Christianity at start-up: “a stupid, pernicious, and vulgar religion” 1

“What is also clear is that Celsus is more than just disdainful. He is worried. Pervading his writing is a clear anxiety that this religion—a religion that he considers stupid, pernicious and vulgar—might spread even further and, in so doing, damage Rome. Over 1,500 years later, the eighteenth-century English historian Edward Gibbon would draw similar conclusions, laying part of the blame for the fall of the Roman Empire firmly at the door of the Christians. The Christians’ belief in their forthcoming heavenly realm made them dangerously indifferent to the needs of their earthly one. Christians shirked military service, the clergy actively preached pusillanimity, and vast amounts of public money were spent not on protecting armies but squandered instead on the “useless multitudes” of the Church’s monks and nuns. They showed, Gibbon felt, an “indolent, or even criminal, disregard for the public welfare.” 

The Catholic Church and its “useless multitudes” were, in return, magnificently unimpressed by Gibbon’s arguments, and they promptly placed his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, its list of banned books.

Even in liberal England, the atmosphere became fiercely hostile to the historian. Gibbon later said that he had been shocked by the response to his work. “Had I believed,” he wrote, “that the majority of English readers were so fondly attached even to the name and shadow of Christianity . . . I might, perhaps, have softened the two invidious chapters, which would create many enemies, and conciliate few friends.”

Celsus did not soften his attack either. This first assault on Christianity was vicious, powerful and, like Gibbon, immensely readable. Yet unlike Gibbon, today almost no one has heard of Celsus and fewer still have read his work. Because Celsus’s fears came true. Christianity continued to spread, and not just among the lower classes. Within 150 years of Celsus’s attack, even the emperor of Rome professed himself a follower of the religion”

(From The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World by Catherine Nixey)

Posted under Christianity by Jillian Becker on Sunday, May 27, 2018

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That rising generation 1

Now in America as then in Germany?:

In the decade preceding the First World War, Germany, the country most advanced on the path toward bureaucratic regimentation, witnessed the appearance of a phenomenon hitherto unheard of: the youth movement. Turbulent gangs of untidy boys and girls roamed the country, making much noise and shirking their school lessons. In bombastic words they announced the gospel of a golden age. All preceding generations, they emphasized, were simply idiotic; their incapacity has converted the earth into a hell. But the rising generation is no longer willing to endure gerontocracy, the supremacy of impotent and imbecile senility. Henceforth the brilliant youths will rule. They will destroy everything that is old and useless, they will reject all that was dear to their parents, they will substitute new real and substantial values and ideologies for the antiquated and false ones of capitalist and bourgeois civilization, and they will build a new society of giants and supermen.

The inflated verbiage of these adolescents was only a poor disguise for their lack of any ideas and of any definite program. They had nothing to say but this: We are young and therefore chosen; we are ingenious because we are young; we are the carriers of the future; we are the deadly foes of the rotten bourgeois and Philistines. And if somebody was not afraid to ask them what their plans were, they knew only one answer: Our leaders will solve all problems.

It has always been the task of the new generation to provoke changes. But the characteristic feature of the youth movement was that they had neither new ideas nor plans. They called their action the youth movement precisely because they lacked any program which they could use to give a name to their endeavors. In fact they espoused entirely the program of their parents. They did not oppose the trend toward government omnipotence and bureaucratization. Their revolutionary radicalism was nothing but the impudence of the years between boyhood and manhood; it was a phenomenon of a protracted puberty. It was void of any ideological content. …

The bulk of them  … had one aim only: to get a job as soon as possible with the government. Those who were not killed in the wars and revolutions are today pedantic and timid bureaucrats in the innumerable offices of the German Zwangswirtschaft. They are obedient and faithful slaves of Hitler. But they will be no less obedient and faithful handy men of Hitler’s successor, whether he is a German nationalist or a puppet of Stalin. 

From Bureaucracy, by Ludwig von Mises (1945). 

 

(Hat-tip Robert Kantor)

Posted under communism, Fascism, Germany, Revolt, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 26, 2018

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Little white child, you are a murderer 1

Raising children to believe that Whites are to be hated and feared:

Posted under Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, May 25, 2018

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More Christian vandalism 2

Medieval monks, at a time when parchment was expensive and classical learning held cheap, simply took pumice stones and scrubbed the last copies of classical works from the page. …

In some cases “whole groups of classical works were deliberately selected to be deleted and overwritten in around AD 700, often with texts authored by [the fathers of the Church or by] legal texts that criticised or banned pagan literature”.

Pliny, Plautus, Cicero, Seneca, Virgil, Ovid, Lucan, Livy and many, many more: all were scrubbed away by the hands of believers.   The evidence from surviving manuscripts is clear: at some point, a hundred or so years after Christianity comes to power, the transcription of the classical texts collapses. From AD 550 to 750 the numbers copied plummeted.

This is not, to be clear, an absolute collapse in copying: monasteries are still producing reams and reams of religious books. Bible after Bible, copy after copy of Augustine is made. And these works are vast. This was not about an absolute shortage of parchment; it was about a lack of interest verging on outright disgust for the ideas of a now-despised canon. The texts that suffer in this period are the texts of the wicked and sinful pagans.

From the entirety of the sixth century only “scraps” of two manuscripts by the satirical Roman poet Juvenal survive and mere “remnants” of two others, one by the Elder and one by the Younger Pliny.

From the next century there survives nothing save a single fragment of the poet Lucan.

From the start of the next century: nothing at all. Far from mourning the loss, Christians delighted in it. As John Chrysostom crowed, the writings “of the Greeks have all perished and are obliterated”.  He warmed to the theme in another sermon: “Where is Plato? Nowhere! Where Paul? In the mouths of all!”  …

It has been estimated that less than ten percent of all classical [Greek] literature has survived into the modern era.   For Latin, the figure is even worse: it is estimated that only one hundredth of all Latin literature remains.   If this was “preservation” — as it is often claimed to be — then it was astonishingly incompetent. If it was censorship, it was brilliantly effective. The ebullient, argumentative classical world was, quite literally, being erased.”

 

(from The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World by Catherine Nixey)

 

 

 

Posted under Christianity by Jillian Becker on Thursday, May 24, 2018

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Islam: the religion of war 1

Here is Robert Spencer on “Is Islam a Religion of Peace?”

It is not. It is a Religion of War by all means, including terrorism.

Posted under Islam, jihad, Muslims, Videos, War by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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The moment when Christianity brought darkness down on the West for a thousand years 3

More from The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World by Catherine Nixey

“In such an atmosphere, it took something for a law to stand out as particularly repressive.

Yet one law did. Out of all the froth and fury that was being issued from the government at the time, one law would become infamous for the next 1,500 years.

Read this law and, in comparison to some of Justinian’s other edicts, it sounds almost underwhelming. Filed under the usual dull bureaucratic subheading, it is now known as “Law 1.11.10.2.” “Moreover,” it reads, “we forbid the teaching of any doctrine by those who labour under the insanity of paganism” so that they might not “corrupt the souls of their disciples.” The law goes on, adding a finicky detail or two about pay, but largely that is it.

Its consequences were formidable.

This was the law that forced [the philosopher] Damascius and his followers to leave Athens. It was this law that caused the Academy to close.

It was this law that led the English scholar Edward Gibbon to declare that the entirety of the barbarian invasions had been less damaging to Athenian philosophy than Christianity was.  

This law’s consequences were described more simply by later historians. It was from this moment, they said, that a Dark Age began to descend upon Europe.”

 

Posted under Christianity by Jillian Becker on Sunday, May 20, 2018

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The US pays its enemies 3

Why?

The answer according to the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, is in order (at least partly) to ensure the recipients’ supporting votes in that assembly.

But how’s that working out?

From Breitbart:

The U.S. State Department has released a report on the voting behavior of other countries at the United Nations — and has identified the top ten best and worst countries in terms of voting for or against the U.S., respectively.

The April 26 report, Voting Practices in the United Nations 2017, was prepared after the Trump administration made clear it would consider cutting aid to countries that voted against the U.S. in UN institutions. That warning came after the UN General Assembly voted 128 to 9 (with 35 abstentions) last December to oppose President Donald Trump’s decision to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the capital city of Jerusalem.

“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” the president said.

His warning was reiterated by UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, who said after the vote: “We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations and we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”

The report on UN votes is prepared annually, but has additional significance this year due to those warnings.

In 2017, the best U.S. ally at the UN was Israel, and the worst U.S. enemy at the UN was Zimbabwe.

The report also notes the best ten: “The 10 countries with the highest voting coincidence with the United States were, in descending order: Israel, Micronesia, Canada, Marshall Islands, Australia, United Kingdom, France, Palau, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic.”

It also notes the worst ten: The 10 countries with the lowest voting coincidence with the United States were, in ascending order: Zimbabwe, Burundi, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Cuba, Bolivia, and South Africa.”

According to the USAID website, the latter countries received the following amounts of U.S. aid, across all agencies, in fiscal year 2016 (the last year for which full records are available, rounded to the nearest million):

  • Zimbabwe: $261 million
  • Burundi: $75 million
  • Iran: $3 million
  • Syria: $916 million
  • Venezuela: $9 million
  • North Korea: $0
  • Turkmenistan: $3 million
  • Cuba: $16 million
  • Bolivia: $1 million
  • South Africa: $597 million

The total was close to $2 billion.

Haley said last week, upon release of the report: “This is not an acceptable return on our investment. When we arrived at the UN last year, we said we would be taking names, and this list of voting records speaks for itself. President Trump wants to ensure that our foreign assistance dollars – the most generous in the world – always serve American interests, and we look forward to helping him see that the American people are no longer taken for granted.”

Of the ten countries voting least often with the U.S., South Africa may already be feeling the consequences.

On Monday, South Africa learned that the U.S. would not be exempting it from new steel tariffs. The South African government released a statement in protest against the U.S. decision: “South Africa is concerned by the unfairness of the measures and that it is one of the countries that are singled out as a contributor to US national security concerns when its exports of aluminium and steel products are not that significant.”

The there’s the $320 million a year that goes to Mexico, where it is funding “human right abuses”.

USAID, an “independent agency” of the US government, is the spigot.

From Wiki:

USAID’s programs are authorized by Congress in the Foreign Assistance Act which Congress supplements through directions in annual funding appropriation acts and other legislation. As an official component of U.S. foreign policy, USAID operates subject to the guidance of the President, Secretary of State, and the National Security Council.

But who are the actual decision makers? Almost certainly denizens of the Swamp: Obama appointees, Hillary Clinton voters, Muslim Brotherhood fans, Iran “deal” supporters, President Trump haters (crocodile-green with envy) …

Posted under Foreign aid, United States, Zimbabwe by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 19, 2018

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Candace Owens speaks 4

“Racism is being used to turn blacks into single-issue voters.”

Candace Owens speaks for conservatism, capitalism and the free market:

Posted under Capitalism, Conservatism, Race, Videos by Jillian Becker on Thursday, May 17, 2018

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An old colluder with enemy powers 2

John Kerry has been a traitor all his adult life.

It seems he hates America. And loves foreign dictators.

This is what John Kerry alleged in his testimony before the US Senate in 1971 that American soldiers said they did in Vietnam:

They had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in the fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

He made no mention of the atrocities committed by the enemy, the North Vietnamese.

Earlier in 1971 he had met with the enemy in Paris as part of his anti-Vietnam-war activism. In particular he parleyed with Madam Nguyen Thi Binh, then foreign minister of North Vietnam and a top negotiator at the talks.

Daniel Greenfield recalls more of Kerry’s disgraceful story at Front Page:

On January 19, 2017, John Forbes Kerry left his job at the State Department. Addressing Foggy Bottomers in the C Street lobby, he ended his speech by declaring, “This is not an end. This is a beginning. It’s a new beginning.” That’s just what departing politicos usually say, but he meant it.

Next January, a report appeared that Kerry had met with a top negotiator for the PLO in London.

The secret back-channel negotiator, Hussein Agha, was a close confidant of terrorist dictator Mahmoud Abbas, the racist PLO boss who around this same time had delivered a speech in which he cursed President Trump, shouting, “May your house be destroyed.” Agha was a frequent collaborator with Robert Malley, who allegedly ran Soros and Obama’s back channel to Hamas. Obama fired Malley during the campaign, but once in office brought him back in a variety of roles including as a lead negotiator on the Iran Deal scam and the National Security Council’s point man for the Middle East.

Malley now heads Soros’s International Crisis Group and continues undermining America and defending the Iran Deal.

Kerry urged Agha to tell the PLO boss to “be strong”, “play for time” and “not yield to President Trump’s demand”.

The former Secretary of State suggested that the PLO present its own peace plan that he would push through his contacts in the European Union and Muslim countries.

Kerry also advised the Islamic terror boss to attack Trump personally, instead of the country or administration. And Abbas appeared to have taken his advice. He also assured the Islamic terrorist leader that President Trump wouldn’t be in office a year from now. And that Kerry might run for the job.

All of this was a blatant violation of the Logan Act which bans Americans from conducting negotiations with foreign governments “with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government” or “agent there of” addressing its “disputes or controversies with the United States” or “to defeat the measures of the United States”. The law is clear. The punishment is three years in prison.

But a few weeks ago, Kerry met with Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif at the United Nations. According to the Boston Globe story, he not only met with Zarif, but also the presidents of France and Germany, and Federica Mogherini, the former Communist activist who is the top EU lobbyist for the Iran Deal.

Mogherini had called for a role for “political Islam” in Europe and has consistently undermined American foreign policy in Cuba, North Korea, Russia and Iran by stifling our efforts to isolate dictators and tyrants.

The Iran Deal echo chamber, which Kerry and Mogherini, not to mention Malley, are a part of, has tried to paint Foreign Minister Zarif as a moderate. But last fall, as Trump deployed new sanctions against the IRGC, Zarif had tweeted that, “Iranians – boys, girls, men, women – are ALL IRGC”.

IRGC stands for Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. It’s the central terror hub of Iran which has its greasy fingers deep in its nuclear program and is in charge of its terrorism networks around the world.

The IRGC’s support for Islamic terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan is estimated to have cost the lives of between 500 and 1,000 Americans. At one point, Iran was paying the Taliban $1,000 for each American soldier that they killed.

From his Viet Cong days to his IRGC days, Kerry colludes with the murderers of American soldiers.

… Kerry’s goal in these meetings is, “to apply pressure on the Trump administration from the outside.” That’s exactly the behavior the Logan Act was meant to sanction.

In both of his meetings with Islamic terror state officials and agents, Kerry has conveyed his opposition to the United States government while encouraging the terror states to subvert its policies. He has engaged in private negotiations with foreign governments on behalf of a shadow foreign policy opposition aligned with the non-profit groups that form the Iran Lobby and the Iran Deal echo chamber.

It’s not just a Logan Act violation. It’s treason.

This isn’t the first time that the radical activist turned senator and secretary of state has violated the Logan Act. The medal thrower had been reviled by Vietnam vets for his meeting with Madame Binh of Vietnam’s Marxist-Leninist PVR.

As senator, he traveled to Nicaragua to undermine President Reagan by conducting talks with Comandante Ortega and his murderous Marxist-Leninist regime. Its favorite song when Kerry was providing aid and comfort to it was, “Here or There, Yankees Will Die Everywhere.”

When Republican senators sent a warning letter to Iran that a deal without congressional approval would be non-binding, the Iran Lobby and its media allies accused them of violating the Logan Act. Typical media hit pieces from the period included CNN’s “Did 47 Republican senators break the law in plain sight?” and ABC News’ “165,000+ Sign Petition to Prosecute GOP Senators for Treason”. That’s nothing like the media’s response to Kerry’s treasonous efforts to undermine the United States.

But the Logan Act specifically mentions a citizen who lacks the “authority of the United States”. When George Logan, after whom the act was named, conducted his illegal negotiations, he had not yet become a member of the Senate. Senators do have a constitutional role in foreign policy. …

Democrats and their media allies have turned the country upside down investigating claims of collusion by the administration. Obama and Clinton allies in the DOJ have eavesdropped on Americans, raided their homes in the middle of the night, and denied the President of the United States the elementary protection of attorney-client privilege based on the opposition research of the Clinton campaign.

Collusion is not a Federal crime. Violating the Logan Act is.

The double standard on Trump and Kerry would have us believe that the President-elect has no right to back channels to foreign governments, but that a former Secretary of State is entitled to have them.

That’s not a legal norm. It’s another case of Democrats criminalizing anything Republicans do while legalizing their own blatant violations of the law. The President-elect has legitimate reasons for reaching out to foreign governments. A former secretary of state from the opposition party has no such reasons. And when his outreach undermines the foreign policy of his successor by urging foreign governments to sabotage it and attack the President of the United States, his only reason appears to be treason. …

The Democrats, the media and their Mueller spearhead have sought to retroactively criminalize contacts with Russia (carefully postdating their own Russian outreach of the Bush and Obama era) because it’s an enemy country. But what exactly is Iran: a terror state whose motto is, “Death to America”?

These groups have crafted a narrative in which meetings with certain countries are inherently suspect, Russia, the UAE and Israel, while collaboration with Iran and Qatar is legit diplomacy. There’s no legal or national interest basis for such a classification, but there is an ideological one. Qatar is a key backer of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic terror groups. As is Iran. The UAE and Israel oppose them.

And that’s at the heart of the problem.

Kerry and the rest of the Iran Deal lobby aren’t meeting with Iran, the PLO and the EU as representatives of the United States, but of a political faction whose allegiances are ideological, not national. They aren’t working on behalf of the United States, but are there representing a leftist shadow government.

Or as Kerry reportedly told the PLO, the many “dissatisfied” people in the American establishment.

Unlike Carter and other rogue leftists, Kerry isn’t acting alone. He’s the most visible figure in a powerful and influential international movement. And its footholds in this country include billionaires, major think tanks, media echo chamber and smear groups that are constantly handfeeding hit pieces to the press.

Kerry’s shadow government diplomacy represents a vertical ideological integration with European governments that share his ideology, and their allies in “political Islam” in Iran and Qatar. The political left hopes to use the rising power of political Islam, from Iran’s nuclear program to Muslim migration to the Islamic coups of the Muslim Brotherhood to check the national and international power of the West.

The left and its rogue Never Trumper allies ceaselessly lecture us about the “Rule of Law”.

Let’s have their version of the rule of law. And let’s apply it to Kerry, Rhodes, Malley and all the rest.

If we have an actual rule of law, then there will be a special prosecutor appointed to investigate Kerry’s collusion with Iran. Any meetings between members of the Iran Lobby, both official and unofficial, will be eavesdropped on by the NSA and their names unmasked at the request of Trump officials.

The homes of Iran Lobby members will be raided in the middle of the night. The Iran echo chamber figures now ensconced in top think tanks, including one funded by Qatar, will lose their homes, be interviewed by the FBI and be forced to plead guilty to lying to the feds if they misstate anything.

When Kerry wakes up to FBI men ransacking his seven bedroom waterfront Martha’s Vineyard estate at gunpoint and patting down his wife in their bedroom for weapons, then we’ll have the rule of law.

John Kerry colludes with officials of an enemy state

The tragic destruction that Christ wrought 3

This quotation comes from The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World by Catherine Nixey, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 2018, 352 pages.

From the Amazon note about the author: “Her mother was a nun, her father was a monk, and she was brought up Catholic.” Not a conventional nun and monk, apparently. And one wonders if their daughter’s discoveries shock them.

Monasteries did preserve a lot of classical knowledge.

But it is far from the whole truth. In fact, this appealing narrative has almost entirely obscured an earlier, less glorious story. For before it preserved, the Church destroyed. In a spasm of destruction never seen before — and one that appalled many non-Christians watching it — during the fourth and fifth centuries, the Christian Church demolished, vandalized and melted down a simply staggering quantity of art. Classical statues were knocked from their plinths, defaced, defiled and torn limb from limb. Temples were razed to their foundations and mutilated. A temple widely considered to be the most magnificent in the entire empire was leveled. Many of the Parthenon sculptures were attacked, faces were mutilated, hands and limbs were hacked off, and gods were decapitated. Some of the finest statues on the whole building were almost certainly smashed off then ground into rubble that was then used to build churches.

Books — which were often stored in temples — suffered terribly. The remains of the greatest library in the ancient world, a library that had once held perhaps 700,000 volumes, were destroyed in this way by Christians. It was over a millennium before any other library would even come close to its holdings. Works by censured philosophers were forbidden and bonfires blazed across the empire as outlawed books went up in flames. 

We will quote more passages from this excellent book.

 

(Hat-tip Cogito)

 

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