"The history of Christianity has been largely written in blood, the
blood of those whom it has sought to proselytize as well as that of those
Christians who did not share the theology or ambitions of the male clerical
oligarchy that has always wielded power in Christendom. This ignoble
distinction is not nor has it ever been the exclusive prerogative of any
particular denomination or sect; it is a living legacy of horror that is
tragically common to the Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox
bodies of Christian churches."
by:
John J. Dunphy
Humanist author
Source:
"The Serpent and the Tower," published in The American Rationalist magazine, March-April 1985, (Volume 29, Number 6)
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Reader comments about this quote:
A fine way of expressing an all too common misconception that mistakes those claiming to be Christians with those who obey Christ. One cannot BE something merely by claiming to be the thing. A man is what he is, not what he pretends to be.
 -- David L Rosenthal     
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    Just like a delusional liberal to deny the facts. The “history” of Christianity is soaked in blood. Murdered prophets, Christ Himself, the Crusades, the Salem witch trials, and thousands more examples fill the Bible and history books. Jews, Christians and non-Christians spilling blood, so people could demonstrate how righteous they were. Today, we spill blood in the Middle East, and for what? To prove how righteous we are? Of course, and to steal their oil in the name of Christ.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
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    In fact, one might point out that the god of Abraham is the issue, as not only is Christianity full of a history of blood and violence, but so too is the historical records of the Jewish and Islamic religions (note, religion, not true faith, as I agree with David (who should never be label with such an honorific title as "liberal", how typical of a radical & delusional pseudo-conservative to do so!) that there is a difference, even as he then condems a quote that is about organized religion rather than the faith at the heart of these teachings).
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    Abraham has a lot to answer for as he spawned all three - by the way I know a number of Liberal republicans and democrats which is why I know them -- when will we learn the true meaning of Liberalism? Liberals were primarily responsible for the Bill of Rights. Without Liberals there would be no rights for the poor or minorities and if thatès sin then perhaps you should join a religion.
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
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    The Joe's of the world be laughable if their ignorance and prejudice wasn't so hate filled and scary. I have in the recent past written several scriptures about, and quotes from Christ that support David's herein statement. Further the barbarism of the crusades was not about Christianity, it was about war/hate mongers, materialism, and fame. Atheism as a religion has been responsible for more heinous barbarism and deaths in the 20th century than any religious endeavor in history (the pursuit of Communism, Hitler type socialism, etc.). That doesn't make atheism wrong or atheists evil. All religions (political or otherwise) along with all organizations of men (police, army, masons, etc.) comprize good and evil within their ranks. To single out specific events that are the exception and not the rule describing in general a certain organization promotes ignorance, lies, and hatred.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    All too often we hear Christians respond to such quotes like, "Well, those are not REAL Christians like we are." It just goes to prove that 'Christianity" is an undefinable and arbitrary word -- even those calling themselves Christian cannot agree on it. It is important to note that Christians have been killing each other in Christ's name for centuries -- because it is their duty to spread 'the truth' -- even if it kills you. But fundamentalists today do not see that the very words they cheer have been spoken by Hitler when rallying the crusade against 'Jewry'. We hear the exact same words out of Bush and his followers today -- bomb the unbelievers because they don't believe in 'the book' and that makes them bad. Rumble thee forth! Verily we must choppeth them up and stompeth them down because 'our' god is the 'real' god. God said this, God said that. God said hit 'em with a baseball bat. How convenient the real estate is just where we need it. ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Sorry, I meant to include this link to Frank Zappa's song Dumb All Over. ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Or perhaps IMAGINE (Lenon)
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
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    Duality--the fundamental error.
     -- EGL, LA     
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    E Archer, I never have heard Bush or any of his followers say anything like "bomb the unbelievers because they don't believe in 'the book' and that makes them bad". Where has religion even come into the picture? (Besides the fact that the terrorists all just happen to be Muslim). Bush never has claimed to be fighting this war in the name of God or Christianity that I've ever heard.
     -- Mike, Mount Holly, NC     
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    Why are we even debating the merits of this mean-sprited, bigoted diatribe? Is it because our post-Christian civilization accepts, and even condones, bigotry towards Christianity? Would we discuss the philosophical merit of a similar screed against Jews, Blacks, homosexuals, Asians, etc.? Are we saying that liberty and license are synonymous? Having the freedom to pen hateful things about Christianity does not automatically confer a status of legitimacy upon such venom. It's not OK to cloak this bigotry against the Church in some respectable veneer. Just as a bigot rarely sees his own bigotry for what it is, the pompous, pseudo-intellectuals who loved this quote are not fooling anyone. Shame on you.
     -- Dismas, Brattleboro     
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    Forget it, Joe. There's no use arguing with people like David or Mike. Their minds are made up and no facts will change them. There are millions of Americans just like them, too ...look at who's in the White House. Is there any wonder the young people of the U.S. don't understand science? That was not always so, but somehow the Christian right rose up and has changed the priorities from knowledge to faith. Faith is fine as a personal guide, but is no way to run a heterogeneous nation. Logic, based on facts, is what's needed
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
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    Arguing involves rational explanation of ideas, not merely presentaion of points for approval. Where are your rational explanations, my good atheists? Mostly you just rattle off hate messages, ridicule, contempt, and verborrhea. Your minds are closed. You are unwilling to examine something you have decided to reject, possibly due to the negative experiences you have had in your youth with hypocrites in priests clothing, and so you "know" that God is not a living spirit, because some priest tried or succeeded in abusing you. Right...that is super rational. I am not making light of the abuse and hypocrisy. I have known several people who were abused by priests. I am criticizing you for mistaking the sins of a man with proof of the non-existence of God. It is really too ignorant to excuse.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
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    As long as you brought it up, David, I have never even personally known a priest, let alone been abused by one. I used to call myself a "mainstream" Protestant until it came to raising my six kids and I could no longer profess to be what I was not. I could spout all the banalities you do. I didn't interfere with their Sunday School experience, though, and today one of them is still a Christian. I don't think any of the others, now in their 50s, are. That's their business, but I am not. I am in my 80s and probably don't have too long to go, but at least I am satisfied I know where I'm going ...the lights will go out and I'll be back where I was over 80 years ago. Where will you go and what evidense do you have? I know floating around with a harp forever and ever does not appeal to me. What would there be to talk about?.
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
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    "people like David or Mike"?? Jack, you don't know me or my mindset or my beliefs, and I didn't see any facts presented to change my mind either. I guess you have an open mind which you would be willing to change to begin supporting Bush if you were presented with the "right" facts. I voted for Bush both times, but I don't particularly like what he has done in his Presidency (but for much different reasons than you I suspect). He was simply the lesser of two evils. BTW, Jesus said to the theif on the cross after he professed faith in Him "today you will be with Me in paradise". I doubt He had "floating around with a harp" for eternity or a sex-fest with 70 virgins in mind when he said that. That wouldn't be my idea of paradise either (besides which I have no clue how to play a harp).
     -- Mike, Mount Holly, NC     
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    The original quote conveniently ignores the fact that the same thing can be said of most every organized religion Man has come up with, with the possible exception of Buddhism and Taoism. Certainly it applies equally to Judiaism, Hinduism, and the Moslem religion.
     -- TheMANwithNoName, Tampa, FL USA     
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    As far as those quotes regarding the bloody history of various so-called "Christian" churches, the conceptual "compromise" incident that inevitably led to all that bloodshed was the creation of the "Nicene Creed". The early church leaders really "sold their souls to Satan" when they adopted that creed (in exchange for an end to Roman government persecution and an opportunity to begin influencing and actually wielding Roman political power). It reads as follows: "We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end. And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. " Notice that there is no mention whatsoever of God's commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves in that creed, nor any mention of the Kingdom of Heaven (a.k.a Kingdom of God) which according to Jesus would be compirsed of people who follow that commandment (and who, like Jesus, who would place no restrictions on their definition of neighbor). The Nicene Creed is like those "Christmans trees" you sometimes see when driving by at night that turn out to be nothing more than a pole with lights strung from the top to the ground. Figuratively speaking, they are both "all lights and ornaments"; there is no "tree of life" within them. Emporer Constantine, who never became a "Christian" until moments before he died, figured that Christianity was a religion that could help him hold his empire togther. He was correct in that regard, but he screwed up when he allowed (or ordered) those two key essential features to be left out of that creed. Not long thereafter, the so-called "Chatholic Church" began to spit into factions (each of whom defined "neighbor" differently and accused those who disagreed of committing "heresy"). Those unholy views eventually led to the division and demise of the Roman Empire itself.
     -- Christopher C. Currie, Pascoag, RI     
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    The author seems to forget that the first 300 years of Christianity were spent being written in Christian blood, spilled by the Romans and Jews of Middle East and Middle Asia. If you are going to mention history, mention all of it. Don't forget the parts that don't fit in with your self-serving opinions.
     -- Curtis, Atlanta     
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    And, for the record, Roman persecution of Christianity ended in 313, with the Edict of Milan. The Council of Nicaea didn't occur until 325. So, unless Roman persecution ended before it ended, the post from Christopher Currie has missed its mark.
     -- Curtis , Atlanta     
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    Religions may be delusional but it is only the fundamentalists of any faith who cause big trouble
     -- don dalgleish, london uk     
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    Anyone who doesn't agree with this quote has only to take the time to do a modicum of research into the history of the establishment of Christianity. Curtis of Atlanta, you are particularly in gross error. The most significant persecutions began with the naming of Christianity as the State religion under Constantine. Then, the church had an army to enforce its dogma. You should read the history of Bishop Iranaeus and his development of heresy, from the Greek for choice, insisting instead on orthodoxy, the straight way. One set of beliefs for everyone. Kill the disbelievers. You'll also discover why there are only 4 Gospels with the other 25+ being ignored.
     -- Gary Mullennix, Naples     
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