The Jesus gang and the Mohammedan menace 12

We often say of Christianity, that its theology is absurd, its morality impossible, its history bloody; and that it brought down a thousand years of darkness.* 

Peter Gay, in the first volume, Chapter Four, of his two-volume magisterial work The Enlightenment: an Interpretation, describes Christianity in terms that are equally disparaging:

Romans had at least made a serious attempt to construct a civilization founded on reason, not myth. Then came Christianity, profiting, vulturelike, from decay, preserving ideas that deserved to perish, and stamping out ideas that deserved to survive.

In its early history, its very origins, there was something unsavory about Christianity. Significantly, it flourished in an age of decadence and among the lower orders, among men and women sunk in ignorance, vice, and despair. Significantly, too, it hammered out its doctrine, its discipline and organization, amidst undignified wranglings, inane debates in endless assemblies, angry conflicts over trivial matters, mutual slanders and persecutions. Christianity claimed to bring light, hope, and truth, but its central myth was incredible, its dogma a conflation of rustic superstitions, its sacred book an incoherent collection of primitive tales, its church a cohort of servile fanatics as long as they were out of power and of despotic fanatics once they had seized control. With its triumph in the fourth century, Christianity secured the victory of infantile credulity; one by one the lamps of learning were put out, and for centuries darkness covered the earth.

“St. Paul” was the author of the Christian religion. How his wild fantasy – that a dead Galilean Jew was “God” – came to be believed by uncountable millions of human beings for two millennia and continuing, is hard to account for. Edward Gibbon suggests in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, that the new religion caught on as it did – secondarily, says the great ironist, “to the convincing evidence of the doctrine itself, and to the ruling providence of its great Author” – was that it promised “a future life” after death. But Roman myth taught that there was an “afterlife” too, and if the Elysian Fields were not as glorious as Christian Heaven, at least Hades was not as terrible as Christian Hell.

As for the Galilean Jew himself – called “Jesus” by his Greek-speaking first worshiper who never met him and was not interested in his life or his birth name – well, he probably did exist, and was (again and always probably) crucified by the Romans as an insurgent leader. Like other insurrectionist Jews in the age of the Emperor Tiberius, he led a gang of cut-throats, including Judas Iscariot, the “dagger-man”, and James and John, the Boanerges, the “sons of thunder”. The only thing that was different about him was that he was an extreme religious fanatic, to the point of insanity, really believing that if he prayed hard and long enough, and his followers then brandished a couple of swords at some Roman soldiers, Jehovah would do the rest; upheave the earth, flood the valleys, terrify the Romans until they fled from Judea, so that the Israelite Kingdom could be restored. (“Thy Kingdom come!”) But as that didn’t happen, it is of no importance.

The religion founded by “St. Paul” has been of fearful import. But the worst of it is over. Discredited and disarmed, most effectively by the Enlightenment, it is not a serious threat to life and limb anywhere in the world any more – though some atheists complain that Christians in the southern states of the USA treat them harshly, and constitute an active danger to the thriving abortion industry.

The religion that is gravely dangerous to the world now is Islam. Islam needs to be discredited and disarmed. It needs to be exposed in all its naked nastiness for all that it truly is: supremacist, totalitarian, homophobic, misogynist, murderous and savagely cruel. It needs to be despised, argued against, relentlessly mocked.

Yet as long as “Jehovah”, and “God”, and “Jesus”, and the many gods of Hinduism, and even the frail and arcane divinities of academic “agnostics” continue to be fed with belief, it will be impossible to evaporate “Allah” into thin air forever as he desperately deserves. 

 

*For our full condemnation, see the series of essays titled The Birth and Early History of Christianity, under Pages in our margin.

Posted under Christianity by Jillian Becker on Sunday, January 28, 2018

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This post has 12 comments.

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  • Theophilus

    “Yet as long as “Jehovah”, and “God”, and “Jesus”, and the many gods of Hinduism, and even the frail and arcane divinities of academic “agnostics” continue to be fed with belief, it will be impossible to evaporate “Allah” into thin air forever as he desperately deserves.”

    You can criticise and mock other religions, yet not Allah, in truth, aloud, for fear of offending others and being reported. Hate speech/ hate crime are serious in the UK after all, more than a lot of crimes! Is it not Liberalism, Political Correctness, Feminism means anything associated with Islam shouldn’t be criticised in the media; they breathe life into Allah, don’t they by (unknowingly) venerating at His/Mo’s altar by following his bloodthirsty dictates.

    • Indeed they do, Theophilus. But are they really doing it “unknowingly”?

      You sound like an atheist – in which case you have a splendidly ironic pseudonym ( or name?) – “Lover of god”!

      • Theophilus

        Some unknowingly; experience informs me some people who adhere to the ideologies: “feminism, PC, Liberalism” are rather daft. They say that all religions are the same. Actually, no they are not. I used to think the same until I read the koran and hadiths (obviously not all), the nastiness in there, especially towards, women and Jews. Lines of hatred really. Women were made stupid by Allah, really? If God existed, would God say such insult about half of the population? Feminists defend this. Some don’t know about it. Or quote the Sword verse, the famous opener, liberals look like they will keel over in panic. It bursts the bubble about “the religion of peace” piped out through the airwaves, day and night in so many different contexts…

        Please bear in mind, I had studied Christianity for many years, from the angle of history; a student of that discipline, who still reads and takes interest. I know it is not the same as Islam.

        Yes, you picked me correctly; I am an atheist; I picked the name Theophilus for that reason, the irony as you brilliantly observed. It was also one of the birth names of the composer Wolfgang Mozart.

        • Yes, and the name he chose, Amadeus, is the Latin translation of the Greek Theophilus. I wonder if he too meant it ironically? He was a laughing man – his letters show how much.

          One of the things all religions have in common is dogma. And where there is dogma there has to be fallacy.

          Christianity better than Islam? These days yes. Christianity is no longer cruel and murderous as it once was.

          Christianity teaches humility, Islam humiliates. Christians boast of their suffering, Islam hurts them. It’s a sadomasochistic match!

          • Theophilus

            “One of the things all religions have in common is dogma. And where there is dogma there has to be fallacy.”

            I agree with you on this; how couldn’t I? Being most acquainted with Islam and Christianity, I can but say it is monotheism that’s most tainted with the I’m right syndrome… the my god is better than yours. I can’t say for certain the polytheists take this view. All religions are not the same.

            “Christianity teaches humility, Islam humiliates. Christians boast of their suffering, Islam hurts them.”

            There’s truth in these words I have to agree with again. Such horror stories coming out of countries, like Pakistan, for example, what life must be like to be a minority in “the land of the pure”? But it is effectively life as a third class piece of dirt! They aren’t even written in the law. I don’t think these Christians boast of suffering; I think they want justice for crimes committed against them, usually for not being in the big club of Islam.

            “It’s a sadomasochistic match!”
            This is surely Liberalism with Islam or Feminism with Islam. I mean, Islam uses liberalist values to restrict what people can do, or feminist to restrict what women can do. I believe that fits your description very aptly.

            Ah, but Mozart never called himself Amadeus, only ever as a jest, I believe to his cousin in one of those letters. It is true he did laugh in those letters with “Basle”, though he was more than that, illustrated to great extent in his tremendous works he left humanity, thank goodness.

            • I have attended meetings, on both sides of the Atlantic, of Christians who are concerned (unlike the main Christian leaders such as the Pope or the Archbishop of Canterbury) about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. I have also visited the websites of Christians who report the terrible and persistent persecution of Christians in many parts of the world. I was invited to the meetings and directed to the websites as someone who researched and wrote about terrorism. I went, listened, read always hoping that the Christian hosts, invited speakers, writers would talk about the horrors the terrorists were guilty of, and call loudly, clearly, fiercely for justice. It never happened. All I heard, all I read about, were endless stories of Christian martyrdom; how brave and true this child was who refused to reject his faith even though his arms were being cut off by his Muslim persecutors; how brave and true this man was who would let himself be decapitated rather than renounce Jesus; how brave and true this woman was who would suffer rape rather than convert to Islam. It drove me crackers! That Christian forgiveness thing is a doctrine of injustice! One of our posts provided an example of the weakness of Christian response to Muslim persecution. You can find it here: http://theatheistconservative.com/2016/03/04/a-christian-reponse-to-persecution-by-islam/

            • Theophilus

              Of course I agree with what you have written here, as it does track back to the original point: “Not all religions are the same.” As well as this, the modern Christian stance is so wretchedly feeble. What frustrates even more is when you see throughout history, the Christians (if we group them together) understood what they were dealing with, called Islam for what it was.

              Yet today, Christianity is attacked for this re the tired old question of the Crusades, as if nothing came before. Also on other doctrines it does not agree with, yet would see a person killed under Islam.

              What I will say is it must be beyond impossible to stand up- to do something- in a sharia country, or one where it is run without saying when you’re in a minority faith. Effectively no-one is on your side and perhaps all you have is faith? I am interpreting from what I have read; I am not a person of faith.

              What I do not understand is the feeble characters like the Pope or the church leaders of the West who chime their defence of Islam (in the various ways they do) while their brethren in the Middle East, for example, are being killed. Refuse.

            • liz

              The Pope is a real work of art. He’s true to the Socialist roots of Christianity, and certainly to the command to “love thy enemy”, as in:
              let your enemies invade your country, just not the Vatican.

  • liz

    It may be as impossible to answer as “which came first, the chicken or the egg”, but I do wonder… is Islam the worst of all religions because of the people who created it, or have Muslims been made the worst of all people because of Islam?

    • Theophilus

      “Is Islam the worst of all religions because of the people who created it?”

      I think this is an excellent point and very likely true. The creators of this “religion” aren’t exactly paragons of virtue.

      • liz

        Yes, Churchill nailed both with the term “retrograde”.

  • Cogito

    Peter Gay is a marvellous writer. His books on the Enlightenment are superb, as is, I might add, his biography of Freud.