “odor of sanctity.” Saints like Agnes and Margaret of Hungary were revered by Christians because of their rejection of physical hygiene.
In the Rule of St. Benedict of Nursia, only those monks who were sick and infirm were granted permission to bathe. Monks in good health and the young were encouraged to wallow in their own filth and excrement. Benedict’s rule was the most influential in the history of Western monasticism. It was embraced by thousands of medieval religious communities as a foundational monastic text.
Word of mouth is notoriously ineffective as a means of spreading religious propaganda. This explains why Christianity’s growth remained largely unspectacular until the early 4th century. Of course, the primary reason for the Christianization of the empire was the conversion of Constantine to the new religion. The influence of Christianity in the empire was continuously reinforced and strengthened by the imperially coercive legislation of his successors. Christianization also sanctioned acts of religious violence against pagans, which contributed significantly to the religion’s spectacular growth in numbers and influence. Without Constantine, and the religious violence of his successors, Christianity would have remained just another competing religion in the provincial backwaters of the empire, like Mithraism or the Eleusinian Mysteries.
The imperial policy of Christianization was further aided by the religion’s intrinsic advantages over rival philosophical and religious belief systems, making it more palatable to the masses. This facilitated its rapid spread across the empire until, by the reign of Theodosius in the late 4th century, most urban areas were predominantly Christian. These advantages included the egalitarian ethos of the Christian church. Unlike Mithraism, which was elitist, Christianity accepted all potential recruits, regardless of ethno-linguistic or socio-economic difference. The Christians of the first three centuries practiced a form of primitive communism. This attracted the chronically indigent, as well as freeloaders. Another advantage was the child-like simplicity of Christian doctrine.
The Crisis of the 3rd century, where rival claimants fought each other for the title of Caesar, was an internecine conflict lasting for decades. It produced widespread economic instability and civil unrest. This disruption of daily life encouraged men and women to seek refuge in the mystery religions, but also Christianity, which offered easy answers in an increasingly chaotic and ugly world. The Christian religion promised life everlasting to those who successfully endured tribulation on earth.
Passage of the edict of Milan in 313 meant that Christians would go from being a persecuted minority to a persecuting majority. Although persecution of religious dissidents had occurred before Constantine, such events were comparatively rare. Roman “persecution” of Christianity was mild and sporadic. It was not even religious in nature, but political; Christians refused to swear loyalty to the state by offering the pinch of incense to the emperor’s genius. Christians were not so much persecuted as they were subjected to Roman police action for disobeying the laws of the land. In contrast, Christian persecution of pagans and heretics was entirely motivated by religious hatred. It combined the authoritarian anti-pagan legislation of the emperors with the bigotry of the clergy and the violence of the Christian mob.
The first repressive laws against paganism were passed by Constantine. In 331, he issued an edict that legalized the seizure of temple property. This was used to enrich church coffers and adorn his city of Constantinople. He redirected municipal funds from the curiae to the imperial treasury. The curiae used these funds for the construction and renovation of temples, as well as for pagan banquets, processions and festivals. The redirection of municipal funds significantly diminished the influence of paganism in the public sphere. Constantine also showed preference for Christians when considering prospective candidates for government posts. For the first time in the empire’s history, conversion to Christianity was considered an attractive proposition.
Pagan temples and statuary were first vandalized and destroyed under Constantine. Christians believed that this first wave of iconoclasm was in fulfillment of scriptural command: “Ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves; . . . for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exod. 34.13f). The earliest Christian iconoclasm included the partial destruction of a Cilician temple of Asklepios and the destruction of temples to Aphrodite in Phoenicia (ca. 326 AD). Constantine’s sons, Constans and Constantius II, followed in their father’s footsteps. In 341, Constans issued an edict banning animal sacrifice. In 346, Constans and Constantius II passed a law ordering the closure of all temples. These emperors were egged on by the Christian fanatic Firmicus Maternus who, in an exhortation addressed to both emperors in 346, called for the “annihilation of idolatry and the destruction of profane temples.” The fact that pagans continued to occupy important posts in the imperial administration made it difficult to legislate the active destruction of temples, statuary and inscriptions without alienating a large segment of the empire’s population. Nevertheless, Constantine’s sons turned a blind eye to private acts of Christian vandalism and desecration.
After the death of Constantius II, Julian was made emperor in 361. Having succumbed to the influence of pagan tutors in his youth, he developed a deep hatred for the “Galilean madness.” Accession to the throne allowed him to announce his conversion to Hellenism without fear of retribution. Julian set about reversing the anti-pagan legislation first enacted by his uncle. He re-opened the temples, restored their funding and returned confiscated goods; he renovated temples that had been damaged by Christian vandals; he repealed the laws against sacrifice and barred Christians from teaching the classics. Julian’s revival of pagan religious practice was cut short in 363, when he was killed in battle against the Persian Sassanids.
His successor Jovian revoked Julian’s edicts and re-established Christianity as most favored religion in the empire. The emperors who came after Jovian were too occupied with barbarian invasion to be concerned with internal religious squabbles; it was more expedient to simply uphold the toleration imposed on pagans and Christians alike by the Edict of Milan. Anti-pagan conflict again came to the forefront with Gratian. In 382 he angered pagans by removing the altar of Victory from the Senate. In the same year, Gratian issued a decree that ended all subsidies to the pagan cults, including priesthoods such as the Vestal Virgins. He further alienated pagans by repudiating the insignia of the pontifex maximus.
In 389, Theodosius began his all-out war on the old Roman state religion by abolishing the pagan holidays. According to the emperor’s decrees, paganism was a form of “natural insanity and stubborn insolence” difficult to root out, despite the terrors of the law and threats of exile. This was followed by more repressive legislation in 391, which re-instated the ban on sacrifice, banned visitation of pagan sanctuaries and temples, ended imperial subsidies to the pagan cults, disbanded the Vestal Virgins and criminalized apostasy. He refused to return the altar of Victory to the Senate house, in defiance of pagan demands. Anyone caught performing animal sacrifice or haruspicy was to be arrested and put to death. In the same year, the Serapeum, a massive temple complex housing the Great Library of Alexandria, was destroyed by a mob of Christian fanatics. This act of Christian vandalism was a great psychological blow to the pagan establishment.
Pagans, dissatisfied with the imperially-sponsored cultural revolution that threatened to annihilate Rome’s ancestral traditions, rallied around the usurper Eugenius. He was declared emperor by the Frankish warlord Arbogast in 392. A nominal Christian, Eugenius was sympathetic to the plight of pagans in the empire and harbored a certain nostalgia for pre-Christian Rome. He restored the imperial subsidies to the pagan cults and returned the altar of Victory to the Senate. This angered Theodosius, emperor in the east. In 394, Theodosius invaded the west and defeated Eugenius at the battle of Frigidus in Slovenia. This ended the last serious pagan challenge to the establishment of Christianity as official religion of the empire.
Apologists for Christianity argue that imperial anti-pagan legislation was more rhetoric than reality; their enforcement would have been difficult in the absence of a modern police state apparatus. This objection is contradicted by archaeological and epigraphic evidence. First, based on stratigraphic analysis of urban temples, cult activity had virtually ceased by the year 400, after passage of the Theodosian decrees. Second, temple construction and renovation declined significantly under the Christian emperors. In Africa and Cyrenaica, temple construction and renovation inscriptions are far more common under the first tetrarchy than the Constantinian dynasty, when pagans still constituted a significant majority of the empire’s citizens. By the end of the 4th century, the authoritarian legislation of the Christian emperors had seriously undermined the strength and vitality of the old polytheistic cults.
The emperors did not stop with the closure of pagan religious sites. In 435 AD, a triumphant Theodosius II passed an edict ordering the destruction of all pagan shrines and temples across the empire. He even decreed the death penalty for Christian magistrates who failed to enforce the edict. The Code Justinian, issued between 529 to 534, prescribes the death penalty for public observance of Hellenic rites and rituals; known pagans were to seek instruction in the Christian faith or risk property confiscation; their children were to be seized by officials of the state and forcibly converted to the Christian religion.
Imperially mandated closure of all urban temples resulted in the privatization of polytheistic worship. This further exacerbated the decline of the pagan religious cults because of the object-dependent nature of ritual practice, which could not be fully realized in the absence of statuary, processions, festivals, lavish banquets and monumental building. In urban areas, imperial legislation was clearly effective. This was ruthlessly enforced by professional Christians and zealous magistrates, who used the additional muscle of the Roman army to get their own way, especially when preaching and public example failed.
Pagan rites and rituals were still observed at rural sanctuaries and temples for some time after the closure of urban centers of worship. These remained off the beaten track, so to speak, and were harder to shut down. Churchmen like the fiery John Chrysostom, cognizant of this fact, exhorted the rich landowning class of the east to convert the heathen on their country estates. Those who allowed pagan worship on their rural properties were just as guilty of violating imperial anti-pagan legislation as the pagans themselves. Itinerant Christian evangelists, like Martin of Tours, fanned out across the countryside, winning souls for Christ through a campaign of intimidation, harassment and violence. In the end, aggressive evangelism, privatization of pagan religious practice and social marginalization ensured the death of paganism in rural areas. Christianization of the empire was complete by 600 AD, although it is unclear to what extent Christ was considered just another deity to be worshipped alongside the old pagan gods.
Christianity is a religious faith. It cannot be disseminated on a large scale through rational persuasion. No one can explain how Christ rose from the dead, how god subsists as three persons in one or how a bible that teaches a geocentric, flat earth cosmology is an infallible guide to universal truth. These are “mysteries.” This is what makes Christianity so dangerous. Conversion, unless done for gain or under threat of force, is an emotional affair. No one is “reasoned” into Christianity. Either that person must accept the teachings of the Christian faith without question or he must be forcibly converted using the sword. It was through the latter that Christians were able to spread their gospel beyond imperial frontiers, nominally converting all Europe by the 14th century.
The spread of Christianity cannot be understood apart from the use of force. The barbarians who invaded the western empire had to convert to Christianity as soon as they set foot on Roman territory. Conversion to the religion was a condition of their migration and settlement on imperial soil. They would not have been allowed to participate in Roman society as pagans. Christian missions located beyond the imperial frontiers would typically focus on converting barbarian rulers and their courts. Once the king was made to accept the new religion, he would then compel his followers to convert along with him. This pattern emerged early in the Christianization of Europe. These kings were the “new Constantines,” because they embraced Christianity, often after invoking Christ for victory in battle, like Constantine during the battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312, and then imposed the religion on the aristocracy and the common people. The earliest of these new Constantines included Caedwalla, the 7th century king of Wessex. He invaded the island of Wight and exterminated most of the Jutes who lived there. Caedwalla replaced these with Christian West Saxons and forced the survivors to convert to Christianity at swordpoint. Another was Edwin, the 7th century king of Northumbria, who used a mixture of bribery and threats to convert aristocracy and common people to the new religion.
After the collapse of the West, Christianity remained confined between the river Elbe in the north and the Danube in the south in continental Europe, until 1000. Barbarians motivated by greed and lust for power were the driving force behind the renewed territorial expansion of medieval Christendom. They were impressed by the wealth, opulence and might of Constantinople and the Frankish dominions and wanted it for themselves. For the pagan warlord, Christianity was akin to the cargo cults of Melanesia. If only his barbarian court displayed all the trappings of the Christian religion, he would be as rich as the emperor in Constantinople!
In an illuminating anecdote, medieval chronicler Notker the Stammerer accurately captured the mentality of barbarian converts to Christianity. In the 9th century, Danes would flock to the Frankish court of Louis the Pious to undergo baptism. In exchange for conversion, Louis would give each man a set of brand new garments and weapons. Once, when Louis ran out of these articles to give prospective converts, he had a few rags stitched together into a coarse tunic and gave it to an old Dane who had been baptized some twenty times before. “If it was not because I was ashamed of my nakedness, I would give you back both the clothes and your Christ,” the Dane snapped back angrily. The “rice bowl” Christians of the 19th and 20th centuries make it difficult to dismiss this story as just another monkish fable.
The power-mad King Stephen of Hungary forced his subjects to convert to Christianity. He believed that Christianization of his kingdom would make it as powerful and as influential as Byzantium. Laws were enacted forbidding pagan ritual practice. Stephen ordered all Magyars to attend church on Sunday and observe Lent and fast days. Failure to obey this draconian legislation was dealt with harshly. Eating meat during Lent was punished by imprisonment; working on a Sunday was punished by confiscation of one’s tools and beasts of burden. The legal penalty for murmuring during a church service was having one’s head shorn, accompanied by a severe flogging. The “Black” Magyars who resisted Stephen’s forced conversion of Hungary were cruelly suppressed. Many were tortured and then blinded by Stephen’s Christian soldiers, who were angered by the intransigence of their pagan foes. These men preferred death to the shame and dishonor of being forcibly baptized into an alien Semitic religion and culture.
Christianization in Poland unleashed a similar wave of violence. Mieszko I forcibly Christianized Poland to strengthen his grip over the country and avoid forced conversion by the East Franks. Idolatry was suppressed by smashing pagan idols and sanctuaries, confiscating estates and beheading those who refused to convert. Although very little Christian legislation survives from Mieszko’s reign, his successor Boleslaw I, prescribed knocking a man’s teeth out upon refusal to observe Lenten fasting. Fornication was punished by nailing a man’s scrotum to a bridge and giving him the choice between death and castration.
The brutality of these methods led to a great pagan reaction to the Christianization of Poland. Pagans retaliated by killing Christian priests and destroying churches. By the middle of the 11th century, the land was plunged into chaos, the Christian church in Poland nearly wiped out, and Mieszko’s dynasty temporarily driven from power.
|The Catholic King led his army onward, plundering, burning and killing as he went, until he reached the river Weser.|
The Saxon Wars of Charlemagne, lasting from 772 to 804, was the first time in history that Christianity was used as an instrument of imperialist conquest. Charlemagne initiated formal hostilities by destroying pagan monuments in Saxony. In 782, Charlemagne promptly avenged a Frankish defeat at Saxon hands by massacring 4,500 Saxons in savage reprisal. The Saxon Capitulary of 785 ordered the death penalty for any Saxon caught resisting baptism or observing heathen practices.
Rulers forcibly converted pagans to Christianity for reasons of personal self-aggrandizement. Michael III, emperor at Constantinople, forced the Bulgarian Khan Boris to accept the eastern orthodox rite in 864, after he was defeated in battle. Forced Christianization allowed Michael to expand his sphere of influence in the Balkans. Bulgaria was then flooded with Byzantine clergy who, with the help of Boris’s army, began a nationwide campaign to demolish all pagan holy sites. The boyars accused the Khan of accepting laws that threatened the stability and autonomy of the state. In 866, they revolted against the khan’s forced Christianization of the country but were suppressed with great cruelty. In the final decade of the ninth century, Boris’s eldest son Vladimir, who became ruler of Bulgaria, tried to eliminate Christianity and restore paganism. In this endeavor, he was supported by the boyars. Vladimir ordered the killing of Christian priests and the destruction of churches. Boris was compelled to leave his monastic retreat and suppress the revolt. Vladimir was deposed, blinded and imprisoned in a dungeon, never to be heard from again.
By the 12th and 13th centuries, crusades were launched to convert the indigenous peoples of Scandinavia and the Baltic region to Christianity. There were crusades against the Wends, Finns, Livonians (Latvians and Estonians), Lithuanians and Prussians. St. Bernard of Clairvaux, a monastic reformer, called for the cultural and physical extermination of northern Europeans who resisted forced conversion to the Christian religion.
Christianity never “civilized” or “domesticated” Europeans. On the contrary, Europeans were forced to endure a Neolithic existence when Christians were at the apogee of their power and influence. The church sent men of genius to monasteries or had them consecrated to the priesthood. This prevented them from passing on their genes, a significant dysgenic effect that lowered the collective European IQ. Only the pagan science and reason of classical antiquity could re-domesticate Europeans after 500 years of total intellectual darkness.
The church successfully defended Europe from invasion, argue some apologists, but nothing could be further from the truth. Charles Martel’s confiscation of church property to defend Europe from Moslem intruders was met with significant ecclesiastical opposition. If the church had succeeded in withholding the necessary funds, all Europe would have been reduced to a province of the Umayyad caliphate. Nevertheless, Martel was unable to pursue the Saracens across the Pyrenees and dislodge them from their Andalusian stronghold. The Moslems would continue their occupation of the Iberian Peninsula for 800 years, until their final expulsion by Ferdinand and Isabella in the late 15th century. Southwestern France and Italy were periodically raided and sometimes controlled by Moslem invaders. The emirate of Sicily endured for over two centuries. Even after Norman conquest, a significant Moslem presence remained on the island. The Moslems of Sicily were finally expelled by the middle of the 13th century. The crusades to retake the Holy Land from the Saracens (1095-1291), a series of large-scale military operations under the joint leadership of papacy and feudal aristocracy, failed to achieve its primary objective. In 1204, Christian crusaders sacked Constantinople in an orgy of rape, pillage and murder. The crusaders caused so much damage that the Byzantines were unable to resist their Ottoman conquerors in 1453.
Christianity provided no adequate defense of Europe. The church only did enough to maintain herself as a viable institution. In the process, the church weakened Europe, making her ripe for conquest by the Umayyad and Ottoman caliphates.
Apologists tentatively acknowledge that although Christianity hindered scientific and technological progress, it still made “contributions” to fields as diverse as architecture and philosophy. On closer examination, these “contributions” are neither “Christian” nor worthy of being considered “contributions.” The great churches of the Middle Ages are frequently trotted out, but these have their origin in Roman building methods. The dome, the arch and the vault, the typical features of the medieval Romanesque style of architecture are all borrowed from the imperial Roman architecture of pre-Christian times. The basic architectural plan of most medieval churches is the Roman basilica, a public building reserved for official purposes. Even the Gothic style that supplanted Romanesque still employed architectural features of Roman origin. The ribbed vaulting that was typical of Gothic architecture was originally used in Vespasian’s Roman colosseum and by Hadrian in the construction of his Tibertine villa.
While acknowledging Romanesque as an “accomplishment,” the Christian religionist will conveniently ignore the almost total disappearance of Roman building methods from western Europe for almost 300 years. This was a direct result of the church’s active suppression of Western scientific and technical knowledge. From the completion of Theodoric’s mausoleum in Ravenna to the consecration of Aachen in 805, nothing of monumental significance was built in western Europe. During the intervening period, Europeans, like their Neolithic ancestors, had returned to the use of perishable materials for use in building.
Apologists for Christianity will mention Aquinas and scholasticism as the highpoints of not only medieval, but European intellectual development, even though Aquinas set European scientific and technological progress back by hundreds of years. Scholasticism was an object of ridicule and mockery during the Renaissance. Religionists mention the Christian “contribution” of the university, oblivious to the many institutions of higher learning that existed and even flourished in the ancient world. The first universities taught scholasticism, so they were the frontline in the Christian war against the pagan values of intellectual curiosity, love of progress for its own sake and empirical rationality.
In the Christian religious mind, science and technology are of Christian origin because the men doing the discovering and inventing during the Scientific Revolution were nominal Christians, like Galileo and Newton. This argument is just as absurd as arguing that the Greek invention of logic, rhetoric and mathematics were the result of Greek pagan theological beliefs because Aristotle and other ancient scientists and philosophers were pagans. No, these men were “Christians” because public avowals of atheism were dangerous in an age where even the most innocuous theological speculation could smear reputations and destroy careers. It is a glowing tribute to the courage and honesty of these men that they were able to abandon Christianity’s reliance on blind faith, often in the face of public censure, and consciously re-embrace the pagan epistemic values that produced the “Greek miracle” 2000 years before the Scientific Revolution.
Christian religionists claim that the New Testament is a great contribution to Western civilization. As has been pointed out for generations, the work is notorious for its bad grammar and unrefined literary style. Much of it was composed by Jews who were not even fluent in koine Greek. Overall, the New Testament is an inferior production compared to the meanest writers of Attic prose. Even St. Jerome, the translator of the Vulgate, expressed contempt for the crude, unsophisticated literary style of the Bible. He preferred the elegant Latin of Cicero instead.
What has Christianity contributed to Europe? The answer is very little, if anything. No art, culture, architectural monuments, science or technology. Christianity was a massive waste of European intellectual and physical potential. Furthermore, Christianity almost destroyed Europe.
The church discarded over 99% of ancient literature, including works on science, mathematics, philosophy, engineering and architecture. This was the largest campaign of literary censorship and suppression in history, an act of cultural and physical genocide that nearly severed medieval Europe from the great achievements of classical antiquity. This was cultural genocide because the church nearly wiped out an entire civilization and culture; this was physical genocide because the church’s deliberate eradication of secular knowledge placed millions of lives in danger, unnecessarily subjecting them to the ravages of disease, war, famine and poverty. No other religion has caused as much suffering and as much damage to Europe as Christianity.
[Editor’s Note: CEC does not endorse the views of this article]
In 1933, the German historian Oswald Spengler wrote:
All Communist systems in the West are in fact derived from Christian theological thought. … Christianity is the grandmother of Bolshevism.
This alone makes Christianity one of the most destructive forces in world history. But how is this even possible?
Equality is such a fundamental aspect of the church’s “kerygma” that if it were removed the entire ideological structure of Christian orthodoxy would collapse like a house of cards. The “catholicity” of the church signifies that membership in the body of Christ is open to all men, regardless of ethno-linguistic or socio-economic differences. Salvation, because it is equally available to all, means that all men possess the same innate capacity to achieve it. There is also universal equality in sinful depravity, as well as in the possession of unmerited divine grace. Jesus’ commandment to love one’s neighbor as oneself is merely the application of universalist and egalitarian principles to human social life. In the New Testament, believers are asked to serve one another, with the aim of achieving social equality within an ecclesiastical setting.
Assimilation of Platonic idealism by Ante-Nicene theologians added a metaphysical dimension to the egalitarian pronouncements of the New Testament. When God created man, he imparted the breath of life through his nostrils. This “breath,” psyche, or anima, translated “soul,” served as the life-principle of the animate body. The equality of souls before god obtains because all bear the same imago dei or image of god. In the Garden of Eden, man lived in circumstances of natural equality. St. Augustine writes that before the Fall, no one exercised dominion or lordship over anyone else, but that all ruled equally and indifferently over the inferior creation. The natural equality that once existed in this mythical prehistory was lost because of sin, which corrupted human nature. This brought slavery and other inequalities into the world. The church believed that the kingdom of god would restore Edenic conditions at the end of time.
To the Ante-Nicene church, belief in spiritual equality was not some ossified formula to be recited by rote like the Apostle’s Creed, but an ever-present reality with real-world, “anticipatory” consequences. Gospel narratives that incorporated elements of primitive communism were received favorably by the church and declared canonical. In Luke 3, John the Baptist, a member of the communist Essenes, exhorts his followers to share their clothing and food with those who are destitute. The communist pronouncements of John foreshadow the more explicit primitive communism of Jesus.
In Luke 4, Jesus begins his ministry by inaugurating an acceptable “year of the Lord’s favor.” This is a direct reference to the Hebrew Jubilee, which came every fifty years after the completion of seven sabbatical cycles. The proclamation of Jubilee signified manumission of slaves, absolution of debt, redistribution of property, and common ownership of the land’s natural produce. According to Leviticus, no one owned the land, except YHWH; only its usufruct could be purchased. This was not a literal year of Jubilee inaugurated by Jesus. The passages being quoted in Luke are from Isaiah, not Leviticus which contains the actual Hebrew legislation. The imagery associated with the Jubilee is used to describe the realized eschatological features of the new age inaugurated by the coming Messiah. His return symbolizes the complete reversal of the old order. The new age will bring about communistic social relations through the ethical transformation of believers. From a biblical hermeneutic standpoint, the Torah Jubilee foreshadows the greater Jubilee now realized in Jesus’ ministry.
Jesus’ economic teachings go far beyond Levitical communal sharing. They necessitate large-scale re-organization of society along egalitarian and communist lines. In Luke 6, Jesus commands his audience to give to all those who beg from them, without distinction as to friend or enemy. His condemnation of violent retaliation is closely linked to this ethic of universal sharing; the communist social arrangement envisaged by Jesus cannot flourish in an atmosphere of violence and suspicion. The eschatological age inaugurated by the Messiah is one where lending without expectation of financial reward has become a new moral obligation, one that must be carried out if one wishes to obtain treasure in heaven.
That early Christian communist practice was morally obligatory is supported by numerous passages from the New Testament. According to 1 John 3:16-17, true believers will sacrifice their lives for the good of others, especially by giving to those in need; anyone who refuses to do this cannot claim to be a Christian in good moral standing.
In the Ante-Nicene church, fellowship was not only spiritual, but included mutual aid in the form of concrete material and economic assistance. The canonical epistle of James defines true religion as caring for “orphans and widows,” an ancient Hebrew idiom for the economically disadvantaged. Those who favor the rich over the poor, instead of treating both equally, are sinners in need of repentance. They have transgressed Jesus’ great commandment to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” James says that “faith without works is dead.” What do these “works” consist of? We are informed that true faith is shown by those who feed and clothe the wretched of the earth. If one refuses to do this, one’s very identity as a Christian is placed in jeopardy.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul provides additional theological justification for early Christian communist practice using the “kenosis” of Christ as a reference point. Christians were expected to follow the example of Jesus, who was “rich” in his pre-existent state, but willingly “impoverished” himself so that believers could become “rich” through his “poverty.” This meant that wealthier Christian communities were morally obligated to share their abundance of riches with poorer ones. The purpose of re-distributing wealth from one Christian community to another, writes Paul, was the achievement of economic equality between believers.
The apostolic identification of “true faith” with material re-distribution led to the establishment of the world’s first welfare system and centrally planned domestic economy. While some form of primitive communism existed before the institutionalized Christian communistic practices of the first three centuries AD, these were reserved for small communities of Greek-speaking intellectuals or Jewish religious fanatics. What made Christian communism unique was its moral universalism and non-ethnocentric orientation. Given the egalitarian thrust of early Christian communist ideology, it should come as no surprise that the central organizing principle of classical Marxist economics, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” was lifted verbatim from the pages of the New Testament.
((((((Marxism))))))-Leninism, a murderous 20th century ideology that led to the deaths of over 100 million individuals worldwide, was directly inspired by the ethical pronouncements of the New Testament. This is a source of great embarrassment to the Christian religionist. In defense, apologists emphasize the voluntary nature of communist practice in early Christianity. Yet this apologetical evasion is clearly anachronistic. Freedom defined as the ability to choose in the absence of external coercion is a uniquely modern idea inherited from post-Enlightenment philosophies of liberalism. This idea of freedom affirms the sovereign will as one obedient to itself, but also reducible to the basic laws of the free market. However, this understanding of freedom is diametrically opposed to the one encountered in the ancient Greek philosophical tradition. In this context, there is no sharp distinction between voluntary action and involuntary obligation; individuals are not conceptualized as autonomous agents with a multitude of options to choose from. Instead, freedom is the ability to pursue the Good without impediment; only a properly functioning will, in which the subject has fully realized his true essence, can do this. To do evil goes against the proper functioning of the will; it is not an expression of one’s individual capacity for freedom. No one willingly or voluntarily refuses to pursue the Good; rather, they lack sufficient moral training or the appropriate self-restraint.
The Christian in the ancient world was free to not worship or consume meat sacrificed to idols; he was not free to do the opposite because he was no longer pursuing the Good. A Christian who violated the prohibition against idolatry was not legitimately exercising his capacity for free will, even though the prohibition had been violated in the absence of external coercion. Instead, such an action was the result of moral ignorance or error. The same could be said of the early Christian practice of communism. This was only “voluntary” in the sense that Christians were freely pursuing a morally acceptable outcome. If freedom is pursuit of the Good without obstruction, Christians were morally obligated to participate in the communist socio-economic practices of the church, otherwise they would not be considered righteous before god.
The “anticipatory” consequences of spiritual equality meant social and economic equality for the church, leading to the establishment of formal communism in the early Christian communities. This was not just philanthropy, but a highly organized social welfare system that maximized the redistribution of wealth. Early Christian communism was widespread and lasted for centuries, crossing both geographical and ethno-cultural boundaries. The communist practices of the ante-Nicene church were rooted in the Jesus tradition of the 1st century. The existence of early Christian communism is well-attested by the Ante-Nicene fathers and contemporary pagans.
After Christianity became the official state religion, the church became increasingly hierarchical as ecclesiastical functions were merged with those of imperial bureaucracy. The communist socio-economic practices of the early church were abandoned by medieval Christians. This was replaced by a view of inequality as static, the result of a “great chain of being” that ranked things from lowest to highest. The great chain was used by theologians to justify cosmologically the rigidly stratified social order that had emerged from the ashes of the old Roman world. It added a veneer of ideological legitimacy to the feudal system in Europe. In the great chain, Christ’s vicar, the pope, was stationed at the top, followed by European monarchs, clergy, nobility and, at the very bottom, landless peasantry. This entailed a view of spiritual equality as “antipathetic.” St. Thomas Aquinas provided further justification for inequality along narrowly teleological lines. In the Summa Contra Gentiles, diversity and variety in creation reflect the harmonious order established by god. If the universe only contained equal things, only one kind of good would exist and this would detract from the beauty and perfection of creation.
The antipathetic view of Christian equality was the dominant one until the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. Martin Luther’s iconic act – the nailing of the 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Castle door in 1517 – began an ecclesiastical crisis of authority that was to have tremendous repercussions for the future of Western history. The pope was no longer the supreme representative of Christ on earth, but an irredeemably corrupt tyrant, who had wantonly cast the church into the wilderness of spiritual oblivion and error.
Access to previously unknown works of ancient science and philosophy introduced to an educated public the pagan epistemic values that would pave the way for the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century. The humanist cry of “ad fontes!” was eagerly embraced by Reformers. It allowed them to undermine scholastic hermeneutical principles (i.e. the Quadriga) and the major doctrines of medieval Christianity. The rediscovery of more reliable manuscripts of the Bible served as an important catalyst of the Reformation.
Reformed theologians, armed with humanist textual and philological methods, studied the New Testament and the Ante-Nicene fathers in the original languages. This led to a Christian “renaissance,” a rediscovery of the early Christian world. Compared to the lax morality and spiritual indifference of late medieval clergy, the first 4 or 5 centuries of the primitive church seemed like a golden age, one that maintained the doctrinal purity of Christian orthodoxy until Pope Gregory I, unencumbered by the gross distortions of scholastic theology and ecclesiastical tradition. Early Christian teachings and practices, forgotten during the Middle Ages, became popular once again among Protestants.
Reformers sought to recapture the spirit of primitive Christianity by incorporating egalitarian and majoritarian principles into an early modern ecclesiastical setting. Egalitarian thought was first enunciated in Luther’s teaching on the universal priesthood of all believers. In contrast to medieval Christian teaching, which viewed the clergy as members of a spiritual aristocracy, Luther proclaimed all Christians equally priests before god, with each one having the same capacity to preach and minister to fellow believers. On this basis, Luther demanded an end to the differential treatment of clergy and laity under canon law. He also defended the majoritarian principle by challenging the Roman ecclesiastical prerogative of appointing ministers for Christian congregations. Calvin, the other great Reformed leader, acknowledged the real-world consequences of spiritual equality, but approached it from the perspective of universal equality in total depravity.
|Thomas Müntzer (1489 – 1525) was a radical German preacher and theologian of the early Reformation whose opposition to both Luther and the Roman Catholic Church led to his open defiance of late-feudal authority in central Germany.|
Protestant radicals viewed the egalitarian policies of the mainstream Reformed churches as fundamentally inadequate; any concrete realization of Christian spiritual equality entailed a large-scale revival of the communistic socio-economic practices of the primitive church. Muntzer, an early disciple of Luther, is representative of this more radical egalitarian version of the gospel. In 1525, a group of religious fanatics, including Muntzer, seized control of Muhlhausen in Thuringia. During their brief rule over the city, they implemented the program of the Eleven Articles, a revolutionary document calling for social justice and the elimination of poverty. Idols were smashed, monks were driven out of their convents and monastic property was seized and redistributed to the poor. From the pulpit, Muntzer delivered fiery sermons ordering his congregation to do away with the “idol” of private property if they wished the “spirit of God” to dwell among them. A leader of the Peasant’s War in Germany, he was captured in May of 1525 after his army was defeated at Frankenhausen. He was tortured and then executed, but not before his captors were able to extract the confession: “Omnia sunt communia.” Whether the confession represents the exact words of Muntzer is controversial; nevertheless, it accurately reflects Muntzer’s anti-materialistic piety and view that the teachings of the gospel were to be implemented in full.
The Munster Rebellion of 1534-1535, led by Jan Matthys and Johann of Leiden, was far more extreme in its radicalism. After the Anabaptist seizure of the city, Matthys declared Munster the site of the New Jerusalem. Catholics and Lutherans were then driven from the town, their property confiscated and redistributed to the poor “according to their needs” by deacons who had been carefully selected by Matthys. They set about imposing the primitive communism of the early church upon the town’s inhabitants. Money was abolished; personal dwellings were made the public property of all Christian believers; people were forced to cook and eat their food in communal kitchens and dining-halls, in imitation of the early Christian “love feasts.” Ominously, Matthys and Johann even ordered the mass burning of all books, except the Bible. This was to symbolize a break with the sinful past and the beginning of a new communist era, like the Year One of the French Revolutionary National Convention. In the fall of 1534, Anabaptist-controlled Munster officially abolished all private property within city limits. But the Anabaptist commune was not to last for long. After a lengthy siege, the Anabaptist ringleaders, including Johann of Leiden, were captured, tortured and then executed by the Bishop of Munster.
The Diggers (or “True Levellers”) and the Levellers (or “Agitators”), active during the English Civil Wars (1642-1651) and the Protectorate (1653-1659), were strongly influenced by primitive Christian teaching. The Diggers, founded by Gerard Winstanley, were inspired by the communist socio-economic practices of the early Christians. They tried to establish agrarian communism in England, but were opposed in this endeavor, often violently, by wealthy farmers and local government officials who dismissed them as atheists and libertines. The more influential Levellers, a radical Puritan faction, tried to thoroughly democratize England by introducing policies of religious toleration and universal male suffrage. Their rejection of the arbitrary monarchical power of King Charles I in favor of egalitarian democracy was ultimately informed by Christian theological premises. Prominent Levellers like “Freeborn” John Lilburne argued for democratic egalitarian principles based on their exegetical interpretation of the Book of Genesis. All men were created equal, they said, with no one having more power, dignity and authority than anyone else in the Garden of Eden. Since no man had the right to exercise authority over others, only popular sovereignty could legitimately serve as the underlying basis of civil government. Many Leveller proposals, as written down in the Agreement of the People, were incorporated into the English Bill of Rights of 1689. This document later influenced the American Bill of Rights of 1791.
John Locke was the founder of modern liberalism, a political tradition soaked in Christian religious dogma. He drew many social and political implications from Christian spiritual equality. His belief in equality was rooted in the firm conviction that all men were created in the image of god, making them equal by nature. Church fathers and medieval theologians had long argued that all men, whether slave or free, were “by nature equal,” but that social inequality among men was god’s punishment for sin. John Locke agreed with the patristic and medieval authors on natural equality but repudiated their use of original sin to justify the passive acceptance of human social and economic inequality. Like the Protestant reformers before him, he believed that spiritual equality was not merely eschatological, but entailed certain real-world implications of far-reaching political significance.
Locke’s argument for universal equality was derived from a careful historical and exegetical interpretation of the biblical narrative. The creation of man in god’s image had enormous ramifications for his political theory, especially as it concerns his views on the nature of civil government and the scope of its authority. From his reading of Genesis, Locke argued that no man had the right to dominate and exploit other members of the human species. Man was created by god to exercise dominion over the animal kingdom. Unlike animals, who are by nature inferior, there can be no subjection among humans because their species-membership bears the imprint of an “omnipotent and infinitely wise maker.” This meant that all men are born naturally free and independent. Locke’s view of universal equality further entailed the “possession of the same faculties” by all men. Although men differed in terms of gross intellectual endowment, they all possessed a low-level intellectual ability that allowed them to manipulate abstract ideas and logically reason out the existence of a supreme being.
In Locke’s view, all government authority must be based on the consent of the electorate. This was an extension of his belief in mankind’s natural equality. Any abuse of power by elected representatives, when all judicial and political avenues of redress had been exhausted, was to be remedied by armed revolution. This would restore men to the original liberty they had in the Garden of Eden. Freedom from tyranny would allow them to elect a government that was more consonant with the will of the people.
Locke’s theory of natural rights was based on biblical notions of an idyllic prehistory in the Garden of Eden. Contrary to monarchical theorists like Filmer, man’s earliest social organization was not a hierarchical one, but egalitarian and democratic. If all men were created equal, no one had the right to deprive any man of life, liberty and private property. In Lockean political philosophy, rights are essentially moral obligations with Christian religious overtones. If men were obliged to surrender certain natural rights to the civil government, it was only because they were better administered collectively for the general welfare. Those rights that could not be surrendered were considered basic liberties, like the right to life and private property.
Early modern Christian writers envisioned in detail what an ideal communist society would look like and how it would function. The earliest communist literature emerged from within a Christian religious context. A famous example is Thomas More’s Utopia, written in 1516, which owes more to patristic ideals of communism and monastic egalitarian practice than Plato’s Republic. Another explicitly communist work is the Dominican friar Tommaso Campanella’s 1602 book City of the Sun. These works form an important bridge between pre-modern Christian communism and the “utopian” and “scientific” socialism of the 19th century. For the first time in history, these writings provided an in-depth critique of the socio-economic conditions of contemporary European society, indicating that only through implementation of a communist system would it be possible to fully realize the humanist ideals of the Renaissance. They went beyond communalization of property within isolated patriarchal communities to envisage the transformation of large-scale political units into unified economic organisms. These would be characterized by social ownership and democratic control. Implicit in these writings was the assumption that only the power of the state could bring about a just and humanitarian social order.
“Utopian” or pre-Marxian socialism was an important stage in the development of modern leftist ideology. Its major exponents, Blanc, Cabet, Fourier, Saint-Simon and Owen, were either devout Christians or men profoundly influenced by the socio-economic and ethical teachings of primitive Christianity. They often viewed Jesus of Nazareth as a great socialist leader. They typically believed that their version of communism was a faithful realization of Jesus’ evangelical message. In the pre-Marxian vision, the primitive communism of the early Christian church was an ideal to be embraced and imitated. Many of these writers even defended their communist beliefs through extensive quotation from the New Testament.
Louis Blanc saw Jesus Christ as the “sublime master of all socialists” and socialism as the “gospel in action.” Etienne Cabet, the founder of the Icarian movement, equated true Christianity with communism. If Icarianism was the earthly realization of Jesus’ vision of a coming kingdom of god, it was imperative that all communists “admire, love and invoke Jesus Christ and his doctrine.” Charles Fourier, an early founder of modern socialism, viewed Jesus Christ and Isaac Newton as the two most important figures in the formative development of his belief-system. He grounded his socialist ideology squarely within the Christian tradition. As the only true follower of Jesus Christ, Fourier was sent to earth as the “Comforter” of John 14:26, the “Messiah of Reason” who would rehabilitate all mankind along socialist industrial lines.
Henri de Saint-Simon, another important founder of modern socialism, believed the true gospel of Christ to be one of humility and equality. He advocated a “New Christianity” that would realize the practical and economic implications of the just world order preached by Jesus. Saint-Simon was also an early precursor of the Social Gospel movement, which sought to ameliorate social pathology through application of Christian ethical principles. The early Welsh founder of modern socialism, Robert Owen, although hostile to organized Christianity and other established religions, regarded his version of socialism as “true and genuine Christianity, freed from the errors that had been attached to it.” Only through the practice of socialism would the “invaluable precepts of the Gospel” be fully realized in contemporary industrial society.
The earliest pioneers of socialism, all of whom maintained socio-economic views grounded upon Christian religious principles, exercised a profound and lasting influence on ((((((Marx)))))). His neo-Christian religious beliefs must be regarded as the only real historical successor of orthodox Christianity, largely because his ideology led to the implementation of Christian socio-economic teachings on a scale hitherto unimaginable. Muntzer, the radical Anabaptists and other Christian communists are considered important predecessors of the modern socialist movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. For example, in Friedrich Engels’ short monograph The Peasant War in Germany, Muntzer is immortalized as the man whose religious and political views were way ahead of his times. He even possessed a far more sophisticated “theoretical equipment” than the many communist movements of Engels’ own day.
The primitive communist transformation of the socio-economic order under Christianity is based on:
It is the mirror image of the modern communist transformation of the socio-economic order under classical Marxist ideology, which is based on
The numerous similarities between Christian communism and ((((((Marxism)))))) are too striking to be mere coincidence. Without the dominant influence of Christianity, the rise of modern communism and socialism would have been impossible.
The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century links the socio-economic egalitarianism of the early Christian communities with the socio-economic egalitarianism of the modern West. As a religious mass movement beginning in late medieval times, it profoundly affected the course of Western civilization. The Reformation played an instrumental role in the initial formulation and spread of liberal and socialist forms of egalitarian thought that now serve as the dominant state religions of the modern Western “democracies.” Without Luther and the mass upheaval that followed in his wake, Christian spiritual equality would have remained an eschatological fact with no direct bearing on the modern secular world.
Spengler’s observation that “Christian theology is the grandmother of Bolshevism” is a truism. All forms of Western communism are grounded in the Christian tradition. The same applies to liberal egalitarian thought, which was also formulated within a Christian religious milieu.
Marxist ideology is neither rationally explicable nor empirically verifiable. This means that ((((((Marxism)))))) is not subject to revision when its prophecies fail to materialize, or its cardinal doctrines are disproven; instead, like the Christian religionist, the Marxist ideologue is forced to engage in mind-numbing apologetics to maintain a thin veneer of ideological respectability. Despite claims of being “scientific,” ((((((Marxism)))))) requires a rigid doctrinal orthodoxy that demands excommunication of heretics who deviate from the established creed. ((((((Marxism)))))) is, in fact, a neo-Christian religious cult with its own prophets, saviors, holy books, holy days, and holy sites, as well as sacred rituals and devotional music.
((((((Marxism)))))) shares the same basic doctrines as Christianity, albeit in materialist garb. The Garden of Eden finds its Marxist counterpart in the egalitarian social arrangement preceding the rise of civilization. The Fall from paradise occurs with Adam and Eve’s disobedience; in the Marxist worldview, the Fall occurs with the introduction of the division of labor. In Christianity, there is the devil; in ((((((Marxism)))))), the villain is the capitalist. ((((((Marx))))))’s historical materialism is merely the eschatological framework of Christian orthodoxy in secularized form. In Christianity, god works through history to redeem the elect. This leads to an apocalyptic showdown between the forces of good and evil, the millennial reign of Christ, and the re-establishment of utopian conditions on earth. The same teleological view of history is found in Marxist ideology. The internal contradictions within the flow of capital resolve themselves in favor of proletarian liberation from capitalist exploitation. The continuous valorization and concentration of financial resources in the hands of the capitalist, combined with the “immiseration” of the proletariat, generate apocalyptic conditions or “revolution.” This leads to the overthrow of the capitalists, seizure of the means of production, dictatorship of the proletariat and finally, the establishment of communist paradise at the end of history.
((((((Marx))))))’s vision of history is so deeply rooted in Christianity that his philosophy would be more accurately classified as a branch of liberal Protestantism. This would situate ((((((Marx)))))) within a Christian theological tradition beginning with the Jew Saul of Tarsus. Even ((((((Marx))))))’s atheism does not exclude him from the Christian tradition; the dialectic in ((((((Marx))))))’s philosophy of history possesses the same function as the triune godhead of Christianity; both are abstract agencies whose purpose is to bring the salvation plan of history to its final consummation in apocalyptic conflict, returning all humanity to an imagined golden age that once existed in the remote past. ((((((Marx)))))), like the primitive Christians and their Reformed inheritors, takes the anticipatory view of human spiritual equality to its final logical conclusion.
From whence does ((((((Marxism)))))) acquire its character as a secularized version of the Christian gospel? The philosophical method of dialectical materialism, the cornerstone upon which the entire edifice of “scientific” socialism was constructed, is derived from Hegel’s use of dialectic in Phenomenology of Spirit. Hegel, called the “Protestant Aquinas” because of his systematization and unification of a wide variety of topics in philosophy and Christian theology, first conceived of dialectic in his early theological writings. According to the philological and historical evidence, Hegel, after having spent years immersing himself in St. Paul’s Letters as a Protestant seminarian, appropriated the term Aufhebung from Luther’s commentary on Romans. This was Luther’s translation of the messianic term katargesis in the Pauline epistles. Hegel made the term the fundamental axis of his dialectic because Luther’s use of Aufhebung had the double meaning of abolishing and conserving, like its koine Greek equivalent katargesis.
Of greater significance is Hegel’s use of Protestant trinitarian theology to elucidate the underlying structure of objective reality. For Hegel, the Absolute is the complete totality of everything in existence; if this is considered as a unity, the Absolute is god, or the self-consciousness of the universe. The world of sense and experience is necessarily triadic because, as Absolute Mind, it reflects the trinitarian structure of the Christian godhead. This makes everything in the known universe amenable to rational explanation. “Mystery” has no place in Hegel’s version of Protestant theology because faith has been replaced with knowledge.
Hegel’s logical system is divided into three parts, each corresponding to the three persons of the trinity: I. Logic II. Nature III. Spirit. These are each further subdivided into three more categories and so on, reflecting Hegel’s belief that any systematization of philosophical and theological knowledge must faithfully mirror the underlying triadic structure of objective reality to achieve some degree of rational coherence. Even Hegel’s dialectical method, the cornerstone of his philosophy, is triadic in structure. The dialectic has three “moments”: (1.) a moment of fixity; (2.) a dialectical or negatively rational moment and; (3.) a speculative or positively rational moment.
In Hegel’s dialectic triad, a fixed concept (first moment) becomes unstable because of a one-sided or restrictive character (second moment). In the process of “sublation” (or Aufhebung), the concept of the first moment is overcome and preserved, but an inherent instability within the concept leads to the creation of its direct opposite. In the third moment, a higher rational unity emerges from the negation of the original negation. Hegel’s teleological vision of the historical process unfolds according to this three-stage dialectical process of contradiction, sublation and unity of opposites.
This system is by no means strictly deterministic; in Hegel’s view of history, the trinitarian god is revealed as transcendent in the dynamic relationship between historical necessity and contingency, which subsist as overarching unity on a higher rational plane of existence. Without this crucial ingredient of contingency, the telos of history would remain outside humanity’s grasp, frustrating the divine plan of a trinitarian god who reveals himself through the logic of the historical dialectic. The Hegelian telos is the universal self-realization of freedom through the historical development of man’s consciousness of the divine, attaining its highest stage of fulfillment in the elimination of all Christian “mysteries” through complete rational self-knowledge of god. Given the role of freedom in this dialectical view of history, the pivotal significance of the Protestant Reformation for Hegel is easily comprehended. Luther’s iconic enunciation of the doctrine of universal priesthood, combined with his repudiation of medieval ecclesiastical authority, meant that freedom was on the threshold of achieving full actualization within the historical process as a universal phenomenon, bringing us further toward the telos of history in modern times.
Like St. Augustine’s linear view of history in City of God, Hegel’s view is also fundamentally Christian, permeated by the eschatological and soteriological elements of Protestant orthodoxy. The central miracle of Christianity, the Incarnation or Logos made flesh, is further reflected in the unfolding of the historical dialectic. The dialectical overcoming of particularity and universality, finite and infinite at the end of history, when man achieves rational self-knowledge of the absolute, is patterned on the Incarnation, or the dialectical overcoming of the opposition between god and man. The self-manifestation of god in the historical process makes man co-agent in the divine plan of post-historical redemption. This occurs despite man’s alienation and estrangement from god. The “unhappy consciousness,” yearning for god, finally becomes aware of his individual co-agency in god’s plan of universal salvation and achieves liberation from despair. This realization, which is really a collective one, ushers in the end of history by ensuring man’s salvation through the establishment of god’s kingdom on earth.
For ((((((Marx)))))), the Hegelian dialectic suffered from an internal contradiction. The logic of dialectic presented human history as an evolutionary process, one of constant motion and change, with no final, absolute form. Yet paradoxically, the laws of dialectic that structured historical development within Hegel’s idealist system were absolutes in a system that was itself final and absolute. How was this contradiction to be resolved? “With [Hegel],” ((((((Marx)))))) wrote in Das Kapital, “[the dialectic] is standing on its head. It must be inverted, in order to discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell.” Inversion of Hegel’s speculative idealism resolves this internal contradiction by recasting the logic of evolution as an open-ended process. The materialist dialectic replaces the idealist teleological-conceptual framework of Hegel’s system with an evolutionary form of human social and biological development. Nothing is absolute in ((((((Marx))))))’s system, except the need for continuous dialectical progression through contradiction and unity of opposites. If all substantial being is relative and transitory, it follows that the laws of dialectic can only be applied to it in a relative fashion. If evolution is a continuous and open-ended process, no idealist resolution of its objective material contradictions is possible without fetishizing them as part of some hermetically sealed, closed system. Thus, ((((((Marx))))))’s inversion of the dialectic rescued it from Hegel’s absolute Christian idealist framework, giving it a thoroughly natural, anthropological foundation within an evolutionary materialist framework. With a materialized dialectic, ((((((Marx)))))) was able to formulate a philosophical methodology that could analyze capitalist economic relations from a scientific perspective.
The eschatological conceptualization of history as both linear and teleological is a uniquely Judeo-Christian “contribution” to Western culture. This replaced the earlier Greek view of history as a cyclical process. Hegel translated the eschatological framework of Lutheran Protestant theology into a well-organized philosophical system. The laws of dialectic were simply contradictions within the Christian narrative of redemption. The Marxist theory of historical materialism assimilated this Christian eschatological framework, in “demystified” and rational form, precisely because its philosophical methodology incorporated Hegel’s dialectic as the motor force of historical development. Thus, we have primitive communism for the Garden of Eden, capitalist oppressors for the devil, man’s self-alienation for the effects of original sin, a classless society for the kingdom of god and so forth. In ((((((Marx))))))’s secularized Protestant theology, historical evolution proceeds by way of class conflict, leading to proletarian emancipation and communist paradise. In Hegel, man achieves rational self-knowledge of god, whereas for ((((((Marx)))))), man achieves rational self-knowledge of himself at history’s end, which is really the beginning of man’s “true” history according to the Marxist plan of salvation.
((((((Marx))))))’s philosophy, when stripped of all socio-economic elements, is the trinitarian and Christological dimension of Hegel’s speculative Protestant rationalism in materialist form. The eschatological and soteriological framework of orthodox Christianity remains intact, although secularized and inverted. Like every good Protestant, ((((((Marx)))))) acknowledged the influence of the Reformation upon his own ideas, tracing his revolutionary pedigree through Hegel to the renegade monk Luther. The global dissemination of ((((((Marxism)))))) has revealed ((((((Karl Marx)))))) as one of the most influential Christian theologians after St. Paul. This neo-Christianity is potentially even more destructive than the patristic Christianity that nearly destroyed the Western civilization of late antiquity. Economic ((((((Marxism)))))) has killed an estimated 100 million people in the 20th century; if trends continue, cultural ((((((Marxism)))))) will lead to the civilizational and cultural extinction of the West.
Among the great religions, only Christianity contains within its shell an unlimited capacity for self-destruction. Nihilism lies at the core of the Christian gospel; in pure form, the religion demands the total renunciation of all worldly attachment for the greater glory of the kingdom of god. Christianity is the negation of life because it sets goals that, when attained, lead to the annihilation of the individual. As far as Western survival is concerned, this can only mean one thing: civilizational collapse and ethnic suicide. This is exactly what happened during the Dark Ages, when Christians were at the apogee of their power and influence in Europe. This decline was reversed by courageous intellectuals who had rediscovered the glories of the ancient civilizations, using this past achievement as the basis for new achievements and discoveries.
Christianity maximizes the survival and reproduction of the genetically unfit at the expense of society’s more productive members. It promotes the mass invasion of the West by foreigners of low genetic quality, especially from the Third World. By lowering collective IQ, Christianity has accelerated Western civilizational decline. Neo-Christianity, in the form of liberalism and cultural ((((((Marxism)))))), has inherited the orthodox Christian high regard for the genetically unfit. Christians and neo-Christians have even provided the necessary economic and political means, i.e. welfare statism and human rights, for ensuring that the genetically unfit breed large numbers of offspring with each passing generation. This has created an “idiocracy,” one that threatens the sustainability of all Western institutions. With each passing year, an enormous fiscal burden is imposed on the state for the support and daily maintenance of this growing class of dependents.
The Christian belief in the sacredness or intrinsic worth of all human life means that the religion is best regarded as an inherently anti-eugenic force. This Christian hatred of race improvement has manifested itself throughout European history. Christian monasticism and the priesthood, which removed Europe’s most gifted men from the gene pool, helped prolong the Dark Ages by hundreds of years. Christian opposition to eugenics may also be driven by a recognition that actual religious belief is correlated with genetic inferiority. The negative correlation between intelligence and religiosity has been known since the mid-1920’s. Recent findings include a 2009 study revealing that atheists have average IQ’s 6 points higher than religious believers. This more than exceeds the threshold for statistical significance. The study further explored the relationship between national IQ and disbelief in god, finding a correlation of 0.60. This negative correlation, replicated across multiple studies, is the main reason why Christianity has experienced such explosive growth in the underdeveloped regions of Africa and Latin America. In this context, Christian opposition to eugenics is a defensive maneuver. A more biologically evolved population would abandon Christianity for a more rational belief-system.
Christianity may also be a threat to global peace and security. The Roman Catholic Church, the largest Christian denomination in the world at almost 1.3 billion members, is opposed to abortion and all other forms of contraception. Protestants are also against abortion, although many support voluntary contraception. Neo-Christians, which include modern liberals and cultural Marxists, although not opposed to the free availability of abortion and contraception in the West, are opposed to population stabilization and reduction in Third World countries.
Although modern research has demonstrated the existence of a significant positive correlation between foreign aid and fertility, Christian organizations continue to actively send aid to Third World countries. The continuous flow of money from the global north to the global south has led to explosive population growth in the developing regions of the world. This problem is most acute in Africa, where the demographic situation has been significantly exacerbated by foreign aid from the liberal governments of developed countries and Christian charities. The population increases through a continuous stream of charitable donation, which places great strain on available resources as the local carrying capacity of the land is exceeded. Competition for scarce resources intensifies, bringing violent conflict in its wake; large-scale famines occur with increasing frequency and severity. The destabilization of entire regions leads to increasing numbers of Africans desperately trying to escape worsening conditions in their own countries, accelerating the destruction of Western civilization through the demographic timebomb of Third World migration. After the West has been utterly destroyed by rampaging migrant hordes, the populations that once survived on Christian charity and foreign aid return to subsistence-level conditions after Malthusian catastrophe. This results in widespread depopulation of Africa south of the Sahara Desert.
Like the patristic Christianity that once menaced the world of classical antiquity, the “neo-Christianity” of social welfare liberalism and cultural ((((((Marxism)))))) threatens to bring about the complete destruction of modern Western civilization. Political doctrines like equality and human rights, forged within a Christian theological context, are now used as tools for the dispossession of Europeans in their own homelands. Not only is neo-Christianity represented by liberal-leftist ideology; it is also an intrinsic element of modern Christian teaching that has rediscovered its primitive Christian roots. All Christian churches, both Protestant and Catholic, support racial egalitarianism; they actively promote the ethnocide of the West through massive and indiscriminate Third World immigration. This resurgent neo-Christianity gathers momentum with each passing decade. Time will only tell whether the neo-Christian recreation of god’s kingdom on earth is successful, but the current prognosis for Western civilization remains a bleak one.
The multiculturalist state religion was implemented during the cultural revolution of the 1960s. Reversal of course is not possible in this current atmosphere of state-sanctioned political correctness. If the liberal-leftist regimes of the West maintain their grip on power, the dystopian conditions they have socially engineered will continue without interruption into the foreseeable future. The totalitarian nature of multicultural ideology is further reinforced by the systematic brainwashing of Western populations.
European civilization is in danger of being permanently eclipsed by the specter of neo-Christian influence, which hangs over the continent like the sword of Damocles. We will always have the Bible and the church, but Western scientific and technological advancement will not be with us forever. It is obvious that Christianity offers nothing but endless misery and suffering for Western man. Unless Christian influence is mitigated, European civilization will find itself submerged in a dark age more long-lasting and calamitous than the one that engulfed Europe after the Christianization of the Latin-speaking West in the 4th century.
For the first time in history, Western man must choose between Christianity or the survival of his own civilization. We can only hope that he chooses wisely as the “hour of decision” fast approaches.
The world of classical antiquity shone as a lamp in the dark, filled with a youthful vigor that ensured its institutions and ideas would endure long after Greece and Rome ceased to exist as viable political entities. Science and reason were then snuffed out by the darkness that followed in the wake of Christianity. Libraries were destroyed; art treasures were smashed; building in non-perishable materials almost vanished from memory; personal hygiene disappeared; ignorance was considered a virtue; chaos ensued. This was the triumph of Christianity, which nearly wiped out Western civilization. Although Christian power and influence were shattered long ago by the rediscovery of science and reason, neo-Christianity now dominates the West in the form of liberal egalitarianism and cultural ((((((Marxism)))))). These philosophies serve as the ideological basis of endless mass Third World immigration and other multiculturalist policies. This neo-Christianity has been imposed on the West by totalitarian liberal-leftist governments.
Understanding Christianity through the prism of group evolutionary strategy can shed light on the significant threat the religion poses to Europeans. As a seminal concept originally formulated by Prof. Kevin MacDonald, it was used with devastating effect in his analysis of 20th century Jewish intellectual and political movements. In a world characterized by in-group ethno-racial preference, absence of a group evolutionary strategy allowing populations at the species and sub-species level to survive and replicate is highly maladaptive.
A group evolutionary strategy is defined as an “experiment in living.” This refers to the establishment of culturally mediated processes or ideological structures that allow humans to exercise control over natural selection at the group level. The basic characteristics of a successful evolutionary group strategy are:
In contrast, Christianity undermines group survival by suppressing natural ethnocentric tendencies and maximizing the spread of dysgenic traits. Christianity provides no effective barrier to the cultural and genetic assimilation of Europeans by surrounding non-white populations; for example, during the Spanish and Portuguese colonization of the Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Roman Catholic Church aggressively promoted miscegenation among the conquistadores. Ecclesiastical officials encouraged the European colonists to marry and interbreed with their native Indian and African concubines. This resulted in large-scale demographic genocide, which replaced European genetic homogeneity with mestizaje. That Christianity is a non-ethnocentric ideology based on moral universalism is another serious problem with the religion. Europeans will always champion the interests of hostile outgroups at the expense of fellow Europeans in the name of Christian love and brotherhood. Christianity also opposes the high aggressiveness directed towards outgroup members; instead, believers are expected to practice nonviolence and compassion in the face of demographic replacement. Lastly, Christianity is militantly anti-eugenic, which is why it allows weaklings to survive and reproduce. This has decreased average IQ and the prevalence of other beneficial traits in European societies. In short, Christianity does not function as a group evolutionary strategy for Europeans, but as a recipe for racial and cultural suicide on a massive scale.
Aggressively pro-active measures against Christianity are certainly ethically justifiable in the face of Western decline and European racial extinction. In this essay, a more scientific approach is recommended. The European intellectual, before he devises any plan of action, must first acknowledge that no other biological process is as important for humans as evolution through natural selection. If he is to have any belief-system, it must be the civil religion of eugenics. Incorporating eugenics into the fabric of civic life would obviate coercion, making racial hygiene a matter of voluntary acquiescence. He would also do well to embrace the trifunctional worldview of the ancient Indo-Europeans. For many thousands of years, trifunctional ideology served as an effective deterrent to the pathology of moral universalism. By envisaging the tripartite caste system as the fundamental pillar of a new order, the iron law of inequality is exalted as the highest law, the one most conducive to the achievement of social harmony. In this vision, the highest caste, equivalent to the brahman of Aryan-occupied India or the guardians of Plato’s Republic, would be absorbed in scientific and technological pursuits for their own sake. They would be entrusted with the material advancement of civilization. Their moral system, informed by the principles of evolutionary biology and eugenics, would be derived from the following axiom:
What is morally right is eugenic, i.e. improves the race biologically; what is morally wrong is dysgenic, i.e. degrades the race biologically.
The second class of individuals will be bred for war and the third will consist of industrial and agricultural producers. These correspond to the Aryan kshatriyas and vaishyas or the “silver” and “bronze” castes of Plato’s Republic. Since these individuals do not possess the cognitive ability to participate in the highly abstract civil religion of the brahmans, they will worship their distant ancestors as the racial gods of a new religion founded on eugenic principles.
Christianity is a religious faith, which means that its influence will not be mitigated through logical argument. The child-like simplicity of Christian dogma is “a feature, not a bug.” Without an ability to appeal to the lowest common denominator, Christianity would not have spread as rapidly as it did during the 4th century. An enlightened European humanity, educated in the principles of Darwinian evolution and eugenics, cannot co-exist side by side with the Christian religion. The negative correlation that exists between Christian religiosity and intelligence simply reinforces this conclusion. Christianity is a seemingly intractable problem for primarily eugenic and biological reasons. Although a eugenic approach is clearly needed, other things must be done. If Christian influence is to be mitigated, the influence of all state-sanctioned programs of multicultural indoctrination must be mitigated along with it.
Through a program of rigorous eugenic breeding and media control, Europeans will be weaned from the neo-Christian ethical system they have imbibed since childhood. They will come to see eugenics as a necessary form of spiritual transcendence instead. Through a process of evolutionary development that is both culturally and technologically mediated, the lowest castes will embrace the brahman civil religion and see themselves as gods; the more evolved brahmans will move on to a more intensive contemplation of increasingly sophisticated mathematical and scientific abstractions. This progressive development of European racial consciousness will ensure the adoption of a successful group evolutionary strategy among Europeans.
The gradual (but obviously humanitarian) phasing out of individuals with IQs below 100 will be carried out as an act of religious devotion among the lower castes. Aryan kshatriyas, the “knights of faith” of the new Aryan race religion, will impose a eugenic regime over the entire globe, repopulating the Third World with highly evolved superorganisms that will turn these former hellholes into terrestrial paradises. Wasting precious material resources caring for less evolved members of the human species will be a thing of the past. Humanity, whose scientific and technological progress stagnated during the late 20th century, will once again resume its upward journey toward the stars.
Eugenic breeding will force Europeans to realize the truth of Nietzsche’s core insight: Christianity, a transvaluation of all values driven by ressentiment, is a slave morality. It is the revolt of the underman against the aristocratic Indo-European virtues of strength and magnanimity, pride and nobility. By repudiating Christianity, Europeans will become a race of value-creators, once again in charge of their own destinies as they affirm the beauty of life in all its fullness.
A controversial American biblical scholar is set to make his first appearance in London next week to present a discovery that he claims proves the story of Jesus Christ was invented as a system of mind control to enslave the poor.
Joseph Atwill, who is the author of a book entitled ‘Caesar’s Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus’, asserts that Christianity did not begin as a religion, but was actually a sophisticated government propaganda exercise used to pacify the subjects of the Roman Empire.
At the ‘Covert Messiah’ conference, to be held at the Conway Hall in Holborn a week on Saturday, Mr Atwill will present his theory that the New Testament was written by first-century Roman aristocrats and that they entirely fabricated the story of Jesus Christ.
Mr Atwill says that acts of insurrection by Jewish sects, who were awaiting the arrival of a so-called ‘warrior Messiah’ in Palestine, were a perpetual problem for the Roman Empire and that after the Empire had exhausted all traditional means of dealing with the problem they resorted to psychological warfare.
“They surmised that the way to stop the spread of zealous Jewish missionary activity was to create a competing belief system,” Atwill told PRWeb.com
“That’s when the ‘peaceful’ Messiah story was invented.
“Instead of inspiring warfare, this Messiah urged turn-the-other-cheek pacifism and encouraged Jews to ‘give onto Caesar’ and pay their taxes to Rome.”
Mr Atwill continues: “Although Christianity can be a comfort to some, it can also be very damaging and repressive, an insidious form of mind control that has led to blind acceptance of serfdom, poverty, and war throughout history.
To this day, especially in the United States, it is used to create support for war in the Middle East.”
Elsewhere, Mr Atwill also writes: “In fact he [Jesus] may be the only fictional character in literature whose entire life story can be traced to other sources. Once those sources are all laid bare, there’s simply nothing left.”
Atwill says he made his discovery when while studying the New Testament alongside the ‘War of the Jews’ by ((((((Josephus)))))) – the only surviving first-person historical account of first-century Judea.
Mr Atwill claims that he began to notice a sequence of parallels between the two texts.
“What seems to have eluded many scholars is that the sequence of events and locations of Jesus ministry are more or less the same as the sequence of events and locations of the military campaign of [Emperor] Titus Flavius as described by ((((((Josephus)))))),” Atwill claims.
“This is clear evidence of a deliberately constructed pattern”, he continues.
“The biography of Jesus is actually constructed, tip to stern, on prior stories, but especially on the biography of a Roman Caesar.”
Richard Dawkins, the English evolutionary biologist and author, well known for his anti-religion views, yesterday tweeted a link to the press release advertising the event in London.
However, he later tweeted: “RT doesn’t imply endorsement. I’m not qualified to judge Atwill’s thesis. Just thought it might be worth a look.”
Mr Atwill’s theory is simply one of a number of what are known as Bible conspiracy theories.
These theories commonly include the suggestion that secret societies, mystery schools and other religions used the fictional story of Christ to unify the Roman Empire under one state religion.
We know Caesar, Herod, and Pilate all existed. But if they didn’t, that would just make the case for christ even weaker. Because outside the bible there are only three nonchristian references to christ or christians in the entire first century after the ostensible crucifixion.
Plus christ is a title, not a name. It’s roman for the jewish word messiah. And several other revolutionary young palestinian mystics of the time also laid claim to it: Simon of Perea, Simon Magus, and Dositheos the Samaritan at least.
The ultimate historiographical tactic deployed by believers to outwit atheists is that just like jesus, roman administrators also failed to write down Pilate’s name! Except for this one time on a big, archeological limestone slab: “The Tiberieum of the Caesareans Pontius Pilate Prefect of Judea has given.”
Right about one thing though: be easier to mock if Pilate weren’t real either.
A lot happened to the religion between jesus’ alleged death in the year 33 and the council of Nicaea in 325, when primarily eastern Mediterranean bishops representing the roman power structure that killed him 300 years earlier met in Turkey to compile their favorite jewish short stories into a sort of greatest hits called the bible. Cobbling and scraping dozens of competing ancient semitic desert magics into one official, coherent narrative. And then using it as the vehicle to unify a crumbling, increasingly divided empire.
Christians spend the next millennium stamping out heresy and converting everyone. So thorough is their job in Europe that you’ve never heard the names of the gods they killed: Perun, Irmin, Svantevit, Svarog, Saule, Mokosh, Milda. And if you have, it’s only because of nazis, heavy metal, superheroes, or soviet cars: Odin, Thor, Loki, Lada. Otherwise, they have been erased from memory.
Lifelong pagan emperor Constantine finally succumbs to conversion on his deathbed in 337, fearing a rabid priest breathing hellfire and brimstone into his face during his last dying gasps. And so it was that a roman christkiller at death’s door on the very verge of hell — saved at the last possible minute — legitimized this palestinian anti-establishment credo.
Constantine’s grandson Julian the apostate seeks to undo and reverse the creeping christianization of a by then barely united empire until his death in 363. And Rome itself would remain largely unchristianized until the fifth century after emperor Theodosius made it the official state religion when he defeated western pagan usurper Eugenius at the battle of Frigidus in 394.
Theodosius was the last to reign over a unified empire. Thereafter, vicious power struggles between christianizers and pagans split it in two and lasted for over 1,000 years. In 410 when gothic king Alaric sacked Rome, both the goths and romans were still only nominally christian. Clovis didn’t convert the franks until around 500. And Charlemagne didn’t end germanic pagan rites until 772 when he chopped down the sacred saxon tree irminsul.
Disregarding all the brown natives white christians would subsequently evangelo-victimize in the name of some majesty back in Europe, Lithuanians hold out longest, don’t convert until 1417, and even then only as a condition of their alliance with Poles against Germans. It’s not like they wanted to!
At the time, it was perhaps Europe’s most diverse and certainly sole multi-confessional state. But all good things must come to an end, which christians eventually brought.
After Lithuania’s conversion until the enlightenment, barely christian Bohemia remained as the lone, sole bastion of multi-ethnic, liberal resistance to the suffocating dogmatism of the fascist churchstate. Took a long time, but Rome finally finished the job. Pilate would be proud.
After all, we know he existed. Whether or not jesus ever did.
Three romans. Convenient since Rome will go on to establish the catholic church; romans’ gruesome, purported execution of christ notwithstanding. Which is weird and logically inconsistent. Because jesus if he ever existed would almost certainly have been a jew. 1) The first reference christians conjure is in 109, when roman senator Tacitus records emperor Nero scapegoated them after lighting Rome on fire in the year 64:
“Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name derived, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.”
Not exactly a rousing endorsement, but a record nonetheless! That doesn’t specifically mention a jew sorcerer named jesus. Was written almost 100 years after he allegedly lived. And bears evidence of having been tampered with because some ancient monk smudged or erased the earliest known ink and now latin scholars can’t decide if it says christianos for “followers of the jewish word for messiah,” or simply chrestianos for some weird cult called “good people.”
2) Roughly three years later in 112, roman historian Suetonius wrote “jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus.” But regrettably placed his execution one emperor too late under Claudius, a change of timeline that at least indicates some uncertain amount of revisionism in the retelling. 3) That same year, Black Sea governor Pliny the younger sent a letter to emperor Trajan about executing christians for their “depraved, excessive superstition.”
Know your sources christians. They suck and are of dubious historicity.
150 years after the ostensible crucifixion, the world’s first sci-fi author Lucian mentions christians in one of his tales, but again not jesus. And a pattern begins to emerge of references to the people, but rarely the man. To which it must be said that absence of evidence is evidence of absence. Kids’ incentive to believe in santa or the tooth fairy doesn’t make either real.
Then for 200 years from mid-second century until the fourth, there’s nothing. Finally around 34o, Constantine’s bishop Eusebius misattributes a passage he just made up to first century jewish historian ((((((((((((Josephus)))))))))))). Eusebius — one of the men who picked the books of the bible at the council of Nicaea — openly boasts he is a self-described liar for god.
We now know this was likely true and not just braggadocio because third century church father Origen — 100 years before Eusebius — spent his whole career countering pagan know-it-alls who mocked the one true christ, but never mentioned ((((((((((((Josephus)))))))))))). Nor did any other first to fourth century church father literates reference him either: not Justin, Irenaeus, Clement, Cyprian, Tertullian, or Arnobius. None refer to ((((((((((((Josephus)))))))))))); they rely solely on faith.
Just like jesus, ((((((((((((Josephus)))))))))))) is absent from his own fucking story.
Perhaps more interesting than who did write about jesus is who didn’t: Philo, Gallio, Seneca, Pliny the younger’s dad Pliny the elder, Celsius, Juvenal, Dio, and many lesserknowns. Plus the jews. Who don’t mention him until the sixth and 10th centuries.
But even then when they do, they are hostile, unflattering, or don’t actually refer to anyone named jesus raising hell in Judea during the reign of emperor Tiberius. But rather to multifarious groups of ungovernable levantine mystics calling themselves christians and chasing around one or other of many messiahs over a period of several hundred years when jews started exploring the dualistic manicheism of their persian neighbors.
One of the two jewish talmuds seemingly provides the fascist churchstate’s best evidence: three of nine editions of the babylonian version boast some iteration of jesus the nazarene who had five disciples, was hanged, and then resurrected. But the other six don’t! And all were written centuries long after the gospels had already sunk their fucking teeth into unsuspecting mankind and planted the seed of the greatest story ever made up.
Nor does the first talmud from Jerusalem at the supposed time of christ bear any reference to him at all. Later jews in medieval Europe wrote these things to please christian masters. Because they were a vulnerable demographic victimized by machinations of tyrants who ruled and engaged in ethnic cleansing against them. They were likely eager to please their christkilling roman overlords. No better way than by stroking the cock of christ!
And no one’s ever heard of the Toledot Yeshu jesus satire from hundreds of year later. That’s how important it is. It also led to violent antisemitism.
Enter the recycled pagan savior story of a revolutionary jewish ascetic that no one told for 300 years after his ghastly, pretend execution. Featuring a core set of easily identifiable common characteristics shared by dozens of other messianic middle easterners of the day:
Cosmic annunciation by a star in the eastern sky; self-insemination of the godhead to spawn earthly offspring; three wise eastern visitors; solstice birth; virgin mother; deity father; carpenter foster father; fled childhood persecution by a threatened king; baptism; desert walkabout; overcame temptation; disciples; performed magic tricks, miracles, and blessings; macabre public execution; descent into hell; resurrection; ascension.
Unless jesus was one of the ancient world’s best-kept secrets, the nature and very existence of this specific unruly jew were the subject of much debate and disbelief until the council of Nicaea in 325. Until then, the gospels were just oral traditions: campfire and bedtime stories. The only things written down to that point were the jewish books of the old testament and Peter and Paul’s letters to the gentiles.
Crucifixion was a rare punishment reserved for the very worst offenders, and romans kept scrupulous records of most people executed this way. Why not this one? Especially when his horrifying death is instrumental to the church his executioners found on top of his nongrave. Some subsequent roman pope would have sneaked this essential element into roman records at some point to vouchsafe this roman story upon which the latterday roman empire and subsequent roman church solely and existentially rely.
There is no doubt romans crucified Spartacus and the survivors of his slave revolt army. Not only is there a multitude of sources for this information, but it’s also a matter of official roman record. Both the roman and its successor protestant churches rely on the roman execution of a roman prisoner condemned to death by a roman governor in a roman province. More than three romans would’ve written this down in the century thereafter.
If not out of simple job responsibilities as Pilate’s admin assistant, then certainly at some later date once the need to fabricate a record proving the most fundamental part of this particular ancient semitic desert magic became obvious. But they didn’t, so it’s just as likely that early christians merely coopted their tall tale from a widely dispersed narrative spread across prechristian, pagan asia minor.
That’s why there were so many of them: Osiris, Horus, Baal, Thulis, Krishna, Sakia, Crite, Atys, Tammuz, Eros, Bali, Indra, Iao, Mani, Mithra, Marduk, Zoroaster, Zoar, Zalmoxis, Taut, Adad, Alcesto, Alcides, Vithoba, Salivahana, Prometheus, Quirinus, Adonis, Cadmus, Ixion, Dahzbog, Dumuzi.
Like Godfrey Higgins said in 1833: “One thing is clear: the mythos of the hindus, the mythos of the jews, and the mythos of the greeks are all at bottom the same; and what are called their early histories are not histories of humankind, but contrivances under the appearance of histories to perpetuate doctrines.” — Anacalypsis
April 25, 2018
The Caravan, though a third of the size it was initially, has continued on and has finally made it to the bordertown of Tijuana.
These bloodsucking animals are attempting to enter OUR HOME and take what BELONGS TO US.
And they have an extreme sense of entitlement.
They believe they have a right to take what is ours.
Busloads of Central American migrants arrived in this Mexican border city on Tuesday. And more are coming.
But it will likely be days before members of the group — which organizers say is about 600 people in total — head to the US-Mexico border to turn themselves in and ask for asylum.
They’re part of a caravan that convened at Mexico’s southern border weeks ago, then trekked through the country as part of an annual pilgrimage organized to bring light to the plights of migrants.
The fact that the poverty-stricken country that they built is riddled with violence and crime?
But somehow isn’t a shithole for some reason?
I think everyone already knows “El Salvador and Honduras are really poor, violent countries.”
A large number of people in this year’s caravan are from Honduras. Among the reasons they’ve given CNN for fleeing the country: widespread gang violence, domestic violence, poverty, political repression after a contested presidential election and discrimination against the transgender community.
lol I seriously doubt the tranny thing is on the mind of a single one of these individuals.
What a joke, adding that Western issue of the day onto the whole “we don’t deserve to live in a shithole” bit.
US officials have already made it clear they’re skeptical of the migrants’ motives, warning that anyone with an invalid claim will be swiftly deported and that anyone who tries to cross the border illegally will face prosecution.
At the outset, about 1,200 migrants from Central America were part of the caravan. But some individuals and smaller groups have split off along the way. Some sought asylum in Mexico, saying the risk of trying to make it in the United States wasn’t worth it.
The members of the caravan arriving in Tijuana say they’re well aware of the risks, but decided to continue the journey because they had no other choice.
Except the choice in the last sentence. Seeking asylum in Mexico.
You also had a choice to remain in your shithole.
It’s not like there is a 100% murder rate. Lots of people there hanging out in jungle huts, eating fruits, sitting around.
Billions of people on earth live in shitholes. The option that you have in such a shithole is to attempt to make your country less shitty.
I know it’s easier to flee to a white country, but I don’t know how you expect people to feel sorry for you when that is your decision.
Angry tweets from US President Donald Trump didn’t sway them. Neither did the deployment of National Guard troops.
“I understand that we may not be welcomed by all,” a 38-year-old woman from El Salvador told CNN on Tuesday. “But I don’t have an option. If I stay in El Salvador, I’m going to be killed.”
YOU ARE NOT FUCKING WELCOME.
THIS IS OUR HOME.
People need to understand that this is the context of the entire immigration discussion: the right to access to white people.
That is the bottom line of this entire thing.
These brown people are saying: we have a right to live around you, and to take advantage of the things you create.
The concept of massive nonwhite immigration into white countries is fundamentally a promotion of the concept of white supremacy.
They want to be within proximity to us.
As such, the anti-immigration position is “we have a right to be left alone” – which is in no way a “white supremacist” position, it is simply a “please just leave us alone so we can live our lives in peace” position.
So when they call you “white supremacist” for being against immigration, they are projecting their own ideological position onto you.
If white people were not supreme, then brown people would not have this obsession with wanting to be around us. If they were equal to us, they could figure out their own situations and make their own countries work.
Integration in the US was the same thing – Jews gave blacks the idea that they were failing because they didn’t have enough access to white people, and if they were given access to white people, it would magically up their achievement level.
Spoiler: it didn’t work.
But hey, it worked out for a couple of them.
Jordan Peele, for example.
He did pretty well.
The Jews have to do endless mental gymnastics, going into bizarre realms of confused gibberish, to try to explain away the basic fact of what the Alt-Right and “racists” in general are asking for: just leave us alone.
That is all.
That is the only thing that any of us are actually asking for:
We got a good response when we called the White House last time about the caravan.
They broke it up, a bunch of of them gave up and dispersed, and Trump got aggressive.
No harm in trying to call again.
This is very much about making noise.
Whether they get the “asylum” or not, people are very angry. And people being angry is good for us.
Ben Stein: “this is essentially a rebellion by the statr of California… It is very, very close to the beginning of a civil war. I hope it’s not with bloodshed. I hope it’s just with litigation. ” pic.twitter.com/8Vql8jXCbh
This looks very much like April 12, 1861 when the Confederate military fired upon the Union installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina.
The constitution empowers the federal government, not state legislature, to decide when and how the federal lands are sold, Jeff sessions said. California was admitted to the union upon the express condition that it would never interfere with the disposal of federal land. And yet once again the California legislature has enacted an extreme state law attempting to frustrate federal policy.
These unconstitutional laws passed by the state of California are not in the best interest of its citizens, they are a slap in the face of everything American stands for and clearly indicate we have a rogue state, an anti-american legislative body in Sacramento, working for the interests of Mexico.
Its high time the federal government step in before things spiral out of control and take measures to bring California in compliance. Clearly the stategovernment is out of control, they must be reigned in and brought under heal, arrests must be made, and charges of treason levied.
California, under dominant liberal Democrat leadership, appears to be evolving into a rogue state, and many of its politicians privately hold alliegence to Mexico, much to the dismay of many of its citizens. Defiance of federal law has now spawned efforts to secede from the Union. Sadly, unabated liberalism could move this state on an irreversible path to ruin.
Dismantling the state is clearly in order, and would represent a return to the values of the republic, and its people.