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12 Th7

Self-Liberation and Anarchy

Contemplation about liberation of humans from authority

– by Max Rebel



“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”
– Bible, Exodus 22:18


“…both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.”
– Bible, Leviticus 20:10


“…stone them to death, the young woman because she did not cry for help in the town and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife.”
– Bible, Deuteronomy 22:24


“If a woman approaches any animal and has sexual relations with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal…”
– Bible, Leviticus 20:16


“When the daughter of a priest profanes herself through prostitution, she profanes her father; she shall be burned to death.”
– Bible, Leviticus 21:9


“You shall not permit a female sorcerer to live.”
– Bible, Exodus 22:18


“Whoever curses father or mother shall be put to death.”
– Bible, Exodus 21:17


“They shall say to the elders of his town, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the town shall stone him to death.”
– Bible, Deuteronomy 21:20-21


“Whoever does any work on it [on a Saturday] shall be put to death.”
– Bible, Exodus 35:2


“…they found a man gathering sticks on the sabbath day. The whole congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.”
– Bible, Numbers 15:32-36


“If anyone secretly entices you – even if it is your brother, your father’s son or your mother’s son, or your own son or daughter, or the wife you embrace, or your most intimate friend – saying, ‘Let us go worship other gods’, whom neither you nor your ancestors have known… Show them no pity or compassion and do not shield them. But you shall surely kill them; your own hand shall be first against them to execute them, and afterwards the hand of all the people.”
– Bible, Deuteronomy 13:6-10


“Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the LORD alone, shall be devoted to destruction.”
– Bible, Exodus 22:20


God tells Abram to kill some animals for him. The needless slaughter makes God feel better. “And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another…”
– Bible, Genesis 15:9-10


“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
– Bible, Leviticus 20:13


“And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.”
– Bible, Leviticus 20:14


People with ‘familiar spirits’ (witches, fortune tellers, etc.) are to be stoned to death. “A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.”
– Bible, Leviticus 20:27


144,000 Jews will be going to heaven; everyone else is going to hell. “And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”
– Bible, Revelation 7:4


“When you draw near to a town to fight against it, offer it terms of peace. If it accepts your terms of peace and surrenders to you, then all the people in it shall serve you at forced labour. If it does not submit to you peacefully, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it; and when the LORD your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all its males to the sword. You may, however, take as your booty the women, the children, livestock, and everything else in the town, all its spoil. You may enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the LORD your God has given you.”
– Bible, Deuteronomy 20:10-14


“How many people did the Judeo-Christian God kill in the Bible?
God : 2 301 427 not including, at least in some cases, women and children, and not including the victims of Noah’s flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, the many plagues, famines, fiery serpents, etc., because no specific numbers were given.
Satan : 10.”

– A non-believer’s account of biblical victims


“They said God was on high and he controlled the world and therefore we must pray against Satan. Well, if God controls the world, he controls Satan. For me, religion was full of misstatements and reaches of logic that I just couldn’t agree with.”
– Gene Roddenberry


“But here steps in Satan, the eternal rebel, the first free-thinker and emancipator of worlds. He makes man ashamed of his bestial ignorance and obedience; he emancipates him, stamps upon his brow the seal of liberty and humanity, in urging him to disobey and eat of the fruit of knowledge.”
– Mikhail Bakunin, God and the State


“For ten centuries Christianity, armed with the omnipotence of the Church and State and opposed by no competition, was able to deprave, debase, and falsify the mind of Europe. It had no competitors, because outside the Church there was neither thinkers nor educated persons. It alone taught, it alone spoke and wrote, it alone taught.”
– Mikhail Bakunin, Church and State


“During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church, after doing its duty in but a lazy and indolent way for eight hundred years, gathered up its halters, thumbscrews, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry.”
– Mark Twain


“Christian England supported slavery and encouraged it for two hundred and fifty years, and her church’s consecrated ministers looked on, sometimes taking an active hand, the rest of the time indifferent… But at last in England, an illegitimate Christian rose against slavery. It is curious that when a Christian rises against a rooted wrong at all, he is usually an illegitimate Christian, member of some despised and bastard sect. There was a bitter struggle, but in the end the slave trade had to go – and went. The Biblical authorization remained, but the practice changed.”
– Mark Twain


“I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.”
– Bertrand Russell


“Perhaps the simplest and easiest to understand is the argument of the First Cause. It is maintained that everything we see in this world has a cause, and as you go back in the chain of causes further and further you must come to a First Cause, and to that First Cause you give the name of God. … If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument. It is exactly of the same nature as the Hindu’s view, that the world rested upon an elephant, and the elephant rested upon a tortoise; and when they said, “How about the tortoise?” the Indian said, ‘Suppose we change the subject’. The argument is really no better than that. There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; nor, on the other hand, is there any reason why it should not have always existed. There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination. Therefore, perhaps, I need not waste any more time upon the argument about the First Cause.”
– Bertrand Russell, Why I am Not a Christian, 1927


“You all know the argument from design: everything in the world is made just so that we can manage to live in the world, and if the world was ever so little different we could not manage to live in it. That is the argument from design. …since the time of Darwin we understand much better why living creatures are adapted to their environment. It is not that their environment was made to be suitable to them, but that they grew to be suitable to it, and that is the basis of adaptation. … When you come to look into this argument from design, it is a most astonishing thing that people can believe that this world, with all the things that are in it, with all its defects, should be the best that omnipotence and omniscience have been able to produce in millions of years. I really cannot believe it. Do you think that, if you were granted omnipotence and omniscience and millions of years in which to perfect your world, you could produce nothing better than the Ku Klux Klan, the Fascisti, and Mr. Winston Churchill? Really I am not much impressed with the people who say: ‘Look at me: I am such a splendid product that there must have been design in the universe.’ I am not very much impressed by the splendor of those people. Moreover, if you accept the ordinary laws of science, you have to suppose that human life and life in general on this planet will die out in due course: it is merely a flash in the pan; it is a stage in the decay of the solar system; at a certain stage of decay you get the sort of conditions and temperature and so forth which are suitable to protoplasm, and there is life for a short time in the life of the whole solar system.”
– Bertrand Russell, Why I am Not a Christian, 1927


“Kant, as I say, invented a new moral argument for the existence of God, and that in varying forms was extremely popular during the nineteenth century. It has all sorts of forms. One form is to say that there would be no right and wrong unless God existed. I am not for the moment concerned with whether there is a difference between right and wrong, or whether there is not: that is another question. The point I am concerned with is that, if you are quite sure there is a difference between right and wrong, then you are then in this situation: is that difference due to God’s fiat or is it not? If it is due to God’s fiat, then for God himself there is no difference between right and wrong, and it is no longer a significant statement to say that God is good. If you are going to say, as theologians do, that God is good, you must then say that right and wrong have some meaning which is independent of God’s fiat, because God’s fiats are good and not bad independently of the mere fact that he made them. If you are going to say that, you will then have to say that it is not only through God that right and wrong came into being, but that they are in their essence logically anterior to God.”
– Bertrand Russell, Why I am Not a Christian, 1927


“Then there is another very curious form of moral argument, which is this: they say that the existence of God is required in order to bring justice into the world. In the part of the universe that we know there is a great injustice, and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper, and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying; but if you are going to have justice in the universe as a whole you have to suppose a future life to redress the balance of life here on earth, and so they say that there must be a God, and that there must be Heaven and Hell in order that in the long run there may be justice. That is a very curious argument. If you looked at the matter from a scientific point of view, you would say, ‘After all, I only know this world. I do not know about the rest of the universe, but so far as one can argue at all on probabilities one would say that probably this world is a fair sample, and if there is injustice here then the odds are that there is injustice elsewhere also.’ Supposing you got a crate of oranges that you opened, and you found all the top layer of oranges bad, you would not argue: ‘The underneath ones must be good, so as to redress the balance.’ You would say: ‘Probably the whole lot is a bad consignment;’ and that is really what a scientific person would argue about the universe. He would say: ‘Here we find in this world a great deal of injustice, and so far as that goes that is a reason for supposing that justice does not rule in the world; and therefore so far as it goes it affords a moral argument against deity and not in favor of one.’ Of course I know that the sort of intellectual arguments that I have been talking to you about is not really what moves people. What really moves people to believe in God is not any intellectual argument at all. Most people believe in God because they have been taught from early infancy to do it, and that is the main reason.”
– Bertrand Russell, Why I am Not a Christian, 1927


“I come to certain points in which I do not believe that one can grant either the superlative wisdom or the superlative goodness of Christ as depicted in the Gospels; and here I may say that one is not concerned with the historical question. Historically, it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if He did we do not know anything about Him, so that I am not concerned with the historical question, which is a very difficult one. I am concerned with Christ as He appears in the Gospels, taking the Gospel narrative as it stands, and there one does find some things that do not seem to be very wise. For one thing, he certainly thought his second coming would occur in clouds of glory before the death of all the people who were living at that time. There are a great many texts that prove that. He says, for instance: ‘Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of Man be come.’ Then He says: ‘There are some standing here which shall not taste death till the Son of Man comes into His kingdom’; and there are a lot of places where it is quite clear that He believed His second coming would happen during the lifetime of many then living. That was the belief of his earlier followers, and it was the basis of a good deal of His moral teaching. When He said, ‘Take no thought for the morrow,’ and things of that sort, it was very largely because He thought the second coming was going to be very soon, and that all ordinary mundane affairs did not count. I have, as a matter of fact, known some Christians who did believe the second coming was imminent. I knew a parson who frightened his congregation terribly by telling them that the second coming was very imminent indeed, but they were much consoled when they found that he was planting trees in his garden. The early Christians really did believe it, and they did abstain from such things as planting trees in their gardens, because they did accept from Christ the belief that the second coming was imminent. In this respect clearly He was not so wise as some other people have been, and he certainly was not superlatively wise.”
– Bertrand Russell, Why I am Not a Christian, 1927


“There is one very serious defect to my mind in Christ’s moral character, and that is that He believed in hell. I do not myself feel that any person that is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment. Christ certainly as depicted in the Gospels did believe in everlasting punishment, and one does find repeatedly a vindictive fury against those people who would not listen to His preaching – an attitude which is not uncommon with preachers, but which does somewhat detract from superlative excellence. You do not, for instance, find that attitude in Socrates. You find him quite bland and urbane toward the people who would not listen to him; and it is, to my mind, far more worthy of a sage to take that line than to take the line of indignation. You probably all remember the sorts of things that Socrates was saying when he was dying, and the sort of things that he generally did say to people who did not agree with him.”
– Bertrand Russell, Why I am Not a Christian, 1927


“As I said before, I do not think that the real reason that people accept religion has anything to do with argumentation. They accept religion on emotional grounds. One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it.”
– Bertrand Russell, Why I am Not a Christian, 1927


“You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress of humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or ever mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.”
– Bertrand Russell, Why I am Not a Christian, 1927


“Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing – fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand-in-hand. It is because fear is at the basis of those two things.”
– Bertrand Russell, Why I am Not a Christian, 1927


“We want to stand upon our own feet and look fair and square at the world – its good facts, its bad facts, its beauties, and its ugliness; see the world as it is and be not afraid of it. Conquer the world by intelligence and not merely by being slavishly subdued by the terror that comes from it. The whole conception of a God is a conception derived from the ancient oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings. We ought to stand up and look the world frankly in the face. We ought to make the best we can of the world, and if it is not so good as we wish, after all it will still be better than what these others have made of it in all these ages. A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men. It needs a fearless outlook and a free intelligence. It needs hope for the future, not looking back all the time toward a past that is dead, which we trust will be far surpassed by the future that our intelligence can create”
– Bertrand Russell, Why I am Not a Christian, 1927


“What have been Christianity’s fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.”
– James Madison


“I regard monotheism as the greatest disaster ever to befall the human race. I see no good in Judaism, Christianity, or Islam – good people, yes, but any religion based on a single, well, frenzied and virulent god, is not as useful to the human race as, say, Confucianism, which is not a religion but an ethical and educational system.”
– Gore Vidal


“The atheist does not say ‘there is no God’, but he says ‘I know not what you mean by God; I am without idea of God; the word ‘God’ is to me a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation.’… The Bible God I deny; the Christian God I disbelieve in; but I am not rash enough to say there is no God as long as you tell me you are unprepared to define God to me.”
– Charles Bradlaugh, A Plea for Atheism, 1864


“The very concept of sin comes from the Bible. Christianity offers to solve a problem of its own making! Would you be thankful to a person who cut you with a knife in order to sell you a bandage?”
– Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith


“I have something to say to the religionist who feels atheists never say anything positive: You are an intelligent human being. Your life is valuable for its own sake. You are not second-class in the universe, deriving meaning and purpose from some other mind. You are not inherently evil – you are inherently human, possessing the positive rational potential to help make this a world of morality, peace and joy. Trust yourself. “
– Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith


“Christianity,… the enemy of the teeth, as well as the clitoris and the brain… Dentistry was already a fairly sophisticated science in ancient Egypt. There’re mummies with fillings in their teeth, with root canals and bridgework, for crying out loud… Jews considered such practices a form of mutilation, and our European Christian ancestors believed it was blasphemous to mess with the Almighty’s handiwork, we being created in his own image, overbite and all. Never mind that their molars ached – that was the result of sin, or the mischief of demons. By the time the King James version of the Bible hit the stands in sixteen-whatever-it-was, dentistry in the English-speaking world was a rustic joke, which is why, four thousand years after Imhotep got his cavities filled, the President of the United States was forced to replace his troubled teeth with blunt objects carved out of a fallen log. The Christians crucified dental science, just like they nailed up astronomy – you know what happened to Copernicus and Galileo – and the rest of the human race’s intellectual and artistic progress. Yes, indeed. It was a bishop of the Church of Rome who burned the great library at Alexandria because he was uncomfortable with the reminder on such a grand scale that there were successful human enterprises that pre-dated Jesus. You have any appreciation of what was lost in that fire? The science, the records, the scholarship, the wisdom, the literature? Our understanding of the past and what it may portend for the future was irreparably sabotaged by arrogant Christian firebugs. The second greatest library in the world happened to be in Timbuktu, and it was torched by Islamic revisionists for the very same reason. Let history begin with Muhammed! If these religious assholes are really convinced of the power and the truth of their big boohoos, why are they so scared by historical fact, by thought, by knowledge?”
– Tom Robbins, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas


“It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”
– Mark Twain


“When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it.”
– Oscar Wilde


“God is by definition the holder of all possible knowledge, it would be impossible for him to have faith in anything. Faith, then, is built upon ignorance and hope.”
– Steve Allen, More Steve Allen, on the Bible Religion & Morality


“The Bible is one of the most genocidal books in history.”
– Noam Chomsky


“Another philosopher suggests that saying prayers is equivalent to believing that the universe is governed by a Being who changes his mind if you ask him to.”
– Steve Allen, More Steve Allen, on the Bible Religion & Morality


“In less than an hour, the Parliament of Toulouse, France publicly burned 400 unfortunate women, having convicted them of crimes that existed only in the deluded minds of their sentences. Five hundred women were burned at the stake in the city of Geneva in one month, and approximately a thousand were murdered in the Italian province of Como. A French judge, over the course of 16 years, could boast that he had sentenced some 800 women to the stake. This entire vast atrocity was said to be ‘justified’ by the Bible.”
– Steve Allen, More Steve Allen, on the Bible Religion & Morality


“Christianity sprang from Judaism. It has merged again in Judaism. From the outset, the Christian was the theorizing Jew, the Jew is, therefore, the practical Christian, and the practical Christian has become a Jew again. Christianity had only in semblance overcome real Judaism. It was too noble-minded, too spiritualistic to eliminate the crudity of practical need in any other way than by elevation to the skies. Christianity is the sublime thought of Judaism, Judaism is the common practical application of Christianity, but this application could only become general after Christianity as a developed religion had completed theoretically the estrangement of man from himself and from nature. Only then could Judaism achieve universal dominance and make alienated man and alienated nature into alienable, vendible objects subjected to the slavery of egoistic need and to trading.”
– Karl Marx, On The Jewish Question, 1844


“The Jew has emancipated himself in a Jewish manner, not only because he has acquired financial power, but also because, through him and also apart from him, money has become a world power and the practical Jewish spirit has become the practical spirit of the Christian nations. The Jews have emancipated themselves insofar as the Christians have become Jews.”
– Karl Marx, On The Jewish Question, 1844


“Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly and warn the people of Canada…”
– Isaac Asimov, Canadian Atheists Newsletter, 1994


“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.”
– Isaac Asimov


“I noticed that of all the prayers I used to offer to god, and all the prayers that I now offer to Joe Pesci, are being answer at about the same 50% rate. Half the time I get what I want. Half the time I don’t. Same as god 50/50. Same as the four leaf clover, the horse shoe, the rabbit’s foot, and the wishing well. Same as the mojo man. Same as the voodoo lady who tells your fortune by squeezing the goat’s testicles. It’s all the same; 50/50. So just pick your superstitions, sit back, make a wish and enjoy yourself. And for those of you that look to the Bible for it’s literary qualities and moral lessons; I got a couple other stories I might like to recommend for you. You might enjoy The Three Little Pigs. That’s a good one. It has a nice happy ending. Then there’s Little Red Riding Hood. Although it does have that one x-rated part where the Big-Bad-Wolf actually eats the grandmother. Which I didn’t care for, by the way. And finally, I’ve always drawn a great deal of moral comfort from Humpty Dumpty. The part I liked best: …and all the king’s horses, and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again. That’s because there is no Humpty Dumpty, and there is no god. None. Not one. Never was. No god.”
– George Carlin


“If one were to take the bible seriously, one would go mad. But to take the bible seriously, one must be already mad.”
– Aleister Crowley


“The Bible is a mimicking conglomeration of ancient myths and legends, and if I weren’t positively sure of that, I wouldn’t have written this book and embarrassed myself again. My purpose is to try to spare the human species from the tyranny and mania of religions. When people all around the world finally become aware of what religion is – it will cure the most devastating illness man has been forced to endure.”
– Dr. Wally F. Dean, The Mania of Religion, 1995


“By dipping us children in the Bible so often, they hoped, I think, to give our lives a serious tint, and to provide us with quaintly magnificent snatches of prayer to produce as charms while, say, being mugged for our cash or jewels.”
– Annie Dillard, An American Childhood


“They came with a Bible and their religion, stole our land, crushed our spirit… and now tell us we should be thankful to the ‘Lord’ for being saved.”
– Chief Pontiac, American Indian Chieftain (d. 1769)


“Bible is bullshit. Because the bible is a book that has fucked up the world more than any other single book. A book that was written by a bunch of male chauvinists.”
– Anonymous


“Since the Bible and the church are obviously mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust them to tell us where we are going?”
– Anonymous


“Once purged of the insanity, plagiarisms, illegalities, contradictions, and the perverse, the Bible could be printed on match book covers.”
– Anonymous


“(Slavery) was established by decree of Almighty God… it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation.”
– President Jefferson Davis, Confederate States of America


“There is not one verse in the Bible inhibiting slavery, but many regulating it. It is not then, we conclude, immoral.”
– Reverend Alexander Campbell, 19th century


“The doom of Ham has been branded on the form and features of his African descendants. The hand of fate has united his color and destiny. Man cannot separate what God hath joined.”
– United States Senator James Henry Hammond


“The hope of civilization itself hangs on the defeat of Negro suffrage.”
– A statement by a prominent 19th-century southern Presbyterian pastor, cited by Reverend Jack Rogers, moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA)


“All women have been sexually abused by the Bible teachings, and institutions set on its fundamentalist interpretations. There would be no need for the women’s movement if the church and Bible hadn’t abused them.”
– Father Leo Booth


“If Christ does not appear to meet his 144,000 faithful shortly after midnight on February 6th or 7th, it means that my calculations, based on the Bible, must be revised.”
– Margaret Rowen, Church of the Advanced Adventists, 1925


“The first millennium of Jewish history as presented in the Bible has no empirical foundation whatsoever.”
– Cantor (historian), The Sacred Chain, p 51.


First mention of Israelites by their neighbours is The Moabite Stele – Large slab of basalt that records King Mesha of Moab’s defeat of Israel, “which hath perished forever”.
– 9h century BCE (Before Common Era), The Moabite Stele, Louvre, Paris


“The Bible writers projected backwards into time the kind of political rivalry that was happening in their own day [6th c BC] in order to explain that rivalry and perhaps justify the Israelite position over current border disputes.”
– Magnus Magnusson, The Archaeology of the Bible Lands – BC, p. 76.


“Nowhere in the bible is there an acknowledgement that human beings have inherent rights to life, liberty, happiness, dignity, fairness, or self-government. In the bible, humans are sinners, worms, and slaves (figuratively and literally, as it condones slavery). God has all the rights, humanity is nothing. … As well as the theoretical degrading of humanity and its liberty, religion has other, more practical, problems with it from an anarchist point of view. Firstly, religions have been a source of inequality and oppression. Christianity (like Islam), for example, has always been a force for repression whenever it holds any political or social sway (believing you have a direct line to god is a sure way of creating an authoritarian society). The Church has been a force of social repression, genocide, and the justification for every tyrant for nearly two millennia. When given the chance it has ruled as cruelly as any monarch or dictator. … Christianity has only turned tolerant and peace-loving when it is powerless and even then it has continued its role as apologist for the powerful. This is the second reason why anarchists oppose the church for when not being the source of oppression, the church has justified it and ensured its continuation. It has kept the working class in bondage for generations by sanctioning the rule of earthly authorities and teaching working people that it is wrong to fight against those same authorities. Earthly rulers received their legitimisation from the heavenly lord, whether political (claiming that rulers are in power due to god’s will) or economic (the rich having been rewarded by god). The bible praises obedience, raising it to a great virtue. More recent innovations like the Protestant work ethic also contribute to the subjugation of working people.”
– Iain McKay and others in the collective, An Anarchist FAQ


“A Few Bits of Crockery. ‘Lachish Letters’ are the only first hand ‘evidence’ for the entire corpus of the Old Testament. The Lachish Letters (British Museum) are a collection of 21 pottery shards or ‘ostraca’. Found in the ruins of Tell ed-Duweir in the 1930s the fragments bear a few words of Hebrew relating to the fall of Judaean cities to the Babylonians in the 580s BC. The letters are from outposts of Lachish to the city’s military commander (a man named Ya’osh) and represent field reports monitoring the situation as the armies of Nebuchadnezzar closed in. ‘They have entered the land to lay waste… strong is he who has come down. He lays waste.'”
– Kenneth Humphreys, Jesus Never Existed. ‘The Myth of the Jewish ‘Race’. Just Who Were the Jews? First invent your Jew, then invent your Christ.’ Illuminating the terrifying history of a morbid cult that destroyed the ancient world. For All Who Would Struggle Against The Tragedy Of Religion.


“The cost to humanity of fifteen centuries of Christian savagery – of hundreds of millions of lives brutalised and truncated, sacrificed to war, torture, pogrom, burning, pestilence and plague – is incalculable. Christianity is the worst disaster in human history.”
– Kenneth Humphreys, Jesus Never Existed. Illuminating the terrifying history of a morbid cult that destroyed the ancient world. For All Who Would Struggle Against The Tragedy Of Religion.


“Abraham (Abram, Ibrahim) – This amazingly ‘righteous’ phantom has a lot to answer for. Father of ‘many nations’ his supposed behaviour set a terrifying example – not only attempted murder of his favourite son but abandoning to the desert the offspring of his various concubines. Sadly, Judaism, Christianity and Islam all pay homage to this con’ man and warlord. Never actually existed, of course, but that hardly matters to religious zealots.”
– Kenneth Humphreys, Jesus Never Existed. Illuminating the terrifying history of a morbid cult that destroyed the ancient world. For All Who Would Struggle Against The Tragedy Of Religion.


“A triumphant Christianity was the active agent in destroying knowledge and access to learning. An ignorant and impoverished population was more readily subjugated by Princes of the Church. The ‘Word of God’, far from being inerrant, has ever been a work in progress. Church organisation, authority and membership preceded rather than followed the justifying doctrine. As the organisation and its needs changed so has the ‘Testament of God’ adapted accordingly.”
– Kenneth Humphreys, Jesus Never Existed. ‘Dogma – The Word in all its Savage Glory’. Illuminating the terrifying history of a morbid cult that destroyed the ancient world. For All Who Would Struggle Against The Tragedy Of Religion.


“Christianity was the ultimate product of religious syncretism in the ancient world. Its emergence owed nothing to a holy carpenter. There were many Jesuses but the fable was a cultural construct. Nazareth did not exist in the 1st century AD – the area was a burial ground of rock-cut tombs. Following a star would lead you in circles. The 12 disciples are as fictitious as their master, invented to legitimise the claims of the early churches. The original Mary was not a virgin. That idea was borrowed from pagan goddesses. Scholars have known all this for more than 200 years but priestcraft is a highly profitable business and finances an industry of deceit to keep the show on the road.”
– Kenneth Humphreys, Jesus Never Existed. ‘Jesus – The Imaginary Friend’. Illuminating the terrifying history of a morbid cult that destroyed the ancient world. For All Who Would Struggle Against The Tragedy Of Religion.


“It is intuitively satisfying to think that someone was behind the towering legend. Yet like the worship of Horus or Mithras a human life was neither necessary nor helpful. Nothing in the ‘Christian message’ was original. Brotherly love and compassion had been taught by the Stoics for centuries. The Christian faith was a vulgarised paganism, set to the theme of the Jewish prophets and debased by religious intolerance. The early Christian sects attacked each other as energetically as they attacked pagans. 1st century Palestine had rabbis, radicals and rebels in abundance. But a ‘life’ conjured up from mystical fantasy, a mass of borrowed quotations, copied story elements and a corpus of self-serving speculation, does not constitute an historical reality. The final defeat of militant Jewish nationalism and the eradication of the Jewish kingdom gave the incipient Christian churches the final uplift they required.”
– Kenneth Humphreys, Jesus Never Existed. ‘Godman – Gestation of a Superhero’. Illuminating the terrifying history of a morbid cult that destroyed the ancient world. For All Who Would Struggle Against The Tragedy Of Religion.


“There never was just one Christianity. Out of the milieu of religiosity that infected the Roman world, dozens of competing and conflicting Jesus/Sun-god/Mystery cults emerged. The first believers in Jesus maintained he was an ethereal spirit, much like other sky/sun-gods. Only later did he acquire a human death, a human life and finally a human birth. The composite ‘Jesus Christ’ character – god, man, king, carpenter, conqueror, peace-maker, dispenser of justice, advocate of love – was assembled to try and unify a fragmented and fractious messianic religious movement. In the mid-2nd century the Jewishness of the faith was purged but apologists had little to say about a human Jesus. They took comfort in noting similarities between their own ideas and pagan myths. The Christians remained a minority until well after one particular faction formed a political alliance with the Roman State. The orthodox creed remained unpopular for centuries and persecution was necessary to impose its will.”
– Kenneth Humphreys, Jesus Never Existed. ‘What DID the Early Christians Believe?’. Illuminating the terrifying history of a morbid cult that destroyed the ancient world. For All Who Would Struggle Against The Tragedy Of Religion.


“Through the centuries, the Christian godman has been made and remade. Egypt provided many of the themes and much of the detail. From the age of the Ptolemies, Alexandria was the ancient cooking pot of religious fusion. Here, Hellenised Judaism influenced the early Christians. From Egypt, Catholicism copied its rituals and ceremonies, including relics, demonology, and monasticism. The Patriarchs of Alexandria wrote much of Catholic theology and it was probably in Alexandria that a profound and detailed Buddhist influence impressed itself upon the faith. From Persia, too, came a Saviour God and notions of rebirth, a Mithraic dress rehearsal for Christianity, triumphant in Rome but fatally weakened by its exclusion of women. In Judaea itself, hatred for the Roman conquerors bred a genre of apocalyptic curses, anticipating an end of the world.”
– Kenneth Humphreys, Jesus Never Existed. ‘Sourcing the legend – The Syncretic Heritage of Christianity’. Illuminating the terrifying history of a morbid cult that destroyed the ancient world. For All Who Would Struggle Against The Tragedy Of Religion.


“The Israelites did not come from Egypt – a palpable myth – but emerged from the local population. There was no ancient ‘Jewish Empire’: the Jewish priests drew their inspiration from the empire of the Assyrians and ‘Judaism’ was a reaction to the loss of the northern kingdom and an instructive period spent in Babylon. Jerusalem in 10th century BC had been barely a village of huts and cave dwellings. Kings David and Solomon are purely mythical characters – warrior/priest heroes, invented in the 6th century BC. Temples on the Mount? From ‘Threshing Floor’ to ‘Noble Sanctuary’. Herod the Great was a real king – but he did not massacre any babies. He was an astute and successful ruler. The Herodians and the Jewish elite became Romanised but religious fanatics led an armed resistance which ended in catastrophes under Titus, Trajan, and Hadrian. In the aftermath, a collaborationist revision of Judaism, later attributed to a 13th apostle ‘Paul’, allegedly of impeccable Pharisaic credentials, competed fiercely with a reconstituted rabbinic Judaism which fused piety with mercantile success.”
– Kenneth Humphreys, Jesus Never Existed. ‘Jew Story – The Way of the Rabbi’. Illuminating the terrifying history of a morbid cult that destroyed the ancient world. For All Who Would Struggle Against The Tragedy Of Religion.


“Human ingenuity and cunning is matched by mankind’s equally monumental credulity and wishful thinking. There are actually some 200 gospels, epistles and other books concerning the life of Jesus Christ. Writing such material was a popular literary form, particularly in the 2nd century. The pious fantasies competed with Greek romantic fiction. Political considerations in the late 2nd century led to the selection of just four approved gospels and the rejection of others. After three centuries of wrangling 23 other books were accepted by the Church as divinely inspired. The rest were declared ‘pious frauds’. In truth, the whole lot belongs to a genre of literary FICTION. Would the Christians lie? They said it themselves – lying for God! And non-Christian testimony? – from the authentic pen of lying Christian scribes! Would the early believers have died for a lie? Consider the evidence for that supposed ‘persecution’ – Holy Mother Church invented heroic origins!”
– Kenneth Humphreys, Jesus Never Existed. ‘Christianity’s Fabrication Factory’. Illuminating the terrifying history of a morbid cult that destroyed the ancient world. For All Who Would Struggle Against The Tragedy Of Religion.


“From religious policeman to grandee of the church, from beast fighter in Ephesus to beheading in Rome, Paul’s story has more holes than a swiss cheese. The trail-blazing Christian missionary and apostle, St Paul, appears nowhere in the secular histories of his age. Ironically, though supposedly in Jerusalem at the right time, he can give no witness to a historical Jesus. But was Paul himself a genuine historical figure? Viewed without the rose-tinted spectacles of Christian faith, the first voyage of Paul is as fanciful as the first voyage of Sinbad. Paul’s presence in Philippi is decidedly dubious. Was it friction or fiction in Roman Greece? Corinthians. Man, Myth and Magic among the Galatians. The later Pauline journeys, including the supposed transportation of the apostle to Rome, are similarly bogus. Characterized by incongruities, contradiction, and the absurd, they are a concocted fantasy. In fact, no evidence links Paul to the major Christian churches – the story in the Acts of the Apostles is a ripping yarn. A phantom saint heads the list of ‘witnesses to witnesses’, Ignatius the ‘God bearer’. Pauline letters certainly exist but the epistles, far from being genuine letters, originated in the acrimonious doctrinal battles of the 2nd century – a time when ‘pseudepigraphy’ and forged apostolic writings were weapons in the war of ‘Christianities’.”
– Kenneth Humphreys, Jesus Never Existed. ‘St Paul the Apostle – Dead in the water?’. Illuminating the terrifying history of a morbid cult that destroyed the ancient world. For All Who Would Struggle Against The Tragedy Of Religion.


“Orchestrated by ambitious Christian clerics, a cancer of superstition, fear and brutality was imposed across Europe. The fanatics of Christ proved useful to an ambitious prince who set his sights on absolute and undivided power [by championing the cause of the Christians Constantine put himself at the head of a ‘fifth column’ in the east, of a state within a state]. The Church expropriated the resources – both human and material – which might have defended Roman civilization. While an indolent army of clerics lived on the state, the impoverished legions degenerated into a peasant militia. Once a particular Christianity – hierarchical and authoritarian – became wedded to the Roman state, it became a force of brutal repression. The ‘Church Fathers’ transformed Romano-Hellenic culture by bigotry, anti-Semitism, censorship and intolerance. This so-called ‘orthodoxy’ suppressed and persecuted its ‘heretical’ opposition. The barbarian tribes that overran the weakened Roman Empire were, for the most part, Christianised; the forces that opposed them, pagan.”
– Kenneth Humphreys, Jesus Never Existed. ‘Heart of Darkness – The Criminal History of the Christian Church’, For All Who Would Struggle Against The Tragedy Of Religion


“The Christian Heaven may have been a vain folly but the Christian Hell has been real enough. The priestly ‘protection racket’ required the criminalizing of the whole of humanity through the doctrine of Sin. In a world run by clerical gangsters, the writ of Holy Mother Church was enforced by sadism and torture. For more than a thousand years, the henchmen of Christ inflicted a cruel barbarism on every community they encountered. Law was replaced by Divine Right, scientific method criminalized, ancient medical knowledge lost for a millennium. Women, fortunate to be domestic slaves, might find themselves in enforced celibacy, joyless marriage or burnt as a witch. Roasting heretics became popular entertainment and a religious duty. Raised to the status of State religion the Christian Church reigned over the destruction of civilization. As the centuries passed religious barbarism grew ever more vicious.”
– Kenneth Humphreys, Jesus Never Existed. ‘Hell on Earth – A Brutal Superstition Spreads Across the World’. Illuminating the terrifying history of a morbid cult that destroyed the ancient world. For All Who Would Struggle Against The Tragedy Of Religion.


“In their struggle for power, Christians waged their own ‘civil war’. A Catholic trinitarian nonsense triumphed over Arianism. The intellectual centres of the empire were ruined by murder and prohibition and Europe sank into ignorance and superstition. The civilization that had stretched from the deserts of Arabia to the highlands of Scotland reverted to a primitive village subsistence. By aggressive warfare, Christianisation of the heathen tribes followed. In Spain, the German lands, Britain, and Ireland, the despots of the Church imposed their tyranny.”
– Kenneth Humphreys, Jesus Never Existed. ‘Winter of the World – The Terrible Cost of ‘Christendom”. Illuminating the terrifying history of a morbid cult that destroyed the ancient world. For All Who Would Struggle Against The Tragedy Of Religion.


“With a Jewish father (stern patriarch) and a Christian mother (obsession with guilt and heaven) it is not surprising that Islam grew up a bit of a tartar. Early civilizations arose in many parts of Arabia, long before Judaism, Christianity or Islam. Islam arose as an adaptation of old ideas, not something new. Yet initially, far from imposing a severe theocracy, the early caliphs were tolerant, even urbane. Despite the mutual hostility of kindred monotheisms, Islam endorsed a great deal of Judeo-Christian theology and adopted many of its practices. In its heyday, from the Atlantic to central Asia, Islam produced scholars and refinement. Europe’s recovery owed a huge debt to Islamic civilization. Battered by both East and West the enlightenment failed and theology triumphed.”
– Kenneth Humphreys, Jesus Never Existed. ‘Islam’s Desert Storm – ‘Christendom’ Reaps a Whirlwind’. Illuminating the terrifying history of a morbid cult that destroyed the ancient world. For All Who Would Struggle Against The Tragedy Of Religion.


“Is it any surprise that organised religion draws into itself the lonely hearts and the abandoned? Jesus is not merely an imaginary friend, he is also a fantasy lover. With God’s blessing, misogynistic Jewish scribes encoded a raft of sex crimes which sanctified racial ambition. The sacred mission was to populate and subdue the earth. Judaism bequeathed its unfortunate mix of ignorance and intolerance to a wayward faction of heretics known to the world as Christians. The enthusiasts of Christ elaborated on the notion that the body was a source of shame and that women were an inferior breed. Mortification of the flesh became the path of ‘spiritual purity’. But a triumphant Catholicism happily compromised the fierce strictures of the founders for worldly advantage. The ‘Gospel of Sin’ became a source of wealth and power for the pimping priests. Predators replaced the puritans. The consequence is that for two millennia Christianity’s anti-sexual, puritanical doctrines have inflicted untold damage on the mental, emotional and physical lives of countless millions of people.”
– Kenneth Humphreys, Jesus Never Existed. ‘Those SEXUALLY hung-up Christians – Loved-up for Jesus’. Illuminating the terrifying history of a morbid cult that destroyed the ancient world. For All Who Would Struggle Against The Tragedy Of Religion.


“Heaven help us. The richest, most powerful nation in history has a psychotic infatuation with Jay-a-sus the Lawd! Christian knights brought savagery and racism to a whole new world. When gentle Jesus arrived in England’s North American colonies, a motley crew of venture capitalists, criminals and self-righteous fanatics established a precarious existence. But a stolen land, worked by an enslaved labour force, cultivating drug crops, could not fail to enrich the colonial elite. Jesus was there when the American republic built the foundations of its economy on slavery and was re-packaged into a convenience Christianity suited to dreams of vast personal wealth. Today a bunch of crooks and hucksters, womanising egotists and dangerous megalomaniacs choreograph extravaganzas of Jesus frenzy. Alarmingly, they have serious political influence and an agenda for Armageddon.”
– Kenneth Humphreys, Jesus Never Existed. ‘The Christianising of the Americas’. Illuminating the terrifying history of a morbid cult that destroyed the ancient world. For All Who Would Struggle Against The Tragedy Of Religion.


From The Jesus Puzzle. Was There No Historical Jesus? – Part One: A Conspiracy Of Silence, by Earl Doherty.
“Before Ignatius, not a single reference to Pontius Pilate, Jesus’ executioner, is to be found. Ignatius is also the first to mention Mary; Joseph, Jesus’ father, nowhere appears. The earliest reference to Jesus as any kind of a teacher comes in 1 Clement, just before Ignatius, who himself seems curiously unaware of any of Jesus’ teachings. To find the first indication of Jesus as a miracle worker, we must move beyond Ignatius to the Epistle of Barnabas. Other notable elements of the Gospel story are equally hard to find. … Christianity was allegedly born within Judaism, whose basic theological tenet was: God is One. The ultimate blasphemy for a Jew would have been to associate any man with God. Yet what did those first Christians do? They seemingly took someone regarded as a crucified criminal and turned him into the Son of God and Savior of the world. They gave him titles and roles formerly reserved for God alone. They made him pre-existent: sharing divinity with God in heaven before the world was made. Nor was this something that evolved over time. All this highly spiritual and mythological thinking is the very earliest expression we find about Jesus. … And yet there is a resounding silence in Paul and the other first century writers. We might call it ‘The Missing Equation’. Nowhere does anyone state that this Son of God and Savior, this cosmic Christ they are all talking about, was the man Jesus of Nazareth, recently put to death in Judea. Nowhere is there any defence of this outlandish, blasphemous proposition, the first necessary element (presumably) in the Christian message: that a recent man was God. … The Greeks and Romans had their own religious philosophies (to be looked at in greater detail in Part Two), which included the idea of a divine Son, of an intermediary between God and the world, but such spiritual concepts had never been equated with a human being. … But the silence extends beyond individual pronouncements to Jesus’ ministry as a whole, and it is nowhere more startling than in Romans 10. Paul is anxious to show that the Jews have no excuse for failing to believe in Christ and gaining salvation, for they have heard the good news about him from appointed messengers like Paul himself. And he contrasts the unresponsive Jews with the gentiles who welcomed it. But surely Paul has left out the glaringly obvious. For the Jews – or at least some of them – had supposedly rejected that message from the very lips of Jesus himself, whereas the gentiles had believed second-hand. In verse 18 Paul asks dramatically: ‘But can it be they never heard it (i.e., the message)?’ How could he fail to highlight his countrymen’s spurning of Jesus’ very own person? Yet all he refers to are apostles like himself who have ‘preached to the ends of the earth.’ Then in Romans 11, Paul goes on to compound this silence by describing the extent of Israel’s rejection, wherein he quotes Elijah’s words from 1 Kings about the Jews’ alleged habit (a largely unfounded myth) of killing their own prophets. Yet Paul fails to add to this record the culminating atrocity of the killing of the Son of God himself. … As for Jesus’ great appointment of Peter as the ‘rock’ upon which his church is to be built, no one in the first century (including the writers of 1 and 2 Peter) ever quotes it or uses it in the frequent debates over authority. … The agency of all recent activity seems to be God, not Jesus. Paul speaks of ‘the gospel of God’, ‘God’s message’. It is God appealing and calling to the Christian believer. 2 Corinthians 5:18 tells us that ‘from first to last this has been the work of God’ (New English Bible translation). In Romans 1:19 the void is startling. Paul declares: ‘All that may be known of God by men… God himself has disclosed to them.’ Did Jesus not disclose God, were God’s attributes not visible in Jesus? How could any Christian – as so many do – express himself in this fashion? … No first century epistle, even when discussing Christian baptism, ever mentions either Jesus’ own baptism or the figure of John the Baptist. … Where are the holy places? … In all the Christian writers of the first century, in all the devotion they display about Christ and the new faith, not one of them expresses the slightest desire to see the birthplace of Jesus, to visit Nazareth his home town, the sites of his preaching, the upper room where he held his Last Supper, the tomb: where he was buried and rose from the dead. These places are never mentioned. Most of all, there is not a hint of pilgrimage to Calvary itself, where humanity’s salvation was consummated. How could such a place not have been turned into a shrine? … Is it conceivable that Paul would not have wanted to run to the hill of Calvary, to prostrate himself on the sacred ground that bore the blood of his slain Lord? Surely he would have shared such an intense emotional experience with his readers. … Nor do they breathe a word about relics associated with Jesus. Where are his clothes, the things he used in everyday life, the things he touched? Can we believe that items associated with him in his life on earth would not have been preserved, valued, clamored for among believers, just as things like this were produced and prized all through the Middle Ages? Why is it only in the fourth century that pieces of the ‘true cross’ begin to surface? New Testament scholars are quick to maintain that the ‘argument from silence’ is an invalid one, but it surely becomes powerful when the silence is so pervasive, so perplexing. Why would writer after writer fail consistently to mention the very man who was the founder of their faith, the teacher of their ethics, the incarnation of the divine Christ they worshiped and looked to for salvation? Why would every Christian writer, in the highly polemical atmosphere during those early decades of the spread of the faith, fail to avail himself of the support for his position offered by the very words and deeds of the Son of God himself while he was on earth? What could possibly explain this puzzling, maddening, universal silence?”
– Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle. Was There No Historical Jesus? – Part One: A Conspiracy Of Silence


From The Jesus Puzzle. Was There No Historical Jesus? – Part Two: Who Was Christ Jesus?, by Earl Doherty.
“Out of this rich soil of ideas arose Christianity, a product of both Jewish and Greek philosophy. Its concept of Jesus the ‘Son’ grew out of ideas like personified Wisdom (with a sex change), leavened with the Greek Logos, and amalgamated with the more personal and human figure of traditional Messiah expectation. Christianity made its Christ (the Greek word for Messiah) into a heavenly figure who could be related to, though he is intimately tied to God himself. Unlike Wisdom or the Logos, however, the Christian Savior was envisioned to have undergone self-sacrifice. … By the first century CE the Empire had several popular salvation cults known as the ‘mysteries’, each with its own savior god or goddess, such as Osiris, Attis and Mithras. There has been a seesaw debate over when these cults became fully formed and how much they may have influenced Christian ideas, but the root versions of the Greek mysteries go back to those of Eleusis (near Athens) and of the Greek god Dionysos, in the first half of the first millennium BCE. At the very least we can say that Christianity in many of its aspects was a Jewish-oriented expression of this widespread religious phenomenon. Each of these savior gods had in some way overcome death, or performed some act whose effects guaranteed for the initiate a happy afterlife. … For the average pagan and Jew, the bulk of the workings of the universe went on in the vast unseen spiritual realm (the ‘genuine’ part of the universe) which began at the lowest level of the ‘air’ and extended ever upward through the various layers of heaven. Here a savior god like Mithras could slay a bull, Attis could be castrated, and Christ could be hung on a tree by ‘the god of that world’, meaning Satan (see the Ascension of Isaiah 9:14). … Where and how did Christianity begin? The traditional view, of course, is that it began in Jerusalem among the Twelve Apostles in response to Jesus’ death and resurrection. But this is untenable, and not just because of a lack of any historical Jesus. … Christianity was born in a thousand places, in the broad fertile soil of Hellenistic Judaism. It sprang up in many independent communities and sects, expressing itself in a great variety of doctrines. We see this variety in everything from Paul to the writings of the so-called community of John, from the unique Epistle to the Hebrews to non-canonical documents like the Odes of Solomon and a profusion of gnostic texts. It was all an expression of the new religious philosophy of the Son, and it generated an apostolic movement fueled by visionary inspiration and a study of scripture, impelled by the conviction that God’s Kingdom was at hand. … ‘Jesus’ (Yeshua) is a Hebrew name meaning Savior, strictly speaking ‘Yahweh Saves’. At the beginning of Christianity it refers not to the name of a human individual but (like the term Logos) to a concept: a divine, spiritual figure who is the mediator of God’s salvation. ‘Christ’, the Greek translation of the Hebrew ‘Messiah’, is also a concept, meaning the Anointed One of God (though enriched by much additional connotation). In certain sectarian circles across the Empire, which included both Jews and gentiles, these names would have enjoyed a broad range of usage. Belief in some form of spiritual Anointed Savior – Christ Jesus – was in the air. Paul and the Jerusalem brotherhood were simply one strand of this widespread phenomenon, although an important and eventually very influential one. Later, in a myth-making process of its own, this group of missionaries would come to be regarded as the whole movement’s point of origin.”
– Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle. Was There No Historical Jesus? – Part Two: Who Was Christ Jesus?


From The Jesus Puzzle. Was There No Historical Jesus? – Part Three: The Evolution of Jesus of Nazareth, by Earl Doherty.
“To move from the New Testament epistles to the Gospels is to enter a completely different world. In Parts One and Two, I pointed out that virtually every element of the Gospel biography of Jesus of Nazareth is missing from the epistles, and that Paul and other early writers present us only with a divine, spiritual Christ in heaven, one revealed by God through inspiration and scripture. Their Jesus is never identified with a recent historical man. Like the savior gods of the Greek mystery cults, Paul’s Christ had performed his redeeming act in a mythical arena. Thus, when we open the Gospels we are unprepared for the flesh and blood figure who lives and speaks on their pages, one who walked the sands of Palestine and died on Calvary in the days of Herod and Pontius Pilate. … The names Mark, Matthew, Luke and John are accepted as later ascriptions; the real authors are unknown. … The Gospel of ‘John’ is thought to have passed through several stages of construction. Thus, Matthew and Luke, writing independently and probably unknown to each other, used an earlier edition (or editions) of Mark which would have conformed to their agreements. The concept of a unified Gospel, let alone one produced by inspiration, is no longer tenable. … This picture of Gospel relationships is really quite astonishing. Even John, in its narrative structure and passion story, is now considered by many scholars (see Robert Funk, Honest to Jesus, p.239) to be based on Mark or some other Synoptic stage. Gone is the old pious view that the four Gospels are independent and corroborating accounts. Instead, their strong similarities are the result of copying. … The core of the historical Jesus precedes the Gospels and was born in the community or circles which produced the document now called ‘Q’ (for the German ‘Quelle’, meaning ‘source’). No copy of Q has survived, but while a minority disagree, the majority of New Testament scholars today are convinced that Q did exist, and that it can be reconstructed from the common material found in Matthew and Luke which they did not get from Mark. Q was not a narrative Gospel, but an organized collection of sayings which included moral teachings, prophetic admonitions and controversy stories, plus a few miracles and other anecdotes. It was the product of a Jewish (or Jewish imitating) sectarian movement located in Galilee which preached a coming Kingdom of God. Scholars have concluded that Q was put together over time and in distinct stages. They have identified the earliest stratum (calling it Q1) as a set of sayings on ethics and discipleship; these contained notably unconventional ideas. … This formative stage of Q scholars call ‘sapiential’, for it is essentially an instructional collection of the same genre as traditional ‘wisdom’ books like Proverbs, though in this case with a radical, counterculture content. Later indications (as in Luke 11:49) suggest that the words may have been regarded as spoken by the personified Wisdom of God (see Part Two), and that the Q preachers saw themselves as her spokespersons. … The next stratum of Q (labeled Q2) has been styled ‘prophetic’, apocalyptic. In these sayings the community is lashing out against the hostility and rejection it has received from the wider establishment. In contrast to the mild, tolerant tone of Q1, Q2 contains vitriolic railings against the Pharisees, a calling of heaven’s judgment down on whole towns. The figure of the Son of Man enters, one who will arrive at the End-time to judge the world in fire; he is probably the result of reflection on the figure in Daniel 7. Here we first find John the Baptist, a kind of mentor or forerunner to the Q preachers. Dating the strata of Q is difficult, but I would suggest that this second stage falls a little before the Jewish War. There is good reason to conclude that even at this stage there was no Jesus in the Q community’s thinking. That is, the wisdom and prophetic sayings in their original form would have contained no mention of a Jesus as speaker or source. They were pronouncements of the community itself and its traditional teachings, seen as inspired by the Wisdom of God. … Nor are the apocalyptic Son of Man sayings (about his future coming) identified with Jesus, which is why, when they were later placed in his mouth, Jesus sounds as though he is talking about someone else. When one examine’s John the Baptist’s prophecy at the opening of Q (Luke 3:16-17), about one who will come ‘who is mightier than I’, who will baptize with fire and separate the wheat from the chaff, we find no reference to a Jesus or an enlightened teacher or prophet who is contemporary to John. Rather, this sounds like a prophecy of the coming Son of Man, the apocalyptic judge, a prophecy put into John’s mouth by the Q community. … Leading specialists on Q, such as John Kloppenborg (The Formation of Q), recognize that Q in its various stages has undergone considerable redaction (editing, adding and rearranging material to create a unified whole with identifiable themes and theology). But their analysis of Q3, the stratum they call the ‘final recension’, does not go far enough. For only at this stage, I would argue, was an historical founder introduced, a figure who was now perceived to have established the community. … This new Jesus is positioned as superior to John, who now serves as his herald. At a slightly later stage he is identified with the expected Son of Man. In the very latest layer of Q we find the stirrings of biography and a tendency to divinize this Jesus. The Temptation story (Luke 4:1-13) belongs here. … It is now recognized that the Gospels are thoroughly sectarian writings. They were a response to the ‘life situation’ of the groups which produced them, serving their needs. … It is now a maxim that the Gospels are faith documents; the evangelists had no concern for historical research as we know it. Rather, they were engaged in a type of ‘midrash’. Midrash was an ancient Jewish practice of interpreting and enlarging on individual or combinations of passages from the Bible to draw out new meanings and relevance, to get beyond the surface words. … The desertion of the Apostles, the false accusations at Jesus’ trial, the crown of thorns, the drink of vinegar and gall, the darkness at noon: these and other details have their counterparts in the sacred writings. The very idea that Jesus was crucified (including in the mythical phase of belief) would have come from passages like Isaiah 53:5: ‘He was pierced for our transgressions’, and Psalm 22:16: ‘They have pierced my hands and my feet’. … Jesus’ redemptive role was a paradigm for Jewish motifs of suffering and atonement and destined exaltation, brought into a potent mix with Hellenistic Son (Logos) and savior god philosophies. Christianity emerged as a genuine synthesis of the leading religious ideas of the ancient world, and it set the course of Western faith for the next two millennia.”
– Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle. Was There No Historical Jesus? – Part Three: The Evolution of Jesus of Nazareth


From The Jesus Puzzle. Was There No Historical Jesus? – Postscript, by Earl Doherty.
“The theory that Christianity could have begun without an historical Jesus of Nazareth has been adamantly resisted by New Testament scholarship since it was first put forward some 200 years ago. It has generally been held by a small minority of investigators, usually ‘outsiders’. An important factor in this imbalance has been the fact that, traditionally, the great majority working in the field of New Testament research have been religious apologists, theologians, scholars who are products of divinity schools and university religion departments, not historians per se. To suggest that a certain amount of negative bias may be operating among that majority where the debate over an historical Jesus has been concerned, is simply to state the obvious. Nor is such a statement to be considered out of order, especially in the face of the common ‘argument’ so often put forward against the mythicist position: that the vast majority of New Testament scholars have always rejected the proposition of a non-existent Jesus, and continue to do so. In fact, the latter is simply an ‘appeal to authority’ and cannot by itself be given significant weight. It is true that such a bias as may exist in traditional ranks does not automatically mean that they are wrong, or that the mythicist viewpoint is correct. What we need to do is examine the negative position taken by the opposing side and consider its substance. … The non-Christian witness to Jesus is anything but supportive of his existence. Until almost the end of the first century, there is not a murmur of him in the Jewish or pagan record. The Alexandrian Jewish philosopher Philo, who lived until about 50 CE and wrote of unusual sects like the Therapeutae and the Essenes, has nothing to say about Jesus or Christians. Justus of Tiberias, a Jewish historian who wrote in Galilee in the 80s (his works are now lost), is reported later to have made no mention whatever of Jesus. Pliny the Elder (died 79 CE) collected data on all manner of natural and astronomical phenomena, even those which were legendary and which he himself did not necessarily regard as factual, but he records no prodigies associated with the beliefs of Christians, such as an earthquake or darkening of the skies at a crucifixion, or any star of Bethlehem. The first Roman satirist to scorn a sect which believed in a crucified Judean founder who had been a god was not Martial at the end of the first century, nor Juvenal in the first half of the second century, but Lucian in the 160s. Reports of Epictetus, the great Stoic philosopher of the early second century who preached universal brotherhood to the poor and humble masses, record no knowledge on his part of a Jewish precursor. Nor does Seneca, the empire’s leading ethicist during the reign of Nero, make reference to such a figure. Other historians of the time, like Plutarch and Quintilian, are equally silent. … The famous passage about Jesus in chapter 18 of Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews (published around 93 CE), the so-called ‘Testimonium Flavianum’, is widely acknowledged to be, as it stands, a later Christian interpolation. … The Roman historian Tacitus, in his Annals written around 115, makes the first pagan reference to Jesus as a man executed in the reign of Tiberius. This is not likely to have been the result of a search of some archive, for the Romans hardly kept records of the countless crucifixions around the empire going back almost a century. … Pliny the Younger’s well-known letter to Trajan, written from Asia Minor around 112 and asking the emperor for advice on the prosecution of Christians, says nothing about a recent historical man, let alone biographical elements. ‘Christ’, perhaps a reference to the Jewish Messiah idea, is simply identified as a god in Christian worship. And the historian Suetonius’ reference (around 120) to ‘Chrestus’ as someone, or some idea, that has produced agitation among Jews in Rome, is so flimsy and uncertain, no secure meaning can be drawn from it, much less a connection to Christianity and an historical Jesus. It could be referring to Jewish messianic expectation or to an early belief in a divine Christ. … I said in Part One that Judaism’s fundamental theological tenet was: God is one. It is true that the first Jewish Christians, such as Paul, were flirting with a compromise to monotheism in postulating a divine Son in heaven, even though he was entirely spiritual in nature and was conceived of as a part of God; this Son was derived from scripture and was an expression of the prominent philosophical idea of the age that the ultimate Deity gave off emanations of himself which served as intermediaries with the world. But this is a far cry from turning a recent man who had walked the sands of Palestine into part of the Godhead. (It was essentially gentiles who were later to create such an idea, and it produced the ‘parting of the ways’ between the Christian movement and its Jewish roots.) Almost any Jew would have reacted with apoplexy to the unprecedented message that a man was God. In a society in which the utter separation of the divine from the human was an obsession, the Jewish God could not be represented by even the suggestion of a human form, and thousands bared their necks before the swords of Pilate simply to protest against the human images on Roman standards being brought into the city to overlook the Temple. To believe that ordinary Jews were willing to bestow on any human man, no matter how impressive, all the titles of divinity and full identification with the ancient God of Abraham is simply inconceivable.”
– Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle. Was There No Historical Jesus? – Postscript


“‘Clearly the Christians have used … myths … in fabricating the story of Jesus’ birth. … It is clear to me that the writings of the Christians are a lie and that your fables are not well-enough constructed to conceal this monstrous fiction.”
– Celsus, On The True Doctrine, ca. 178 AD


“‘The forgery of pious documents of every imaginable character was among the most constant and zealous activities of the holy propagandists of the Christian Faith, from the beginning to the critical era when forgeries were no longer possible or profitable.”
– Joseph Wheless (1930)


“Religion easily has the best bullshit story of all time. Think about it. Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man… living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money.”
– George Carlin


“I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.”
– George Carlin


“An infinity of punishment awaits you even after you die. According to the really extreme religious totalitarians, such as John Calvin, who borrowed his awful doctrine from Augustine, an infinity of punishment can be awaiting you even before you are born. … Calvin’s Geneva was a prototypical totalitarian state, and Calvin himself a sadist and torturer and killer, who burned Servetus (one of the great thinkers and questioners of the day) while the man was still alive.”
– Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, 2007


“It is certainly not a coincidence that the Catholic Church was generally sympathetic to fascism as an idea.”
– Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, 2007


“If the appalling heresy of believing that Emperor Hirohito was a god was ever denounced from any German or Italian pulpit or by any prelate, I have been unable to discover the fact.”
– Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, 2007


“Thus, those who invoke ‘secular’ tyranny in contrast to religion are hoping that we will forget two things: the connection between the Christian churches and fascism, and the capitulation of the churches to National Socialism. This is not just my assertion: it has been admitted by the religious authorities themselves.”
– Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, 2007


“Hell is an outrage on humanity. When you tell me that your deity made you in his image, I reply that he must have been very ugly.”
– Victor Hugo


“It all began with that ancient lesson from Genesis: man is forbidden to seek awareness; he should be content to believe and obey. He must choose faith over knowledge, suppress all interest in science, and instead prize submission and obedience.”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“As for our jovial Christian kin, delegates to the Council of Macon in 585 submitted for discussion a book by Alcidalus Valeus entitled Paradoxical Dissertation in Which We Attempt to Prove that Women are not Human Creatures. Paradoxical? In what way? We do not know if the attempt was successful; i.e., if Alcidalus won over his readers. But the Christian hierarchy was already sympathetic to his point of view: we need only recall Paul of Tarsus and his countless misogynistic pronouncements. In any case, the church’s age-old prejudice against women remains to this day an undeniable fact.”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“Jesus’s existence has not been historically established. No contemporary documentation of the event, no archaeological proof, nothing certain exists today to attest to the truth of a real presence at this meeting point between two worlds, abolishing one and naming its successor. No tomb, no shroud, no archives, except for a sepulcher invented in 325 by Saint Helena, mother of Constantine. She must have been a woman of supreme gifts, since we are also indebted to her for the discovery of Golgotha and of the titulus, the wooden fragment bearing the charges brought against Jesus. Then there is that piece of cloth from Turin, which carbon-14 dating has situated in the thirteenth century CE, and which only a miracle could have wrapped around Christ’s corpse more than a thousand years earlier! Finally, there are of course two or three vague references in ancient texts – Flavius Josephus, Suetonius, and Tacitus – but in copies made several centuries after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus and – significantly-after the success of his supporters was assured.”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“So we know that most existing [Christian] documents are skillfully executed forgeries. Burned libraries, repeated orgies of vandalism, accidental fires, Christian persecutions and autos-da-fé, earthquakes, the media revolution that replaced papyrus with parchment and presented the copyists, sectarian zealots of Christ, with a choice between the documents to be saved and those to be cast into outer darkness. … Nothing of what remains can be trusted. The Christian archives are the result of ideological fabrication. Even the writings of Flavius Josephus, Suetonius, or Tacitus, who mention in a few hundred words the existence of Christ and his faithful in the first century of our era, obey the rules of intellectual forgery.”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“Jesus was thus a concept. … The evangelists wrote a story. In it they narrated less the past of one man than the future of a religion. A trick born of the rational mind: they created the myth and were created by it. The believers invented their creation, then made it the object of a cult: the very essence of willing self-deception. … Paul took hold of this concept, clothed him, and supplied him with ideas. … Christianity’s radical antihedonism proceeds from Paul – not from Jesus. … Initially Paul, a hysterical, fundamentalist Jew, had taken pleasure in the persecution and brutal treatment of Christians. … His conversion on the road to Damascus in 34 arose from pure hysterical pathology. … The medical diagnosis seems clear. … Indeed his crisis reads unmistakably like a passage from a manual of psychiatry, chapter heading Neuroses, subsection Hysteria. This was true hysteria, a hysterical conversion! … Paul created the world in his own image. A deplorable image, fanatical, moving with a hysteric’s irresolution from enemy to enemy – first Christians, then Gentiles – sick, misogynistic, masochistic. … Small, thin, bald, and bearded, Paul of Tarsus provides no details on the illness he metaphorically describes. … No details, except for one occasion when he draws attention to his haggard appearance while addressing the Galatians – after he had suffered a beating that left visible marks. So that for centuries critics have piled up theories on the nature of that thorn. It is hard to resist offering a solemn inventory of their diagnoses: arthritis, renal colic, tendonitis, sciatica, gout, tachycardia, angina pectoris, itchy rash, skin sores, boils, eczema, leprosy, shingles, plague, rabies, erysipelas, gastritis, intestinal cramps, kidney stones, chronic ear infection, sinusitis, bronchitis, bladder infection, urinary retention, Maltese fever, filariosis, malaria, pilariosis, ringworm, pilonidal cyst, headache, gangrene, suppuration, abscesses, chronic hiccups (!), convulsions, epilepsy. His joints, tendons, nerves, heart, stomach, bowels, anus, ears, sinus, bladder, head, all were involved. All except the sexual register. The etiology of hysteria includes a weakened – if it exists at all – libidinal potential. Disturbances arising from sexuality, a tendency for example to see it everywhere, to indulge in extremes of eroticism. How can we not recall all this when Paul’s pen drips ad nauseam a hatred, a contempt, a permanent mistrust for the things of the body? His loathing of sexuality, his praise of chastity, his worship of abstinence, his approval of the widowed condition, his passion for celibacy, his appeal to his listeners to conduct themselves as he did (clearly expressed in the First Epistle to the Corinthians 7:8), his reluctant consent to marriage, but only as the best of bad choices (he would have preferred renunciation of all things corporeal). These are all obvious symptoms of hysteria. … Unable to lead a sex life worthy of the name, Paul declares null and void all forms of sexuality for himself (of course) but also for the rest of the world. A desire to be like everyone else by demanding that everyone else emulate him, whence his determination to make all humankind bow to the rule of his own limiting circumstances. … From the starting point of his own dilapidated physique, Paul militated for a world that resembled him. … His hatred of self turned into a vigorous hatred of the world and all its concerns: life, love, desire, pleasure, sensations, body, flesh, joy, freedom, independence, autonomy. There is no mystery about Paul’s masochism. He saw his whole life through the prism of difficulties: he loved problems, he rejoiced in them, craved them, longed for them, manufactured them. … Unable to have women? He loathes them. Impotent? He despises them. An excellent occasion for recycling the misogyny of Jewish monotheism, later bequeathed to Christianity and Islam. … The first verses of the first book of the Bible set the tone: Genesis radically and irrevocably condemns woman, the first sinner, the source of all the world’s evil. And Paul embraced this disastrous, this infinitely disastrous idea as his own.”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“Hatred of self, of the world, of women, of freedom: Paul of Tarsus added to this deplorable roster hatred of intelligence. Genesis had already preached loathing of knowledge, for we must never forget that tasting the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge was the original sin, the unforgivable fault transmitted from generation to generation. Wishing to know, and not remaining content with the obedience and faith demanded by God – that was what was unforgivable. To rival God in knowledge, to prefer education and intelligence to the imbecility of the obedient, these were so many mortal sins.”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“And Paul’s education? Nonexistent, or almost: the Old Testament and the certainty that God spoke through it. His intellectual training? We have no idea whether he was a bright student or undertook prolonged studies. Rabbinical training, in all likelihood. His profession? Maker and seller of tents for nomads. His verbal style? Heavy, derivative, complex, oral in fact. His Greek? Clumsy, graceless, possibly dictated to him as he went about his manual trade. Some have even concluded that he could not write. The opposite of a Philo of Alexandria, the philosopher and Paul’s contemporary. This uneducated man, openly scoffed at by the Stoics and Epicureans in the public square of Athens, faithful to his technique of making a virtue of necessity, transformed his lack of culture into a hatred of culture.”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“The alleged correspondence between Paul and Seneca is clearly a forgery of the first order. Paul was not a learned man and he addressed not philosophers but his peers. His audience, throughout his wanderings around the Mediterranean, was composed of humble folk and never included intellectuals, philosophers, men of letters. In the second century, Celsus wrote Alethes logos (‘True Discourse’ or ‘The True Word’), a polemic against Christianity, in which he characterized Christians as tanners, cleaners, craftsmen, carpenters, and the like. So Paul did not need culture. Demagoguery was enough, and with it its perpetual ally: hatred of intelligence.”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“Constantine’s coup was masterly. We still live today with its fatal heritage. Naturally he understood what he could obtain from a people obedient to Paul’s call for submission to the temporal authorities, for uncomplaining acceptance of dire poverty, for obedience to the magistrates and officials of the empire, for disapproval of temporal disobedience as an insult flung in God’s face, for accepting slavery, deceit, and the existence of social disparities. Examples of Christian martyrdom and Christian behavior in the relatively rare persecutions they endured were clear indications to the powerful of how useful this rabble could be to the legally untouchable figures at the summit of the state. Constantine accordingly heaped them with assurances. To put it another way, he bought them. And the policy worked. He wrote into Roman law new articles that satisfied the Christians and made official the ascetic ideal. … So, after a few timely demises, people of the church could now legally fill their pockets. Magic, on the other hand, was banned, and so were gladiatorial combats. At the same time, Constantine ordered the building of Saint Peter’s and of other, secondary basilicas. The Christians rejoiced: their kingdom was henceforth of this world. At about this time Fausta, the new Christian’s second wife, persuaded him that her stepson had tried to seduce her. Without waiting for proof, he sent his cutthroats to torture and then behead his own son, as well as a nephew also implicated in the ‘plot’. When he realized the empress had deceived him, he sent the same gang in. They took advantage of Fausta’s visit to her bath to release a flow of boiling water. Infanticide, uxoricide, homicide: the most Christian emperor bought his salvation and the church’s silence with a host of gifts: tax exemptions for church landholdings, generous subsidies, and the creation of new churches – Saint Paul and Saint Lawrence. All variations on the theme of love for one’s neighbor. Thus benevolently disposed, afloat in gifts, fattened and enriched by gratuities from the prince, the clergy conferred full powers upon him at the Council of Nicaea in 325. … There, Constantine proclaimed himself the ‘thirteenth apostle’, thus endowing Paul of Tarsus with a strong right sword arm. And what an arm! Church and state formed what Henri-Irénée Marrou, a historian scarcely to be suspected (being a Christian) of anticlericalism, atheism, or left-wing leanings, has called a ‘totalitarian state’. The first Christian state.”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“Like many tyrants, Constantine was unable to settle the question of a successor. He left behind a power vacuum and a disorganized group of high officials of church and state. For more than three months at the height of summer, May 22 to September 9 [337 CE], the various ministers (civil, military, and ecclesiastical) reported daily to the imperial corpse as it lay in state. This neurotic behavior was a preview of the later cult of the dead, evidenced by Christian fascination with corpses and relics.”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“Christians had admittedly suffered persecution, but it was not always as severe as the Vulgate claims. The figures for those devoured by lions in the arena have been substantially lowered by historians eager to leave the field of Christian apologetics and do their work conscientiously. … Modern estimates come closer to three thousand – by way of comparison, ten thousand gladiators fought to the death simply to celebrate the end of the war against the Dacians in 107. What defines totalitarian regimes today corresponds point by point with the Christian state as it was constructed by Constantine’s successors: use of constraint, torture, acts of vandalism, destruction of libraries and symbolic sites, unpunished murders, ubiquitous propaganda, the leader’s absolute power, the remolding of the whole of society along the government’s ideological lines, extermination of opponents, monopoly of legal violence and means of communication, abolition of the frontier between private life and the public sphere, overall politicization of society, destruction of pluralism, bureaucratic organization, expansionism – all signs of totalitarianism from its origins, as well as the totalitarianism of the Christian Empire. The emperor Theodosius I proclaimed Catholicism the state religion in 380. Twelve years later he categorically banned pagan worship. Nicaea had already set the tone. In 449 Theodosius II and Valentinian III ordered the destruction of everything that might excite God’s wrath or wound Christian hearts. That definition was apparently broad enough to include multiple exactions in every field. Tolerance, love of one’s neighbor, and forgiveness of sins had their limits. … In 335, Sopatros was executed for witchcraft, and writings by the Neoplatonist philosopher Porphyry (who had died in 305) were burned. Such autos-da-fé came thick and fast, one much like the other. … In 435, during the reign of Theodosius II, Nestorius the patriarch of Constantinople was exiled to Egypt and all of his writings were consigned to the flames, wherever they could be found in both the Eastern and Western Empire. … Another symbol of the repression of rational thought by irrational religion was the murder of Hypatia of Alexandria, the first female mathematician known to history. A Hellenized Egyptian, she was a Neoplatonist, mathematician, astronomer, and teacher, one of the foremost intellects of her time. During an antipagan riot in 415, a Christian mob pulled Hypatia from her carriage and dragged her through the streets to a church. She was stripped naked, and the flesh was scraped from her bones with sharp oyster shells and broken tiles. After tearing her body to pieces, the mob burned her mutilated remains. A sterling example of the Christian belief in love of one’s neighbor!”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“The reader should consult the Theodosian Code if he needs proof that the law always supports the ruling caste’s domination over the masses. In United States history, the black codes (referring to laws enacted in the former Confederate states after the Civil War) were intended to assure the continuance of white supremacy. A review of the anti-Semitic laws passed by the Vichy government during the Second World War would dispel any remaining doubts. To be specific: in 380 the law condemned non-Christians to ‘infamy’, in other words rescinded their civic rights and therefore their chances of participating in the life of the city, for example in teaching or the law. It decreed the death sentence for all who threatened the persons or the goods of Catholic ministers and their places of worship. Meanwhile, Christians destroyed pagan shrines and confiscated, looted, and ravaged temples and their furnishings with the blessings of authorities backed by the legal texts. … Meetings were forbidden, so of course was Manichaeism, and Jews were persecuted under the same heading as magic or dissolute morals. The law encouraged informers. It forbade marriage between Jews and Christians. It authorized the confiscation of non-Christian goods. Paul of Tarsus very early pointed down this path, for in the Acts of the Apostles (19:19) he admits his presence at a burning of supposedly magical books. … In keeping with the tactics of Constantine’s mother, Catholic churches replaced the razed temples. Here and there, synagogues and Gnostic shrines went up in flames. Often-priceless statues were destroyed and broken up and their fragments recycled into Christian buildings. Places of worship were so utterly ravaged that their debris served for a time to repave roads and build highways and bridges. An index of how widespread the damage was: in Constantinople, the temple of Aphrodite served as a parking space for horse-drawn vehicles. Sacred trees were uprooted. From the end of the eighth century BCE and for the next thousand years, the oracle of Apollo at Didyma near Miletus (on the west coast of Turkey) was second in importance only to Delphi. … Its long history ended abruptly when Constantine the Great converted to Christianity and, blaming the oracle for the persecutions, retaliated by closing the temple of Apollo at Didyma and executing all the priests. … A text dated February 19 of the year 356 decreed the death sentence for persons convicted of worshipping idols or participating in sacrifices. In consequence, Christians in Antioch seized a prophet of Apollo and tortured him. At Scythopolis in Palestine, Domitius Modestus conducted ‘interrogations’ of the top officials and intellectual leaders of Antioch and Alexandria. His aim was to leave no educated man alive. Many Neoplatonist philosophers perished in this ferocious repression. In his Homily on Statues, Saint John Chrysostom condoned physical violence in certain circumstances and explicitly wrote that ‘Christians are the repositories of public order.’ … At Alexandria in 389, Christians attacked the Serapeum (temple of Serapis) and the Mithraeum (temple of Mithras). The idols inside were removed, publicly displayed, and mocked. The pagan faithful protested (‘particularly the philosophers’, according to contemporary sources), and riots ensued with many deaths on both sides. At Suffectum (Sufes in modern-day Sbiba, Tunisia) around 401, Christian monks destroyed a statue of Hercules, the patron god of the city, and sixty people died in the resulting riots. Encouraged by the aforementioned John Chrysostom, bands of monks ransacked the shrines on the Phoenician mountains. All this was the consequence of Paul’s call to despise culture, knowledge, books, and intelligence.”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“Like Paul of Tarsus, Christians were convinced that academic learning hindered access to God. All books (not just books by authors accused of heresy, such as Arius, Mani, and Nestorius) were at risk of being burned. Neoplatonist works were condemned as books of magic and divination. People who possessed libraries feared for their safety. In 370 the citizens of Antioch, terrified of persecution, preempted the Christian commissars and burned their own books in the public square. As for the Great Library of Alexandria, its daughter library was housed in the Serapeum, a temple dedicated to the god Serapis. In 391, by order of the bishop of Alexandria, the temple was leveled and the library went up in smoke. In 591, the Neoplatonic school in Athens was closed, and the Christian Empire confiscated its holdings. Paganism had survived in the Greek capital for centuries. Plato’s teachings could point to a thousand years of uninterrupted transmission. The philosophers set out on the road to Persian exile. What a triumph for Paul of Tarsus, once mocked by Stoics and Epicureans in the home of philosophy during his attempt at proselytization. The posthumous victory of God’s weakling and his disastrous neuroses! A culture of death, of hatred, of contempt and intolerance. At Constantinople in 562, Christians arrested ‘Hellenes’ – an insulting name – parading them through the city to the accompaniment of hoots and jeers. On Kenogion Square, Christians lit a huge bonfire and tossed the philosophers’ books and the images of their gods into the flames.”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“Non-Christians were forbidden to bequeath their wealth to pagans; it was forbidden to testify in court against the church’s followers; forbidden to own Christian slaves; forbidden to draw up a legal deed; forbidden to profess freedom of conscience (!). And in 529 Justinian made it mandatory for pagans to take instruction in the Christian religion and then undergo baptism, on pain of exile and confiscation of their goods; he forbade those converted to the religion of brotherly love to return to paganism; forbade them to teach or to draw official pensions. For at least a thousand years, philosophizing became dangerous. Now-just as in every succeeding period – theocracy stood unveiled as the opposite of democracy.”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“Adolf Hitler thought highly of the story of the Temple moneylenders, taken from the Gospel according to John. A Christian who never renounced his faith, Hitler praised the Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church, marveled at its creation of an unrivaled civilization, and prophesied its continued vigor in the centuries to come. … But if we abrogate this Gospel parable and replace it with the vengeful Old Testament prescription, and couple this with the New Testament episode of the Temple moneylenders, the worst of excesses can easily be justified. With such a cargo of sophistries, we could justify Kristallnacht as a modern-day eviction of the moneylenders – let us remember that Jesus reproached them with transacting business and money-changing. Then, pursuing the same hysterical line of argument and invoking the lex talionis, the Final Solution becomes the logical response to the National Socialists’ nightmare of the racial and Bolshevik Judaization of Europe. … Moreover, Pius XII and the Catholic Church succumbed to the charms of these Hitlerian contradictions from the very beginning. Indeed the church continues to do so, if we accept as an admission of collusion its enduring unwillingness to acknowledge the error implicit in the Vatican’s support for Nazism.”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“The love-marriage between the Catholic Church and Nazism cannot be denied. Instances – and they are not minor ones – abound. Their complicity did not reside in unspoken approval, explicit omissions, or calculations made on the basis of partisan positions. The facts are clear to anyone who approaches the issue by interrogating history: it was not a marriage of reason, determined by concern for the survival of the church, but a shared loathing of the same implacable enemies: Jews and Communists – most often packaged together in the same grab bag labeled Judeo-Bolshevism. … The facts, then. The Catholic Church approved the rearmament of Germany in the 1930s, which was of course contrary to the spirit of the Versailles Treaty but also to a part of Jesus’s teachings, particularly those celebrating peace, mildness, love of one’s neighbor. The Catholic Church signed a concordat with Adolf Hitler as soon as the chancellor took office in 1933. The Catholic Church held its tongue over the boycott of Jewish businesses, remained silent over the proclamation of the Nuremberg racial laws in 1935, and was equally silent over Kristallnacht in 1938. The Catholic Church provided the Nazis with its genealogical records, which told them who in Germany was Christian, and therefore non-Jewish. … The Catholic Church supported, defended, and aided the pro-Nazi Ustachi regime of Ante Pavelic in Croatia. The Catholic Church gave its absolution to France’s collaborationist Vichy regime in 1940. The Catholic Church, although fully aware of the policy of extermination set in motion in 1942, did not condemn it in private or in public, and never ordered any priest or bishop to condemn the criminal regime in the hearing of his flock. … The Catholic Church, in the person of Cardinal Bertram, ordered a requiem Mass in memory of Adolf Hitler. … Even better, the Catholic Church did for the Nazis (shorn of their Führer) what it had never done for a single Jew or victim of National Socialism: it set up a network designed to smuggle war criminals out of Europe. The Catholic Church used the Vatican, delivered papers stamped with its visas to fugitive Nazis, established a chain of European monasteries that served as hiding places for dignitaries of the ruined Reich. The Catholic Church promoted into its hierarchy people who had performed important tasks for the Hitler regime. And the Catholic Church will never apologize for any of these things, particularly since it has acknowledged none of them. If there is ever to be repentance, we shall probably have to wait four centuries for it, the time it took for a pope to acknowledge the church’s error in the Galileo affair. Chiefly because the doctrine of papal infallibility proclaimed at the first Vatican Council in 1869-70 (Pastor Aeternas) forbids challenging the church – for when the supreme pontiff speaks or makes a decision he does so not as a man capable of being wrong but as the representative of God on earth, constantly inspired by the Holy Spirit – the famous doctrine of “saving grace.” Are we to conclude from all this that the Holy Spirit is fundamentally Nazi?”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“While the church remained silent on the Nazi question during and after the war, it missed no chance to act against Communists. Faithful to church tradition (which, through the grace of Pius IX and Pius X, condemned human rights as contrary to the teachings of the church), Pius XII, the pope so famously well-disposed toward National Socialism, excommunicated the Communists of the whole world en masse in 1949. He asserted collusion between the Jews and Bolshevism as one of the reasons for his decision. To recapitulate: no run-of-the-mill National Socialist, no Nazi of elevated rank or member of the Reich’s staff was ever excommunicated. No group was ever excluded from the church for preaching and practicing racism… Adolf Hitler was not excommunicated, and Mein Kampf was never put on the Index. We should not forget that after 1924, the date Hitler’s book appeared, the famous Index Librorum Prohibitorium added to its list – alongside Pierre Larousse, guilty of the Grand Dictionnaire Universel (!) – Henri Bergson, André Gide, Simone de Beauvoir, and Jean-Paul Sartre. Adolf Hitler never appeared on it.”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“The partnership of Christianity and Nazism is not an accident of history, a regrettable and isolated mistake along the wayside, but the fulfillment of a two-thousand-year-old logic. From Paul of Tarsus, who justified fire and the sword in turning a private sect into a religion contaminating the empire and the world, to the Vatican’s twentieth-century justification of the nuclear deterrent, the line has endured. Thou shalt not kill… except from time to time… and when the church tells you to. Augustine, a saint by trade, dedicated all his talent to justifying the worst in the church: slavery, war, capital punishment, etc. Blessed are the meek? The peacemakers? Augustine is no more enthusiastic than Hitler about this side of Christianity, too soft, not virile or warlike enough, squeamish about bloodshed—the feminine face of religion. He offered the church the concepts it lacked to justify punitive expeditions and massacres.”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“With the church’s blessing, Augustine, bishop of Hippo, sanctioned just persecution in a letter (185). A choice formulation, which he presents in contrast to unjust persecution! What differentiates the good corpse from the bad? Flaying of victims-when is it defensible and when is it indefensible? All persecution by the church was good, because motivated by love; while persecution directed against the church was indefensible, because inspired by cruelty.”
– Michel Onfray, In Defence of Atheism


“It is a simple sociological fact that particular religions dominate in distinguishable geographical regions… The best explanation for this pattern of affiliation is that an individual’s religion is almost invariably determined by ‘when and where one was born’. And since there are no mutually agreed upon tests for evaluating religious claims, it is little wonder that social, cultural, and political forces overwhelmingly determine what individuals believe. … While I might happily concede deism, a distant God is hardly distinguishable from no God at all. Moving from the deism implied by arguments for the existence of God to full-blown Christianity is like trying to fly a plane to the moon: there is simply no way to get there. And the theistic arguments don’t lead us to any particular kind of theism, whether Judaism, Christianity, or Islam, let alone to any particular branch of these religions. … The Christian defender of miracles has a double burden of proof that is nearly impossible to meet… Today’s Christians operate by what Harvard-trained biblical scholar Hector Avalos describes as ‘selective supernaturalism’. They believe the biblical miracles because they accept the Christian faith, but they are skeptical of the miracles of other religions. Why the double standard? … Science proceeds according to methodological naturalism, an approach which presumes for the sake of empirical inquiry that everything we experience, if it has a cause at all, has a natural cause. … In the modern world all educated people apply methodological naturalism in a vast number of areas. Before the advent of science, most people either praised gods for the good things that happened to them, or tried to appease them when bad things happened. Many believed that sickness was caused by sin, that rain was the result of a god becoming pleased with their efforts, that drought indicated when a god was displeased, and so on. Science wasn’t content to accept the notion that demonic possession caused epilepsy, that sickness was a punishment from God, that God alone opens the womb of a woman, or that God sends rain. We now have a scientific explanation for all of these things and benefit tremendously from those who assumed that all caused phenomena have natural causes. … Astronomy has established that the universe is about 13.7 billion years old and arose out of a cosmic singularity. No account of the development of our universe can be harmonized with the creation accounts in Genesis, as the latter are pure folklore. Archaeology has found no evidence of 400 years of Israelite slavery in Egypt, Israelites who wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, or an Israelite conquest of Canaan. Geological evidence in the sedimentary rock layers of a roughly 4.5 billion year old planet confirms the slow evolutionary development of life, just as astronomical evidence confirms the slow evolutionary development of galaxies, stars, and planets. Geology also falsifies that at any point in human history there was a universal flood which covered the Earth. Neurological evidence from strokes, seizures, and other brain malfunctions falsifies that human beings possess any immaterial mind or soul. If there is an immaterial mind, where is it located? … The Judeo-Christian God is clearly a hateful, racist, and sexist divinity. Though Christians rightly criticize militant Islamists for aiming to kill innocent bystanders, the only difference between these extremists and the biblical God is the desired target of murder. … The Bible is filled with superstitious beliefs that modern people rightly reject. It describes a world where a snake and a donkey communicated with human beings in a human language, where people could reach upward of 900 years old, where a woman instantaneously transformed into a pillar of salt, where a pillar of fire could lead people by night, and where the sun stopped moving across the sky or could even back up. … For centuries, beginning in the eleventh century, the Church sanctioned the slaughtering of various peoples (‘infidels’) in the name of their God. … Many other wars have been waged in the name of Jesus and the Church—too many to list. … The angelic doctor Thomas Aquinas argued, on the basis of explicit directives from the Bible, that heresy was a ‘leavening influence’ upon the minds of the weak, and thus heretics should be killed. … Hence beginning with the 12th century, the rallying cry for over two centuries was ‘convert or die!’ … Christians once widely believed that witches flew threw the night, met with others, and had sex with the Devil, who then left a mark on them. Once accused, it was extremely difficult to be found innocent. Any testimony on an alleged witch’s behalf could be discounted on the grounds that the witch may have cast a spell on others to vouch for her innocence. … Witch-hunters were primarily paid by confiscating the property of convicted witches, so they had a vested interest in finding them guilty. Convicted witches were then killed by strangulation, or by being burned alive.”
– John W. Loftus, Why I Am Not a Christian, 2008


“The territorial expansion of the United States during the 1800s was motivated by the general belief that God had given European settlers the divine mission to spread democracy on the North American continent. It was supposedly both obvious (‘manifest’) and certain (‘destiny’), and provided a rationale for the justification of western expansion and the concomitant rape, pillage, and slaughter of Native Americans. … The brutality of slavery in the American antebellum South was revealed quite adequately by former slave Frederick Douglass, and recounted too many times for anyone to be ignorant about this horrendous period in ‘Christian’ America. Douglass is said to have written: ‘I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.’ Enough said.”
– John W. Loftus, Why I Am Not a Christian, 2008


“The problem of evil is as clear of an empirical refutation of the existence of the Christian God as we get.”
– John W. Loftus, Why I Am Not a Christian, 2008


“The problems with Christianity begin with the Christian Bible. What are we to make of stories like that of II Kings 2? That chapter relates how the prophet Elisha was approaching the town of Bethel when a group of boys jeered him. Elisha cursed them in the name of the Lord and two she-bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the children. I once asked a Christian philosopher about this passage. He bit the bullet and said that God must not permit his holy prophets to be mocked. I concluded that Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson were not holy prophets since I had often mocked them but had not yet been mauled by she-bears.”
– Keith M. Parsons, Why I Am Not a Christian, 2000


“Remember, you cannot escape hell by being good; for Christians, everybody is bad. No matter how hard you strive to live a virtuous life, if you lack certain beliefs, you go to hell. That is what makes hell such a pernicious doctrine. Hell is the penalty for disagreeing with Christians! It is hard to imagine a more potent tool for propaganda or one more subversive of rational thought. An appeal ad baculum is an attempt to persuade by intimidation or the threat of force. Hell is the ultimate ad baculum: Believe or suffer consequences too horrible to contemplate. In short, the doctrine of hell is Christianity’s campaign of psychological warfare against the human mind.”
– Keith M. Parsons, Why I Am Not a Christian, 2000


“1) God is Silent. If God wants something from me, he would tell me. He wouldn’t leave someone else to do this, as if an infinite being were short on time… … 2) God is Inert. … Yet that is God: An absentee mom – who lets kids get kidnapped and murdered or run over by cars, who does nothing to teach them what they need to know, who never sits down like a loving parent to have an honest chat with them, and who would let them starve if someone else didn’t intervene. As this is unconscionable, almost any idea of a god that fits the actual evidence of the world is unconscionable. And any such deity could never be the Christian God… … 3) The Evidence is Inadequate. … We simply have no evidence that any believer ever has or ever will enjoy eternal life, or even that any unbeliever won’t. … Consider the generic claims that God exists, God is good, and God created this universe. What evidence do we have for any of these particular propositions? … 4) Christianity Predicts a Different Universe. … For a loving God who wanted to create a universe solely to provide a home for human beings, and to bring his plan of salvation to fruition, would never have invented this universe, but something quite different. But if there is no God, then the universe we actually observe is exactly the sort of universe we would expect to observe. In other words, if there is no God then this universe is the only kind of universe we would ever find ourselves in, the only kind that could ever produce intelligent life without any supernatural cause or plan. Hence naturalist atheism predicts exactly the kind of universe we observe, while the Christian theory predicts almost none of the features of our universe.”
– Richard Carrier, Why I Am Not a Christian, 2006


“Christianity entails that God, like any other person, would say and do at least some things we would all see. Since we haven’t seen such things, the Christian theory is falsified by the evidence. Christianity also entails that God would have made the universe differently than we observe it to be. So it is falsified again by the evidence. A failed prediction means a failed theory, especially when these failures apply to the very design of the universe itself. At the same time, there is insufficient evidence for any of the essential propositions of Christianity. So the Christian hypothesis contradicts a lot of evidence, makes numerous failed predictions, is not the best explanation of the universe we find ourselves in, and fails to find sufficient evidence in its own support. Therefore, I believe Christianity is false.”
– Richard Carrier, Why I Am Not a Christian, 2006


“An earthly kingdom cannot exist without inequality of persons. Some must be free, some serfs, some rulers, some subjects.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“As to the common people, … one has to be hard with them and see that they do their work and that under the threat of the sword and the law they comply with the observance of piety, just as you chain up wild beasts.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“Demons live in many lands, but particularly in Prussia.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“How often have not the demons called ‘Nix’, drawn women and girls into the water, and there had commerce with them, with fearful consequences.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“I feel much freer now that I am certain the pope is the Antichrist.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“I should have no compassion on these witches; I should burn them all.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“Idiots, the lame, the blind, the dumb, are men in whom the devils have established themselves: and all the physicians who heal these infirmities, as though they proceeded from natural causes, are ignorant blockheads.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“Many demons are in woods, in waters, in wildernesses, and in dark poolly places ready to hurt… people.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding, and whatever it sees must be put out of sight and … know nothing but the word of God.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“Snakes and monkeys are subjected to the demon more than other animals. Satan lives in them and possesses them. He uses them to deceive men and to injure them.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“The best way to get rid of the Devil, if you cannot kill it with the words of Holy Scripture, is to rail at and mock him. Music, too, is very good; music is hateful to him, and drives him far away.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“The Devil can so completely assume the human form, when he wants to deceive us, that we may well lie with what seems to be a woman, of real flesh and blood, and yet all the while ’tis only the Devil in the shape of a woman. ‘Tis the same with women, who may think that a man is in bed with them, yet ’tis only the Devil; and… the result of this connection is oftentimes an imp of darkness, half mortal, half devil.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“The Devil fears the word of God, He can’t bite it; it breaks his teeth.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“The Devil, it is true, is not exactly a doctor who has taken degrees, but he is very learned, very expert for all that. He has not been carrying on his business during thousands of years for nothing.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“To be a Christian, you must pluck out the eye of reason.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“We know, on the authority of Moses, that longer than six thousand years the world did not exist.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“When I was a child there were many witches, and they bewitched both cattle and men, especially children.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“Women … have but small and narrow chests, and broad hips, to the end that they should remain at home, sit still, keep house, and bear and bring up children.”
– Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Revolution, founder of Lutheranism, Protestant theologian, was behind much of Protestant theology.


“If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.”
– Rev. Jerry Falwell, Founder of The Moral Majority, a precursor to the Christian Coalition


“I had a student ask me, ‘Could the savior you believe in save Osama bin Laden?’ Of course, we know the blood of Jesus Christ can save him, and then he must be executed.”
– Rev. Jerry Falwell, Founder of The Moral Majority, a precursor to the Christian Coalition


“I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!”
– Rev. Jerry Falwell, Founder of The Moral Majority, a precursor to the Christian Coalition


“AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals. … AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah’s chariotters.”
– Rev. Jerry Falwell, Founder of The Moral Majority, a precursor to the Christian Coalition


“The idea that religion and politics don’t mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country.”
– Rev. Jerry Falwell, Founder of The Moral Majority, a precursor to the Christian Coalition


“Good Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions.”
– Rev. Jerry Falwell, Founder of The Moral Majority, a precursor to the Christian Coalition


“The Bible is the inerrant … word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible,without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc.”
– Rev. Jerry Falwell, Founder of The Moral Majority, a precursor to the Christian Coalition


“Grown men should not be having sex with prostitutes unless they are married to them.”
– Rev. Jerry Falwell, Founder of The Moral Majority, a precursor to the Christian Coalition


“We’re going to bring back God and the Bible and drive the gods of secular humanism right out of the public schools of America.”
– Pat Buchanan, US Presidential Candidate 2000, 1996, ad naus.


“Our culture is superior. Our culture is superior because our religion is Christianity and that is the truth that makes men free.”
– Pat Buchanan, US Presidential Candidate 2000, 1996, ad naus.


“There were no politics to polarize us then, to magnify every slight. The ‘negroes’ of Washington had their public schools, restaurants, bars, movie houses, playgrounds and churches; and we had ours.”
– Pat Buchanan, US Presidential Candidate 2000, 1996, ad naus.


“The real liberators of American women were not the feminist noise-makers, they were the automobile, the supermarket, the shopping center, the dishwasher, the washer-dryer, the freezer.”
– Pat Buchanan, US Presidential Candidate 2000, 1996, ad naus.


“Like all idolatries, democratism substitutes a false god for the real, a love of process for a love of country.”
– Pat Buchanan, US Presidential Candidate 2000, 1996, ad naus.


“You just wait until 1996, then you’ll see a real right-wing tyrant.”
– Pat Buchanan, just before he announced his candidacy for the 1996 presidential election in 1995. (US Presidential Candidate 2000, 1996, ad naus.)


George W Bush, echoing the either-or, black-and-white thinking practiced by the Jesus character of the Christian Gospel stories (‘He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.’ – Matthew 12:30) and thereby leaving room for no other options, in his September 20, 2001:
“Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”
– George W. Bush, The 43rd President of the United States (2001-2009)


“This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while.”
– George W. Bush, The 43rd President of the United States (2001-2009)


“When I take action, I’m not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It’s going to be decisive.”
– George W. Bush, The 43rd President of the United States (2001-2009)


“God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them.”
– George W. Bush, according to Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, from minutes acquired by Haaretz from cease-fire negotiations between Abbas and faction leaders from the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular and Democratic Fronts (circa June, 2003), quoted from Arnon Regular, ‘Road map is a life saver for us’, PM Abbas tells Hamas (, June 27, 2003), quoted from EvilOz (The Iterative Record)


“Tyrants and dictators will accept no other gods before them. They require disobedience to the First Commandment. They seek absolute control and are threatened by faith in God. They fear only the power they cannot possess – the power of truth. So they resent the living example of the devout, especially the devotion of a unique people chosen by God.”
– George W. Bush, blaming the Holocaust on godlessness, rather than on Christian anti-Semitism of Martin Luther, St Paul, and the Jesus of Matthew’s and John’s Gospels, and ignoring the fact that Adolf Hitler repeatedly called himself a Christian, and cannot be shown to have been an atheist, at the National Commemoration of the Days of Remembrance at the US Capitol on April 19, 2001, quoted from Freedom From Religion Foundation, ‘Bush’s Holocaust Remarks Distort History, Scapegoat Freethinkers’ April 25, 2001.


“I really appreciate leaders from around the globe who have come to share in prayer with us today. It reminds me that the Almighty God is a God to everybody, every person.”
– George W. Bush, making a welcoming gestu- er, uh, claim, in which he speaks on behalf of you and me – on behalf of everybody, every person – even though the very Supreme law of the land protects us from such abuse at the hands of our elected leaders, during his speech before the 51st Annual Congressional Prayer Breakfast, quoted from ‘President Bush Addresses the 51st Annual Prayer Breakfast’ (February 6, 2003)


“Our new faith-based laws have removed government as a roadblock to people of faith who hear the call.”
– George W. Bush, quoted from Aaron Latham, ‘How George W Found God’, George Magazine, September, 2000


“Mother Teresa has given a bad name to Calcutta, painting the beautiful, interesting, lively and culturally rich Indian metropolis in the colors of dirt, misery, hopelessness and death. Styled into the big gutter, it became the famous backdrop for her very special charitable work. Her order is only one among more than 200 charitable organizations, which try to help the slum-dwellers of Calcutta to build a better future. It is locally not very visible or active. But tall claims like the absolutely baseless story of her slum school for 5000 children have brought enormous international publicity to her institutions. And enormous donations! Mother Teresa has collected many, many millions (some say: billions) of Dollars in the name of India’s paupers (and many, many more in the name of paupers in the other ‘gutters’ of the world). Where did all this money go? It is surely not used to improve the lot of those, for whom it was meant. The nuns would hand out some bowls of soup to them and offer shelter and care to some of the sick and suffering. The richest order in the world is not very generous, as it wants to teach them the charm of poverty. ‘The suffering of the poor is something very beautiful and the world is being very much helped by the nobility of this example of misery and suffering’, said Mother Teresa. Do we have to be grateful for this lecture of an eccentric billionaire? The legend of her Homes for the Dying has moved the world to tears. Reality, however, is scandalous: In the overcrowded and primitive little homes, many patients have to share a bed with others. Though there are many suffering from tuberculosis, AIDS and other highly infectious illnesses, hygiene is no concern. The patients are treated with good words and insufficient (sometimes outdated) medicines, applied with old needles, washed in lukewarm water. One can hear the screams of people having maggots tweezered from their open wounds without pain relief. On principle, strong painkillers are even in hard cases not given. According to Mother Teresa’s bizarre philosophy, it is ‘the most beautiful gift for a person that he can participate in the sufferings of Christ’. Once she tried to comfort a screaming sufferer: ‘You are suffering, that means Jesus is kissing you!’ The man got furious and screamed back: ‘Then tell your Jesus that he should stop kissing me!’ Do we have to be grateful to be the victims of this very special kind of charity? Do we have to tolerate that ignorant and helpless people are used as extras in the inhumane and cruel religious drama of the beauty of suffering in Christ? When Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Price, she used the opportunity of her worldwide telecast speech in Oslo to declare abortion the greatest evil in the world and to launch a fiery call against population control. Her charitable work, she admitted, was only part of her big fight against abortion and population control. This fundamentalist position is a slap in the face of India and other Third World Countries, where population control is one of the main keys for development and progress and social transformation. Do we have to be grateful to Mother Teresa for leading this worldwide propagandist fight against us with the money she collected in our name? Mother Teresa did not serve the poor in Calcutta, she served the rich in the West. She helped them to overcome their bad conscience by taking billions of Dollars from them. Some of her donors were dictators and criminals, who tried to white wash their dirty vests. Mother Teresa revered them for a price. Most of her supporters, however, were honest people with good intentions and a warm heart, who fall for the illusion that the ‘Saint of the Gutter’ was there to wipe away all tears and end all misery and undo all injustice in the world. Those in love with an illusion often refuse to see reality.”
– Sanal Edamaruku, India has no reason to be grateful to Mother Teresa


“According to the child, she and three others were playing inside the MC center [The Catholic order of the Missionaries of Charity – MC, founded by Mother Teresa] when Sister Francesca accused them of stealing and heated a knife on an electric heater, then pressed it onto the hands of the four children. ‘…Her intention was to correct the children for stealing some money, but she definitely overstepped her limits’, said Sister Nirmala, who was chosen as head of the MC six months before the death of Mother Teresa in September 1997.”
– Anto Akkara, (Christianity Today) Nun Admits Cruel Treatment of Children. One of Mother Teresa’s order burned children who were accused of stealing. 10/01/2000


“Lincoln Savings and Loan eventually collapsed, and in 1992 Keating was brought to trial in Los Angeles. Mother Teresa then sent to the trial judge a letter in which she sought clemency for Keating and exhorted the judge to ‘do what Jesus would do’. The judge didn’t reply, but a deputy district attorney, Paul Turley, did. After Keating was convicted of fraud, Turley wrote to Mother Teresa and pointed out that the money which she had received from Keating was, in fact, money that Keating had stolen. Turley then urged Mother Teresa to ask herself what Jesus would do in such a situation, and he offered to help her return the money to its rightful owners.
[Mr. Turley pointed out to Mother Teresa that Keating was on trial for stealing more than $250 million from over 17,000 investors in his business. ‘Ask yourself what Jesus would do if he were given the fruits of a crime; what Jesus would do if he were in possession of money that had been stolen; what Jesus would do if he were being exploited by a thief to ease his conscience? I submit that Jesus would promptly and unhesitatingly return the stolen property to its rightful owners. You should do the same. You have been given money by Mr. Keating that he has been convicted of stealing by fraud. Do not permit him the ‘indulgence’ he desires. Do not keep the money. Return it to those who worked for it and earned it! If you contact me I will put you in direct contact with the rightful owners of the property now in your possession.’]
He never got an answer.”

– William J. Bennetta, She Wasn’t My Mother – This article was published in The Textbook Letter, November-December 1998


“‘…lack of good analgesia marks Mother Teresa’s approach as clearly separate from the hospice movement.’ – Dr. Robin Fox, 17 Sept 1994, The Lancet.”
– Christopher Hitchens, The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice (1995)


“Three years later, Mr Turley has received no reply to his letter [where he asked MT to return the money stolen by Charles Keating, of the greatest fraudster in US history]. Nor can anybody account for the missing money: saints, it seems, are immune to audit. This is by no means the only example of Mother Teresa’s surreptitious attitude to money, nor of her hypocritical protestations about the beauty of poverty. But it is the clearest instance, and it is proof against the customary apologetics about innocence and unworldliness. Mother Teresa reigns in a kingdom that is very much of this world.”
– Christopher Hitchens, The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice (1995)


“A Bengali woman named Monica Besra claims that a beam of light emerged from a picture of MT [Mother Teresa, born Agnese Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, an Albanian Roman Catholic nun with Indian citizenship, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979], which she happened to have in her home, and relieved her of a cancerous tumor. Her physician, Dr. Ranjan Mustafi, says that she didn’t have a cancerous tumor in the first place and that the tubercular cyst she did have was cured by a course of prescription medicine. Was he interviewed by the Vatican’s investigators? No. … Believers are indeed enjoined to abhor and eschew abortion, but they are not required to affirm that abortion is ‘the greatest destroyer of peace’, as MT fantastically asserted to a dumbfounded audience when receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Believers are likewise enjoined to abhor and eschew divorce, but they are not required to insist that a ban on divorce and remarriage be a part of the state constitution, as MT demanded in a referendum in Ireland (which her side narrowly lost) in 1996. Later in that same year, she told Ladies Home Journal that she was pleased by the divorce of her friend Princess Diana, because the marriage had so obviously been an unhappy one…
This returns us to the medieval corruption of the church, which sold indulgences to the rich while preaching hellfire and continence to the poor. MT was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction. And she was a friend to the worst of the rich, taking misappropriated money from the atrocious Duvalier family in Haiti (whose rule she praised in return) and from Charles Keating of the Lincoln Savings and Loan. Where did that money, and all the other donations, go? The primitive hospice in Calcutta was as run down when she died as it always had been – she preferred California clinics when she got sick herself – and her order always refused to publish any audit. But we have her own claim that she opened 500 convents in more than a hundred countries, all bearing the name of her own order. Excuse me, but this is modesty and humility?
The rich world has a poor conscience, and many people liked to alleviate their own unease by sending money to a woman who seemed like an activist for ‘the poorest of the poor’. People do not like to admit that they have been gulled or conned, so a vested interest in the myth was permitted to arise, and a lazy media never bothered to ask any follow-up questions. Many volunteers who went to Calcutta came back abruptly disillusioned by the stern ideology and poverty-loving practice of the ‘Missionaries of Charity’, but they had no audience for their story. George Orwell’s admonition in his essay on Gandhi – that saints should always be presumed guilty until proved innocent – was drowned in a Niagara of soft-hearted, soft-headed, and uninquiring propaganda.
One of the curses of India, as of other poor countries, is the quack medicine man, who fleeces the sufferer by promises of miraculous healing. Sunday was a great day for these parasites, who saw their crummy methods endorsed by his holiness and given a more or less free ride in the international press. Forgotten were the elementary rules of logic, that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and that what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. More than that, we witnessed the elevation and consecration of extreme dogmatism, blinkered faith, and the cult of a mediocre human personality. Many more people are poor and sick because of the life of MT: Even more will be poor and sick if her example is followed. She was a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud, and a church that officially protects those who violate the innocent has given us another clear sign of where it truly stands on moral and ethical questions.”

– Christopher Hitchens, Mommie Dearest. The pope beatifies Mother Teresa, a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud. Slate, 20 October 2003


“While much was made of Mother Teresa’s devotion to the poor and downtrodden, she was in fact a lifelong friend to the rich and powerful. Some examples:
In 1981 Mother Teresa journeyed to Haiti, to accept that nation’s highest award, the Legion d’Honneur. She received it from the Duvalier family, and made a glowing speech in which she said that dictator ‘Baby Doc’ and his wife Michele not only loved the poor, but were loved by the poor in return.
In 1990 she made a trip to Albania, then the most oppressive of the Balkan Stalinist states, and laid a wreath on the grave of the dictator Enver Hoxha as well as on the irredentist monument to ‘Mother Albania’. She was herself of Albanian descent (born in Skopje, Macedonia), but many Albanians were shocked by her embrace of Hoxha’s widow and her silence on human rights.
In 1992 she intervened with a court in Los Angeles, which was about to sentence Charles Keating, the biggest fraud and embezzler in American history. His S&L racket stole a total of $252 million, mainly from small and poor depositors. A strong Catholic and right-wing campaigner against pornography in his spare time, Keating gave Mother Teresa $1,250,000 in cash and the use of a private jet, in return for which she gave him many useful endorsements, including a character reference to the court. The court had asked Mother Teresa to return Keating’s donations, which may well have been stolen, but she never replied to the request.
What about her celebrated concern for the poor and the weak? Here the record is much murkier than her saintly image would suggest. I have been shown testimony from leading American and British physicians, expressing their concern at the extremely low standard of medicine practiced in her small Calcutta clinics. No pain killers, syringes washed in cold water, a fatalistic attitude toward death and a strict regimen for the patients. No public accounts were made available by her “missionaries of Charity” but enormous sums are known to have been raised. The income from such awards as the Nobel Prize is alone enough to maintain a sizable operation. In one on-the-record interview, Mother Teresa spoke with pride of having opened more than 500 convents in 125 countries, ‘not counting India’. It seemed more than probable that money donated by well-wishers for the relief of suffering was being employed for the purpose of religious proselytizing by the ‘missionary multinational’.”

– Christopher Hitchens, Saint to the rich. There was less – and more – to Mother Teresa than met the eye. Salon, 5 September 1997


“What kind of theology was she promoting? Mother Teresa offers an intensely simple version of Christian Fundamentalism. She believed that we are all sinners conceived in iniquity. She frequently described the suffering of the poor as a gift from God, and took a highly traditional attitude of resignation and stoicism. She was extremely critical of political attempts to change injustice and equality, describing herself as ‘non-political’ but also expressing sympathy for conservative Catholic forces in Latin America and Southern Europe. She was adamantly opposed to the use of contraception. She said that she would never permit a child to be adopted by any parent who had ever consented to an abortion. In her Nobel Prize speech, she described abortion as the single greatest threat to world peace. She was a staunch ally of the present Pope in his battle, within the church, against the ‘social gospel’ and other liberal heresies.
It is paradoxical that a woman of almost medieval opinions should have been so revered by the world of secular modernism as well as by the community of the devout. Perhaps it’s because that people in the West, afflicted by bad conscience about the misery of what we call the ‘Third World’, are happy to delegate the task of relief to somebody else. And, having made this vicarious decision, they do not wish to inquire too closely into the actions and motives of the ‘somebody else’ they have chosen. Thus Mother Teresa could say – as she did more than once – that there can no more be too many babies than there can be too many flowers or stars. Those who believe in the need for some sort of limitation on population must not have heard those words too well.
In September 1996, the U.S. Congress voted to make her an honorary American citizen, a distinction bestowed previously only on Winston Churchill, Raoul Wallenberg and Mr. and Mrs. William Penn, founders of the state of Pennsylvania. The United States may have a secular constitution, but with the abortion question and the (greatly overstated) power of the ‘Christian Coalition’ being such political hot potatoes, the vote was unanimous.
In Calcutta once, Mother Teresa gave me a tour of a tiny orphanage she had opened. The scene was an affecting one, though it hardly made much difference to the immense problems of that city. As the tour was concluding she suddenly gestured with her arm and said, ‘You see? This is how we combat abortion and contraception in Bengal.’ This admission, that the purpose of her operation is propagandistic rather than strictly humanitarian, was an honest one. Mother Teresa, as far as I am aware, never made any attempt to conceal her extremely dogmatic and conservative agenda. Nor was she ever shy about her choice of rich, unscrupulous, authoritarian patrons. Some of her more awe-struck apologists argue that Jesus, too, was criticized for keeping bad company. Still, I do not recall him ever doing anything like kissing the feet of the Duvaliers. In this sense, then, her hold on public opinion in a skeptical and materialist age was a small ‘miracle’ all by itself.”

– Christopher Hitchens, Saint to the rich. There was less – and more – to Mother Teresa than met the eye. Salon, 5 September 1997


“Criticisms of her however peaked during her lifetime; apart from the November 1994 documentary, there was a stringent (and quite detailed) attack on conditions in her orphanages in India that was published in The Guardian of London (14 October 1996) – charges of gross neglect and physical and emotional abuse were made. The article alleged her own complicity and knowledge in the unacceptable practices that went (go) on in her homes. During January 1997, a documentary – entitled Mother Teresa: Time for Change? – critical of her working methods and accusing her of neglect, was shown on various European television channels. … The German magazine Stern (10 September 1998) published a devastating critique of Mother Teresa’s work on the first anniversary of her death. The article, entitled ‘Mother Teresa, Where Are Your Millions?’, which took a year’s research in three continents, concluded that her organisation is essentially a religious order that does not deserve to be called a charitable foundation. No protest has been forthcoming from her order. … To the charges of neglect of residents, indifference to suffering, massaging of figures, manipulation of the media and knowingly handling millions of dollars of stolen cash, Mother Teresa never protested. … Notwithstanding her image, she was a robust protester whenever she had a case. Shortly before she died she got involved in legal wrangles with a Tennessee bakery over the marketing of a bun; and more seriously, with her one time close friend and ally, the author Dominique Lapierre, over the script of a film on her life. On both occasions her Miami based solicitor got properly involved. And then, there is that well-known letter of protest she wrote to Judge Lance Ito protesting at the prosecution (she perceived it as persecution) of her friend Charles Keating, the biggest fraudster in US history.”
– Aroup Chatterjee, Mother Teresa The Final Verdict (London and Calcutta, 1996-2002)


“Many people tell me that Mother Teresa should be left alone because she did ‘something’ for the underprivileged. I do not deny that she did. However her reputation, which was to a good extent carefully built up by herself, was not on a ‘something’ scale. More importantly, that ‘something’, at least in Calcutta, was quite little, as my book will show. Even more importantly, she had turned away many many more than she had helped – although she had claimed throughout her life that she was doing everything for everybody. My brief against her is not that she did not address the root or causes of suffering and I am not for a moment suggesting that she ought to have done so, as I understand the particular religious tradition she came from – I am saying that there was a stupendous discrepancy between her image and her work, between her words and her deeds; that she, helped by others of course, engaged in a culture of deception.”
– Aroup Chatterjee, Mother Teresa The Final Verdict (London and Calcutta, 1996-2002)


“In December 1984, three and a half thousand people died in Bhopal from inhaling toxic gas, leaked by the multinational giant Union Carbide, in the worst industrial accident the world has ever seen. The number of people actually affected cannot be logged as the effects are long-standing and future generations would probably continue to suffer.
Mother Teresa, whose post-Nobel reputation within India was then very high indeed, rushed in to Bhopal like an international dignitary. Her contribution in Bhopal has become a legend: she looked at the carnage, nodded gravely three times and said, ‘I say, forgive’. There was a stunned silence in the audience. She took in the incredulity, nodded again, and repeated, ‘I say, forgive’. Then she quickly wafted away, like visiting royalty. Her comments would have been somewhat justified if she had sent in her Missionaries of Charity to help in any way. But to come in unannounced, and make an insensitive comment like that so early on, was nothing short of an insult to the dead and suffering. In the wider world however, her image became even more enhanced, as she was seen even more like Jesus Christ, who would turn the other cheek, although in this instance the cheek was not hers. People in Bhopal were not amused; it is said that the only reason Mother escaped being seriously heckled was by dint of being an elderly woman.
… The earthquake on 30 September 1993 in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, is one of the biggest natural disasters in the history of India. Eight thousand people died and five million lost their homes and all their possessions. Over two hundred NGOs rushed in to help, and many are working to this day, as the rebuilding of a large district, both physically and emotionally, can take decades. Many charities have come forward to actually rebuild entire villages from the rubble they had been reduced to. The government has already put in a special grant of Rs 8 billion. The world obviously thinks Mother Teresa had put her heart and hands into the operation, as it instinctively assumes that in any disaster in India, especially of that magnitude, she would have a presence, if not the biggest one. The Missionaries of Charity never came to Latur. (Neither had they gone to Uttarkashi in the foothills of the Himalayas, where an earthquake had killed 1500 people on 20 October 1991.)”

– Aroup Chatterjee, Mother Teresa The Final Verdict (London and Calcutta, 1996-2002)


“I could go on and on, filling page after page with dense examples of disasters and crises where Mother Teresa had had no involvement whatsoever. For me, a Calcuttan, born and bred, it does not come as surprise, as I know her order has no infrastructure – indeed it had never been her intention to create an infrastructure for such work, as she had frequently said, ‘I’m not a social worker.’ But what I find somewhat disturbing is that she remained inactive when children were hurt or killed, or were at the risk of being orphaned, as in the case of Shahida, who appealed to her personally; this did not sit comfortably with her ‘Child First’ philosophy. But then, for her the unborn child was far more important than the actual child. Having gone through hundreds of her speeches I have wondered, when compared to the unborn child if the actual child mattered to her at all:
‘Many people are very very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today – abortion which brings people to such blindness.’
… When the Vice President of India came to Calcutta on a two-day visit in July 1996, Mother Teresa delivered him a letter. It was to protest against the demolition of church wall in Bandel (a township near Calcutta) and to urge the government to rebuild the wall.”

– Aroup Chatterjee, Mother Teresa The Final Verdict (London and Calcutta, 1996-2002)


“Indeed, Mother Teresa spent such a large part of each year outside of India, it would have been impractical for her to help out in that country’s problems and calamities. From 1978 and up to and including the year of her death 1997, she spent every summer and monsoon – barring 1994 – in Europe and the United States. … It is known that Princess Diana desperately wanted to meet Mother Teresa in Calcutta – nine times her office tried to bring the two together in Calcutta but nine times it failed because the nun was hardly there. Finally when Diana came to Calcutta in February 1992, they could not meet as Mother got held back in Rome. The two met twice – in Rome and New York, the two places that were Mother’s real homes and where she was most comfortable.”
– Aroup Chatterjee, Mother Teresa The Final Verdict (London and Calcutta, 1996-2002)


“In 1981 and 1982 she left Calcutta in April, going east to Japan, as she got worried that the Japanese were getting too blase about abortion. A wealthy Japanese Catholic anti-abortion pressure group funded the trips. In April 1982 she met up with 230 members of the Japanese parliament (the Diet) and was almost successful in making abortion extremely difficult for Japanese women – a popular revolt prevented the change of law she wanted.”
– Aroup Chatterjee, Mother Teresa The Final Verdict (London and Calcutta, 1996-2002)


“The dormitory held about 30 beds rammed in so close that there was hardly a breath of air between the bare metal frames. Apart from shrines and salutations to ‘Our Great Mother’, the white walls were bare. … Earlier in the day, young international volunteers had giggled as one told how a young boy had peed on her while strapped to a bed. I had already been told of an older disturbed woman tied to a tree at another Missionaries of Charity home. At the orphanage, few of the volunteers batted an eyelid at disabled children being tied up. They were too intoxicated with the myth of Mother Teresa and drunk on their own philanthropy to see that such treatment of children was inhumane and degrading. … Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950 in Kolkata, answering her own calling to ‘serve the poorest of the poor’. In 1969, a documentary about her work with the poor catapulted her to global celebrity. International awards followed, including the Nobel Peace Prize and a Congressional Gold Medal. But when, in her Nobel acceptance speech, she described abortion as ‘the greatest destroyer of peace today’ she started to provoke controversy. … I winced at the rough handling by some of the full-time staff and Missionary sisters. I saw children with their mouths gagged open to be given medicine, their hands flaying in distress, visible testimony to the pain they were in. Tiny babies were bound with cloths at feeding time. Rough hands wrenched heads into position for feeding. Some of the children retched and coughed as rushed staff crammed food into their mouths. Boys and girls were abandoned on open toilets for up to 20 minutes at a time. Slumped, untended, some dribbling, some sleeping, they were a pathetic sight. Their treatment was an affront to their dignity, and dangerously unhygienic. … Volunteers (from Italy, Sweden, the United States and the UK) did their best to cradle and wash the children who had soiled themselves. But there were no nappies, and only cold water. Soap and disinfectant were in short supply. Workers washed down beds with dirty water and dirty cloths. Food was prepared on the floor in the corridor. A senior member of staff mixed medicine with her hands. … Susan Shields, formerly a senior nun with the order, recalled that one year there was roughly $50m in the bank account held by the New York office alone. Much of the money, she complained, sat in banks while workers in the homes were obliged to reuse blunt needles. The order has stopped reusing needles, but the poor care remains pervasive. One nurse told me of a case earlier this year where staff knew a patient had typhoid but made no effort to protect volunteers or other patients. ‘The sense was that God will provide and if the worst happens – it is God’s will.’ … Rarely has one individual so convinced public opinion of the holiness of her cause. Her reward is accelerated canonisation. But her homes are a disgrace to so-called Christian care and, indeed, civilised values of any kind. I witnessed barbaric treatment of the most vulnerable.”
– Donal MacIntyre, The squalid truth behind the legacy of Mother Teresa (22 August 2005)


“Some years after I became a Catholic, I joined Mother Teresa’s congregation, the Missionaries of Charity. I was one of her sisters for nine and a half years, living in the Bronx, Rome, and San Francisco, until I became disillusioned and left in May 1989. As I reentered the world, I slowly began to unravel the tangle of lies in which I had lived. I wondered how I could have believed them for so long. Three of Mother Teresa’s teachings that are fundamental to her religious congregation are all the more dangerous because they are believed so sincerely by her sisters. Most basic is the belief that as long as a sister obeys she is doing God’s will. Another is the belief that the sisters have leverage over God by choosing to suffer. Their suffering makes God very happy. He then dispenses more graces to humanity. The third is the belief that any attachment to human beings, even the poor being served, supposedly interferes with love of God and must be vigilantly avoided or immediately uprooted. The efforts to prevent any attachments cause continual chaos and confusion, movement and change in the congregation. Mother Teresa did not invent these beliefs – they were prevalent in religious congregations before Vatican II – but she did everything in her power (which was great) to enforce them. Once a sister has accepted these fallacies she will do almost anything. She can allow her health to be destroyed, neglect those she vowed to serve, and switch off her feelings and independent thought. She can turn a blind eye to suffering, inform on her fellow sisters, tell lies with ease, and ignore public laws and regulations. Women from many nations joined Mother Teresa in the expectation that they would help the poor and come closer to God themselves. When I left, there were more than 3,000 sisters in approximately 400 houses scattered throughout the world. Many of these sisters who trusted Mother Teresa to guide them have become broken people. In the face of overwhelming evidence, some of them have finally admitted that their trust has been betrayed, that God could not possibly be giving the orders they hear. It is difficult for them to decide to leave – their self-confidence has been destroyed, and they have no education beyond what they brought with them when they joined. I was one of the lucky ones who mustered enough courage to walk away.”
– Susan Shields, Mother Theresa’s House of Illusions. How She Harmed Her Helpers As Well As Those They ‘Helped’.


“As a Missionary of Charity, I was assigned to record donations and write the thank-you letters. The money arrived at a frantic rate. The mail carrier often delivered the letters in sacks. We wrote receipts for checks of $50,000 and more on a regular basis. Sometimes a donor would call up and ask if we had received his check, expecting us to remember it readily because it was so large. How could we say that we could not recall it because we had received so many that were even larger? … When Mother spoke publicly, she never asked for money, but she did encourage people to make sacrifices for the poor, to ‘give until it hurts’. Many people did – and they gave it to her. We received touching letters from people, sometimes apparently poor themselves, who were making sacrifices to send us a little money for the starving people in Africa, the flood victims in Bangladesh, or the poor children in India. Most of the money sat in our bank accounts. The flood of donations was considered to be a sign of God’s approval of Mother Teresa’s congregation. We were told by our superiors that we received more gifts than other religious congregations because God was pleased with Mother, and because the Missionaries of Charity were the sisters who were faithful to the true spirit of religious life. Most of the sisters had no idea how much money the congregation was amassing. After all, we were taught not to collect anything. One summer the sisters living on the outskirts of Rome were given more crates of tomatoes than they could distribute. None of their neighbors wanted them because the crop had been so prolific that year. The sisters decided to can the tomatoes rather than let them spoil, but when Mother found out what they had done she was very displeased. Storing things showed lack of trust in Divine Providence. The donations rolled in and were deposited in the bank, but they had no effect on our ascetic lives and very little effect on the lives of the poor we were trying to help. We lived a simple life, bare of all superfluities. We had three sets of clothes, which we mended until the material was too rotten to patch anymore. We washed our own clothes by hand. The never-ending piles of sheets and towels from our night shelter for the homeless we washed by hand, too. Our bathing was accomplished with only one bucket of water. Dental and medical checkups were seen as an unnecessary luxury.”
– Susan Shields, Mother Theresa’s House of Illusions. How She Harmed Her Helpers As Well As Those They ‘Helped’.


“Mother was very concerned that we preserve our spirit of poverty. Spending money would destroy that poverty. She seemed obsessed with using only the simplest of means for our work. Was this in the best interests of the people we were trying to help, or were we in fact using them as a tool to advance our own ‘sanctity?’ In Haiti, to keep the spirit of poverty, the sisters reused needles until they became blunt. Seeing the pain caused by the blunt needles, some of the volunteers offered to procure more needles, but the sisters refused. We begged for food and supplies from local merchants as though we had no resources. On one of the rare occasions when we ran out of donated bread, we went begging at the local store. When our request was turned down, our superior decreed that the soup kitchen could do without bread for the day. … Our Constitution forbade us to beg for more than we needed, but, when it came to begging, the millions of dollars accumulating in the bank were treated as if they did not exist. For years I had to write thousands of letters to donors, telling them that their entire gift would be used to bring God’s loving compassion to the poorest of the poor. I was able to keep my complaining conscience in check because we had been taught that the Holy Spirit was guiding Mother. To doubt her was a sign that we were lacking in trust and, even worse, guilty of the sin of pride. I shelved my objections and hoped that one day I would understand why Mother wanted to gather so much money, when she herself had taught us that even storing tomato sauce showed lack of trust in Divine Providence.”
– Susan Shields, Mother Theresa’s House of Illusions. How She Harmed Her Helpers As Well As Those They ‘Helped’.

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Posted by trên Tháng Bảy 12, 2011 in Uncategorized


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