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In today’s irreligious and indeed anti-religious climate the fashion is to dismiss Christianity as crude superstition, and to babble wisely about the separation of church and state. This is unfortunate, and stupid, since Christianity was the heart and soul of as yet the greatest civilization the world has seen. Those who know nothing of it cannot understand the last two thousand years and how our world came to be.

Renegade Jews founded Christianity (most Jews soon wished they had not), as a sort of heresy that got out of control, lost all resemblance to Judaism, and eventually stretched across Europe, Russia, North and South America, Australia, and the Byzantine Empire. In all of these it shaped the culture, art, philosophy, literature, the very framework of mind. Much of this was superb and remains unsurpassed.

And what a magnificent thing it was! The traveler of today may have seen the gorgeous churches of Cuzco in the Peruvian Andes, Norman churches in Sicily, and Notre Dame, Salisbury, the wonderful cathedral of Barcelona, the Hagia Sophia, the ceremony of the Russian Orthodox. The artistry, the engineering needed to build many of them in times without structural steel are astonishing. Today in Mexico, in town after town one finds the churches on the central plaza, all different, many splendid, places of quiet and meditation. In any of these them, before Protestantism cast its drab cloak of half of the faith, a traveler could enter and understand everything he saw.

Barcelona Cathedral, built mostly in 1300s. Things of this caliber are no longer built.
Barcelona Cathedral, built mostly in 1300s. Things of this caliber are no longer built.

Architecture was just the first syllable of a long paragraph. From Christendom came classical music, much of it explicitly Christian: The Saint Matthew Passion, Handel’s Messiah, and the whole panoply of secular music in Christian forms. Jews came to the table late in recent centuries and for a while–it seems to be ending–were wildly disproportionate in their production in the arts and sciences but within the framework established by Christendom long before. Now the Koreans and Chinese begin to do the same. Muslims characteristically have done almost nothing.

The aesthetic element was pronounced, not just in music and architecture but in painting and literature and illuminated manuscripts, One may argue whether Defoe or Cervantes invented the novel, or France or America the airplane, but both came from Christendom. The genius of the faith appeared not only in sacred art but also in tolerance for, indeed encouragement of, works in other themes. For example, Cellini’s Perseus is hardly Christian but was greatly appreciated in the Italy of the 15oo’s. It would not have been in Damascus.

Perseus. If any other faith has produced the range and quality of Christendom’s art, I am unaware of it. The Italians no longer believed in the gods and myths of classical antiquity, but neither were they any longer threatened by them.
Perseus. If any other faith has produced the range and quality of Christendom’s art, I am unaware of it. The Italians no longer believed in the gods and myths of classical antiquity, but neither were they any longer threatened by them.

The list could go on for volumes. After the Greeks and the dry spell that was Rome, mathematics was a Christian enterprise as were physics, chemistry, pretty much everything. Others would work within these fields. They didn’t originate them.

The other major religion of the Mideast, Islam, appeared in the Seventh Century and conquered vast territories, but quickly fell into intellectual sloth and has since produced almost nothing other than splendid carpets and some lovely mosques. This darkness was not of genetic origin. Many of the peoples conquered by Islam were advanced and impressive, as for example the Persians. Rather it is resulted from a deliberate revulsion against thought and inquiry. (The Closing of the Moslem Mind is good on this.) The alleged centuries of convivencia of the three religions in Spain, koom bah yah, and scintillating Islamic intellect are largely academic agitprop. (The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise deals well with this.)

Catholicism in particular has combined spiritual concerns with a strong intellectual bent. The Christian interest in questions of origin and destiny and man’s purpose produced profound thought from the Church Fathers to C. S. Lewis. Today consideration of such matters as death and meaning are held to be in bad taste. Insensible of the wonder and strangeness of existence, we watch Seinfeld reruns and congratulate ourselves on not paying attention to that, you know, like, religious stuff. We live under a sort or Disneyland Marxism and descend ever deeper into complacent ignorance.

Russian Orthodoxy. Whatever else it is, drab it isn’t.
Russian Orthodoxy. Whatever else it is, drab it isn’t.

And so I see attempts to dismiss Christianity as a mere add-on or style having nothing to do with the achievements of Christendom. This is historical illiteracy. Read any of the thinkers and authors from late Roman times on until recently and you find that they took their faith seriously, that it created their mental worlds. Augustine, Newton, Samuel Johnson, Sydney Smith more recently, and in the United States, the Puritans, Quakers, and so on. Many of these were men of high intellect. Their casual dismissal by professors of sociology is in the nature of monkeys throwing books from a window.

The Renaissance in its entirely was an expression of Christendom. Whether you are a Christian–I am not–isn’t the point. And no, Christians were no more moral than anyone else. Popes catted around like any man does who has the chance. Yet the civilization produced wonders.

The evidence is strong that Protestantism, far less ornate than Catholicism, led to capitalism, which led to the modern West (whatever one thinks of this). See, for example, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.

In our material and not very thoughtful age the fashion is to point to the crimes committed by the church, to its venality, hypocrisy, and immorality. They existed. Christians behaved, and behave, as horribly as everybody else. But this is usual in human endeavor. As a moral preceptor Christianity was fraudulent. As a culture and civilization, it was of immense importance. One might note that the atheist dictators–Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot–hold the record for murderousness.

Then came in the Nineteenth Century the third great religion of Middle Eastern origin, or religion manque, Communism. Like Christianity directly, and Islam indirectly, it was a Jewish product. Never has so small a people had so great an influence on history.

ORDER IT NOW

Many wonder how a religion, Judaism, could bring about an avowedly atheist…what word do I want? Philosophy? The answer I think is that Judaism isn’t a religion but a matter of identity and ritual. At least, I don’t think I have ever met a Jew who believed in the six days of Genesis or that Lot’s wife became salt or that Jonah was swallowed by a great fish and reappeared, undigested. Christians and Muslims actually believe things, though many of the former resort to mental athletics to reconcile faith and science.

Anyway, communism killed its tens of millions and died, leaving a foul stench and little else.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, by the Catalan Anatoni Gaukí, died 1926.  Whether you regard it as lovely or merely eccentric, it is among the last architectural gasps of a once-flourishing faith.
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, by the Catalan Anatoni Gaukí, died 1926. Whether you regard it as lovely or merely eccentric, it is among the last architectural gasps of a once-flourishing faith.

The future? Christianity seems to be dying out. A resurgence is hard to imagine. It simply isn’t suited to the modern world. The Old Testament in particular is ugly and immoral and its magical events I suspect are too much for the modern mind.

Islam, being fanatical and primitive, will presumably survive for a while in its own lands. The mental night that is Islam can be seen in virtually everything, from schooling to commerce and is attributable to a religious hostility to modernity. From The Closing, mentioned above: “In comparison the number of patents registered in the twenty-year period from 1980 to 2000, the report shows Korea with 16328 and nine countries in the Middle East, including Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, with 370, with even many of these patents registered by foreigners.”

Judaism? Materialist in the philosophical sense and not requiring its adherents to believe things apparently impossible, it would seem better adapted to modernity. It imposes no restrictions on its adherents in science, culture, or commerce.

But Christendom was a hell of a show while it lasted.

(Republished from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: History, Ideology • Tags: Christianity, Religion, Western Religion 
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  1. Monkeys throwing books out the window! Perfect description of contemporary Scholarship. Way to go, Mr. Reed.

  2. Veritatis says:

    A writer at Unz actually made the connection between religion and its fruit, culture?!? Amazing.

    I will object to no secondary argument, it would ruin the pleasant surprise.

    • LOL: utu
  3. Rurik says:

    The triumphs of European and Russian Christianity were a consequence of the blood and spirit (DNA) of the European / Russian people who embraced it (or had it imposed upon them), not of the religion per se. Isaac Newton or Wolfgang Mozart would have been remarkable geniuses under most any or no religion, I posit.

    We live under a sort or Disneyland Marxism and descend ever deeper into complacent ignorance.

    yep

    The Renaissance in its entirely was an expression of Christendom.

    nope, it was in fact a explosion of the creative spirit of these unique people finally unshackled by the tenets of a dogmatic religion. As was/is science, the offspring of the Renaissance.

    a religion for the future?

    well if you pick Judaism, what about the rest of the planet? Judaism is a tribal affair based on the bloodlines and exhortations/precepts of the Old Testament. If you want to emigrate to Israel, your mother has to be of Jewish blood.

    thought-provoking article in any case

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  4. The Old Testament in particular is ugly and immoral and its magical events I suspect are too much for the modern mind.

    The Church never insisted on strict biblical literalism. St. Augustine said that Christians should not believe things which could clearly be demonstrated to be false, as this would reflect poorly on Christianity. The Church maintained that scripture should be considered as metaphorical or symbolic, or even be said not to be clearly understood at all, when it clashed with easily observable fact. Biblical literalism is so recent a development in Christianity (and almost entirely among Protestants) that I’m tempted to call it a heresy, and seems to be centered almost entirely in the United States.

    And someone will bring up Galileo in ten, nine, eight, seven, six …

  5. Barraco says:

    What a failure of a piece.. Author is clueless with a very clear bias. I wonder how he would account to the fact that almost all scientific texts used in Europe post the dark ages were translations of Arabic texts??? Or how about that we routinely use numerous Arabic words in science, globally, such as algebra, algorithm, chemistry, etc.? Or here is another one he could try and answer, how did the period known as the renaissance start?

  6. dearieme says:

    “The Old Testament in particular is ugly and immoral and its magical events I suspect are too much for the modern mind” – Fred.

    “God, isn’t God a shit!” – Randolph Churchill.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  7. Flavius says:

    ” “God, isn’t God a shit!” – Randolph Churchill.”

    “Randy, big talk from a pampered Brit shitball. I’m not your problem. You are.” God

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @dearieme
  8. @Barraco

    And the Arabic texts were overwhelmingly themselves translations from Greek texts, some of which originated in Pre-Christian times, but had been cherished and preserved by, uh, Christians.

    And the mathematics, and the sciences were largely, again from Classical roots, along the way picking up Arabic words from translations from the original Classical sources. Also, much of astrological/astronomical knowledge came from the peoples of the Persian culture sphere subjugated by the incurious Muslim barbarians from Arabia. So, no thanks to Muslims again. Later on, still more mathematical knowledge entered the world stage from India, again, after its conquest by incurious Muslim barbarians, whose scholars at best served as transmitters of work done by Hindus and Buddhists.

    And the Renaissance? Largely inspired by Classical texts, literature, and mythology. And just as the Renaissance tendencies were becoming manifest, there was an influx of a great number of texts not already in circulation in the West with the arrival of refugees to the West from Constantinople after its conquest by the barbaric Turks. And many of these texts, particularly those concerned with philosophy, ethics, political thought and the like, were of no interest to the Muslims (they translated next to none of them from Greek or Syriac, despite their being available to them for centuries), the Muslims thinking that they had it all sowed up with the Koran, and therefore having no need to take notice of this literature. But when it hit the Christian culture, these works were closely studied and instrumental in fueling the explosion of newly energized intellectual thought. Whoops.

    Bluster much?

    • Agree: Escher, Che Guava
    • Replies: @Escher
    , @Vires
    , @Logan
  9. Louis says:

    Mr. Reed should read The Next Christendom by Phillip Jenkins and ponder what that is all about if not Christianity. There is much to be pessimistic about regarding Western Culture, but Christianity will survive.

  10. Veritatis says:
    @The Plutonium Kid

    My agree button not working so AGREE and LOL

  11. @Barraco

    Many of those Arabic texts were themselves translations from the Greek.

    Arab science was indeed great, and surpassed that of Christendom for a couple of centuries. The question is, why did the Arab world fail to build on those accomplishments?

    The answer seems to be in the way it handled the conflict between faith and reason. Fred mentions the book “The Closing of the Muslim Mind”, which describes how that conflict was won by those Muslims who rejected reason. Another negative influence is that Baghdad was conquered by the Mongols and by Turkic peoples.

    In contrast, Western Christianity benefited from the insights of St Thomas Aquinas, who embraced classical Greek learning and reconciled it with Christian belief; and while we fought among ourselves, we were never overrun by powerful armies of other powers.

    Western Christendom came out on top, not because it started with some kind of moral superiority, but through accidents of history and geography.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  12. Alex Weir says: • Website

    Decent article but I’m caffeinated so…

    If protestantism can be said to have set the ground for capitalism…

    Then Catholicism and Orthodoxy can be said to have set the ground for faschism and communism.

    Notice the countries effected by the respective systems.

    Tsarist Russia was collectivist and charmingly folksy with a simultaneous adoration for heroes Saints/Kings and high regard for longsuffering peasants. What better place to preach the protection of the virtue of the proleterait by wise Commisars?

    Nazism seems to come most easily to a mind shaped by the idealism and severity of Catholicism. The SS was modeled on the Jesuits if I am not mistaken.

    Between Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Protestantism:

    Which devoloped the United States Constitution?

    I think the answer to that question as to any question about human advances is niether.

    People develop things inspite of ideology not because of it.

    The reason that the Christian influence is so great is because Christ pointed this out when he scorned the pharisees.

    His was a command to hold truth and justice in higher regard than power and honor even if the cost required the ultimate sacrifice.

    I was baptized in the Russian Orthodox Church and I value it but I do not hold it or any other earthly realization of Christs teaching to be responsible for the achievements of great spirits.

    • Replies: @Ram
    , @Patrick Harris
  13. Dwright says:

    Good piece Fred, but it is far from over.

  14. Oldeguy says:

    The question is not whether Christianity can survive Western Secular Modernity, but rather whether that Modernity can survive without the common ethical framework and sense of purpose ( both individual and communal ) that Christianity previously provided.
    The jury is still very much out on that one.

  15. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Flavius

    To be fair to him, Randolph at the time was mostly drunk, reading the Bible for the first time on a bet, and having to put up with air raids and Evelyn Waugh.

    • Replies: @Flavius
  16. Veranon says:

    Islamic Contributions to the West – Lake Superior State University

    https://www.lssu.edu/faculty/…/Islamic%20Contributions%20to%20the%20West.doc

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    , @Vires
  17. If anything, Fred’s praise doesn’t go far enough, and his diagnosis of Christianity’s health is too harsh.

    For one thing, Christians WERE more moral than others – the European Christian, unlike the Muslims, the Africans, the Chinese, and the American Indians, successfully abolished slavery. Christendom invented and popularized the notions of Natural Law and Human Rights. What is true that Christians never were morally perfect – but that’s not saying much, especially with regard to a religion which holds Original Sin as a core doctrine.

    And regarding Christianity’s current health – well, the Europeans may be abandoning their faith, to their own vast detriment (as Hilaire Belloc wrote, Europe is the faith – and the faith is Europe); but Christianity is burgeoning in both Africa and Asia.

    Christianity has been around for 2000 years and has been spectacularly more successful than ANYTHING else. The Faith has gone through many crises in its long existence and will do just fine. The West – formerly known as Christendom – may abandon its own faith to its own detriment.

    Highly recommend Rodney Stark’s books, they offer great recent insights on the subject.

  18. Escher says:
    @JerseyJeffersonian

    Arabic numerals actually came from India, including the concept of zero.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  19. epnngg says:

    Fred is at least honest in his appraisal of Christianity and the powerful influence it has had in the world for the last 2000 years. The influence of Christ’s teachings and His very claim to be the incarnate son of God come to save mankind from the darkness of sin and death is indeed unique in the history of all religions.

    We cannot deny the historicity of Jesus, and we do have to make some decisions about who he truly was and is. He never claimed to be a great teacher. His clear declaration was that he had come to save mankind. That he alone had the power and authority to do so. His whole life was a declaration to this fact. He came to lay his life down as a sacrifice for all of mankind, and through his death, he claimed he had the power to give eternal life to all who came to him. So we decide. Either this man was a crazed egomaniac, or he was indeed who he said he was.

    No, Christianity is not dying out. The nihilist Nietzsche declared that “God was dead.”Many since then have claimed the same thing. But even through terrible times of persecution, from the Roman gladiators and wild beasts that shed rivers of blood from the first martyred Christians in the Collesium, to today’s Christians persecuted worldwide, a remnant is always rising who are certain that Christ is the true representative of the living God, the embodiment of all Truth, and that all things are continuing to be made new by his power.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  20. Religion is a tool of the ruling class, used mostly for maintaining control over lower orders. The piece above, I’m sorry to say, is utterly idiotic.

  21. bossel says:

    Renaissance! Enlightenment!
    They were successful despite Christianity, not because of it.

    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
  22. Renegade Jews founded Christianity (most Jews soon wished they had not), as a sort of heresy that got out of control

    Factually false. To be Jewish is to follow the Talmud, and the Talmud didn’t exist yet in the first century.

    If anything, it’s the Jews who are a heresy of Christianity. (The Talmud can be viewed as a reaction to, or a rejection of, Christianity.)

    • Replies: @nickels
    , @Mulegino1
    , @mcohen
  23. dearieme says:
    @Flavius

    Randolph had the advantage of existing, an advantage denied to God.

  24. Thanks christies for 500 years or more of ignorance and for very slow reason-ning of the world.

    To each beautiful curch we have a innocent who was killed by sanctified christy!!!

    It’s like autism and talent.

    It’s not exactly entire autism who may make someone very talented, but only or fundamentally the good points of autism. Indeed, some people would be even more talented without dark side of autism.

    To give credit christies as the whole responsible for the ”greatest civilization” it’s just despise a century of pure ignorance being pushed for millions of people.

    What christyanism has been for centuries it’s what neo-leftism is today. More historical memory and less poorly developed conclusion like that.

    It’s also like to despise every philosopher who taught to embrace reason rather than superstition.

  25. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Religion is a tool of the ruling class, used mostly for maintaining control over lower orders. The piece above, I’m sorry to say, is utterly idiotic.

    Your first sentence is accurate, but the second depends on the position that the “lower orders” should be free to act unrestrained. A “fact” not in evidence, although a popular social/religious tenet in recent history.

    Please do not regard my point as an argument that the “ruling class” should rule unmolested. It is my position that we evolve, socially and biologically, as a result of the tension between the two and that the world would be a most unhappy, and not evolving, place if either class were to get the upper hand unrestrained by the other.

    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
  26. @Barraco

    I wonder how he would account to the fact that almost all scientific texts used in Europe post the dark ages were translations of Arabic texts???

    Do you have any actual numbers for this assertion? Almost all might be about 90%. So, 90% of “scientific” texts (whatever that means before Francis Bacon) are translations from Arabic? Gladly assert all you Like, but do read the book Fred recommended about The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise. I’d guess most scientific texts used today were originally in English, or perhaps German. Wouldn’t you, or are we not post-dark ages (whenever those were.)?

    Tl;dr: the assertion that the Christians in Spain killed a paradise tracks back to the myth of the Black Spaniard, propaganda (look up the root of that word) from the English ruling caste so they could justify their seizure of Church lands and rally the populace against Spain, and its own interests.

  27. Modernity has no future Fred. Christendom will survive it. Thank you for this. Unexpected and refreshing.

    • Agree: Old fogey
  28. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Which is why officially atheist China is a beacon of democratic populism. Also, have you noticed how much freedom has expanded in increasingly secular Europe? You can say anything you want about any topic, right?

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  29. @another fred

    Your first sentence is accurate, but the second depends on the position that the “lower orders” should be free to act unrestrained.

    It doesn’t depend on any silly ‘positions’. What I’m saying is that attributing subjectively defined ‘achievements’ of societies to minor details of their myths (“achievements of Christendom”) is utterly idiotic. The author might want to read some materialistic account; there are popular publications, Guns, Germs, and Steel, for example.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  30. @bossel

    Secular humanism’s ultimate end from sub-replacement birthrates and antibiotic-resistant STD’s will be quite ironic.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  31. Christianity’s chief virtue and contribution was as the socio-cultural glue that bound the Christian (and even the non-Christian and non-believing) inhabitants of Europe and the United States (and, to other, less harmonious extent in Russia and the in rest of the Orthodox-majority lands) together in the least internally barbarous, most salubriously literate, most internally peaceful and harmonious, broadly cooperative, and continually advancing societies ever.

    Ever.

    Under constant hateful, so-called “secularist” attack predicated from the false gospel of temporal material envy, Christianity’s vital role as socio-cultural glue is today sorely missed, or am I the only Unz reader who has Noticed today’s division and atomization that are destroying Western Civilization from within as materialist “secularism” is monotonously inculcated in schools and via Enemedia-Pravda, Government, and Globali$t corporations to indoctrinate more and more followers into the anti-intellectual, anti-civilizing mobs of materialist/Globali$t liberalism’s useful idiots (e.g. , Black Bloc, “antifa,” By Any Means Necessary, La Raza, Wall Street & Deep State bureaucrats & factotums, &c.)?

    Today even Christian churches have themselves capitulated to and adopted the false gospel of temporal material envy embedded in the various materialism-based forms of “Liberation Theology.”

    “And a hard rain’s a-gonna fall . . . .”

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  32. nickels says:

    Civilization and beauty are results of Logos = reason, harmony, peace = Christ.

    Logos made appearances before Christ (pre-figurations of Christ in the Old T, in Greece, etc…).

    The message of the resurrection is precisely that there is a reckoning beyond the material and the pleasures of this world. This leads people to sacrifice their own wills to a greater good. That suppression of immediate will is the building block of western civilization. The adoration of God is the source of beauty in the west and its art.

    As we lose the Logos, the bloodletting and degradation of beauty will only increase.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  33. nickels says:
    @anonymous coward

    Yes, Christianity continues the traditions of Israel.

    The Talmud represents a rejection of that tradition and the founding of a new pagan religion.

  34. mad1 says:

    Read Joseph Atwill Christianity is the most successful false flag op of all time.

  35. Mulegino1 says:
    @anonymous coward

    100 percent correct! There are, of course, followers of the “pure Torah” still in existence (the Karaites, the Falashas, etc.) but they have virtually nothing in common with the Talmudic Jews, who as you accurately point out, are the spiritual ancestors of dead end anti-Christ rejectionists. The former are patrilineal and consider only the Pentateuch as inspired (so far as I know); the latter have only a tenuous and cosmetic regard for the Torah- their authority is the Babylonian Talmud, and, in absolute contradiction to any Semitic or Middle Eastern tradition, are matrilineal.

    Neither Christ, nor the first Christians were “Jews” in the commonly understood contemporary sense- they were Judeans, i.e., those who believed that the authentic worship of the God of Abraham was conducted at the temple in Jerusalem of Judea, not in Samaria on Mt. Gerizim. The idea that Christ or the first Christians had any spiritual or even ethnic affinity with the “Brooklyn Deli” type Jew of today is absurd in the extreme. Those people in the fur hats have about as much historical affinity with Palestine and the Levant as did King Kamehameha.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @ScizzaMan
  36. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Muslims and their non-existent patents list? White racists, moral midgets, spiritual losers, pagan polytheists, love to rub that essential truth in, don’t you? Fair enough. :)

    But, we “losers” do have our very own most valuable “patent”;

    There is no God, but God.

    We truly understand this and live by it every single day?

    So go ahead, revel in your accomplishments. In fact, I would like to thank the non-Muslim world for all the glorious discoveries and inventions, which I too get to take advantage of.

    For me, best of both worlds. All praise is due to Allah(swt) alone!!

  37. anarchyst says:

    The “beginning of the end” of Christianity was sealed with the infiltration of the Catholic Church “Vatican II Ecumenical Council” of the 1960s by Jews and Protestants.
    Much Catholic ritual was discarded, as well as the promotion of absolution of the Jews for Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and death, despite vitriolic Jewish hatred of Jesus Christ which exists to this day. .
    Abandoning the use of Latin in the Mass destroyed its “universality”. Previous to Vatican II, one could attend Mass anywhere in the Roman Catholic world and understand the meaning of the Mass.
    Prohibition of the celebration of the Tridentine Mass (except by special ecclesiastical permission) pushed many Catholics away from the new “Modern Mass” and the New Church, in general…It took a brave Cardinal Lefebvre and the Society of St. Pius X to “push back against Vatican II and re-legitimize the celebration of the pre-Vatican II Tridentine Mass and other Catholic rites.
    In pre-Vatican II times, the priest (celebrant of the Mass) was considered to be a part of the congregation, and a representative of the people.
    By turning the priest around to face the congregation, the priest was no longer a representative, but an “actor”, diminishing his status and importance.
    One area where the Catholic Church could improve itself involves celibacy, which is NOT Church “dogma” or doctrine. Celibacy was put in place during the middle ages in order to keep Church property from being inherited by family and relatives of priests and bishops. Celibacy was based on purely financial considerations–nothing more. It is interesting to note that Episcopal (Anglican) priests who convert to Catholicism can bring their families with them to the Church while Roman Catholic priests are denied marriage.
    It was a grave mistake by the Church to de-legitimize celebration of pre-Vatican II principles.

  38. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @epnngg

    You are passing off what is essentially hearsay, as the unquestionable truth. :)

    In stark contrast, the ideology of true monotheism, that is Islam (what else?), is not at all dependent on hearsay, but simple logical reasoning. That is, if you are fundamentally a theist at heart.

    Do you spiritual losers actually have a counter to, “There is no God, but God,” except for; but believers in Tawhid are such worldly losers, so their foundational belief must be false too, right?

    It is indeed hilarious to see the Christian faithful trying to spin the trinity, as monotheism, just like the Hindus do their faith (I mean, seriously!). When will you twits realise that your spiritual faith is mostly a concoction of Hindu and Greek mythology.

    If (and that is a huge if) and when you realise that, your worldly accomplishments, of which you gloat much, will begin to appear minuscule.

    The question is whether that will happen as you breathe your last, in which case you are basically screwed, or when you have enough time for making amends. *shrug*

    Now, gloat away!

    • Replies: @epnngg
    , @Wizard of Oz
    , @Abdī
  39. Antiwar7 says:

    Don’t judge all of Islam so harshly. Compare the Puritans in America in the 1600′s (capital punishment for religious crimes) to the Puritans’ descendants of the 1900′s (Congregationalists and Unitarians, amongst the most liberal of mainline Protestant churches).

    Plus, in the world of Islam, the West undermined the religiously tolerant, modern, nationalists of the 1950′s by opposing them or co-opting them, and defeating them. Then America created and used transnational, conservative religious warriors to fight the Soviets, and they’ve evolved into the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS. Good going, Zbigniew Brzezinski! If we simply left the Muslim world alone, they would have evolved along their 1950′s trajectory, when a single Irish woman could bike from Europe to India, through Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan (Dervla Murphy, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/163921.Full_Tilt ). And if we leave them alone enough, it would settle back to that again. (Ask the young people of Iran.)

  40. @Anonymous

    There is no God, but God.

    Correction: don’t you mean “there is no God but God and his uncreated, co-eternal Koran”?

    Muslims are not pure monotheists, they believe in a ridiculous duality of Allah+Koran.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  41. Old fogey says:
    @anarchyst

    The “beginning of the end” of Christianity was sealed with the infiltration of the Catholic Church “Vatican II Ecumenical Council” of the 1960s by Jews and Protestants.
    Much Catholic ritual was discarded . . .Abandoning the use of Latin in the Mass destroyed its “universality”. Previous to Vatican II, one could attend Mass anywhere in the Roman Catholic world and understand the meaning of the Mass.
    Prohibition of the celebration of the Tridentine Mass (except by special ecclesiastical permission) pushed many Catholics away from the new “Modern Mass” and the New Church, in general…It took a brave Cardinal Lefebvre and the Society of St. Pius X to “push back against Vatican II and re-legitimize the celebration of the pre-Vatican II Tridentine Mass and other Catholic rites.
    In pre-Vatican II times, the priest (celebrant of the Mass) was considered to be a part of the congregation, and a representative of the people.
    By turning the priest around to face the congregation, the priest was no longer a representative, but an “actor”, diminishing his status and importance.

    All well put and true. Bravo to you for reminding everyone of how the Catholic Church turned its back on its glorious history. There is no hope for our civilization until people return to their Christian roots.

  42. @The Plutonium Kid

    And someone will bring up Galileo in ten, nine, eight, seven, six …

    LOL. Actually, the posters here seem to be clever enough invoke the myth of Medieval Christian anti-science without actually naming Galileo.

  43. Flavius says:
    @Anon

    The air raids indeed were tough and a bit of the drink certainly a reasonable aid for carrying on. The comment in question does have the ring of 3 am before the head goes down on the table. Whoever carried it from the club on Randy’s behalf did not serve him well. Waugh, it is said, could be difficult but what a gift he possessed: Scoop; Black Mischief (unpublishable today); The Loved One (they talk, but they don’t mind if you don’t listen); and all the others. Who hasn’t got a favorite?

  44. Corvinus says:
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    “Secular humanism’s ultimate end from sub-replacement birthrates and antibiotic-resistant STD’s will be quite ironic.”

    Not quite. The blacks and browns are more than making up for whites and their apparent lack of interest in life creation. I’m sure you’ve been working hard to fill the void. I mean, your wife stays home and tends to your brood while you are off playing Ward Cleaver, right?

    Of course, your notion of secular humanism refers to those groups of people who are adherents to organized religion other than your own preferred brand of faith. In other words, unless people strictly believe in what you believe, they get dumped into this category. It’s nice and neat and clean.

    • Replies: @Anon
  45. epnngg says:
    @Anonymous

    Anonymous,

    Can you be more concise when you say that a Christian “passes off what is essentially hearsay, as the unquestionable truth”?

    How is Islam based on “simple, logical reasoning, and not on hearsay ” in contrast to Christianity?

    You call those who claim Christianity to be the truth “losers.” What is your understanding of life that makes you not a “loser?”

    Can you show me how Christianity has its roots in Hindu and Greek mythology? What have you read that would bring you to that conclusion?

    I don’t believe I was gloating at all. I merely was pointing out that all of us have to make a decision about Christ. We can either reject who He said was, or we can accept Him as Truth.

    You have clearly rejected him, and that is certainly your choice. I think of you as neither a “twit” or a “loser” for believing so.

  46. Seraphim says:
    @dearieme

    Shit talking about his own.

  47. Seraphim says:
    @Barraco

    And these ‘Arabic’ texts were translations from Greek! There is nothing in them that is an ‘invention’ of the Arabs. Eventually Islam managed to silence any Greek thought and science with their Allahu Akbar roars and muezzin’s bleating. Arabs burned the Library of Alexandria. That was their real attitude toward science.

  48. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    “The Old Testament in particular is ugly and immoral and its magical events I suspect are too much for the modern mind… Judaism? Materialist in the philosophical sense and not requiring its adherents to believe things apparently impossible, it would seem better adapted to modernity. It imposes no restrictions on its adherents in science, culture, or commerce.”

    Old Testament is the real thing. It has everything. Mythology, history, poetry, laws, philosophy, etc.
    New Testament is great too, but it only pursues a single idea. Old Testament has more contradictions, therefore it is more interesting. In a way, New Testament tried to resolve those contradictions. But crisis is always more interesting than resolution.

    The Old Testament doesn’t have a lot of magical events once the human realm is well-established. It is in the Genesis where most of the magical stuff is, but this makes sense since it’s about pre-history. This is true of any civilization. Their ‘remembrance’ of the dawn is the most magical and mythical. But as things become more established, there is less of that magical stuff. So, the Dark Ages of Greek ‘history’ is filled with stories of gods and mythic heroes. But later Greek history is more like real history.
    The later parts of the Old Testament become more like histories and chronicles than mythology. Also, the magical parts of Genesis have great poetic power and can be read as such instead of literally as magic.

    As for the Old Testament being ‘ugly’, life is ugly. People are ugly. History is ugly. Religion isn’t a fantasy or fairytale. Religion must grapple with the ugliness of life.
    And why is it ‘immoral’? Because of God’s laws about stoning people for a bunch of crimes? But is the heaven-hell theory of Christianity less cruel? In some ways, Christian cosmology is more cruel. If you get stoned to death for a sin, it’s gonna be horrible, but when you’re dead, the suffering is over. You’re dead and that’s that. In contrast, even though Christianity urges compassion and love in THIS WORLD, it says vengeance is God’s. And if God is angry with you, you will burn in hell forever. Now, what is more cruel? Getting stoned to death or being burned forever? I’ll take the stones.

    Some might say the Old Testament God is cruel in the way He killed people with floods and fires and such. But there were natural disasters that wiped out lots of people. So, people back then had to ask why such things happened. And they figured God was punishing people for doing bad stuff, like humping each other in the ass. I wouldn’t mind if God existed and hurled some fireballs at the San Fran homo parade.

    Anyway, floods happen. Earthquakes happen. Locusts happen. And people back then had to come up with some kind of answer.

    The possibilities were:

    1. God doesn’t make the bad things happen. They just happen, and God does nothing to stop them. But then, the problem with this argument is, ‘why did God create a universe in which bad stuff happens?’ Or, ‘If God can intervene and stop the bad stuff, why doesn’t he?’

    2. God wants to stop bad things from happening but He hasn’t the power to do so. He feels sorry for humanity, wants to help, and but can’t. Okay, now we have a nice god, but he’s not a very powerful god. What good is a god who is not powerful enough to control the world?

    3. God makes bad things happen because he loves to feeeel the power like Mr. T in ROCKY III. And he pities the fool who dare bitch and complain. Okay, now we have a powerful badass god, but he’s nihilistic and just loves to show off his power for the hell of it. He’s like some rapping negro punk thug of the universe.

    4. God is powerful and good. He wants good stuff for us, but we sin so much and disappoint Him big time. And so, as punishment, He whups our butt once in awhile because we seem to lose sight of what really matters when things get good. It’s like the Jews in TEN COMMANDMENTS while Moses was at Sinai getting the tablets. They had food and wine and began to boogie oogie.

    Out of the four possibilities, the fourth sounds most moral though not exactly perfect because God’s punishment sometime makes good sense — when He whupped the buggers of Sodom and Gomorrah — but other times seems a bit excessive.
    Only #4 shows God to be all-powerful and good. And it’s the only way to morally explain natural and historical phenomena of mayhem and stuff.

    As for the stuff about wiping out the entire enemy tribes when the Jews are seeking to establish their homeland, that is nasty business. But I suspect that kind of military butchery was common among ancient tribes. Also, are we any better? Mao killed millions. Stalin killed millions. Truman nukes entire cities. British blockade starved many Germans in WWI. Sanctions in Iraq killed 100,000s. Japanese went nuts in Nanking. America was built by wiping out Indians.

    • Replies: @Dube
    , @Wizard of Oz
  49. Seraphim says:
    @anonymous coward

    Actually it is:
    lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāh, muḥammadur-rasūlu-llāh
    There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God

    ‘Muslims’ actually worship Muhammad. The Koran is just a collection of his ravings (and even that is not so sure). Muslims don’t want to impose the belief in the ‘unity of God’ (in which actually everybody else was believing) but to ‘submit’ (this is the meaning of Islam) the world to the rants of Muhammad.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  50. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Antiwar7

    “Don’t judge all of Islam so harshly.”

    Byzantines were Christians, but their civilization was stagnant and just got weaker and weaker.. until it fell to the Turks and Muslims.

    I think, in a way, we have to give the barbarians of Europe some credit for the rise of the West. This may sound counter-intuitive since barbarians sacked Rome. But sometimes, a civilization grows decadent and degenerate. It has to be destroyed like a dead tree in order for a new tree to grow.

    So, in a way, the great paradox is the Western Roman Empire was destroyed but paved the way for something great whereas Eastern Roman Empire survived but maintained a mummified civilization for too long. West got rid of dead tree and grew a new tree. The East kept with its aging tree that got bigger but weaker and then dead… until the Turks finally came along and kicked it down.

    So, the barbarians must be given their due. But thankfully, the barbarians were white folks with genetic traits capable of amazing things. They were high-IQ barbarians. Like the Exterminators in ZARDOZ.

    Over time, barbarianism mixed with spiritualism. Thus, Europe had both warrior virility and saintly virtue-ness. It combined the balls with the heart. And then, with rediscovery of Classical knowledge, there was also the brain. So, the formula was the balls + heart + brains.
    In a way, the sense of ‘rediscovery’ made things more exciting. Suppose you have a book collection and it’s always there and you get tired of it cuz it’s always there. You might not much care to read. But suppose the books are lost, and you feel you lost something so precious. But then, suppose you rediscover it. Now it’s like a miracle and you’re excited to read the books.

    In a way, the rise of America was a form of neo-barbarianism. Even though European civilizations were great, they were rigidly stratified, and the energies of many people were repressed. In order for Western Europe to become civilized, they had to increasingly put away barbarian things. This made for more order but it also led to stifling of creative energies.
    The danger of rise of civilization was the suppression of the creative barbarian spirit of adventure and freedom. For Europe to develop into orderly societies, people had to be turned into serfs. In a way, being a serf was worse than being a slave of a barbarian lord. It was certainly less fun. If you were a slave of a barbarian lord who was pillaging some place and if you saved your lord in a battle, he might free you and embrace you as a fellow warrior, and then, you are riding alongside your master and playing barbarian too. But if you were a serf of a landed aristocrat, you were just stuck to your plot and planting turnips all year around.
    In the US, Europeans who had bowed down to masters, lords, and other such highfalutin types could finally be free. Even though whites fought the savage Indians, they went half-barbarian as free farmers, pioneers, adventurers, mountain men, cowboys, ranchers, and etc. In Europe, it was mostly the nobility that had horses and guns. In America, even regular folks could have guns and ride horses like wild Indians and act semi-barbarian. So, the repressed creative barbarian energies were allowed to run free in the US in Hemingway-ish manner, and that made America. It’s like in LAST OF MOHICANS, which is almost like the telling of Romans vs Germanics.

    America was founded by landed aristocrats like Jefferson and Washington and such. But many who fought to gain independence were regular folks like in the Al Pacino movie.

    Another great achievement of the barbarians was that they ended the Roman project of proto-globalism that was bringing all these Arabs and Africans to Rome. Romans became like current Europe, and they let in all these non-whites to do stuff that Romans were too lazy to do themselves. Romans got decadent like in Fellini Satyricon.

    Indeed, what the EU needs is a barbarian revolt. The elites are rotten to the core. Their system is decadent. Their religion is worship of men who indulge in fecal penetration. And their holy icon is some guy who removed his balls and penis to get fake vagina. And their idea of evolutionary progress is to have as many white wombs be colonized by Negro seed.
    We need a barbarian revolt when the system becomes too rotten.

  51. Seraphim says:
    @Antiwar7

    Right, there were the misguided Anglo-Americans who encouraged the ‘revival’ of a withering Islam as a spearhead against Russia and China, reviving their policies of ‘containing’ Russia which led to WWI. The Muslim Brotherhood was a creation of the British Intelligence Service specially designed to reverse the effects of the salutary dismantling of the Ottoman Empire (the Caliphate).

  52. Seraphim says:
    @Rurik

    This tribute to the claptrap of the basically judaizing anti-Church idolaters of the ‘White DNA cum IQ superiority’, puts the cart before the horses. The triumphs of European Christianity are a consequence of the ‘marriage’ of the multi-millenary Ancient civilizations (unified by the Hellenistic-Roman empire) with the Church which brought into it the feral barbarian Widukinds, Beowulfs and Rurikids from the fringes of Europe, slowly domesticating and educating them (admittedly the greatest success was with the Rurikids). All science and culture of ‘White Europe’ irradiated from the Schools and Universities created and patroned by the Church. Ditto for the Renaissance. The Widukinds took their revenge in the Reformation utopianism which waged a long war against the Church and Christian culture and civilization. The drab vision of the anti-human dead Universe of the iconoclasts Galileo, Bacon, Newton, Locke and the deadly tyranny of the materialistic science which they help to create (and whose most egregious successes consist in devising more and more destructive weapons) is the direct result of that ‘Widukind’ revolt against the Church.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    , @Anon
  53. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    I didn’t realize you were an undergraduate who figured it all out.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Anon
    , @pll
  54. utu says:
    @The Plutonium Kid

    AGREE! My Agree button doesn’t work.

  55. @Seraphim

    The idea that the Koran is “co-eternal and uncreated” is official Muslim doctrine, and you’ll get your head chopped if you disagree.

    How these people have the gall to rant about “pure monotheism” is beyond me.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  56. Stogumber says:

    The Jews who stepped out of Judaism and invented Christianity didn’t do this as a joke. They had reasons to feel unwell in the Jewish atmosphere of “materialism, identity and ritual” which Fred Reed deems so appropriate to the modern world.
    And they felt particularly unwell in the atmosphere of phariseeism – an eternal religion which Reed hasn’t taken into account.
    If we understand the reasons why Christianity was founded, we understand why it is needed now as well as always.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  57. utu says:
    @Mulegino1

    The idea that Christ or the first Christians had any spiritual or even ethnic affinity with the “Brooklyn Deli” type Jew of today is absurd in the extreme. Those people in the fur hats have about as much historical affinity with Palestine and the Levant as did King Kamehameha.

    Excellent point.

  58. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @The Plutonium Kid

    “The church never insisted on strict biblical liberalism”

    Or as Bishop Desmond Tutu put it: “Whatever is not in the spirit of Christ, I reject it. I reject it absolutely.”

    • Replies: @attilathehen
  59. Dube says:
    @Anon

    Possibility #5: God takes the penalty for the evil. Isn’t that the straight story?

  60. wayfarer says:

    It’s ironic how scientific knowledge ( https://goo.gl/8rhy57 ) has evolved exponentially over the past several millennium, whereas religious knowledge ( Christianity, Islam, and Judaism ) has remained absolutely static within its 2000 to 3000 year old texts.

    What initially opened my mind to alternative truths, were various “close encounters of the third kind,” including a vis-a-vis experience with an extremely dangerous alien being. I’ve also stumbled upon these transcripts ( https://goo.gl/DdEVNj ), which have helped greatly to broaden my spiritual perspective of creation.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    , @Seraphim
  61. @Anonymous

    After your sound first sentence you descend into nonsense. The only logic of theism is that theism is fundamentally illogical and rationally impossible because an omnipotent Creator deity that supposedly cares for his creation and creatures but doesn’t intervene to make sure they understand Him and his will (if any) correctly and leaves billions of Buddhists and Hindus totally uninstructed about Him is an impossibility.

  62. utu says:
    @Antiwar7

    Then America created and used transnational, conservative religious warriors to fight the Soviets, and they’ve evolved into the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS. Good going, Zbigniew Brzezinski!

    One may wonder who was really behind the overthrowing of the Shah regime in Iran. Iran was trying to do everything right by being a super friend of America and Israel. Still it did not protect them from the regime change. So what did them in? Was it because they were too successful in economic development and becoming a modern secular state? So who really unleashed the ayatollahs on them? The same people who tried to unleash Muslim Brotherhood on Nasser?

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  63. @Mao Cheng Ji

    You do sound a bit undergraduate in your confident espousal of oversimplification. So what if the developments of modern civilisation could only occur in Eurasia and not Africa, Australasia or the Americas for environmental reasons suggested by Jared Diamond? That by no means precludes one culture, maybe strongly associated with a particular religion, being an important, if not essential, cause or condition of the rise of modern civilisation via Rennaissance, Reformation, Scientific, Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions and the Enlightenment(s). Cf. also Eric Jones “The European Miracle”.

    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
  64. @Anon

    You commit the fatal fallacy of allowing your deity to get annoyed with us and then behave in a way which we have long objected to as unjust and wrong in principal.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  65. It’s interesting that you equate less Christian with irreligious.

    I was raised Catholic in the Netherlands, which is a historically Protestant nation with a large Catholic minority, although now there are more Catholics than Protestants (60/40 Calvinist/Catholic in 1950, 10/20 Calvinist Catholic 2010). I, along with many others, left Christianity because it is completely illogical, relativist, and not even the people preaching it believe that it is the religion of God, which is how they change things around to let gays marry etc.

    I became Muslim because Islam is logical, it’s doctrines and theology stand up to scrutiny without dependence on blind faith, even things that you’d think need faith like Isra and Miraj have scientific explanations like Theory of Relativity. Islam doesn’t contradict science, human evolution is not a matter for debate among Muslims since it is more or less described in the Qur’an, it has a strong moral code, a developed and objective ethical system land once you actually research Islam you’ll see that it’s been unfairly maligned because it’s simplistic truths invite you to timeless truth and that scares the powers that be. They rely on public Islamophobia to support wars of conquest and the continued supine behavior thy display to toward Israel.

    There’s no wonder why Christianity is moribun in the west and would be quickly dying worldwide if it weren’t African rice Christians, and why Islam is growing everywhere, Islamic youth are more religious than their parents, and millions of secular/Christian westerners 70% women, 55% under 27) have become Muslim.

    The religious future of the west, and everywhere outside of the Orient and the Hindu areas of India is Islam.

  66. ” This is unfortunate, and stupid, since Christianity was the heart and soul of as yet the greatest civilization the world has seen. ”

    This sentence is the point to stop reading.
    For some 1600 years christianity prevented all progress.

    Who exactly burned the Alexandria library is still in dispute, but there is no dispute on that the pope in 1600 burned Giordano Bruno alive, because he had other ideas than the church, at about the same time Calvin in Geneva burned Servetius also to death, alive, on green wood, then he suffered longer.

    The crime of Servetius, the man who discovered the blood circulation, was that the compromise reached on Cyprus in the 4th or so century about the holy trinity he saw as nonsense;

    Some 400 years BCE Greeks calculated the circumference of the earth at 39.000 km, it is some 40.000.
    Yet the crew of Columbus in 1500 or so were afraid to fall off the world.

    Even around 1860 a pope forbade all philosophic thinking not controlled by the church.
    Even today the pope forbids condoms, thereby spreading aids.

    Science stood still for some 1600 years, Galileo is seen as the first experimenter in christian times.

    I do not comment on the christian stupidity of ‘go and multiply’, heathen peoples were capable of restricting population to sustainable numbers.
    Nor am I commenting on excuses for trans Atlantic slave trade.

  67. @utu

    Even Stalin was unable to repress religion, the shah also failed.
    So this power overthrew him.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Pachyderm Pachyderma
  68. @Seraphim

    A very sobering book about the ‘triumphs’ of christianity is
    Felipe Fernández-Armesto, ‘Civilisations’, London, 2000

    Just the direction of the turning of the earth, the unique North Sea, and the grass highway from Mongolia to the Flemish coast.

  69. @Veranon

    ⦁ Thorkild Schioler, ‘Roman and Islamic water lifting wheels’, Odense University Press 1973

  70. Seraphim says:
    @anonymous coward

    Oh, yes, we know that. The real problem is with those pseudo-Christians who coddle the head choppers, foisting them and their demented ‘faith’ on us, forbidding us to expose them for what they really are.

  71. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    I fail to understand this post. Is God or your interlocutor behaving in a way you to which you object? And how does either case constitute a fallacy?

    RB

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  72. @The Plutonium Kid

    Quite right and well said. Literalism and, more importantly, is existence as a straw man that can be easily (and publicly) mocked by those that hate Christianity in the first place and who have been working assiduously towards its demise, has much (if not everything) to do with the fading away of Christian presence and influence within our western cultures.

    The other great destroyer (apart from the money-power’s covert war against Christianity) is the failure of the leadership of Christian Churches to stand up for Christian principles. The Catholic Church was taken over by Freemasons in 1958 and has been careering towards its own spiritual death (and a merging with globalist Luciferians) ever since.

    Swedenborg* wrote in the 1700′s that all Churches (spiritual civilisations) die in the end as they become replaced by their own inversion. It happened with the Adamic God-filled religion of our earliest ancestors who knew no separation from the Creator and accepted that all good was from ‘Him’. it happened to the benign religion of the original Hebrews and to other civilisations as well.
    This is what the Book of “Revelations/The Apocalypse” is all about. Christian scripture predicted its own demise 2000 years ago and told us clearly that a new and superior spirituality [the presence of the spirit of Christ in men and women, like to the Edenic religion] will rise from the ashes of Christian culture.

    *Read “Divine Providence” if interested.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  73. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @The White Muslim Traditionalist

    Why is it that Talha is the only, well, Talha on this forum?

  74. utu says:
    @jilles dykstra

    You do not seem to understand much.

  75. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Corvinus

    Why are you obsessed with and fixated on race?

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  76. Seraphim says:
    @Stogumber

    To really understand the reasons why Christianity was founded and is permanently needed, we have to discard the false idea that the ‘Jews invented Christianity’ and stick to the traditional view that Jesus Christ, who came on Earth for our salvation, founded the Church, the Body of Christ, the Temple of the Holy Spirit. “Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus”.

  77. @epnngg

    “We cannot deny the historicity of Jesus”. Maybe, but we can certainly doubt just about everything about him that Christians have been encouraged to believe based on what was filtered through from 1st century (but not contemporaneous) texts that the Roman church treated as canonical. I saw an interesting dico recently that seemed to make quite a good case for
    1. Jesus being your Essene related or inspired standard reforming or revolutionary Jewish preacher who had picked up the reins when his cousin John the Baptist was killed;
    2. Jesus and disciples needed financial support and got it from the wife of Herod’s chief minister;
    3. Herod who had only married in to the Judaean royal family was pretty happy with Jesus’s anti-establushment movement as he would hsve been happy to replace Caiaphas and control the Temple
    4. Herod had some sort of deal with Sejanus when he seemed to be able to speak for Tiberius, and Pilate also was Sejanus’s man. Herod was to keep the peace in Palestine for Sejanus when S took over from Tiberius, as emperor or as agent;
    5. The downfall of Sejanus in late 31 AD changed everything and meant that neitheŕ Herod nor Pilate would protect Jesus;
    6. The timing in the gospels doesn’t make sense. The events of the last week were really spread over months starting with the 31 AD festival of Tabernacles when the palm fronds would have traditionally been available and Jesus’s entry to Hosannas makes some sense. Initially he can turn over a money changer’s table in the Temple without being arrested but eventually the news of Sejanus’s fall undoes him and he can be crucified to please the local establishment. As to the crowds that had welcomed him turning into those who chose Barabas to be spared? At least it suggests a time frame of months rather than days.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
    , @jilles dykstra
  78. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Mr. Reed,

    Thank you for this intelligent and respectful article. I disagree with you on certain points, of course, but when I state that I am a Christian it will be perfectly obvious what those points are and the possible discussion arising from them, so there is no need to go into them. I also applaud your choice of the Perseus, which I think you also used in a previous article. This statue has always made me somewhat uneasy, as, since the headless body of the Gorgon is present, indicating that this is in fact the decapitation scene: where is the mirror? Is this a sly joke on the fact that this is in fact a statue (metal is close enough to stone)? In any case it is a terrifying image, in the best of ways.

    I wonder, though: did interpretations similar to Jack London’s* have anything to do with the choice?

    RSDB

    *Yes, I got it from wikipedia. So sue me.

  79. @Wizard of Oz

    That by no means precludes one culture, maybe strongly associated with a particular religion, being an important, if not essential, cause or condition of the rise of modern civilisation via Rennaissance, Reformation, Scientific, Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions and the Enlightenment(s).

    No. Economics is the basis. Ideology, culture, law, politics – superstructure built upon it. This is very basic stuff.

    And by the way, religious doctrines and practices change as well, and take very different, sometimes the opposite forms, from communistic communes to the Inquisition to the Lord’s Resistance Army – in accordance with variety of material conditions.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  80. Seraphim says:
    @The White Muslim Traditionalist

    Does not the patently not true silly affirmation that the Koran descended from heavens depend on blind faith? Islamic ‘logic’ is the logic of the simple minded incapable of reasoning due to low IQ and incapacity for sustained mental efforts. It is the territory of the most blind faith you can see.

  81. doubter says:

    This summary is hard to take. Breathtaking in its simplicity and guilty of misrepresentation both by ommission and commission.

    For instance, the statement that Islam “…quickly fell into intellectual sloth and has since produced almost nothing other than splendid carpets and some lovely mosques” is stunning in its ignorance. The same can be said of the statement that mathematics, etc. are basically “Christian” and European. Forget the persecution of those who did not espouse the Christian view of creation, such as Copernicus (who reproduced models well known to, for instance, Inca and Middle Eastern scientists for centuries previously). Forget that the great learning centre in Toledo under the Ummayad Caliphate, for instance, preserved and transmitted Greek, Persian and Islamic learning to Europe in the late Middle Ages.

    Yes, Christianity does have a great cultural heritage, just as it has a history of blood and intolerance. But the greatest on Earth? Buddhism, Confusianism, Taoism and even Zoroastrianism certainly give Christian culture and values a run for that honour.

    Lastly, it is somewhat ironic to me that this piece is illustrated with a copy of a Greek statue of a pre-Christian hero.

  82. mcohen says:
    @anonymous coward

    you come to unz,post some crap,take a crap,causes others to wisely nod like crap.whats the point……bored,lonely,toothache,back problems,to much curry.

    posted the link for you not to read.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talmud

    i am working on the 14 principles that should be the foundation of an islamic state.care to contribute.so far i have completed principle number1

    1.the first principle for the basis for and islamic state must be the full acceptance of people of all relegions and cultures.it must have the ability to provide a safe space for all its inhabitants.survival must come first.both moslems and non moslems who want to live in an islamic state must accept this first principle.before anything else.

    2.the islamic state must first be a state in the mind before in the physical.those like minded people who wish to live in an islamic state must come together and agree to accept islam as the guiding principal governing daily life.the life based on sharia law.

    3.then only can the physical boundaries be chosen.they must be chosen in the path of peace and mutual consent.conflict must be rejected

    4……..

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  83. I am not a Christian either, though my ancestors were. Although I agree with some of what you have to say about Christianity you seem to ignore the centuries before the renaissance (and even during it) when the Church was quite dogmatic about it’s fantastic stories etc.

    Even Kepler calculated the age of the earth to be rough 6,000 years old. Yes all these amazing intellects for several centuries after the Renaissance believed in Christianity and even in the literal word of the bible.

    But it seems to me it was the Greek and their Roman followers (Lucretius, many stoics etc.) that provided the source of the enlightenment not the Church which stood in active opposition.

    You mention this tradition in your article but only in passing. Personally I can see nothing but progress in the fading out of the belief in the supernatural.

    Very glad you’ve chosen the path you have,

    John

  84. dearieme says:
    @Anon

    “Byzantines were Christians, but their civilization was stagnant and just got weaker and weaker.. until it fell to the Turks”

    Byzantium waxed and waned. It seems to have been the invasion by the western “Latin” crusaders that finally weakened it beyond recovery.

  85. @anarchyst

    The Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy can correct your false assertion. The first identifiable Papal legislation dealing with continence/celibacy was promulgated by Pope Siricius, 384 A.D. and which legislation was dedicated to recalling his priests to the ancient praxis of continence/celibacy and was not novel legislation imposing a new discipline.

    Even the first new priests in the church, although married, had to be continent.

    The Catholic Church had good (traditional) reasons for adopting continence/chastity and it had aught to do with money or property. The practice was directly tied to the Old Testament Aaronic priesthood whose men had to be celibate during the time they served in the Temple – even though they were married.

    The idea – easily sloughed-off in this epoch of pornography and lust – was that to be completely committed to the ministry of sacrifice in the Temple meant one had to be liberated from any attachment to coitus or desire of same and

  86. mcohen says:
    @The White Muslim Traditionalist

    wmt says

    “I became Muslim because Islam is logical, it’s doctrines and theology stand up to scrutiny without dependence on blind faith”

    believing in G-d requires blind faith.
    believing that your relegion is better than another relegion is fatal
    after mohammed islam changed and split and non moslems were viewed as inferior.that thought process is fatal.
    there is no connection between G-d and relegion.the connection is between G-d and man.as that was the case before islam.before the abrahamic relegions appeared.spirituality does not require a relegion ,it only requires that you believe.

    the laws of nature are the only true laws.

  87. @James N. Kennett

    Jason Reza Jorjani demonstrates (with compelling logic) that Greek philosophy reformed under influence of the Persians/Zoroaster

    And the last books of the Hebrew Old Testament celebrate Cyrus, the Zoroastrian, the only verifiably historic figure in the entire OT.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
    , @geokat62
  88. “I became Muslim because Islam is logical, it’s doctrines and theology stand up to scrutiny without dependence on blind faith, even things that you’d think need faith like Isra and Miraj have scientific explanations like Theory of Relativity. Islam doesn’t contradict science, human evolution is not a matter for debate among Muslims since it is more or less described in the Qur’an, it has a strong moral code, a developed and objective ethical system”

    Sacred Communities and The Emergent Multipolar Landscape by Blake Archer Williams

    “When people with Western sensibilities talk about the system of governance in Iran, two closely-related category errors are invariably present in the discourse. The first is that they fail to distinguish between Covenantal or Dispensational polities and Conventional ones; and this is because, secondly, they fail to distinguish between communities and societies, or, more specifically, between sacred communities and civil societies. Covenantal or Dispensational polities yield sacred communities, whereas Conventional polities yield civil societies; or, to put it slightly differently: sacred communities are the product of a communal consensus on a given Covenant (and on the Dispensation which ensues from that Covenant), whereas civil societies are the product of a Conventional communal consensus.”

    or — are we to work out our salvation — the growth and health of our souls and character — as autonomous individuals, or in a supportive community?

    Walter McDougall traces the descent of American civil religion from its Puritan base (already flawed) to its current, hubristic and murderous manifestation.

  89. Dr. X says:

    The Old Testament in particular is ugly and immoral and its magical events I suspect are too much for the modern mind.

    The Old Testament isn’t about Christianity, it’s about Judaism. It’s in the Christian Bible to demonstrate that Christianity is fundamentally a rejection of the “ugly and immoral” ways of the Jews.

    In Christianity, “God is love.” In Judaism, God is death — for the enemies of the Chosen Ones. The Old Testament is full of nothing but stories of God killing the enemies of the Jews, or empowering the Jews to kill their enemies themselves. Passover is the celebration of God murdering Egyptian babies but sparing Jewish ones. Exodus is about God murdering the Egyptian army by drowning them. God empowers the Jews to kill the Canaanites and steal their land as long as Moses keeps his arms up. Purim is the Jewish holiday celebrating the treachery of Esther and Mordecai, who conspire to murder Haman and his sons and then get the blessing of the Persian king to murder 75,000 enemies of the Jews — including women and children.

    The Old Testament ends when the Jews conspire to have Jesus executed for the blasphemy of saying that the Jews are not the Chosen People, and that salvation is possible for Gentiles as well.

    If Judaism is the “religion of the future,” Christianity is needed now more than ever.

  90. Corvinus says:
    @Anon

    “Why are you obsessed with and fixated on race?”

    Ask yourself that question first about how you view blacks and Jews and you will find the answer really quick. Or, just read Mr. Sailer’s blog. He can easily provide you with the response.

  91. Seraphim says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    So, you suck up to frauds like Simcha Jacobovici and James Tabor? I would have thought that Wizards (especially from Oz) are endowed with more common sense. SBS feeds them regularly that crap every Christmas and Easter so they should have smelled it before you turned on your TV.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  92. @jimbojones

    “For one thing, Christians WERE more moral than others – the European Christian, unlike the Muslims, the Africans, the Chinese, and the American Indians, successfully abolished slavery. Christendom invented and popularized the notions of Natural Law and Human Rights. What is true that Christians never were morally perfect – but that’s not saying much, especially with regard to a religion which holds Original Sin as a core doctrine.”

    So what you’re saying is that Christianity is flaccid and sentimental?

    I was raised Catholic and that’s my view.

    Read your book and then read mine, the New Testament slanders our creator and some sort of needy, lovey dovey, Lord of the Feels character. My book, whose authorship and history isn’t shrouded in mystery (we know the most mundane facts of our Nabi and Sahaba’s lives) shows God as he really is, an all powerful king of creation. Instead of the nonsensical Christian idea of humanity as God’s cosmic lovers, my God created me because he is a king and a king needs subjects. My God doesn’t give As for effort or love you for existing, He loves those who serve Him.

    • Agree: Abdī
    • Disagree: German_reader
  93. @jilles dykstra

    Thought the same but read the whole article. I wouldn’t have published nothing from an ignorant 16 yo that writes “the greatest civilization the world has seen” even if s/he was referring to Chinese civilization. The writer is probably more than 16 but I ‘m not sure if he’s wiser. In fact I am sure he doesn’t know what what he is talking about.

  94. KenH says:
    @The White Muslim Traditionalist

    Gee, you make it sound like Islam is wedded to science and that Muslims are these stoic, ethical and highly thoughtful people with piercing, inquisitive intellects. Almost wants to make me head down to the local mosque and convert on the spot.

    But if Islam is all about peace, beauty, science and pragmatism then why are Muslim enclaves in Europe essentially ghettos and “no-go” zones teeming with sloth, religious extremism and violent crime? And why are most majority Muslim nations riven by tribal and ethnic hatreds and rivalries and teetering on civil war even before U.S. foreign policy destabilized the Middle East?

    • Replies: @Abdī
    , @Abdī
  95. Seraphim says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    The buffoon makes a real disaster from Zoroaster.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  96. @Wizard of Oz

    An intriguing theory about Jesus is that he indeed never existed, was invented by Paulus as secret agent for the Roman emperor, in order to destroy judaism.

    Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, ‘Verschlusssache Jesus, Die Wahrheit über das frühe Christentum’, (The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, 1991), 2005, Bergisch Gladbach

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  97. @The White Muslim Traditionalist

    Ik ben inderdaad van mening dat de Islam niet veel minder erg is dan het katholicisme.
    I indeed am of the opinion that Islam is not much worse than catholicism.
    Though I must add, until 1500 Islam did not prevent science, and scientific thought.
    And indeed, until 1960 or so catholics were second rate citizens in the Netherlands.
    Since then almost all Dutch liberated themselves from oppressive religious leaders, discrimination ended.
    Thos that need such people now can find refuge in Islam, alas.

  98. Seraphim says:
    @nickels

    It was so simply and beautifully said from the beginning by the one who saw Him:

    In the beginning was the Word (the Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:1-18).

    But indeed, we are too busy reading what luminaries like James Tabor or fraudsters like Simcha Jacobovici have to say about the Gospels to have time to read the Gospels.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  99. My Christian faith gives me some comfort that when, in 2030, a giant meteor crashes into Earth and wipes out humanity, it will be the Almighty’s due correction of Western Europe’s final submission to Islam and the putting to an end of the Chelsea Clinton Presidency after two brief but horrendous years that settled upon all of mankind like a pestilence.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/giant-meteor-set-wipe-out-10320379

  100. @Anon

    ” So, in a way, the great paradox is the Western Roman Empire was destroyed but paved the way for something great ”
    I fear that the great police and slavery state Western Roman Empire was destroyed by what itself had created, christianity.
    This christianity then stopped all progress until around 1600 Galileo looked through a Dutch made telescope, and saw the moons of Jupiter.
    The end of church science.
    And of course, much later, ‘tactical’ hydrogen bombs.

  101. @mcohen

    Belief in God only requires blind faith if your God is illogical, like the triune Christian God or Zeus. There is a rational argument for a single, all powerful God, the one I call Allah subhana wa ta’ala and you call HaShem.

    • Troll: utu
  102. @Seraphim

    If the content was nonsensical you’d have a point, but the content of the Holy Qur’an is what sets it apart. I invite you to sit and read it, it’s a logical book that gives reasonable and logical arguments and explanations for everything that it asks you to believe and to do. Further evidence of it’s divinity comes from the facts contained in the text that would’ve been unknown to an illiterate, orphaned 40 year old Meccan without being told so by God. Human evolution, the Theory of Relativity, the Big Bang, the ever expanding universe. All of these things are in the Qur’an.

    • Replies: @Zeta
    , @marylou
  103. @Anon

    Are you talking about Talh`a the Arabic word meaning “big tree” or Talha ibn Obaidullah, the companion of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him?

  104. Seraphim says:
    @ThereisaGod

    The Catholic Church was infiltrated by Freemasons long before 1958. The plan for the infiltration was known since 1859 by a document of the Alta Vendita (the supreme lodge of the Carbonari – Freemasons) and published in a classic of anti-masonic literature:
    Jacques Crétineau-Joly, “L’ Église Romaine en face de la Révolution”, 1859

    • Replies: @Veritatis
  105. @Anonymous

    I accept that one may quibble about the word fallacy. But I was giving a very truncated version of the logical argument that I have put or heard put to priests and prelates and nevet heard answered with even a shred of plausibility.

    The Abrahamic Creator god is omniscient, eternal, omnipotent and cares for and about and talks to humans. Why then did he not tell billions of Buddhists, Hindus and Animists what the right theological and moral doctrines are? Why did he allow Ancient Hebrews, Jesus followers, followers of the violent pederast, Cathars, Albigensians, Hussites, Lutherans, Calvinists, Zwinglians, Anglicans etc to wallow in the uncertainty created by their many incompatibilities? The Abrahamic God is logically impossible.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  106. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Isn’t that such a primitive version of Marxism, so crude that Marx, who was a learned man, would regarded it as a vast oversimplification?

    Your last paragraph you would surely want tlo rethink. It is trite to say that religious doctrines and practices change but impossible to attribute even a great majority of the variations to the material environment or economics. Some of them are demonstrably the result of new knowledge or some possibly distorted version of new knowledge. Some were simply aesthetic or otherwise psychologically based adheremce to myth and ritual and satisfying story telling or incantation. Are the elaborations of Hindu myth responses to the environment? Are the differences of Shia and Sunni, Ahmadis, Alawites etc economicly based?

    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
  107. Agent76 says:

    “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” C. S. Lewis

    Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus

    In the scriptures Jesus received the most opposition from the most religious people of his day. At it’s core Jesus’ gospel and the good news of the Cross is in pure opposition to self-righteousness/self-justification. Religion is man centered, Jesus is God-centered.

  108. @Seraphim

    Never heard of SJ or JT. I think it was on the History Channel. Instead of offering mere abuse of others’ actual or purported views can you answer the detail that I gave of the doco’s thesis. As someone brought up with quite a good knowledge of the Bible (i even taught Sunday School at the age of 13) but without any religious belief from the age of 15 I found it more plausible than the standard Christian version. But you think I should not. Why?

    • Replies: @Pat the Rat
    , @Seraphim
  109. Agent76 says:

    Evolution Vs. God Movie

    Hear expert testimony from leading evolutionary scientists from some of the world’s top universities:

    • Peter Nonacs, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA
    • Craig Stanford, Professor, Biological Sciences and Anthropology, USC
    • PZ Myers, Associate Professor, Biology, University of Minnesota Morris
    • Gail E. Kennedy, Associate Professor, Anthropology, UCLA

    A study of the evidence of vestigial organs, natural selection, the fifth digit, the relevance of the stickleback, Darwin’s finches and Lenski’s bacteria—all under the microscope of the Scientific Method—observable evidence from the minds of experts. Prepare to have your faith shaken.

  110. Pretty accurate article save that part about the mathematics… You ought to go back and do some real research on the subject and report back!

  111. @Anonymous

    Sorry! “There is no God, but God.” would be a trademark not a patent because the latter would demand familiarity with hard sciences (math, physics etc.) not soft ones like (jive, voodoo etc.)!

  112. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    As usual, Fred mixes fact and fiction to reach a false conclusion.

    Fiction: Christianity is a Jewish heresy
    Fact: Christianity produced the greatest civilization the World has known
    Fiction Christianity is dead
    False Conclusion: time now to get on with the New World Order under Jewish control.

    Jesus and the early Christians were Jews, but Christianity is not Judaism. The god of the Jews is a cruel, sadistic, tyrant, whose name the Jewish people feared to speak; he is an ignoramus, unable to distinguish between leprosy and mildew on a damp wall (Leviticus 14); and he is an irredeemable racist, sexist, homophobe, xenophobe, and an imperialist who commands the Jewish people to rule over the nations of the Earth.

    The God of the Christians is an entirely different personality, one who loves all of mankind and is to be addressed as a child speaks with a loving father. The Jewish Holy Scripture is included in the Christian Bible to provide context for the life of Jesus. [It has also served to provide Christian nations justification to engage, like the Jewish state, in criminal wars of aggression, genocide and conquest.]

    As for it being time for Christianity to give way to Judaism, suffice it to say that there are 2.2 billion nominal Christians in the world versus a mere 15 million Jews. I suggest Fred should be looking about him for signs of Christian push back.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    , @Corvinus
  113. Mr. Hack says:
    @epnngg

    Yours is a welcome reply within this grab bag of replies, mostly written in response to the question that nags at the soul of most every intelligent, inquiring human being: ‘what is the meaning of life; for what purpose am I here?’ The author of this piece makes a good point here when he states:

    ‘Insensible of the wonder and strangeness of existence, we watch Seinfeld reruns and congratulate ourselves on not paying attention to that, you know, like, religious stuff. We live under a sort or Disneyland Marxism and descend ever deeper into complacent ignorance.’

    Having to admit mea culpa for watching every Seinfeld rerun episode at least 6-7 times during my lifetime, not being able to find better metaphors for the existential existence of modern man during the last quarter of the 20th century, I can joyfully point to this tract to help lead others out of the conundrum of modern fatalistic oppression. It’s an expression of the Good News that you, of course, allude to within your reply. Theosis or deification, the pursuit of union with God, although a part of Catholic and Protestant theology is most fully taught and explained within the Orthodox Church. I consider this tract to be a ‘pearl of great value’, I hope that you do to:

    http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis.aspx

    • Replies: @Che Guava
    , @epnngg
  114. @anarchyst

    How do you feel about the same sex marriage for the clergy from the parish priest to the Bishop of Rome?

    • Replies: @anarchyst
  115. @Wizard of Oz

    Are the elaborations of Hindu myth responses to the environment?

    Sure they are. Their substance is in justifying the usual societal arrangements, including, quite openly, classes of priests, warriors, workers, etc. Also, maintaining the discipline: promising rewards for prescribed behavior and inevitable punishments for deviations, just like any other religion. This is the substance, which is wrapped into a bunch of fantastic stories capturing the imagination.

    Are the differences of Shia and Sunni, Ahmadis, Alawites etc economicly based?

    There are no substantial differences between those. These are artificially introduced political divisions, identities. When elites act in concert, no one remembers of these divisions. And when elites compete, suddenly they become extremely important. But they are no more meaningful than Big-Endians and Little-Endians in Gulliver’s Travels.

  116. @Antiwar7

    We shall leave them alone 1) either when the oil is depleted or is replaced by something else, 2) and when Israel has achieved all it wants to as a destiny nation…

  117. @The White Muslim Traditionalist

    Here comes a converted cracker of yore telling his former kith and kin of the conviviality of Islam and how it is going to save the mankind… Pray, do tell us more!

  118. @wayfarer

    Christian theology developed. It was Protestant Bible Literalists who took it backwards. (I write as an Anglican).

  119. If modernity is all about different people coming together under one tent and going forward, Christianity is far better suited than Judaism. If modernity is about a small group working everyone else like serfs and keeping the profits, then Judaism is better suited for what we have now.

  120. @jilles dykstra

    Create a super race of manageable billion or so, endowed with all worldly needs without want and occupied with learning of the limitless universe then see how fast they forget religion… As long as you have detritus populating the earth, you’ll fail to eradicate the opium of the masses!

  121. @Seraphim

    Entirely compatible with anything astrophysics has to say. Especially Light.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  122. Ram says:
    @Alex Weir

    Czarist Russia was probably the worst of the feudal societies, with serfs serving a few masters. It was NOT collectivist. Collectivism became an attractive proposition to such a population held in bondage.
    However much the Pharisees were ridiculed, today it is Rabbinical Pharisaism which rules the wealth of the world, with the Puritan descendents becoming their tools.

  123. “Christianity seems to be dying out.” No. It has more adherents in more places than ever. Growth in SS Africa, China, Korea, Orthodoxy continues even if the rest of Europe declines and the Americas stagnate.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  124. @mcohen

    Your first principle directly contradicts Sharia and is punishable by death. Have a nice day.

    • Replies: @mcohen
    , @mcohen
  125. Zeta says:
    @The White Muslim Traditionalist

    You have elected to worship a Stalin of the cosmos. Charming.

  126. @Wizard of Oz

    Why then did he not tell billions of Buddhists, Hindus and Animists what the right theological and moral doctrines are?

    He did. It is there for anyone to read, if they care to do so.

    Why did he allow Ancient Hebrews, Jesus followers, followers of the violent pederast, Cathars, Albigensians, Hussites, Lutherans, Calvinists, Zwinglians, Anglicans etc to wallow in the uncertainty created by their many incompatibilities? The Abrahamic God is logically impossible.

    He didn’t. Last I checked, these groups are either extinct or on the fast track to be extinct in a few generations due to their own folly.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  127. Zeta says:
    @The White Muslim Traditionalist

    Like the sun setting in a pool of mud? Logical indeed.

  128. @Seraphim

    That Zoroaster is explained to ordinary (read, disinformed over the course of a lifetime) Christians by a “buffoon” may be a “disaster,” but the larger disaster is that all of these Christians have been fed lies for all of their lives and generations before that.

    For sure, it would be preferable to have a highly-polished speaker, supported by a wealthy 501-c3, teaching the masses about Zoroaster, maybe even priests, preachers and rabbis preaching from pulpits from the books of Chronicles, but that doesn’t happen.

    Why do you suppose that is?

    Why do you suppose zionists celebrate Passover — the slaughter of Egyptian babies (they were probably not beautiful), and Purim — the slaughter of 75,000 Persians and the displacement of their king and government, but have no day commemorating Cyrus the Great and his liberation and political and financial support of Yehud and their return to Jerusalem?

    Why do you suppose Scofield ballyhooed Protestant bible-pounders and seminaries to emphasize the Choseness of Yahweh’s people, and that Christian Zionists go on to treat the book of Revelation as more important than either Cyrus or the Sermon on the Mount?

    Marginal characters — “buffoons” — like Bill Donahue are imperfect instruments, but they are not liars with a hidden agenda, and they act as god’s fool in an attempt to clear out centuries of garbage.

    Meanwhile, here’s a more polished insight (also imperfect, imo) into Zoroaster

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  129. @Zeta

    Yeh, the true God, sorry he isn’t progressive enough for you.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  130. @The White Muslim Traditionalist

    The religious future of the west, and everywhere outside of the Orient and the Hindu areas of India is Islam.

    You’re deluded if you think this will be allowed. By itself, the Islamic world is very weak. If we ever come to a situation where adherents of other world civilizations really regard Islam an an existential threat, it will be crushed, mercilessly.

  131. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    Religion is a tool of the ruling class, used mostly for maintaining control over lower orders.

    Absolutely. Ruling is what ruling classes do, and they use tools such as religion, traffic regulations, and the criminal code, to do it. Without a ruling-class-imposed social order, life would indeed for most people be nasty, brutal and short.

    Religion is a bit different from the criminal code since it relies on the near universal human tendency to regard rules of conduct as a matter of great importance. Religious faith thus results in a form of internalized control that promotes civilized behavior in a society where one must continually interact with strangers of whose character one knows nothing.

    Religion thus eliminates the need for much external control.

    In godless places like China, and increasingly the West, brainwashing, aka education, etc., has become a substitute for religion. To the elites, a secular moral code, whether it be Communism, or multi-culti-globo-liberalism, is preferable to religion since it can be modified by legislation at any time without evidence of supernatural guidance.

    For the people, the downside to a secular religion such as Communism or globo-liberalism is that it can so readily be adapted to serve none but a tyrannical elite. In the West, globo-liberalism seeks to destroy competition from God through the promotion of multi-culturalism, which ensures that religion becomes a disruptive, not a unifying and civilizing influence, and hence something that all will come to agree should be abolished.

    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    , @Corvinus
  132. @German_reader

    What do you mean allowed? It’s happening around you. You live in Germany right? Go to look at the people in the obstetrics department in any hospital in any city of size, look at your birth rates.

    There’s no invasion going on, no horde is marching on Wien, it’s simply that you’re being replaced.

    You can hang on to comfortable delusions that the people in charge are going to to “stop it” but they’re not. It’s actually cute how you hide your fear with faux confidence.

  133. KenH says:

    mathematics was a Christian enterprise as were physics, chemistry, pretty much everything.

    Math didn’t originate with Christianity. The pagan Greeks made great strides in math which provided a basis for later European mathematicians. Pythagoras is listed as one math’s pioneers and Euclid invented geometry. The “dry spell” Romans employed relatively sophisticated architecture and math to construct the aqueducts, the coliseum and other towering structures that were unrivaled during its time. Roman siege engineers were peerless during Rome’s heyday.

    It’s more attributable to race than religion. I don’t know of any pioneering Christian mathematicians, chemists or engineers in Africa, the Middle East or central America then or now.

    The future? Christianity seems to be dying out. A resurgence is hard to imagine.

    The real question is will Christianity outlive the white race who are on a trajectory toward diminution and collective death? Even though most Western nations are only Christian in the nominal sense these days it is still protected and granted safe haven. Western nations are still the best place on earth for Christians.

    Christendom owes its existence to European man, but now the Catholic Pope and Protestant clergy have largely turned against us. Most church leaders these days are Marxist activists anyway. They aren’t a bulwark against anything that threatens the existence of Western man nor do they intend to be from what I’ve seen.

    It’s an open questions whether Europeans left the church or if the church left Europeans. I think Europeans, being restless and inquisitive, will outgrow Christianity like it outgrew paganism.

    • Agree: German_reader
  134. Miro23 says:

    Then came in the Nineteenth Century the third great religion of Middle Eastern origin, or religion manque, Communism. Like Christianity directly, and Islam indirectly, it was a Jewish product. Never has so small a people had so great an influence on history.

    The appeal then (and now) is the potential for DESTRUCTION OF TRADITIONAL SOCIETY making way for a NEW ELITE. The Bolshevik Jews succeeded in Russia (Petrograd 1917) leading to the mass killings and transportation of ethnic Russians and Ukrainians. They had a brief success in Hungary (Budapest 1919: Bela Kuhn’s all Jewish “Council of Soldiers, Workers and Peasants” – Red Terror ) but failed twice in Germany ( Berlin 1919: Liebnecht and Luxemburg’s Strike & Spartacist Uprising “Dictatorship of the Proletariat” and Munich 1919: Levine’s German Soviet Revolutionary Dictatorship “Workers and Soldiers Council”) both destroyed in street gun battles.

    We live under a sort or Disneyland Marxism and descend ever deeper into complacent ignorance.

    It’s the same process of weakening society sufficiently to overthrow it – now channeled through PC Counter-Culturalism by much the same crowd.

    The article could have usefully gone further into formation of the early European states in European Christendom.

    For example:

    The late Roman Empire was already Christian after Emperor Constantine’s conversion and it was Christianity that endured after the Empire collapsed. The so called “barbarians” converted to Christianity allying with the monastic Church using written and spoken Latin for their administrations, and as a marker of being part of the educated class that they needed/aspired to. This was a European Christendom diverging from its Byzantine Eastern Orthodox brother.

    Charlemagne actually defined himself as a Christian king with the first Papal Coronation in 800 A.D., with later pagan invaders also converting to Christianity (e.g. Canute, bringing in Scandinavia). A Europe wide network of monasteries in the early Middle Ages created the reality of Christendom which was concerned with resisting Islam, regaining the Holy Places and most notably engaging in the Europe wide Christian project for the re-conquest of Spain (which it successfully did in one of the few examples of Christianity rolling back Islam).

    The future? Christianity seems to be dying out. A resurgence is hard to imagine. It simply isn’t suited to the modern world.

    Well, the Franciscans (followers of St. Francis of Assisi) are alive and well and dedicated to respect for and preservation of the natural world ” to assume responsibility for it, taking all care so that everything stays healthy and integrated, so as to offer a welcoming and friendly environment even to those who succeed us.” which is somewhat different from the US Plutocratic/Zionist/Counter Cultural “modern world” agenda.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  135. @The White Muslim Traditionalist

    Well, I’ll be more explicit then: If there’s a real danger of Islam taking over the West, you and people like you will simply be killed, all of you. You think Europeans like me will just let you destroy our world? No, we will prevent that, and use the methods the Serbs did during the Balkan wars, and much worse. And there will be no US air force or NATO then coming to save you, because by that point America itself will be fragmented and busy with its own affairs (and many Americans will sympathize with our cause anyway).
    Now I hope that won’t be necessary since mass violence isn’t a pleasant business after all. But you’d do well to remember that something like this isn’t prevented by Muslims’ own strength. It’s prevented by Westerners’ foolish goodwill and tolerance. If you keep abusing that tolerance, don’t be surprised if eventually it’s replaced by something very different.

  136. Rurik says:
    @The White Muslim Traditionalist

    it’s simply that you’re being replaced.

    You can hang on to comfortable delusions that the people in charge are going to to “stop it” but they’re not.

    you sound like this guy

    https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4ad_1446489189

    but then you’re white, so you’re really more like this guy

  137. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @AP

    Hey, I’m an undergraduate. Don’t slander us. ( :) )

    • Replies: @AP
  138. Klokman says:

    Three topics (minimum) have more controversy than anything else (aside from the termagant): Religion, politics, and history. (If it occurs in science it is because people refuse to relinquish the first two.)

    To mix the two, by one who is deficient in both…. The topic must on a rotation list, as Fred continues to dabble in it to his discredit.

    The curious thing is, everyone who has read religious and secular history knows that before the Flood era, there was no Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. Yet they had among them a civilization and technology which today we still are unable to rival.

  139. @Rurik

    Well I’m neither that aggressive nor am I a Jewish linken politician, I’m just being realistic. The great white hope isn’t coming, there will be no race war.

  140. @German_reader

    Lololol, you seem to be under delusions of grandeur.

    There will be no grand conflict, it will just look like how things are looking in America with whites and Latin Americans, a slow and steady demographic change.

    If your fantasies keep you sane, then you do you.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  141. geokat62 says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    Jason Reza Jorjani demonstrates (with compelling logic) that Greek philosophy reformed under influence of the Persians/Zoroaster

    It appears that your favourite Professor is the latest in a long line of Phoenixes to rise from the ashes:

    The idea of oriental, and especially Iranian, origins of Greek philosophy was endowed by antiquity with a legendary aura, either by declaring that Pythagoras had been Zoroaster’s pupil in Babylon (a city where neither of them had probably ever been), or by writing, as did Clement of Alexandria (Clement of Alexandria, 5.9.4), that Heraclitus had drawn on “the barbarian philosophy,” an expression by which, in view of the proximity of Ephesus to the Persian empire, he must have meant primarily the Iranian doctrines.

    The problem, studied seriously since the beginning of the 19th century, has often been negatively solved by the great historians of Greek philosophy; but it seems, nevertheless, repeatedly to rise anew like the Phoenix from its ashes, as though the temptation to compare the two traditions and discover a bond of interdependence between them periodically became irresistible.

    http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/greece-iii

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  142. @The White Muslim Traditionalist

    Muslims aren’t comparable to Latin Americans. The latter speak a Western language, have a Christian background and can intermarry with American whites without their spouse having to convert to some alien religion. Latin American immigration is probably bad for the US on the whole, but it doesn’t have the same character of a clash between hostile civilzations Islamic immigration to Europe has.
    So no, just because there probably won’t be a race war against Mexicans in the US, don’t feel safe that the same will be true for Muslims.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  143. Rurik says:
    @German_reader

    You think Europeans like me will just let you destroy our world? No, we will prevent that, and use the methods the Serbs did…

    people like this guy confuse kindness for weakness

    he presumes to think that like the Jews of medieval Spain opened the gates to the Moorish invasion, conquest and occupation, that the same thing is going to happen today to all of Europe and the West, and the trajectory certainly looks that way

    but Christianity/liberalism notwithstanding, the spirit of the West still lingers in the blood of its people, and when the Swedes and Brits and Germans and French have had en0ugh of the joys of diversity, they’re going to waken from their catatonic slumber, and the Western spirit will rustle to life.

    Many Muslims today are the victims of serial atrocities visited upon them by the same Zio-fiend that some of them applaud so long as its keeping the gates to Europe open for their assault, but that fiend is losing its grip, as Brexit and Trump and the rise of Le Pen are examples of. So let him gloat white he can, as his fellow Muslims suffer outrage after outrage at the Zio-hand that he kneels down and licks.

    The West is generous and tolerant to a fault, so long as those coming to her shores are refugees and supplicants. But let these people come as arrogant invading hoards, bearing not pleadings but demands, and watch as the poles used by Vlad to impale the Turkish hoards, are dusted off.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  144. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @The White Muslim Traditionalist

    All right, in your view God is, like Stalin, a tyrannical SOB, whom we should obey because there will be, literally, hell to pay if we don’t, and because we’ll enjoy paradise if we do.

    Carrying the Stalin analogy further, why should we believe Him? I mean, I certainly wouldn’t believe the NKVD officer who tells me they’ll let me go and give me a nice apartment if I inform.

  145. mcohen says:
    @anonymous coward

    Why not back your statement up with proof.how does it contradict sharia law.

  146. @Alex Weir

    Fascism in the strict sense did primarily afflict Catholic societies (Italy, Spain, Austria, France). But its hyper-radicalized variant, Nazisim, drew its strongest support from the Protestant areas of Germany.

  147. mcohen says:
    @anonymous coward

    Ok i get it we have a two up bullshit team aptly named

    White muslim traditionalist

    And

    Anonymous coward

    Ping

  148. […] Catholicism in particular has combined spiritual concerns with a strong intellectual bent. The Christian interest in questions of origin and destiny and man’s purpose produced profound thought from the Church Fathers to C. S. Lewis. Today consideration of such matters as death and meaning are held to be in bad taste. Insensible of the wonder and strangeness of existence, we watch Seinfeld reruns and congratulate ourselves on not paying attention to that, you know, like, religious stuff. We live under a sort or Disneyland Marxism and descend ever deeper into complacent ignorance. […]

  149. AP says:
    @Anon

    You are probably more intelligent about these things, and more humble.

  150. Seraphim says:
    @jilles dykstra

    You seem to be a very young, naive and impressionable person if you can be swayed by the ‘theories’ of notorious swindlers. The ‘intriguing’ theory is known long, long before Baigent &Co. At least this variant. The ‘traditional’ one is that Paul was the secret agent of Judaism to destroy the Roman Empire! I don’t know, but there must be somewhere the theory that Paul was a ‘reptilian’! Keep digging. Although I deem that it be more profitable for you to study the traditional ‘theories’ about Jesus.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  151. Seraphim says:
    @Philip Owen

    Actually, astrophysics is compatible with the Gospel.

  152. Art says:

    Mr. Reed says he is not a Christian – he is half right. He is not a religious Christian – but he is a philosophical Christian. If you are over 50 and an American, you grew up in a Christian country that valued life and hope and truth and love and forgiveness — and the freedom those philosophical ideals generated.

    It is easy to trash many priests and preachers – they have it coming. But it is totally foolish to throw out Christian philosophy. It is the idealistic goodness that emanates from the Christian philosophical mindset that makes freedom possible. There can be no better philosophy then idealism – it is the ultimate.

    In the last 50 years, the Jew MSM have managed to trash all of Christianity by pointing to the bad priests and preachers (who were following the Jewish Old Testament). Because of the Jew – America is disintegrating. Just like in Rome, the Jews promise us bread and circuses. America is going to fall just like Rome did.

    The good news about Rome falling is that it was replaced by something better – religious and philosophical Christianity.

    It will happen again – but this time with Christian philosophy leading the way forward.

    Peace — Art

  153. The strength of Christianity is its superior morality, its recognition of human frailty, and the equality of all in the eyes of God. Its impact on culture and the structure of society has been immense. Judaism is a tribal system of political organization, not a religion. It hides from the world, deceives the world, misleads the world, and steals from the world. The god it worships is the source of its power in this world — the monetary system it established and controls.

    If this is the future of humanity, humanity’s future is slavery, and perhaps extinction. Capitalism is the economic and political expression of Judaism. This expression of Judaism has replaced the religious one because it could do what the religious expression could never do – spread Judaism globally.

    That the rise of Judaism in the 19th and 20th centuries coincided with the rise of the power of the monetary system is no coincidence, but the unfolding of a long term plan of conquest. It was a brilliant plan concocted by a tiny minority of the world’s population that will soon reach its apex. But it is a plan that will ultimately fail because it must ultimately fail. Christianity has stood down and shares much blame in letting this happen, but it is far from dead.

    Ultimately it was the superior morality of Christianity that moved the world forward, not the chosen one morality of insatiable greed that is Judaism. It will recover its lost sense of purpose, eventually.

  154. The Renaissance was a result of Europe being reacquainted with classical knowledge on the dime of the Medici. Before that time there was a period called the Dark Age that was ruled by Christianity. The Christian Church was against knowledge at the time of the Renaissance. They went full ISIS with something called an inquisition. The Renaissance gave way to the Enlightenment and the present West. Also Protestantism is a result of the Medici. The Medici pope and the indulgence scam ticked off Martin Luther and started a religious schism.

    There are Christians who contributed many great things to the world but much of it was a result of earlier European knowledge and thought which they had access to. Christianity would be a positive in the West if it could be detached from its crazed land hungry father and violently insane brother.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  155. anarchyst says:
    @Pachyderm Pachyderma

    there is NO SUCH THING as “same sex marriage”…marriage is between a man and a woman–not “adam and steve”…it is wrong to define marriage in homosexual terms…such homosexual unions are not marriage, regardless of what the “supreme court” says…

  156. Che Guava says:
    @Escher

    ‘Concept of zero’:Rubbish. The concept was known and considered in many cultures, Egyptian, Greek, Chinese, just from memory.

    Chinese script has a character for it and Chinese arithmetic had a notation for zero as a placeholder (which is the role of 0).

    Sure, the Indian notation was a great convenience for arithmetic, but not the introduction of a previously unknown concept.

  157. @The White Muslim Traditionalist

    If the ramblings of an obscurantist like Paul were proven false, then Jesus did not exist. If Jesus did not exist, the Koran is wrong because it mentions Jesus in it.

    The Old Testament has polygamy, slavery because that shows the fallen world filled with sin. In the New Testament, Jesus came to straighten out mankind’s sinfulness. That’s why Christianity (of the Western world) got rid of slavery and polygamy.

    Mohammed, a paedophile and child rapist, took the polygamy and slavery of the Old Testament to justify his sexual perversions.

    Islam is a religion of blacks/Asians, IQ deficient populations.

    Even though I am a Christian, I left the RCC because I do not accept black/Asian priests-popes.
    If non-whites want to be Christian, they must have their own churches. Islam is a universalist belief system, so that’s a big problem.

    Racially, you are kosher. Religiously, you are a heretic, a “kuffar.” Psychologically, you are someone who is looking for a belief system to justify things you are doing in your life.

    Devilish Islam is perfect for this.

  158. @CanSpeccy

    Bishop Tuti Frutti is black so his opinions to Caucasians is worthless. Let him start his own church away from white people.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  159. marylou says:
    @The White Muslim Traditionalist

    This is what Moslems and Christians have in common: Both are scared of hell, and collecting Brownie points for heaven.

    In the minds of most of the commentators on here, Christianity seems to be synonymous with the Catholic church. Which had it’s good and bad points. It is fashionable to only look at the bad ones in some circles. I grew up in this “Christianity” and I liked it. I had a happy childhood. I left because it had incorporated so many clearly pagan things and suppressed important teachings of the NT.

    I have read your book and I have read mine.
    I doubt that you have read the New Testament. Challenge:
    Do a simple thing. Take a red pencil and go over the whole of the Koran, front to back, and underline every verse that threatens you with hell fire and torment for ever. Scary. Every second page it seems you are threatened with it. If you do believe the koran you have to be steeped in fear.
    Now do the same thing with the New Testament. what I mean is, do try to do it. You can’t because there is no constant threat of hellfire. Wherever there is a verse that should be followed by a threat of hellfire, like in the koran, the NT talks about destruction, not getting life eternal, and the like.
    Yes, there is a fire at the end. But it lasts until it is burnt out. Nothing left but ashes.

    Fear of hell is a powerful means of keeping the sheep in line, be they Christian or Moslem. It also keeps you from looking at what it indeed does say. It was a great idea of the Catholic church to introduce this belief. Mohammed plagiarized it to great advantage.

    So, I bought a Koran, then I read it from cover to cover, and color coded specific subjects. Women, heaven, (pretty ridiculous); calls to war, fighting, killing, violence; last but not least, infidels. Half the koran seems to be reserved for me, the infidel.
    Maybe read it, I doubt that you have.

  160. Che Guava says:
    @Mr. Hack

    mea culpa for watching every Seinfeld rerun episode at least 6-7 times during my lifetime

    Congratulations for your bad taste. I had a friend who was a fan like you, tried to force me to watch it, I could never manage one episode.

    You do understand that the demi-monde depicted is entirely New York Jewish? That it is not actually funny (this is why the bass hook and canned laughter are so important)? That the bonhomie so cloyingly depicted would evaporate if you suddenly appeared on the set?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  161. FLgeezer says:
    @Clearpoint

    Great post Clearpoint. Eloquently and clearly stated. I sometimes despair of the power, influence, and perversion of The Chosen. Posts like yours instill hope, and I thank you.

  162. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @attilathehen

    Bishop Tuti Frutti is black so his opinions to Caucasians is worthless

    You’re wrong about that if on no other ground (and I could suggest several others) than that Christianity is a universalist faith.

    • Replies: @Anon
  163. Corvinus says:
    @attilathehen

    “Even though I am a Christian, I left the RCC because I do not accept black/Asian priests-popes.”

    Religiously, you are a heretic. Unless, of course, you are able to show convincingly how Jesus, our savior, is in complete support of your decision.

    “If non-whites want to be Christian, they must have their own churches.”

    Religiously, you are a heretic. Unless, of course, you are to cite the relevant Bible passages, with full explanation, that support your position.

    • Replies: @Anon
  164. @geokat62

    Iranica Online is surely a credible resource, geokat62, capable of defending Greek culture.

    Its academic details reveal a more nuanced judgment of the extent and direction of cultural borrowings between Iran and Greece. For example, on the one hand,

    “Empedocles already shared the microcosm idea, which governed the conception of medicine he had inherited from the Cnidian school, influenced by Iran. He also declared that “the general law is widely extended through the ether of the vast dominion and the immense brightness of the sky,” (Fr. 38), which harks back to Heraclitus and, through him, to Zarathushtra proclaiming the coincidence of Aṧa with the light”

    On the other hand,

    The Chaldaic Oracles, despite their fire-cult, probably owe nothing to Iran.

    While

    “Three kinds of medicine were distinguished, through spells, the knife, or herbs, both in Iran . . . and in Greece (Pindar, 3.47-55), not elsewhere; borrowing seems, therefore, plausible, either way . . ..”

    Jorjani is an ideologue who uses (valid) facts, simplistically — i.e. it is a fact that Heraclitus lived in Ephesus, and Ephesus was in the Persian empire at the time of Heraclitus — to support points that buttress his passion; namely, a Renaissance of Iranian culture (as opposed to the Islamic subversion of Zoroastrian/Iran).

    It seems to me that rather than “Who came first, the chicken or the egg,” its far more fruitful to wrestle with the ideas, their evolution and context/in context, and how we may apply them to make our own lives better.

    • Replies: @geokat62
  165. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Of the two suggested by Google for “Archbishop Tu–”, I rather prefer Bishop Turpin myself.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  166. epnngg says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Mr. Hack, Thank you for the link. When I find a little time in the next few days I will read through it. Appreciate your comments.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  167. Veritatis says:
    @Seraphim

    “les sociétés secrètes déploient l’étendard de la liberté; l’exil et la persécution vont être le partage de l’Église.” Certainly an exile from temporal influence, at least.

    And they had already discovered the effective talking points: “Dans la lutte maintenant engagée entre le despo- tisme sacerdotal ou monarchique et le principe de liberté,”. Though perhaps nowadays they insist more on “progress”, the useful new religion. Utopias, both of them. Yet the gates of hell shall not…

    Very interesting, thank you.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  168. @Wizard of Oz

    ‘But you think I should not. Why?’

    Because the primary evidence gives a completely different story compared to the documentary you saw.
    The gospels are primary evidence written by people who saw the events in good faith. They are full of the most amazing detail. Sure there are some inconsistencies as you would expect of testimonies written at different times, by different people, under differing levels of persecution with differing purposes and audiences in mind. They are incredibility consistent when factors such as these are considered.
    Consider how absurd are claims that Jesus was invented. Fifteen hundred years before the first novel the gospel writers poor men, invented Jesus, invented all the stories, the Sermon on the mount, the Olivet discourse, the parables, the passion. All a work of imagination. Clearly these writers were towering geniuses who all happen to be born at the same time and place and invent a narrative that no fiction writer in all of history has come close to, except perhaps the “fiction” writers of Exodus.
    It is all beyond words in its absurdity, clearly the gospels are accounts written by sincere men.
    Wizard you should consider these things more like an artist or penitent using as much heart and creativity as head. That is how God is trying to reach us, through our heart.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  169. @anonymous coward

    The trouble is your Abrahamic God can’t be one who really cares about us as individuals as his shamans pretend he does. And if he has only created us for his ghoulish entertainment as seems the only logical conclusion why should we care about Him?

    The logical key to any posible answer favourable to your beliefs has to be the one Thomas More articulated in Utopia. His Utopia made it a capital offence to deny the existence of Heaven and Hell in an afterlife (or of Hod of course). Why? The obvious reason that God’s creatures as More knew them would, if strong, oppress and exploit the weak.

    That can no longer work as we know very well that the self we might wish to survive death must be lost with the decay of our brain.

    • Replies: @Pat the Rat
  170. @Clearpoint

    I’m thinking of starting a little monthly journal called “Protocols”. We will need an eloquent editorial bladt each month. Any chance you are available? Money not great but we will rely on the pasdion fuelled.
    PS No footnotes or bibliographies will be allowed space. We want it to look like Playboy.

  171. @jilles dykstra

    For some 1600 years christianity prevented all progress.

    This is beyond nonsense Jilles. Thoughts like this have their roots in the most extreme prejudice.

    A few quotes from Jean Gimpel (1918–1996) was a French historian and medievalist…. In 1987 he was a founding vice-president of the Society for the History of Mediaeval Technology and Science, the British affiliate of AVISTA and the Association de Villard de Honnecourt.
    The Middle Ages was one of the great inventive eras of mankind. It should be known as the first industrial revolution of Europe….
    The medieval period witnessed one of the more rapid advances in the introduction of machinery in European history. This could not be accomplished without the effective taming of energy. The most common method was the mill – primarily water but also wind. These mills would grind corn, crush olives, tan leather, make paper, etc. While the Romans utilized the mill, it was not nearly to the extent utilized in these later periods. The relationship is inverse to the use of slaves in the economy – the increasing use of the mill corresponded with the drastic reduction of slavery during the Middle Ages.
    Monasteries built in countries separated by thousands of miles – Portugal, Sweden, Scotland, Hungary – all had very similar waterpowered systems within almost universally similar plans for the monasteries themselves…. In certain ways the discipline imposed by Saint Bernard on his monks – the rigid timetable, the impossibility of deviating from the Rule without facing punishment – brings to mind the work regulations that Henry Ford imposed on his assembly lines.

    How can you ignore the plain evidence Jillies. Consider Gothic Cathedrals, how do you think these were built. The learning, craftsmanship and imagination needed to enable such buildings is immense, and was being developed over centuries.
    Look at medicine. It was Catholics who started the hospitals and universities.

    Your claim is clearly wrong.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  172. It is interesting that Christianity has enjoyed; intellectually and doctrinally, some workarounds to refreshment and revision to cope with a succesion of changing civilisations and changing challenges to existing ones. In particular the secular corruption of the Catholic church at a time when the printing press was empowering people of low rank prompted people with the same dogmatic asdumption about God’s existence to resort to arguments over the supposedly divinely sanctioned scriptures. Islam has substantially missed out on that. Now Christianity faces an impossible task in harnessing the finest most vigorous minds to update it and make it plausible to moderns because science has gradually eroded the possibility of believing in the fundamentals as they were assumed to be by Luther, Calvin, Aloysius Loyola, Erasmus, More, the Popes and Henry Vlll alike. Of course its amazing how, if you are really really clever, you can still rationalise Christian belief with science…. Not a recipe for the masses however.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  173. @Wizard of Oz

    “The logical key to any posible answer favourable to your beliefs has to be the one Thomas More articulated in Utopia. His Utopia made it a capital offence to deny the existence of Heaven and Hell in an afterlife (or of Hod of course). Why? The obvious reason that God’s creatures as More knew them would, if strong, oppress and exploit the weak.”

    The meaning here is a bit opaque.

    Are you suggesting Christian societies which believe in heaven and hell and judgement oppress an exploit the weak?

    A quote from Ronald Segal’s book on slavery in Islam.

    Zanzibar was a black Belsen, a clearing house of shackled humanity, where the stench of death was masked by the cloves on which the island’s Omani emirs built a great trading empire.
    Without a nascent industrial complex to feed, many of the men were castrated for domestic service or drafted into slave armies that emptied the lands around the great lakes of their peoples. One in 10, by some estimates, survived the trek from the interior. By the mid-19th century, when east African slave magnates – many of them the free sons of Arab slavers and their black concubines – ran out of infidels and animists to enslave, they, and the expanding black Islamic empires that supplied them, circumvented the scruples set out in the Koran and carried off their own on the flimsiest of criminal pretexts.
    Slaves were the luxury goods the Islamic world seemed unable to wean itself off, despite hectoring from a self-righteous west that had embraced emancipation just as mechanisation had rendered slavery obsolete. Like horses and gold, slaves conferred status, and the most opulent households had thousands. When he died in 1870, one Arab official of the black state of Bornu on the shores of Lake Chad had several thousand slaves to complement his stable of 1,000 stallions.

    Do you think Rome was any different? It was probably worse.

    These slaves simply worked to death, or used for sex, under threat of death and torture.

    Catholic culture ended slavery in Europe, it started the hospitals and universities, and yet this culture leads the strong to exploit the weak? It is untrue.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  174. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Anon

    I cannot see what possible interest there can be in the expression of unexplained contempt for a Christian priest and Nobel Prize winner by a person of concealed identity.

    • Replies: @Anon
  175. @CanSpeccy

    What is your definition of a great civilisation ?

  176. @Pat the Rat

    Your “primary evidence” is merely a small collection sanctioned by church authorities of second and third hand accounts by persons actually unknown, despite our giving names to the authors. The selection was made – some 200 years later – despite none of the accounts being earlier than about 30 years after the death of Jesus, and it should be noted that the gospels were the narrowest posdible propaganda source for the Jesus movement giving nothing of the political context of the wider Roman world nor making it clear that there were many movements or sects like the Essenes to give background and context.

    So, if you want to answer the thesis I summarised you should atend to the detail even if you are not willing to find and view the doco (something like The Last Days of Jesus). Of course it is remarkable how the Jesus movement – especially Paul – turned disaster into triumph. Of course martyrdom by lion bite is much sexier than the suicide bomber’s way. (We should make it easier for radical Islamists to gain glory as victim martyrs so they don’t have to blow others up).

    • Replies: @Pat the Rat
  177. @Philip Owen

    My country, the Netherlands, became far better in my subjective judgment, since we liberated ourselves from religion.
    Alas we imported Islam.
    Hope it does not take us again hundreds of years for liberation.

    • LOL: CanSpeccy
  178. Mr. Hack says:
    @Che Guava

    There’s no accounting for taste, or as they say in Russian:

    В кус и цвет товариша нет!

    As an American, I had the good fortune growing up on a steady fare of TV and film comedy written by talented Jewish writers. Starting with the great surrealistic cartooning of Max Fleischer, Steve Allen, Sid Caesar, Steve Allen, Burns and Allen, Woody Allen, etc; etc;

    Perhaps, your friend was trying to get you to relax and get you out of your comfort zone? :-)

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  179. @The White Muslim Traditionalist

    You should study history in SE Europe from 1912 to 1925.
    Peoples unable to live together were deported on an enormous scale.
    So who will be replaced remains to be seen.
    Our Dutch DENK party, with propaganda that assimilation is not necessary, is playing a very dangerous game.

  180. @Seraphim

    I’m quite old, over seventy, in my view very cynical, since I discovered the truth about sept 11, and I no longer believe anything on sight.
    Can you explain why Paulus got an escort of several hundred Roman soldiers on his way from Jerusalem tot the coast, where he took a ship to Rome, to talk to the emperor ?

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  181. @marylou

    The great thing for me of the Quran is that it resembles the bible, anyone can find anything that suits him.
    When de Quran was written, it was some 200 years after Mohammed died.
    There was great controversy about what he had said.
    This problem was solved to put anything in the Quran what he was supposed to have said, but, luckily, arranged to subject.
    So the prescription to pray in the direction of Mecca is next to the prescription to pray in he direction of Jerusalem.
    In one places jews are to be eradicated, in another they are promised the Islam heaven if they live well, that means, follow Islamic prescriptions such as giving to the poor.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  182. Seraphim says:
    @Johnny F. Ive

    You would probably be surprised if someone told you that the ‘Dark Ages’ knew three ‘Renaissances’ before the Medici’s ‘Renaissance’: the Carolingian Renaissance (8th and 9th centuries), Ottonian Renaissance (10th century) and the Renaissance of the 12th century, all three characterized by significant cultural renewal right across medieval Western Europe and all under the patronage of the Church. All in search of the the European earlier knowledge (obscured perhaps, but never lost).

  183. @Pat the Rat

    The most common method was the mill – primarily water but also wind.
    ⦁ Thorkild Schioler, ‘Roman and Islamic water lifting wheels’, Odense University Press 1973
    My objection to christianity was preventing any scientific thought.
    Until 1600.
    But indeed, christianity could not prevent technical progress.
    This was exactly what broke the church’s power, Galileo saw the moons of Jupiter through a Dutch made telescope.
    The Dutch artisan Anthonie van Leeuwenhoek saw bacteria and amoebe in his primitive microscopes.
    Medicine, indeed, Calvin burned to death Servatius, who had discovered blood circulation.
    And cathedrals, great, the poor lived in them comfortably, great progress.
    Then there was the 1524 German insurrection against the aristocracy and the monasteries, so grateful they were towards the monks.
    Wilhelm Zimmermann, ‘Der grosse deutsche Bauernkrieg’, 1856, 1982, Berlin

    • Replies: @Pat the Rat
    , @Alden
    , @Alden
  184. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Corvinus

    Religiously, you are a heretic. Unless, of course, you are to cite the relevant Bible passages, with full explanation, that support your position.

    Would you kindly enlighten us with your idea, so different from that of the dictionaries, of what heresy and heretics are?

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  185. @marylou

    Hell was an Egyptian invention.
    If indeed Mozes existed, then he in all probability was a former priest of the rejected Egyptian monotheism, Sun worship, in Heliopolis.
    There may have been a priest rebellion, with just one god less employment.
    So Mozes may have liked the concept of monotheism, it gives power to those in power, but he may have considered strengthening it with hell.

  186. Seraphim says:
    @Veritatis

    “dicebat ergo Iesus ad eos qui crediderunt ei Iudaeos: si vos manseritis in sermone meo vere discipuli mei eritis, et cognoscetis veritatem et veritas liberabit vos”.
    ” dicit ei Iesus ego sum via et veritas et vita nemo venit ad Patrem nisi per me, si cognovissetis me et Patrem meum utique cognovissetis et amodo cognoscitis eum et vidistis eum”.

    • Replies: @Veritatis
  187. Seraphim says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    @Bill Donahue are imperfect instruments, but they are not liars with a hidden agenda

    No, their agenda is not hidden at all, they are on a mission to ‘convince’ the ‘ordinary’ that the Church is a fraud. His ‘discourse’ is a piece of political propaganda full of the usual tricks of the trade.
    But a liar he is. An academic intent to enlighten people about relations of Christianity with other religions would speak about Zarathustra, Zartosht and Zardosht in Persian and Zaratosht in Gujarati instead of ‘Zoroaster’, and about Mazdayasna instead of ‘Zoroastrism’, based on the original texts and would draw different conclusions. He would not use histrionics.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  188. Seraphim says:
    @wayfarer

    Exponential growths lead to catastrophic ends of the curve.

  189. Seraphim says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    You should not firstly because your religious knowledge is at the level of a 13 years old and the discussion is largely between adults.
    Secondly, because of your denial that you ever heard of SJ and JT when you reproduce word for word the themes they presented in that doco and in what is their pet theory of ‘The Jesus Dynasty’. ST&JT are involved in the archaeological forgeries of “The Jesus Family Tomb: The Discovery, the Investigation, and the Evidence That Could Change History” and ‘The Lost Tomb of Jesus’ and of the ‘James Ossuary’ (Oded Golan, the forger of the ‘James Ossuary’, narrowly avoided a long term in jail for it).
    Thirdly because one should dismiss out of hand any opinions expressed by people who start with ‘I was a Christian, but I renounced it when I realized that the ‘standard version’ is implausible, or illogical, or…(fill the dots).

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  190. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Seraphim

    Galileo an anti-human iconoclast? Insufferable ass, I’ll grant you, but hardly more than that, I think.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  191. Seraphim says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    “If you are really really clever”, you would not confuse Saint Ignatius de Loyola with Saint Aloysius de Gonzaga. Is it a Freudian slip? Is there where you lost your faith?

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  192. @CanSpeccy

    Absolutely

    I’m thrilled that we agree on something.

    Without a ruling-class-imposed social order, life would indeed for most people be nasty, brutal and short.

    For the ruling class – for sure. For the rest of us, who knows. And for some, those in the underclass, it’s already nasty, brutal and short.

    Religious faith thus results in a form of internalized control that promotes civilized behavior

    ‘Civilized’ is a loaded word with unreasonably positive undertones, in this context. It promotes obedience, more like. By an appeal to supernatural forces.

    In godless places like China, and increasingly the West, brainwashing, aka education, etc., has become a substitute for religion.

    Correct: education, the media, and other institutional mechanisms. Here you choose to use the word ‘brainwashing’, which has negative connotations. But you could use the word ‘civilizing’ as well, just as you did in the case of religion. Let’s be objective.

    it can be modified by legislation

    Well, I’ll say: better by legislation than secretly by a small group of elite priests. Not much better, but a little better.

    For the people, the downside to a secular religion such as Communism or globo-liberalism is that it can so readily be adapted to serve none but a tyrannical elite.

    Elites use doctrines – religious or secular – to maintain their rule. But surely the common religious doctrine of the divine right of kings is far more useful for ‘tyrannical elite’ than communism? Simply because the communist doctrine proclaims absolute equality, so it clearly isn’t the best tool.

    globo-liberalism seeks to destroy competition from God through the promotion of multi-culturalism, which ensures that religion becomes a disruptive

    I dunno about that. I get the impression that universal religions (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism) also promote multi-culturalism. The cultures of Christians in Africa, Latin America, Europe, and Asia are dramatically different. And yet they are all Christians. I don’t think German and Cuban Catholics belong to the same ‘civilization’: two very different environments, very different cultures.

    And of course there are even more universal religious doctrines, like the Universalist Church of America, new-age spiritualism, stuff like that.

  193. @jilles dykstra

    It’s easy to pick and choose single incidents and paint a damning narrative.

    The point Jillies is that Christian Europe stormed ahead of the rest of the world centuries before the Reformation when the Catholic Church was the chief spiritual guide of Europe.

    The point about the Gothic Cathedrals is that no other culture in world, at that time or at any time until the present would have had any hope of building those Cathedrals. The technology and knowledge only existed in Europe.

    Sure they could build buildings, but not on the scale or knowledge required for Gothic Cathedrals.
    And the same point rings true in many many fields. Yes Islam and Rome had water mills, they also had army’s of slaves to carry it. Yes Islam and Rome had guns, and ships and armor and farm tools and roads. But in Christian Europe under the Catholic church technical innovation and invention accelerated beyond any country and has always stayed that way until the present.

    All this happened before the Reformation.

    You divide technology and scientific thought. How the two can be divided is beyond me, But it is also a matter of historical fact that the great universities of Europe had Christian roots, they were organisation started by the Catholic Church.

    You’re picking of individual incidents here and there to create a narrative that the church impeded scientific progress is not convincing when the whole of European thought and innovation in comparison to other Non Christian nations is taken into account.

  194. Che Guava says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Nice reply. There is no comparison of Seinfeld with most on your list. Of course, I have enjoyed work by some, have not heard of all.

    Woody Allen, if I recall correctly, is a very sleazy man who seduced his step-daughter while she was a minor.

    Sure, he made a few good films.

    Mel Brooks certainly had his moments, too, I have seen old reruns of Get Smart, it is pure brilliance, some of his movies were good, too, until they were relying too much on scatological humour.

    To me, Seinfeld is on the same unfunny plane as Sex and the City and Friends, very insular and not interesting to anyone who is not a fool or tribal member.

    It does not challenge my ‘comfort zone’, just bores and alienates, for natural reasons.

    I have decided to learn how to read the sounds of Cyrillic and names of the letters, but have just started a few days ago, should be able to read most (sounds, badly) in the week after next. So I cannot read most of the ‘as they say in Russian’ in your post.

  195. @Wizard of Oz

    I’ve seen the documentary it was interesting with good production values but I know the work of the experts they consulted so the narrative theme was pretty predictable.

    none of the accounts being earlier than about 30 years after the death of Jesus

    Only 30 years you say. That is like people writing about the 1980′s today. Are books about contemporary politics in the 80′s suspect because they are 30 years away from the historical events of the 80′s.

    I must tell that to all biographers who take Churchill or Napoleon as a subject. These people are lying and their information is utter rubbish hopelessly compromised by the government departments that fund their writing. Any new research or information must be inaccurate because it is now more than 30 years away from the death of the subject.

    These arguments are all a bit laughable Wizard, they have been constantly rolled out by haters of the Catholic church for decades.

    I doubt if anything I say will change you mind at all. I have had enough conversations with atheists in the past to know that many have erected other idols to worship. And their new idols burn with indignation and injustice towards traditional Christianity.

  196. geokat62 says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    It seems to me that rather than “Who came first, the chicken or the egg,” its far more fruitful to wrestle with the ideas, their evolution and context/in context, and how we may apply them to make our own lives better.

    While I couldn’t agree more, S2C, I couldn’t allow these statements by yourself and Jorjani to go uncontested:

    S2C – “Jason Reza Jorjani argues that Greeks were backward until after they were conquered by Persia, whereupon Greeks under Persian occupation developed more civilized habits and philosophies.”

    Jorjani – “Greece is said to be the birthplace of philosophy, but what must be realized is that philosophy emerged in the centuries after the Persians colonized Greece . . .”

    as they imply the Persian civilization is superior to the Greek, especially after having previously provided this excerpt from Copleston’s History of Philosophy, Vol. 1, which brings into sharp relief the shortcomings of a subject living under the Persian Empire versus a citizen living within a direct democracy [in Greece]:

    When man reflects on human life, on man’s good and on the good life, as Plato did, he clearly cannot pass by man’s social relations. Man is born into a society, not only into that of the family but also into a wider association, and it is in that society that he must live the good life and attain his end. He cannot be treated as though he were an isolated unit, living to himself alone. Yet, although every thinker who concerns himself with the humanistic viewpoint, man’s place and destiny, must form for himself some theory of man’s social relations, it may be well that no theory of the State will result, unless a somewhat advanced political consciousness has gone before.

    If man feels himself as a passive member of some great autocratic Power—the Persian Empire, for example—in which he is not called upon to play any active role, save as taxpayer or soldier, his political consciousness is scarcely aroused: one autocrat or another, one empire or another, Persian or Babylonian, it may make very little difference to him. But when a man belongs to a community in which he is called upon to shoulder his burden of responsibility, in which he has not only duties but also rights and activities, then he will become politically conscious. To the politically unconscious man the State may appear as some thing set over against him, alien if not oppressive, and he will tend to conceive his way of salvation as lying through individual activity and perhaps through co-operation in other societies than that of the reigning bureaucracy: he will not be immediately stimulated to form a theory of the State. To the politically conscious man, on the other hand, the State appears as a body in which he has a part, as an extension in some sort of himself, and so will be stimulated—the reflective thinker, that is to say—to form a theory of the State. The Greeks had this political consciousness in a very advanced degree: the good life was to them inconceivable apart from the polis…

    The political theory of Plato and Aristotle has indeed formed the foundation for subsequent fruitful speculation on the nature and characteristics of the State. Many details of Plato’s Republic may be unrealisable in practice, and also undesirable even if practicable, but his great thought is that of the State as rendering possible and as promoting the good life of man, as contributing to man’s temporal end and welfare. This Greek view of the State, which is also that of St. Thomas, is superior to the view which may be known as the liberal idea of the State, i.e. the view of the State as an institution, the function of which is to private property and, in general, to exhibit a negative attitude towards the members of the State. In practice, of course, even the upholders of this view of the State have had to abandon a completely laissez-faire policy, but their theory remains barren, empty and negative in comparison with that of the Greeks.

  197. @Seraphim

    they are on a mission to ‘convince’ the ‘ordinary’ that the Church is a fraud.

    What’s most important to you, Seraphim, worshiping “the Church” or a profound understanding of the human spirit, its relationship to ineffable grandeur of “nature and nature’s god,” and developing character and behaviors to improve — “achieve salvation,” i.e. the fullness of spiritual health and wellbeing. (Recall that Machiavelli waged war on the corruption of Roman Catholicism, but never left home without a copy of Dante in his pocket.)

    I grant you Donahue uses “histrionics.” Hard to figure out who he is, where he comes from; he seems a little weird.
    On the other hand, I’ve tried to read Mary Boyce & other scholars in an attempt to learn about Zoroaster; I get lost in the weeds — Arunya and Mazdayasna and the Vedas; Divas and Gathas — they all run together. Maybe I’m intellectually lazy, or maybe I need to learn like a child learns — basics first, to establish a notion of what is this about? Donahue’s approach also appeals to my particular experience which is a lot like his mother’s — my Catholic experience placed very heavy emphasis on priests and nuns and sinfulness and my own powerlessness. Donahue tears that down — appropriately, in my personal opinion — as an imposition on the true meaning of much of Scripture and the essence of Zarathustra: he clears away the junk to get at an essence of a person’s relationship to nature and to the attempt to live a life of goodness.

    Congratulations on your ability to differentiate among Zarathustra, Zartosht and Zardosht in Persian and Zaratosht in Gujarati. Which of them can I find on the head of a pin, or do they dance there together?

  198. Seraphim says:
    @jilles dykstra

    You always should beware what you are wishing for! Do not complain when you have it!

    “Liever Turks dan Paaps (“Rather Turkish than Papist”), also Liever Turksch dan Paus (“Rather Turkish than Pope”), was a Dutch slogan during the Dutch Revolt of the end of the 16th century. The slogan was used by the Dutch mercenary naval forces (the “Sea Beggars”) in their fight against Catholic Spain…
    The phrase “Liever Turks dan Paaps” was coined as a way to express that life under the Muslim Ottoman Sultan would have been more desirable than life under the Catholic King of Spain. The Flemish noble D’Esquerdes wrote to this effect that he:
    ” would rather become a tributary to the Turks than live against his conscience and be treated according to those [anti-heresy] edicts”.
    — Letter of Flemish noble D’Esquerdes.

    Smoking pot and exposing whores in windows won’t bring the liberation from the Turks.

  199. mcohen says:

    true story

    waiting at the traffic light and 3 people cross the road.2 men and a women.definitely homeless,heading for the church across the road for a meal.the woman points at the big sign on the wall of the church and says …..”see what the sign says,Jesus Saves.
    one of the men turns around and says to her…”how would you know,you’re not God”.
    but that did not stop him from getting a free meal.survival comes first.relegion gives you the will and intent to survive.
    a lot of people think the judaism and christianity and islam is about praying and this and that but the reality is that many people in need are helped by these institutions,millions of people in fact.charity or tzedakah,not sure what the islamic word is.thats what counts,helping the sick,the homeless,visiting people in hospital,volunteering.relegion is about helping your fellow man.all the rest is just window dressing.

  200. Veritatis says:
    @Seraphim

    I’m afraid I can only muddle through Latin because of familiarity with derived languages, so I cannot really follow you there! But I recognized both quotes, among the most beautiful teachings. Via, veritas et vita. We can can get away from Him temporarily, but must needs always come back.

    • Replies: @Anon
  201. Corvinus says:
    @Anon

    attilathehen holds two opinions which are clearly contrary to church dogma. Now, if he is able to cite evidence from the Bible that supports his position, that in reality the supermajority of Christians are themselves heretics, he would be back in the good graces of God and the rest would be subject to His wrath.

    • Replies: @Anon
  202. @Anon

    Galileo was the first experimenter in 1600 years.
    He discovered the laws of gravitation, such as that a feather falls as quickly as a stone.
    And the acceleration by gravity.
    When he saw the moons of Jupiter he realised that the earth centered universe was a fairy tale.

    • Replies: @Anon
  203. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Veritatis

    For those of us who might be interested but don’t speak Latin, the quoted passages are John 8:31-32 and 14:6-7 .

  204. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Corvinus

    Okay, I get where you’re coming from now. But most people would regard bibliolatry itself as heresy.

  205. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @jilles dykstra

    Galileo was the first experimenter in 1600 years.

    Hardly.

    He discovered the [some?] laws of gravitation, such as that a feather falls as quickly as a stone.

    No, Stevin did that, and even he was not the first by a long shot, just the definitive establishment.

    And the acceleration by gravity.

    No.

    When he saw the moons of Jupiter he realised that the earth centered universe was a fairy tale.

    Again, no.

    See http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-great-ptolemaic-smackdown-down-for.html for a rather entertaining discussion of the circumstances and significance of the discovery of the Jovian moons.

    Galileo was a brilliant scientist, but his reputation is ridiculously overinflated. See https://thonyc.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/extracting-the-stopper/ . And, contrary to what you may think, being a great scientist is not at all mutually exclusive with being an insufferable ass, which Galileo also was.

  206. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @jilles dykstra

    My country, the Netherlands, became far better in my subjective judgment, since we liberated ourselves from religion.
    Alas we imported Islam.

    The Dutch atheists are like all the other damn fool European atheists. They childishly discarded Christianity for the trivial reason that it was based on stories that are obviously, to those raised in a scientific culture, untrue. But the truth of the narrative upon which religious faith is based is irrelevant, and only people with an adolescent conceit and stupidity would think otherwise.

    The importance of religion is that it imbues believers with a moral code, which enables strangers in a large and complex society to cooperate with one another. Now the idiot Dutch, like the cretinous Swedes and Norwegians, the Brits, the French and the Germans have discarded a faith that built the greatest civilization the world has known, while showing unlimited tolerance to adherents of the most vicious, intolerant and tyrannical faith the world has ever known.

    I don’t even wish you good luck with that. You deserve only the utmost contempt. Contempt for your idiot liberal tolerance, and contempt for your staggering ignorance and stupidity.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  207. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @jilles dykstra

    And if the Catholic Church had not prevented it, science would have discovered the hydrogen atom, dna, wiped out the black plague and went to the moon by at least 800AD. The coronation of Charlemagne being shown on TV.

    You have to put one foot in front of the other to get somewhere and that is exactly what happened, and here we are.
    What did the church prevent? In effect, nothing.

  208. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Nor can I see how an expression of appreciation for the virtues of Archbishop Turpin ought to be taken as an expression of contempt for anyone else, even by a person of equally concealed identity.

  209. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @jilles dykstra

    Really? How so?
    What has become better for the average person?
    Let me tell you:
    What really improved day to day living was the invention of the washing machine, indoor plumbing, better transportation, (love public transportation in the Netherlands, for instance), modern dentistry, etc.

    As for the absence of the christian religion, the effect has been mainly the break down of the family, more and more putting the infirm to ‘sleep’ like a dog, and of course, the freedom to be as promiscuous as you like, confusion among the ‘genders’ and science if it keeps going as it is, doing away with all of us and making the planet uninhabitable.

  210. Sparkon says:
    @epnngg

    We cannot deny the historicity of Jesus…

    Speak for thyself.

    But debating this issue with the faithful is not far removed from insisting to some young child that there really is no Santa Claus.

    ‘Rough work, and who wants to do it?

    Whether or not human civilization is more of less advanced because of Christianity is a tough call and impossible to know. We can only know what history tells us, for example the fine work of Innocent VIII, as exemplified by his Papal Bull of 1484 dealing with witchcraft:

    It has recently come to our ears…that many persons of both sexes, heedless of their own salvation and forsaking the catholic faith, give themselves over to devils male and female, and by their incantations, charms, and conjurings, and by other abominable superstitions and sortileges, offences, crimes, and misdeeds, ruin and cause to perish the offspring of women, the foal of animals, the products of the earth, the grapes of vines, and the fruits of trees, as well as men and women, cattle and flocks and herds and animals of every kind, vineyards also and orchards, meadows, pastures, harvests, grains and other fruits of the earth; that they afflict and torture with dire pains and anguish, both internal and external, these men, women, cattle, flocks, herds, and animals, and hinder men from begetting and women from conceiving, and prevent all consummation of marriage; that, moreover, they deny with sacrilegious lips the faith they received in holy baptism; and that, at the instigation of the enemy of mankind, they do not fear to commit and perpetrate many other abominable offences and crimes, at the risk of their own souls,
    [...]
    We therefore… do hereby decree, by virtue of our apostolic authority, that it shall be permitted to the said inquisitors in these regions to exercise their office of inquisition and to proceed to the correction, imprisonment, and punishment of the aforesaid persons for their said offences and crimes
    [...]
    Let no man, therefore, dare to infringe this page of our declaration, extension, grant, and mandate, or with rich hardihood to contradict it. If any presume this, let him know that he incurs the wrath of almighty God and of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul.

    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Summis_desiderantes

    Just in case almighty God is not enough, throw in Peter and Paul for good measure. Burn some witches, and pray harder…that’ll cure your impotence.

    Blaming scapegoats, dupes, and patsies is a well-established practice in our modern world, and it probably has ancient roots going back far beyond the Papal Bull of Innocent VIII to the very dawn of human civilization, when witch doctors gained their power by claiming to have contact with, and/or control over both natural and supernatural forces.

    But all is not lost. The open mind turns agnostic, neither accepting nor denying the possibility of a deity, or deities, but rejecting all the theological scribblings of man as fairy tales for adults.

    • Replies: @epnngg
  211. Svigor says:

    Biblical literalism is so recent a development in Christianity (and almost entirely among Protestants) that I’m tempted to call it a heresy, and seems to be centered almost entirely in the United States.

    And someone will bring up Galileo in ten, nine, eight, seven, six …

    This might seem a big deal, until one considers that a heretic has ascended to the throne of the Catholic Church.

    What a failure of a piece.. Author is clueless with a very clear bias. I wonder how he would account to the fact that almost all scientific texts used in Europe post the dark ages were translations of Arabic texts???

    Too stupid to even know English (“post the dark ages” means “from the end of the dark ages until the present.”).

    Or how about that we routinely use numerous Arabic words in science, globally, such as algebra, algorithm, chemistry, etc.? Or here is another one he could try and answer, how did the period known as the renaissance start?

    English loves to borrow words from other languages. There are many from most languages with long contact. Far more from Latin than from Arabic, of course. I wonder how the Arabs get along, without borrowing words (never mind concepts) from English? /end sarcasm. (Seriously though, what do modern Arabs do but buy others’ tech with oil money made by extracting mineral resources using European technology? And how does this pro-Muslim, pro-Arab line of thinking not invariably end in Nation of Islam conspiracy theories of White Devils’ intellectual thievery and tricknology?).

    So far, the greatest accomplishments I’ve been able to attribute to Muslims is the great slaughter they made of Mongols, via the Mughal Empire. So, thanks for that, I suppose, though it was not Arabs doing the heavy lifting. There is no doubt that Muslims have been more civilized than the Mongol scum ever were (sans borrowing; yes, both cultures borrowed heavily, but the Mongols gave the world nothing they didn’t steal or borrow from someone else).

    In contrast, Western Christianity benefited from the insights of St Thomas Aquinas, who embraced classical Greek learning and reconciled it with Christian belief; and while we fought among ourselves, we were never overrun by powerful armies of other powers.

    Ironically, all the infighting might have been key to never being overrun by alien hordes. Look at “Deep Ditches and Well-built Walls: A Reappraisal of the Mongol Withdrawal from Europe in 1242″ by Lindsey Stephen Pow. The TL;DR version is that the limit of the Mongol invasion of Europe corresponds almost exactly to where the frontier (limited fortifications made of wood and earth) gave way to civilization (extensive fortifications of stone). The density and quality of stone fortifications in Western and Central Europe were unparalleled. No place on Earth ever came close (China, probably well above the world historical mean in this regard, looks rather pathetic in comparison). In numbers alone (European fortifications were of dramatically higher quality than elsewhere), there are tens of thousands of known sites of stone castles in Europe: this might approach an order of magnitude greater than for any other region.

    The parts of India that put paid to the Mongols were also better-fortified than most. As was the area that marked the limits of Mongol incursions into the Levant.

    This tendency to take self-defense so seriously might have implications for European history in general that are poorly understood.

    Western Christendom came out on top, not because it started with some kind of moral superiority, but through accidents of history and geography.

    Well, if it was moral superiority, that would be down to an “accident of history” by way of evolution, or somesuch. This is always the language of the enemy.

    If protestantism can be said to have set the ground for capitalism…

    Then Catholicism and Orthodoxy can be said to have set the ground for faschism and communism.

    Fascism was basically a speed bump. Apart from its war with communism, it’s probably responsible for less than 1/10th the murders that communism is.

    And communism did most of its killing in China, where Christianity had negligible influence; we might as well say Chinese religions laid the ground for communism, as communism’s most fertile ground was outside Christian territory.

    Notice the countries effected by the respective systems.

    Tsarist Russia was collectivist and charmingly folksy with a simultaneous adoration for heroes Saints/Kings and high regard for longsuffering peasants. What better place to preach the protection of the virtue of the proleterait by wise Commisars?

    Russia was retarded for centuries by Mongol depradations, so perhaps it’s no coincidence that it was as vulnerable to communism as east Asia was.

    Speaking of the Mongols, the world’s greatest butchers by far seem to be the Mongoloid type: the Mongols, and the Red Chinese. Next to this, Europeans have no answer.

    Between Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Protestantism:

    Which devoloped the United States Constitution?

    I think the answer to that question as to any question about human advances is niether.

    You dodged answering your own question. The answer is clearly “Protestants.”

    For one thing, Christians WERE more moral than others – the European Christian, unlike the Muslims, the Africans, the Chinese, and the American Indians, successfully abolished slavery. Christendom invented and popularized the notions of Natural Law and Human Rights. What is true that Christians never were morally perfect – but that’s not saying much, especially with regard to a religion which holds Original Sin as a core doctrine.

    I tend to think that Europeans colonized Christianity, more than Christianity colonized Europeans. They took this SW Asian import and hammered and beat and forged it until it was something they could live with.

    My God doesn’t give As for effort or love you for existing, He loves those who serve Him.

    Yes but why would anyone want his love, or to serve him?

    An intriguing theory about Jesus is that he indeed never existed, was invented by Paulus as secret agent for the Roman emperor, in order to destroy judaism.

    Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, ‘Verschlusssache Jesus, Die Wahrheit über das frühe Christentum’, (The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, 1991), 2005, Bergisch Gladbach

    Care to give us English-only folks a bit more than this?

    This christianity then stopped all progress until around 1600 Galileo looked through a Dutch made telescope, and saw the moons of Jupiter.

    On the contrary, it helped enable the propagation of the knowledge left behind by the Romans. Note that the eastern Empire didn’t advance civilization much in the thousand years that followed. One might equally plausibly attribute this to a lack among the Greeks (who haven’t exactly flowered as their Christianity withered), or to a lack in their adopted religion.

    CanSpeccy says: • Website
    April 29, 2017 at 3:35 pm GMT • 200 Words

    As a Nationalist, I propose a third synthesis, wherein Europeans (mankind, actually, but Europeans are the bit I’m worried about) derives the original “racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia” for themselves, to defend against leftist insanity (we’ll leave out the imperialist bit, it’s more globalist than Nationalist).

    Western nations are still the best place on earth for Christians.

    There is no distinction to be had here; they’re still the best place on Earth for everyone.

    I agree with the rest of your comment.

    The ‘intriguing’ theory is known long, long before Baigent &Co. At least this variant. The ‘traditional’ one is that Paul was the secret agent of Judaism to destroy the Roman Empire!

    Precisely. Which is why I wanted more detail than he offered.

    Mr. Reed says he is not a Christian – he is half right. He is not a religious Christian – but he is a philosophical Christian.

    Or, to borrow a Jewish term, he is a “secular Christian.” Well, I don’t know about Reed, but I am. Nothing Jews hate so much can be all bad.

    . The Christian Church was against knowledge at the time of the Renaissance. They went full ISIS with something called an inquisition.

    Nonsense. The Spanish Inquisition was largely an attempt by the Spanish to purge themselves of the cancer of crypto-Jews. It also kicked off quite the Spanish Golden Age. Britain, too, had one of the longest good runs in her history after expelling the Jews. I admit this may be more correlation than causation; it may be more that people who get their shit together tend to expel Jews, than people getting their shit together because they expelled Jews.

    The Old Testament has polygamy, slavery because that shows the fallen world filled with sin. In the New Testament, Jesus came to straighten out mankind’s sinfulness. That’s why Christianity (of the Western world) got rid of slavery and polygamy.

    There’s some math missing here: when did Christ do away with polygamy or slavery? I submit that he did not.

    Mohammed, a paedophile and child rapist, took the polygamy and slavery of the Old Testament to justify his sexual perversions.

    While I agree with much of what you say about Mohammed and Islam, I have to ask, when did Christ do away with pedophilia? I submit that he did not.

    I submit that Europeans did away with those things, because that was their preference. Christianity was naturally the form that preference took, but I don’t think it was the cause.

    ***

    Like Che Guava, I have watched less than one episode of Seinfeld. I have watched far more Seinfeld while surfing past it to find something good to watch, than I have watched continuously. Unlike Che Guava, I know almost nothing about the show. I suppose I am just instinctively repelled. Maybe I just can’t watch TV that lacks good-looking people.

    Ah, Corvanus:

    Religiously, you are a heretic. Unless, of course, you are able to show convincingly how Jesus, our savior, is in complete support of your decision.

    Logically, Corvanus is a moron.

    My country, the Netherlands, became far better in my subjective judgment, since we liberated ourselves from religion.
    Alas we imported Islam.
    Hope it does not take us again hundreds of years for liberation.

    Do you really not see the contradiction? Here, I’ll help: “liberated ourselves from religion” + “far better” = “alas we imported Islam.”

    Perhaps, your friend was trying to get you to relax and get you out of your comfort zone? :-)

    I took to critiquing Jews to get them to relax and get out of their comfort zone (no contradiction there, amirite?). Too busy with that for anything else.

    So the prescription to pray in the direction of Mecca is next to the prescription to pray in he direction of Jerusalem.
    In one places jews are to be eradicated, in another they are promised the Islam heaven if they live well, that means, follow Islamic prescriptions such as giving to the poor.

    Sounds like Mohamed’s experiences with the Jews were rather typical (Jewish PR, followed by dawning reality).

    You would probably be surprised if someone told you that the ‘Dark Ages’ knew three ‘Renaissances’ before the Medici’s ‘Renaissance’: the Carolingian Renaissance (8th and 9th centuries), Ottonian Renaissance (10th century) and the Renaissance of the 12th century, all three characterized by significant cultural renewal right across medieval Western Europe and all under the patronage of the Church. All in search of the the European earlier knowledge (obscured perhaps, but never lost).

    Generally speaking, the “Dark Ages” correspond to the early Middle Ages/early Medieval period, roughly from 5-10th centuries. So two of your revivals fall outside its boundaries. It doesn’t take much jiggering to see the Carolingian revival as a transition period out of that period, and into the High Middle Ages.

    Would you kindly enlighten us with your idea, so different from that of the dictionaries, of what heresy and heretics are?

    Corvanus has a head full of bad wiring. I’m surprised he’s able to restrain himself from lecturing us about the true nature of Christianity (it means either wickedness, or leftism, in his mind). Funny how he criticizes only Christians and Christianity, but not Jews or Muslims. A familiar pattern, that.

    Blaming scapegoats, dupes, and patsies is a well-established practice in our modern world, and it probably has ancient roots going back far beyond the Papal Bull of Innocent VIII to the very dawn of human civilization, when witch doctors gained their power by claiming to have contact with, and/or control over both natural and supernatural forces.

    Well, we can trace the practice of scapegoating as far back as the Jews, but beyond that it starts to get hazy.

  212. epnngg says:
    @Sparkon

    Sparkon, you said a mouth full!

    Is it true that remaining an agnostic is truly the place to be as we live out our short lives?
    Are there no sureties in life? Is there no absolute truth that we can weigh all the things and events that come into our lives as either good or evil? I would contend that each one of us has a natural law indwelling us that is constantly reminding us what is good and what is evil. Where does this natural law or conscience come from?

    We can attempt to rip the natural law from within us. Many men and women have sought to purge themselves of their consciences, and some have successfully done so to the detriment of themselves and the societies they live in!

    Your quotes from Innocent The VIII are truly appalling. Not all that declare themselves Christians truly are. Some indeed use the name of Christ to further their own power and seduce many to destruction. But I can name many men and women who claimed the Christian faith that has made a positive and substantial good in our societies. William Wilberforce comes to mind.
    Mother Theresa, Samuel Johnson, Michael Faraday come immediately to mind also.

    Jesus said that many would come in His name and claim to do great wonders but in the end, they would be rejected by Him. His constant reminder to His disciples was that they were to be servants of mankind and not to desire to lord their lives over others.

    I would contend that if all men truly adhered to the teachings of Jesus and were fully able to flesh out the first two commandments of the ten commandments, there would indeed be heaven on earth.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  213. Corvinus says:
    @CanSpeccy

    “while showing unlimited tolerance to adherents of the most vicious, intolerant and tyrannical faith the world has ever known”

    Y0u are certainly entitled to your opinion.

  214. @jilles dykstra

    Ik ben Nederlands! De DENK partij is een grap, maar niet zo grappig als de gedachte van de gefeminiseerde Nederlandse natie die een etnische zuivering uitvoert.

  215. @attilathehen

    Paul’s lyingdoesn’t disprove Christ, it just disproves Christ’s divinity.

  216. Corvinus says:
    @CanSpeccy

    “Absolutely. Ruling is what ruling classes do, and they use tools such as religion, traffic regulations, and the criminal code, to do it. Without a ruling-class-imposed social order, life would indeed for most people be nasty, brutal and short.”

    Ruling is also what religion does, and they use tools such as “natural law” and religious doctrine to do it. Without a religious-class imposed social order, especially on individuals who do not strictly adhere to that particular faith, life in that society is other than desirable.

    “Religion is a bit different from the criminal code since it relies on the near universal human tendency to regard rules of conduct as a matter of great importance. Religious faith thus results in a form of internalized control that promotes civilized behavior in a society where one must continually interact with strangers of whose character one knows nothing.”

    BOTH religious based and secular societies have criminal codes that rely on this tendency you described. BOTH put pressure on individuals to internalize the rules and regulations of the society which will induce civilized conduct.

    “Religion thus eliminates the need for much external control.”

    Patently false. Refer to Puritan society.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  217. @Pat the Rat

    Surely faith can’t be so bad for the intellect. You have got the point of Catholic saint Thomas More’s prescription in Utopia exactly 180 degrees wrong.

    More was assuming that people – not Christians specifically, just people, would misuse their superior abilities to exploit others and take more than their fair shate if they could and there were no sanctions against it.

    As to your point about slavery it merely emphasises that the Catholic Church did *not* stop slavery outside Europe. It was Protestant evangelicals in England that led the way from about 100 years before the end of slavery in Brazil and Spanish America.

  218. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @German_reader

    hallo German

    There is a prediction from 1828 which says, among a lot of other things:

    “Bunter Fremdling, unwillkommner Gast, flieh das Land das du gepfluegt nicht hast…”

  219. @Miro23

    Those Franciscans sound pretty much like inner city Greens to me like the ones who seem to be trying to hem me and my automobile in with bicycle only lanes….

  220. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @jilles dykstra

    You obviously have not consulted neither the Bible nor the Koran very much.

    As for “Mozes” , there is no hell in the OT. You die and sleep “with your fathers. ” You are dead. Just like the animals are dead when they die. Go look it up in the OT. If you come up with the promise of an everburning hell that you can’t get out of, let me know, I have not been able to find it and have worn out a couple of Bibles.

  221. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Corvinus

    Ruling is also what religion does

    Christian religious authorities rule in religious matters, states rule in all else, and when there is a clash, states dominate. Or as Joe Stalin asked: “How many divisions does the Pope have?”

    True, Islam combines both state and religious authority in one body, which is why admission of Muslims to the West will likely destroy Western civilization, such as remains of it. Muslim migrants to the West are settlers and colonists intent on domination and ethnic cleansing.

    “Religion thus eliminates the need for much external control.”

    Patently false. Refer to Puritan society.

    Puritanism was a transient Christian heresy long gone from the world. Why not read the Origin of Political Order, by Francis Fukuyama. Then you might not be quite so aggressively ignorant on the role of religion in society. You might also read Carroll Quigley’s Evolution of Civilizations, which expounds the roles of the various institutions, including religious institutions, in determining the survival, prosperity and expansion of civilizations.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  222. @Seraphim

    Whatever sect of Christianity you belong to should be ashamed of and embarrassed for you. You demean the notion of religious scholarship. (You are even wrong in your pettiness. As a typically enthusiastic novice atheist I put my head down and won a Religious Studies prize at 15 for Year 12 students)

    Then there is the difficulty you create of knowing whether to regard you as a deliberate liar who knows that what he writes is false or one better described by the tort lawyer’s “reckless whether it wss true or false” which tilts more towarda reckless stupidity. Neither the doco I saw nor the summsry detsils I gave have anything to do with the controversial work of SJ and JT as it is easy to check. So much for your “you reproduce word for word [sic] the themes they presented in that doco”. Your recklessness and carelessness with both the truth and the proprieties of civilised debate seem to know no bounds.

    Your final par merely exhibits a weak grasp of the rules of English (or any) prose composition as, apart from its dubious logic you don’t even make clear wbo you are referring to.

    Except that you seem bound to disgrace yourself I would invite you to try again with the thesis I summarised rather than the product of your febrile brain.

    Unlike you, I do a little elementary checking just in case I am not up to date, so I did a search for the “last days of Jesus” and, to my surprise found that the showing in Australia was of a contemporary April 2017 PBS doco with, again I note, nothing to do with your hate figures SJ or JT.

  223. @Seraphim

    At least this time you pack into a short space a summary illustration of your fatal weaknesses as a serious controversialist.

    First you put “If you are really really clever” in quotes. Surprise. Did I say that or something like it? No, and nor did anyone else on the thread.

    Then there is the totally baseless assertion that I confused Loyola and Gonzaga! Che?! You don’t even make sense of your suggestion. What sort of Freudian slip could possibly be involved (though maybe you are trying to show that you are a true early 20th century man by pretending to know something of a Viennese Jew who was one of Jewry’s least claims to intellectual achievement)?

    Even your last sentence is marred by carelessness.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  224. @Pat the Rat

    I think you have met too many passionate atheist converts ex-fundies or ex-Cstholics. But i claim the great intellectual achievement of being a “lapsed Anglican”. Mild silly joke perhaps but it goes with my occasional explanation that being sn Anglican atheist means only that I am not a theist. I see no need for a deity that created the world and has purposes or preferences that there is any reason for us to take notice of. Everything useful that can be made to connect the “is” with the “ought” – acknowledging Hume’s and later objections – can be found in considering the evolution of the brains, bodies and societies of hominids. The Big Bang, Inflation, Higgs Boson etc. ate modtly fun for those who don’t want to use their spare mental capacity on chess or bridge, though their study might help develop new elements or maybe just find new ways to kill each other.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  225. Seraphim says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Where did you get the Aloysius Loyola from? For a winner of a Religious Studies Prize (or was it for wizardry?) is an impermissible blunder. Either you don’t know what you are talking about (of which you give us ample proofs all the time – you can’t even remember that you did indeed say ‘if you are really, really clever’ talking about yourself) or somewhere in your mind was lurking the Jesuit College of Saint Aloysius in Sydney. Why?
    I was not demeaning ‘the notion of religious studies’. I was pouring some cold water on your typically adolescent ‘novice atheist enthusiasm’. Grow up man, do some serious study before talking about serious matters.

  226. 1199: Jocelyn

    Beginning of the Crusades – Masons – Temple of Salomon

    Glasgow History – NORTH [LV2] –

    Jocelyn, The Templars and The Bishop’s Forest:

    ” In 1162, Henry II of England levied a tax to support the crusades—the first of a series of taxes levied by Henry over the years with the same objective. The Templars and Hospitallers acted as Henry’s bankers in the Holy Land. The Templars’ wide flung, large land holdings across Europe also emerged in the 1100–1300 time frame as the beginning of Europe-wide banking, as their practice was to take in local currency, for which a demand note would be given that would be good at any of their castles across Europe, allowing movement of money without the usual risk of robbery while traveling.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_banking

  227. @Pat the Rat

    Oh you really are a simple duffer aren’t you? Your fallacious argument could only be rescued if there were archives and letters and diaries contemporaneous with the events up to Jesus’s death to which the pseudonymous Matthew, Mark, Luke and John could have referred. As it is they don’t even give their oral sources in a way any half decent historian or journalist would.

  228. @attilathehen

    “Even though I am a Christian, I left the RCC because I do not accept black/Asian priests-popes. If non-whites want to be Christian, they must have their own churches. Islam is a universalist belief system, so that’s a big problem.”

    This is where you are misguided. You say if non-whites want to be Christian, they must have their own churches. No, that’s the wrong way to go about it.

    Whites must form their own covenant with God. A covenant that exists only between God and European folks. A covenant not unlike the one between God and the Jews.
    Because Judaism was founded on this principle, only Jews can be part of Judaism(though Reform Judaism plays funny games).

    So far, there has been two ways of worshiping God. The tribal way for Jews and universal way for gentiles.

    So, Jews have Judaism. It’s about Jews and God.

    Christians and Muslims have Christianity and Islam. And they are open to anyone who accepts Jesus or Allah(and Muhammad as his last and greatest prophet).

    So, Jews have an ethnic religion.

    Gentiles don’t. While there are French Christians, German Christians, African Christians, Arab Christians, and etc. Christianity doesn’t belong to any one of them like Judaism belongs to Jews.
    Same goes for Islam.

    So, the two options were

    Tribalism for Jews.
    Universalism for gentiles.

    But there is a third way. Tribalism for gentiles. Let each gentile group form its own covenant with God. That way, they can worship God but with a special covenant that applies only to their own kind. This is the best way. As Christianity and Islam become overly global and ‘inclusive’, they are becoming messy, confused, and contentious. To accommodate all that diversity, the religion is being made ever more generic. The result is the current pope who should be called the poop.

    [MORE]

    In the end, Christianity is more about the preservation of an idea than a people/culture. In contrast, Judaism is about the preservation of a people since it can’t do without them.
    Judaism is finished if the Jews disappear. Even if non-Jews were to read the Torah after all Jews disappear, it would not be Judaism. Judaism cannot exist apart from Jewish people. As solely an idea, it is not a religion. As a religion, it needs Jews who made the Covenant with God. So, Jewish ethnos is central to Judaism.

    In contrast, the idea is what matters most in credo-religions like Christianity. Even if all German Christians were killed or died off, it doesn’t matter since Christianity could carry on in the hearts/minds of others. In the end, it doesn’t matter who believes in Jesus. What matters is the idea remains alive by spreading like a virus. Thus, any group of Christians is dispensable to Christianity. If all French Christians died, the faith could go on with Chinese Christians. If all Chinese Christians died, it could go on with Mexican Christians.
    This is why so many Christians find less value in their faith When Christianity was defacto the religion of the West, it made white folks special. But as it’s spread to Africa, Asian, and all over, white Christians now feel dispensable. Christianity can do without them. In contrast, Judaism can’t do without Jews. Christianity, as a conversion-religion, can convert any bunch of people. Judaism is a conception-religion, not a conversion-religion. Jews have to be conceived in wombs of Jewish mothers.

    But if each gentile group form their own special covenant with God, their religion will gain in meaning once again. When something is overly ‘inclusive’, it loses all value. Taken an elite college. If it goes for open admission, it is no longer a top college. It is just a community college.
    If your people have a covenant with God, then your special religion cannot do without your people. Jews believe in a universal God but through a tribal covenant. This must be the way for each people. Each people need to develop this covenant with their own prophets, narratives, and visions. This will be the great spiritual project of the 21st century. New Covenantism.

    There is a lesson to be learned from history of Jews and Christianity.
    They have mastered the art of survival through defeat. Judaism began with a humble man named Abram. He was no great warrior or super-rich powerful guy. His main justification for existence came from Covenant with God. So, his life had meaning even in exile, defeat, and loss. Even if he lost everything in the material world, he was blessed with relation to God. And in that there was everlasting hope. Because Judaism was founded on humility in covenant with greatest power, Jews could handle defeat better than any other people whose civilization was founded on pride. Take Assyrians. A mighty warlike people. Their justification was based on power and might. As long as they kicked butt, they were great. But in defeat, they were nothing because they had placed so little value for humility and wisdom of defeat.
    Of course, humility alone won’t get you very far. Humility on its own is just slavishness. If Jews only had humility, they would have groveled to the greater power and would have been happy as slaves. But Jewish humility was in relation to God, the greatest power. So, even as Jewish humility made them better-suited to weather the storms, they felt the assurance of being favored by the greatest power in the universe. Jews had humility appreciated by the pride of God.

    All peoples have their rises and falls. But when most fell, they tended to vanish from history. For one thing, most civilizations were centered around the Power. Kings and chieftains mattered most. Everyone else was servant or slave or minion. Now, as long as kings and princes kept the power, the civilization felt justified and masterful under their rule. But when the civilization was defeated, the kings and princes were killed or banished. Without pride of victory, they were nothing. And since the civilization instilled little inherent meaning to the minions and hoi polloi, they just drifted apart when their rulers fell from power or were conquered. Their cultural value depended on the status of their rulers. When their rulers were great, they felt justified in serving a great lord. But when their rulers fell, they felt empty, like how a fan feels after his team loses.
    Also, such powers tended to be idolatrous. Their power was represented by massive sculptures and monuments. So, people came to associate power with material expressions of might. The problem is when the system falls and the new conquerors take over, the monuments and idols can easily be smashed… or they can be appropriated by the conquerors as their own.

    In contrast, Judaism made every Jew feel like he counted independent of their rulers or leaders. After all, the Covenant was between God and Abraham, an ordinary man. So, there was the idea that God valued each Jew regardless of his wealth or status. So, even though there were big Jews, middle Jews, and little Jews, all Jews enjoyed spiritual parity in the eyes of God. There was a spiritual and moral democracy among the Jews. So, Jews didn’t develop minion-ism. When the Babylon kings fell, the Babylon minions were lost. Without service to their king, they had no purpose in life. But even when Jewish chieftains and kings fell and even when Jews were scattered, they felt a sense of inner value since God valued every Jews as a member of the Covenant.
    Also, as Jews were anti-idolatrous, their meaning was invested more with the idea, and ideas are portable, alive, and moral. Even if a Jewish city is sacked and Jewish treasures burned and destroyed, the core of Jewishness survives because it’s in the heart and in the texts. Also, anti-idolatry-ism had the benefit of reminding Jews to never conflate the sight of might with might itself. A Babylonian or Roman might look upon the great monuments and statues of his civilization and feel powerful. Egyptians might look upon Pyramids and other stuff and feel mighty. After all, the physical structures were so impressive. But in the end, idols are just that. They look mighty but they are just stones piled on top of another. They will not defend a people when the people grow decadent, confused, lazy, depraved, and craven. Romans were so into idolatryism that they kept believing in the power that was no longer there because they were surrounded by giant stadiums and towering monuments.

    In the end, what really matters is the stuff in the mind and hearts. Suppose there is a people with sound values in heart and mind. And there is another people with decayed values. Suppose both have nice big cities. Now, suppose a terrible natural disaster destroys the city of the people with sound values. In contrast, the city of the depraved people is spared. In 50 yrs, the sound people will rebuild a great city whereas the depraved people will let their city rot and decay. Those with sound ideas can turn nothing in something. Those with depraved ideas will turn something into nothing.

    The current West is into idolatryism. It judges everything by glittering skyscrapers and such impressive stuff. And when we look at Western cities and cities like Tokyo, they are bright and glittering. But the fact is the values in the hearts and minds of Westerners and Japanese are now decadent, depraved, and rotten. They have forgotten the meaning of family and moral values. They live and toil only for money and materialism and fun. But they think everything is fine since they got shiny buildings and stuff. But as the values of the civilization have begun to rot, the system will fail in the end.

    It can’t be an accident that Jews survived for 3,500 yrs. Also, it can’t be an accident that Christianity and Islam survived for long as continuous civilizations. Among the many ancient peoples, why did Jews have the advantage in survival? And why did Christian and Islamic civilizations survive for so long whereas pagan orders all rose and fell and vanished?

    One could argue that Greeks and Romans were more intellectually curious than the Jews. So,why did Greek and Roman civilizations fade away whereas the Jewish one survived?
    One of the blessing of intellect is the ability to think new thoughts and make progress. But the downside is the elites come to separate themselves from the rest of the community. After all, intellect and higher education are the property of the elites. We are seeing such Coming Apart today. When US was a Christian nation, the rich and the poor had faith in God in common at least. But with the fading of religion among the elites, they believe themselves to be pulling ahead of the rest. They are wrapped up with the conceit of having these fancy ideas that makes them so much better than the rest. Spirituality emotionally binds a people together. Intellect works like a razor in cutting the binds between elites and masses. The blessing of the West was that, for a long spell, it balanced the Hellenic intellectualism with Hebraic spiritualism(via Christianity). That way, the elites did think new thoughts and make progress but also felt a spiritual-emotional tie with the rest of the community.

    Intellectualism can do wonders in real meritocratic terms. But it also leads to the conceit of snobbery and smugness. It’s like the whole nonsense about acceptance of ‘gay marriage’ making some people ‘more evolved’ than others. Judaism and its outgrowths, Christianity and Islam, had a binding effect between elites and masses. Intellectualism is necessary for progress, but it can have a dividing effect between the elites and masses. Also, intellectualism fills the elites with hubris and arrogance. They think they are so smart and can do anything. They try to build the Tower of Babel. Meanwhile, they neglect the people. Also, finding common morality to be stifling to their desire for unfettered liberty, they undermine the value of shared common morality. In time, the masses become immoral too, and society begins to fall apart from all sorts of social pathologies. And when this happens, the elites are not able to re-institute a moral order even if they want to since the hoi polloi have turned into a bunch of feral pigs. For things to work again, the whole system must fall and must be built from the ground up. This is doable if there are no Negroes. But if Negroes take over, the fallen state will be permanent since the Negro way is savage.

    Japan and Germany were smashed but could rebuild after WWII. They could suffer millions of deaths and destruction of cities. But suppose Japan and Germany has been bombed with Negroes. Suppose Japan has been bombed with 30 million Negroes. Suppose Germany had been bombed with 25 million Negroes. They never would have risen from the rubble but would have been turned into Haiti. Indeed, look at Detroit. It was the leading industrial city in the 1950s. But there were all these Negroes, they burned things down, they went wild, and they took over. And now, Detroit is a hell. This is why Negroes are the worst and most terrible things in the world. Non-negro Humans can overcome just about anything but not Negro-ization. As EU is being overtaken by Africans, it is being Negro-bombed, and that will be the end of Europe. The current invasion wave is the Mother of All Negro Bombs.

  229. @Pat the Rat

    You may prefer the more concrete argument wtt to the writing of the Gospels….

    Consider how reliable our knowledge of Hitler would be if it was confined to the canon vetted by the Hitler Perpetuation Society and consisted only of the rough transcripts by anonymous interviewers of the recollections in 1975 of one of Hitler’s secretaries who had been besties with Hitler’s favourite cousin, in 1985 of his attorney who prepared and notarised his will, in 1995 of his doctor and in 2005 of a flaky philosophy student who claimed to have talked to 50 people who had known Hitler. (No exact parallels intended, just prompts to your imagination to grasp what the reality was like).

    • Replies: @Anon
  230. AaronB says:

    Judaism? Materialist in the philosophical sense and not requiring its adherents to believe things apparently impossible, it would seem better adapted to modernity. It imposes no restrictions on its adherents in science, culture, or commerce.

    Rather, it is precisely because Christianity is “otherworldly” that it has a future.

    Remember, Christianity arose in a time that had become, like ours, materialistic, and devoid of spirituality.

    Christianity was never well adapted to the world. That was its selling point. In fact, that was its whole point.

    Empires and kingdoms based on power, commerce, and materialism come and go – history is a tedious recitation of their rise and collapse – and yet it is a curious fact that “world denying” systems like Buddhism, or Christianity, alone last millenia.

    Spirituality is timeless.

    Materialism may seem dominant now, but there is a rising tide of dissatisfaction that is impossible to ignore, and in their hearts many people know materialism is false.

    Fred, “modernity” seems to be destroying itself in its stronghold of Europe – do you really think being well adapted to a suicidal creed is a good measure of success?

    If Judaism is indeed well adapted to modernity, if I were a Jew I’d be concerned.

    • Replies: @KenH
  231. AaronB says:

    A clarification -

    I don’t know if Christianity in any of its recognizable historical forms will survive – probably not – but the othrworldly, spiritual impulse, the yearning for the Beyond and the Absolute, is poised for a comeback, after “modernity” finishes its collapse.

  232. dfordoom says: • Website

    Judaism? Materialist in the philosophical sense and not requiring its adherents to believe things apparently impossible, it would seem better adapted to modernity.

    Even Jews have largely abandoned Judaism. It may be the only religion that’s more completely dead and irrelevant than Christianity.

    The future will be a struggle to the death between Islam and the death cult of liberalism. My money’s on Islam.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
    , @Qasim
  233. dfordoom says: • Website
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    Also, have you noticed how much freedom has expanded in increasingly secular Europe?

    The loss of freedom is no accident. Secular liberalism is a religion that has to be enforced. All secular religions have to be imposed and maintained by force. There’s no other way to maintain a secular religion. Any secular religion will end in totalitarianism. You can maintain a religion by faith, or by force, and in the case of secular religions only one option is available.

  234. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Auntie Analogue

    Today even Christian churches have themselves capitulated to and adopted the false gospel of temporal material envy embedded in the various materialism-based forms of “Liberation Theology.”

    Today the majority of Christian churches are firmly in the camp of those who hope to destroy our civilisation. The craven surrender and the subsequent nauseating groveling to secularism of Christian churches has been the most horrifying event in our history.

    Perhaps it’s inevitable. Christianity is an ideal religion for slaves, women and homosexuals. It appeals to white people who want to live as slaves.

    If Christianity is to revive and play a positive role it’s going to have to get seriously medieval. Warrior monks and that sort of thing. Chivalry. Taking up the sword to fight for the faith. Medieval Christians weren’t real big on the idea of turning the other cheek. That’s why Christianity was thriving during the Middle Ages.

  235. Seraphim says:
    @dfordoom

    Judaism is a walking corpse. Islam is the plague born from its decomposition. Liberalism too.

  236. dfordoom says: • Website
    @jilles dykstra

    Yet the crew of Columbus in 1500 or so were afraid to fall off the world.

    This statement on its own tells me I don’t need to take you seriously.

  237. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Rurik

    but Christianity/liberalism notwithstanding, the spirit of the West still lingers in the blood of its people

    I’d love to believe that. I really would. At the moment I see no evidence of it. I hope you’re right and I’m wrong.

  238. Seraphim says:

    Most of the animus against Christianity is due to the reproach that Christianity did not deliver on promises it never made!

  239. KenH says:
    @AaronB

    Christianity was never well adapted to the world. That was its selling point. In fact, that was its whole point.

    As another poster mentioned, Europeans more or less shaped Christianity to suit their needs. But now you could say it is revolting and returning to its “not of this world”, universalist roots. Even more disturbingly, it is taking the side of people and trends which threaten the existence of Western man (i.e, mass immigration, support for gay rights, does nothing to reverse the low birthrate of white Europeans).

    This would be like during Rome’s darkest days during the second Punic war, Roman flamines (priests) exhorting their fellow Romans to accept Hannibal and his army as their savior since Jupiter and the other Gods will it.

    So IMO opinion it’s very difficult to be loyal to a religion that stopped being loyal to us and expects us to assent to the obliteration of our identity.

    • Agree: German_reader
    • Replies: @AaronB
  240. Corvinus says:
    @CanSpeccy

    “True, Islam combines both state and religious authority in one body, which is why admission of Muslims to the West will likely destroy Western civilization, such as remains of it.”

    First, the number of Muslim Americans in the United States on the whole have not distinctly contributed to the destruction of my nation. Second, most white people in the States are other than concerned with “Western Civilization”. Your fixation is duly noted.

    “Muslim migrants to the West are settlers and colonists intent on domination and ethnic cleansing.”

    You are entitled to your opinion.

    “Puritanism was a transient Christian heresy long gone from the world.”

    Regardless if it has gone by the wayside, the society of the Puritans clearly demonstrated their knack of external control, which refutes your contention.

    “Why not read the Origin of Political Order, by Francis Fukuyama. Then you might not be quite so aggressively ignorant on the role of religion in society.”

    Strawman. Of course throughout history, the role of religion has an enormous impact on society. But you are making the case that there ought to be ONE dominant religion that ALL people adhere to. Moreover, there are those on the Alt Right who are of the mindset that there ought not be freedom of religion, which directly counters the intention of the Founding Fathers. Vox Day says…

    “Religious freedom is a bogus and ill-considered pseudoright. In practice, it has been turned into a weapon that is almost solely used against Christianity across the West, and therefore it has to be abandoned. It has always been a charade anyhow; any religious belief or practice that challenges the state is always going to be banned no matter how sincerely held it may be. No one is about to let Aztecs start mass sacrificing to the sun or permit Druids to burn people in wicker baskets, no matter how historically legitimate their religious traditions are.”

    Do you honestly believe that the majority of white Americans who embrace a faith will demand that this key component of the First Amendment be abolished?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  241. Agent76 says:

    Mar 19, 2013 Pope Francis and the Dirty War

    Professor Michel Chossudovsky of the Centre for Research on Globalization are pointing out, Bergoglio’s past points to his likely involvement in crimes against humanity. This is the GRTV Feature Interview with your host James Corbett and our special guest Professor Michel Chossudovsky.

    Roman Catholicism vs. Biblical Christianity What Are the Key Differences? By Dr. Paul M. Elliott

    http://www.teachingtheword.org/apps/articles/web/articleid/64854/columnid/5444/default.asp

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  242. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Corvinus

    Muslims now account for over 12% of the population of London and clearly include many of a settler mentality.

  243. Corvinus says:
    @CanSpeccy

    “Fact: Christianity produced the greatest civilization the World has known”

    This statement is actually an opinion.

    “The god of the Jews is a cruel, sadistic, tyrant, whose name the Jewish people feared to speak; he is an ignoramus, unable to distinguish between leprosy and mildew on a damp wall (Leviticus 14); and he is an irredeemable racist, sexist, homophobe, xenophobe, and an imperialist who commands the Jewish people to rule over the nations of the Earth.”

    That is called blasphemy.

    “The God of the Christians is an entirely different personality, one who loves all of mankind and is to be addressed as a child speaks with a loving father. The Jewish Holy Scripture is included in the Christian Bible to provide context for the life of Jesus. [It has also served to provide Christian nations justification to engage, like the Jewish state, in criminal wars of aggression, genocide and conquest.]”

    How is a mortal able to have the power to compare Gods?

    “I suggest Fred should be looking about him for signs of Christian push back.”

    So do expect another Crusade to take place? Will YOU lead it directly or will you be an armchair warrior?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  244. Qasim says:
    @dfordoom

    The future will be a struggle to the death between Islam and the death cult of liberalism. My money’s on Islam.

    Mine too, I think. But I am Muslim, so I worry I might be biased.

    But one could argue that competing ideologies/religions are just playing a giant game of rock/paper/scissors. And that liberalism/secularism/egalitarianism is the scissors, and that all religions are paper that can’t resist getting cut. Nietzsche believed that liberalism is just the inherent pacifism and concern for the weak in Christianity taken to its logical conclusion, and the way that liberalism has formed, grown, and co-opted Christian civilization lends credence to his view.

    The only religion that seems to have the ability to play the rock in this scenario is Islam. How does it manage this? Perhaps, as Mr. Reed so kindly states, it is because it is “fanatical and primitive”. Islam is perhaps the only religion that unequivocally sanctifies righteous violence against one’s enemies, regardless of their current weakness. Christendom has repeatedly allowed fatally subversive ideologies to germinate and flourish under its protection (atheism, Jewish ethnic activism, feminism, relativism). Islam views such things as baby Tyrannosaurus Rexes that need to be dealt with before they grow up and start biting everyone’s heads off.

    If Christianity is to revive and play a positive role it’s going to have to get seriously medieval.

    I agree, but a “Turn the other cheek” religion can easily become more pacifist. But can it become more harsh and violent? I have my doubts.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  245. AaronB says:
    @KenH

    Well, modern Christianity is hardly “otherworldly” – and, in fact, its influence and prestige declined the more it “modernized”. Rather the opposite of Fred’s thesis. People long for a connection to the “other world”, and the more Christianity became just another liberal institution, the more irrelevant it became.

    You are right that Europeans adapted Christianity to their needs, especially after 1450. But the anti-Christian civilization Europeans created after 1450 inevitably developed into our current predicament – with the loss of a spiritual connection, life lost its savor, became meaningless, and we have turned against ourselves.

    Materialism, it turns out, can make you strong, for a few centuries – but then it pulls the rug out from under you.

    In my experience, people who are unduly enamored of the post-1450 civilization of Europe – as Fred is here – do not like to hear that Europe’s material magnificence and power is an inevitable condition of its catastrophic decline, and Europe cannot be healthy without abandoning the materialism that was the condition for its spectacular rise. People who do not see this, find themselves pursuing dead ends and beating dead horses (“Make America Great Again”)

    I wouldn’t recommend you be loyal to any modern Christian church or institution, because as you say, they are all thoroughly corrupt. True spirituality would restore meaning to life and take away any motive for self-hate. It is the cure, and ultimately, our destiny. Self-destruction is necessarily time-limited, one way or another.

  246. Vires says:
    @Veranon

    Better make sure your links work before sharing them next time, if you really want to put Fred to shame, that is.

    Islamic contributions to the West, much to Fred’s – the true voice of reason – and other brutes embarrassment:

    https://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwjT_vzyy8_TAhXJZVAKHYx1ChYQFgglMAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lssu.edu%2Ffaculty%2Fjswedene%2FFULBRIGHT_FILES%2FIslamic%2520Contributions%2520to%2520the%2520West.doc&usg=AFQjCNEKV4vtAnB7yLruKW8H0gQztGC2_A&cad=rja

    • Replies: @Avery
  247. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Corvinus

    “Fact: Christianity produced the greatest civilization the World has known”

    This statement is actually an opinion.

    Of course. My opinion and Fred’s, and an opinion Fred amply justifies. Perhaps you didn’t read the article.

    That is called blasphemy.

    It`s also called free speech.

    How is a mortal able to have the power to compare Gods?

    A mortal possesses an organ called a brain — or anyhow some do.

    “I suggest Fred should be looking about him for signs of Christian push back.”

    So do expect another Crusade to take place? Will YOU lead it directly or will you be an armchair warrior?

    Oh God, still into ALL CAPS. Just try to speak calmly, and allow others to decide whether what you say is important or not.

    As for signs of Christian push back, it has taken the form of nationalism, for one thing. So far, that’s resulted in Brexit, Trump and Le Pen in the French Presidential run-off election.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    , @Corvinus
  248. Avery says:
    @Vires

    {…Islamic contributions to the West,}

    Yeah, sure.
    So said who?

    Let’s see:
    [Islamic Contributions to the West
    Rachida El Diwani
    Professor of Comparative Literature
    Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
    Fulbright Visiting Specialist, Oct 22 – Nov 12, 2005
    Lake Superior State University
    Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783]

    What the heck is a ‘Professor of Comparative Literature’?
    Not a Prof of history, or anthropology, or any other hard sciences.
    A Prof (?) of Literature: what a joke.
    A Ph.D. in Basketweaving would be more credible.
    And of course Egypt is one of most scientifically, economically, and culturally advanced countries in the world.

    btw: Egypt was actually pretty advanced in its time with its indigenous Coptic population. That is until Muslim Arab nomads invaded and wrecked the place. That was the Islamic contribution.

    And of course because of the high contributions of Islam to the West (sic), there is a constant stream of people from the backwards West desperately trying to get into one of the highly advanced, prosperous, peaceful Muslim countries.

  249. @Wizard of Oz

    I am perhaps slightly less lapsed than you but I agree that theology has moved on from the Bronze Age and spare a Protestant or two, senior Anglicans are mostly up to date.

    It seems that Creation (if there was such an “event”) will always be a Mystery. Everything we know about Jesus may be a telling of the story as it should have been, not as it was but he still said the right things. And there is one humanity.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  250. Seraphim says:
    @Agent76

    The key difference is that there is no such thing as “Biblical Christianity”. There is only the Church and the anti-Church (called Protestantism).

  251. sowhat says:
    @Clearpoint

    I agree, Clearpoint, that Christianity is far from dead and will outlive The West. We may live as lights on hillsides…ever-darkening hillsides. I’ve often wondered how my lot was to live among the Capitalists but, it could be a lot worse and is a lot worse, elsewhere. As I grow older, it’s much easier to see the slide of mankind. “It is not in man to direct his own ways.” – sounds foreign to a worldly person. Christianity- the Promise, The Gift of Eternal Life is not to be taken lightly and CANNOT be taken from anyone who has accepted the free Gift. When Christianity leaves this earth, all of hell breaks loose. We’re just passing through.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  252. Tl;dr “What if a awovedly secular Brit will try to pass a judgement over something he is pretty much ignorant of?” + “Noticing a destinction and peculiarities of interconnectivity of Culture and Religion is Fur Loosers – Claims an Ignoramus”.

    One thing Derb gets right (by accident, hardly by knowledge). He minces words, though:

    The future? Christianity seems to be dying out. A resurgence is hard to imagine. It simply isn’t suited to the modern world. The Old Testament in particular is ugly and immoral and its magical events I suspect are too much for the modern mind

    [...]

    But Christendom was a hell of a show while it lasted.

    What a parochial Western-centric and utterly arrogant world-view! Why not to spell it out, finally?

    Christian God is an enemy of early 21st century Western civilization.

    Do not confuse your own particular culture at a particular point in history with “Humanity” in general. The conflict between you and God comes entirely from your cultural standards and the ideas you were brought up to believe in.

    The consequence is that Christians should fight against present-day Western civilization and seek to change it. Christians should absolutely NOT see themselves as part of Western civilization, but rather as a sort of resistance movement that exists within it. They live inside an anti-Christian culture and it’s long past time they should acted like it.

    All this talk about “White Christians” beseiged from all sides by degenerates in the West is a lie. They are not really Christian in the first place. They are neo-Pagans who have their own personal Jesus since the times of the so-called Renaissance. There is virtually nothing about the Christian paradigm that is dominant in our day, except perhaps for an empty shell, used as a badge of group-identification but largely emptied of content. What is “Christian” about the self-absorbed, competitive, individualistic, capitalist culture of the present-day West, obsessed with instant gratification, shopping, sex, and celebrity gossip? The fact that some people wave around crosses to justify rooting for some political team over some other team, while both teams preach the gospel of “screw thy neighbor”?

    A lot of Christians are deluding themselves into thinking that they live in a “Christian nation” or that Western culture is in some way Christian culture, but they are dead wrong. In the present-day West Christianity, as a set of values, is facing the greatest enemy assault since the days of pagan Rome. It is an assault driven by the forces of consumer culture, selfishness, promiscuity, and capitalism.

    So while self-identified Christians may be on top, they are presiding over a culture increasingly devoid of any semblance of Christian values. And they don’t seem to realize this.

    Besides – Christianity is not a hive-mind, which secularists like Derb imply. Neither is the colour of one’s skin is important for a Christian.

  253. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Qasim

    Christendom has repeatedly allowed fatally subversive ideologies to germinate and flourish under its protection (atheism, Jewish ethnic activism, feminism, relativism). Islam views such things as baby Tyrannosaurus Rexes that need to be dealt with before they grow up and start biting everyone’s heads off.

    Christianity has been a tolerant religion. And a tolerant religion inevitably becomes a dead religion.

  254. dfordoom says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    As for signs of Christian push back, it has taken the form of nationalism, for one thing. So far, that’s resulted in Brexit, Trump and Le Pen in the French Presidential run-off election.

    Actually the revival of European nationalism has been an entirely secular phenomenon. The European nationalists are trying to save the corrupt, stinking, rotting carcase of liberalism. They want to make Europe a safe rainbow space in which homosexuals can freely prey on the young, in which women can slaughter their unborn offspring, in which cultural and moral degeneracy can continue to thrive. They want to make Europe safe for Gay Pride marches, not for Christianity.

    That’s why the European nationalists have failed so far and will continue to fail. They don’t stand for anything positive. They are anti-Christian.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @KenH
  255. bjondo says:

    All religions seem to have very positive contributions to mankind. A few negative.

    The only one that is 100% negative is Judaism. And many say it is not a religion.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  256. @Philip Owen

    Nicely said. But how persuade others of our “one humanity”?

    We ought to humbly rejoice in so much good fortune from Reformation, through Scientific, Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions, leading to an Enlightenment with a still Jesus related base that was all protected by the sea. (Thank God that the Vikings who hadn’t been completely defanged by Christianity were interested in Eadtern Europe).

    I think Greg Clark in his “A Farewell to Alms etc” missed the importance of the beauty of the KJV Bible and its predecessors from which it took so much being read to families every week. What an incentive to literacy as well as morality it must have been (not least compared to being lectured at by a celibate priest who was the only one who could read the Latin text).

    I am reminded of quizzing a particle physicist friend whom I had just been querying about time coming into existence at the Big Bang about his takung Communion at the service we had both attended (and I was given the honour of reading the Intercessions). “Oh I don’t think it’s got anything to do with the Big Bang” he said, “It’s just that the 1662 Bokk of Common Prayer was such a marvellous work!”.**

    Another old friend to whom I quoted this said “Oh you mean the 1549 Cranmer prayer book?”. I like to think my real time response was “Actually the 1551 revision….”.

    Funny lot aren’t we? A Jewish scientist couple to whom I described myself as an Anglican atheist described themselves as “Jewish atheists” but then one (only) of them got a bit funny about the other being served pork….

  257. @bjondo

    Stop and think. What does it say about you that you can’t recall what some Hindu sectarians have been doing to Muslims and their mosques in India. “Oh that’s just a sect” do I hear you say? But Judaism has many many sects.

  258. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @dfordoom

    Actually the revival of European nationalism has been an entirely secular phenomenon.

    Among the leadership, people like Farage, you may be largely correct. But the nationalist movement in the UK, for example, would have made much greater strides under just about anyone other than the leaders it had. In fact, I believe it most probable that the nationalist leadership in Britain, both BNP and UKIP, has been controlled opposition (Hence the lunatic meltdown of Nick Griffin during the 2010 election campaign, during which he accused his campaign manager of attempting to murder him, appeared in party political TV broadcast with a jar of Marmite — resulting in a threat of legal action by Unilever, and organized the bloodying of a Times reporter during an election rally; and the almost equally bizarre antics of Farage during the last UK election, promising, for example, more Commonwealth immigration, i.e., more Muslim Pakis, precisely what the nationalists don’t want).

    Mostly, the British nationalists are over 40′s, whereas the youth of the nation, like that of the rest of Europe, has been well brainwashed in the religion of Political Correctness. I believe that among that older nationalist group there are many who would like to see an end to the purely secular society. Certainly the revival of the Orthodox Church in Russia seems to have done nothing to dampen enthusiasm among Russians for Putinist nationalism. Further, it almost certainly accounts for the high regard in which Putin is held by many people in Europe.

  259. Seraphim says:
    @sowhat

    ‘Christianity’ may disappear. But not the Church. She is eternal and indestructible. The Lord promised to Peter:
    “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it”.

  260. ScizzaMan says:
    @Mulegino1

    King Kamahameha?

    I always wondered what happened to that lost 13th tribe!

  261. KenH says:
    @dfordoom

    The European nationalists are trying to save the corrupt, stinking, rotting carcase of liberalism.

    Q: What are the Christian churches doing to weaken and defeat the “corrupt, stinking, rotting carcass of liberalism?
    A: Next to nothing. In fact, the belief systems of the two have fused in some cases. Both are anti-racist and both support multiculturalism, albeit for slightly different reasons Both revere the Jewish people. Both are largely indifferent to, or support, the growing influence of Islam in the West (after all, Jesus is tolerant of Muslim intolerance and violence, but doesn’t like white racists and ethno-nationalists).

    The church seems to be much more hostile to ethnic and racial nationalists than they are liberals and liberalism.

    Despite their faults, at least the European nationalists recognize the danger that mass third world immigration and the rise of Islam poses to the future of Western Europe. The nationalists will at least give Europe a chance to survive, better than what they have now. They will give Christianity a chance to survive which they won’t have when Islam becomes dominant.

    If we leave the matter up to the current incarnation of always be meek and turn the other cheek Christianity then Europe will be praying towards Mecca five times a day by 2050 and likely before.

    • Agree: CanSpeccy, German_reader
  262. DanFromCT says:

    Fred cites several works but apparently borrowed without attribution that contrast between the high achievements of Christendom and its fashionable enemies from David Bentley Hart’s Atheist Delusions. Fred feels safe doing this because his argument is as predictable as night follows day in suggesting Christianity is a spent force supplanted by Judaism. If there’s a spent force in view it’s Fred, who I understand had been a Marine, but (paraphrasing Jefferson’s observation as a Hamilton rode by on a horse) no warrior could possibly lose so much of his manhood that he’d become a lickspittle waterboy for Israel’s fifth column.

    • Agree: utu
  263. Corvinus says:
    @CanSpeccy

    “Oh God, still into ALL CAPS. Just try to speak calmly, and allow others to decide whether what you say is important or not.”

    I’m not the one hyperventilating here by claiming how Islam is an “evil” religion compared to Christianity. The questions still stand–So do expect another Crusade to take place? Will YOU lead it directly or will you be an armchair warrior?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  264. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Corvinus

    I’m not the one hyperventilating here by claiming how Islam is an “evil” religion compared to Christianity.

    Neither am I. Why don’t you go bug someone else.

  265. Corvinus says:
    @KenH

    “The nationalists will at least give Europe a chance to survive, better than what they have now. They will give Christianity a chance to survive which they won’t have when Islam becomes dominant.”

    So what are you and your buddy CanSpeccy prepared to do to ensure that Islam does not become dominant? Are you willing to put your life on the line rather than meekly submit?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  266. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Corvinus

    So what are you and your buddy CanSpeccy

    As a law-abiding citizen I do what the existing political process allows. Suggesting, for example, that people who oppose the Islamification of Europe vote for anti-mass Muslim immigration political candidates, including Trump (perhaps), the British Brexiteers (most of whom are among the 70% of Britons who have shown in polls over the years that they strongly oppose mass immigration of anyone, Muslim or otherwise, to Britain) and Le Pen.

    But what about you Corvy, what are you doing about it? Or do you think that the Islamification of Europe is a good thing?

    • Agree: KenH
    • Replies: @Corvinus
  267. Logan says:
    @JerseyJeffersonian

    “And the Arabic texts were overwhelmingly themselves translations from Greek texts, some of which originated in Pre-Christian times, but had been cherished and preserved by, uh, Christians. ”

    The texts in question were all pre-Christian. They had not been cherished and preserved by Christians, which is why the Christians were so happy to get even translations of them from the Muslims.

    The Renaissance was also kicked off by Greek refugees from the fall of Constantinople.

    Part of the problem here is people conflating different eras. The Dark Ages in Europe were when Islam was at its height intellectually. Islam then, as some here have noted, pretty much rejected intellectual advancement at about the same time as Christendom largely embraced it.

    Not a wise move, geopolitically speaking.

    • Replies: @Anon
  268. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Logan

    The texts in question were all pre-Christian. They had not been cherished and preserved by Christians, which is why the Christians were so happy to get even translations of them from the Muslims.

    All? Euclid and Aristotle, yes. Philoponus, no. If they had not been preserved by Christians, where did they come from?

    The Renaissance was also kicked off by Greek refugees from the fall of Constantinople

    Really? What, in your view, constituted the Renaissance? And what would these Greeks have been, Muslim? Surely they couldn’t be Christians, because then they would be ignoramuses who neither cherished, nor preserved, nor studied knowledge of any kind.

    • Replies: @geokat62
    , @Logan
  269. KenH says:
    @KenH

    Marine LaPen promises to repeal gay marriage if elected. So much for the claim that European nationalists are libertine or moral reprobates.

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/05/02/le-pen-repeal-gay-marriage-elected/

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  270. geokat62 says:
    @Anon

    The Renaissance was also kicked off by Greek refugees from the fall of Constantinople

    Really?

    Really.

    [MORE]

    Sailing From Byzantium by Colin Wells

    Book Review by Tobias

    One cannot avoid the fact that Rome’s shadow has been cast over the ages, spreading knowledge, wisdom, technology etc over centuries and through many peoples of the world, to have a resounding influence on today’s world. How has this influence survived so long, when it is a commonly held thought that Rome ended in the 5th century A.D., and that this “fall” was the end to any Roman influence in the world? The answer is that Rome did not fall, it merely changed location. The small ancient Greek colony of Byzantium was chosen as the site of Nova Roma, Constantinople. It is this side of history, that of the “Byzantine” Romans, that has so often been overlooked. It is not generally known how much the modern world owes to this civilisation, which has until recently, been known as more of a historical footnote than a major influence on the world.

    Interest in Byzantium has, however, been piqued in the last century and onwards. It is here, the new desire for information on the Byzantines, that Colin Wells’ “Sailing from Byzantium: How a lost Empire shaped the world” steps in to help fill the vacuum in our history around the Byzantines and their role in history.

    “Sailing from Byzantium: How a lost empire shaped the world”, is a title that indicates the depth of the work in this book. The initial parts of the book provide the reader with the details of the major characters – who feature not only in the book, but in history which are significant in conjunction with the Byzantines and their effect on the world through the ages. Along with a detailed timeline of the events in the book, the reader is supplied with a series of maps, so as to give an idea on the extent and context of the Byzantine world and its neighbours. All of this information, pregnant with detail, has been supplied before the immense story of the Byzantines has even begun providing the reader with a pleasant feeling of anticipation of what lies ahead. The context of Byzantium established we launch into the annals of the Byzantines.

    The history itself is split into three parts; juxtaposing Byzantium with the civilisations it would effect and shape. Part I focuses on Byzantium and the West; referring to Byzantine relations and influence with the city states of Italy which would later be the bright lights of learning in the Renaissance. The reader gains significant insight into the fall of the Western Roman Empire, later Byzantine control of the west and lasting Byzantine influence and remnants in the west, such as great works of art, architecture etc. As is said in the book, “Travel to Italy, you’ll find that Byzantium is never more than a stone’s throw away.”

    Part II focuses on what would appear to be two diametrically opposed civilisations; that of the Byzantines and the Islamic World. We are presented with a detailed picture of Muhammad’s journeys, the rise of the then new religion of Islam and it’s steady rise to prominence, the sudden outward expansion of Islam and the inevitable clashes with the Byzantines and the west, it’s height of power under it’s greatest rulers of the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates and the “golden age of Islamic Learning” attained through their exposure to and translation of Greek texts, which would shape the world of Islam for years to come.

    Part III shows the effect of Byzantium on the rising Slavic world. The reader learns of the sudden appearance of warlike peoples on the Byzantine doorstep and the urgent missions to convert these peoples to Christianity. We relive the dominance of Symeon the Great of Bulgaria, the greater dominance of a series of Byzantine soldier-Emperors, and the amazing conversion of the rising power of the Rus (starting with Kiev) to Christianity, ultimately shaping the Russian peoples. The book shows how these people were educated in Byzantine knowledge, culture, language and architecture. The audience can see clearly how Russia today was shaped by Byzantium. This part ends in an epilogue concerning “The Last Byzantine”; an amazing and moving story.

    With all these mammoth parts read, the audience comes away with a staggering experience; one unfamiliar with the profound effect of the Byzantines via these different peoples will now have a more clear picture on exactly how much of the world was shaped by the Byzantines. One who knows of this influence will no doubt have learnt something new, regardless.

    “Sailing from Byzantium: How a lost empire shaped the world” is a tremendous anthology of how the remains of one of the greatest empires the world has ever known influenced the shape of the world. Colin Wells has provided a fascinating historical story, featuring famous and infamous personas, great military and religious campaigns and courageous accounts of the many missionaries and other learned people who extended the retained and built-up knowledge of the Romans and Greeks to the Western peoples in Italy, the Arabic peoples in the middle east and the Slavic peoples to the far north of Byzantium.

    We can thank Byzantium for the great Renaissance that followed medieval times, the enlightenment of learning for the Islamic peoples and quite a large amount of modern Russia’s culture, architecture and history. This book is fit to take its place in the upper echelons of literature; a marvellous read for anyone interested in the history of civilisation, Byzantium or the world. Colin Wells has put together a masterpiece entailing the journey of knowledge through the medium of Byzantium.

    http://www.unrv.com/book-review/sailing-from-byzantium.php

  271. Seraphim says:
    @KenH

    White racists and ethno-nationalists’s consistently anti-Church and anti-Christian stance shows that they are the dupes of those against whom they pretend to fight. A fifth column.

    • Agree: utu
  272. dfordoom says: • Website
    @KenH

    Q: What are the Christian churches doing to weaken and defeat the “corrupt, stinking, rotting carcass of liberalism?
    A: Next to nothing. In fact, the belief systems of the two have fused in some cases.

    I agree completely. Christianity as it exists today, for the most part, is not even a religion any more. It’s a more sentimental more maudlin more nauseating variation on liberalism. The religious concepts have been largely removed in case they prove to be racist, sexist, islamophobic, anti-semitic or homophobic.

    Christianity started to die when it became a religion for women and homosexuals.

    The only Christianity that would be of any use to us at all at this point would be a Christianity purged of all post-Reformation post-Enlightenment heresies. The Christianity of the 12th century AD, not the 21st century. That’s the kind of Christianity we need to combat liberalism.
    That’s not likely to happen.

    If we leave the matter up to the current incarnation of always be meek and turn the other cheek Christianity then Europe will be praying towards Mecca five times a day by 2050 and likely before.

    Better Islamic than liberal. Liberalism is the more dangerous enemy.

    • Replies: @Lyttenburgh
    , @Lyttenburgh
  273. dfordoom says: • Website
    @KenH

    Marine LaPen promises to repeal gay marriage if elected.

    That’s good news. You can’t save European civilisation by embracing moral degeneracy.

  274. @dfordoom

    I agree completely. Christianity as it exists today, for the most part, is not even a religion any more.

    First of all – Christianity is not a hive-mind.

    Second – are you a Christian yourself, you, anonymous voice from the Web? Do you believe in the Trinity who is Three-in-One, in the Original Sin, and the reality of Heaven and Hell? Do you espouse all the Christian virtues and condemn the Seven Deadly Sins? Do you? DO? YOU?

    And the lest of you, oh, brave anonymouse commenters – are you Christian? If not – who are you to pass the judgement?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  275. @dfordoom

    It’s a more sentimental more maudlin more nauseating variation on liberalism.

    I’m sorry, you are talking about something your very own… with your own. Not me!

    Christianity started to die when it became a religion for women and homosexuals.

    Mein fuhrer, when did it happen?! I have no idea when!!

    The only Christianity that would be of any use to us at all at this point

    1) Define “us”
    2) Define “use”
    3) Define “this point [at]”

    Becuase something tells me, you are not a Christian.

    The Christianity of the 12th century AD, not the 21st century. That’s the kind of Christianity we need to combat liberalism.
    That’s not likely to happen.

    What is not likely to happen is for you, Anonymous by whatever Name, is to convert to the Orthodox Church.

  276. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Lyttenburgh

    Do you believe in the Trinity who is Three-in-One, in the Original Sin …

    Did Jesus?

    • Agree: German_reader
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    , @Lyttenburgh
  277. Corvinus says:
    @CanSpeccy

    “As a law-abiding citizen I do what the existing political process allows. Suggesting, for example, that people who oppose the Islamification of Europe vote for anti-mass Muslim immigration political candidates, including Trump (perhaps), the British Brexiteers (most of whom are among the 70% of Britons who have shown in polls over the years that they strongly oppose mass immigration of anyone, Muslim or otherwise, to Britain) and Le Pen.”

    Great to know that you oppose those individuals who employ violence to force Muslims out of these nations.

    “But what about you Corvy, what are you doing about it?”

    I live in the States. And I embrace all of the my neighbors. Little Muhammad down the street isn’t going to firebomb my house.

    “Or do you think that the Islamification of Europe is a good thing?”

    I’m not into conspiracy theories.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  278. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Corvinus

    I’m not into conspiracy theories.

    Forget the childish name-calling, tell us how you explain these statements by Mr. Malik, former Justice Minister in the UK Government of Tony Bliar:

    “In 1997 we got our first Muslim MP
    In 2001 we had two Muslim MPs
    In 2005 we had four Muslim MPs
    In 2009/10 we’ll have 8 Muslim MPs
    In 2014 we’ll have 14 Muslim MPs

    At this rate the whole Parliament will be Muslim. ….”

    Source

    And how do you dispose of this comment by the chairman and head spokesman of the Islamic Cultural Centre, better known as Riga Mosque:

    Islam will replace Christianity in Europe just as Christianity replaced Paganism centuries ago, and it will conquer by womb rather than the sword to make Latvia an Islamic State.

    So I ask again:

    “do you think that the Islamification of Europe is a good thing?”

    • Replies: @Seraphim
    , @Corvinus
  279. Logan says:
    @Anon

    You’re jumping to conclusions about my opinions.

    Of course the Greeks from Constantinople were Christians. I mentioned them because I was objecting to the notion that the Renaissance was kicked off by borrowing from Islam. Most of the borrowing in question took place a couple of centuries before the Renaissance.

    Also, I realize I didn’t word my comment well in one regard. When I referred to “Christians” not preserving the ancient texts, I was referring to western or Latin Christians who had lost most of them. You are entirely right that the Muslims got their copies from the Greek, Syriac and Coptic Christians.

    My primary points was that Islam did go through a period where it was among the brightest intellectual stars in the sky. But it turned its back on that almost a millenium ago. Seems to me that’s at least as big a criticism than inaccurate claims that Islam never produced any intellectual product at all. And it has the big advantage of being entirely true.

  280. Seraphim says:
    @CanSpeccy

    This is the silly question of the clever by half. How could He not believe when He was one of the Trinity?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  281. Seraphim says:
    @CanSpeccy

    @“do you think that the Islamification of Europe is a good thing?”

    No, it is not a good thing at all. Perhaps, but only marginally, not worse that a drugged LGBT Antifa one (who love their future masters anyway).

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @Avery
  282. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Seraphim

    How could He [Jesus] not believe when He was one of the Trinity?

    Jesus never, according to the gospels, referred to himself as God. However, as recorded in 78 places in the gospels, He did refer to himself as “the son of [a] man.” So there’s nothing silly about the question of whether Jesus believed himself to be one of the Trinity. And in fact the Trinity is never mentioned in the Bible, so it seems most unlikely that Jesus considered himself to be one of the Trinity.

    Likewise, Jesus is not recorded to have said anything that can be construed as belief in Original Sin.

    So, no, nothing silly about my question.

    In fact, Christianity has very little to do with the teachings of Jesus the Jew, a person about whom we know very little. Jesus never wrote anything and His disciples were illiterates and never wrote anything, so all we know of Jesus is what was written long after His death by, we know not whom, with we know not what axes to grind.

    In fact, Christianity is a largely a Pauline invention with modifications to suit the needs of the Empire.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
    , @Lyttenburgh
  283. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Seraphim

    Re: Islamification of Europe

    Agree it is not a good thing. Not sure what LGBT Antifa is, but it sounds bad, although I suspect that along with Islamification of Europe it is part and parcel of a program to destroy the national coherence, moral strength, and identities of the European peoples thereby clearing the way for the New World Ordure under which we will be ruled by an international oligarchy of billionaires who want a mongrelized, demoralized and degraded helot mass to use, abuse, or exterminate as they see fit.

  284. damn, I never thought fred is religious :P TIL.

  285. Avery says:
    @Seraphim

    {No, it is not a good thing at all. Perhaps, but only marginally, not worse that a drugged LGBT Antifa one (who love their future masters anyway).}

    ‘but only marginally’.

    Nonsense: LGBT has a finite supply of ‘recruits’.
    Islam has a practically unlimited supply.

    Anyone who is not Muslim can be converted – either on pain of death or by persuasion – to become Muslim. And that Muslim will work to convert other non-Muslims, and that Muslim will work to convert…….ad infinitum.

    There is a small percentage of non-LGBT who are ‘confused’ that LGBT can potentially convert, but it is insignificant. Natural LGBT cohort is no more than 2%-3% for males, and maybe 5% for females. And I am not aware of _any_ LGBT advocates who will cut your throat if you do not ‘convert’: Islamists will.

  286. Seraphim says:
    @CanSpeccy

    @Christianity is a largely a Pauline invention

    Now, that’s really silly.

    @Jesus never, according to the gospels, referred to himself as God

    That’s even more silly because it’s not true. You would not have said that if you had ever read the Gospels.
    “And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. 34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? 37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him” (John, 10:23-38).

    @Christianity has very little to do with the teachings of Jesus the Jew

    That’s true. We indeed know next to nothing about Jesus ‘the Jew’. Jesus ‘the Jew’ is a… Jewish invention.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  287. @CanSpeccy

    Did Jesus?

    Seeing as he was an integral part of the Trinity (hint: the Son) there are extreamly good chances of this.

  288. @CanSpeccy

    Jesus never, according to the gospels, referred to himself as God.

    Question – are you Sola Scriptura Heretic?

    And in fact the Trinity is never mentioned in the Bible

    Of course, there is no verse that says “God is One in Three” or “God is a Trinity.” This is evident and true, but it proves nothing. There are many words and phrases that Christians use but are nevertheless not found in the Bible. For example, the word “Bible” is not found in the Bible.

    Do you even know how Bible came into existence?

    As for the quotes,

    All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).

    May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all (2 Corinthians 13:14).

    To God’s elect…who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood (1 Peter 1:1-2).

    There are more. Much more. As for the Jesus:

    I and the Father are one

    - John 10:30

    Likewise, Jesus is not recorded to have said anything that can be construed as belief in Original Sin.

    That depends on the interpretation of what the Original Sin is. There are slight differences about it between, say, Catholics and the Orthodox (the later dismiss St. Augustin of Hippo’s notions and theories).

    As for the matter at hand – Romans 3:23 and Romans 5:12, 1 John iii. 8. Or are you denying that the Apostles were truly God-inspired?

    In fact, Christianity has very little to do with the teachings of Jesus the Jew, a person about whom we know very little

    “Jesus the Jew”? Really? Azokhen vey!

    Jesus never wrote anything

    Socrates didn’t wrote down anything as well. So?

    In fact, Christianity is a largely a Pauline invention with modifications to suit the needs of the Empire.

    Are you a Christian? Or are you one of those conspiracy theory minded Gnostics?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @Veritatis
  289. woodNfish says:

    before Protestantism cast its drab cloak of half of the faith

    Our modern world would not exist without the Protestant entry into our past. Look at Catholicism today and you see a religion that is philosophically almost as backward as islam. Catholicism fought against scientific advancement throughout its history. The only thing we can thank it for on that point is for preserving the Western libraries for us.

  290. woodNfish says:

    The only reason islam ever held any scientific knowledge is because the Roman Empire moved east to Constantinople. Westerners were able to bring that knowledge back to the West hundreds of years later after the grip on knowledge by the Catholic Church was broken and the Renaissance began. The raghead savages have never created anything by themselves that didn’t have a Western influence in it.

  291. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Seraphim

    Jesus ‘the Jew’ is a… Jewish invention.

    LOL

  292. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Lyttenburgh

    Are you a Christian? Or are you one of those conspiracy theory minded Gnostics?

    Not being a Christian surely does not, as your question implies, mean being a “conspiracy theory-minded gnostic”, whatever that may be.

    As for being a Christian, I am not since I don’t believe in salvation by faith or that my rotting corpse could in some way be resurrected provided only that, in this life, I adopt the right beliefs (And can one really adopt beliefs, or is a belief something one has whether one wants it or not?).

    However, I don’t see religious beliefs as belonging in either the true or the false category. I see religious beliefs belonging in either the socially useful or the socially harmful category. As such I absolutely support Christianity insofar as it promotes what I view to be a good society .

    The problem for Christianity as a socially constructive institution is that, viewed literally, the story upon which it is based is nonsensical to the modern mind. Thus, Christianity will remain of no real consequence unless radically reconfigured. The miracles (most anyway) have to go, the virgin birth has to go, the idea of life eternal through the resurrection of the body has to go, probably the Resurrection itself has to go.

    Tolstoy set about such a revision with his Gospel in Brief, but he was pretty much a crackpot in religious and social matters, so that didn’t turn out too well. What’s needed is a new account of the life of Jesus that retains what is most picturesque and moving in the gospel, but which eliminates the contradictions and (to the modern mind) impossibilities.

    Surely if the SJW’s can sell Black Lives Matter to more or less intelligent people, the Church can come up with a vastly more uplifting and beneficial message for all and sundry.

    • Agree: German_reader
    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Lyttenburgh
  293. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy

    I’m sure it’s very comforting to assume that your mind and “the modern mind” are one and the same, but it seems a questionable assumption.

    Surely if the SJW’s can sell Black Lives Matter to more or less intelligent people

    Perhaps there’s a connection between thinking oneself too intelligent to accept Christianity and being in fact silly enough to accept imbecility?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @Seraphim
  294. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Anon

    Perhaps there’s a connection between thinking oneself too intelligent to accept Christianity and being in fact silly enough to accept imbecility?

    Not bad for a put-down, Anon. But I was not referring to my own skepticism as much as that of the Western world at large. It is surely not a matter for dispute that, today, anyone who believes in miracles is considered either some kind of simple-minded dupe of a religious cult or a crackpot (I have a highly intelligent Christian friend who believes he can do miracles, but he is schizophrenic).

    Indeed, few members of the clergy seem to believe in miracles. In fact, I would say that the only rational Christians who do believe in miracles are the Christian Scientists, who take Jesus at his world and seek, through faith, to perform miracles. However, as any Christian Scientist with a broken leg is bound to admit, fixing a broken leg by faith is really, really difficult. Indeed, Jesus never fixed a a broken bone, and although he said it was possible, he never moved any mountains. So, to reiterate, under the present leadership, the continued decline of Christian faith in a scientific age is inevitable.

    I suppose one might try to bring about an end to the scientific age, but there’d almost certainly be some atheistic hold-outs who use their scientific expertise to conquer those of the unscientific faith. So I remain convinced that the Christian story needs to be reworked. There are, of course, many elements in the old story of great effectiveness that must be retained: the delightful myth of the birth in a stable (taken from older myths, obviously), and first reenacted in Church by that amazing Christian, Saint Francis; the wonderfully charismatic moments of Jesus’s ministry; the profound sayings; the parables; the love for the poor, the meek, the sick the lame; the the heart-breakingly sad death on a cross; and some of the more or less plausible cures by faith: the cure of hysterics and the possessed. There is more than enough for a profoundly effective religion. But when the church is headed by politicians like Pope Francis, Archbishop Welby and the like, it is headed for total irrelevance.

  295. Veritatis says:
    @Lyttenburgh

    A person who can write such wordy dissertations about “the institution of Christianity” and “the Pauline invention” is an atheist about whom we can safely say: “A man who does not believe in God will not then believe in nothing. He will believe anything.”

  296. Seraphim says:
    @Anon

    Thinking oneself too intelligent demonstrates a weakness of insight into one’s intellectual capacities, of reasoning abilities and an unwillingness to learn. It is the definition of imbecility: “an instance or point of weakness; feebleness; incapability”. They can’t see that they are imbeciles. People arrested at an infantile stage of intellectual development and social behavior. Unfortunately, this stage become consolidated and is incurable. The more that they refuse any treatment.

    • Replies: @Veritatis
    , @CanSpeccy
  297. Veritatis says:
    @Seraphim

    Seraphim, sometimes ignorance is bliss (and I speak for myself):

    http://magister.blogautore.espresso.repubblica.it/2017/05/03/i-massoni-tifano-per-bergoglio-ma-lui-li-vede-come-la-peste/

    In the part 1 link, I read for the second time in my life the name Chrétineau-Joly.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  298. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Seraphim

    God, if you represent the Christian church with your sneering contempt for anyone who questions the church’s ridiculous dogmas, dogmas that have nothing to do with anything that Jesus is reported to have said (except by Paul who claims to have spoken with Jesus in a hallucination — as has my schizophrenic friend), there really is no hope for Christianity.

    But to look on the bright side, it seems more than remotely possible, in fact it seems quite probably, that Veritas (such modesty in the choice of name), Seraphim (such presumption in the choice of name) and Anon (such gutlessness in the choice of name) are NWO trolls intent, like Fred, on trashing Christianity.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  299. Seraphim says:
    @jilles dykstra

    Old age does not necessarily bring wisdom. It is mostly the first stage in the regression to the ‘second childhood’. It is accompanied by a reduction of intellectual capacities, the more if it was helped by smoking to much pot. You read and seem to not understand what you read (if you indeed had read the Acts and not only the Baigent ‘Gospel’).

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  300. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Seraphim

    Interesting approach to Christian apologetics: to piss on those who raise questions about your ridiculous dogmas. Or perhaps you’d prefer simply to organize an auto da fé.

    You should pray for forgiveness for your arrogance and hope that the Lord Jesus does not come down in person to kick your ass.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  301. Veritatis says:

    At Unz it is better to question the argument and not the name.

    Veritatis is not the same as Veritas. That’s why they are two different words.

    Christianity is hope, you see, and it will always attract thoughtful people.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  302. Seraphim says:
    @Veritatis

    Ignorance might be sometimes bliss. Half-cooked ‘knowledge’ is a curse.

  303. Seraphim says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Of course you can’t see how ridiculous you are. It’s a symptom of the condition.

  304. Seraphim says:
    @CanSpeccy

    You piss against the wind. Do not wonder that some splash back on you.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  305. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Veritatis

    Christianity is hope, you see, and it will always attract thoughtful people.

    Throughout most of its history, the church did not attract people, thoughtful or otherwise, rather it commanded submission and punished those who resisted.

    As for thoughtful Christians, if they thought much about their religion, the Church was liable to judge them heretics and burn them.

    I suppose that is the mentality of all churches and most of those who speak for the church. Representing supreme power, the church attracts dogmatists, power seekers, and the arrogant. Hence Jesus’s dislike for the Chief Priest, the Scribes and Pharisees.

    • Replies: @Veritatis
    , @Lyttenburgh
  306. info says:

    Christianity rests on the supernatural. There can be no Christianity without it. What you end up with would be very much in line with an abomination.

    A corpse.

    Either Jesus truly rose from the dead or Christianity is entirely false.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
    , @CanSpeccy
  307. Veritatis says:

    Christianity is not just a series of ideas, it is a life.

    “Either Jesus truly rose from the dead or Christianity is entirely false.”

    You are correct. There’s a reason we speak in the present tense: He is risen.

  308. Seraphim says:
    @info

    Is it not what Saint Paul, the ‘inventor of Christianity’ said?

    “13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is worthless, and so is your faith. 15In that case, we are also exposed as false witnesses about God. For we have testified about God that He raised Christ from the dead, but He did not raise Him if in fact the dead are not raised .16For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins,18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. ” (1 Corinthians, 15:13-26)

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  309. Veritatis says:
    @CanSpeccy

    You are not clear in your terms and your ideas are not solid.

    Christianity and church are not the same, that is why they are different words. I would not put all world organized religion in the same basket (“all churches”), and when talking about Christianity would distinguish between Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox, it would help with the historic part. No Christian Church represents “supreme power” in this world. I have no idea which theocracy you might be referring to. Jesus Christ was quite clear in his teaching.

    For only the first 300 years, Christians were “commanded submission and punished” by the state. Those thoughtful people who chose to follow Christ had a price to pay, and did. In many parts of the world that is true today.

    As to the building of Christendom, many learned, bright men chose to enter the priesthood or become Christians. That is still true today, in our post-Christian reality, with men like Lubac, Von Balthasar, Piper, Ratzinger. Or C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Belloc or Oscar Wilde. The river baptisms were the choice of the temporal rulers, not that I blame them. The Church evangelized.

    Throughout history, the Catholic Church had a hard time retaining a certain independence from temporal rulers, with the Vatican invaded time and again. Look at the maps that show the growth and decline in territory of the Papal States. The Vatican exists by the grace of God, (and the Lateran Treaty) because, as one of your friends said: How many divisions does the Pope have? Ask the Russian Orthodox how the 20th Century went for them. Ask Christians in the Middle East or China today.

    And for my church, the Catholic Church, choose your Galileo example, but remember that her fruits have also been saints and saintly men and women, incredible beauty, fairer laws of universal application and a spirit of service that produced schools, universities, hospitals and charities. A spirit of service that remains unequaled in your secular institutions, and springs forth from the teachings of that Son of God you cite but do not know, Jesus Christ.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  310. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Seraphim

    Half-cooked ‘knowledge’ is a curse.

    Of course you can’t see how ridiculous you are.

    You piss against the wind.

    Are you a Christian or an anti-Christian troll. I am inclined to think the latter.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  311. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @info

    Christianity rests on the supernatural. There can be no Christianity without it. What you end up with would be very much in line with an abomination.

    A corpse.

    Either Jesus truly rose from the dead or Christianity is entirely false.

    So if Jesus did not rise from the dead, we can dismiss everything he said? Is that what you are saying?

    “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. ”

    Oh fuggedaboutit.

    “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, unto God that which is God’s”

    Fuggedabout that crap too.

    And forget about all that other stuff about forgiving one’s enemies, about the meek inheriting the earth — ideas the Church, with all its cardinals and bishops in the fine robes, never accepted anyway.

    You exemplify the fossilized and fatuous thinking that very few intelligent well-educated persons today can accept. That is why Christianity has virtually died in the West. You can either accept that Christianity must be reconstructed, or you will have to accept that Christendom has indeed reached the end of the road.

  312. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Seraphim

    So when I say that:

    Christianity is a largely a Pauline invention

    You say:

    Now, that’s really silly.

    Then you confirm what I say by quoting St. Paul as the author of the fundamental tenets of the Catholic Church.

    No wonder Christianity seems illogical to the non-believer. It is illogical, and is upheld by its advocates only by pointing in opposite directions at the same time.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  313. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Veritatis

    No Christian Church represents “supreme power” in this world.

    I thought God was supposed to be the “supreme power” in this world and that the Pope was his representative. But if you say so, I will acknowledge my error just as soon as you let me know why I am wrong either in considering God the “supreme power” in this world, or the Pope as God’s representative on Earth.

    Jesus Christ was quite clear in his teaching.

    Yes, except for the contradictions, and the fact that what we think we know of his teaching comes to us from authors whose identities we do not know and of whose interests we are unaware, and whose accounts of the life of Jesus were selected by mortal men from among many other often conflicting accounts.

    And for my church, … remember that her fruits have also been saints and saintly men and women, incredible beauty, fairer laws of universal application and a spirit of service that produced schools, universities, hospitals and charities.

    No one disputes that the Christian churches have been influential in many ways, some good, some bad. The question is whether the beneficial influence of the church can be maintained in the present age by politicians in palaces, people like Pope Francis, and Arcbishop Welby, their authority based upon an unbelievable narrative.

    As for

    the Son of God you cite but do not know, Jesus Christ

    do you, does the Roman Catholic Church in its colossal arrogance, really know him? Many, as you are aware, say no.

  314. Seraphim says:
    @CanSpeccy

    @Are you a Christian or an anti-Christian troll

    So much for your ‘logic’.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  315. Seraphim says:
    @CanSpeccy

    You do not think logically. Logic was for long eliminated from the curriculum of the schools you attended (if any after primary). The habit of thinking critically is lost on you.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  316. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Seraphim

    More “Christian” hate! You really are amazing unless your aim is not to defend Christianity but to incite revulsion toward those who avow it.

  317. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Seraphim

    So much for your ‘logic’.

    The logic may have been implicit, but it seemed to me to be reasonably obvious. But since you don’t get it, let me spell it out. Your arrogance and general nastiness, seem so damaging to the cause of Christianity to which you appear to be attached that one has to wonder whether you intention is, in fact, to incite revulsion for Christianity.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  318. Seraphim says:
    @CanSpeccy

    @incite revulsion for Christianity

    More humorless ‘logic’. What I am trying to do (without much success, apparently) is to recommend people that, when they judge Christianity for falsehood, one cannot be prosecutor and judge at the same time. It is imperatively necessary to really know what the Christians really said say and not what you suppose they must have said.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  319. Corvinus says:
    @CanSpeccy

    “do you think that the Islamification of Europe is a good thing?”

    Things change. It depends on the eye of the beholder regarding it if is “good” or “bad”.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @Vires
  320. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Corvinus

    It depends on the eye of the beholder …

    Three days and then mere prevarication.

    LOL

  321. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Seraphim

    What I am trying to do (without much success, apparently) is to recommend people that, when they judge Christianity for falsehood, one cannot be prosecutor and judge at the same time. It is imperatively necessary to really know what the Christians really said say and not what you suppose they must have said.

    That’s interesting. Until now it seemed pretty clear you’re only intention was to convince me that I am an ignoramus and an imbecile.

    But what really irks you, I now suspect, is not my ignorance and imbecility, which are forgivable defects, but my assertion that the Christianity of the Churches, Roman, Anglican, or Orthodox, which bases its claim to truth on miracles, is no longer viable in a scientific age. Thus, as Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor explained to Jesus:

    Thou didst not know that when man rejects miracle he rejects God too; for man seeks not so much God as the miraculous. And as man cannot bear to be without the miraculous, he will create new miracles of his own for himself, and will worship deeds of sorcery and witchcraft, though he might be a hundred times over a rebel, heretic and infidel.

    The Churches corrected Jesus’s error by their insistence on the reality of the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, and the transformation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. Thus the scientific skeptic is the great enemy of the Church.

    But even worse than being a skeptic, I advocated a reconstruction of the Christian narrative, focused on the teaching and personality of Jesus. This is the capital offense. It is a direct attack and an intolerably intrusion on the work of the church and the offense for which the Grand Inquisitor condemned the returned Jesus to flames.

    • Replies: @utu
  322. Seraphim says:

    Alas, if you fancy yourself as the Great Inquisitor convinced me finally that you are really an imbecile and insane on top of it.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  323. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Seraphim

    Alas, if you fancy yourself as the Great Inquisitor …

    No, I was suggesting that that the role of the Grand Inquisitor was yours. But perhaps the title of Grand Vituperator would better suit you.

    • LOL: German_reader
  324. Alden says:

    Whether you like it or not, Christianity is a major part of we White Europeans are.
    I didn’t read any of the comments because religious threads turn insane and I didn’t want to be my usual witchy self making rude comments about the bible thumping

  325. Alden says:
    @Anon

    Always the obsession with black and White sex. Are you a porn movie director?

  326. Alden says:
    @jilles dykstra

    Your country was under the North Sea in 500 AD when Roman Catholic monks settled on the western shore of the sea.

    Little by little, year by year, they built out into the sea until the Netherlands existed.

    You are such a snarky pseudo intellectual.
    I’ve seen the sex slaves ( literally) of the Albanian Muslim pimps in the Netherlands. And most of your wealth came from 400 years of vicious exploitation of Indonesia.

    FYI, Jews hate the Netherlands. Reason is that the largest percentage of dead Jews in WW2 were Durtch and Jews attribute it to collaboration of the Dutch with the Nazis.

    The Dutch Calvinists you admire so much were one of the craziest religions ever. They believed that they could be sinners all their lives but that they would go to heaven on the strength of their belief.

    • Replies: @utu
  327. Alden says:
    @jilles dykstra

    If the crew of Columbus feared they would fall off the world they never would have signed on.

    Columbus spent a lot of time at the Catholic university of Salmonacca where the priests assured him that the earth was round and if he just kept going west he would end up in east Asia, preferably China.

    What they didn’t know of course was that the Americas were between Europe and China.

    And you believe that homosexuals who indulge in anal sex with a couple hundred infected men a year get AIDS because of the Pope.

    When every Protestant church in Europe has been turned into a mosque the Vatican will still be there and so will a Pope.

  328. Alden says:
    @jilles dykstra

    Galileo and his Dutch telescope saw Jupiter from the Vatican observatory. It is now in the American state of Arizona.

  329. utu says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Christianity of the Churches, Roman, Anglican, or Orthodox, which bases its claim to truth on miracles, is no longer viable in a scientific age.

    Quite the opposite. The scientific age and it beliefs are just another delusion. Another form of miracles. Dostoyevsky states this:

    And as man cannot bear to be without the miraculous, he will create new miracles of his own for himself,

    It might be you. You do not yet know what kind of BS science is so you believe in its miracle thinking that you actually know (because science is about knowing not beliefs, right?) and that it has nothing to do with beliefs.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  330. utu says:
    @Alden

    I agree with your assessment of jilles dykstra. I met some Dutch people but they never revealed themselves to me as much as him by showing how hollow their beliefs and pride in Dutchness and their Calvinism is and all what is left from it is their anti-papism. Pretty pathetic in times when they are being screwed up by Muslims.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  331. Seraphim says:
    @utu

    I said it already, but it is worth reminding:

    “Liever Turks dan Paaps (“Rather Turkish than Papist”), also Liever Turksch dan Paus (“Rather Turkish than Pope”), was a Dutch slogan during the Dutch Revolt of the end of the 16th century. The slogan was used by the Dutch mercenary naval forces (the “Sea Beggars”) in their fight against Catholic Spain…”
    Now they have it!

    • Replies: @utu
  332. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @utu

    I don’t understand what you are disagreeing with me about.

    Of course the scientific age provides its own miracles. That’s why the Christian narrative is kaput. How can you believe in Jesus walking on water or raising the dead. Isn’t anyone, with faith, supposed to be able to do the same? Yet none do.

    Before the modern age, belief in miracles of the kind Jesus and his disciples are said to have performed could be sustained because there were no media to cover the event, no scientists to evaluate claims to the miraculous. Now we know that the Indian rope trick is a just that, a trick, that no paralytic gets up and walks away from Lourdes, and that people are not restored to life by prayer or faith.

    Meantime, science performs miracles more extraordinary by far than those attributed to Jesus. If need be, some Pentagon contractor will no doubt come up with a way for American forces to walk on water. Already they can kill millions half a world away, they can replace hearts, lungs, livers and lights, they can read your thoughts, they can even, with timely intervention, raise the dead, and soon will walk on Mars.

    So naturally, people accept the world view and ethics of those who hold the scientific purse strings, the secular authorities and great corporations. It is from them we accept our religion, a religion that is essentially no more than a by-product of the commercial system and the ambitions of the globalist elite.

    • Replies: @utu
  333. utu says:
    @Seraphim

    Thanks. Good illustration of priorities Brits and Dutch had then. Protestantism was not really about a religious dispute.

  334. utu says:
    @CanSpeccy

    I think, I wanted to make a point that (true) science is not in an opposition to (true) Christianity. And if there are cases that science undermines beliefs of some Christians, they clearly are not true Christians. And if some atheist believe that science actually give them arguments against Christianity they have a very simplistic (primitive) view of both science and Christianity. Being ignorant of epistemology they usually mistake their quasi religious beliefs in science for knowledge.

    What Dostoyevsky’s “And as man cannot bear to be without the miraculous, he will create new miracles of his own for himself” does really mean? You end up believing into something. You may call it science but still it is believing. It is really religious in nature. People believe in it not as the result of personal search and findings but as the result of the force of authority that usually come in form of social pressure.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  335. Vires says:
    @Corvinus

    Translation:

    I’m just an exemplary cuck, everything is relative. Pedophilia, honor killings, FGM and stoning for adultery, if made socially acceptable and properly regulated could actually be positive changes, depending on the eye of the beholder. Hell, even if my mother or daughter were to be kidnapped and hold for 20 years, getting raped every single day would be somehow a good thing, being as it is a “change” in their lives, and being changes only subjectively good or bad!

    Bravo! That is the most retarded comment I’ve come across this week.

    I suggest adding new “clown” and “fool” buttons so we can also tag some commenters properly, helping readers to avoid further retarded comments of yours.

    • Agree: CanSpeccy
    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  336. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @utu

    I think, I wanted to make a point that (true) science is not in an opposition to (true) Christianity.

    Ah, but what is “true Christianity”?!

    My point throughout this discussion, a point furiously ridiculed by Seraphim and Veritatis, is that much of what is purported by the Church (just about any church) is obvious bunk. All those tall tales — about walking on water, the turning of water into wine, the crucifixion, followed by the descent into Hell, the Resurrection and the ascent unto Heaven — these are all stories from older mythologies, and can reasonably be dismissed as ahistorical. Moreover, the fact that the power to perform miracles through faith has never been demonstrated in the modern age (except by my schizophrenic friend) confirms that the gospel accounts of Jesus’s life are largely fictional.

    These are the grounds upon which rather stupid or unscrupulous people like Richard Dawkins and the Late Christopher Hitchens have earned millions by trashing Christianity. These are the reasons why I argued that the Gospel needs to be re-constructed in a way that makes it acceptable to the modern mind.

    This does not, in my view, mean undermining “true Christianity”, rather it means disposing of the false Christianity of the Churches, based in large part on the dictates of Saint Paul, dictates that Paul justified on the basis of hallucinated interviews with Jesus. This more fundamental Christianity would focus on the personality and moral teachings of Jesus, and the scientific–religious consensus so beautifully expressed in the opening chapter of the gospel of John:

    In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God

    As Kurt Goedel noted, by demonstrating the conformity of the world to mathematical description, science confirms the Gospel account of the creation, the “word” or “logos” in Greek being synonymous with “reason,” mathematics being its highest form.

    Since science will surely never crack the problem of the uncaused first cause, John’s gospel will for ever be the last word on the creation. This Stephen Hawking has acknowledged with remarkable candor, saying of the “theory of everything:”

    What breathes life into the equations? Why does the world go to the trouble of existing at all?

    To that question there will surely never be any answer other than that provided by the Gospel.

    • Replies: @utu
  337. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Vires

    I suggest adding new “clown” and “fool” buttons so we can also tag some commenters properly

    In the meantime, there is a “troll” button.

  338. utu says:
    @CanSpeccy

    There are many layers of narrative to Christianity. There is a room for miracles and walking on water. Different people need different layers. Some need miracles. Some do not need any. For Godel proving an unprovable/undecidable theorem would be a miracle I presume, though God did not feel compelled to play with Godel’s mind. But I agree with you that a focus on moral teachings of Jesus (are) should be a core of Christianity. Leo Tolstoy thought the same:

    https://www.amazon.com/Gospel-Brief-Eastern-Philosophy-Religion/dp/0486468119
    Tolstoy avoided the mystery and miracles emphasized by the Church. Instead, he worked exclusively from the actual words and actions of Jesus, uncluttered by what he regarded as the Church’s false interpretations. The result: a revolutionary work that challenged long-held doctrines, presented in a way that reflects Tolstoy’s views on the divine purpose for human existence in a chaotic world.

    Miracles do not hurt Christianity. Reliance on the Old Testament, in my opinion, is a bigger problem than miracles. One also may question St. Paul’s contributions and impact.

    I recommend Tolstoy writings on Christianity.

    I did not follow your conversation with Seraphin too carefully so I missed the moment when it flared up to such a strong antagonism. Initially I thought you had more in common with each other than with other members of the commentariat here, so I was surprised.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  339. @CanSpeccy

    Not being a Christian surely does not, as your question implies, mean being a “conspiracy theory-minded gnostic”, whatever that may be.

    As for being a Christian, I am not since I don’t believe in salvation by faith or that my rotting corpse could in some way be resurrected provided only that, in this life, I adopt the right beliefs (And can one really adopt beliefs, or is a belief something one has whether one wants it or not?).

    Good. We established that you are not a Christian and that you have no real knowledge of what Christianity is.

    As such I absolutely support Christianity insofar as it promotes what I view to be a good society .

    As if your opinion matters – but speak on! It’s entertaining.

    However, I don’t see religious beliefs as belonging in either the true or the false category. I see religious beliefs belonging in either the socially useful or the socially harmful category. As such I absolutely support Christianity insofar as it promotes what I view to be a good society .

    Wow. Just – wow! Thanx for honesty, though.

    The problem for Christianity as a socially constructive institution is that, viewed literally, the story upon which it is based is nonsensical to the modern mind.

    That’s you beef with Sola Scripturist fanatics, aka Protestants. They are not the entirety or even the majority of Christians. Go and tell them.

    Thus, Christianity will remain of no real consequence unless radically reconfigured.

    How do you explain (mainly – Orthodox) Christian revival here in Russia? The ROC did not change the doctrine to fit the current trends. It has maintained for centuries, that the society must fit in, not the Church.

    Tolstoy set about such a revision with his Gospel in Brief, but he was pretty much a crackpot in religious and social matters, so that didn’t turn out too well. What’s needed is a new account of the life of Jesus that retains what is most picturesque and moving in the gospel, but which eliminates the contradictions and (to the modern mind) impossibilities.

    Newsflash! More conservative parishes are keeping groving in strenght (i.e. parishioners) compared to revisionist, “liberal” ones.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/04/liberal-churches-are-dying-but-conservative-churches-are-thriving/?utm_term=.e493c813c72f

    I.e. people are fine with the established doctrine. These people, btw, are more likely to have an offspring, whom they will brough up in church in the due time.

    Surely if the SJW’s can sell Black Lives Matter to more or less intelligent people

    Define “intelligent”. They are selling it to “opinionated” so far.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  340. @CanSpeccy

    As for thoughtful Christians, if they thought much about their religion, the Church was liable to judge them heretics and burn them.

    Did they burn Thomas Aquinas? Johannes Chrysostomus?

  341. […] The Place of Christianity in History […]

  342. Seraphim says:

    The miracles (signes in Greek) performed by the Christ were proofs of his divinity. The “moral teachings” of the Christ were commandments given with divine authority. There have been people who did not believe in Him, although He performed so many signs in their presence. There were cool clever boys even then. They haven’t wait until “science” would confirm how clever they were.
    Tolstoy’s “Christanity” is rubbish. He was excomunicated for his cleverness.

  343. Seraphim says:
    @Lyttenburgh

    Tolstoy’s Gospel is absolutely similar with Jefferson’s Bible. Both were spoiled children of ‘aristocracy’ turned revolutionaries. The source of their remaking of religion is the same satanic pride in their intellectual capacities and the satanic influences of anti-Christian anarchism.

  344. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    One thing is clear from the above, some defenders of Christian church dogmas are as intolerant of non-believers as a Stalinist dealing with an enemy of socialism, and as ready as ever to burn those who question their miraculous bullshit.

    Maybe that is the character if Jesus too, but as an ignorant and contemptible non-believer in miracles, I had rather hoped not.

    In any case, as Karen Armstrong noted, rather intelligently, I thought, if Holy Scripture is God’s word, it must be true for all time, but that means that our interpretation of scripture must change as human knowledge and experience changes with the evolution of civilization.

    Tolstoy attempted to make Christianity seem less like a less a bunch of hocus pocus in justification of Russia’s brutal Tsarist regime and imperialistic policy by re-writing the gospel. However, I think he got some things wrong, for example, the meaning of the Sermon on the Mount.

    I prefer Mohandas Ghandi’s view that it is not admirable to turn the other cheek to a bully, a terrorist, or an invader intent on rape and pillage. However, ready forgiveness of a brother of a member of one’s own society with whom one must engage in continual interaction makes very good sense. Since Jesus was a Jew preaching to Jews, it seems likely to me that that is what he had in mind.

    I could say more but there’s enough for Lyttenburgh and Seraphim to be going on with if the latter hasn’t already returned to the 9th circle of Heaven (But in that case, perhaps Veritatis will fill the breach with some anti-atheist venom.).

    • Replies: @Lyttenburgh
  345. Randall says:
    @Barraco

    It wasn’t bashing the Arabic world. Comprehension is vital in these matters. To wit: if I say that Islam is both backwards and misogynistic, and that Iran is currently a Moslem nation, it should not be inferred that Iran is backwards and misogynistic.

  346. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @utu

    Miracles do not hurt Christianity. Reliance on the Old Testament, in my opinion, is a bigger problem than miracles. One also may question St. Paul’s contributions and impact.

    As an atheist who thinks religion is an essential institution of a viable civilization, I don’t object to Christians who believe in miracles, but I observe the damage that insistence on the miraculous nature of Jesus’s birth, works and death does to the credibility of Christianity in the minds of those brought up to believe science is the ultimate authority on the nature of reality.

    So, yes, I see some merit in Tolstoy’s effort to rewrite the story about Jesus without miracles. However, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I think he misunderstood both the function of religion in society and the meaning of Jesus’s teaching.

    We need someone with the literary gifts of a Tolstoy and the understanding of social institutions of a Francis Fukuyama or a Carroll Quigley to rewrite the gospel story. Not much hope of that, though, in an age where the Churches still itch to burn those who deviate from established doctrine, and where the state, representing the globalist Money Power, wishes to rest control of religion from an independent church and enforce its own self-serving doctrines (aka the religion of Political Correctness) on the people by way of state-mandated brainwashing in the guise of education.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  347. @CanSpeccy

    One thing is clear from the above, some defenders of Christian church dogmas are as intolerant of non-believers as a Stalinist dealing with an enemy of socialism, and as ready as ever to burn those who question their miraculous bullshit.

    Please, provide a quote where I’m calling for people being burned? As for being intolerant – yes, it is. Christians are asked to be intolerant of sin and not just shrug and say “Oh, well – what you gonna do about it?”.

    Christianity is about the Truth (capital “T” here). You do not dilute it by making a compromise.

    In any case, as Karen Armstrong noted, rather intelligently, I thought, if Holy Scripture is God’s word, it must be true for all time, but that means that our interpretation of scripture must change as human knowledge and experience changes with the evolution of civilization.

    No. Once again I ask you to aswer just one question (lets forget for a minute all those you refused to answer). How did the Bible come into being?

    Tolstoy attempted to make Christianity seem less like a less a bunch of hocus pocus in justification of Russia’s brutal Tsarist regime and imperialistic policy by re-writing the gospel. However, I think he got some things wrong, for example, the meaning of the Sermon on the Mount.

    Why should Tolstoy even matter? Who takes him for a theologician?

    I prefer Mohandas Ghandi’s view that it is not admirable to turn the other cheek to a bully, a terrorist, or an invader intent on rape and pillage.

    Whatever you think, Christianity is not some hippy-land. Christianity is brutaly honest – yes, it IS better to turn another cheek for your own soul’s salvation. Yet, there are times when you can’t do that and, yes, you have to sin. To live in the World is to sin. You must admit that – and seek repentance. Not excuse – “I was just following orders” or the Catholic invention of the “Just War”. No. You must be fully cognisant that, yes, you sinned in order to prevent a greater Evil. And you MUST ask forgiveness for that. There is no such a thing as “get away from the jail” card.

    I could say more but there’s enough for Lyttenburgh and Seraphim to be going on with if the latter hasn’t already returned to the 9th circle of Heaven

    May I ask – based on what do you base your own opinion on the different “circles” of Heaven? What theological source do you use?

  348. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Lyttenburgh

    Please, provide a quote where I’m calling for people being burned? As for being intolerant – yes, [the Church?] it is. Christians are asked to be intolerant of sin

    There you are, you provide your own answer. The Roman Catholic Church thought it a sin to translate the Bible into the vernacular so, in their intolerance of sin, they had William Tyndale, the translator responsible for what became known as the great King James Bible, burnt. There is no need, obviously, for me to recite the list of all the other great and good men and women burnt by the Church as a matter of Holy intolerance.

    • Replies: @Lyttenburgh
    , @Seraphim
  349. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Lyttenburgh

    Christianity is about the Truth (capital “T” here). You do not dilute it by making a compromise.

    Yes, people who believe in “the Truth” with a capital “T” do tend to be extremely intolerant of any who disagree with them.

  350. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Lyttenburgh

    No. Once again I ask you to aswer just one question (lets forget for a minute all those you refused to answer). How did the Bible come into being?

    Google says,

    According to Rabbinic tradition the five books of the Torah were written by Moses, with the exception of the last eight verses of Deuteronomy which describe his death. Today, the majority of scholars agree that the Pentateuch does not have a single author, and that its composition took place over centuries.

    On the other hand, there are, I believe, those who say most of what is in the Bible was cribbed from much older myths and legends mostly from Pharaonic Egypt. But I don’t claim to have studied the question. I have studied only the content of the Bible and conclude that since the Lord was capable of mistaking mildew on a wall for leprosy, he wasn’t as smart as some people thought. Moreover, it is clear from the Bible that the Lord is a vain, cruel, tyrannical and sadistic monster. I take it, therefore, that the God of Jesus is a different person, thank God.

    • Replies: @Lyttenburgh
  351. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    …yes, it IS better to turn another cheek for your own soul’s salvation. Yet, there are times when you can’t do that and, yes, you have to sin. …You must be fully cognisant that, yes, you sinned in order to prevent a greater Evil. And you MUST ask forgiveness for that. There is no such a thing as “get away from the jail” card.

    Or as Randolph Churchill is best remembered for saying, “Good God, Isn’t God a shit.”

    • Replies: @Lyttenburgh
  352. @CanSpeccy

    And what makes you think that I have something to do with the Catholics?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  353. @CanSpeccy

    I was asking about the Bible. Otherwise known as the “Good News”, aka “Evangelie”, which is used by the Christias. How did it came up into being? The Old Testament is already covered – how did the New Testament came into being?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  354. @CanSpeccy

    Accepting is especially hard for a Westerner, isn’t it? No matter what – you won’t become one. Even a peasant has a chance to become a king – and China knew just a few of such. But God? Oh, this must be an incense against your precious egalite, won’t it? A claim to be something bigger, better and unattainable… This must be driving people like you nuts with envy, anger, and desire…

    Imagine this, userperson “CanSpeccy”. Imagine that you (personally you) mean jack shit in the works of the Universe. Take a time to ponder, how insignificant (you – personally) are. You (again – you, like a person) mean Nothing. At all.

    And then… there is a Being that is and forever will be better, finer and gooder than you. That being did create all around you – without being asked to do that. This being truly values one thing – a freedom a will. You have it. You might not even know the difference should you lack it but – here you are. You have it. The greatest gift.

    You also have a terminal condition. It’s called the “life”. It ends, eventually. Now, you have about 10 – maybe 15% of “survival rate” for it. After all – we, mere humans, can not be so arrogant as to assume that some pople are beyond the salvation. Speaking of which – there is a cure for your terminal condition! It only takes Faith and Works, and following the prescription of the Creed to raise your survival rate to, maybe, as higsh as 80%. Yes, this is not 100% – but high enough and more than the origianl chances for you to really start thinking and considering what to do, if you really want Life Eternal. Other creeds *might* gurantee it for you as well – and chances are running from 20% to 60% for them. That’s your call – and no one is forcing you. Really.

    Or do you have some personal issues with the Lord Above? Do you project your childish grievances on Him? Are you? Are you so… petty? So parochial and ignorant? Are you?

  355. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Lyttenburgh

    And what makes you think that I have something to do with the Catholics?

    Actually, I didn’t. I’d thought, perhaps, you were a member of the Russian Orthodox Church. If so, sorry for blaming you personally for the execution of Tyndale — I was thinking of you simply as member of a Christian Church, Christian churches, as a collective, being rather intolerant.

    My point throughout this discussion is that the church, as an institution upholding a civilization, has a function, and fulfilling that function should override adherence to dogma. It is the adherence to dogma based on unbelievable historical claims that has largely destroyed the credibility of the Christian churches, and allowed the state to take over the function of the Church and impose its own religion of Political Correctness, Communism, National Socialism, Greenism, or whatever it is that suits the crooks who happen to be in power at the moment. This development has led to the successive demise of Russian Communist civilization, Italian Fascist civilization, German Nazi civilization and, surely, Anglo-American Politically Correct civilization. The end result is likely to be Islamification of the world, since Islam keeps most of its citizens ignorant and therefore able to swallow its implausible religious dogmas.

    • Replies: @Lyttenburgh
  356. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Lyttenburgh

    Listen, I didn’t come here to take an exam in religious dogma. Do you want to take an exam in Darwinism and its implications for the role of religion in the success of human groups?

    But concerning the Gospel, one thing seems agreed, the Biblical account is not the record of eye-witnesses, and the accounts that were selected for inclusion in the New Testament were not selected from among many other accounts until hundreds of years after the events they record, 692 years after estimated (but historically unrecorded) date of the birth of Jesus, in the case of the Orthodox Church.

    • Replies: @Lyttenburgh
  357. Corvinus says:
    @CanSpeccy

    “We need someone with the literary gifts of a Tolstoy and the understanding of social institutions of a Francis Fukuyama or a Carroll Quigley to rewrite the gospel story.”

    Which is essentially propaganda and undermines your belief that religion is critical to a “viable civilization” (whatever that means).

    “Not much hope of that, though, in an age where the Churches still itch to burn those who deviate from established doctrine, and where the state, representing the globalist Money Power, wishes to rest control of religion from an independent church and enforce its own self-serving doctrines (aka the religion of Political Correctness) on the people by way of state-mandated brainwashing in the guise of education.”

    Political Correctness is not a religion, it is an ideology. How do you account for your “self-serving doctrines”? Furthermore, the state comprises of people. Those people put others in charge. Perhaps those leaders developed an educational system reflective of the needs and ideas of those people. That is, “state-mandated brainwashing” may actually be the curriculum created by leaders who have the interests of the public in mind.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  358. @CanSpeccy

    I was thinking of you simply as member of a Christian Church

    Again – Christianity is not a hivemind. There is no such thing as the sole “Christian Church” (I suspect, that you had at least some Protestant background – it is them who intepret “Ecclesia” in such a way).

    My point throughout this discussion is that the church, as an institution upholding a civilization

    Wow. wow! Stop right here! Where does the Church (any Church for tht matter) claims to “uphold the civilizations” as its explicit goal?

    This development has led to the successive demise of Russian Communist civilization

    There was no “Russian Communist civilization” to begin with. There is – still is – Russian civilization though. The same goes for others. They had a “phase”. Only that.

    And you didn’t answer my previous question – despite all your fine words against the Christianity, it is resurgent in Russia. Why?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  359. @CanSpeccy

    Listen, I didn’t come here to take an exam in religious dogma.

    Oh, moving goalposts, are we? If you came to argue against something, better if you have an idea what are you arguing about. Do you have said idea or not? You appeal to the Bible, yet you appear clueless as to its origins. Yet you try to pass yourself as someone who are informed, who can really judge a thing he talks about.

    So – will you answer my question?

    But concerning the Gospel, one thing seems agreed, the Biblical account is not the record of eye-witnesses, and the accounts that were selected for inclusion in the New Testament were not selected from among many other accounts until hundreds of years after the events they record, 692 years after estimated (but historically unrecorded) date of the birth of Jesus, in the case of the Orthodox Church.

    692 years? Like – what are you smoking right now?

    At least you admit one thing – some accounts (Gospels and books) that made up the Bible were chose. Next question – why were they chosen and how? Answering this question is my Socratic method of leading you, userperson CanSpeccy, to a certain cinclusion – which will be all yours.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @CanSpeccy
  360. Seraphim says:
    @CanSpeccy

    It is well known by people who care to study history above vulgarization brochures and YouTube videos, that Tyndale was burnt not because he translated the ‘Bible’ into vernacular English, but for the heretical ideas that he introduced in his unauthorized translation). There were plenty of vernacular authorized translations even before Wycliffe. KJV was in fact a revision of the all previous translations (including Tyndale’s).

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  361. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Lyttenburgh

    There is no such thing as the sole “Christian Church”

    I never said that there is. Your problem, there, not mine.

    Where does the Church (any Church for tht matter) claims to “uphold the civilizations” as its explicit goal?

    I am sure none do — it would undermine the effectiveness of a church to make such a claim. That doesn’t alter the fact that civilizations rise and fall according as their institutions promote or fail to promote behavior that conduces to internal harmony, productive collaboration and the will and capacity to defend against competitors. In that determination, religion plays a vital role. No society can exist without religion. Having trashed Christianity, the West has taken up with Political Correctness, a ethical system that seems designed to destroy those who adopt it.

    There was no “Russian Communist civilization” to begin with

    I understand that some might not wish to dignify the Soviet System and the culture it imposed on those under its sway with the term civilization. But clearly there was a Soviet society, culture, and way of life, which constituted a civilization.

    And you didn’t answer my previous question – despite all your fine words against the Christianity, it is resurgent in Russia. Why?

    You sound like someone with a background in the OGPU or the Tsarist secret police. Why should I answer your questions? As for that particular question, I don’t know. One might hazard a guess, but I claim no knowledge of present-day Russian society. If I were to guess, I would say that a return to the past was the only notion possessed by most of those who had suffered under the Communists, i.e., nearly everyone. That at least would be a natural reaction if not a particularly wise reaction. And in due course, the inclination to reaction may fade. Prior to the Communist Revolution there was much antagonism to the Church not only by those whose religion the Orthodox Church wished to suppress, but those like Tolstoy who considered the Orthodox Church merely an instrument of Tsarist totalitarianism, militarism and obscurantism. Today, antagonism to the Orthodox Church is evidently being stirred by Russia’s fifth columnists who must hope to undermine the Church by promoting queerdom, Pussy Riot and all the other marvelous freedoms enjoyed by those of us in the dying West.

    • Replies: @Lyttenburgh
  362. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Lyttenburgh

    Answering this question is my Socratic method of leading you, userperson CanSpeccy, to a certain cinclusion

    It’s OK, thanks. You can keep you cinclusions [sic] to yourself.

  363. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Corvinus

    Which is essentially propaganda and undermines your belief that religion is critical to a “viable civilization” (whatever that means).

    It’s difficult talking with people who find even simple concepts impossible to grasp. A viable civilization is one that survives the conflict with other civilizations. All civilizations likely die, but some live longer and spread further, during their viable stage, than others. Western civilization is the most powerful and extensive civilization the world has even known, extending in 1914 to about 80% of the world’s population. Whether a religion is what you call propaganda is immaterial so far as its function is concerned. The religion of the contemporary West, Political Correctness, has been spread by use of propaganda, but that does not alter the fact that it is a religion, which is to say an ethical system that provides the basis for social interaction among strangers, and without which no complex society of many members could function.

    “state-mandated brainwashing” may actually be the curriculum created by leaders who have the interests of the public in mind.

    In part that is no doubt true. But it is the state, and by state I include all those actors that control the state, i.e., in the West the Money Power that controls the media, provides the election campaign finance and makes the payoffs to subservient politicians, that through legislation and through coordination with the media, and through administrative actions that dictates the general trend. If you doubt that, go and study Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @Corvinus
  364. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Seraphim

    It is well known by people who care to study history above vulgarization brochures and YouTube videos, blah, blah, blah

    Is that so. Very interesting. As a matter of fact, though, just about everything I learnt at school I got from brochures alone (there was no U-Tube then), and it got me the faculty prize, and a doctorate at 23, so I think it’s actually not such a bad way to learn. But of course you’ve got to be selective about the brochures you use. I mean if you spend your whole time scanning brochures about people lolling on a tropical island beach with a bunch of buxom blondes, you’re not going to cut it in the exams.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  365. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Lyttenburgh

    692 years? Like – what are you smoking right now?

    I was referring to the Second Council of Trullan, of 692. Got that from a very handy wikipedia brochure. Anything else I can help you with?

    • Replies: @Seraphim
    , @Lyttenburgh
  366. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    By “extending in 1914 to about 80% of the world’s population” I should have said “extending control to,” since obviously India and Africa and most of the other European dominated regions were not part of Western civilization, although they were subject to important Westernizing influences — India, for example, developing an educational system based on Western scientific and technical knowledge that provides the basis for India’s rapidly developing present-day economy.

  367. Seraphim says:
    @CanSpeccy

    What sort of ‘faculty’ gives doctorates to people of 23 who learned after brochures? A faculty of vacational education?

  368. Seraphim says:
    @CanSpeccy

    It is actually the ‘Trullan Council’, or the ‘Council in Trullo’, because it was held in a domed hall in the Imperial Palace (τρούλος meaning a cup or dome). It is known mostly as the ‘Quinisext’ (Concilium Quinisextum, Πενθέκτη Σύνοδος, Penthékti Sýnodos), i.e. the Fifth-Sixth Council. The Council endorsed not only the six ecumenical councils already held (canon 1), but also the Apostolic Canons, the Synod of Laodicea, the Third Synod of Carthage, and the 39th Festal Letter of Athanasius of 367 (canon 2), the so-called Athanasian Canon of the Scriptures.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  369. Corvinus says:
    @CanSpeccy

    “A viable civilization is one that survives the conflict with other civilizations.”

    No, a viable civilization is one that is capable of being successful, one that progresses or advances, in specific areas such system of governance, complex religion, and job specialization. You defined the clash of civilizations–competing civilizations which may lead to disputes over territory, trade, or resources. Should there be a war between the two civilizations, one group may emerged dominant over the other group. Indeed, it is a challenge for people to comprehend the most elementary of concepts.

    “Western civilization is the most powerful and extensive civilization the world has even known, extending in 1914 to about 80% of the world’s population.”

    Western civilization is the broad concept which is the result of combined Greek, Roman, Jewish, Germanic, and Slavic heritages, as well as the influence of the Roman Catholic Church. One could reasonable conclude Great Britain was the most powerful force in spreading Western civilization. Without the individual contributions of these groups, western civilization obviously does not materialize. Now, certainly Western civilization is the most modern influential civilization in the world since 1492. Legitimate arguments could be made how the Mesopotamian, Indus, and Yellow River civilizations each were similarly powerful and extensive at certain junctures in world history.

    “The religion of the contemporary West, Political Correctness, has been spread by use of propaganda, but that does not alter the fact that it is a religion, which is to say an ethical system that provides the basis for social interaction among strangers, and without which no complex society of many members could function.”

    Categorical error on your part. Religion refers to the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. Of course, a person could religiously, as in with consistent and conscientious regularity, embrace Political Correctness. But Political Correctness definitively does not meet the definition of religion nor meets its components.

    https://sites.google.com/a/dow.catholic.edu.au/10-religion/home/ancient-indigenous/components-of-religion

    “But it is the state, and by state I include all those actors that control the state…”

    The actors that control the state are the citizens of that particular area, who may come from a particular segment of their society. It is commonly believed that elites, Jews, and special interests have risen to the top to control the political process of a state. Yet, ultimately, it is up to the citizens to find ways to expand their own authority or limit the influence of those groups.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  370. @CanSpeccy

    I never said that there is. Your problem, there, not mine.

    But earlier you said this:

    I was thinking of you simply as member of a Christian Church

    I am sure none do — it would undermine the effectiveness of a church to make such a claim.

    But earlier you claimed:

    My point throughout this discussion is that the church, as an institution upholding a civilization

    Backtracking too hard and too ineffectively.

    Having trashed Christianity, the West has taken up with Political Correctness, a ethical system that seems designed to destroy those who adopt it.

    You are only partially right here. The West did adopt a number of prothesis instead of religion. It first went with the plethora of the various number of “Personal Jesus” in the forms of the Protestant denominations. Later it absconded of even this, going instead with the Narrative.

    Fake news is just one such prothesis for a religion. People religiously believe in anything the Media tells them given they find it to their taste. They don’t need evidence anymore to belive in anything – be it “Russian Hackers” or “Suffering Chechen Gays”. You can, litterally, replace an icon of the Mother of God to a printer made pic of a Pikachu and they will venerate it.

    Political Correctness is only a fad, The Alt-Right is a fad too. Both are just polar opposites of the same symptom, of the same sad case of the people no longer willing to take something Eternal, Traditional and External for the truth.

    But clearly there was a Soviet society, culture, and way of life, which constituted a civilization.

    No, you get it backwards. All of them were the results of the Civilization. They were products, not the defining traits of the civilization that produced it.

    You sound like someone with a background in the OGPU or the Tsarist secret police.

    No, I’m a historian. Both me and various cops, siloviks, etc, are untrusting fellas who deal with facts and who are eternally sceptical and questioning. This mindscape, btw, makes me more immune to the torrent of the fake news, you, Westerners, surrender to so gladly.

    If I were to guess, I would say that a return to the past was the only notion possessed by most of those who had suffered under the Communists, i.e., nearly everyone.

    And you would be wrong. You see – people didn’t suffer under the Communists. People, for the most part, are nostalgic for that time, And, yet, they are coming to the Church.

    You self admitted ignorance did not precluded you from making a lot of sweeping generalizations, though. Or was it your Western-centrism speaking? Belive me – there is a world beyond the West.

  371. @CanSpeccy

    I was referring to the Second Council of Trullan, of 692. Got that from a very handy wikipedia brochure. Anything else I can help you with?

    [...]

    So that’s your version?

    Ah, okay.

    Next question – were there Christians before the compilation of the Bible?

  372. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Next question – were there Christians before the compilation of the Bible?

    Your insolence is astounding.

  373. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Corvinus

    a viable civilization is one that is capable of being successful, one that progresses or advances, in specific areas such system of governance, complex religion, and job specialization.

    You have that exactly backwards. It is the institutions that determine viability.

    Religion refers to the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

    That’s your definition, but not mine, nor is it how perceptive students of social evolution see it (cf. Merriam Webster; Religion 4. “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith”).

    What matters in terms of social evolution is how generally accepted beliefs about right and wrong affect the viability of the society or civilization. Whether those beliefs are reinforced by stories about Heaven and Hell and the Creator of the universe is immaterial, so far as their evolutionary consequences are concerned. Thus for all practical purposes, Theism, polytheism, ancestor worship, Worship of the God-Emperor, Voodoo, Communism, and Political Correctness are all religions. They all depend for their effectiveness in modifying behavior on the near universal human tendency to regard moral rules as of great importance. That tendency is itself a result of evolution, indicating that groups that lacked such a moral sense, and hence a susceptibility to religion, were wiped out in the struggle for existence.

    Yet, ultimately, it is up to the citizens to find ways to expand their own authority or limit the influence of those groups.

    That is the democrat’s creed. It’s a nice idea. And there is no doubt that public pressure has often influenced government. The rise of the labor movement, which took shape from the time of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, and gave rise to the British Labour Party is a good example. However, all societies have elites, members of which work together to remain members of the elite, while ensuring that through superior education, inherited money, powerful family and social connections their children form the elite of the next generation.

    Elites also take care to insure that ordinary folk are kept in their place by among other institutions, schools and, where the state controls the church, as in Russia, religion. In the West, the State-Controlled religion of Political Correctness is shoved down kids’ throats for at least a dozen years under the guise of education), while state organs of propaganda such as the BBC, ridicule Christianity, thereby denying individuals a realistic alternative to the State religion.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    , @CanSpeccy
  374. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Seraphim

    It is actually the ‘Trullan Council’, or the ‘Council in Trullo’, because it was held in a domed hall in the Imperial Palace (τρούλος meaning a cup or dome). It is known mostly as the ‘Quinisext’ (Concilium Quinisextum, Πενθέκτη Σύνοδος, Penthékti Sýnodos), i.e. the Fifth-Sixth Council. The Council endorsed not only the six ecumenical councils already held (canon 1), but also the Apostolic Canons, the Synod of Laodicea, the Third Synod of Carthage, and the 39th Festal Letter of Athanasius of 367 (canon 2), the so-called Athanasian Canon of the Scriptures.

    Hah!

    Thanks.

  375. Corvinus says:
    @CanSpeccy

    “You have that exactly backwards. It is the institutions that determine viability.”

    The institutions are created as a result of a group of people permanently settling down and the means by which they will order their society. Institutions are created. As they become more complex, the people living in those areas will increase their exploration and exploitation of their surroundings. Now, a society’s institutions may work fine for the people who live there because they are satisfied with them or may be ignorant that they can be improved or made more efficient. In other words, those institutions are viable. Of course, outsiders may deem those institutions to be “simplistic” in nature compared to how they organized their institutions; regardless, the institutions have been successful for that “inferior” group.

    “That’s your definition, but not mine, nor is it how perceptive students of social evolution see it (cf. Merriam Webster; Religion 4. “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith”).”

    This part of the definition is part and parcel to beliefs of a particular religious nature, i.e. God, holy book, rituals.

    “Thus for all practical purposes, Theism, polytheism, ancestor worship, Worship of the God-Emperor, Voodoo, Communism, and Political Correctness are all religions.”

    Communism and Political Correctness are rooted in political ideology, economic thought, and social commentary. They are OTHER than religions. Consider that conservatives generally call people who embrace communism and Political Correctness as being “atheist” or “godless”. Moreover, the Communist Manifesto is NOT dogma–it is an expression of political ideas and economic ideals. The people who accepted Communism and “spread its word” can no more be referred to as a “prophet” than Adam Smith who “spread the word” about capitalism. Nor can political leaders who embrace one idea over another idea make that idea become a religion.

  376. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    And it has to be remembered that ordinary folk are like members of the elite in being mainly self-serving, usually short-sighted, but unlike the elite, generally poorly educated. In the early days of mass democracy it was hoped by the elite, i.e., the British aristocracy, that through their superior education and experience of government they would be able to lead the masses. Thus, when Lord Randolph Churchill, a leading member of the Tory Party was asked the meaning of his election campaign slogan, “Tory Democracy”, he replied: “a democracy where everyone votes Tory.” And the deal was that, in return for their deferential support for an elite-led government, the government would enact legislation that served the popular interest while preserving the privileges of the governing class.

    When the Labour Party began to win seats in Parliament, still things did not go off the rails because those early Labour Party members were generally patriotic, and high-minded people with no thought of revolution. Their aim was simply to hasten the process of social amelioration that the Liberals and Conservatives were already embarked upon. Kier Hardie, for example, the first Labour MP, was an evangelical preacher and a member of the Temperance Union. Moreover, in time, the leadership of the Labour Party fell increasingly into the hands of members of the upper classes and the aristocracy, plus commoners who had risen through force of intellect via the grammar schools and Oxbridge where they rubbed shoulders with, and often began to ape the manners of, the hereditary elite. Thus, the post-war leader, Clement Atlee was a privately educated scion of a wealthy family. As a child, he was cared for by Mrs. Everest, who had served the family of Lord Randolph Churchill as nanny to Winston Churchill and his brother, John Strange Churchill. Atlee’s successor, Hugh Gaitskell, was similarly a member of the privileged class. Harold Wilson rose via Wirral Grammar School and Jesus College, Oxford, but, nevertheless, kept his Lancashire accept which gave him working class cred.

    The great threat to that generally benign democratic system is the rise of the so-called deep state and the Money Power, which seek to place their puppets in power, both in government and in other institutions of the state, including the Church, Anglican or Russian Orthodox. Hence the likes of Tony Blair, the Clintons and all the other bought politicians. The real wielders of power have thus disappeared from view and have become unaccountable. Moreover, there is every reason to suppose that they are anti-patriotic globalists, destroyers of the nation state and its democratic forms of government, having as their ultimate objective the destruction of the mass of the mankind, which is increasingly to be replaced by robots directed by artificial intelligence. Democracy, in other words, has now become an instrument of a hidden elite that, with all its powers of coercion and propaganda, aims to destroy, not serve, the people.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  377. Corvinus says:

    “However, all societies have elites, members of which work together to remain members of the elite, while ensuring that through superior education, inherited money, powerful family and social connections their children form the elite of the next generation.”

    So? From my point of view, there is nothing inherently wrong or immoral for people to gain status. And, as citizens, they have the liberty to pursue their agenda, just like labor groups, just like religious fundamentalists. There is competition here.

    “Elites also take care to insure that ordinary folk are kept in their place by among other institutions, schools and, where the state controls the church, as in Russia, religion.”

    No, only those elites who are hell bent on being drunk on power. Not all or most elites take this approach to put the common man “in their place”.

    “In the West, the State-Controlled religion of Political Correctness is shoved down kids’ throats for at least a dozen years under the guise of education), while state organs of propaganda such as the BBC, ridicule Christianity, thereby denying individuals a realistic alternative to the State religion.”

    Political Correctness is not a religion.

    The state did not create Political Correctness.

    People in the West are able to practice their faith, whether it be Christianity or Judaism or Islam.

    Talk about propaganda on your part. Do you need a virtual brown paper bag for your hyperventilation?

    Again, if these elites are so meddlesome and dangerous, what are you doing about it?

  378. Corvinus says:
    @CanSpeccy

    “In the early days of mass democracy it was hoped by the elite, i.e., the British aristocracy, that through their superior education and experience of government they would be able to lead the masses.”

    The elite had hoped to lead the masses through their superior education and experience in government, considering that the masses “wised up”. In the States, property requirements to vote became outlawed by the 1820′s, with the common man became the focal point. Of course, there were elites who had come from humble origins and were mindful of the problems their brethren experienced, and worked within the system to bring changes.

    “The great threat to that generally benign democratic system is the rise of the so-called deep state and the Money Power, which seek to place their puppets in power, both in government and in other institutions of the state, including the Church, Anglican or Russian Orthodox.”

    The Deep State and Money Power has always existed in some way, shape, or form throughout human history. And the “purchasing” of the services of politicians is not a recent phenomenon.

    “The real wielders of power have thus disappeared from view and have become unaccountable.”

    Again, what are you prepared to do to stop them?

    “Moreover, there is every reason to suppose that they are anti-patriotic globalists, destroyers of the nation state and its democratic forms of government, having as their ultimate objective the destruction of the mass of the mankind, which is increasingly to be replaced by robots directed by artificial intelligence.”

    I think you’ve seen Starship Troopers a tad too much. Would you like to know more, citizen?

  379. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Hitler Perpetuation Society

    No such society exists.

    Assuming such a society to have existed in the 1950s and ’60s, leaving literature dating from the ’70s and ’80s, and consisting at first of people who had been close acquaintances of Hitler, being noted in mainstream literature from the ’90s and ’00s and blamed for various acts of sabotage, of what would its tenets consist? Who would be inclined to join it?

    Concretize this scenario and take, say, the accounts of Hitler written by members of the Mosley family as your only records of his life. Would his life not be fairly accurately represented in those parts described?

  380. Abdī says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    And it will not be possible to be and not to be the same thing, except in virtue of an ambiguity, just as if one whom we call ‘man’, others were to call ‘not-man’; but the point in question is not this, whether the same thing can at the same time be and not be a man in name, but whether it can in fact. – Aristotle, Metaphysics

    Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

    1 Samuel 15:29 “And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.”

    Job 9:32 “For He is not a man as I am that I may answer Him, that we may go to court together.”

    The concept of trinity disagrees with both the scripture of the Hebrews and the logic of the Greeks – the two very things Hellenist Jews wanted so desperately to combine when they contrived Christianity.

    The laws of the excluded middle and contradiction do not undermine monotheism, they demand it. They undermine the trinity which is rank paganism. Logic can be seen as negative theology (what God isn’t) while revelation is positive theology (what God is). Monotheism can only be undermined when the imperfect reasoning abilities of men are placed above revelation – which is exactly what the trinity doctrine does.

    Divinity can be seen as “irrational” in the sense that the human mind alone cannot be expected to properly quantify it, hence the need for revelation from above. If we accept the premise of unrevealed divinity and its “irrationality” then monotheism is less irrational a priori than polytheism. In this same manner Unitarianism is less irrational than Trinitarianism. Then if we accept the premise of revealed divinity along with the veracity of Abrahamic scripture we find that monotheism is more veracious a posteriori than polytheism; similarly Unitarianism is more veracious than Trinitarianism. Trinity is subrational whereas Tawhid is suprarational; Trinity is extra-scriptural whereas Tawhid is scriptural.

    God is fully Beyond-Being because God is not limited in anyway like/by/or part of God’s creation. An understanding of God based on observing the createdness of being (God’s creation) would be by necessity induced rationally, however the Trinity is irrational. An understanding of God based on revealed scripture would be deduced from beyond being, yet Trinity theory is not revealed in scripture. While most though not all Christians accept the trinity theory axiomatically as a compelling paradox it is wholly artificial in the sense that neither scripture nor rationality can account for it; it is an equivocation.

    Catholics claim to be against continual revelation yet they endorse “internal locution” and believe the “holy spirit” has helped them do everything from write their own Bible to carry out the Second Vatican Council. They’ve signed the front and back of a theological blank check.

    Trinitarian Christianity holds that the Godhead is the ideal form of and over the “Three Persons” that share the same essence. This theory opens the door for “all potentialities” which is how it is disproved by the Third Man Argument. We can observe the infinite regress of divine powers in the Catholic Church in ways such as Mary being called “The Mother of God”, calling Anne “The Grandmother of God”, the Immaculate Conception not only of Jesus but of Mary along with her perpetual virginity, the neverending litany of new Saints, doctrinal infalibility. Protestants do not deny Jesus is God, nor do they deny that Mary was the mother of Jesus yet they deny she is Mother of God. So Catholics can be said to operate logically from an illogical premise whereas Protestants operate illogically from the same illogical premise.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  381. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Abdī

    In a scientific age, the currency of such arguments as you present dooms Christianity. Today, no one with a reasonably broad education can accept that an anthropoid ape was the mother of the entity responsible for the creation of the universe, whether that entity be of single or a triple personality. Equally, the idea that the creator of the universe cares about being praised by a bunch of low IQ apes is absurd. The future of Christianity, if it has one, will be based not on an understanding of arcane and utterly useless theological debates, but on sociology.

    Jesus provided the basis for such a religion. He taught his followers to pray, not to that ignorant, vain, sadistic tyrant, Yahweh, but to a God who has the personality of a loving father. Jesus thus transformed the god of the Jews from a fearsome terrorist and incompetent bully into the equivalent of a good psychiatrist. Someone with whom one could talk and, in the process, work out one’s problems. As that Victorian atheist Winston Churchill remarked, “In times of fear and perplexity I pray to God. It helps. It helps a lot.”

    In addition, Jesus provided the other element that is essential to a socially constructive religion. He affirmed the basic rules of successful social interaction: forgive those who irk you, they know they have harmed you and will be grateful if you do not punish them for their transgressions and will work more helpfully with you in the future. And, in general, adhere to the ten commandments and treat your neighbor as you would have him treat you.

    That’s really all there is to a useful religion. All the rest is a racket for keeping bishops in palaces and infiltrating churches with globalist agents such as Pope Francis or the Jewish-descended former oil executive, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

  382. Abdī says: • Website

    anthropoid ape was the mother of the entity responsible for the creation of the universe

  383. Abdī says: • Website
    @KenH

    But if Islam is all about peace, beauty, science and pragmatism then why are Muslim enclaves in Europe essentially ghettos and “no-go” zones teeming with sloth, religious extremism and violent crime? And why are most majority Muslim nations riven by tribal and ethnic hatreds and rivalries and teetering on civil war even before U.S. foreign policy destabilized the Middle East?

    Basically because the Ottoman Caliphate crumbled. I know, why did it crumble then if Islam is so great, right? Well, 600+ years was a pretty good reign; the consensus of most muslims is that it fell by abandoning key tenets of Islam that had debilitating effects such as racking up usurious debt to European state banks – interest being expressly disallowed in the religion.

    In a way Muslims are “sedevacantists” since the seat of caliphal leadership has been vacant for so many decades.

  384. Abdī says: • Website
    @KenH

    And those problems you mention: sloth, ethnic hate, religious malpractice, violent crime. Those are classical failings of mankind that good men have been working against since time immemorial. What concerns me more are the new failings – or, sorry, “progress” – being exhibited by the majority population mere furlongs from the dystopic picture you paint of euro muslim communities.

    These new kind of failings are not a source of shame but rather pride, like how rightwingers now organize gay parades through muslim areas of town. Our sins are our sins but increasingly the sins of the majority population in Europe are its identity. Simple vices of men must be corrected, but they are more or less bound to appear in one form or another. The great moral principle is that they are not officially celebrated by authorities, and by the mainstream culture, like, for instance, sodomy is in European society.

    Such celebration of evil as good is a total subversion of morality. It also marks the point where the majority identity becomes a hodgepodge of everything islam rejects which marks the end of the postchristian age and the beginning of the anti/pre-islamic age.

    • Replies: @Anon
  385. Abdī says: • Website

    I would like to see Jews, Muslims, Christians, and nontheists live in peace in Europe. But if your main concern is stopping Islam I suggest you folks develop a false religion based partially on Islam like the Sikhs have done. Sikhism is barely studied by religious experts as it doesn’t even enter the realm of plausibility since even within itself it does not have concrete foundation nor any consistent pillars – other than the Punjabi ethnicity and some pantheism and reincarnation with a good number of block quotes from The Quran in their holy book.

    Their founder, Guru Nanak made Hajj and everything, took very good notes.

  386. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Abdī

    right-wingers organize gay parades through Muslim areas of town

    I hadn’t heard of anything of the kind, but I guess, after all, better there than elsewhere.

    The great moral principle is that they are not officially celebrated by authorities

    I can think of greater moral principles.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  387. Seraphim says:
    @Anon

    @I can think of greater moral principles.

    Nobody seems to think of Orthodox Christianity, which is the shield both against Islam and false religions based essentially on Islam (like Sikhism, Sufism) and the Sodom which is the atheistic and (worse) agnostic West. Only Orthodoxy can resurrect the decaying corpse of Western ‘Christianity’. I am afraid that it is already to late for the West, which is more preoccupied to resist Orthodoxy (which is the ideology of ‘Putin’s Russia’ isn’t it?) by all means, so it would inevitably fall under the ‘pacific jihad’ of the new ‘Caliphate’ with its highest moral principles (it stones the ‘adulterers’).

    • Replies: @Anon
  388. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Only Orthodoxy can resurrect the decaying corpse of Western ‘Christianity’.

    I wonder what that means. In particular, why the quotes around Christianity? Is that to suggest that Christianity in the West is, to use the current jargon, fake, or is it to suggest that whatever Orthodoxy can resurrect in the West will be fake?

    But in any case, it is surely not to suggest that Orthodoxy represents any kind of real Christianity. when the Patriarch is a $30,000-gold-watch-wearing former KGB agent, Orthodoxy can hardly stand for the same principles as those espoused by Jesus, which is not, of course, to say that Orthodoxy it is a bad religion for the Russians, merely that it is fake Christianity. However, when one sees that only 8% of Russians attend a Christian church compared with 47% of Americans, it seems evident that Orthodoxy has only the most tenuous hold on the minds of Russians. How the Hell, then, it is supposed to resurrect anything, let alone the corpse of Christianity in the West, with or without quotes, is puzzling in the extreme.

    • Agree: Abdī
    • Replies: @Abdī
    , @Seraphim
  389. Abdī says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    “Chekists in cossacks” are not saving anything besides their rubles. A lot of these converts have created an Americanized version of EO with supersized mystical spirituality and romanticism. They have no real concept of Slavic culture other than what they read in books or may meet in church. These are people who before the 1960s would have become HighChurch Anglican or Roman Catholic. But they are too aware of the problems with those groups. EO has had little contact with the West until recently and attracts people searching for fulfillment. The funny thing is that it isn’t even a missionary faith.

    An American christian declaring themselves a Russian christian makes as much sense as an Egyptian muslim insisting they are now a Turkish muslim. The question is not even “why?” but rather, “how?”.

    http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/7327/1/Slagle%2DDissertation%2DETD.pdf

    NOSTALGIA WITHOUT MEMORY: A CASE STUDY OF AMERICAN CONVERTS TO EASTERN ORTHODOXY IN PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA

    Slagle, Amy (2008) “Nostalgia Without Memory”: A Case Study of American Converts to Eastern Orthodoxy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.

    “It has been kind of interesting to say the least ‘cause even in Pittsburgh you tell people that you converted to Orthodoxy and they look at you-I mean even Orthodox here look at you quizzically, ‘By choice? You chose to be Orthodox?’ They just look at you and they think that it’s bizarre.

    [MORE]

    the notion that contemporary Americans do choose to join the Orthodox Church, apart from uniting themselves in marriage to one of its members, has generated bemusement, puzzlement, and interest on the part of those within and outside the faith.”

    The tendency, therefore, prevailed for intermarriage converts to see Orthodoxy as ritually and theologically similar to their home churches as “just another Christian denomination,” for as Ken related of his father’s support for his conversion, “In his mind, it’s not like I was jumping off the deep end like I was converting to Islam or something.”

    In the gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus did not say “I have come to bring you just another denomination: kid tested, father approved.” Jesus said he came to bring division, not peace and put “father against son and son against father.” The inherent banality of a ‘conversion yet non-conversion’ to Eastern Orthodoxy is timeless:

    “Lay off Baba, I’m just converting from the sadduccees to the pharisees. It’s not like I’m following that crazy man who eats locusts or that Yashua guy, now can I borrow your donkey for the day puh-lease? I’ll be back before sundown, honest.”

    Converts to Eastern Orthodoxy in America are viewed as tourists in ‘their’ own religion. Some are enthusiastic to take them on tours, others dred them but appreciate the cash they bring.


    Fr. Mark informally socialized with his young, mainly convert, parishioners, by organizing young adult outings that involved visits to ice cream parlors and movie nights showcasing popular flicks. He also tended to meet parishioners at coffee shops and restaurants rather than in his formal office.

    This enthusiasm was by no means a universal sentiment, either in the fieldsites at hand or in other parishes. The starkest example of this came from the experience of Fr. Andrew of Ascension church who, although now a full-time social worker, had begun his clerical career as a young man successively in charge of what he referred to as two largely “geriatric parishes” both of which “would have accepted converts only because of the fact of what it meant to them financially. When asked why the parishioners of these communities were not generally open to new, previously non-Orthodox, church members, Fr. Andrew forthrightly speculated, “I think they really felt threatened by it [conversion]. I think it threatened the power base to have new people come in who were in some sense loyal to the priest instead of the power base [of some lifelong parishioners]-itself being typically antagonistic to the priest. The converts would be seen as loyal to the priest rather than loyal to them, you know, the power base.”

    When these Americans convert to Orthodoxy they bring American ideas of seeking a “Guru.” The priests aren’t too happy to become some millenial’s life coach.


    Finally, as is the case with all categories of human endeavor, the relationships forged between priests and converts themselves were not always idyllic. While more than happy in most cases to offer counsel and assistance to their convert parishioners, priests often commented on the dangerous tendency exhibited in a few, rare converts to idolize the priest and look upon him as something of a “guru” to whom should be deferred all the major questions of their lives…. Converts, like “children,” are perceived as receptive to pastoral influence in a way that many lifelong members are not and converts can come to be readily seen and act as allies to the priest within the parish setting.

    The church uses pastoral “gatekeeping”, not unlike a nightclub that desires to keep its “brand” high.

    Orthodoxy from the midst of competing options available, a sign of Orthodoxy’s rising marketplace value, and wrest sole choice-making control from them through the pastoral “gatekeeping” function of ensuring the purity and earnestness of conversion motivations. At the same time, the potentiality of pastoral delay or denial of a catechumen’s desire to become Orthodox can serve as a potent means of “branding” Orthodoxy, of distinguishing it from ecclesial competitors eager for new members.

    Converts to Orthodoxy can’t stomach a trace of western idols and want them scrapped, even if it offends real orthodox people. Those real orthodox people are there for the ethnic enclave, nothing more.


    And in all of these [Orthodox] churches people are there not because of Christ or the teachings of the church, but because this is my ethnic background. This is where my parents went, this is what I’ve always been. This is the way it is….”

    “When you see new people come in and they’re interested in learning about the faith, you start wondering yourself why would somebody want to leave the Catholic church or the Protestant church and come here?”

    Avidly citing their theological readings, converts of St. Michael’s, for instance, regularly complained to Fr. Mark (and to me) about the “western” style of the church’s interior icons and advocated that they be replaced by others painted in a more appropriately Orthodox “eastern” fashion. Yet, when the parish did commission and acquire two new “eastern” icons to adorn its sanctuary, one elderly lifelong church member, took me aside and asked, with clear alarm, about the unfamiliar iconographic depiction of the Mother of God newly set before her in the church.23 With her intuitive, habitualized way of apprehending her faith, the woman had never before seen the Mother of God depicted without the Christ Child and, thus, expressed concern that the icon was spiritually “wrong” or “tainted” in the same way I had heard converts descry the remaining “western” icons surrounding the new image.

    In communities with converts, Orthodox Christians routinely jostle for social standing by categorizing one another in endless contortions of racial taxonomies.

    However, general acceptance of converts on the part of “ethnic” lifelong church members did not directly translate into a disavowal or whitewashing of ethnicity from parish life. Rather, a kind of “ethnic parsing,” whereby external features such as surnames or physical characteristics act as signposts of Orthodox identity, is a staple of church life. As one example upon the many to be cited of this phenomenon, Sarah, of St. Michael’s church, recalled her disappointment in learning her future husband was Roman Catholic rather than Eastern Orthodox, an assumption she had initially made given his “very Ukrainian last name.” Certainly, converts learned these “signs” and the larger taxonomy of ethnic stereotyping to which they pointed from lifelong church members, for whom such features could prove significant for intra- and inter-parish boundary maintenance. Significantly, this tacit, habitualized knowledge could only be gained through the everyday experience of parish life-books do not convey such information. Upon my own arrival at these research sites, converts, as well as lifelong members, attempted to discern my own “ethnic identity” as indicative of possible Orthodox affiliation or not. For example, Alex, to whom I was introduced on my very first visit to St. Michael’s for a Saturday vesper’s service, immediately asked if I myself was an Orthodox Christian, quickly adding, “You look Greek” as rationale for the question.

    Converts at Ascension, in particular, appealed to physical features in articulating their distinctness from the surrounding “ethnic” community. Although Mary agreed with her husband, Fred, that she and her family had been warmly welcomed to Ascension, she also evinced a keen awareness that they would always remain somewhat apart from the community. For Mary, this point was underscored by her sense of being “one of the blonds” of the parish, “I don’t feel excluded but at the same time I don’t have expectations that I’m a real Greek here. I know I’m not. I know I’m blond and I don’t fit and that’s okay….We’re fairly integrated into the community. I feel like we are to a certain degree and maybe this is my paranoia, but I guess I’m aware that I’m one of the blondes.”

    “Difficulties? Um, well, I guess the only one I could, perhaps think of is [short pause] in the early days, I think when I came back from communion and looked out into a sea of Greek faces and I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh what am I doing here?’ [She chuckles] But those were momentary and when I got talking to the individual people it was okay.”

  390. Seraphim says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Yes, ‘Christianity’ in the West is a fake (pseudos) because it closed itself to the principle of Life and Truth and holiness, the Holy Spirit. Roman-Catholic ‘Christianity’ is a fake. Protestant “Christianity’ is the greatest fake (‘pork-eating Judaism’ as Heinrich Heine called it). Your ‘real’ Christianity (whatever that means) is a fake.
    Orthodoxy is the Church of Christ because what made the Church, the Holy Spirit sent by the Christ, is still working in it, no matter how few attend services in Russia or elsewhere or that the Patriarch wears golden watches (the argument of Judas), or even that it is a religion for such inferior people like the Russians and other low lifers on the margin of enlightened Euro-America (white, of course). Besides, Orthodoxy is not limited to Russia. There is no Church in America (except the Orthodox one, and that’s because it is not ‘American’). The rest are ‘assemblies’ (synagogues) where people believe they are Christians because they study the ‘Bible’ and ‘invite Christ into their life’.

    • Replies: @Veritatis
    , @CanSpeccy
  391. Veritatis says:
    @Seraphim

    “Orthodoxy is the Church of Christ because what made the Church, the Holy Spirit sent by the Christ, is still working in it, no matter how few attend services in Russia..”

    Wouldn’t that be true of Catholicism too? Christianity is a life, lived in community, a Church. Though perhaps the Catholic Church (understood as clergy and laity) is smaller than the usual numbers bandied about –and that’s fine–, enough Catholics (clergy and laity) try sincerely to live ordered towards Christ. The Holy Spirit is working fine.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @Seraphim
  392. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Seraphim

    Well, that’s a valid opinion. What do you think of Solovyov ( Соловьёв)?

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  393. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Seraphim

    no matter … that the Patriarch wears golden watches (the argument of Judas)

    Well if the Patriarch’s watch is supposed to remind us of the glory of Heaven, why does he wear a crap Breguet, worth a mere $30,000, when he could have a 219 karat diamond ornamented Chopard for $26 mils?

    or even that it is a religion for such inferior people like the Russians

    Had no idea the Russians were an inferior people. In what way are they inferior? And inferi0r to whom?

  394. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Veritatis

    Christianity is a life, lived in community, a Church.

    So you also reject the pig-eating prods. as beyond the church wall. But did not Jesus say

    For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  395. Abdī says: • Website

    Yikes. Now that’s a cathedral only a “mother mary” could love.

  396. Seraphim says:
    @Veritatis

    ‘Catholicism’ has strayed incrementally from the Truth of the Universal (Katholike) Church, both in dogmas and practice. Introducing the particular dogmas of the Filioque (which reduces the Holy Spirit to the status of creature) and Papal supremacy (as the sole dispenser of the Spirit) it fell from the common consensus of the Fathers, expressed in the Holy Spirit’s inspired decisions of the Ecumenical Councils at which the Tradition of the Apostles kept by all their successors was confirmed.
    The Popes placed themselves in schism, discontinuing the communion in the Holy Spirit with the Universal Church. Moreover, they altered the form of the Mysteries (Sacraments) through which the Holy Spirit is transmitted, starting with the Initiation rite of Baptism (by three immersions), Chrismation and Communion. The situation was further aggravated by the change in the form of the perfect sign of communion, the Eucharist, in direct defiance of the very command of the Christ. The Catholics suppressed the ‘epiclesis’, the prayer of the priest that the Holy Spirit descends on the bread and wine brought by the Christians to the altar, transforming them into the Body and Blood of the Christ. They actually replaced the bread with the Jewish matzos (“If any bishop, presbyter, or deacon, or any one of the list of clergy, keeps fast or festival with the Jews, or receives from them any of the gifts of their feasts, as unleavened bread, any such things, let him be deposed” Apostolic Canon LXX).
    So, we see that the Holy Spirit does not work ‘just fine’ (if at all). That’s not to say that the Holy Spirit who works as He determines, does completely abandon those who sincerely thirst for him ( “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” 1 Corinthians 12: 3-11).
    It works through the relics of the saints that the West still have and through their prayers for the people. And through the prayers of the Mother of God. But the Holy Spirit will work fully when the communion of the Church would be restored. And that is not possible until RC returns to the Faith of the Ecumenical Councils (i.e. Orthodoxy, the true Tradition of the Apostles), swallows her pride renouncing her errors and repenting (metanoia – change of mind). It entails a process of education.

    • Replies: @Veritatis
  397. Seraphim says:
    @CanSpeccy

    “18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say unto YOU, That if two of YOU shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:18-20).
    Jesus talks to the Apostles. That means in the Church.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  398. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Seraphim

    Jesus talks to the Apostles. That means in the Church.

    Oh, I see. So the meaning of Jesus’s message to the Apostles, a bunch of simple-minded illiterates, can be understood only through the exegetic contortions of Popes, Patriarchs and, Archbishops in sequined dresses and diamond studded vests, all wearing gold watches and living in palaces, their findings made known to the mass of present-day simpletons by priests and propagandists who regard with contempt those who deviate in the slightest from their interpretation of the exact meaning of the words of the Creator of the Universe.

    • Agree: Abdī
    • Replies: @Seraphim
  399. Seraphim says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Well, of course, the judgement of the simpletons and illiterates (and the mentally deranged) can’t be trusted. Especially when they demonstrate that they don’t know what they are talking about. Their judgement is impaired by their simplemindedness and illiteracy. When sick, people go and ask a licensed medical practitioner for a diagnostic and treatment (even if he drives a more expensive car than yours) and don’t trust their own judgement or of the know-it all DIY types. But there are of course a lot of simpletons and half-literate who think they can diagnose themselves and self-medicate, doing more harm than good to themselves.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  400. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Seraphim

    I had what I thought was a quite funny response to your last comment. But I have set it aside in the hope that we can end the discussion, if not in agreement, at least with amity. So good night and best wishes to you and anyone else reading what I assume to be the absolute tail end of this thread who sincerely strives to understand their moral duty and their place in the universe.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  401. Seraphim says:
    @CanSpeccy

    You have been well advised. The ‘discussion’ between us has ended a time ago. You kept interfering in my discussion with others. My responses were not really addressed to you.
    Good night.

  402. Veritatis says:
    @Seraphim

    A very learned response. As I read it, I remembered that the “Eastern” side of the schism gave a version in which theological disputes were the driving factor, including not only the Filioque clause, but also liturgical elements and common christian practices. While the “Latin” side of the schism argued it was political considerations, dating from the crowning of Charlemagne, and including the birth of the Holy Roman Empire, the disputed See of Constantinople, the Sack of Constantinople and ending with the Pope-Patriarch excommunication. I do believe the rupture was caused by rather temporal motives on both sides, it is usually how men act.

    I also believe the Catholic Church has two very good claims to being Christ’s church: one, the uninterrupted succession from St. Peter, two, the fact that it miraculously managed to retain an independence from temporal rulers. And I don’t mean to say that it is the only church in which men can live as Christians, as you kindly pointed out, and even less can I second-guess God’s will, but I think both ideas mean something when related to the question ‘What Church did/does He want?’. I will not cite the Bible to you, but will mention that I was once gifted a Protestant Bible that had conveniently forgotten to include “..and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of Hell..” That are, of course, intellectual arguments, to which I can only add that my experience of catholic liturgy –with stuttering priests or vernacular tongues– has a light, a sentiment, a joy, that can only come from above.

    I am not hopeful of solving this schism on the atheistic Unz’s comments section, but I find it interesting that we have crossed paths. I particularly enjoyed your mention (call?) to metanoia. The concept intrigues me, this fundamental Christian act, this turning away from oneself, this saying a yes to Another, little by little, blindly but guided, which in the end amounts to a process that changes one’s whole life, and why not, affects life wholly. What do you think?

  403. Seraphim says:

    I am glad that my words did not all fall along the path, or on rocky places, or among thorns (which the comments section on this particular theme is). I hope it was on the ‘good soil, where it may produce a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown’.

    Metanoia. Yes, it has to be taken in its ‘strong’ sense. The Latin Fathers translated metanoia as paenitentia, which came to mean “penance” or “acts of penance”. Tertullian protested the unsuitable translation of the Greek ‘metanoeo’ into the Latin ‘paenitentiam agite’ by arguing that ‘in Greek, metanoia is not a confession of sins but a change of mind’. ‘Conversion’ (from the Latin ‘conversio’ – turning round) with its ‘change in character’ meaning is more nearly the equivalent of metanoia than repentance. Confession of sins and the promise to not fall again into sin are of course a condition of the ‘change of mind’. Now, the original sense of New Testament Greek ἁμαρτία hamartia “sin”, is failure, being in error, missing the mark, especially in spear throwing; Hebrew hata “sin” originates in archery and literally refer to missing the “gold” at the centre of a target, but hitting the target, i.e. error.

    “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight’ 4 And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. 13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3: 1-17).

    “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ (εὐαγγελίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ – the Good News of Jesus Christ), the Son of God; 2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight’. 4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance (βάπτισμα μετανοίας) for the remission of sins. 5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins” (Mark 1: 1-5).

    Baptism ‘corrects’ the ‘sin’ of Adam whose ‘wages is death’, enabling Man to start anew his journey to the final target, which is ‘the Kingdom of God’ and become ‘god by Grace’, as was the intention of the Creator. Of course, guidance remains absolutely necessary, but you find it only in the Church. ‘Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus’.

  404. Veritatis says:

    Seraphim,

    4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance (βάπτισμα μετανοίας) for the remission of sins. 5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins” (Mark 1: 1-5).

    Thank you! I can now accurately place biblical metanoia! I only ever read the Bible in Spanish (mother tongue), in the Jerusalem edition, I often don’t like others. But your english one I find beautiful, which edition would it be?

    P.S. You might not like this, but the other person who writes like you (that I read) is.. A Pope. The short uncharismatic german one. He did a very similar exercise with metanoia (I went and checked!), did not cite Tertullian (but threw in good old Nietzsche’s opinion than sin was a jewish invention) and then dove deep into “the strong sense” and the forgiveness on sins. Your quoting of the Bible made me grasp in a different way the Creed. And I enjoy this searching the roots and related concepts of a word to find it’s true contours, to ‘understand’.

    May our paths cross often. In Christ, Y.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
    , @Seraphim
  405. Seraphim says:
    @Veritatis

    I am more pleased than you may imagine and I hope indeed that our paths may cross again.
    The ‘Bible’ that I use is what should be more accurately called the ‘Scriptures’ (tas graphas), the most traditional one, the Greek one, the Septuagint for the Old Testament and the Byzantine text used in the Orthodox Church (the base for all other vernacular translations – Slavonic in principal). All other translations of the Old Testament are made from the so-called Hebrew Masoretic text which is a late corruption of the Septuagint and what was the Hebrew Scriptures as documented by the Dead Sea Scrolls. Especially confusing is the King James Version which translated the Old Testament after the Masoretic but the New after the Byzantine. All quotations from the Old Testament in the Byzantine text match exactly the text of the Septuagint, but diverge substantially from the Masoretic ones (especially the passages which prophesy the Christ).

    You may find them at @http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/septuagint/default.asp
    It is part of a larger site dedicated to the “Greek Word”:
    @http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/default.asp
    “ELPENOR is built around a Bilingual Anthology of all periods of Greek literature, including Homer, Lyric poets, Presocratic philosophers, Plato, Aristotle, Tragedy and Comedy, the Byzantine Fathers, Modern Greek poets, the New Testament, the Greek Old Testament (Septuagint), a web site for the Christ and another one for Athos Holy Mount, even an ever-growing collection of Inspirational Quotes.
    LANGUAGE pages feature free Lessons in Ancient Greek, starting from the Greek alphabet, continuing with Homer and combining grammar and syntax with an attempt to understand the value of the texts and of language itself for our life today.
    COMPLEMENTARY to these come two more Libraries, on how we see Our Greek self, and on what we can Find on-line on Greek Speaking, History, Places, Texts, including a special section on Constantinople, and galleries with Orthodox Icons of the Christ, Modern Greek Paintings on Christianity and Childhood, Mosaics of Daphni Monastery, Photos from Greece, even a Photo Blog.
    ELPENOR’S Forum, named Koinonia, is a place for questioning and discussion on such subjects as Interpretation, Speaking Greek, European Union, New hellenism, Greece before Christ, News & Announcements.”

    A new world of understanding will open for you.

    In Christ,
    S.

  406. Seraphim says:
    @Anon

    Solovyov was not an entirely sane person. He was a crypto-Jew, dying reciting ‘Schema Israel’. His ‘philosophy’ was strongly influenced by Kabbalah. He was renowned as the leading defender of Jewish civil rights in tsarist Russia in the 1880. Jews posthumously accorded Solovyov the accolade of a “righteous gentile,” for his struggle to reconcile Judaism and Christianity and persuade secular authorities to respect conscience and religious freedom still bear prophetic vitality. Besides he was an advocate of Papal Primacy and of conversion of Russia to Catholicism. His teachings on “Sophia”, conceived as the merciful unifying feminine wisdom of God comparable to the Hebrew Shekinah or various goddess traditions, have been roundly condemned as a heresy by Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and as unsound and unorthodox by the Patriarchate of Moscow.

  407. Seraphim says:
    @Veritatis

    I would add that ‘metanoia’ means also ‘change of heart’. The heart is the see of ‘νοῦς or νόος, and Latin ‘intellectus’ and ‘intelligentia’ respectively. Of ‘understanding’. The nous is the faculty which perceives directly, intuitively, the spiritual world, which sees the world of ‘ideas’ (‘idea’ is derived from the root ‘vid’=to see, video, videre). ‘Theoria’ means the vision of God (that was the Platonic and Aristotelian sense), contemplation. This capacity is obscured by the storm of the ‘passions’. And that’s how we should understand the “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God”. As all the Beatitudes, in fact. Purity of heart is obtained by ‘cleansing of the sins’, by ‘pacifying’ the storm of passions, by ‘silencing’ (hesychia) the noise produced by the passions, enabling the nous to hear the Word of God (Logos). It is an arduous way, the way of ἄσκησις áskesis, “exercise” or “training”.

    • Replies: @Veritatis
    , @Veritatis
  408. Veritatis says:
    @Seraphim

    You showed me something very interesting with the jewish word for sin: hitting the target but missing the gold. I am no theologician, but let me try: if the sin is hitting the target while missing the gold, then every occasion (target) where I “miss” right conduct (gold), where I sin, becomes through Christian understanding, a gift. It gives a different depth to “errare humanum est” (forgive my Latin). The sin, acknowledged and repented, becomes the way. In Spanish we have a saying “en el pecado llevarás la penitencia” ( each sin carries the adequate suffering). And some sufferings you just have to live through. “I am the way, the truth and the life”.

    And it must happen through the sacrament of confession, n’est-ce pas? Where else to find this grace, this turning away from oneself (our passions), this glancing within while being ‘held before God’, this moment of surrender of our will to His will, that allows for growth.

    And what do you think of the rosary? as a way of quieting the passions and/or intuiting the spiritual?

    I arrived at your site, very interesting, and vast, have not decided where to start. I looked at a few comments about Benedict’s Regensburg lecture, and Aristotle’s rhetoric. Neither have I decided on my summer reading, I was thinking of some history, maybe Carroll’s Christendom series, would you know of a good history site for the 19th century? The Chretineau-Joly (have only read about a third of the second volume) got me thinking about generalized unrest, and how to orchestrate it. The concentration of wealth, the crisis of values we are living through, where can it end?

    I have written all over the place, a day with 14 loud teenage girls will do that to you. Thank you kindly.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  409. Veritatis says:
    @Seraphim

    How funny, just found this on silence:
    “Ever since I first read the Letters of Saint Ignatius of Antioch in the 1950s, one passage from his Letter to the Ephesians has particularly affected me: “It is better to keep silence and be [a Christian] than to talk and not to be. Teaching is an excellent thing, provided the speaker practices what he teaches. Now, there is one Teacher who spoke and it came to pass. And even what He did silently is worthy of the Father. He who has truly made the words of Jesus his own is able also to hear His silence, so that he may be perfect: so that he may act through his speech and be known through his silence” (15, 1f.). What does that mean: to hear Jesus’s silence and to know him through his silence? We know from the Gospels that Jesus frequently spent nights alone “on the mountain” in prayer, in conversation with his Father. We know that his speech, his word, comes from silence and could mature only there. So it stands to reason that his word can be correctly understood only if we, too, enter into his silence, if we learn to hear it from his silence.

    Certainly, in order to interpret Jesus’s words, historical knowledge is necessary, which teaches us to understand the time and the language at that time. But that alone is not enough if we are really to comprehend the Lord’s message in depth. Anyone today who reads the ever-thicker commentaries on the Gospels remains disappointed in the end. He learns a lot that is useful about those days and a lot of hypotheses that ultimately contribute nothing at all to an understanding of the text. In the end you feel that in all the excess of words, something essential is lacking: entrance into Jesus’s silence, from which his word is born. If we cannot enter into this silence, we will always hear the word only on its surface and thus not really understand it.”

    Benedict’s preface to Cardinal Sarah’s “La force du silence”

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  410. Seraphim says:
    @Veritatis

    I would recommend to start with Saint Maximus the Confessor. Especially his Centuries. You will find a complete edition in Kindle. It is the best introduction to Orthodox ascetical and mystical theology and its relations to Liturgy (his treatise Mystagogy).
    I think that the closest thing in the West to the Orthodox mystical theology is the Carmelitan mystical tradition (Saint John of the Cross).
    About the ascetical and mystical theology in the West the best source is the ‘Prelude to Eternal Life’ of Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange.

  411. Seraphim says:
    @Veritatis

    About ‘hesychia’ which means silence, but also stillness, quietude, the essential reading is the “Triads For The Defense of Those Who Practice Sacred Quietude” of Saint Gregory Palamas.

    • Replies: @Veritatis
  412. Veritatis says:
    @Seraphim

    Hello Seraphim, hopefully you’ll see this, otherwise I’ll have to hunt for a newer thread.

    Baptism enables us to live as members of the Church, and it gives us a great gift, the seeds of theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. Those help us not only to strive against our darker nature, but to build a better life and community, a Culture of Life that speaks about God in this life and hopefully gains us an eternal one.

    First Communion. A sacred act, receiving Christ. But I see my explanation of the sacrifice and the gift is insufficient, about the joy unclear, and we are approaching one. You are very concise and clear, I thought about asking if you have any helpful thoughts?

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  413. Seraphim says:
    @Veritatis

    My dear friend,

    All the clarity you may find in my modest ‘clarifications’ is derived from the frequentation of the Scriptures, of the Orthodox Fathers and confessors and, of course, from the participation in the liturgical life of the Church and prayer. They remain the best introduction into the liturgical life.
    The Scripture readings, actually chanting (Prophets, Psalms, Gospels, Epistles) in an Orthodox Church have a more profound impact than simple reading or ‘Bible studies’. It is actually a sacred act. You listen to the living Word under the eyes of Lord and his saints figured in the icons.
    I recommend two of the pearls of Orthodox thinking:
    “On the Life in Christ” of St. Nicholas Cabasilas, the great mystic and theological writer contemporary of St. Gregory Palamas. His explanation of the sacraments of Baptism, Chrismation and Eucharist is unsurpassed. Keep in mind that in the Orthodox Church the Baptism is followed immediately by Chrismation and Communion. There is no delay between them.
    “Interpretation of the Divine Liturgy”.
    You find them on-line, although I prefer the book format.
    Indeed Baptism is the gift of God to us, for which we give thanks in the Eucharist (eucharistia means, as you certainly know, ‘thanksgiving’). We must always thank God for everything He gave us, most of all the promise of eternal life. It is from our part a sacrifice of thanksgiving.

    I think that we may keep this thread as a communication line. I will check it regularly.

  414. Veritatis says:

    “We must always thank God for everything He gave us, most of all the promise of eternal life. It is from our part a sacrifice of thanksgiving.”

    There! I knew you would write a concise little gold nugget. Something to incorporate in the midday prayer, plus something for an earnest 10 year old. I forget there must be many differences in practice with the Catholic tradition. What I know is mostly that the Orthodox have a beautiful, more “mystical” Mass. The rest is really about history.

    Haven’t finished Chretineau, ordered Life in Christ plus the Garrigou. We shall see, I haven’t read the City of God, my on-line website closed, and it is difficult to find venues for that. Books open up differently when you can mull them over with others. (We do share the early Fathers, do we not?)

  415. Seraphim says:

    You are too kind.
    But speaking of ‘gold nuggets’, let me remind you of the immense spiritual profit you can gain from the ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ that are the Homilies of Saint John Chrysostom (the Golden Mouth).

  416. Veritatis says:

    Ah no no no! You must either dumb down the homework or lower the quantity, for I am currently doing an arduous finish of the arithmetic school year plus a few courses of middle school, particularly political debate. One must encounter Trump even in one’s soup. We even have to defend him.

    Very interesting, N.’s sister. I understood Hitler was not really nietzschean, I just took it as a given that Nietzsche was popular among his high ranking associates, how else could such a useful modern ‘thinker’ have been labeled nazi? Criminal. The Telegraph article was probably part of a rehabilitation campaign to spruce him up for modern consumption, don’t you think?

    So, Pentecost Vigil. Around 250 teenagers, 10pm – 6am. Moderately difficult audience. Two minute attention spans. My explanation in a nutshell: the story of Pentecost is the story of a miracle, where people of different backgrounds and history could come together and understand each other. Faith is ecclesial or not faith. Let us come together, in Christ.

    Not that I want to impose, but any thoughts?

  417. Seraphim says:

    My dear friend,

    Pentecost is the descent of the Holy Spirit only upon the Apostles, as it was promised by Jesus.
    Notice that only the Apostles speak in languages.

    “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language” (Acts 2:1-6)

    “16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:16-17).
    But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning” (John 15:26-27).
    “7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you” (John 16:7-15).

    OTOH, had Nietzsche been a real antisemite, be sure that nobody would have never heard of him. Or, he would have been vilified.

  418. Veritatis says:

    I think maybe our traditions differ? For Catholics, Pentecost is the origin of the Church (though only the apostles spoke in tongues). I don’t know what the priest will say, but to whatever unwary teenagers come near me, I want to ‘seed’ that faith is lived in community, that a ‘personal belief’ can never really reach outside our own ego. To battle a specific belief around them, you see. The second point is that Christ lives today, within this Church, in the sacramental life. Otherwise what would he be but another ‘thinker’ to remember? Is he just that, or is He who he said he was? And so to pray as to encounter Him, to hold a candle in the darkness, and let a fiery love be lit.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  419. Seraphim says:
    @Veritatis

    What makes you think that Orthodox believe otherwise? Pentecost is the origin of the Church for them too. People who witnessed the miracle and listened to Peter’s explanation of it, got baptized forthwith. The faith is lived in the Church because the Church is the depository of the Holy Ghost (” Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” – 1 Cor. 12:3) who is imparted through the sacraments.

    “32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:32-47).

    • Replies: @Veritatis
  420. Veritatis says:
    @Seraphim

    Good Monday, and Pentecost went well, I hope for you too.

    I’m reading a ‘catholic’ history of Christendom, and was interested to read that Psalm 110 in the Septuagint is interpreted as being a prophetic referral of David to Christ. Apparently the Hebraic translations of the text were inscrutable. So there, a little moment of triumph for those Orthodox fellows, I thought to let you know.

  421. Seraphim says:

    Thank you, Pentecost went well. In the Orthodox Church all three days are part of the Feast of Pentecost (Sunday is the ‘Trinity Sunday’, Whit Monday is the “Monday of the Holy Spirit”, Whit Tuesday is the “Third Day of the Trinity”. Liturgy was celebrated on all these days).

    Of course the Psalm 109 (in Septuagint) is a messianic Psalm directly referred by Jesus. The relevant passage is Matthew 22:41-45:
    “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. 43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? 46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions”.

    and Hebrews 7:15-17:
    “15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec”.

    The other ‘messianic’ psalms are 2: “The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers gathered themselves together, against the Lord, and against his Christ (Greek is χριστοῦ αὐτοῦ, the Anointed one – Hebrew מָשִׁ֫יחַ – mashiach)”
    and 21 (Septuagint) which describes in details the moments of the Crucifixion. Jesus recites the Psalm on the Cross to confirm the prophecy.
    Actually all Psalms spoke about Christ:
    “44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” (Luke 24:44).

    In Christ.

    • Replies: @Veritatis
  422. Veritatis says:
    @Seraphim

    I enjoyed that, thank you. So, two Garrigous found a new home. My very favorite priest came to lunch, and I had bought him one as a gift, he was quite familiar with the author (“a Dominican”, he smiled), and ended up taking both to his mission in Guatemala. Amidst all the chatter, we were able to have a more meaty conversation about metanoia, and nous, and God within. He is a man of prayer, and recommended St Teresa as ‘softer’ than St. John of the Cross. Naturally a little detour into spanish ‘Amor Sacro’ poetry happened. Should I strain your spanish?

    [MORE]

    No me mueve mi Dios para quererte
    el cielo que me tienes prometido:
    ni me mueve el infierno tan temido,
    para dejar por eso de ofenderte.

    Tu me mueves, Señor, muéveme el verte,
    clavado en una cruz y escarnecido,
    muéveme ver tu cuerpo tan herido,
    muéveme tus afrentas y tu muerte.

    Muéveme, en fin, tu amor, y en en tal manera,
    que aunque no hubiera cielo, yo te amara,
    y aunque no hubiera infierno, te temiera.

    No tienes que me dar porque te quiera,
    porque aunque cuanto espero no esperara,
    lo mismo que te quiero, te quisiera.

    The most beautiful part, I think, is that it is anonymous. In Christ.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
    , @Seraphim
  423. Seraphim says:
    @Veritatis

    Yes, beautiful. Spanish doesn’t frighten me. I come from a Romance linguistical background (Romanian). I have a soft spot for things Spanish. Don Quixote was the delight of my childhood and youth.
    Needless to say, Saint Dominic to whom the Rosary was given, was a Spaniard too. I have also a soft spot for Toulouse, and the whole of ‘Occitanie’, which I visit whenever I go to France. It was a region of intense spirituality (which I can feel in the air, so to speak), through which a branch of the Camino de Santiago (which I think of as the ‘spine’ of Christianity in Western Europe) passed. It remained the most ‘Byzantine’ one, unsullied by Islam. In fact it was the first region of the West to be Christianized (and I uphold the local traditions that it happened in Apostolic times).
    In Christ.

    • Replies: @Veritatis
  424. Seraphim says:
    @Veritatis

    @conversation about metanoia, and nous, and God within

    I might add that in the Orthodox Church, ‘metania’ (from metanoia, of course) means also the prostration. Metania, the lesser prostration (the bow to the floor), and the Great Metania (the complete prostration). It is a sign of penance and accompanies the prayer. The confessing priest usually prescribes the penitent a number of ‘metanias’, apportionate to the gravity of the transgression. It has a very powerful effect on the mind. It is a usual spiritual exercise of the monastics. In monastic parlance a monk retreats to his cell to ‘do his metania’, his spiritual exercises (lecture, psalmody, prayer, prostrations).
    But also it means the knotted prayer rope (komboskini, vervitsa, and in Romanian mătănii) used to keep count of the number of prayers, similar to the Rosary. It is given at the tonsure of a monk or nun, with the words:
    ” Accept, O brother (sister), the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17) in the everlasting Jesus prayer by which you should have the name of the Lord in your soul, your thoughts, and your heart, saying always: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
    In Christ.

    • Replies: @Veritatis
  425. Veritatis says:
    @Seraphim

    El Camino, yes! We intend to make it, perhaps next year. I have roots in northern Spain, and to hear the bells of the Colegiata in Santillana del Mar (near the caves of Altamira) is to feel an ancestral yearning. I like that one of the representations of the Apostle Santiago is “Santiago Matamoros”, recently set aside for ‘correctness’ reasons. But it might yet revive, as will common sense, if the cultural fog lifts. And do you know of Potes? A tiny monastery for Saint Toribio, in the mountains, where the biggest piece of the Vera Cruz is held. A Franciscan monk told the story of how the moors were advancing on Astorga in the IX century, and so they sent the holy relic to the mountains, and one is allowed to hold the cross in which it is housed, and kiss it. A wholly moving, unexpected, moment.

    Buen camino, today.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  426. Veritatis says:
    @Seraphim

    Very interesting. Where would Christianity be without monasticism, that most useful profession. The Jesuits do a prayer at the end of their Spiritual Exercises, an absolute bow to Divine Will, that is so moving it comes as a shock. I cannot find it now, but will send it when I do.

    • Replies: @Veritatis
  427. Seraphim says:
    @Veritatis

    Yes, thank you for reminding me of the Vera Cruz of Potes. It made me instantly think of Saint Beatus de Liebana and his extraordinary visions.
    It was my desire to make the Camino, but I never succeeded and it is very unlikely to ever make it (I come to Europe less and less frequently from the Antipodes!). But I make it frequently in my mind. I made the ultimate pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulcher, and it happened to be on the Holy Saturday when I witnessed the Holy Light from the Golgota, so that might compensate! Anyhow, the Russian Church I attend in Sydney has two tiny splinters of the Cross!
    If you go on El Camino, I am sure you won’t miss the Sudarium of Oviedo. All the region from Provence to the Atlantic (roughly the former Aquitaine) had a history related to the most sacred relics of Christianity (I suggest you to read an interesting research: “On the Possible Whereabouts of the Shroud in Post-Resurrection Times” @www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2009/10/on-possible-whereabouts-of-shroud-in.html, for your eyes only). I think also of the Santo Caliz of Valencia and of San Lorenzo.
    Keep in mind that Santiago was one of the three disciples witnesses of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor.
    ¡Santiago y cierra, España!
    In Christ

    • Replies: @Veritatis
    , @Veritatis
  428. Veritatis says:
    @Veritatis

    It is called the Suscipe Prayer, it goes like this:

    Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
    my memory, my understanding, and all my will–
    all that I have and posses.
    You, Lord, have given all that to me.
    I now give it back to you, O Lord.
    All of it is yours.
    Dispose of it according to your will.
    Give me love of yourself along with grace,
    for that is enough for me.

    It was meant as a closing prayer in St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises. Jesuits were, of course, trained to be contemplatives in action, that is to say engaged in the world. I imagine them saying that and then going to look for Indians in the jungle, or smashed against Chinese will.

    On a more momentous note, First Communion was lovely.

  429. Veritatis says:
    @Seraphim

    Hello Seraphim. I finally wandered into the Mystagogy site, looked up the word, and read the Shroud article. Twice, because I found it detailed and very broad in scope. I find it hard to believe that Christ’s contemporaries traveled to France and England, yet very interesting, a shroud to heal a king. That would indeed account for Arthur’s enduring legend, as it says. And yet the final destination of the shroud after the sack of Constatinople remains uncertain? If there was theft of such a relic, are there no records? And I know curiosity killed the cat, but the author writes a bit like you? After, I stumbled into a homily by your ‘Golden Mouth’:

    “..Even if we possess countless righteous deeds, if we bear remembrance of wrongs, they are all to no avail and in vain, and we will not be able to reap from them any benefit toward our salvation.

    Therefore, being conscious of these things, let us bring an end to all anger, and purifying our conscience, let us approach with all meekness and gentleness the table of Christ, to Whom is all glory, honor, and power, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.”

    Hmrphhhhhh…. This man is a menace! They were not afraid to be clear-spoken, the early Fathers, were they? And this metanoia (change of character) thing.. so very radical, it can only be Christian. Anyway, thank you, though a bit stilted, I enjoy this conversing. In Christ.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  430. Veritatis says:
    @Seraphim

    I forgot in my prior post -bit tired-, so I had to add your pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulcher sounds wonderful. And one never knows about future ones. When we do go, I hope to consult with you! (I’m afraid it really is your fault that one wants to impose a little.) Good night.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  431. Seraphim says:
    @Veritatis

    We know quite in detail what happened to the Shroud after the sack of Constantinople. The final destination is Torino where it is kept. In 2015 it was exhibited and seen by 2 mil visitors.
    Details about the history of the Shroud after the sack of Constantinople at Noel Currer-Briggs: “The Shroud and the Grail: A Modern Quest for the True Grail” (book consulted by that author who inspired me to write like him!)’
    For a comprehensive view about the Shroud the ‘Shroud of TurinWebsite’@https://www.shroud.com/menu.htm is the best.
    In Christ

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  432. Seraphim says:
    @Veritatis

    It is an imposition that I really like.
    I will be traveling for the next two months, so there might be delays in answering, but I wish to maintain that contact and help as much as I can.
    In Christ.

  433. Seraphim says:
    @Seraphim

    I should have added that travel to France and England for the Romans was nothing out of the common. On the contrary, commercial relations between the Mediterranean and Gaul and Cornwall were very old and quite vivacious. Gaul was already a Roman Province. On the other hand the Apostles have been enjoined to preach the Good News to the ‘Finis Terrae’, the end of the World.
    See the ‘The Astonishing Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Andrew’ (3 parts) @http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/43455.htm (a site I recommend)

    Also ‘A JOURNAL OF ORTHODOX FAITH AND CULTURE ROAD TO EMMAUS’@http://www.roadtoemmaus.net/

    In Christ.

    • Replies: @Veritatis
  434. Veritatis says:
    @Seraphim

    What can one wish you but ‘buen camino’? I too am away from Mexico until mid-August but will paradoxically have more reading time. Or so I hope. Let’s see what the summer yields, I will let you know if I wrestle with some early Father.
    In Christ.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  435. Seraphim says:
    @Veritatis

    Thank you.
    I would have like to go to Mexico. Speaking about the Shroud, I think there is no need to remind you of the Mexican miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe. You must know better, of course.
    Hasta luego.

    • Replies: @Veritatis
    , @Che Guava
  436. Veritatis says:
    @Seraphim

    Oh it would be wonderful if you visited! We Mexicans are a friendly people and very good at long lunches! But kindly not now while we are in the US (in a rather atheistic sea town but within two blocks of a thriving church with a tiny Perpetual Adoration chapel).

    La Virgen Morena, yes. Devotion to Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe runs strong and deep and sometimes superstitiously, to the point that when Benedict XVI came to Mexico in 2012, he mentioned –a bit like in passing as was his wont– that Christianity needs be Christ-centric. The media fortunately didn’t pick it up, or couldn’t, because the popular enthusiasm for the frail, reserved and un charismatic pope was huge.

    But even when uneducated, this love of the people for “la Virgencita’ is a sign of an ongoing miracle. Years ago I read “Flor y Canto del Nacimiento de México” with a detailed explanation of how the Indians were literally dying off (not just from smallpox) when, after the Spanish conquest, the Sun was still moving in the heavens though no human sacrifices were being offered. Their world had ceased to be intelligible, and thus meaningful and thus livable. Tenochtitlán was a bigger city than many European capitals at the time, and yet was conquered by a few Spaniards. So when the Virgin appeared, and she was brown skinned, and the iconography was understandable to the Indians, conversion to Christianity was possible. They saw it and wept. I don’t know if we can truly imagine the effect of the tenderness, of the loving gentleness of the Holy Mother in a thoroughly brutish world, and that coming from the new, triumphant deity of the Conquerors. “Muéveme, en fin, Tu amor, y en tal manera, que aunque no hubiera Cielo yo te amara, y aunque no hubiera inferno, te temiera.”

    My favorite priest, about whom I’ve spoken before, is an elderly Belgian, who worked for many years in Congo, says he knew Mexico was going to be special for him, because he was born on December 12, the day of the Feast of Guadalupe (and the start of the Christmas “Posadas” celebrations that we Mexicans often prolong until Jan 6, Día de Reyes). And so for many more years he ministered to poor communities in the very poor states of Oaxaca and Chiapas. My children go –grumbling– on a yearly pilgrimage to the Basílica de Guadalupe with their school, which is like an hour away by bus. But something will remain.. like Pascal said, there are three ways to faith: habit (les habitudes), inspiration or reason. We just must seed and water to the best of our abilities. In Christ.

  437. Che Guava says:
    @Seraphim

    Re. Your earlier comment about Japan bombarding Russian PoWs with Marxist propaganda over a century ago, I commend the following article to you.

    https://newswithviews.com/revised-bolshevikism-in-america-part-2/

    Although he cites no sources, he is a very old man, and his statements that that project originated in the USA, specifically NYC, makes much sense.

    I recommend reading the whole, all except the PoW propagandisation matches historical records, but I have not seen or found a reliable source on that in Japanese, and his account of it is far more believable than your nutshell (for which I thank you, it is striking serendipity to stumble along to a better version so soon after your initial statements).

    As for the Catholic church, I was to consider converting, until Benedictus stepped down, Francesco ascended.

    Said before, he did nothing for people killed and threatened by Operation Condor, part of the reason he does and says so many stupid things, he is guilty, at least of collaboration.

    The 19th century confections in the Marian cult also make me uncomfortable.

    • Replies: @Veritatis
  438. pll says:
    @AP

    Just the unexpected answer to my question.

    Blessed be God forever!

  439. Veritatis says:
    @Che Guava

    Hello, Che Guava. I hope you see this, for I have kept your answer in mind and have read those comments of yours upon which I’ve stumbled, and you seem genuinely nice and sane. Don’t chose the Church because of Francis (a heavy cross we must bear, but God brings good out of the bad), but because Christ is, today and for always, present in his Church. A spiritual life, lived sacramentally and in communion is priceless riches. As for the Virgin, I speak of her as I would of a person -far holier than any- that I feel particularly close to. As catholic you may or may not become devoted to her, it is a choice, but I read this today, and thought of you:

    Mary and the Convert | G.K. Chesterton | From The Well and the Shallows

    ………….”Mary and the Convert” is the most personal of topics, because conversion is something more personal and less corporate than communion; and involves isolated feelings as an introduction to collective feelings. But also because the cult of Mary is in a rather peculiar sense a personal cult; over and above that greater sense that must always attach to the worship of a personal God. God is God, Maker of all things visible and invisible; the Mother of God is in a rather special sense connected with things visible; since she is of this earth, and through her bodily being God was revealed to the senses. In the presence of God, we must remember what is invisible, even in the sense of what is merely intellectual; the abstractions and the absolute laws of thought; the love of truth, and the respect for right reason and honourable logic in things, which God himself has respected. For, as St. Thomas Aquinas insists, God himself does not contradict the law of contradiction.

    But Our Lady, reminding us especially of God Incarnate, does in some degree gather up and embody all those elements of the heart and the higher instincts, which are the legitimate short cuts to the love of God. Dealing with those personal feelings, even in this rude and curt outline, is therefore very far from easy. I hope I shall not be misunderstood if the example I take is merely personal; since it is this particular part of religion that really cannot be impersonal. It may be an accident, or a highly unmerited favour of heaven, but anyhow it is a fact, that I always had a curious longing for the remains of this particular tradition, even in a world where it was regarded as a legend. I was not only haunted by the idea while still stuck in the ordinary stage of schoolboy scepticism; I was affected by it before that, before I had shed the ordinary nursery religion in which the Mother of God had no fit or adequate place. I found not long ago, scrawled in very bad handwriting, screeds of an exceedingly bad imitation of Swinburne, which was, nevertheless, apparently addressed to what I should have called a picture of the Madonna. And I can distinctly remember reciting the lines of the “Hymn To Proserpine,” out of pleasure in their roll and resonance; but deliberately directing them away from Swinburne’s intention, and supposing them addressed to the new Christian Queen of life, rather than to the fallen Pagan queen of death.

    “But I turn to her still; having seen she shall surely abide in the end; Goddess and maiden and queen, be near me now and befriend.”

    And I had obscurely, from that time onwards, the very vague but slowly clarifying idea of defending all that Constantine had set up, just as Swinburne’s Pagan had defended all he had thrown down.

    (It is not complete. Best wishes.)

  440. Veritatis says:

    Advised against, I won’t continue commenting. However I wanted to thank you for the comments and recommendations, particularly Pravoslavie/orthochristian. I have found it an easy access to Early Fathers, much appreciated in the last few days. I would recommend the videos from the Centro Español de Sindonología, which include the Sudarium and the Chalice, of which I was unaware. (I was happy to learn you were not of those distrustful evangelicals that scoff at the shroud because the catholics have it) If possible, here’s a temporary email where recommendations would be welcomed: Santiagocierra att yahoo dot com. Irregardless, my prayers and very best wishes go to you and yours. En Cristo.

  441. navi says:
    @The Plutonium Kid

    The problem with the article of the author that his Christianity not includes the most popular of them. The Manichean Christianity. This Christian religion started 234 AD. and ended in the early 19th century.It was the most accepted religion of the planet . From China to Western Europe .
    He brings up St Augustine who was nothing but a spy for Catholic Rome. Spending 9 years in the Manichean community , so that way he can be used as a reference against them. Not only the writer is neglecting this very serious historical fact but all the replies too . Manichean Christianity is back .
    So , it’s time to be scared . Because it represents the White Light and the Sun is rising …. on the East
    and the East is on the right not on the left .

  442. The Old Testament is ugly and immoral? Why? Because it shows the evils of humanity so that it can be properly repudiated? This is another I’ve noticed this is the sort of teenage emotional argument that Fred tends to make whenever the subject comes up. And like most emotionally adolescent agnostics, Fred equivocated between “the modern” mind and the “materialist mind”. It’s really just a variation of the liberal “current year” argument. The fact is, the scientific age has unveiled even more plentiful arguments for miracles.

    https://zenit.org/articles/physician-tells-of-eucharistic-miracle-of-lanciano/

    http://www.therecord.com.au/perspectives/columnists/eucharistic-miracles-proof-of-christs-real-presence/

    Besides, the “modern mind” is convinced that biological genders are a social construct. I’ll take my chances and believe the Old Testament.

  443. Nincompoop. IQ maybe scrapes in at 100 even. I know, these days that looks high in these parts.

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