The Moral Record of Christians and Freethinkers Compared


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Home Page - Index
Authorities Assessed
Old Testament
New Testament
Apostolic Traditions
Church Fathers
General Church Councils
Early Christian History
What Jesus Believed
Who Founded Christianity?
Creation of Doctrine
Origin of Ideas & Practices
The Concept of Orthodoxy
Origin of the Priesthood
Maintaining Deceptions
Suppress Facts
Selecting Sources
Fabricating Records
Retrospective Prophesy
Ambiguous Authorities
Ignore Injunctions
Invent, Amend and Discard
Manipulate Language
Case Studies
Re-branding a Sky-God
Making One God out of Many
How Mary keeps her Virginity
Fabricating the Nativity Story
Managing Inconvenient Texts
Christianity & Science
Traditional Battlegrounds
Modern Battlegrounds
Rational Explanations
Religion in General
Christianity in Particular
Divine Human Beings
Ease of Creating Religions
Arguments for and Against
Popular Arguments
Philosophical Arguments
Moral Arguments
Supernatural Arguments
  • Miracles
  • Revelation
  • Faith
  • Practical Arguments
    Record of Christianity
    Social Issues
  • Slavery
  • Racism
  • Capital Punishment
  • Penal Reform
  • Physical Abuse
  • Treatment of Women
  • Contraception
  • Abortion
  • Divorce
  • Family Values
  • Children
  • Romanies
  • The Physically Ill
  • The Mentally Ill
  • The Poor
  • Animals
  • Ecology
  • Persecution
  • Persecutions of Christians
  • Persecutions by Christians
  • Church & State
  • Symbiosis
  • Meddling in Governance
  • Interference in Politics
  • Abuse of Power
  • Church Law and Justice
  • Exemption from the Law
  • Unofficial Exemption
  • Financial Privileges
  • Control Over Education
  • Human Rights
  • Freedom of Belief
  • Religious Toleration
  • Freedom of Expression
  • Freedom of Enjoyment
  • Attitudes to Sex
  • Celibacy
  • Sex Within Marriage
  • Sex Outside Marriage
  • Incest
  • Rape
  • Homosexuality
  • Transvestism
  • Prostitution
  • Pederasty
  • Bestiality
  • Sadomasochism
  • Necrophilia
  • Consequences
  • Science & Medicine

  • Ancient Times
  • Dark and Middle Ages
  • Sixteenth Century
  • Seventeenth Century
  • Eighteenth Century
  • Nineteenth Century
  • 20th and 21st Centuries
  • Medical Records Compared
  • Violence & Warfare
  • Crusades
  • God's Wars
  • Churches' Wars
  • Christian Atrocities
  • Cultural Vandalism
  • The Classical World
  • Europe
  • The Wider Modern World
  • Possible Explanations
    Summing up
    Marketing Religion
    Marketing Christianity
    Continuing Damage
    Religious Discrimination
    Christian Discrimination
    Moral Dangers
    Abuse of Power
    A Final Summing Up
    Search site
    Bad News Blog
    Religious Quotations
    Christianity & Human Rights
    Christian Prooftexts
    Social Media


    Christianity itself declares that the worth of the tree is to be determined by the quality of its fruit.
    Percy Bysshe Shelley, A Refutation of Deism, 1814


    The record of the Church is often cited to support arguments that underpin Christianity. For example Christians are frequently assured that their morality is superior to the morality of others and are taught a version of history that appears to verify this view. According to this version of history, Christians suffered great persecution with almost supernatural forbearance, while they themselves were always merciful to others. Furthermore, for centuries the Church kept learning alive and provided education while holding at bay the twin threats of the heathen barbarians and the Muslims. Christianity was a great respecter of other civilisations, cultures and beliefs. Christianity led mankind out of darkness and into light, taking the prime role in a long series of social reforms. It protected the weak. It championed justice. It had a consistently positive influence in areas such as education, legal reform, political reform, human rights and medicine. It was far superior in all respects to the intellectual conceit of selfish godlessness. Such views are still central to many Christian denominations. We are taught them at school. We hear them in churches. We hear them confirmed every Sunday night on the wireless and the television.

    But not everyone shares this view. Some educated people hold views about Christianity that contradict all of the assertions just made. Some hold views not far from those of Nietzsche, who, in The Antichrist, expressed himself as follows:

    I call Christianity the one great curse, the one enormous intrinsic perversion, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are too venomous, too underhand, too underground and too petty — I call it the one immortal blemish of mankind.

    It seems hardly credible that Nietzsche could be talking about the same great faith that we hear so much about throughout our lives. How could he have formed such a negative view of Christianity?

    Mention of historical Christian enormities has been rare until recent years, and every mention by a public figure still raises storms of protest even in the twenty first century. Even relatively anodyne assertions of well established facts raise protests, as when Barack Obama, President of the USA, said at a prayer meeting on 5 February, 2015*.

    From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris, we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith, professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it. We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism -- terrorizing religious minorities like the Yezidis, subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war, and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.

    We see sectarian war in Syria, the murder of Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, religious war in the Central African Republic, a rising tide of anti-Semitism and hate crimes in Europe, so often perpetrated in the name of religion.

    So how do we, as people of faith, reconcile these realities - the profound good, the strength, the tenacity, the compassion and love that can flow from all of our faiths, operating alongside those who seek to hijack religious for their own murderous ends?

    Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.

    The President was massively understating the case both against Islam and Christianity, yet his words still drew a storm of protest.

    In this section we review the Christian record, and compare it to that of freethinkers, and see if we can find a clue as to why Nietzsche formed the view he did, and also what the President of the USA was hinting at.


    Some possible explanations for and defenses of the record of Christianity

    Summing up


    Widespead sexual abuse in the Church has been widely known about for centuries.
    This is a cartoon from the early trentieth century.






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