Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and
and whatever it sees it must put out of sight,
and wish to know nothing but the word of God.
He who is not with me is against me
Jesus quoted in Matthew 12:30
I think it's important to point out before delving into the negative aspects of Christianity that I have met some great people who are Christians and know of many more who I consider a force for good in the world. Many Christians interpret their religion in a benevolent way. Christians have sent missions of love all over the world to the remotest and most dangerous places and have made considerable sacrifices to help those in need. I have another page on this web site that discusses some of the positive aspects of Christianity.
Christianity and Islam and many other religions teach that the non-believer is doomed to eternity in hell in order to keep the faithful from questioning the faith. What kind of God would doom a good kind person to hell because that person doesn't believe in him? What kind of love and compassion, mercy and understanding is that? That is a question that was asked by the born again Christian beauty Jessica Alba.
She told an interviewer for Gentlemen's Quarterly about why she became a Christian and then left Christianity. She told the interviewer what happened after she met a few local born again Christians in Pomona, California.
I started going to church three days a week, says Alba. Stopped watching secular televisionI couldnt even watch Davey and Goliath. Every day at 5 a.m., Alba woke up to pray; every time she stubbed her toe, she made sure she exclaimed, Oh, darn! While her parents dismissed her conversion as typical teen rebellion, she was memorizing the taxonomies of wickedness, the rankings of transgression, the phyla of the profane.
And then one day her body rebelled against God. Her teenage breasts bloomed; her buttocks began straining against her dungarees. I would go to the beach, says Alba, and my born-again friends would be like, Your jeans are too tight! Youre tempting me! In church, her youth pastor forced Alba to wrap a sweater around her swelling posterior to hide her sin as he read from the Bible; soon the only stories she could relate to were those of Bathsheba and Jezebel. Then two things happened. At 13 she decided to give acting a try and immediately found herself cast in an episode of the TV series Chicago Hope, playing a teenage girl who contracts gonorrhea of the throat from her 30-year-old boyfriend. Imagine explaining that to your pastor. Next, at 16, she joined the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School in Vermont, founded by David Mamet and William H. Macy, where she was drilled in contra positive Pygmalion fashion, on the intonation of lines like, **** you! **** you! **** you! **** you! I was suddenly around all these different kinds of people who were going to hell according to my church, says Alba. And I just thought that the god I am praying to is a failed god if these people are damned. What about people in Africa? Asia? People not aware of my religion? Theyre going to hell, too? Thats bull****!
Unfortunately too few of the religious have had the epiphany that Jessica Alba had and too many believe that the non-believer is doomed to hell. During the founding of both Christianity and Islam, the Jew was one of the primary non-believers which led to the scriptures of both religions painting the Jews as the evil arch villain. In the case of Christianity the Jews were accused by the New Testament writers of being responsible for the death of Christ. In the case of Islam, the Jews are accused of betraying Muhammad.
In modern times, some branches of Christianity, while teaching forgiveness and love also teaches that the Jews are responsible for the crucifixion of God. I say some because some Christians teach that the sins of everyone and not only the Jews, are responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus and that Jesus willingly made the decision to die for our sins. Although this web page discusses negative aspects of Christianity it is important to acknowledge that there are members of the church who have made attempts to fight intolerance and anti-Semitism and I discuss that later in this web page. Unfortunately there are numerous quotes in the Christian scriptures that say that the non-believer is evil. Many of these can be found on the web page Intolerance and the Bible. I give a few quotes from the scriptures that teach that the nonbeliever is evil below:
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is an antichrist, (1 John 2.22,23).
Mark quotes Jesus as saying (16:16):
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned.
John wrote (3:36):
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
and (John 3:18b)
...he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed...
In Romans it is written regarding the non-believer (14:23)
he that doubteth is damned...
In 2 Thessalonians (1:7) non-believers are described as deceivers and the antichrist:
For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
John 8:43 addressing the non-believing Jews told them
Ye are of your father the devil
I responded some of these statements as a comment to the article Is Islam Worse Than Other Religons, which appeared in Frontpage Magazine and got the following response:
The New Testament says that all believers were once slaves of the devil, that all human beings belong to the devil thanks to the Fall, and there is nothing in what you wrote, or anywhere in the New Testament, that justifies doing harm to unbelievers. Unbelievers are human beings made in the image of God who are to be saved if possible, but whether they will be or not, Christians are commanded to be at peace with all:
Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all , and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
One problem with this argument is that people who are saved do not belong to the devil and they are saved if they believe. So only the non-believer belongs to the devil. Another problem with this is that saying a group of people belong to the devil is going to lead to violence against them whether or not you say later be peaceful to all men and it has led to Christian violence.
The New Testament encourages Christians to stay separate from the non-believer. For example:
2 Corinthians (6:14) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
The New Testament also accuses the Jews of killing Jesus:
...the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers (Acts 7.51-53)
[the Jews] killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and persecuted us. How displeasing they are to God! How hostile they are to all men. They even tried to stop us from preaching to the Gentiles...This is the last full measure of the sins they have always committed. And now God's wrath has at last fallen upon them. Paul in (Thessalonians 2:15-16)
Not only does Christianity accuse the Jews of killing Jesus it also writes that the Jews said: (Matthew 27:25)
His blood be on us and on our children.
This quote ensures that not only the Jews of Jesus's time but Jews throughout history would be persecuted by the Christians.
William Nichols an Anglican minister who studied the historical evidence for Christianity and then left the faith wrote a book called Christian Antisemitism, A History of Hate, in which he showed that historical evidence indicates that the charge that the Jews forced the Romans to kill Jesus, was a fabrication by Christian hostile to the Jews because they would not convert. I have summarized some of his arguments on the Who Killed Jesus web page.
Although the charge of deicide has led to a history of terrible atrocities against the Jews it is important to note that there are Christians who in spite of this quote are supportive of the Jews and of Israel. For example, Bill Koenig of Koenig's International News, at a meeting of the Christian Coalition called The Future of Islam (2/15/02) said that Israel was the apple of God's eye.
In the Middle Ages, Christians used to prevent Jews from taking any occupation other then money lending. Then debtors became hostile toward the Jews who wanted them to pay their bills. As a result they became convinced the Jews were money hungry and greedy. William Nicholls wrote how:
The hatred of the Jews that arose in this way was sometimes acted out in violence. In the English city of York, on Shabbat Ha'Gadol, just before Passover, in the year 1190, a violent onslaught on the Jews of the city took place... The attack was led by debtors, as the contemporary chronicler, William of Newburgh, allow us to discover... William of Newburgh recorded the fact that the leaders of the plan to massacre the Jews - he calls it "a daring plan" - were some of the nobles who were heavily in debt to the Jewish bankers... The plan, daring or not, certainly had the advantage of simplicity: the most effective way to liquidate a debt is to liquidate the creditor.
Which is greed, to demand payment that you are owed or to kill those to whom you owe money so that you can keep it? It seems to me that the Christians were the real greedy ones.
Creation of paranoia toward the Jew by Christianity resulted in crucifixion of Jews by the Christian Inquisition as well as mass murders of Jews through history by God fearing Christians. More information about this can be found on a web site called A Brief History of 2000 Years of Jewish Persecution.
The following two examples of Christian persecution of Jews are from an article by Sharon Lapkin (frontpagemag.com 2/2/2006)
In 1267 in Vienna, The Catholic Council decreed that all Jews had to wear pileum cornutum or horned hats, so the public could identify them as offspring of the devil. And half a century earlier the Council of Paris forbade Christian midwives to attend Jewish women —who they proclaimed, were bringing the brood of the Devil into the world.
The Archbishop of Canterbury closed every synagogue in his diocese in 1282, and eight years later King Edward I expelled the remaining 17, 000 Jews from England and stole their property. They fled to Europe, but most were thrown into the sea by order of the ships’ captains.
Muslims have a long history of taking over the religious sites of the religions they conquer and converting them into mosques, or building mosques over them, examples being the Mosque of Omar and the Al Aksa mosque which are built on what was once the Jewish temple. Christians however, are guilty of converting Jewish religious sites into Christian ones as well as building on the Jewish temple. The Al Aksa mosque was originally the Christian-Byzantine Church of St. Mary. The Corpus Christi church in Segovia Spain was originally Segovia's Great Synagogue which was seized by the Vatican when the Jews were expelled from Spain.
Muslims in Turkey used to kidnap Jewish and Christian children convert them to Islam and make them into Muslim soldiers (Janissaries) which sometimes were then used to fight Jews and Christians. To the best of my knowledge Christianity is not guilty of making Jews into Christian soldiers however, the Vatican did send out a directive stating that Jewish children hidden from the Nazis should not be returned to their parents if they had been baptized while in the church's care (Corriere Dela Sera December 28, 2004)
The Muslims teach that those who die in war with the infidel go to heaven. A similar teaching led to a Christian massacre of the New Christains, forcibly converted Jews in Portugal which began on April 19, 1506. Michael Freund wrote (jpost.com 4/25/2006) that:
The orgy of violence reportedly began after one of the "New Christians" expressed doubt about a miracle that allegedly had taken place in a local church. He was immediately taken outside and butchered, along with his brother.
According to a contemporary account written by Solomon Ibn Verga, a number of Dominican friars "went to the main avenue of the city and proclaimed: 'Anyone who kills the seed of Israel shall be granted one hundred days of absolution for the world to come!'"
The rabble took its cue, and proceeded to break into Jewish homes across the city and commit atrocities, which included tossing pregnant women out of windows onto spears held aloft by the crowd at ground level.
Aware of the mayhem taking place in the city, German, Dutch and French sailors based on ships in Lisbon's harbor are said to have come ashore - not in order to stop the bloodshed, but to join in on it instead.
All told, it is estimated that 2,000 to 4,000 Jews were slain in the massacre, underlining the hostility which they continued to face even after being compelled to abandon their faith and join the Church.
The seeds of hate planted by John and the other authors of the New Testament were the seeds of the Holocaust. The first page of a little children's picture book, published in 1936 by the Nazi's Sturmer-Verlag, is headed by a statement similar to that of John 8:43: ... 'the father of the Jews is the devil'.
The yellow star that the Nazis forced Jews to wear had its roots in medieval Christian laws that required Jews to wear a yellow circle, yellow because of the alleged Jewish greed for gold. This was a way to prevent romantic relationships from springing up between Christians and Jews and was very successful in imposing social isolation on them.
The Christians whose religion preached mercy were merciless to the Jews. The following is an excerpt of a speech a Rabbi gave to his shipmates who were fleeing the Nazis in which he broke to them the news of Kristalnacht.
We Jews of Germany and Austria lived with Christian neighbors for many centuries, sharing their happiness and sorrows. When peace was our fate we were thankful and when hatred and destruction befell us, we prayed forgiveness for our destroyers.
We never faltered in our belief that we were all part of the true 'master race' - the human race. Our great teacher, Hillel, taught us to 'Love peace, seek peace, love mankind.' He told us also that God had granted men the wisdom to choose between good and evil.
I know it has become difficult to believe in Hillel's teachings when the Nazis have made a mockery of good and evil. From Frankfurt to Gratz, from Nuremberg to ancient Worms, from Stettin to Salzburg - our homes and synagogues are burning from fires set by the Nazis. Thousands of our brothers have been massacred by mobs and the House of Jacob in Ashkenaze has ceased to be...
How ironic that the Jews were the ones who prayed for forgiveness of the merciless Christians, the Christians who Jesus commanded to forgive their enemies!
Passion plays portrayed Jews as Christ Killers and triggered progroms against Jews over the centuries. An excellent article on this subject is called The Passion: A Historical Perspective. Mel Gibson is resurrecting the Passion play as a movie. Some concerned Jews and Catholic scholars formed an ad hoc group that issued a report in protest. One Catholic theologian from the group called the script "one of the more anti-Semitic documents most of us have seen in a long time." A group of scholars issued a report that said that (The Jewish Week 6/13/03):
Given this history and the power of film to shape minds and hearts, both Catholics and Jews in the ad hoc group are gravely concerned about the potential dangers of presenting a passion play in movie theatres.
Gibson's critics warned that he is apparently using as sources an 18th century mystical anti-Semitic book by a German nun, Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich, and a tome of Mary of Agreda, a 17th century Spanish aristocrat. Emmerich's book is a diary of the nun's visions many of which are anti-Semitic. Emmerich "told of a vision she had in which she rescued from purgatory an old Jewish woman who confessed to her that Jews strangled Christian children and used their blood in the observance of their rituals. (Jewish Week 7/4/03)
The Emmerich work contains such extra-biblical elements as:
Numerous other scenes not present in the New Testament could be cited
from the Emmerich book, but those noted here all have the effect of increasing the guilt
of Jewish characters for Jesus' sufferings.
The pope later contributed to Emmerich's
creation of paranoia by her beautification which is the last step before conferring of
sainthood. (New York Sun, Oct 4, 2004)
Mary of Agreda wrote that all Jews continue to be afflicted because of their involvement in Jesus' death. Both Mary of Agreda and Catherine Emmerich are examples of how Christian accounts increased the guilt of the Jews over whatever guilt some Jews may have had when Jesus was killed. John Dominic Crossan, the author of Who Killed Jesus Exposing the Roots of Anti-Semitism in the Gospel Story of the Death of Jesus wrote in a web page on beliefnet.com how in Mark 15:6-15, "the crowd" comes before Pilate to obtain amnesty for Barabbas and only turn against Jesus when Pilate tries to release him instead. But now watch what happens to that Markan source as the story progresses through the later Gospels. Matthew 27:15-26 first copies Mark's "the crowd" but then enlarges it to "the crowds" and finally to "all the people." Luke 23:13-15 changes Mark to "the chief priests, the leaders, and the people." Finally, John 18:37-40 speaks simply of "the Jews." ... "The crowd," in other words, grows exponentially before our eyes. For a brief summary of an alternative view of Jesus's life and who was responsible for his death see the "Who was Jesus" and "Who Killed Jesus" web pages.
According to the Jewish Week, (8/15/03) Mel Gibson showed the film to about 30 Jewish Community members as well as 50 Evangelical and traditional Catholic leaders on August 8th 2003 in the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. One of the viewers, Rabbi Korn said that for him, the worst moment in the film came during an interchange between Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate and Jesus after Jesus has been tortured. "Pilate says he doesn't want to execute Jesus, and Jesus tells him, "The greater responsibility will be on those who served me up to you," meaning the Jews.
After a preliminary showing of his film Mel Gibson asked the audience if it could incite antisemitism (Worldnetdaily 1/29/04). One of the attendees Mike Evans related that:
I explained to Mr. Gibson that the Crucifixion story has been used by anti-Semites to feed and fuel Jew-hatred throughout history, and that anti-Semitism has risen throughout the world to levels not seen since the days of Hitler. I further stated that the film, in its present form, could incite violence against Jews in the former USSR, Muslim countries and Europe, and could even result in Jews being killed.
I related to Mr. Gibson that the Christian church in Germany supported Hitler, and a major reason for that support was the belief that Jews were suffering for their sin of crucifying the Savior. Oswald J. Smith of the People's Church in Toronto, who visited Germany in 1936, said: "Every true Christian in Germany is for Hitler. I know, for it was from the Christians that I got my information, and right or wrong they endorse Hitler."
Mr. Gibson agreed to make the change suggested by Mr. Evans but didn't. Rabbi Benjamin Blech went to see the movie and wrote an article about it titled The Passion: The Movie and the Aftermath (3/9/04?) He wrote that when the scenes of sadistic torture began to make me feel physically ill:
I closed my eyes. True, I had been duly warned by reviewers that this is no less than "The Goriest Story Ever Told," a Marquis de Sade version of the Gospels; in the words of Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic, "a repulsive, masochistic fantasy, a sacred snuff film." And still I was not prepared for what appeared on the screenAs the movie mercifully came to an end and the lights went on in the theater, the woman seated next to me, a total stranger, turned and asked how I had liked it. I was in no mood for a theological discussion so I simply said I was appalled by the violence. "You must be Jewish," she said. For a moment I felt complimented. Surely what she meant was that I had reacted by way of my religion's sensitivity and abhorrence of bloodshed. But her anger and the words that followed made me understand the real problem with a film that has already achieved not only unparalleled press but also a veritable cult following. "Jews are always going to find fault," she said, "with a story that tells the truth about our Lord!"
Historically there have been Christian attempts to prevent the passion story from causing anti-semitism. In the Middle years of the sixteenth century, the Council of Trent affirmed that the crucifixion was Christ's free decison and that theologically all humanity is responsible for the death of Jesus on the cross and not just the Jews. A paragraph from its Catechism reads as follows:
In the guilt of the crucifixion are involved all those who frequently fell into sin; for as our sins consigned Christ to death on the cross, most certainly those who wallow in sin and iniquity themselves crucify again the Son of God. This guilt seems more enormous in us than in the Jews since, according to the testimony of the apostle, if they had known it they would never have crucified the Lord of glory; while we, on the contrary, professing to know him yet denying him by our actions, seem in some sort to lay violent hands on him.
After the Holocaust, Jules Isaac, a Jewish Historian succeeded in waking up some influential Christians to how the long history of Anti-Jewish hatred of the Church contributed ot the Holocaust. This in all likelihood is what led the second Vatican Council In 1965 to write the nostra aetate, The Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian religions. In this declaration they wrote regarding Judaism that:
Even though the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ (see Jn 19:6), neither all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during his passion. It is true that the church is the new people of God, yet the Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or accursed as if this followed from holy scripture. Consequently, all must take care, lest in catechizing or in preaching the word of God, they teach anything which is not in accord with the truth of the Gospel message or the spirit of Christ.
Indeed, the church reproves every form of persecution against whomsoever it may be directed. Remembering, then, its common heritage with the Jews and moved not by any political consideration, but solely by the religious motivation of Christian charity, it deplores all hatreds, persecutions, displays of antisemitism directed against the Jews at any time or from any source.
Although the Council of Trent and the Nostra Aetate are highly commendable documents and there are modern Evangelical Christians who subscribe to it, these documents did not end Christian anti-semitism. Fifteen years after the enlightened Nostra Aetate was written, Rev. Bailey Smith, former head of the Southern Baptist Convention, said, at the 1980 Religious Roundtable national affairs briefing in Dallas TX that "God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew."
Dagobert Runes in his book called The War Against the Jew wrote that:
No group or nation or alliance of nations in all known history has ever perpetuated on a hapless minority such sadistic atrocities over so long a time as the Christians have on the Jews. What the Germans did to six million Jews in the the Second World War is only a continuation of long-established Christian bestiality toward the Jewish people, practiced by European Christians and especially the Catholic Church EVERY DECADE OF EVERY CENTURY FOR THE LAST TWO THOUSAND YEARS.
The Church has a long history of cruel punishment of non-jewish heretics as well practically from its birth. An early example is that of Hypatia (355?-415 CE) She was an inventor, a mathematician, astronomer and philosopher and most importantly a non-believer in Christianity. She believed that people should think and not accept dogma on blind faith. She wrote:
Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.
All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final.
She said that:
To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing.
In the spring of 415 C.E., a band of Christian monks seized Hypatia beat her, mutilated her, killed her and burned her remains.
Another heretic punished by the Christians was Miguel Servedo (1511-1553), a Spanish scientist, whose observation that Judea was barren hardly "flowing with milk and honey" "necessarily inculpated Moses and grievously outraged the Holy Spirit," according to Calvin, who promptly had him burnt alive.
These are just a few examples of a long history of cruel persecution of heretics by Christians. Dr. Magee in his web page about the inquisition writes:
The Inquisition is irrefutable proof of the wickedness of the religion that created it. This holy court was presided over by the holiest of men, under the direct control of their holinesses the popes. It was the most infamous instrument of injustice and the most terrible indictment of Christian love the world has ever seen. Christian popes and scholars perpetrated atrocities in comparison with which the persecutions of early Christians by the Roman authorities is a drop of blood in a barrelful, and which have been exceeded in intensity in the west only by Hitlers holocaust against Jews, communists, gypsies and homosexuals. No practicer of a Pagan Nature religion could imagine anything on such a horrific scale.
In addition to persecution of the non-believer the church is guilty of other crimes. The Vatican, for centuries had young boys castrated to preserve their angelic singing voices. From the 16th century on, thousands of Italian boys had their testicles removed in the hope their voices would not break and their high registers would be enhanced by the vocal power of a man. (New York Post Aug 17, 2001 p23)
Elizabeth Cady Stanton´s wrote The Woman´s Bible, in which she claims that Christianity is and always has been a patriarchal and sexist religion. Annie Laurie Gaylor Co-Founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, wrote Woe to the Women the Bible Tells Me So which addresses sexism in the bible starting with the Creation story in which women are the cause of the downfall of the human race.
The following quotes about women were quoted by a Muslim woman who was critical of Christianity (Gender Apartheid and Islam, frontpage magazine symposium 12/30/04).
"As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active power of the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex while the production of a woman comes from a defect in the active power."- Thomas Aquinas
"Women are vessels of excrement"- St. Augustine
"The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age, the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the devil's gateway. You are the unsealer of that forbidden tree, you are the first deserter of the divine law. You destroyed so easily God's image, man on account of your desert- that is death, even the son of God had to die."- Tertullian
According to Christian doctrine if sinners accept Christ all their sins are forgiven. If that's the case then why not sin?
Jose Gomez in an article called Freed From the Chains of Hate that appeared in Awake, Jan 8 03, wrote how he engaged in bad behavior but didn't worry because he believed that all he had to do was ask and his sins would be forgiven. He wrote:
I enjoyed being a bully. Sometimes I would deliberately provoke other young men, but very few dared to defy me - especially since I was often armed with a knife or a chain. Soon I began to steal automobiles and sell them. In some cases I would just set them on fire and enjoy watching the firemen put out the flames. Later I took to breaking into shops and warehouses. I was arrested several times. And each time, I prayed to God for help!
Yes I believed in God. ...Still, my belief in God did not have any effect on my conduct. I thought that all I had to do was ask and my sins would be forgiven.
Later while in prison Gomez became a Jehovahs witness. His faith then did help him reform his character. This part is discussed on the positive aspects of religion page.
Charles MacKay in his book Extraordinary Popular Delusions; the Madness of Crowds wrote how the belief that Christ would forgive their sins affected the behavior of the Crusaders. He wrote:
As the belligerents were to have remission of all their sins on their arrival in Palestine, hundreds of them gave themselves up to the most unbounded licentiousness. The courtesan, with the red cross upon her shoulders, plied her shameless trade with sensual pilgrims without scruple on either side; the lover of good cheer gave loose reign to his appetite, and drunkenness and debauchery flourished. Their zeal in the service of the Lord was to wipe out all faults and follies, and they had the same surety of salvation as the rigid anchorite. This reasoning had charms for the ignorant, and the sounds of lewd revelry and the voice of prayer rose at the same instant from the camp.
Charles MacKay writes how the behavior of the crusaders so antagonized the people of the countries they had to pass through that many of them were slaughtered on the way. This was true even of countries that had been initially friendly and voluntarily provided provisions. The Crusaders also attacked Jews on the way. MacKay writes:
Other swarms, under nameless leaders, issued from Germany and France, more brutal and more frantic than any that had preceded them. Their fanaticism surpassed by far the wildest freaks of the followers of the Hermit. In bands, varying in numbers from one to five thousand, they traversed the country in all directions, bent upon plunder and massacre. They wore the symbol of the Crusade upon their shoulders, but inveighed against the folly of proceeding to the Holy Land to destroy the Turks, while they left behind them so many Jews, the still more inveterate enemies of Christ. They swore fierce vengeance against this unhappy race, and murdered all the Hebrews they could lay their hands on, first subjecting them to the most horrible mutilation. According to the testimony of Albert Aquensis, they lived among each other in the most shameless profligacy, and their vice was only exceeded by their superstition. Whenever they were in search of Jews, they were preceded by a goose and goat, which they believed to be holy, and animated with divine power to discover the retreats of the unbelievers. In Germany alone they slaughtered more than a thousand Jews, notwithstanding all the efforts of the clergy to save them. So dreadful was the cruelty of their tormentors, that great numbers of Jews committed self-destruction to avoid falling into their hands.
William Nichols writes in his book Christian Antisemitism, A History of Hate how:
When the Crusaders were setting out on their long and arduous journey to the Holy Land, to free Jerusalem and the places where Christ had walked, from infidel rule, it occurred to them that they had not to go all that distance to find infidels who were displeasing to Christ. They could gain as much merit, perhaps, for the salvation of their souls by killing the infidels in their midst, the Jewish population of their own lands...The archbishop of Mainz, who attempted to protect the Jews of his city, had to flee for his own life. In that city alone more than one thousand Jews lost their lives, either at the hands of the crusaders or at their own.
In the end, they resorted to an ancient means of preserving their faith at the cost of their lives. they slew first their wives and children and then themselves, in an act of kiddush ha-Shem, a hallowing of the divine name in voluntary martyrdom, rather than submitting to baptism or a more atrocious death at the hands of the crusading mob...
When the crusaders reached Jerusalem, they took a further opportunity to revenge themselves on the infidels, including those they thought of as the killers of Christ. Under their leader, Godfrey of Bouillon, they spent the first week after the capture of Jerusalem disposing of the inhabitants of the city.
Godfrey wrote to the pope, "If you want to know what has been done with the enemy found in Jerusalem, learn that in the Porch and in the Temple of Solomon, our people had the vile blood of the Saracens up to the knees of their horses. As for the Jews of the city, they were shut up in a synagogue and burned alive." The crusaders then went to worship in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and give thanks for God's blessing upon their arms.
The beheading of infidels by Muslims is well known. What is less well known is that severing an opponent's head, impaling it on a stick, and brandishing it about was a practice indulged in by the Christian knights during the Crusades (Caravans to Oblivion, The Armenian Genocide, 1915 by G.S. Graber). Christianity unlike Islam, has no religious justification for such behavior.
One ridiculous example of this was after the Armenians through off the yoke of Byzantium and won all of Cilicia. Mabel Elliott in her book Beginning Again At Ararat wrote:
Peace wit hthe Byzantine Greek Empire, and the accompanying free intercourse with the French, might have made int he Taurus another golden age of Armenia, ahd there not been an outbreak of religious wars. A difference of opinion as to the exact nature of Christ's divinity before His baptism by John the Baptist began afresh the murderous war between Armenian Gregorian Christian and Byzantine Greek Orthodox Christian.
Disturbing Undercurrents in Modern Christianity
Nicholas Kristof wrote an OPED in the New York Times about recent evangelical literature as follows:
If the latest in the "Left Behind" series of evangelical thrillers is to be believed, Jesus will return to Earth, gather non-Christians to his left and toss them into everlasting fire:
"Jesus merely raised one hand a few inches and a yawning chasm opened in the earth, stretching far and wide enough to swallow all of them. They tumbled in, howling and screeching, but their wailing was soon quashed and all was silent when the earth closed itself again."
These are the best-selling novels for adults in the United States, and they have sold more than 60 million copies worldwide. The latest is "Glorious Appearing," which has Jesus returning to Earth to wipe all non-Christians from the planet. It's disconcerting to find ethnic cleansing celebrated as the height of piety.
The tradition of confession to a priest gives the priest a lot of power since he then knows everything about everyone. If the priest is a good person then that may be a good thing but if the priest is bad or controlled by malevolent authorities confession can be destructive. An example of this is the control the Egyptian government exerts over Coptic clergy. According to JihadWatch.org (New Details of Jersey Murders 1/31/05)
There are a number of clergy
in the Coptic community who are in bed with the Egyptian government. Some even act as
agents for the Mubarak regime. Coptic clergy who wont cooperate are often exiled
into the Egyptian desert, where they live a very difficult life.
Many Coptic women have been kidnapped by Muslims. Some of these women are being kidnapped with the help of the compromised clergy. The priest hears a girls confession and then passes on information he hears there to Muslim kidnappers, who decide which girls they want to take. Many of these women are forced to marry Muslim men and are never seen again.
A number of Muslims have
infiltrated the Coptic community, pretending to be Christians in order to gather
information. Jersey City has a large number of Copts. Some of this infiltration has taken
place there; some of the Coptic clergy there are also compromised. However, most Copts
trust their clergy wholeheartedly, making it easy for the moles to operate.
Christianity and Women
Religion in general sees women as temptation to do evil. Jessica Alba was a born again Christian as a child. As she grew up and became a tempting curvacious beauty she was made to feel bad about herself by other Christians for being tempting to men. She is no longer a Christian.
Paul while telling Christians men they should love their wives, also says that women should be in a state of subjection to their husbands.
Here are some quotes from the New Testament that illustrate this:
14:34 let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law. 14:35 And if they would learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home: for it is shameful for a woman to speak in the church. 14:36 What? was it from you that the word of God went forth? or came it unto you alone? (Corinthians I)
3:18 Wives, be in subjection to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. (First Epistle of Paul to the Colossians)
2:4 that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 2:5 to be sober-minded, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed: (The Epistle of Paul to Titus)
3:1 In like manner, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; (The First Epistle General of Peter)
5:22 Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the church, being himself the saviour of the body. 5:24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their husbands in everything. 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it; (The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians)
The Gospel of Mark finishes with the following paragraph.
16:15 And he (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned. 16:17 And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; 16:18 they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 16:19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken unto them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 16:20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.
Although there are many who believe in Jesus none of them can cure people by touching them the way Mark said they would be able to, yet despite this evidence that the Gospel of Mark is false, they believe. Some sects of Christianity refuse to take medicine because their belief in Mark's words is so strong yet even after their believing hands touch their sick, their sick remain sick and sometimes die. Tragically they believe that the non-believer is evil since Mark said he that disbelieveth shall be condemned and this has caused enormous suffering in the world.
There are many Christians who are a force for good in the world. Some of the positive aspects of Christianity are discussed elsewhere on this web site. Christianity stands up for life. In the secular world too many people see abortion as a woman's right and not as the termination of life.
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