Harm done by Christianity: Social Issues


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Religion in General
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    Record of Christianity
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  • Church & State
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  • 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
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  • Pederasty
  • Bestiality
  • Sadomasochism
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  • 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
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  • Cultural Vandalism
  • The Classical World
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  • The Wider Modern World
  • Possible Explanations
    Summing up
    Marketing Religion
    Marketing Christianity
    Continuing Damage
    Religious Discrimination
    Christian Discrimination
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    The Church has always represented itself in a positive light, and since it monopolised art and literature most of the historical records this positive view. Whenever, exceptionally, other records survive they rarely confirm such a positive view. For example, in medieval times, troubadours writing in Occitan, the first post-classical literary language in Christendom expressed a very different view. Here is Peire Cardenal, describing the clergy as self-interested, murderous, hypocritical, power-hungry, lying, shysters, in Clergue fan pastor,

    Clergue si fan pastor
    E son aucizedor!
    E par de gran sanctor
    Qui los vei revestir,
    E-m pren a sovenir
    Que n'Ezengris, un dia,
    Volc ad un parc venir:
    Mas pels cans que temia
    Pel de mouton vestic
    Ab que los escarnic,
    Puois manget e traic
    Tot so que li-abelic.
    Clerics pretend to be shepherds,
    But they are the killers;
    The likeness of sanctity is on them
    When you see them in their habit,
    And it puts me in mind
    That Master Ysengrim, one day,
    Wanted to get into a sheepfold,
    and because he feared the dogs
    he put on the skin of a sheep
    with which he tricked them all.
    Then he gobbled and glutted
    As much as he liked.
    Rei e emperador,
    Duc, comte e comtor
    E cavalier ab lor
    Solon lo mon regir!
    Ara vei possezir
    A clers la seinhoria
    Ab tolre e ab trair
    E ab ypocrezia,
    Ab forsa e ab prezic!
    E tenon s'a fastic
    Qui tot non lor o gic
    E sera, quan que tric.
    Kings, emperors,
    Dukes, counts, viscounts,
    And knights, together,
    Used to rule the world.
    Now I see the power
    In the hands of clerics
    With stealing, betrayal,
    Violence, and sermons,
    And they are highly offended
    If you don't hand it all over to them,
    And so it shall be, though it may take a while.
    Aissi can son major
    Son ab mens de valor
    Et ab mais de follor,
    Et ab meins de ver dir
    Et ab mais de mentir,
    Et ab meins de paria
    Et ab mais de faillir,
    Et ab meins de clerzia.
    Dels fals clergues o dic:
    Que anc hom non auzic
    A Dieu tant enemic
    De sai lo tems antic.
    The greater they are
    The less they are worth
    And the greater their folly,
    The less their truthtelling
    And the greater their lying,
    The less their friendship
    And the greater their dereliction,
    And the less they keep faith with their calling.
    Of false clerics I say this:
    I have never heard of any man
    So great an enemy to God
    Since the ancient of days.
    Can son en refreitor
    No m'o tenc ad honor,
    C'a la taula aussor
    Vei los cussons assir
    E premiers s'escaussir.
    Aujas gran vilania:
    Car i auzon venir
    Et hom no los en tria.
    Pero anc non lai vic
    Paubre cusson mendic
    Sezen laz cusson ric:
    D'aitan los vos esdic.
    When I am in a refectory
    It's no great honor to me,
    Because up at the high table
    I see those shysters sitting
    And the first to serve themselves the soup.
    Listen to this great villainy:
    That such truck dare to come there
    And no one picks them out.
    On the other hand, I never saw
    One poor begging shyster there
    Sitting next to any well-established shyster:
    Of that much, anyway, I exonerate them.
    Ja non aion paor
    Alcais ni Almansor
    Que abat ni prior
    Los anon envazir
    Ni lor terras sazir,
    Que afans lor seria!
    Mas sai son en cossir
    Del mon consi lor sia
    E com en Frederic
    Gitesson de l'abric:
    Pero tals l'aramic
    Qui fort no s'en jauzic.
    Let the Arab chiefs
    And sultans never fear
    That abbots or priors
    Might ever attack them
    And take their lands,
    For that would be hard work.
    No, they stay home rapt in thought,
    How the whole world might be theirs
    And how they might have cast
    Sir Frederick from his sanctuary.
    But there was one who attacked him
    And did not rejoice in it much.
    Clergue, qui vos chauzic
    Ses fellon cor enic
    En son comte faillic,
    C'anc peior gent non vic.
    Clerics, whoever depicted you
    Without a cruel and vicious heart
    Erred in his account,
    For a worse breed I never saw.

    Since reading and writing became widespread, such views have been expressed wherever Church censorship has weakened. In particular, the record of the Christian Churches on a wide range of social issues is now widely recognised as being very different from that presented by the Churches themselves. Here are a few striking examples.

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