Kriminalgeschichte, 15

Below, translated excerpts from the first volume of Karlheinz
Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums

(“Criminal History of Christianity”)

 
The ‘beasts with human body’ in the third century (Tertullian, Hippolytus, Cyprian)

Tertullian

Toward the beginning of the third century, Tertullian, the son of a non-commissioned officer and lawyer who occasionally exercised in Rome (where he drained the cup of pleasure, as he himself confessed) writes his ‘requisitions against heretics’, although not much later, and during the final two decades of his life, he himself would become a ‘heretic’, a Montanist and eloquent leader of a party of his own, that of the Tertullianists.

In his Praescriptio, however, that clever and mocking Tunisian, who dominated all the facets of rhetoric, ‘proves’ that Catholic doctrine is the original and therefore the true doctrine, in the face of the innovations of heresy, and that the ‘heretic’, therefore, is not a Christian and his beliefs are errors that cannot aspire to any dignity, any authority, any ethical validity.

(Later on, that born polemicist would whip up Catholics with his wit and sharp tongue, despite having been the creator of the institutionalized notion of the Church, as well as of the whole doctrinal apparatus of sin and forgiveness; baptism and penitence, Christology, and the dogma of the Trinity: that is, the very notion of the Trinity was his work.)

When Tertullian still belonged to the Church—to the point he would be later called the founder of Catholicism—he was in favour of avoiding the controversy with ‘heretics’ saying that ‘nothing is taken from it but stomach or head upset’. He even denies them the writing, since he says that they ‘throw holy things to dogs and pearls, even if they are false, to pigs’. He calls them ‘wrong spirits’, ‘falsifiers of truth’, ‘insatiable wolves’. For Tertullian ‘only the fight is worth; it is necessary to crush the enemy’ (Kötting).

St Hippolytus

Around the same time Hippolytus, the first anti-bishop of Rome, related in his Refutatio up to 32 heresies, 20 of them Gnostic. It is, among all the heresiologists of the pre-Constantine period, the one who left most news about the Gnostics, and he knew nothing of them! Moreover, these ‘heretics’ served only as a screen for the attack on his true enemy, Callixtus, the bishop of Rome, and the ‘heresy’ of the ‘Callixtusians’.

According to Hippolytus who, speaking of himself, claims he wants to avoid even the appearances of ‘slander’, many of the heretics are nothing more than ‘liars full of chimeras’, ‘daring ignorant’, ‘specialists in spells and incantations, formulas of seduction’. Noecians are ‘the focus of all misfortunes’, the Encratites ‘some incorrigible conceited’, the Montanists ‘let themselves be deceived by women’, and their ‘many foolish books’ are ‘indigestible and worthless’.

The Docetists propose a ‘confused and ignorant heresy’, and even Marcion, so selfless and personally unblemished, is nothing more than ‘a plagiarist’, a ‘debater’, ‘madder’ than the others and ‘more shameless’; as far as his school, it is ‘full of incongruities and dog life’, a ‘heretical impiety’. ‘Marcion or one of his dogs’, wrote the holy anti-bishop (and patron saint of the cavalry) Hippolytus, finally stating that he had broken ‘the labyrinth of heresy, and not with violence’ but ‘with the force of truth’.

St Cyprian

By the middle of the third century, among those who fought relentlessly against the defenders of other beliefs, there also flourished the holy bishop Cyprian, the author of the saying: ‘The father of the Jews is the devil’, which would have so much fortune among the Nazis. He was an arrogant, typical representative of his guild, who pretended that ‘before the bishop one must stand as, before, the figures of the pagan gods’.

Like the Jews and the pagans, Christian opponents of Cyprian are for him creatures of the devil, who ‘testify every day with an angry voice their mad frenzy’. And just as any Catholic writer ‘breathes holy innocence’, in the manifestations of ‘traitors to the faith and adversaries of the Catholic Church’, of ‘the shameless supporters of heretical degeneration’, there is nothing but ‘bark of slander and false testimony’.

Cyprian insists and repeats himself, for example in his 69th epistle, in which every ‘heretic’ is ‘enemy of the peace of our Lord’, that ‘heretics and renegades do not enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit’, who are ‘prisoners of the punishments to which they are credited for joining in the insurrection against their superiors and bishops’; that ‘all without remission shall be punished’, that ‘there is no hope for them’, that ‘all will be thrown into perdition’ and that ‘all those demons will perish’. To the ‘heretics’, the saint argues with abundant evidence taken from the Old Testament, ‘neither food nor drink is owed to the earth’, nor, what to say, ‘the salvific water of baptism and divine grace’. From the New Testament he deduces that ‘one must depart from the heretic as the contumacious sinner, who condemns himself’.

Bishop Cyprian does not tolerate contact of any kind with the separated Christians. ‘Separation encompasses all spheres of life’ (Girardet). For Cyprian, who occasionally dedicates himself to establishing ‘true lists of heretics’ (Kirchner), the Catholic Church is everything and the rest, in the end, is nothing… For him they are only enemies: alieni, profani, schismatici, adversarii, blasphemantes, inimici, hostes, rebelles, all of which is summed up in one word: antichristi.

That tone ends up being the one usually used in interfaith relations. While the Church itself is praised as ‘heavenly paradise’, the doctrines of adversaries are always ‘absurd, confusion’, ‘infamous lie’, ‘magic’, ‘disease’, ‘madness’, ‘mud’ ‘plague’, ‘bleating’, ‘bestial howls’ and ‘barking’; ‘delusions and scams of old women’, ‘the greatest impiety’. As for separated Christians, they are always ‘conceited’, ‘blind, persuaded to be worth more than others’, ‘atheists’, ‘crazy’, ‘false prophets’, ‘Satan’s firstborn’, ‘demon spokesmen’, ‘beasts with human form’, ‘poisonous dragons’ against which we must proceed, sometimes even with exorcisms.

Against the heretics the charge of corruption of customs is also repeated; they are… like the males chasing many goats, or like stallions whinnying when they sniff the mare, or like grunting pigs. According to the Catholic Irenaeus, the Gnostic Marcus seduced his parishioners with ‘filters and magic potions’ to ‘tarnish their bodies’. Tertullian, after becoming a Montanist, proves that Catholics indulged in drunkenness and sexual orgies during the celebration of the holy supper; Cyril says Montanists climbers were child-eating ogres.

From Christians to Christians!

And yet Augustine had said: ‘Do not think that heresies are the work of four fainthearted; only strong spirits originate heterodox schools’. St. Augustine devoted his whole life to persecute them, and then with the help of the secular arm.

Kriminalgeschichte, 12


 
A month ago I wrote that the oldest Christian texts are a treat if we compare them with the version of Christianity that conquered the United States: the worst Christianity of all times. I also said that it’s the worst precisely because it transmuted the anti-Semitism of the early theologians into the philo-Semitism brought to this continent by the spiritual sons of Cromwell.

Judge it by yourselves. In the first book of his ten-volume Criminal History of Christianity Karlheinz Deschner explains the anti-Judaism in the Church from the 2nd to the 4th centuries:

The increasing hostility against the Jews in times of primitive Christianity is observed in the writings of the iospatres aevi apostolici, that is, of the apostolic fathers, a designation created by the patristics of the 17th century to refer to the authors who lived shortly after the apostles: ‘When the earth was still warm from the blood of Christ’, according to the expression of St. Jerome…

St. Justin, an important philosopher of the second century, was much pleased (as was Tertullian, Athanasius, and others) about the terrible destruction of Palestine by the Romans, the ruin of their cities, and the burning of their inhabitants. All this is judged by the saint as a punishment from heaven, ‘what has happened to you is well deserved… criminal breed, children of harlot.’

And the invectives of the ‘very fine Justin’ (Harnack), whose celebration is attached to the 14th of April by disposition of Leo XIII (who died in 1903), do not end there. The saint devotes many other epithets to the Jews: he calls them sick souls, degenerates, blind, lame, idolaters, sons of bitches and sacks of evil. He states that there is not enough water in the seas to clean them.

This man, who according to the exegete Eusebius lived ‘at the service of the truth’ and died ‘for proclaiming the truth’, affirms that the Jews are guilty of all ‘injustices committed by all other men’, a slander in which did not fall even Streicher, Hitler’s propagandist.

At the beginning of the third century, the Roman bishop Hippolytus, disciple of St Irenaeus and father of the ‘early Catholic Church’, wrote a poisonous pamphlet, Against the Jews. He called them ‘slaves of the nations’ and demanded that the servitude of this people does not last seventy years as the captivity of Babylon, or four hundred and thirty years as in Egypt, but ‘for all eternity.’

St. Cyprian, who was a very wealthy man, rector and bishop of Carthage in the year 248 after divorcing his wife, devoted himself to collecting anti-Jewish aphorisms and thus supplied ammunition to all Christian anti-Semites of the Middle Ages. According to the teachings of this celebrated martyr, characterized by his ‘indulgence and cordial manliness for the good’ (Erhard), the Jews ‘have as father the devil’; exactly what the Stürmer said, the newspaper of agitation for the Hitler SS. The great author Tertullian says that the synagogues are ‘the sources of the persecution’ (fontes persecutionum)…

The Stürmer was the periodical that inspired Andrew Anglin to name his Daily Stormer.

Even the noble Origen thinks that the doctrines of the Jews of his time are only fables and vacuous words; to their ancestors he once again reproaches for ‘the most abominable crime’ against ‘the Saviour of the human race; that is why it was necessary that the city where Jesus suffered was destroyed, and that the Jewish people should be expelled from their homeland’…

With the increase of clergy power in the 4th century, the virulence of anti-Judaism also grew, as the theologian Harnack observed. It was becoming more frequent for the ‘fathers’ to write pamphlets against the Jews. Some of the oldest ones have been lost; our references begin with those of Tertullian, Hippolytus of Rome, and a number of Church doctors, from St. Augustine to St. Isidore of Seville in the 7th century. Anti-Jewish pamphlets became a literary genre within the Church (Oepke).

Gregory of Nyssa, even today celebrated as a great theologian, condemned the Jews in a single litany, where he calls them murderers of God and of the prophets; enemies of God, people who hate God, despise the Law, devil’s advocates, race of blasphemers, slanderers, scoundrel of Pharisees, sinners, lapidary men, enemies of honesty, assembly of Satan, etcetera. ‘Not even Hitler made more accusations against the Jews in less words than the saint and bishop of sixteen hundred years ago.’

Deschner devotes a few pages to the anti-Semitic pronouncements of St. Ephrem (306-373), John Chrysostom, St. Jerome and Hilary of Poitiers. Then he tells us:

In 1940, in the middle of the Hitler era, Carl Schneider confesses that ‘rarely in history is anti-Semitism as determined and as uncompromising… as that of those early Christians’.

Compare this primitive Christianity with the standing applause with which all the congressmen, both Democrats and Republicans, received Benjamin Netanyahu—and tell me with a straight face that I am wrong that the worst type of Christianity conquered the most powerful nation in modern history!