Christianity: an indictment 21

Individual Christians in the name of what they take to be Christianity do good, and have done good throughout the history of Christianity, but critical examination of the religion itself does not support its claim to benevolence or truth.

Its theology is absurd. While it can plausibly be argued that all theologies are absurd, Christianity’s is particularly abstruse and internally inconsistent as well. The doctrine of the Trinity, in what claims to be a monotheistic religion, defies logic and challenges even the fuzzy sort of rationalizing which passes for reason in religious thought.

Its mythology is lethal. Its founding myth anathematized the people of another religion with a potential, and ultimately actual, genocidal result.

Its morality is unjust. By advocating love for all human beings including those who commit evil, it abnegates justice.

Its history is bloody. While it is true that the mission of the Church to gain adherents was often peaceful, there were ages in which it tried to impose its orthodoxy by force. With totalitarian ambition, Roman Catholicism in the Middle Ages unleashed one of the cruelest instruments of force in all recorded history in the form of the Papal Inquisition. The Crusades, often defended by Christians as a just war of defense and reclamation of the ‘Holy Land’ from Islam, also massacred Jews against whom there was no question of necessary defense. Furthermore, internecine wars continued to rage within Christendom well into the twentieth century.

By its treatment of the Jews, Christianity as a movement can only be judged, in the light of its own declared moral values, a failure, a deception, and an hypocrisy. That terrible history alone and in itself makes nonsense of Christianity’s claims to be a religion of love and gentle forbearance, and reveals such injunctions and ideals, by which it characterizes itself, to be merely sentimental .

Christianity extinguished the intellectual light of classical Greece and Rome, and brought a thousand years of darkness down on Europe. In the last two hundred years or so it has become a gentler religion – even Roman Catholicism has become more tolerant – but has been in slow decline as scientific enquiry raised doubts about religious belief in general, and as humanism and science together make Christian reverence for suffering look both sick and obsolete as a source of comfort, substituting cure and palliation for resignation and endurance, and the happiness of survival for the morbid virtue of martyrdom.

Jillian Becker   May 20, 2009

Posted under Articles, Atheism, Christianity, Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, May 20, 2009

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