‘Thrilling’ images of Christian torture 5

Christianity, as everyone knows, is a cult of suffering.

Theo Hobson writes rapturously in the Spectator:

I enjoyed the show of Spanish religious art at the National Gallery. The painted wooden sculptures, mostly of Christ dying or dead, are not really art objects, nor even sacred art objects. They are blood-caked liturgical props. Many of them are still used in Holy Week street parades: held aloft on swaying flickering floats they seem to come to life, like magic wax-works. By the way there’s a good little film adjoining the show that gives you a taste of these thrilling events, packed with pointy-hooded penitents straight out of Goya. If this sort of thing happened in Britain, even I would probably convert to Rome.

And he quotes –

… a very Protestant poem, ‘Conscience’ by George Herbert … He has …

Some wood and nails to make a staffe or bill

For those that trouble me:

The bloudie crosse of my dear Lord

Is both my physick and my sword.

And he comments that Herbert –

… understood that religion needs a bit of violence to animate it …

Note: ‘Pointy-headed penitents’ refers to marchers in the Spanish parades of today voluntarily wearing the hoods that were forced on accused heretics by the Spanish Inquisition in the centuries when the Catholic Church tried, with the utmost cruelty, to exert totalitarian power over all the peoples of Europe.

Posted under Britain, Christianity, Commentary, Totalitarianism by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, October 27, 2009

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This post has 5 comments.

  • Ryan Haber,

    Yeah, I grow wearing atheists (Hitchens, eg) excusing atheist regimes (Pol Pot, Mao Tse-tung, Stalin, et al) as nothing more than personality cults; then drawing some connection between the Methodist Bake Sale and Islamic terrorists.

    As I was coming out of my 50-year religious stupor I recall listening to the local southern-gospel music radio station. The perennial theme of most every song was, “I can't wait to die so I can go to heaven.”

    Wait a minute, I thought. Christians are supposed to be pro-life! But they're obsessed with death.

    And . . .

    The objective is not be an atheist (or a theist). The objective is to be objective. And that objectivity allowed me to see through the religious fog. Eventually I had to acknowledge that the supernatural is abject silliness.

    Objectivity also allows one to see through some of the absurdities commonly found among many atheists; particularly their penchant for left-wing politics. Socialism, it turns out, is as silly as religion.

    — Kenn


  • rogerinflorida

    We see in two of the comments here that faith overrides reason. I do not wish to insult makarios or withoutetc. but to many people including me, religions are political organisations set up to exploit the natural fears and anxieties that all people have. Alone amongst animals we know we are going to die, also we spend a lot of time comparing ourselves to each other. While there are many aspects of Christian and Judaic teaching that are very valuable to maintaining our civil society, I can absolutely promise you that there never was a virgin birth and nobody ever rose from the dead.
    It seems to me that many people who accept Darwinian teaching about the origin of life and how it develops are repulsed by the implication of life based solely on the survival of the fittest. A universe without moral constraints, where survival is based entirely on the ability of an entity to defend itself and prey on others. But man is a social animal and we can, and have, developed law to structure our society. The courthouse is our cathredal, the law book is our guide.
    Imperfect? Yes, but at least not based on superstition, fear and ignorance.

  • withouthavingseen

    Suffering is a real and unavoidable part of human existence. Particular sufferings might be averted or mitigated; at least as often, the very effort to avoid one brings about another. Christianity, standing on Judaism's shoulders, does not attempt to avert suffering as such, although its adherents do rightly try to alleviate it when reasonably possible. Rather, Christianity digs into suffering to mine it for value.

    On a strictly natural level, wisdom comes from experience reflected upon, and the most profound wisdom comes from the experience of suffering reflected upon. Christianity's central metaphysical claim about suffering is that by voluntarily accepting even involuntary suffering, a person can ultimate assist in delivering the world from it.

    Far from being a cult of suffering, Christianity is a cult of the One who is willing to suffer.

    The quip that the Catholic Church tried to “exert totalitarian power over all the peoples of Europe,” shows a woeful lack of historical knowledge as well as an ignorance of what totalitarianism and totalitarian power exerted. Such things were undreamed of before modern means of mass communication and surveillance were developed. Even proto-totalitarian states like Czarist Russia (say, in the 1860s, under Alexander III) were pretty pale attempts compared to what the 20th century total states.

    Ryan Haber
    Kensington, Maryland, USA

  • makarios

    “I don't care what You endured for me. You suffering has no effect on me whatsoever. I'll deny You till the bitter end.” Atheists of the world.

  • I have this about the differences between Christianity and Islam: Islam is like pure excrement/crap and tastes like it. Christianity, however, is the same crap covered with delicious creams and fruits so one doesn't get to taste the real thing until it is too late. 🙂