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Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Inherently good?

The recent release of the film "The God Movie", punted as a "documentary" which claims to prove that Christ did not exist and is a figment of the politics of first century Palestine prompted me to take another look at a raft of assaults on religion in general and Christianity in particular currently occurring in the press, on radio and on television. The God Movie is not a cheap production, it has the full weight of Hollywood behind it which means it will be short of fact and long on myth and fiction even though it is supposed to be documentary. One wonders who is putting up the money for this and all the other attempts to "prove there is no God."

Again and again I find the statement from otherwise (I hope) sane and intelligent people, "that religion is the root of all the major wars in history" and sometimes that is refined as "Christianity is responsible for ..." Invariably when this is challenged one is confronted by the "evil crusades" or "the Spanish Inquisition" or "the Catholic wars of domination" or "the suppression of the Inca" and even with the "troubles" in Northern Ireland and English Civil War and Cromwell's excesses. Invariably one is told that "religious conflict" has killed "millions", figures difficult to support or refute since there are in fact very few records of the numbers actually killed or dying in any of these conflicts - and by most accounts, the bad hygiene practices of most crusaders carried off more of them than of their supposed victims. The fact is that while many have died in the name of religion, when this is looked at in the context of the historical timeline, more Christians died under the Roman Emperor's persecutions in the first two or three centuries of the Christian era than in any one given period since. Equally the dead supposedly piled up around the "Crusades" (Read any conflict between Christian and non-Christian worlds in the minds of the Atheist/Humanist lobby) include many who died of diseases introduced by freebooters along for the ride and no more Christian than any good atheist would claim to be.

OK, so there is something in these arguments, but I find no mention among them of the Islamic wars of conquest, nor of the invasions of the Mongols under Genghis Khan, famously atheist. Nor do I find any reference to the fact that, while religious issues might have been promoted as a propaganda front to whip up support, most of these wars were really about grabbing power - a particularly nasty human trait - or holding onto it. And I would hardly label any of the people who promoted and led them as "Christian" or even as "Muslim".

Then one arrives in the "Age of Enlightenment" in the 18th Century and runs up against the French Revolution. Notably there, the many thousands who died at the blade of Madam Guillotine (Including its inventor) were nominally at least Catholic and almost all of the Revolutionary Council were Atheist/Humanist. A blip in the history? Or something else coming to the fore? Similarly in the Napoleonic period, religion was certainly not what drove Napoleon to subjugate as much of Europe as he could, to deface churches and "secularise" everything he could. But then, his victims - numbered in hundreds of thousands - were merely "making way for the newer enlightened and godless society that was the Revolutionary "vision". Nor can the European Wars of the 19th Century be laid at the door of "Religion" or even of Christianity. These were a straightforward power grab exercise even though elements of the churches on all sides supported them. However, any reading of the Gospels soon dispels any thought that "God" or any belief in a Divine Spirit lay at the root of them. Likewise the land grabs that saw millions of Jews and peasants displaced from towns and villages across Russia as the aristocracy made a grab for land and power. The Pogroms of the Russian Tsarist State were justified by the publication of that most evil of all "enlightened" tracts, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" a work of pure fiction assembled by the Tsarist Secret Police and now regarded as "truth" by all anti-Jewish societies - including most atheists I have encountered.

Then we hit the 20th Century and find the victim count rises swiftly into the millions as war becomes the great game played by "enlightened" atheist dictators. There was no "religious" element to the declaration of the Great War, it was about land and power. Likewise the Second, yet now, the Atheist leader of Germany and his atheist henchmen declared a campaign of ethnic cleansing that beggars belief - yet is again denied by many now punting films like "The God Movie". Nor was Hitler alone in this. From 1923 to his death in 1951, Uncle Joe Stalin, beloved of the Left and Intelligentsia in the UK for his "Workers Paradise" calmly supervised the murder of thirty million of his own countrymen, Polish, German, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Romanian, Georgian and other Central and Eastern Europeans. And Britain's atheist Labour Party under Attlee colluded in the murder of 43,000 Cossacks they returned to the USSR knowing full well what Stalin intended. But let's not stop there, for we must not forget Pol Pot with six or so million of his countrymen to his "enlightened" credit and the unknown score for ho Chi Min and Kim Il Jong, Chairman Mao and our old pal Sadam Hussein (Who admittedly knew - like Joe Stalin - when and how to play the "religious" card to advantage) none of whom could ever be called "religious" and all of whom at one time or another declared themselves "atheist".

So what does the movie actually tell us about Jesus? Not a lot really, it draws hugely on the writings of the Gnostic branch of Christianity and the "library" of Arian Gnostic literature recently rediscovered in Egypt. It makes great use of our old friend Richard Dawkins who may be a great biologist but who patently knows nothing whatever about theology. It ignores or dismisses every document, book, historic fact and any evidence that supports our faith and concentrates on all the negatives it can find.

I think this is a film which tells us very little about Christ, but a great deal about those who do not wish to believe and who think that by destroying the faith of others they can somehow "elevate" society. As I look around me at the results of their "secular" society with no moral compass, no hope of higher things or guidance from anything other than "the inner being of human goodness" I do not think I see any hope for our society or our future. The greatest wars and the worst examples of "ethnic cleansing", the greatest slaughtering of innocents and the greatest enslavers of other humans have, to a man, been Atheists and their guides and henchmen frequently were Humanists.

Mankind inherently good? Mankind needing no "superstitious mythology"? Just take a look at what we do without it. Then go figure for yourself which is the greater evil.

2 comments:

  1. Jesus is the made-up part of First Century Palestine, yet no good Jew would invent a man who was God, so he's made up. I wish people would at least get consistent.... :)

    May I suggest Vox Day's The Irrational Atheist, which covers this very topic. Vox even provides a free download for those unable or unwilling to pay for the book sight-unseen.

    Vox has analyzed all the major conflicts of history, from data considered authoritative in military history circles, and points out that atheists have killed an order of magnitude more people than Christians (or even other theists).

    It isn't a light read, and it's more irreverent to the "brights" than one expects a Christian to be, but that's OK. Jesus could be sarcastic when he needed to be.

    A post-Christian world won't be the thought utopia of the brights and science fiction. It will more closely resemble Germanic druidism or seventh century Arabia.

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  2. Although I'm agnostic, I worry about the assault on our Judaeo-Christian culture and heritage. Picking away at the glue that holds society together is bad politics. Just take a look at communist China, North Korea, and the former USSR. Who would want to live in that kind of society?

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