Dr Joachim Kahl in his book “The Misery of Christianity” (Pelican) writes that the Christian religion has caused more undeserved misery than any other world religion and the Cross is nothing but the sum total of the sadomasochistic glorification of pain. As an ex-Protestant theologian he knows his Bible and gives the direct biblical quotes to justify the persecution of the Jews, the condoning of slavery, the burning of witches, pagans and heretics, the hostility to sex and women and the psychological underpinning and conditioning for authoritarian undemocratic political regimes. All, as Dr Kahl says, leading to centuries of outbreaks of violence, mass psychosis, perversion, sadism, cruelty and neuroses. And yet all this does NOT count as evidence that the Christian religion is cruel and sadistic. Such is infallible religious belief.
You do NOT need a Holy Bible to tell you to give charity to the poor and sick, but you DO need the Holy Bible to tell you to persecute the Jews, burn alive witches, pagans and heretics, condone slavery, justify hostility to sex and women and obey authoritarian dictatorships, as below:
(1) THE PERSECUTION OF THE JEWS
The Jews could NOT have been persecuted for 1600 years if there was not complete biblical justification in the Gospels and Paul. The Christians blame the Jews for the death of their Messiah. (Matt 27:25, Paul 1 Thessalonians 2:15 ff, Mark 15:10, John 8:44, Mark 2:6, 16; 3:6. Luke 23:4, 14, 20, 22, 25). But research (‘The trial and Death of Jesus’ by Jewish judge Haim Cohn.) indicates that it was a Roman political trial and crucifixion, but when Paul went to Rome to convert the Romans to Christianity he shifted the blame for murdering the Messiah from the Romans to the Jews for obvious reasons. This (slight?) distortion of history culminated in Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Belsen. Either way though, the Christians don’t seem to realise that if there had not been a crucifixion and death there could not have been a Resurrection. The Jews (or Romans) should be thanked, not vilified.
In Cruden’s Complete Concordance there are 2 pages of the biblical references condoning slavery. “Servants” pages 582 to 584. (“servants = slaves), “slaves” page 607. e.g. Luke 12:42 (“servants” and severe or light beatings) 17:7 Matt 18:23 (‘servants” sold), Paul 1, Cor 7:20-22. 1 Tim 6:1, Titus 2:10, Philemon letter, Exodus 21:1-8, 20, 21, 26. 1st letter Peter 2:18, Ephesians 6:5, 6, Colossians 3:24.
The Christian Church later became the largest slave owner and further justification came from the fathers of the Church, Tertullian, St. Augustine and St. Aquinas, who accepted Aristotle’s view in his “Politics” that the slave was an inspired tool of his master and “slaves must be admonished even more than children.” (“The Open Society” vol 2 page 282, Karl Popper)
In 1548 Pope Paul 3rd. granted all clergy the right to keep slaves – “tools with souls.” Just imagine being a negro slave in the good Christian Southern States of America and having Luke 12:42 quoted as you were being beaten.
The burning alive of witches was justified by Exodus 22:18, Deuteronomy 18:10, Galatians 5:19. The official witch-hunts lasted 600 years from 1234 to 1836. The infamous 1487 Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer for Witches) was the Inquisitor’s handbook of questions and torture to be used by the best legal minds of the time. It had 30 reprints by 1669. Midwives who carried the ancient contraceptive methods (including 200 herbal) were special targets of the Inquisition.
(4) HOSTILITY TO SEX AND WOMEN
The stoning to death penalties for sex offences are given by
Premarital promiscuity, Dt. 22:20-24.
Fornication, Hebrews 13:4, 1 Thess 4:3, Paul 1 Cor 6:18, Rom 1:18-27.
Adultery, Dt 22:22, Lv 20:10, 1 Cor 7:2, Exodus 20:14-17.
Homosexual intercourse, Lv 20:13.
Divorce, Mark 10:11, 12, Matt 19:9, 1 Cor 6:9,10.
Bestiality, Lv 20:15,16.
Christians oppose/opposed contraception, abortion, sex education in schools, co-education, prostitution and are the experts in the censorship of books, magazines, theatre and films. The hostility to sex and women reached its peak in the witch-hunts.
(5) CONDITIONING FOR TOTALITARIAN REGIMES
The Bible is used by men in power to maintain their power. Disobeying their laws means you disobey God’s. The Greatest sin is to deny the Authority of God, John 3:18, Mark 16:1. Islam means submission to the Will of Allah.
Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler were all baptised Catholics, were never excommunicated and “Mein Kampf” was never put on the Prohibited Index. The authoritarian Catholic and Lutheran education of German children was ideal conditioning for adult blind obedience to Authority, no matter how evil.
Even after W.W. II it was the Vatican which provided the Rat-line for surviving Nazis to escape to Catholic South America.
(6) SHORTAGE OF ANGELS TO CORRECT THE BIBLICAL MISTAKES?
Now if all the biblical justifications for the cruelties and evil committed by the Christians were biblical out of context/mistakes/errors/misinterpretations, why didn’t God send angels to correct the biblical mistakes? God obviously has the power to send angels anywhere, anytime. Like when He sent an angel to tell Joseph he’d got it all wrong about Mary’s adultery since it was the Holy Spirit who got her pregnant and not his brother Alpheus (Matt 1:20).
In Matt 2:13 an angel tells Joseph to flee south to Egypt which contradicts Luke 2:39 where Joseph returns north to Nazareth within a month with no sense of urgency. An angel opened the tomb door at the resurrection (Matt. 28:2), showing angels must be quite physical.
Is it that the biblical errors / out of context / mistakes / misinterpretations were not corrected because of a shortage of angels?
Then there are the biblical justifications for the persecution of pagans and heretics and the Crusades.(Luke 14:23) Yet Christians have the gall and cheek to say we Christians are the moral people.
In the Middle East, Jews, Christians and Moslems are killing and maiming each other. The Moslems object to the Jews believing they are God’s Chosen People and therefore superior to the Moslems. Muhammed was insulted by the Jews in Medina. The Christians blame the Jews for the death of the Messiah. The Moslems did NOT believe Jesus died on the Cross but was made to appear so (Koran 4:157) and certainly was not the Son of God. The Christians don’t believe Muhammed was God’s last prophet. The Jews are still waiting for the First Coming. The Christians are waiting for the Second Coming and so on.
In Jerusalem the Jews have their Holy of Holies and most sacred site of the destroyed Temple Mount on which the Moslems have built their Mosque of Omah, but what remained after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. was only the Wailing Wall. The Christians have the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus rose from the dead. The Moslems have their Mosque of Omah where Muhammed ascended to heaven and back from the rock on a white horse.
All three of these authoritarian religions must appear equally nutty and certifiable. So much of humanities troubles are human-made and due to believing untruths and/or deliberate Orwellian lies – as if there is not enough with God-given diseases and earthquakes.
Professor Richard Dawkins (“The Blind Watch Maker”) poses the question – “Is Religion a Form of Insanity?” (“Free Inquiry” Vol.13, No.3 1993). The answer is obvious. Who can believe Matt 27:50 ff, Matt 28:2? Paul 1 Cor 15:3-8 Matt 12:39,40
(7) EUTHANASIA AND DRUGS
What are the basic religious reasons for opposition to euthanasia and why the draconian penalties for pleasurable drugs? The reason is because of the religious doctrine of Redemptive Suffering – people who suffer are ennobled and reach maturity and realise the need for Jesus and God and appreciate, redeem, the suffering Jesus underwent when he sacrificed Himself for the Sins of Mankind on the Cross.
Pleasurable drugs take people away from Reality, Suffering and God. The authoritarian religious of any religion want to have power and mind control on how others get their spiritual pleasure and happiness or changes of inner consciousness. That is why the drug laws are so cruel.
(8) THE WHY RELIGIOUS BELIEF
Man versus Nature. Suffering and Death.
Natural disasters were explained as the unleashed anger of the Gods. To placate, or buy off this anger, sacrifices were made of (other) innocent humans or animals of value to the offerer.
But to one Jewish Sect which evolved to become the Christians, the suffering of humans was not alleviated by sacrificing animals or doves, so there had to be the Ultimate Sacrifice – the Son of God. Infantile?
But the Redemption of Sins by sacrifice is morally wrong and conducive to further immorality.
For the personal problems of life on earth there is a comforting all-powerful, benevolent, omniscient Father to turn to and be looked after. Mortality is solved by having eternal souls and eternal life after death in Heaven or Paradise.
Religious Experiences and Revelations
These are inner mental states, trances produced by conditioned imaginations.
In some personal crisis: Christians personally experience Jesus entering their lives, Jews personally experience Yahweh entering their lives, Moslems personally experience Muhammed entering their lives, Confucists personally experience Confucius entering their lives. Hindus experience their trinity of deities, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva entering their lives.
Alcoholics personally experience pink elephants entering their lives.
Now no one doubts that alcoholics really do experience their pink elephants, but these experiences are inner mental states and are NOT of existence in the external world, which is the province of science.
– That is, all religions satisfy very deep psychological needs –
I don’t mind people having religious fairy-tale beliefs to get them through life. My objection is the misery, cruelty and suffering intrinsic to these religious beliefs, justified by direct quotes from their Holy Books. The absurdities and contradictions are contained in the Holy Books.
Because religious belief is a form of insanity it is difficult to use reason, logic, facts and evidence in debates against them. So the best weapon against the religious is their own Holy books.
To indoctrinate students by teaching that religious fairytales are true is an appalling educational principle.
Walter Bagehot in 1879 wrote:
“Great and terrible Systems of divinity and philosophy lie around us, which if true, might drive a wise man mad.”
(Thanks to my mentor Jeff Scott for some of the ideas on “WHY”)
By Dean R Dowling