Kriminalgeschichte, 70

Below, an abridged translation from the first volume of Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums (Criminal History of Christianity). For a comprehensive text that explains the absolute need to destroy Judeo-Christianity, see: here. In a nutshell, any white person who worships the god of the Jews is, ultimately, ethnosuicidal.

 
Augustine sanctions the ‘holy war’

The amantissimus Domini sanctissimus, as the bishop Claudius of Turin of the 9th century called Augustine, recorded, like no one before him, the compatibility between service to war and the doctrine of Jesus.

The father of the Church Ambrose had already celebrated a pathetic instigation of war, and the father of the Church Athanasius had declared that in war it was ‘legal and praiseworthy to kill adversaries’. However, none of them admitted the bloody office with as few scruples and as the hypocrite ‘angel of heaven’ who looks ‘constantly to God’.

Certainly, Augustine did not share the optimism of an Eusebius or an Ambrose, who equated the hope of the pax romana with that of pax christiana as providential, since ‘The wars to the present are not only between empires but also between confessions, between truth and error’. By weaving his web of grace, predestination and angels, Augustine theoretically committed himself in an increasingly negative way before the Roman state.

Every State power based on the libido dominandi rests on sins and for that reason must submit to a Church based on grace, but in fact not free of sin either. This philosophy of the State, which constituted the historical-philosophical basis of the medieval power struggle between the popes and the emperors, was decisively influential until the times of Thomas Aquinas.

Until the year of his death, Augustine not only asked for the punishment of the murderers, but also to crush the uprisings and subdue the ‘barbarians’, taking it as a moral obligation. It was not difficult for him to consider the State malignant but he praised its bloody practices and, like everything else, also ‘attribute it to Divine Providence’ since ‘its way of proceeding’ is ‘to avoid human moral decay through wars’.

Whoever thinks so, in a childlike and cynical way at the same time, obviously interprets in the same sense the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’. That commandment should not be applied to the totality of nature and the animal kingdom. Augustine discusses with the Manichaeans that it does not include the prohibition of ‘pulling a bush’ or the ‘irrational animal world’ because such beings ‘must live and die to our advantage; submit them to you!’

‘Man owns animals’, complains Hans Henny Jahnn in his great trilogy Fluss ohne Ufer. ‘He does not need to try. He just has to be naive. Naive also in his anger. Brutal and naive. This is what God wants. Even if he hits the animals, he will go to heaven’.

Earlier, authors such as Theodor Lessing and Ludwig Klages had persuasively shown that, as the latter affirms, Christianity conceals something with its connotation of ‘humanity’. What it really means is that the rest of living beings lack value—unless they serve human beings! They write: ‘As is well known, Buddhism prohibits the killing of animals, because the animal is the same being as we are. Now, if one scolds an Italian with such a reproach when he torments an animal to death, he will claim that “senza anima” and “non è christiano” since for the Christian believer the right to exist lies only in the human beings’.

Augustine on the other hand believes that the human being ‘even in situations of sin is better than the animal’: the being ‘of lower rank’. And he treats vegetarianism as ‘impious heretic opinion’.

That God can be pleased with arms is shown by the example of David and that of ‘many other righteous’ of that time. Augustine quotes at least 13,276 times the Old Testament, about which he had previously written that he had always found it unpleasant!

But now it was useful. For example: ‘The just will rejoice when contemplating revenge; He will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked’. And of course all the ‘just’, logically, can make a ‘just war’ (bellum iustum).

It is a concept introduced by Augustine. No Christian had used it before, not even the easy-going Lactantius, whom he read carefully. Soon the whole Christian world made a iusta bella, based upon a ‘just’ reason for war any minimal deviation from the Roman liturgy. Augustine strongly recommends military service, and cites quite a few cases of ‘God-fearing warriors’ from the Bible; not only the ‘numerous righteous’ of the Old Testament, so rich in atrocities, but also a couple of the New Testament.

Augustine experienced the collapse of Roman rule in Africa, when the Vandal hordes invaded Mauritania and Numidia in the summer of 429 and in the spring of 430. He witnessed the annihilation of his life’s work: whole cities were grass of the flames and its inhabitants assassinated. Anywhere the Catholic communities, depleted by the Church and the State, opposed no resistance; at least there is no relation of it.

Augustine died on August 28, 430, and was buried that same day. A year later Hippo, retained by Boniface for fourteen months, was evacuated and partially burned. Augustine’s biographer, the holy bishop Possidius, who like the teacher was a fervent fighter against the ‘heretics’ and the ‘pagans’, still lived some years among the ruins.


 
 

END OF VOLUME I

 

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Kriminalgeschichte, 68

A 17th-century Calvinist print depicting Pelagius

The caption says:

Accurst Pelagius, with what false pretence
Durst thou excuse Man’s foul Concupiscence,
Or cry down Sin Originall, or that
The Love of GOD did Man predestinate.

 
The overthrow of Pelagius

Rather than the struggle against the Donatists, Augustine was internally motivated by the prolonged quarrel with Pelagius, who convincingly refuted his bleak complex of original sin, along with the mania of predestination and grace; the Council of Orange of the year 529 dogmatized it (partly literally) and the Council of Trent renewed it.

According to most sources, Pelagius was a Christian layman of British origin. From approximately the year 384, or sometime later, he imparted his teachings in Rome, enjoying great respect.

Interestingly, when he disembarked at Hippo in 410, Pelagius was in the retinue of Melania the Younger, her husband Valerius Pinianus and her mother Albina—that is, ‘perhaps the richest family in the Roman Empire’ (Wermelinger). The father of the Church, Augustine, had also intensified his contacts with this family for a short time. Indeed, he and other African bishops, Aurelius and Alypius, had convinced the billionaires not to squander their wealth with the poor, but to hand them over to the Catholic Church! The Church became heir to this gigantic wealth. Melania was even elevated to sanctity (her holiday: December 31). ‘How many inheritances the monks stole!’, writes Helvetius, ‘but they stole them for the Church, and the Church made saints of them’.

From Pelagius, a man of great talent, we have received numerous short treatises, whose authenticity is subject to controversy. However, there are at least three that seem authentic. The most important of his works, De natura, we know by the refutation of Augustine, De natura et gratia. Also the main theological work of Pelagius, De libero arbitrio has been transmitted to us, in several fragments, by his opponent, although his theory is often distorted in the course of the controversy.

Pelagius, impressive as a personality, was a convinced Christian; he wanted to stay within the Church and what he least wanted was a public dispute. He had many bishops on his side. He did not reject prayers or deny the help of grace, but rather defended the need for good works, as well as the need for free will, the liberum arbitrium. But for him there was no original sin: the fall of Adam was his own; not hereditary.

It was precisely his experience with the moral laziness of the Christians that had determined the position that Pelagius adopted, in which he also often included an intense social criticism tainted with religiosity, appealing to Christians to ‘feel the pains of others as if they were their own, and shed tears for the affliction of other human beings’.

But this was not, of course, a subject for the irritable Augustine; he, who did not see the human being, like Pelagius, as an isolated individual but devoured by a monstrous hereditary debt, the ‘original sin’, and considered humanity a massa peccati, fallen because of the snake, ‘an elusive animal, skilled on the sinuous roads’, fallen because of Eve, ‘the smaller part of the human couple’ because, like the other fathers of the Church, he despised the woman.

In strict justice, all mankind would be destined for hell. However, by a great mercy there would be at least a minority chosen for salvation, but the mass would be rejected ‘with all reason’.

There is God full of glory in the legitimacy of his revenge.

According to the doctor ecclesiae we are corrupted from Adam, since the original sin is transmitted through the reproductive process; in fact, the practice of the baptism of children to forgive sins already presupposes those in the infant. On the other hand, the salvation of humanity depends on the grace of God, the will has no ethical significance.

But in this way the human being becomes a puppet that is stirred in the threads of the Supreme: a machine with a soul that God guides as he wants and where he wants, to paradise or to eternal perdition. Why?

Why? Because he wanted. But why did he want it? ‘Man, who are you who want to talk to God?’

Augustine warned against Pelagius and launched, increasingly busier in the causa gratiae, his theory of predestination which Jesus does not announce and which he himself did not defend in his early days, for more than a decade and a half, until the year 427, when he published a dozen controversial writings against Pelagius.

St. Jerome, at odds with the Bishop of Jerusalem, then wrote a very wide-ranging polemic, the Dialogi contra Pelagianos, in which he defamed his adversary by calling him a habitual sinner, arrogant Pharisee, ‘greasy dog’, etc.: dialogues that Augustine extolled as a work of wonderful beauty and worthy of faith. In 416 the Pelagians set fire to the monasteries of Jerome, and his life was in grave danger.

Pope Zosimus was left out of play in a clever stratagem of Emperor Honorius, and in a letter addressed on April 30, 418 to Palladius, prefect praetorian of Italy, he ordered the expulsion of Pelagius and Caelestius from Rome—the harshest decree by the end of the Roman Empire. He also censured his ‘heresy’ as a public crime and sacrilege, with a special emphasis on the expulsion from Rome, where there were riots and violent disputes among the clergy. All the Pelagians were persecuted, their property was confiscated and they were exiled.

In the final phase of the conflict the young bishop Julian of Eclanum (in Benevento) became the great adversary of Augustine, who by age could have been a son: the authentic spokesman of the opposition, who often cornered the bellicose African through a frontal attack.

Julian was probably born in Apulia, at the bishop’s headquarters of his father Memor, who was a friend of Augustine. As a priest he married the daughter of a bishop, and Pope Innocent appointed him in 416 as bishop of Eclanum. Unlike most prelates, he had an excellent education, was very independent as a thinker and very sharp as a polemicist. He wrote for a ‘highly intellectual’ audience, while Augustine, who found it difficult to refute the ‘young man’, did so for the average clergy, who always constitute a majority.

Although he theologically subscribes the theory of grace, he does not see it as a counterpart of nature, which would also be a valuable gift of the Creator. He highlighted free will, attacked the Augustinian doctrine of original sin as Manichaean, fought the idea of inherited guilt, of a God who becomes a persecutor of newborns, who throws into eternal fire little children—the God of a crime ‘that can scarcely be imagined among the barbarians’ (Julian).

Along with the eighteen bishops who gathered around him, Julian was excommunicated in 418 by Zosimus and, like most of them, expelled from his position, he found refuge in the East. Augustine became more and more severe in his assertions about predestination, the division of humanity between the elect and the condemned. Already on his deathbed, he attacked Julian in an unfinished work.

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Kriminalgeschichte, 67

Below, an abridged translation from the first volume of Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums (Criminal History of Christianity). For a comprehensive text that explains the absolute need to destroy Judeo-Christianity, see here. In a nutshell, any white person who worships the god of the Jews is, ultimately, ethnosuicidal.

 
Augustine’s campaign against the Donatists

To the Donatists, whom the African had never mentioned before, he finally paid attention when he was already a priest. Since then he fought them year after year, with greater fury than other ‘heretics’; he threw his contempt to their faces and expelled them from Hippo, their episcopal city. Because the Donatists had committed ‘the crime of schism’ they were nothing but ‘weeds’, animals: ‘these frogs sit in their pond and croak: “we are the only Christians!” but they are heading to hell without knowing it’.

What was a Donatist for Augustine? An alternative that was not presented to him, because, when he was elected bishop, the schism was already 85 years old. It was a local African issue, relatively small, though not divided into ‘countless crumbs’ as he claimed. Catholicism, on the other hand, absorbed the peoples; it had the emperor on his side, the masses, as Augustine blurts out, ‘the unity of the whole world’. Frequently and without hesitation Augustine insists on such demonstration of the majority, incapable of making the reflection that Schiller will later formulate: ‘What is the majority? Most is nonsense; intelligence has always been only in the minority’.

The Donatist was convinced of being a member of a brotherhood. Throughout their tragic history, they collaborated with a religious-revolutionary peasant movement, which inflicted vexations on the landowners: the Circumcellions or Agonistici—temporary workers of the countryside and at the same time the left wing of this Church, who first enjoyed the support of Donatus of Bagai and later that of Gildo.

According to his adversary, Augustine, who characterized them with the psalm of ‘rapids are their feet to shed blood’, they robbed, looted, set fire to the basilicas, threw lime and vinegar in the eyes of Catholics, claimed promissory notes and started with threats his emancipation. Often led by clerics, including bishops, ‘captains of the saints’, these Agonistici or milites Christi (followers of martyrs, hobby pilgrims, terrorists) beat the landowners and Catholic clerics with decks called ‘israels’ under the war cry of ‘Praise be to God’ (laus deo), the ‘trumpets of the massacre’ (Augustine). The Catholics ‘depended to a great extent on the support of the Roman Empire and the landlords, who guaranteed them economic privileges and material protection’ (Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum). It was also not uncommon for the exploited to kill themselves in order to reach paradise. As the Donatists said, because of the persecution they jumped from rocks, as for example the cliffs of Ain Mlila, or to mighty rivers, which for Augustine was not more than ‘a part of their habitual behaviour’.

The centre of their offices was the cult to the martyrs. Excavations carried out in the centre of Algeria, which was the bulwark of the Donatists, have brought to light innumerable chapels dedicated to the adoration of the martyrs and which undoubtedly belonged to the schismatics. Many carried biblical quotes or their currency, Deo laudes.

A Donatist bishop boasted that he had reduced four churches to ashes with his own hand. They, as so often emphasized, even by Augustine, could not be martyrs ‘because they did not live the life of Christ’. The true background of the Donatist problem, which not only led to the religious wars of the years 340, 347 and 361-363 but caused the great uprisings of 372 and 397-398, Augustine failed to understand or did not want to understand. He thought he could explain through a theological discussion what was less a confessional than a social problem: the deep social contrasts within North African Christianity, the abyss between a rich upper class and those who owned nothing; that they were not in any way just the ‘bands of Circumcellions’, but also the slaves and the free masses who hated the dominant ones.

Augustine did not know or did not want to see this. He defended with all tenacity the interests of the possessing and dominant class. For him the Donatists were never right: they simply defamed and lied. He maintained that they were looking for a lie, that their lie ‘fills all Africa’. Initially, Augustine was not in favour of violence. He questioned any attempt to use it. ‘I have no intention of forcing anyone against their will to the religious community with anyone’. Of course, when he learned about the wickedness of the ‘heretics’ and saw that they could be improved with some force, which the Government already commissioned in an increasing way from the year 405, he changed his mind.

The faith of the Donatists, no matter how similar it was—even, essentially, identical—was nothing but error and violence. Catholics, on the other hand, only acted out of pure compassion, out of love. ‘Understand what happens to you! God does not want you to sink into a sacrilegious disunity, separated from your mother, the Catholic Church’.

As the Handbuch der Kirchengeschichte says, or more precisely, the Catholic Baus, ‘here speaks the voice of a man who was so driven and encouraged by the religious responsibility to bring back to an ecclesia the lost brothers in the error, that all the other considerations remained for him in the background’. How typical! He must exonerate Augustine, make his thoughts and actions understandable. Thus, over the course of two millennia, the great crimes of history have been constantly apologised and exalted; they have been glorified. Only in the name of God can they always allow and commit certain crimes, the most atrocious, as will be demonstrated more clearly each time throughout this criminal history.

With an extensive series of astute sentences, without missing those corresponding to the Old and New Testaments, the great lover now demands coercive measures against all those who ‘must be saved’ (corrigendi atque sanandi). The coercion, Augustine teaches now, is sometimes inevitable, because although the best ones can be handled with love, to the majority, unfortunately, it is necessary to force them with fear.

‘He who spares the rod hates his son’ he says, quoting the Bible. ‘A spoiled man is not corrected with words’. And did not Sara chase Hagar? And what did Elijah do with the priests of Baal? For many years Augustine had justified the brutalities of the Old Testament against the Manichaeans, from whom came that book of princes of darkness.

The New Testament could also be used. Did not Paul also give some people to Satan? ‘You know?’, Augustine says to bishop Vixens, explaining the Gospel—:

no one can be forced to justice when you read how the head of the family spoke to his servants: ‘Whoever finds them compels them to enter!’

—which Augustine translates most effectively as ‘force them’ (cogitere intrare). Resistance only demonstrates irrationality. Do not the feverish patients, in their delirium, also revolt against their doctors? Augustine calls tolerance (toleratio) ‘fruitless and vain’ (infructuosa et vana) and is excited by the conversion of many ‘through healthy coercion’ (terrore perculsi). It was nothing else than the program of Firmicus Maternus, ‘the program of a general declaration of war’ (Hoheisel), whether Augustine had read it or not.

‘Under extreme coercion’, the ‘professional speaker’ preaches, rich in tricks, ‘the inner will is realised’, referring to the Acts of the Apostles, 9,4, to John, 6,44, and finally, starting from the year 416-417, to Luke, 14, 23—the Gospel of love! In proceeding against his enemies, he gave the impression that he was also ‘sometimes a little nervous’ (Thomas), although what seemed to be persecution, in reality, was only love, ‘always only love and exclusively love’ (Marrou).

‘The Church presses them against their hearts and surrounds them with motherly tenderness to save them’—through forced labour, fustigations, confiscation of property, elimination of the right of inheritance. However, the only thing that Augustine wants again is to ‘impose’ on the Donatists ‘the advantages of peace, unity and love’:

That is why I have been presented to you as your enemy. You say you want to kill me, although I only tell you the truth and, as far as I’m concerned, I will not let you get lost. God would avenge from you and kill, in you, the error.

God would take revenge on you! The bishop does not consider himself by any means an inciter. But, yes, when it seemed appropriate, he demanded to apply the full weight of the law to the recalcitrant, not granting them ‘grace or forgiveness’. Better said, he authorized torture!

The most famous saint of the ancient Church, perhaps of the whole Church, a ‘so affable person’ (Hendrikx), the father of ‘infinite kindness’ (Grabmann) ‘and generosity ‘(Kotting), who against the Donatists ‘he constantly practiced the sweet behaviour’ (Espenberger), which against them does not formulate ‘any hurtful word’ (Baus), which tries to ‘preserve from the harsh penalties of Roman law’ even ‘the guilty’ (Hümmeler)—in short, the man who becomes spokesman of the mansuetudo catholica, of Catholic benevolence, allows torture…

The thing was not so bad after all! ‘Remember all the possible martyrdoms’, Augustine consoles us:

Compare them with hell and you can imagine everything easily. The torturer and the tortured are here ephemeral, eternal there… We have to fear those pains as we fear God. What the human being suffers here supposes a cure (emendatio) if it is corrected.

Catholics could thus abuse as much as they liked, it was unimportant compared to hell, with that horror that God would impose upon them for all eternity. The earthly torture was ‘light’, ‘transient’, just a ‘cure’!

A theologian is never disconcerted! That’s why he does not know shame either.

In the Christian Empire of those times there prevailed everything except liberality and personal freedom. What prevailed was slavery, children were chained instead of the parents, everywhere there was secret police, ‘and every day could be heard the cries of those whom the court tortured and could be seen the gates with the whimsically executed’ (Chadwick). The emperor’s assassins automatically liquidated the Donatists who had mutilated Catholic priests or who had destroyed churches. Augustine endorsed in practice the death penalty. ‘The greater the hardness with which the State acts, the more Augustine applauds’ (Aland).

Here we see the celebrated father of the Church in all its magnitude: as a desk author and hypocrite; as a bishop who not only exerted a terrible influence during his life, but who was the initiator of political Augustinism: the archetype of all the bloody inquisitors of so many centuries, of their cruelty, perfidy, prudishness, and a precursor of horror: of the medieval relations between Church and State. Augustine’s example allowed the ‘secular arm’ to throw millions of human beings, including children and the elderly, dying and disabled, to the cells of torture, to the night of the dungeons, to the flames of the fire—and then hypocritically ask the State to respect their lives! All the henchmen and ruffians, princes and monks, bishops and popes who from now on would hunt martyrs and burn ‘heretics’, could lean on Augustine, and in fact they did it; and also the reformers.

When in 420 the state minions persecuted the bishop of Ta-mugadi, Gaudentius, he fled to his beautiful basilica; fortified himself there and threatened to burn himself along with his community. The chief of the officials, a pious Christian, who nevertheless persecuted people of his own faith, did not know what party to take and consulted Augustine. The saint, inventor of the sui generis doctrine of predestination, replied:

But since God, according to secret but just will, has predestined some of them to eternal punishment, without a doubt it is better that, although some are lost in their own fire, the vastly greater majority is gathered and recovered from that pernicious division and dispersion, instead of all together be burned in the eternal fire deserved by the sacrilegious division.

Once again Augustine was himself, ‘of course the first theoretician of the Inquisition’, who wrote ‘the only complete justification in the history of the ancient Church’ about ‘the right of the State to repress non-Catholics’ (Brown). In the application of violence, the saint only saw a ‘process of debilitation’, a ‘conversion by oppression’ (per molestias eruditio), a ‘controlled catastrophe’ and compared it to a father ‘who punishes the son who loves’ and that every Saturday night, ‘as a precaution’ beats his family.

The ‘edict of the unit’ of 405 followed other state decrees in the years 407, 408, 409, 412 and 414. The obligatory withdrawal of the Donatists was ordered, their Church was relegated more or less to the underground and they started pogroms that would last several years. The Donatist Church was forbidden; its followers forced to convert to Catholicism. ‘The Lord has shattered the teeth of the lion’ (Augustine). Entire cities, hitherto convinced Donatists, became Catholic out of fear of sorrow and violence, such as the episcopal city of Augustine, where once the ovens could not bake bread for Catholics. Finally, he himself expelled the Donatists. However, when the State tolerated them temporarily during the invasion of Alaric and they returned, for the great saint they seemed ‘wolves to whom it would be necessary to kill with blows’. Only by chance did he escape from an ambush that the Circumcellions had laid out for him.

The masses of slaves and settlers, of whom only their labour force was of any use, were to be maintained within the Catholic Church, through forced labour and the lash of their lords, for the maintenance of ‘Catholic peace’. In the year 414 the Donatists were deprived of all their civil rights and the death penalty was threatened to those who celebrated their religious services. ‘Where there is love, there is peace’ (Augustine). Or as our bishop later declared triumphantly: Quodvult deus de Cartago: the viper has been crushed, or better still: it has been devoured.

After the year 418, the theme of the Donatists disappears for decades from the debates held in the synods of the North African bishops. In 420 it appears the last anti-Donatist writing of Augustine: Contra Gaudentium. In 429, with the invasion of the Vandals, the anti-Donatist imperial edicts also ended, which continued to call for annihilation. However, the schism lasted until the 6th century, although very weakened.

The sad remains that managed to escape the constant persecutions were destroyed a century later, along with Catholics, by Islam. African Christianity was undermined, bankrupt; finally, completely separated from Europe in the religious aspect, and escaped from its area of influence to fall into that of the Near East.

The most important ancient of the Christian churches, the only one in the Mediterranean, disappeared without a trace. There was nothing left of her. ‘But it was not due to Islam but to the persecutions against the Donatists, which made North Africa hate the Catholic Church so much that the Donatists received Islam as a liberation and converted to it’ (Kawerau).

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Kriminalgeschichte, 66

Sant’Agostino nello studio by Vittore Carpaccio (1502)

 
‘Genius in all fields of Christian doctrine’

[Augustine] often dictated at the same time discussions to several writings: 93 works or 232 ‘books’, he says in the year 427 in his Retractationes (which critically contemplate, so to speak, his work in chronological succession), to which we must add the production of his last years of life, in addition to hundreds of letters and sermons, with which he ‘almost always’ felt dissatisfied.

The intellectual production of Augustine was overrated, particularly from the Catholic side. ‘An intellectual giant like him, only the world offers it once every thousand years’ (Görlich). Maybe from the Catholic world! However, what he calls ‘intellectual stature’ is what serves him, and what serves him is detrimental to the world.

Augustine’s existence precisely reveals it drastically. However, J.R. Palangue praises him as ‘a genius in all fields of Christian doctrine’. And Daniel-Rops goes on to say: ‘If the word genius has any meaning, it is precisely here. Of all the gifts of the spirit that can be fixed analytically, none was missing; he had all, even those that are generally considered mutually exclusive’. Who is startled by such nonsense is called malevolent, malicious, ‘a creeping soul’ (Marrou). However, even the father of the Church Jerome, although out of envy, called his colleague ‘a little latecomer’. In the 20th century, the Catholic Schmaus flatly denies Augustine’s genius as a thinker.

The thought of Augustine? It is totally dominated by ideas of God, partly numbed by euphoria, partly terrified. His philosophy is, basically, theology. From an ontological point of view, it is based on hypotheses without any foundation. And there is a multitude of painful absences.

Augustine, whom Palangue praises saying: ‘With a flap he rises above any superficial objection’ usually is a prodigy of superficiality. Also the ‘professional orator’ of yesteryear (and today!) cheats through rhetorical tricks. He contradicts himself, especially in The City of God, a work with a strong influence of Arnobius that appeared between 413 and 426, his ‘magnum opus’ as he says, where he sometimes equates and others clearly differentiates his own fundamental concepts: ‘Roman Empire’ and ‘Diabolic State’. Or ‘Church’ and ‘God’s State’.

When he was a young Christian, he believed that miracles no longer occur, so that ‘no one is raised from the dead anymore’; when he gets old he believes otherwise. Already in 412 he had the idea of ‘collecting and showing everything that is rightly censured in my books’. And so, three years before his death he begins, since everything was ‘altered’, a complete book with rectifications, Retractationes, without really ‘rectifying’ everything. In any case, he introduced 220 corrections.

However, as many times as Augustine ‘rectified’ something, he refuted others’ work, placing the heading of many of his writings a ‘Contra […]’.

At the end of the 4th century he attacked the Manichaeans: Fortunatus, Adeimantus, Faust, Felix, Secundinus, as well as, in another series of books, Manichaeism: of which he himself was formally a follower for almost a decade, from 373 to 382, although as ‘listener’ (auditor), not as an electus. In three books Against Academics (386) he confronts scepticism. From the year 400 on he criticises Donatism; from 412 Pelagianism, and from 426 semi-Pelagianism. But next to these main objectives of his struggle, he also attacks with greater or lesser intensity the pagans, the Jews, the Arians, the astrologers, the Priscillians and the Apollinarians. ‘All the heretics hate you’ he praises his old rival Jerome, ‘just as they persecute me with the same hatred’.

More than half of Augustine’s writings are apologetics or have a controversial character. On the other hand, while, being a bishop, in thirty years he only once visited Mauritania, the less civilized province, he travelled thirty-three times to the incredibly rich Carthage, where, apparently as compensation for his modest convent diet, he liked copious lunches (for example roasted peacock); talk to important people and spend whole months with colleagues in hectic activity. The bishops already lived near the authorities and in the court, and were themselves courtiers; Augustine’s friend, Bishop Alypius, was arguing in Rome until the saint’s death.

Peter Brown, one of the most recent biographers of the leading theologian, writes: ‘Augustine was the son of a violent father and an inflexible mother. He could cling to what he considered objective truth with the remarkable ingenuity of his quarrelsome character’.

It should be noted that the increasingly violent aggression of Augustine, as manifested in his dispute with the Donatists, could also be a consequence of his prolonged asceticism. Before, as he himself confessed, he had had remarkable vital needs, ‘in lewdness and in prostitution’ he had ‘spent his strength’, and later he had energetically conjured ‘the tingling of desire’. He lived a long time in concubinage, later he took a girl as a girlfriend (she had almost two years to reach the legal age to get married: in girls twelve years) and at the same time a new darling. But for the cleric sexual pleasure is ‘monstrous’, ‘diabolical’, ‘disease’, ‘madness’, ‘rottenness’, ‘nauseating pus’, and so on.

Apart from that, was not he also feeling guilty about his long-time companion, whom he had forced to separate from himself and his son?

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Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 16

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
Christianity: the grandmother of Bolshevism?

In 1933, the German historian Oswald Spengler wrote: “All Communist systems in the West are in fact derived from Christian theological thought… Christianity is the grandmother of Bolshevism.” This alone makes Christianity one of the most destructive forces in world history, a force so radioactive it destroys everything within its immediate vicinity. But how is this even possible?

Equality is such a fundamental aspect of the church’s kerygma that if it were removed the entire ideological structure of Christian orthodoxy would collapse like a house of cards. The “catholicity” of the church signifies that membership in the body of Christ is open to all men, regardless of ethno-linguistic or socio-economic differences. Salvation, because it is equally available to all, means that all men possess the same innate capacity to achieve it. There is also universal equality in sinful depravity, as well as in the possession of unmerited divine grace. Jesus’ commandment to love one’s neighbor as oneself is merely the application of universalist and egalitarian principles to human social life. In the New Testament, believers are asked to serve one another, with the aim of achieving social equality within an ecclesiastical setting.

Assimilation of Platonic idealism by Ante-Nicene theologians added a metaphysical dimension to the egalitarian pronouncements of the New Testament. When God created man, he imparted the breath of life through his nostrils. This “breath,” psyche, or anima, translated “soul,” served as the life-principle of the animate body. The equality of souls before god obtains because all bear the same imago dei or image of god. In the Garden of Eden, man lived in circumstances of natural equality. St. Augustine writes that before the Fall, no one exercised dominion or lordship over anyone else, but that all ruled equally and indifferently over the inferior creation. The natural equality that once existed in this mythical prehistory was lost because of sin, which corrupted human nature. This brought slavery and other inequalities into the world. The church believed that the kingdom of god would restore Edenic conditions at the end of time.

To the Ante-Nicene church, belief in spiritual equality was not some ossified formula to be recited by rote like the Apostle’s Creed, but an ever-present reality with real-world, “anticipatory” consequences. Gospel narratives that incorporated elements of primitive communism were received favorably by the church and declared canonical. In Luke 3, John the Baptist, a member of the communist Essenes, exhorts his followers to share their clothing and food with those who are destitute. The communist pronouncements of John foreshadow the more explicit primitive communism of Jesus.

In Luke 4, Jesus begins his ministry by inaugurating an acceptable “year of the Lord’s favor.” This is a direct reference to the Hebrew Jubilee, which came every fifty years after the completion of seven sabbatical cycles. The proclamation of Jubilee signified manumission of slaves, absolution of debt, redistribution of property, and common ownership of the land’s natural produce.

According to Leviticus, no one owned the land, except YHWH; only its usufruct could be purchased. This was not a literal year of Jubilee inaugurated by Jesus. The passages being quoted in Luke are from Isaiah, not Leviticus which contains the actual Hebrew legislation. The imagery associated with the Jubilee is used to describe the realized eschatological features of the new age inaugurated by the coming Messiah. His return symbolizes the complete reversal of the old order. The new age will bring about communistic social relations through the ethical transformation of believers. From a biblical hermeneutic standpoint, the Torah Jubilee foreshadows the greater Jubilee now realized in Jesus’ ministry.

Jesus’ economic teachings go far beyond Levitical communal sharing. They necessitate large-scale re-organization of society along egalitarian and communist lines. In Luke 6, Jesus commands his audience to give to all those who beg from them, without distinction as to friend or enemy. His condemnation of violent retaliation is closely linked to this ethic of universal sharing; the communist social arrangement envisaged by Jesus cannot flourish in an atmosphere of violence and suspicion. The eschatological age inaugurated by the Messiah is one where lending without expectation of financial reward has become a new moral obligation, one that must be carried out if one wishes to obtain treasure in heaven.

That early Christian communist practice was morally obligatory is supported by numerous passages from the New Testament. According to 1 John 3:16-17, true believers will sacrifice their lives for the good of others, especially by giving to those in need; anyone who refuses to do this cannot claim to be a Christian in good moral standing.

In the Ante-Nicene church, fellowship was not only spiritual, but included mutual aid in the form of concrete material and economic assistance. The canonical epistle of James defines true religion as caring for “orphans and widows,” an ancient Hebrew idiom for the economically disadvantaged. Those who favor the rich over the poor, instead of treating both equally, are sinners in need of repentance. They have transgressed Jesus’ great commandment to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” James says that “faith without works is dead.” What do these “works” consist of? We are informed that true faith is shown by those who feed and clothe the wretched of the earth. If one refuses to do this, one’s very identity as a Christian is placed in jeopardy.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul provides additional theological justification for early Christian communist practice using the kenosis of Christ as a reference point. Christians were expected to follow the example of Jesus, who was “rich” in his pre-existent state, but willingly “impoverished” himself so that believers could become “rich” through his “poverty.” This meant that wealthier Christian communities were morally obligated to share their abundance of riches with poorer ones. The purpose of re-distributing wealth from one Christian community to another, writes Paul, was the achievement of economic equality between believers.

The apostolic identification of “true faith” with material re-distribution led to the establishment of the world’s first welfare system and centrally planned domestic economy. While some form of primitive communism existed before the institutionalized Christian communistic practices of the first three centuries AD, these were reserved for small communities of Greek-speaking intellectuals or Jewish religious fanatics. What made Christian communism unique was its moral universalism and non-ethnocentric orientation. Given the egalitarian thrust of early Christian communist ideology, it should come as no surprise that the central organizing principle of classical Marxist economics, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” was lifted verbatim from the pages of the New Testament.

Marxism-Leninism, a murderous 20th century ideology that led to the deaths of over 100 million individuals worldwide, was directly inspired by the ethical pronouncements of the New Testament. This is a source of great embarrassment to the Christian religionist. In defense, apologists emphasize the voluntary nature of communist practice in early Christianity. Yet this apologetical evasion is clearly anachronistic.

Freedom defined as the ability to choose in the absence of external coercion is a uniquely modern idea inherited from post-Enlightenment philosophies of liberalism. This idea of freedom affirms the sovereign will as one obedient to itself, but also reducible to the basic laws of the free market. However, this understanding of freedom is diametrically opposed to the one encountered in the ancient Greek philosophical tradition. In this context, there is no sharp distinction between voluntary action and involuntary obligation; individuals are not conceptualized as autonomous agents with a multitude of options to choose from.

Instead, freedom is the ability to pursue the Good without impediment; only a properly functioning will, in which the subject has fully realized his true essence, can do this. To do evil goes against the proper functioning of the will; it is not an expression of one’s individual capacity for freedom. No one willingly or voluntarily refuses to pursue the Good; rather, they lack sufficient moral training or the appropriate self-restraint.

The Christian in the ancient world was free to not worship or consume meat sacrificed to idols; he was not free to do the opposite because he was no longer pursuing the Good. A Christian who violated the prohibition against idolatry was not legitimately exercising his capacity for free will, even though the prohibition had been violated in the absence of external coercion. Instead, such an action was the result of moral ignorance or error.

The same could be said of the early Christian practice of communism. This was only “voluntary” in the sense that Christians were freely pursuing a morally acceptable outcome. If freedom is pursuit of the Good without obstruction, Christians were morally obligated to participate in the communist socio-economic practices of the church, otherwise they would not be considered righteous before god.

Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 15

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
What has Christianity done for Europe?

Christianity is a violent, destructive, murderous cult. It is dangerous for the following reasons: 1.) the religion promotes the survival of the sick, the weak and the stupid at the expense of good racial hygiene. This drastically lowers population IQ and capacity for civilizational attainment, and; 2.) the cult relies on blind faith instead of rational persuasion, which has resulted in long periods of widespread chaos and bloodshed, especially during the Christianization of Europe. These dangers were even noticed by contemporary pagan writers, who immediately recognized the threat a triumphant Christianity would pose to the survival of Western culture.

Christianity never “civilized” or “domesticated” Europeans. On the contrary, Europeans were forced to endure a Neolithic existence when Christians were at the apogee of their power and influence. The church sent men of genius to monasteries or had them consecrated to the priesthood. This prevented them from passing on their genes, a significant dysgenic effect that lowered the collective European IQ. Only the pagan science and reason of classical antiquity could re-domesticate Europeans after 500 years of total intellectual darkness.

The church successfully defended Europe from invasion, argue some apologists, but nothing could be further from the truth. Charles Martel’s confiscation of church property to defend Europe from Moslem intruders was met with significant ecclesiastical opposition. If the church had succeeded in withholding the necessary funds, all Europe would have been reduced to a province of the Umayyad caliphate. Nevertheless, Martel was unable to pursue the Saracens across the Pyrenees and dislodge them from their Andalusian stronghold. The Moslems would continue their occupation of the Iberian Peninsula for 800 years, until their final expulsion by Ferdinand and Isabella in the late 15th century.

Southwestern France and Italy were periodically raided and sometimes controlled by Moslem invaders. The emirate of Sicily endured for over two centuries. Even after Norman conquest, a significant Moslem presence remained on the island. The Moslems of Sicily were finally expelled by the middle of the 13th century. The crusades to retake the Holy Land from the Saracens (1095-1291), a series of large-scale military operations under the joint leadership of papacy and feudal aristocracy, failed to achieve its primary objective. In 1204, Christian crusaders sacked Constantinople in an orgy of rape, pillage and murder. The crusaders caused so much damage that the Byzantines were unable to resist their Ottoman conquerors in 1453.

Christianity provided no adequate defense of Europe. The church only did enough to maintain herself as a viable institution. In the process, the church weakened Europe, making her ripe for conquest by the Umayyad and Ottoman caliphates.

Apologists tentatively acknowledge that although Christianity hindered scientific and technological progress, it still made “contributions” to fields as diverse as architecture and philosophy. On closer examination, these “contributions” are neither “Christian” nor worthy of being considered “contributions.” The great churches of the Middle Ages are frequently trotted out, but these have their origin in Roman building methods. The dome, the arch and the vault, the typical features of the medieval Romanesque style of architecture are all borrowed from the imperial Roman architecture of pre-Christian times. The basic architectural plan of most medieval churches is the Roman basilica, a public building reserved for official purposes. Even the Gothic style that supplanted Romanesque still employed architectural features of Roman origin. The ribbed vaulting that was typical of Gothic architecture was originally used in Vespasian’s Roman colosseum and by Hadrian in the construction of his Tibertine villa.

While acknowledging Romanesque as an “accomplishment,” the Christian religionist will conveniently ignore the almost total disappearance of Roman building methods from western Europe for almost 300 years. This was a direct result of the church’s active suppression of Western scientific and technical knowledge. From the completion of Theodoric’s mausoleum in Ravenna to the consecration of Aachen in 805, nothing of monumental significance was built in western Europe. During the intervening period, Europeans, like their Neolithic ancestors, had returned to the use of perishable materials for use in building.

Apologists for Christianity will mention Aquinas and scholasticism as the highpoints of not only medieval, but European intellectual development, even though Aquinas set European scientific and technological progress back by hundreds of years. Scholasticism was an object of ridicule and mockery during the Renaissance. Religionists mention the Christian “contribution” of the university, oblivious to the many institutions of higher learning that existed and even flourished in the ancient world. The first universities taught scholasticism, so they were the frontline in the Christian war against the pagan values of intellectual curiosity, love of progress for its own sake and empirical rationality.

In the Christian religious mind, science and technology are of Christian origin because the men doing the discovering and inventing during the Scientific Revolution were nominal Christians, like Galileo and Newton. This argument is just as absurd as arguing that the Greek invention of logic, rhetoric and mathematics were the result of Greek pagan theological beliefs because Aristotle and other ancient scientists and philosophers were pagans. No, these men were “Christians” because public avowals of atheism were dangerous in an age where even the most innocuous theological speculation could smear reputations and destroy careers. It is a glowing tribute to the courage and honesty of these men that they were able to abandon Christianity’s reliance on blind faith, often in the face of public censure, and consciously re-embrace the pagan epistemic values that produced the “Greek miracle” 2000 years before the Scientific Revolution.

Christian religionists claim that the New Testament, a collection of childish scribblings penned by semi-literate barbarians, is a great contribution to Western civilization. As has been pointed out for generations, even by other Christian religionists, the work is notorious for its use of bad grammar and unrefined literary style. Much of it was composed by Jews who were not even fluent in koine Greek. Overall, the New Testament is an inferior production compared to the meanest writers of Attic prose. Even St. Jerome, the translator of the Vulgate, expressed contempt for the crude, unsophisticated literary style of the Bible. He preferred the elegant Latin of Cicero instead.

What has Christianity contributed to Europe? The answer is nothing! No art, culture, architectural monuments, science or technology. Christianity was a massive waste of European intellectual and physical potential. Furthermore, Christianity almost destroyed Europe.

The church discarded over 99% of ancient literature, including works on science, mathematics, philosophy, engineering and architecture. This was the largest campaign of literary censorship and suppression in history, an act of cultural and physical genocide that nearly severed medieval Europe from the great achievements of classical antiquity.

This was cultural genocide because the church nearly wiped out an entire civilization and culture; this was physical genocide because the church’s deliberate eradication of secular knowledge placed millions of lives in danger, unnecessarily subjecting them to the ravages of disease, war, famine and poverty.

Far from being largely benign, the Christian church is a power-mad religious mafia. It bears sole responsibility for perpetrating the greatest crimes in history against Europeans. How long shall the Christian church escape punishment for this criminal wrongdoing? No other religion has caused as much suffering and as much damage to Europe as this spiritual syphilis known as Christianity.

______ 卐 ______

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Kriminalgeschichte, 50

Note of the Editor:

The city Antioch, ‘the cradle of Christianity’ was a melting-pot town that played a central role in the emergence of both Hellenistic Judaism and early Christianity. Evropa Soberana mentions that Luke the Evangelist was from Antioch, and when writing about St. Ignatius of Antioch, a subversive ideologue thrown to the lions by the Romans, Soberana adds: ‘It is interesting to pay attention to the names of the preachers since they always come from the mongrelised areas: eastern and Judaised’.

Left, one of the maps that appear in Soberana’s PDF (Caption: ‘The extension of Christianity around the year 100. Note that the areas of Christian preaching coincide with the densest Jewish settlement areas’). Also remember that, right after Julian was assassinated, a Christian emperor ordered the burning of the Antioch library that had been founded by Julian: a library that presumably contained documents showing the true origins of Christianity.

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

______ 卐 ______

Antioch

For a long time the divisions had split the great patriarchal seat of Antioch. The current Turkish Antakya (28,000 inhabitants, including 4,000 Christians) does not reveal what it once was: the capital of Syria, with perhaps 800,000 inhabitants, the third largest city in the Roman Empire—after Rome and Alexandria—, the ‘metropolis and eye’ of the Christian East.

Located not far from the mouth of the Orontes in the Mediterranean, built majestically by the ostentatious Syrian kings, famous for its luxurious temples, churches, arcaded streets, the imperial palace, theatres, baths and the stadium, an important centre of military power, Antioch played a great role in the history of the new religion from the beginning.

It was the city in which the Christians received their name from the pagans; the city in which Paul preached and already entered into conflict with Peter; where Ignatius stirred the spirits, and where the theological school founded by Lucian, the martyr, taught his teachings, representing the ‘left wing’ in the Christological conflict, and marked the history of the Church of that century, although most of the members of the school (even John Chrysostom) were accused of heresy throughout their life or part of it, especially Arius.

Antioch was a place of celebration of numerous synods, especially Arian synods, and more than thirty councils of the old Church. It was here where Julian was residing in the years 362-363 writing his Against the Galileans; where John Chrysostom ‘saw the light of the world’. Antioch became one of the main bastions of the expansion of Christianity, ‘the head of the Church of the East’ (Basil) and seat of a patriarch who in the 4th century ruled the political dioceses of the East: fifteen ecclesiastical provinces with more than two hundred bishoprics.

Antioch was full of intrigue and turmoil, especially since the Arians had deposed the patriarch Eustochius, one of the most passionate apostles of the Nicene doctrine, for ‘heresy’ because of his immorality and his rebellion against Emperor Constantine, who banished him until his death.

However, at the time of the Meletian schism, which lasted fifty-five years, from 360 to 415, there were three suitors who fought among themselves and who tore at their disputes both the Eastern and the Western Church: Paulinians (fundamentalists) followers of the doctrine of Nicaea, semi-Arians and Arians.

Kriminalgeschichte, 46

The Council of Nicaea, with Arius depicted
as defeated by the council, lying under
the feet of Emperor Constantine.

______ 卐 ______

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

 
The Council of Nicaea and the profession of ‘Constantinian’ faith

Constantine had recommended the place, Nicaea, for the bonanza of its climate and had promised a pleasant stay. He was the one who convened the council, not the ‘Pope’. He also opened it on May 20 and held the presidency. The emperor paid the expenses of the participants, on whose number the data oscillate between 220 and 318 (for the 318 children of Abraham!). Silvestre, the supreme pastor of Rome, missed the meeting.

The emperor presented himself before the bishops ‘like an angel of God descending from heaven, resplendent in his bright garments, dazzling with light, with the fiery glow of purple and adorned with the clear gleam of gold and costly precious stones’ (Eusebius). The lords of the clergy themselves were guarded by guards and halberdiers ‘with sharp drawn swords’.

By decree of the sovereign they were ‘offered every day an opulent maintenance’. According to Eusebius, at a banquet ‘some sat at the table on the same cushions as the emperor, while others did on both sides. It could easily have been thought or imagined that it was an image of the kingdom of Christ, which was only a dream and not a reality’. As far as the dogmatic aspects are concerned—no recordings were made—, the great majority of these servants of God showed little or no interest, something that the host did not care about.

Although Constantine may not have led the sessions—a problem that has been much discussed—he did determine its course and make the decisions. For this he made sure to have the majority, and even imposed the decision formula. The formula was the somewhat changeable concept (which means the same, identical, but also similar, of the Greek homos) of the homousios of the homousia: the equality of the natures of the ‘Father’ and of the ‘Son’: ‘a sign of antagonism in front of science, which thought about the paths of Origen’ (Gentz).

In the Bible, not a single mention is made about it. That slogan—which, notoriously the emperor himself had formulated—had been opposed to the beliefs of the majority of the Eastern episcopate, even though it stemmed from Gnostic theology. The Monarchians had also used it, other ‘heretics’ (anti-Trinitarians). However, the young Athanasius, who accompanied Bishop Alexander as a deacon, ‘had not used it in his first writings as a motto of his theology’ (Schneemelcher) and ‘it took him 25 years to take a liking’ (Kraft). Although already in the council ‘he pronounced against Arianism’ and did not put it in writing until a quarter of century later.

No reasons were given nor was explained in more detail that decision of faith. The emperor, who was undeniably interested in unity and who considered the dispute of the clergy only as an intransigence, forbade any theological discussion and simply demanded compliance with the formula.

The ‘Holy Fathers’ (Athanasius), whose presence presumably gave the dictator a happiness ‘that exceeded any other’ and whom for a quarter of a year he honoured and covered them with honours, obeyed. And today, millions of Christians continue to believe in the fides Nicaena, the faith confession of Nicaea—which should be better called, according to Johannes Haller, the faith of Constantine: the work of a layman who was not even baptized. ‘We believe in one God, the almighty Father… and in one Lord, Jesus Christ… true God of the true God, begotten, not created, of the same nature (homousios) as the Father…’

In the West, the Nicaea confession of faith was still barely known a few decades later and in orthodox circles it was the subject of discussion. Even the father of the Church, Hilarius, initially opposed that baptismal faith; although he later returned to it. However, the holy bishop Zeno of Verona, a passionate enemy of the infidels and the Arians, mocked a creed that worked with formulas. At the end of the 4th century, in the sermons of Gaudentius of Brescia or Maximus of Turin, it is still mentioned ‘Nicaea at no time’ (Sieben, Jesuit).

Even Luther, in 1521, admits to hating ‘the word homousios’ although in 1539, in his work On the Councils and the Church he accepts it. Goethe is right when he affirms that ‘the dogma of the divinity of Christ decreed by the Council of Nicaea was very useful, even a necessity, for despotism’.

The behavior of Constantine was not in any way an isolated event. Since then, the emperors, and not the popes, were the ones who made the decisions about the Church. Throughout the 4th century the bishops of Rome did not play any decisive role in the synods nor were they determining authorities. From Constantine, the ‘imperial synodal power’ prevailed.

The confession of faith of the Arians, which contrasted the homoiusios (of a similar nature) to the homousios, was snatched from the speaker’s hands, in Nicaea, shattering the document before he had finished reading it. ‘At once it was rejected by all and branded as erroneous and false; there was a great tumult’ (Theodoret). In the sacred meetings, speaking through the mouth of Eusebius, a participant in them, there reigned ‘everywhere bitter disputes’, as was often the case in councils.

The emperor threw directly into the fire, without even reading them, the writings of complaints and quarrels of the bishops. All those who shared ‘of good will the best opinion’ received ‘his highest praises; on the contrary, he rejected the undisciplined with horror’.

Arius was again condemned.

Kriminalgeschichte, 45

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

 
It was not fought for faith, but for power and for Alexandria

The exacerbated interest in faith was not really more than the obverse of the question. From the beginning, this secular dispute was less about dogmatic differences than about the core of a typical clerical policy. ‘The pretext was the salvation of souls’—admitted even Gregory of Nazianzus, son of a bishop and holy bishop in turn, who avoided meddling in worldly matters and who often eluded his ecclesiastical offices by fleeing—, ‘and the motive was anxiety of domain, not to mention tributes and taxes’.

The hierarchical ambitions for power and the disputes over the Episcopal sees, in whose course the theological rivalries were often forgotten, gave duration and vehemence to those enmities. It not only excited the Church but, at least in the East, also the state. Not only did the council fathers sometimes engage in quarrels until the Holy Spirit spoke, but also lay people beat themselves bloody in public.

Any dispute produced there between the clergy, Arian and Monophysite, iconoclasm exceeds the limits of a mere quarrel between friars and shocks all political and social life for centuries. This makes Helvetius affirm, in a lapidary way: ‘What is the consequence of religious intolerance? The ruin of the nations’.

And Voltaire assures that ‘If you count the murders perpetrated by fanaticism from the brawls between Athanasius and Arius up to the present day, you will see that these disputes have contributed to the depopulation of the Earth rather than the warlike confrontations’, which undoubtedly it has been very often a consequence of the complicity between the throne and the altar.

However, just as the policies of the State and the Church were intimately intertwined, so were the latter and theology. Of course, there was no official doctrine about the Trinity, but only different traditions. Binding decisions ‘were only made in the course of the conflict’ (Brox).

In spite of this, each of the parties, especially Saint Athanasius, liked to call his desire for prestige and power a matter of faith; thus could accusations be constantly presented and justified. Athanasius immediately theologises any political impetus and treats his rivals as heretics. Politics becomes theology and theology, politics. ‘His terminology is never clear enough, the question is always the same’ (Loofs). ‘With Athanasius it is never about formulas’ (Gentz).

What most characterizes the ‘father of orthodoxy’ is that he leaves his extremely confused dogmatic position, using it until the 350s, to designate the ‘true faith’, those topics that would later be used to stigmatize the Arian or semi-Arian ‘heresy’: that he, the defender of Nicaea and the homousios, rejected for a long time the theory of hypostasis, thereby delaying the union; and that he, the bulwark of orthodoxy, even cleared the way for an ‘heretical doctrine’, Monophysitism.

For that reason, the Catholics of the 5th and 6th centuries had to ‘touch up’ the dogmatic treatises of their doctor of the Church. However, for a long time the Arians proposed a formula of profession that coincided literally with that often used by Athanasius, but then appeared as ‘Arian heresy’ since whatever the opponent said, it was always bad in advance, malignant and diabolical; and any personal enemy was an ‘Arian’.

All this state of affairs was facilitated by the fact that for a time there had been total confusion in theological concepts, and the Arians had split again. Even Constantine II, who had gradually favoured them more and more radically— ‘to all the corrupt bishops of the Empire’ (Stratmann, catholic), ‘to the caricatures of the Christian bishop’ (Ehrhard, catholic)—, got so fed up of the dispute over the ‘nature’ of Christ that ended up forbidding it.

The theologians of the post-Constantinian era compared this war of religion, increasingly unintelligible, with a naval battle in the midst of the fog, a nocturnal combat in which it is impossible to distinguish the friend from the foe, but in which one hits with viciousness, often changing sides, preferably, of course, towards the side of the strongest in which all means are allowed; one hates intensely, intrigues are plotted and jealousies provoked.

Even Jerome, the father of the Church, affirmed in his moment that he did not manage to find peace and tranquillity neither in a small corner of the desert, because every day the monks asked him accounts of his faith. ‘I declare what they want, but it is not enough for them. I subscribe to what they propose to me and they do not believe it. It is easier to live among wild beasts than among such Christians!’

Numerous aspects of the chronology of the dispute are still controversial, even doubting the authenticity of many documents. However, the direct starting point was the revolt provoked by a debate about the Trinity around the year 318 in Alexandria, a city in which they fought for more than faith.

Alexandria, founded in 332-331 by Alexander the Great, the city of the poet Callimachus, the geographer Eratosthenes, the grammarian Aristophanes of Byzantium and Aristarchus of Samothrace. The city of Plotinus and later of Hypatia, was the main metropolis of the East, a cosmopolitan city of almost a million inhabitants, whose luxury only rivalled that of Rome.

Alexandria was mapped out with broad views, it was rich and an important commercial plaza, with a fishing fleet that obtained not insignificant catches and stood out for its monopoly in the papyrus industry, which supplied to the whole world.

Alexandria, the place where the Old Testament was translated into Greek (the Septuagint), was also the seat of a patriarchy—it is not true that St. Mark founded it; the first bishop of whom there is historical record is Demetrius I—, and it was, within the whole of the Church including that of the West, the largest and most powerful of all Episcopal sees. The two Egypts, Thebes, Pentapolis and Libya were under its jurisdiction.

This position had to be maintained, consolidated and expanded. The Alexandrian hierarchs, called ‘popes’ and who soon became immensely wealthy, intended during the 4th and 5th centuries to get at all costs the domination of the totality of the Eastern dioceses. Their theology was also opposed to that of Antioch, which also joined the struggle for rank between the two patriarchs, always winning he who supported the emperor and the ecclesiastical and imperial seat of Constantinople.

In constant struggle against ecclesiastical competitors and the State, a political apparatus of the Church arose here for the first time, similar to what would later be in Rome. According to this, the bishops of the secondary seats acted, who paid for any change of course with the loss of their Episcopal armchairs, or either they won them. Not one of the innumerable paleo-Christian churches of Alexandria was preserved.

Around the year 318, Patriarch Alexander would have preferred to silence the burning question about the ousia, the nature of the ‘Son’. There was a time when he was personally linked to the orator Arius (around 260-336), denounced by the Meletians and since 313 he was the presbyter of the church of Baucalis, the most prestigious in the city and the centre of a large group of followers formed by young women and workers of the dams.

But Arius, who was a kind and conciliatory scholar and probably composed the first popular songs of the Christian era (now totally forgotten), had renounced the Episcopal seat in favour of Alexander, and in the contest he participated less in a personal capacity than as an exponent from the school of theologians of Antioch, which he had neither founded nor directed. On the other hand, Bishop Alexander had previously defended, which was also reproached by Arians, ideas and doctrines similar to those he was now pursuing; he affirmed that Arius spent ‘day and night in insults against Christ and against us’.

After two public debates, at a synod that brought together 100 bishops, St. Alexander excommunicated and exiled Arius and all his followers—a decision that undoubtedly contributed to the struggle of the high office against the privileges of his priests—, and warned everywhere against the intrigues of the ‘heresiarch’. He also informed the Roman bishop Silvestre (314-335). And by means of two encyclicals, in 319 and probably in 324, he appealed to ‘all other beloved and venerable servants of God’, ‘to all the bishops beloved by God of all places’.

This resulted in measures and countermeasures being taken. Some princes of the Church anathematized Arius while others expressed their appreciation. Among the latter was the important intercessor before the court, the influential Bishop Eusebius, supreme pastor of Nicomedia, the city of residence of the emperor, who welcomed his banished friend; and Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, already famous as biblical exegete and historian.

Two synods that resolved in favour of Arius made possible his rehabilitation and return. The Arian party of Alexandria was acquiring more and more force, coming to name a counter-bishop. Alexander defended himself in vain, lamented the ‘den of thieves’ of the Arians and came to fear for his own life. Riots followed, which spread throughout Egypt, and finally the Eastern Church split.

New Episcopal conferences, such as the Synod of Antioch in 324, again condemned Arius, writing to the ‘bishops of Italy, who depend on the great Rome’, although without considering the Roman power as sovereign or that it had come to play some role of relevance. And in the year 325 a council was held in the Emperor’s summer residence.

Kriminalgeschichte, 44

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

Athanasius at the Council of Nicea

 

Chapter 18: Athanasius, Doctor of
the Church (towards 295-373)

‘Saint Athanasius was the greatest man of his time and perhaps, pondering everything in a scrupulous way, the greatest that the Church could ever have presented’.

— Abbé de Bletterinni

‘The grateful posterity gave the efficient Alexandrian bishop the deserved nickname of “the Great”; both the Eastern and Western churches venerate him as a saint’.

— Joseph Lippl

‘Every political question is taken to the field of theology; his adversaries are heretics while he is the defender of pure faith. The adversaries learn from him the association between theology and politics. As a kind of anti-emperor, he anticipated the prototype of the great Roman popes, being the first of the great Egyptian patriarchs who ended up separating their country from imperial unity’.

— G. Gentz

‘The actors in the history of the Church were largely the same as those in the history of Byzantium in general’.

— Friedhelm Winkelmann

‘From the 4th century to the 7th, by the Father, by the Son and by the Holy Spirit, the schools of theology, the popes and the patriarchs fought with every means at their disposal. They judged, degraded and proscribed each other; there began to operate secret services and propaganda machinery; the controversies degenerated into wild ecstasies; there were riots and street skirmishes. There was murder; the military crushed the revolts; the anchorites of the desert, with the support of the court of Byzantium, instigated the multitudes; intrigues were hatched for the favour of emperors and empresses. State terror was unleashed; the patriarchs fought among themselves, they were elevated to the throne and dethroned again as soon as a new trinitarian conception succeeded’.

— Hans Kühner

 

Kühner goes on to say: ‘The first great doctors of the Church appeared, and the saints, against all human passions, performed a series of mental exercises worthy of all praise that have become part of both the history of the faith and of the history of thought’. However, it should be pointed out that this did not occur against all human passions but largely because of them, because he who takes the spirit seriously cannot believe that one is two or three or that three is equal to one.

Christian theology calls this supra-rational and not counter-rational or irrational. It calls it mystery, not absurd. And having so many things between heaven and earth that our scholastic philosophy cannot imagine, it is unnecessary to take for granted everything that has been imagined, nor do we have to take the greatest absurdity and consider it a great mystery. ‘If God’, says Diderot, ‘for whom we have reason, demands us to sacrifice reason, he is a conjurer who makes what he has just given disappear’.

 
The complicated nature of God and the dominion of darkness

Any science worth its salt is based on experience, but what comes to be known about God, if it exists? In the early days of Christianity, ‘a whole mass of the most diverse ideas’ about the celestial spirits was considered (Weinel, theologian). In the 2nd and early 3rd centuries, ‘hardly anyone’ cared about the ‘Holy Spirit’ (Harnack, theologian), and in the 4th century, according to Hilarius, doctor of the Church, no one knows what will be the creed of the following year.

However, the theologians went deeper and deeper into the subject in the course of time. They came to discover that God was something like a single being (ousia, substance) in three people (hypostaseis personae). That this triple personality was a consequence of two ‘processes’ (processiones): of the generation (generatio) of the Son from the Father and of the ‘exhalation’ (spiratio) of the Spirit between the Father and the Son. That these two ‘processes’ were equivalent to four ‘interactions’ (relationes): the quality of father and son, the exhalation and the exhaled being, and these four ‘interactions’ in turn give five ‘particularities’ (proprietates, notiones). That in the end, all this, in mutual ‘permeation’ (perichoresis, circuminsessio) would give only one God: actus purissimus!

As much as they have given themselves the headaches over the centuries, the theologians know ‘that any intellectual work on the Trinity dogma will remain “an unfinished symphony”’ (Anwander) or, no matter how deep they delve into it, ‘a mystery of impenetrable faith’, as the Benedictine Von Rudioff humbly writes, asserting with all seriousness that none of it ‘speaks against reason; we do not say that three is equal to one but that three people are a being’. However, in 1977, it seems to Karl Rahner ‘that the history of dogmas, in the broadest sense of the word, continues and must continue—and therefore the history of dogmas continues’.

No matter how much theologians may say—an endless process of often nebulous concepts, especially because in the history of dogmas they have imposed their beliefs by all means, including violence—, those disputes have never possessed any basis of experience. Because of this, and speaking through Helvetius, ‘the reign of theology was always seen as the domain of darkness’.

In the 4th century an attempt was made to shed light on this darkness, and everything became even darker. ‘Everyone suspects their neighbour’, recognises Basil, father of the Church, ‘the blasphemous tongues have been released’. But the councils, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, that tried to clarify the mysteries, only contributed to create greater confusion. Even Gregory of Nazianzus, the holy father of the Church, mocks the clerical conferences and admits that they seldom come to a good end, stoking more controversy instead of softening it: ‘I avoid the meetings of bishops because until now I have never seen any synod ending well; they do not solve any ill but simply create new ones. In them there is only rivalry and struggles for power’.

On the one hand, of the important Council of Nicaea (325) hardly something survived, as well as some other synods. On the other hand, the victors prevented the circulation of the writings of their opponents, when they did not manage to destroy them.

Only a few fragments of Arius, or Asterius of Cappadocia, a moderate Arian, have come to us through quotations in replication writings. Although Catholic treatises were frequently disseminated, especially those written by the fathers of the Church Hilarius de Poitiers (died 367) and Athanasius of Alexandria (died 373), they only are subjective propaganda products. The no less tendentious historians of the 5th century Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret and Philostorgius, of strict Arian tendency, are already of later generations.

A good idea of the spiritual historiography of that era and its unscrupulous tendency to falsify is provided by the first global history of the Church after Eusebius, that of Gelasius of Caesarea (died between 394 and 400).

Unknown until recently, it has been largely reconstructed and its importance lies in its sources: descriptions of the historians of the 5th century Church (Rufinus, the oldest in the West, Socrates and Gelasius of Cyzicus). Gelasius was also successor (the second) of Eusebius, a high dignitary and archbishop of Caesarea with jurisdiction throughout Palestine.

Friedrich Winkelmann has presented in a very concise manner the method of this unique and great contemporary history of the Church during the Trinitarian dispute: the stereotyped defamation of the adversary. The archbishop, author of the work, hardly cares about the advances or the differentiations produced. Of the Arians, he only relates reticences and intrigues; they are nothing but inconvertible troublemakers, ‘puppets of the devil who speaks through their mouth’.

Gelasius attributes to Arius a perjury. He also lies in saying that it was not Constantius but his son, the Emperor Constantine, who wanted to rehabilitate Arius. On the other hand, Constantine—another lie—did not banish Athanasius, the opponent of Arius, but sent him back to Alexandria full of honours. Gelasius is also the first to expose the falsehood that Constantine named in his testament Constantine II, the Catholic, heir to his kingdom; but that a local priest gave the testament to Constantius in exchange for the promise to support Arianism. The bishop of Caesarea not only masks all the negative, overlooking most of the events, but he also simply runs his imagination, against the strict truth; in sum, what manifests itself is ‘a great complex of a gross falsification of history’.

But was it Athanasius, doctor of the Church, no less scrupulous, agitator and apologist? Globally, he reprimands the Arians: ‘Whom haven’t they not outraged at their will? Whom have they not mistreated to the point that he died in misery or his relatives were harmed? Where is a place that does not show any memory of their wickedness? What adversary have they not annihilated, wielding pretexts invented in the manner of Jezebel?’

Even the Benedictine Baur speaks of a ‘civil war between Catholics and Arians’. Naturally, the same happens with all the authentic Catholic apologists: the Arians—whose name would soon become one of the worst insults in history of the Church—were prey to the devil and degraded the Christian name before a world, still half pagan, ‘with abominable intrigues, persecutory rage, lies and infamies of all kinds, even by means of mass murders’. Therefore, it was time ‘for this poisonous plant to disappear at last from the world’.

At the centre of this dispute among theologians was the question of whether Christ was true God, if he had the same nature as God himself. The Orthodox, although sometimes disappointed, affirmed this, while the Arians, the majority of the Eastern bishops at the height of their power (after the Council of Milan, 355), denied it.

When it seemed that the latter had almost won, they split into radicals, who considered the ‘Son’ and the ‘Father’ as totally disparate and different (anhomoios), semi-Arians, who in their opinion were considered more or less homousians, and a party that rejected the previous two and defended homoism, pointing out the similarity (which was left intentionally vague) or equality of ‘Father’ and ‘Son’, but not the ‘identity of nature’, the homousios of the Nicaeans.

The Arians and the Orthodox remained attached to monotheism, but for the first, no doubt closer to the primitive Christian faith, the ‘Son’ was totally different from the ‘Father’. He was a creature of God, although complete and very on top of all the others. Arius speaks of him with the utmost respect.

For the Orthodox Jesus was, in the mouth of Athanasius, ‘God made flesh’ (theos sarkophoros), but not a ‘man, who leads to God’ (anthropos theophoros); the ‘Father’ and the ‘Son’ being a single nature, an absolute unit; they were homousios, of the same nature. For only in this way was it possible to sustain the dogma of the double, or even triple, divinity and pray to the ‘Son’, the new one, as well as to the ‘Father’, as the Jews already did. The Arians were accused of ‘polytheism’ and ‘having a big God and a small one’.

For the popular masses of Constantinople, who, as everywhere, flocked to the preferred ‘National Church’, the question of faith was apparently captivating and fascinating, with the Christological dispute reaching a great popularity in streets, squares and theatres, as ironically says a contemporary of the late 4th century:

This city is full of artisans and slaves who are profound theologians, who preach in stores and on the streets. If you want to change a coin with a man, first he will inform you about where the difference between God the Father and God the Son lies, and if you ask for the price of a loaf of bread, instead of answering you they will explain that the Son is below the Father; and if you want to know if you have the bathroom ready, the bathroom attendant will answer you that the Son has been created from nothing.