Gerardus Kelleger GERARDUS PRESS gewk1.com
Read this first before using: Web side of www.gewk1.com see Gerardus press for details.
 
 
Notifications URGENT information
to read first, urgent
 
 
Notificvation: Places to taste the excellence of food.
An addiction
 
 
32561 a view of God
The Western countries
 
 
32562 It's burning
The Negev....
 
 
32563 Anti-Semitism
The misuse
 
 
32564 The Karaites
Part 2
 
 
32565 Is Britian changing
Is it really?
 
 
32566 Part 3
The Karaites
 
 
32567 Britain
Slowly changing
 
 
32568 Sliding back?
The 30tier years
 
 
32569 Part 4
The Karaites
 
 
32570 non-Jews included
Anti-Semitism
 
 
32571 in the past.
Back to the future
 
 
32572 Part 5
The karaites
 
 
32573 Or hit him with the sword
Shall I beat him with a whip
 
 
32574 Follow the first reason
To follow the rest
 
 
32575 Confession
A brave outspoken
 
 
32576 walking to Christ
A small step
 
 
32577 The message
Christ
 
 
32578 The Corinthians
Morality
 
 
32579 The two Messiah's
David or Joseph
 
 
32580 By the grace of God
To be saved
 
 
32581 a naste web
we did weave
 
 
32582 Celebrating the birth of Christ
Midwinter holiday or....
 
 
32583 History
Following
 
 
32584 Climate change
The IPCC indication to
 
 
32585 Anti-Semitism
Common sense or......
 
 
32586 The first wave
Circassians
 
 
32587 chips of the first creation by man
Bible, Torah, Quran
 
 
32588 There is evil
In the darkness
 
 
32589 The US/UK want to rule the world.
O, what a nasty web we weave
 
 
32590 Ignored by Israel, US/UK.
Thou shall not kill
 
 
32591 A God's gift
Our free will
 
 
32592 from which angle you look at it
It is a creators story
 
 
32593 The old question
Will they see?
 
 
32594 It is the creators story
From which ever side you look
 
 
32595 An old question
Do we have an answer
 
 
32596 Lemuria
No: 3
 
 
32597 a balancing act
The Genesis story
 
 
32598 a believe or a confession
Faith
 
 
32599 and moraly corrupt, NATO
USA led
 
 
32600 Creating a beginning
Controlling people
 
 
32601 according to the bible
The bible
 
 
32602 against the words of Christ
For the love for Israel
 
 
32603 Genesis
Balancing the story
 
 
32604 Changing world
A look at a
 
 
32605 A small step in time
Christ
 
 
32606 web we weave in Belarus
What a terrible
 
 
32607 Indeed
A changing world
 
 
32608 in a changing world
Epifanie
 
 
32609 of Jesus.
For the love
 
 
32610 The scientists
The bible according to
 
 
32611 USA army extention
NATO the
 
 
32612 least among the leaders of Judah
You are by no means
 
 
32613 A BRAVE CONFESSION
Faith
 
 
32614 Free speech
We have a God given
 
 
32615 Into the light.
From the darkness
 
 
32616 Evolution
Creation or
 
 
32617 for Christ
All for the love
 
 
32618 or just a little bounce
Big Bang
 
 
32618 The return
Davids Message
 
 
32619 to be learned
A lessen
 
 
32620 The rule of Thump
Billions of death or,
 
 
32621 the wind blows
The lord
 
 
32622 suffering at the hand of God
All those who do not believe
 
 
32623 In the beginning
Homophobia
 
 
32624 Judiasm
The three branches
 
 
32625 re-told
An Old story
 
 
32626 A humanist
John Calvin
 
 
32627 and blamed on others.
Gods beginning. How to tell a story
 
 
32628 The foundation of
History
 
 
32629 Ulrich Zwingly
The history of
 
 
32630 The Messiah
Jesus
 
 
32631 What have we learne from
History
 
 
32632 non-belief
The atracted alternative
 
 
32633 a curious event
Viewing
 
 
32634 The real view.
Atheism,
 
 
32635 But are they?
Remember the laws of God
 
 
32636 God
We do acknowledge
 
 
32637 Adam the first man
The Hebrew creation
 
 
32638 Even as a humble Christian
U are needed.
 
 
32639 warning
A danger
 
 
32640 Only the smell of Greed, power and Control count.
For the West
 
 
32641 the prophets
Abraham
 
 
32642 an atrachted alternative
Believe,
 
 
32643 Jewish people
A invention
 
 
32644 AN INTELECTUAL DESIGNER
Was there really?
 
 
32645 in endless fear
Looking at it
 
 
32646 Ararat
A mountain to climb
 
 
32647 A reality?
A floating child
 
 
32648 Gods beginning
A new beginning
 
 
32649 a holy wonder
admiration
 
 
32650 your own windows
When you throw in,
 
 
32651 Atheists the religion
A clear view on,
 
 
32652 on a planet full of water
Not a drop to drink
 
 
32653 Christians
When Christians stand against
 
 
32654 John Calvin
A view at
 
 
32655 not answered
The questions
 
 
32656 WHEN WE DO NOT HEED
A WARNING
 
 
32657 on the warpath. no1
America
 
 
32658 war path. no2
America again on the
 
 
32659 of the Final words
The first
 
 
32660 Christianity
The basics of fear
 
 
32661 a gods creation
Abraham
 
 
32662 entslaving countries
A real American game
 
 
32663 or maybe in another million of years
The end is near
 
 
32664 the fears of Christianity
The final word
 
 
32665 Be good of cheers
A ship sailed
 
 
32666 a good spirit
Gods fear
 
 
32667 A good home
For a child
 
 
32668 The holy word
A close view
 
 
32669 Supernational
Viewing the
 
 
32670 religions
The Abrahamic
 
 
32671 the Abrahamic religions
Gay and
 
 
32672 Where they or.......
The fallen angels
 
 
32676 The UN abolished
Israel on the war path wants......
 
 

32660 Christianity

If Christian fear mongering were directed solely at adults, it would be bad enough, but Christians routinely terrorize helpless children through grisly depictions of the endless horrors and suffering they'll be subjected to if they don’t live good Christian lives. Christianity has darkened the early years of generation after generation of children, who have lived in terror of dying while in mortal sin and going to endless torment as a result. All of these children were trusting of adults, and they did not have the ability to analyze what they were being told; they were simply helpless victims, who, ironically, victimized following generations in the same manner that they themselves had been victimized.

The Christian appeal to fear, to cowardice, is an admission that the evidence supporting Christian beliefs is far from compelling. If the evidence were such that Christianity’s truth was immediately apparent to anyone who considered it, Christians—including those who wrote the Gospels—would feel no need to resort to the cheap tactic of using fear-inducing threats to inspire "belief." ("Lip service" is a more accurate term.) That the Christian clergy have been more than willing to accept such lip service (plus the dollars and obedience that go with it) in place of genuine belief, is an additional indictment of the basic dishonesty of Christianity.

How deep dishonesty runs in Christianity can be gauged by one of the most popular Christian arguments for belief in God: Pascal’s wager. This "wager" holds that it’s safer to "believe" in God (as if belief were volitional!) than not to believe, because God might exist, and if it does, it will save "believers" and condemn nonbelievers to hell after death. This is an appeal to pure cowardice. It has absolutely nothing to do with the search for truth. Instead, it’s an appeal to abandon honesty and intellectual integrity, and to pretend that lip service is the same thing as actual belief. If the patriarchal God of Christianity really would exists, one wonders how it would judge the cowards and hypocrites who advance and bow to this particularly craven "wager."

The deep egocentrism of Christianity is intimately tied to its reliance on fear. In addition to the fears of the devil and hell, Christianity plays on another of humankind’s most basic fears: death, the dissolution of the individual ego. Perhaps Christianity's strongest appeal is its promise of eternal life. While there is absolutely no evidence to support this claim, most people are so terrified of death that they cling to this treacly promise insisting, like frightened children, that it must be true. Nietzsche put the matter well: "salvation of the soul—in plain words, the world revolves around me." It’s difficult to see anything spiritual in this desperate grasping at straws—this desperate grasping at the illusion of personal immortality.

Another manifestation of the extreme egotism of Christianity is the belief that God is intimately concerned with picayune aspects of, and directly intervenes in, the lives of individuals. If God, the creator and controller of the universe, is vitally concerned with your sex life, you must be pretty damned important. Many Christians take this particular form of egotism much further and actually imagine that God has a plan for them, or that God directly talks to, directs, or even does favours for them. If one ignored the frequent and glaring contradictions in this supposed divine guidance, and the dead bodies sometimes left in its wake, one could almost believe that the individuals making such claims are guided by God. But one can't ignore the contradictions in and the oftentimes horrible results of following such "divine guidance." As "Agent Mulder" put it in a 1998 X-Files episode, "When you talk to God it's prayer, but when God talks to you it's schizophrenia. . . . God may have his reasons, but he sure seems to employ a lot of psychotics to carry out his job orders."

In less extreme cases, the insistence that one is receiving divine guidance or special treatment from God is usually the attempt of those who feel worthless—or helpless, adrift in an uncaring universe—to feel important or cared for. This less sinister form of egotism is commonly found in the expressions of disaster survivors that "God must have had a reason for saving me" (in contrast to their less-worthy-of-life fellow disaster victims, whom God—who controls all things—killed). Again, it's very difficult to see anything spiritual in such egocentricity.

It's only natural that those who believe (or play act at believing) that they have a direct line to the Almighty would feel superior to others. This is so obvious that it needs little elaboration. A brief look at religious terminology confirms it. Christians have often called themselves "God's people," "the chosen people," "the elect," "the righteous," etc., while nonbelievers have been labeled "heathens," "infidels," and "atheistic Communists" (as if atheism and Communism are intimately connected). This sets up a two-tiered division of humanity, in which "God's people" feel superior to those who are not "God’s people."

That many competing religions with contradictory beliefs make the same claim seems not to matter at all to the members of the various sects that claim to be the only carriers of "the true faith." The carnage that results when two competing sects of "God’s people" collide—as in Ireland and Palestine—would be quite amusing but for the suffering it causes.

Given that Christians claim to have the one true faith, to have a book that is the Word of God, and (in many cases) to receive guidance directly from God, they feel little or no compunction about using force and coercion to enforce "God's Will" (which they, of course, interpret and understand). Given that they believe (or pretend) that they’re receiving orders from the Almighty (who would cast them into hell should they disobey), it's little wonder that they feel no reluctance, and in fact are eager, to intrude into the most personal aspects of the lives of nonbelievers. This is most obvious today in the area of sex, with Christians attempting to deny women the right to abortion and to mandate near-useless abstinence-only sex "education" in the public schools. It's also obvious in the area of education, with Christians attempting to force biology teachers to teach their creation myth (but not those of Hindus, Native Americans, et al.) in place of (or as being equally valid as) the very well established theory of evolution. But the authoritarian tendencies of Christianity reach much further than this.

Up until well into the 20th century in the United States and other Christian countries (notably Ireland), Christian churches pressured governments into passing laws forbidding the sale and distribution of birth control devices, and they also managed to enact laws forbidding even the description of birth control devices. This assault on free speech was part and parcel of Christianity’s shameful history of attempting to suppress "indecent" and "subversive" materials (and to throw their producers in jail or burn them alive). This anti-free speech stance of Christianity dates back centuries, with the cases of Galileo Galilei and Giordano Bruno (who was burnt alive) being good illustrations of it. Perhaps the most colorful example of this intrusive Christian tendency toward censorship is the Catholic Church’s Index of Prohibited Books, which dates from the 16th century and which was abandoned only in the latter part of the 20th century—not because the church recognized it as a crime against human freedom, but because it could no longer be enforced (not that it was ever systematically enforced—that was too big a job even for the Inquisition).

Christian authoritarianism extends, however, far beyond attempts to suppress free speech; it extends even to attempts to suppress freedom of belief. In the 15th century, under Ferdinand and Isabella at about the time of Columbus's discovery of the New World, Spain's Jews were ordered either to convert to Christianity or to flee the country; about half chose exile, while those who remained, the "Converses," were favourite targets of the Inquisition. A few years later, Spain's Muslims were forced to make a similar choice.

This Christian hatred of freedom of belief—and of individual freedom in general—extends to this day. Up until the late 19th century in England, atheists who had the temerity to openly advocate their beliefs were jailed. Even today in many parts of the United States laws still exist that forbid atheists from serving on juries or from holding public office. And it’s no mystery what the driving force is behind laws against victimless "crimes" such as nudity, sodomy, fornication, cohabitation, and prostitution.

If your nonintrusive beliefs or actions are not in accord with Christian "morality," you can bet that Christians will feel completely justified—not to mention righteous—in poking their noses (often in the form of state police agencies) into your private life.

Throughout its history, cruelty—both to self and others—has been one of the most prominent features of Christianity. From its very start, Christianity, with its bleak view of life, its emphasis upon sexual sin, and its almost impossible-to-meet demands for sexual "purity," encouraged guilt, penance, and self-torture. Today, this self-torture is primarily psychological, in the form of guilt arising from following (or denying, and thus obsessing over) one's natural sexual desires.

Given that the Bible nowhere condemns torture and sometimes prescribes shockingly cruel penalties (such as burning alive), and that Christians so wholeheartedly approved of self-torture, it's not surprising that they thought little of inflicting appallingly cruel treatment upon others. At the height of Christianity’s power and influence, hundreds of thousands of "witches" were brutally tortured and burned alive under the auspices of ecclesiastical witch finders, and the Inquisition visited similarly cruel treatment upon those accused of heresy. Henry Charles Lea records:

While the torture and murder of heretics and "witches" is now largely a thing of the past, Christians can still be remarkably cruel. But this should not be surprising coming from Christians, members of a religion that teaches that eternal torture is not only justified, but that the "saved" will enjoy seeing the torture of others. As St. Thomas Aquinas put it:

For over a millennium Christianity arrested the development of science and scientific thinking. In Christendom, from the time of Augustine until the Renaissance, systematic investigation of the natural world was restricted to theological investigation—the interpretation of biblical passages, the gleaning of clues from the lives of the saints, etc.; there was no direct observation and interpretation of natural processes, because that was considered a useless pursuit, as all knowledge resided in scripture. The results of this are well known: scientific knowledge advanced hardly an inch in the over 1000 years from the rise of orthodox Christianity in the fourth century to the 1500s, and the populace was mired in the deepest squalor and ignorance, living in dire fear of the supernatural—believing in paranormal explanations for the most ordinary natural events. This ignorance had tragic results: it made the populace more than ready to accept witchcraft as an explanation for everything from illness to thunderstorms, and hundreds of thousands of women paid for that ignorance with their lives. One of the commonest charges against witches was that they had raised hailstorms or other weather disturbances to cause misfortune to their neighbours. In an era when supernatural explanations were readily accepted, such charges held weight—and countless innocent people died horrible deaths as a result. Another result was that the fearful populace remained very dependent upon Christianity and its clerical wise men for protection against the supernatural evils which they believed surrounded and constantly menaced them. For men and women of the Middle Ages, the walls veritably crawled with demons and witches; and their only protection from those evils was the church.

When scientific investigation into the natural world resumed in the Renaissance—after a 1000-year-plus hiatus—organized Christianity did everything it could to stamp it out. The cases of Copernicus and Galileo are particularly relevant here, because when the Catholic Church banned the Copernican theory (that the Earth revolves around the sun) and banned Galileo from teaching it, it did not consider the evidence for that theory: it was enough that it contradicted scripture. Given that the Copernican theory directly contradicted the Word of God, the Catholic hierarchy reasoned that it must be false. Protestants shared this view. John Calvin rhetorically asked, "Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?"

More lately, the Catholic Church and the more liberal Protestant congregations have realized that fighting against science is a losing battle, and they've taken to claiming that there is no contradiction between science and religion. This is disingenuous at best. As long as Christian sects continue to claim as fact—without offering a shred of evidence beyond the anecdotal—that physically impossible events occurred (or are still occurring), the conflict between science and religion will remain. That many churchmen and many scientists seem content to let this conflict lie doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

Today, however, the conflict between religion and science is largely being played out in the area of public school biology education, with Christian fundamentalists demanding that their creation myth be taught in place of (or along with) the theory of evolution in the public schools. Their tactics rely heavily on public misunderstanding of science. They nitpick the fossil record for its gaps (hardly surprising given that we inhabit a geologically and meteorologically very active planet), while offering absurd interpretations of their own which we’re supposed to accept at face value—such as that dinosaur fossils were placed in the earth by Satan to confuse humankind, or that Noah took baby dinosaurs on the ark.

They also attempt to take advantage of public ignorance of the nature of scientific theories. In popular use, "theory" is employed as a synonym for "hypothesis," "conjecture," or even "wild guess," that is, it signifies an idea with no special merit or backing. The use of the term in science is quite different. There, "theory" refers to a well-developed, logically consistent explanation of a phenomenon, and an explanation that is consistent with observed facts. This is very different than a wild guess. But fundamentalists deliberately confuse the two uses of the term in an attempt to make their religious myth appear as valid as a well-supported scientific theory.

They also attempt to confuse the issue by claiming that those non-specialists who accept the theory of evolution have no more reason to do so than they have in accepting their religious creation myth, or even that those who accept evolution do so on "faith." Again, this is more than a bit dishonest.

Thanks to scientific investigation, human knowledge has advanced to the point where no one can know more than a tiny fraction of the whole. Even the most knowledgeable scientists often know little beyond their specialty areas. But because of the structure of science, they (and everyone else) can feel reasonably secure in accepting the theories developed by scientists in other disciplines as the best possible current explanations of the areas of nature those disciplines cover. They (and we) can feel secure doing this because of the structure of science, and more particularly, because of the scientific method. That method basically consists of gathering as much information about a phenomenon (both in nature and in the laboratory) as possible, then developing explanations for it (hypotheses), and then testing the hypotheses to see how well they explain the observed facts, and whether or not any of those observed facts are inconsistent with the hypotheses. Those hypotheses that are inconsistent with observed facts are discarded or modified, while those that are consistent are retained, and those that survive repeated testing are often labelled "theories," as in "the theory of relativity" and "the theory of evolution."

 

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