2012-10-14

Review – Part 2 – of Acharya S’s “The Christ Conspiracy”

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by Neil Godfrey

Chapter one of The Christ Conspiracy [CC] is titled, reasonably, “Introduction”. In this chapter Murdock (known at the time as Acharya S) discusses history. Now my primary love as a student was history. I am still buying and reading books on history — ancient, medieval, modern, western, eastern, global, local. When I travel I often spend ages in a museum presenting the history of wherever I am. I have visited and lived among peoples of diverse races, languages and cultures. I also have a fascination for how the animal kingdom works. I love watching and learning about any number of other species. What I find so educational are the many similarities between us and other species. We are not alone when it comes to violence, savagery, love and sacrifice. Nor, I believe, can anyone isolate beliefs alone as a motivator of human behaviour. Beliefs, rather, may be used to rationalize or excuse behaviour, both good and bad.

Religious beliefs are, we have to face it, as much a “human universal” as are language, jokes, toilet training, tool-making and conflict itself.

So when anyone isolates and blames a single cultural factor, religion, for our crimes I just don’t buy it. Blaming religion alone, even primarily, as a cause of violence, is demonstrating a very shallow, one-dimensional view of human nature.

Sure there are times when religious belief is pernicious and destructive. I like to think we would all be better off without religion. But as Tamas Pataki reminded us, can we be sure that by killing off all the pests in our gardens won’t upset the entire ecosystem?

So when in chapter one of CC Acharya blames religion for the world’s violence and cruelty I cringe a little. Chapter one is nothing but a diatribe against the evils of religion and an identification of religion with evil. Religion is responsible for the inhumanity, the violence, the tortures, the deceptions of this world.

So in this chapter Murdock writes:

no ideology is more divisive than religion, which rends humanity in a number of ways through extreme racism, sexism and even speciesism.

In history classes as early as high school I learned the difference between “religion” and “ideology”, so this sentence confuses me. But she will go further and target Christianity in particular:

Few religions of any antiquity have escaped unscathed by innumerable bloodbaths, and, while Islam is currently the source of much fear in the world today, Christianity is far and away the bloodiest in history.

Murdock wont even let the Communists and Nazis escape the bile of religion. Lenin and Marx were “(religious) Jews”. Hitler was a Roman Catholic. Stalin an Eastern Orthodox. (She doesn’t tell us what Mao or Pol Pot were.)

The events of WWII, in fact, were the grisly culmination of a centuries-old policy, started by the Church and continued by Martin Luther, as was well known by Hitler.

As I read this sort of thing I am rapidly losing confidence in the ability of this author to make any balanced assessment of historical evidence in the coming chapters. I am being conditioned to expect that any datum that can be found to fit into a thesis will be made to do so, and no time or trouble will be wasted trying to understand its nature and function in its own right.

But Hitler and the Church’s behavior was not an aberration in the history of Christianity, as from its inception, the religion was intolerant, zealous and violent, with its adherents engaging in terrorism.

From its inception?

While blessing peacemakers and exhorting love and forgiveness of enemies and trespassers, the “gentle Jesus” also paradoxically declares:

Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those of his own household. (Mt. 10:34)

Jesus further states that “nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom”; thus, with a few sentences, Jesus has seeded extreme division, sedition and enmity wherever Christianity is promulgated. In thus exhorting his followers to violence, however, Jesus himself was building on centuries-old Jewish thought that called for the “extermination” of non-Jews, i.e., “unbelievers,” in Christian parlance.

So we know what to expect when she reaches Paul:

The apostle Paul was a violent zealot who as a Jew first persecuted the Christians and as a Christian subsequently terrorized the Pagans.

Now I am recollecting why I was never able to read more than a few part pages here and there when this book first arrived. How can anyone have any confidence in an author who writes that the apostle Paul terrorized pagans?

Martyrdoms of Christians in the early years are rightly said to have been not so widespread as often claimed, but “Christians” are all lumped as a single unit when it comes to evil:

The author of Fourth Maccabees goes on to describe the most foul torture imaginable, including the infamous “racks” being used to tear limbs from the body, as well as the flesh being stripped off and tongues and entrails ripped out, along with the obligatory death by burning. These techniques were later adopted with tremendous enthusiasm by the Christians themselves, who then became the persecutors.

There is only one side to history:

These “conversion” methods by Catholics against men, women and children, Christians and Pagans alike, included burning, hanging and torture of all manner, using the tools described in Fourth Maccabees. Women and girls had hot pokers and sharp objects slammed up their vaginas, often after priests had raped them. Men and boys had their penises and testicles crushed or ripped or cut off. Both genders and all ages had their skin pulled off with hot pincers and their tongues ripped out, and were subjected to diabolical machinery designed for the weakest parts of the body, such as the knees, ankles, elbows and fingertips, all of which were crushed. Their legs and arms were broken with sledgehammers, and, if there was anything left of them, they were hanged or burned alive. Nothing more evil could possibly be imagined, and from this absolute evil came the “rapid” spread of Christianity.

So far this despicable legacy and crime against humanity remains unavenged and its main culprit unpunished, not only standing intact but inexplicably receiving the undying and unthinking support of hundreds of millions, including the educated, such as doctors, lawyers, scientists, etc.

Visiting the torture museum and crossing Charles Bridge with its statues of proud clergy standing atop tormented prisoners behind bars beneath is sobering and sickening enough. But one does not have to dig deep to soon learn that “religiosity” played second fiddle to political power interests. Gold, God and Glory — without lust for gold and power I don’t think God would have been much of a solo act.

The fact is that too much trauma and bloodshed have been caused throughout the millennia strictly on the basis of unfounded faith and excessive illogic . . .

“Strictly on the basis of [religion]”? Certainly “faith” and poor reasoning have a lot to answer for. But it would be difficult, I believe, to say that the world’s horrors have been caused “strictly” by these. I am getting the impression that our author is enthusiastic enough to overstate her case and blindly, with little thought or understanding, marshal anything she thinks she can fit into her case.

So this is why Murdock is writing this book:

It is for these reasons, among others, including the restoration of humanity, that we hope the oppressive and exploitative conspiracy behind religion in general and Christianity in particular will be exposed. . . . It is thus imperative that these all-important matters of religious ideology and doctrine be thoroughly explored and not left up to blind faith.

The point is clear. This book is written as an attempt to expose the evils of Christianity, and to expose the evil core of Christianity itself, and no argument will be spared — nor thought through too deeply — in making that effort. We are about to read a polemic.

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0 thoughts on “Review – Part 2 – of Acharya S’s “The Christ Conspiracy””

  1. [bulk of comment deleted as violation of comment policy: Neil — 15th Oct 2012]

    If these myths are not really historical, as we’ll be exploring, then what in heavens name is all of the fighting about anyways?

    1. You’ve missed the entire point of the comment, and have failed to address the specific points I was making about it. Just sending in long explanations of excuses for Murdock while bypassing the points I am making — and have made in previous posts and comments — becomes a form of trolling. You are welcome to post on your own blog your own views but here you are asked to respond specifically to the points made in posts here. I have deleted your other comment entirely, accordingly.

      You do clearly have difficulty with grasping the point of what is being said, with reading comprehension, as your final question alone demonstrates. It may help if you can bring yourself to read posts a short section at a time, re-read them and try to grasp what the author is actually saying, rather than (presumably) reading defensively and hyper-sensitively so quick to find fault and defend.

  2. So then you want me to quote specifics every time I respond? Ok, I guess I need to get a feel for what you’ll allow and what you won’t.

    Neil Godfrey: “So when anyone isolates and blames a single cultural factor, religion, for our crimes I just don’t buy it. Blaming religion alone, even primarily, as a cause of violence, is demonstrating a very shallow, one-dimensional view of human nature.”

    Now my comment relating specifically to above quote is as follows: So calling a person very “shallow” with a “one-dimensional view of human nature” is not to be taken a personal jab at that person?

    Neil Godfrey: “You do clearly have difficulty with grasping the point of what is being said, with reading comprehension, as your final question alone demonstrates.”

    After you deleted my comment only leaving the last sentence completely out of context, no it doesn’t make very much sense does it. I was summarizing the real point she is trying to make in the chapter.

    1. You’re on your way to being routinely deleted as a troll. You clearly have difficulties with reading comprehension. I did not call anyone “shallow”. But I did speak of a very shallow view of human nature and how the world really works. It is clear you cannot take any criticism or allow any criticism of the views of your preceptor and take every criticism of a view or argument as a personal attack against the person.

      You cannot comprehend the simplest of logical fallacies and you cannot comprehend straightforward prose that expresses something contrary to your beliefs. It seems you really do believe all the wars in which religion was involved were about religious beliefs. You clearly have a very poor educational background in history and a very limited experience with people of different cultures and races and religions.

      It is not hard to understand why you have fallen victim to Murdock’s nonsense.

    1. If my posts are unfair then demonstrate with evidence why the points I make are not fair — where have I made errors or distorted the actual evidence? Just saying you don’t like my posts and expressing your own views is not a demonstration of the unfairness of my posts. Other authors have pointed out to me here if I have misrepresented their views and I have always taken appropriate action. Murdock herself is welcome to point out any specific errors or distortions I might make as others have done. But you give me no appropriate actions to take to correct my views. Unless you can point to where I have distorted facts or got things wrong then I must conclude my posts are fair.

      I think you are confusing fairness with a viewpoint that you like and unfairness with a view that you don’t like.

  3. I wont say that religion is the cause of all the worlds major violences like wars and so on, i will however agree that it makes it damn easier. Nothing today is as powerful a motivator than religion, in getting people to sign up for war. Wasnt it Voltaire that said something to the effect that men need religion to commit real evil. Religion simply makes it easier for the poor and uneducated to be fooled into dying for someone. What are the stats for signups for the US military since 9/11 ? I would be willing to bet that xians make up a significant majority proportional to their size of the American populace. Goto any war memorial in Australia at least and the first thing mentioned is “for God, king and country” and “God gave us the victory”. Its obvious God was important to the Australian war effort, if he wasnt he would not be there.

    ……………

    Hitler may have claimed on occasions to be RC, however he did use Catholicism to his advantage, and that is the point. I seriously doubt any world leader in the first world today is truely religious but they know its important to fake it for the public.

    1. On the other hand the many references to God and religion at war memorial sites, and especially at memorial services, and the place of the clergy in the armies to perform the last rites and prayers for the dead, — it can all be seen as a consolation and a moral salve during and after the acts of war. We need to justify the loss — and God, king and country are a helpful after-the-effect rationale. People will flock to the churches at time of war, but the war itself is rarely the result of religious differences. Even in the past “religious wars” it is pretty clear that the religious differences were a pretext or excuse to cover more fundamental power conflicts.

      It is in hindsight that we can see that the rightness of wars (one of religion’s jobs is to justify the war) is rarely the real cause of the war. It is in history books that we can see through all the propaganda of the day appealing to national indignation, exceptional morality, righteous and just causes, and see the grubby material and power motivations for what they are.

      1. I dont want to dishonour the dead, because there have been times such motivations have been right like in WW2. However I think its clear that God is present in these memorials because its important to acknowledge the principal actors. People flock to churches because the church was until recently a central part of the community. People came to church not only to learn about God, but to receive political instruction. The church in much of Europe was actually a representative of the King, collecting tax, a place of public announcement, controlled public works and more. The authority of the King amd the church was supposedly given by God. Without God, there is no church and no king. The French during their revolution, the Communists, and even England when it split away from Catholicism realised this, when the all left the yoke of the church. People come to church in times of war, simply because they have been indoctrinated that this is the place to get closer to god.

        Im not trying to blame religion for war, im just asserting that as a brainwashing tool, its the best thing authority has ever had. Of course religion is not the motivation, its simply the tool. Thats why the Catholics tried to keep the bible hidden for so long, so they could come up with scriptures or thoughts as the moment required. THeir teachings were never about truth or some special message, it was a means to control the masses. The motivations of the King become the material delivered by the priest to guide the people. Even in the OT, we see exactly the same pattern repeated. The will of the King was the will of God, the reflection we find tries to make excuses when something goes wrong.

  4. mP:
    Good point.
    However “Without God, there is no church and no king”, is the ideology.

    The reality is the reverse: “Without the king, there is no God and no Church”.

    James Frazer was categorical: it’s the ancient chief/shaman of the tribe who invented and orchestrated the worship of the tribe’s gods.

    Without the Roman Empire and its routes of transportation, there would have been no Paul traveling around, and no market for early Christianities.

    Without the support of Helena, mother of Constantine, the Christian “supersitio” would have remained banned and suppressed and never granted the legal status of “religio”.

    Without Theodosius I, the Catholic Church would have never been granted exclusive rights of existence, flourished and “triumphed”, allowing it to demonize all other forms of belief, Christian, pagan, or what not. It would have disappeared in the dustbin of history like hundreds of ancient and medieval cults.

    Without the Roman Empire and its Emperors we would have never had Christianity.

    1. Perhaps my comments are taken too literally. Of course God only exists because Kings took the time and spent the money to build temples and write the holy books. This might be a sweeping statement, but all the big religious holy books were not written by poor nobodies but elites. The OT was written by the priests, the NT uses rich Greek, and so on, the pattern continues with Islam which supposedly contains very grand Arabic. My thesis merely was that Kings perpetuated God or Gods and did so for their advantage. Time has shown this to be a very good investment. Even after building the temples brought in money with the required donations and so on. THen they gained advantage when the priests convinced the masses without force to listen to their will. Its a complex relationship, but even today the head of the Church of England is the Queen, and the Pope until recently was a King.

      Perhaps another interesting question about Paul, is what proof do you have for Paul ? Outside his letters we have practically none if any. Its the same as Jesus, heresay many years after and no witnesses.

      Helena was of course an opportunist. So she helped bring out some history ( or is that fabricate) abiut xianity on its path to legitimacy, so what ? From what ive read, the xianity of the past particularly about the 300s was hardly different from other religions. The church fathers of the time admit this in their writings many times. I cant help but wonder if the persecutions of the xians ever existed and was simply the persecutions of the jews transplanted onto a new sect. What proof do we have of any early xians being persecuted. Origen himself admits there were few xian martyrs. Everybody repeats but what is the proof ?.

      The fact that xianity exists today because of Rome cannot be ignored. They created the Bible, they established the church in Rome next to the political heart of the empire and so on surely cant be just chance. At best xians cannot defend that they use a Bible basically shaped by Roman political force. This can only lead to one simple assumption.

      ——————

      Submitted on 2012/10/15 at 11:30 pm | In reply to ROO BOOKAROO.

      Anyway who said the Catholic Church was xian ? They certainly dont, their very name suggests that they are the central government body in charge of all religious matters of the Roman Empire. THey regulate religion on behalf of the Emperor. If we look at all the saints and Mary and more its evident why they adopted these pagan heroes and god characters into their religion. The RCC was never exclusively based on the Bible.

    1. Oh tittle tat! You are just embarrassing yourself. Go to a library and start reading some history and learn a bit about some of the real history that was behind that ignorant bit of colorful promo. You are giving the internet a bad name if you swallow nice graphics like that as genuine history lessons.

  5. “How can anyone have any confidence in an author who writes that the apostle Paul terrorized pagans?”

    She is apparently basing this on Wheless, whom she quotes, and by “terrorize” means nothing more than excoriate and threaten with damnation: ‘Paul climaxes the terror: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”‘

    1. I know she does not mean “terrorize” in the post-Bush sense, but what she does mean is still completely over the top nonsense. Firstly, that verse was not written by Paul; secondly, the sentiment is found among Jews and pagans long predating Paul; thirdly, imagine a stranger and bringer of unknown gods entering a town and shouting something like that — he would be ridiculed, not feared. Can you really imagine pagans all being terrorized into conversion by such a message? This is utter nonsense and contrary to all the evidence we do have about Paul and his conversions and other conversions to cults at the time. Anyone who makes that claim is only demonstrating they are not to be taken seriously, period.

        1. Anyone who takes for granted words of a secondary source without checking for themselves the basis of that source’s conclusions is not using scholarly methods but merely looking for any quote to make their own preconceptions look valid. Lies, damned lies and citations.

  6. Neil, you quoted Murdock in this review but then carefully omitted all of the citations she left on pages 3 and 4 which describe why she would even say such things to begin with. About Hitler, she left ample citation to what she was referring to so that reader could understand the perspective that she’s coming from. Now you may be wave of the hand dismissing the citations founding these various claims by Murdock that you’ve chosen to outline, but no one here would know by casually reading your review because you haven’t addressed the citations in the first place. The religious wars are another cited example from which she is speaking.

    And this is just a healthy criticism of your review process and methodology, not to be taken as personally insulting towards you. Like I said, I’m just trying see a fair review given without bias on your end or unwarrented wave of the hand dismals that fail to address the real meat of the matter.

    On page 4 where she’s talking about the apostle Paul “terrorizing” the pagans, she was citing Weless in his book [i]Forgery in Christianity[/i]. And Wheless describes and cites the NT for his reasoning behind such a statement (which Wheless himself makes near the end of the quotation). Paul was quite literally preaching to the tune of putting terror in the minds of the gentiles he encountered. He sought to scare them into turning to his particlar theology and was the preaching method cited in the examples. It’s all there on page 4 and provides a very reasonable example of what Murdock is referring to.

    Now to isolate one sentence out of the context in which it is presented strikes me as somewhat unfair and rather unbalanced of you Neil.

    Here’s your direct question: “How can anyone have any confidence in an author who writes that the apostle Paul terrorized pagans?”

    And the answer to the above question is found right there on page 4 in the very examples she’s cited. This is not something thrown out of blue with no reason or logic behind it to be dismissed at total sense, it’s founded on an analysis of how Paul is portrayed as conducting himself in scripture.

    1. I don’t have the motivation or time to list every fault with Murdock’s book, and that’s why I made no reference to her citations. They are as damning as anything else could be against her arguments.

      When she said “the originators of communism were Jewish” she clearly meant “religiously Jewish” — because she later condemns anti-semitism and is clear she is speaking about religion, not race. But her Jewish Encyc reference she cites does not support her insinuation that Marx and co were either practicing Jews or that they were influenced in their communist ideology by personal religious interests in Judaism. Her citation supports my assessment that her insinuation is misleading or flat wrong.

      Her other citations about Hitler being a Christian etc and with the clear insinuation that he was motivated in his Nazi career by his Catholicism are from The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. Other notable authoritative works on Hitler can be found in her other publications listed here. I’m not serious. She is a specialist in knitting and tarot readings. This is the authority Murdock turns to to support her claims about Hitler.

      She does cite one other work about the Vatican but that work does not address Hitler himself, and only documents the activity some persons within the Vatican were involved with after the war.

      I doubt Murdock has read a single reputable historical or biographical work on Hitler or Nazism.

      I addressed your other problem with my reference to Paul in an earlier comment above.

      I have looked at her other citations and was tempted to criticize these in the post but decided I simply did not have the time or dedication to do so. In sum, her citations have as much credibility as if I attempted to prove the earth was flat by quoting flat-earthers.

      1. What do you have against The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets? “The Los Angeles Times called it a feminist-scholar’s gold mine and a browser’s delight. The San Francisco Chronicle called the book a mountain of scholarship, a vast mass of supremely documented material.”

        1. I’m sure they did. Would you care to direct me to the editions in which such things were printed so I can see the context? Or are you content to rely upon the unsourced and decontextualized claim of an anonymous reviewer on Amazon?

          The claims Murdock makes about Hitler and the originators of Communism are not found in reputable, scholarly studies of these people. If one is serious about history one will study the scholarship and the documents. If one does not do that then one is obligated to quote reputable scholarship that specializes in the area if one is to expect any credibility. What Murdock says, presumably on the basis of this Encyclopedia, is what many scholars would describe with the technical term “rubbish”.

          I gather you have never studied history beyond a very elementary level and are very impressed by Murdock’s claims. If that is the case, then I would think you’d be wise to seek out alternative views from quite different types of sources before swallowing what sounds impressive and authoritative. Why not visit some history discussion boards and ask them what evidence there is for Murdock’s claims?

          1. Wiki has a very interesting article that shows much of the Catholic Church & Jesuits were a model for the SS. “Hitler is also said to have called Himmler “my Ignatius of Loyola” is a very powerful quote. If the church was all warm and fuzzy they could hardly be a model for pure evil like the SS. Hitler recognised the church for its organisation, success and longevity and he copied it. It doesnt matter if Hitler believed or not. Anyway the evidence appears not to be that clear, because members of the SS were all required to be xians or believers in God. I would say that without doubt, he was an opportunist. Guns dont kill people, people kill people. Religions are guns for mind control.

              1. That was not the purpose, i was just attempting to highlight that Hitler studied the past and learnt from it. The Catholic church had some control over Europe for over 1000 years and was the phoenix that continued the Roman Empire tradition after Rome fell. I never stated the RCC was responsible for Hitler, i never said they helped him at all. I was just trying to show that religion has always been a political tool of leaders. Kings have always often been the heads of the local church. We can see this acknowledgement of power in the history of England. By breaking away from Catholicism they gained some measure of independence. In fact Catholicism was so powerful they even banned Catholics from marrying into the Royal family. This is not superstition but a political statement.

          2. Neil,
            I guess you don’t look at the name of the commenter before posting a reply. I’m sorry that my sarcasm was not more obvious. For the record, I read The Christ Conspiracy many years ago and found it painful and embarrassing. I’m just glad that it was not the first exposure I had to mythicism.

            1. Ah, I’m sorry I miss-read you. Unfortunately a number of comments have been posted here from Murdock’s supporters that really are so naive, so much so that I could easily imagine them posting what you did in all seriousness. I thought it might be half way worth it to place on record for such people the problem others have with their judgements.

              I could do a McGrath here and suggest that astrotheology and Murdock’s arguments are a plot by historicists to discredit mythicism?

  7. ^That’s funny Neil, because Murdock has already speculated that you could be viewed as a plot by Christian apologists to make mythicism look bad. From the desk of DM Murdock:

    “As I understand it, instead of actually reading my work, Neil Godfrey is engaging in an endless stream of ad hom personal attacks? Is this how he is going to dispense with thousands of pages of facts citing primary sources from remotest antiquity, by glomming onto this or that comment dating back many years?

    If so, shall we dissect Neil’s past?

    What is the wacky cult he once belonged to?

    If we are going to adapt the same hatefully suspicious mindset, how do we know Godfrey is not still a member of that wacky cult and is trying subtly to destroy the mythicist movement? What are the cultic views of his nutty cult? Let us analyze them to see how they may be affecting his work and character. Let us not pay attention to the actual material, but let us make hateful, suspicious and ugly remarks about his person instead.”

    Very sarcastic response, yes, but somewhat amusing considering the situation. Amusing because you were both thinking that they other has made a royal ass of themselves and shamed mythicism in the process. Which, pray tell, of the two of you are correct?

    1. I publish this comment here as probably the final word. It demonstrates, as far as I am concerned, that Murdock is not worth the time of day. I am sorry she has turned upon me with with such gratuitous vitriol. I had no animosity towards her and had deplored personal attacks upon her. Now I wonder if I have been naive. I am shocked by her cruel, savage, spiteful and hurtful words here. They are malicious and untrue — everything that she projects into me for daring to criticize her views (and by no means maliciously, but fairly as I do with others, I thought), it seems.

      Irony and humour are clearly lost on you, tat. I was being facetious with my “let’s do a mcgrath” remark. I don’t think Murdock is being facetious at all, but is rather being bloody-minded and genuinely conspiratorial in her efforts to slander me.

        1. My gut reaction is to never touch any of her books again. But my brain tells my gut that that’s very probably what she and they all want from me — they want me to return to ignoring them, something they hated so much at the beginning.

          I have compared their reactions recently to the sorts of responses characteristic of cult-members being even mildly criticized or simply neutrally portrayed by outsiders. This latest post from tat quoting Murdock drives that observation home a hundred fold. Cults take many forms; there is no one structure. But I do recognize cult-think a mile off since my own experience.

          Murdock’s response is typical of all she despises in religion: divisiveness, intolerance, hatred, them-us outlook, persecution syndrome, thriving on enemies, threatening messages.

          Her followers likewise demonstrate typical cult reactions: yes, they’ll concede a few minor faults in their leader but excuse them on the grounds they were all long ago but at the same time still defending and justifying them all the same! No-one can find any fault in their beliefs or rationales or leader without being branded an enemy. (That they all are of one mind on this particular issue is indicated by the way tat appears to be their primary nominated spokesperson.)

          Of course they will see none of this in themselves. Everything they do is saintly white — apart from “mistakes” from time to time in tactics — and everything from me will be satanic black, even everything I have done in the past.

          It is bringing back nauseating memories. I have had too strong a taste of that mentality and it is sickening to encounter it again with these people.

          1. I m not a DM fanboi, but i cant help that personalities are being discussed more than content. THis is exactly the same thinking of believers or non mythists, no matter what they focus too much on personalities and spend so much time flat out denying everything uncomfortable. I previously discussed that RCC was a lesson Hitler studied and somehow that gets skewed to me somehow implying the church is responsible for his actions, which i never said. Religion is not sacred, its used by rulers to their advantage, its that simple.

            1. Your point about RCC and Hitler does not follow or support your opening statement about personalities being discussed more than content. My post dealt with the content of the book, including where its arguments are coming from. That is not discussing personalities over content. It is discussing content.

              1. I have read the same book, and im not going to defend everything ever stated in it, but one cannot simply accept the fact that evil outcome of religion. Conquest, slavery, the dark ages, war, all of this happened with major help from the church. The history of xianity is an exhibition of dishonesty, that most people just plain dont know. If theres only one thing taken from reading the book, is that xianity is not all virtue, but rather one should question everything about it. There are mistakes in the book, but that does not mean that it does not contain things to ponder and things one should double check.

                I think your comment about violence etc from xianities inception is a bit unfair. While jesus did say some nice things, he also said some very disturbing anti social instructions. The truth is we dont know much about early xianity outside the NT. The history we do have is hardly impressive or an example of niceness. Personally i think the first xians were seen as just another bunch of Jewish believers, and their history of separatism and so on was hardly peaceful. The rebellion in Cyrene is but one example. Examples like this happened all over the empire, which is why Rome had to destroy the temple, messianic leaders were simply too much trouble and costing the empire stability and ultimately taxation. The world back then was tough and cruel, people need to accept that.

              2. Let’s stick to what is written. Had Murdock confined her remarks to the well-known divisive statement of Jesus in the Gospels, but she only shows herself as groping for any and everything, regardless of its merit, to support her case. That is why it is a polemic and not an argument. I pointed out that she even used Jesus’ prophecy of wars and rumours of wars as one of his statements inciting! division and war! She made the outlandish claim that Christianity from its very inception was violent. There is absolutely no evidence to support that and every reason to doubt it.

                Of course we can see the religious in the world being just as human as anyone else. Or course there is hypocrisy and much harm, and outright evil, caused by religion. I have argued that myself. But Murdock’s over-statements only serve to discredit the sound and level-headed arguments that are out there in the minds of some readers, I suspect.

                Let’s keep to the facts of what Murdock is actually writing. That is what I am commenting on.

              3. The first *real* history we have where Rome was in control of xianity is violent. When Rome was in control, it and xianity were violent. We may never know what happened before as we dont have much unbiased material. I only mentioned the messianic movements because in the beginning i think most agree xianity and judaism were viewed as the same basic religion by outsiders. In the 1st century, there were many rebellious violent groups, and outsiders would have seen judaism as part of the problem inciting the jewish quest for freedom.

              4. I don’t know what I have to say to get through — we are talking about the INCEPTION of Christianity — its birth. This is what Murdock confuses with later history in some of her sweeping statements. Of course there is much violent history as mobs, presumably Christian, tore down pagan art works and pillaged some temples. This is the sort of error Murdock’s followers kept repeating despite what I thought should be clear enough claims to the contrary. Please read what is being said before jumping to conclusions and commenting with irrelevancies.

  8. But even in the Gospels we can see Jesus engaging in acts of terrorism: disrupting the financial system, destroying the livelihood of pig farmers, and slaughtering innocent fig trees.

    1. Actually if you read what was actually happening in Judea, Jesus was actually the most peaceful Messiah of the times by a long shot. The others were leading military groups, stabbing lots of people and more.

      1. SO why did the Romans crucify him, if Jesus was behaving like the Anti-Messiah, and why would Christians think he was the Messiah because he was raised from the dead?

        After all, we are constantly told that Jews could no more think of a crucified Messiah than they could a crucified Emperor of Rome? So why did Jesus get the title Messiah, and not the title Emperor of Rome, after he was raised from the dead?

        The only answer I have ever been given is that no Jew would have come up with the concept of a crucified Emperor of Rome, which is why Christians did not give Jesus the title of Emperor.

        But I get that answer from people who have just told me that no Jew would have come up with the concept of a crucified Messiah…..

    2. Which is ironic because none of those things are historical, and the author who invented those scenarios did so for allegorical reasons. E.g. “slaughtering innocent fig trees”. Jesus just so happens to come across an unripe fig tree in the vicinity of a town called “house of unripe figs” (Bethphage). Which, itself, is sandwiched with his “disrupting of the financial system”.

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