Kriminalgeschichte, 47

Editor’s note: This image of the ethnic group of the first Christians in a province of the Roman Empire is really worth a thousand words. Deschner tells us below that St. Athanasius ‘was short and weak; Julian calls him homunculus’.

We can imagine the envy that these mudblood Christians felt for the pagan Aryans! It is a pity that white nationalists are unaware of the role that ethnic struggles played in the Christian takeover of the Roman Empire.
 

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Below, abridged translation from the first
volume of Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte
des Christentums
(Criminal History of Christianity)

 
Character and tactics of a Father of the Church

Probably like Paul and like Gregory VII, Athanasius—one of the most discussed personalities in history (even today some of the facts about his life remain controversial)—was short and weak; Julian calls him homunculus. However, like Paul and Gregory, each one of them was a genius of hatred. This cleric, the most obstinate of his century, compensated his scarce physical presence with enormous activity.

He was one of the ecclesiastical personages that with great tenacity and lack of scruples induced errors. However, the Catholics declared him Father of the Church, which is one of the highest honours for which the facts are adjusted: ‘Brutal violence against his near adversaries: mistreatment, beatings, burning of churches, murder’ (Dannenbauer).

We may add bribery and counterfeiting; ‘imposing’ if we want to use the term used by Erich Caspar, but ‘totally devoid of attractive human traits’. In an analogous way Eduard Schwartz expresses himself about this ‘humanly repulsive nature, but superb from the historical point of view’, and records ‘the inability to distinguish between politics and morality, the absence of any doubt about his own self-legitimacy’.

The theologian Schneemelcher, on the other hand, splits hairs distinguishing the ‘pamphlets of ecclesiastical policy of Athanasius with his abhorrent polemics and lack of veracity’ of his ‘dogmatic writings which brighten the heart of orthodoxy’, and considers Athanasius a man ‘who wants to be a theologian and a Christian and who nevertheless remains always in his human nature’, which means that the theologian and Christian, and many of his actions, combine the rewarding orthodoxy with hatred and lies. Schneemelcher himself cites the ‘intrigues’ and ‘the violent impulses of the hierarchs’.

St. Epiphanius (whose religious fervour contrasted, as is well known, strongly with his intelligence), revered as ‘patriarch of orthodoxy’, testifies about Athanasius: ‘If he was opposed, he resorted to violence’.

When violence affected him, as in the years 357-358 fleeing from the officials of Constantius, he pathetically preaches tolerance and condemns force as a sign of heresy. But this always was the policy of a Church that, when defeated, preached tolerance and freedom in the face of oppression, but when accessing the majority and power, it did not retreat before coercion and infamy. For the Christian Church, especially the Catholic Church, never aspires to essential freedoms but only to its own freedom.

When the Catholic Church was the State, St. Optatus of Milevis approved in 366-367 to fight against the ‘heretics’, even passing them by the arms. ‘Why’, the saint asks, ‘should it be forbidden to avenge God [!] with the death of the guilty? Do you want tests? There are thousands in the Old Testament. It is not possible to stop thinking about terrible examples’. And indeed: there is no lacking of texts in the Sacred Scriptures!

However, when the Arians were in power, the Catholics presented themselves as defenders of religious freedom. ‘The Church threatens exile and jail’, lamented St. Hilary, ‘it wants to take faith by force… exile and prison. It persecutes the clerics. The comparison between the Church of yesteryear, now lost, and what we have before our eyes, cries out to heaven’.

Athanasius similarly appeals to the emperor, who was on the side of the Catholics. However, when the emperor supported the Arians, Athanasius advocated the libertas ecclesiae and the emperor’s politics suddenly became ‘unheard of’ and the emperor became the ‘patron of atheism and heresy’, a forerunner of the Antichrist, comparable to the demon on earth. Athanasius did not hesitate a moment to insult him gravely in a personal way, treating him as a man without reason and intelligence, a friend of the criminals and of the Jews. ‘The truth is not announced with swords, spears and soldiers’, he says. ‘The Lord has not used violence against anyone’.

Even the Jesuit Sieben admits ‘that Athanasius was forced to make such claims because of the difficulties caused by the persecution. As soon as the Nicaea faction reached supremacy and enjoyed the emperor’s attention, those tones did not rise again’. However, the same Athanasius could dedicate to that same emperor, when he hoped to recover through him his episcopal see, numerous panegyrics praising him with new attributes for his humanity and his clemency, even treating him as a Christian who had always been full of divine love. In his Apology to Constantius, published in 357, he courts the sovereign in a disgusting way.

However, in the year 358, in his History of the Arians he fills Constantius with contempt and hatred. Athanasius constantly changes his mind about the emperor and the Empire, adapting or opposing him, according to the situation, according to the needs. During his third exile he even dared to rebel openly against his (Christian) lord. However, the emperor’s early death prevented him from having to draw conclusions about those considerations.

2 Comments

  1. Print these excerpts as an English abridgement? You’ve done a lot of valuable work translating them. The estate holding the copyright shouldn’t mind. It’s easier to read this extended material in book format over lengthier reading sessions.

    • I have tried to contact the German editors of Deschner’s book and still have to get a reply.

      Whatever the answer, as soon as I finish my abridgement of Vol. 1 (the original has hundreds of footnotes) I’ll make the translation available under a single cover (I’m also trying that Amazon’s CreateSpace will substitute Lulu as my printer for Daybreak Publishing).


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