Christian history 101
October 9, 2011 by Bill
When Alfred North Whitehead was the Chair of Philosophy at Harvard University he made this observation: “Christian theology has been the greatest disaster in the history of the human race.” Was he correct?
A brief review:
391 A.D.: Christians burn down one of the world’s greatest libraries in Alexandria that housed over 700,000 scrolls.
1099: Christian crusaders take Jerusalem and massacre Jews and Muslims. In the streets were piles of heads, hands and feet. Millions were killed as a result of the Crusades.
1208: Pope Innocent orders a Crusade against the French Cathars. Over 100,000 were killed by Arnaud’s men at Beziers.
1231: Pope Gregory 1X establishes the Inquisition. Inquisitors were given license to explore every means of horror and cruelty. Victims were rubbed with lard or grease and slowly roasted alive. Ovens built to kill people, made famous by Nazi Germany, were first used in the Christian Inquisition of Eastern Europe. The gruesome tortures used on hundreds of thousands of non-Christians were so repugnant and horrible that I cannot even describe them to you.
1377: The Pope’s army descended on the Italian town of Cessna. For three days and nights beginning on February 3, the slaughter continued. The squares were filled with blood. Women were raped, ransom was placed on children, and priceless works of art destroyed. Over 3000 were butchered.
1497: The Church began an enormous burning in Florence. The works of Latin and Italian poets, illuminated manuscripts, women’s ornaments, musical instruments, and paintings were all burned.
1500s: The witch hunts are going full speed ahead. Members of the clergy proudly report how many they have killed. The Lutheran prelate Benedict Carpzov bragged that he had killed over 20,000 of the horrible “devil worshippers.” Historians estimate that more than nine million (NINE MILLION) persons were executed after 1484, mostly women. This was as brutal as anything that happened in the Nazi’s 20th century holocaust.
1572: On St. Bartholomew’s Day, over 10,000 Protestants are slaughtered in France. “We rejoice that you have relieved the world of these wretched heretics,” wrote Pope Gregory X111.
It would take hundreds of pages to continue throughout history. In the peasant revolt of Germany, Martin Luther issued a statement that “to cut the throat of a peasant will get you in heaven faster than prayer.”
To continue into today, with a complete documentation, would take another 500 pages. Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, said for a press release, “Our Christian God is a good God, but the God of Islam is an evil God.” He is obviously totally historically and religiously illiterate, as was his father.
Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson assured the country on national television that “God let Sept. 11 happen due to the degradation of America, for keeping God out of the classrooms, and allowing abortion and gays and lesbians to live as human beings.” (paraphrased)
The priests and Bishops of the Roman Catholic church are being exposed for their obscene conduct over dozens of years in destroying hundreds of human lives with their predatory sexual practices, while at the same time they blabber on and on about morality and ethics from their pulpits. And the gullible listen.
It is not just the Roman Catholic church. Every year the Freedom From Religion Foundation exposes hundreds of clergy in every Christian denomination who have been convicted.
Almost without exception, every violent right wing group in America uses the language and symbols of Christianity to support their carnage, from destroying abortion clinics and doctors to blowing up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, to the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas.
You remember the fundamentalist minister, Jim Jones, in central America. A grisly cartoon in the Seattle Times said it all. There was a figure, a skeleton clothed in a white sheet, bent down almost to his knees, marching. It is clutching in its hand a sign that says, “JONES SAVES.”
Recent shenanigans by our politicos have them using war phrases against citizens of this country whose opposing view make them the “enemy,” while quoting the bible to justify their positions.
“Religion is a disease,” wrote Heraclitus. Our American literary and philosophical giant, Ralph Waldo Emerson, put it in these words, “Christian doctrines and creeds are a disease of the intellect.”
And Alfred North Whitehead reminded us that “Christian theology has been the greatest disaster in the history of the human race.”
The Supreme Court of Wisconsin, in Weiss vs. District Board, March 18, 1890 noted, “The source and cause of fights and malignancy, persecution, wars and all evil is religion. Let it once enter our public schools and they would be destroyed.”
The brilliant authors of our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution and our Bill of Rights were Deists and Humanists, a fact that most people in this country do not know, as it generally isn’t taught in schools. One of the most destructive characteristics of our contemporary world is the deliberate, conscious falsification and invention of histories to suit an immediate political agenda and purpose. It is impossible to have an honest future until we are first honest about our past.