Saturday, 4 January 2014

The God Squads: Christian Morals and Feminist Ideals

  
 
As is generally known, my own contribution to gender-theory lies in the cultural sphere. In sum, I do not consider feminism to be a ‘revolutionary’ theory, at all – rather, I have shown that most of the core feminist themes were already present in Anglo-Saxon culture long before ‘feminism’ ever existed. For example, feminist views on porn, prostitution and ‘trafficking’ resemble the views of Christian conservatives, not the liberal left. The residual puritan influence on Anglo-Saxon nations specifically explains why this is so. By keeping sex a scarce commodity, this latent Puritanism has given Anglo-American feminism a strong misandrist agenda and facilitated its expansion into every sphere of life.

However, the following article about young black guys in the UK got me thinking:

Islam's ability to empower is a magnet to black British youths

A seminar was hosted last month by Christians Together in England to consider ways to "stem the flight of black British youths to Islam and radicalisation". In an unprecedented move, Muslims were invited to attend – and they did. Together, both faith groups discussed the reasons why a growing number of young black people are choosing Islam in preference to Christianity. According to this morning's BBC Radio 4's Today programme, one in nine black Christian men are converting to Islam.

Following in my father's footsteps, I was raised as a Roman Catholic and attended Sunday mass regularly as a child. I also attended a Roman Catholic secondary school – initially a cultural shock as I found myself the only black student among a predominantly white class. The religious focus of the school was, however, a refreshing contrast to my urban, street background. Teachers and students were more serious about God than at my previous schools. A student was not considered "nerdy" or "odd" due to their religiosity. I was therefore able to excel in religious studies and was successful in my final O-level exam...

During these lessons, the more we learned about religion, the more we questioned and challenged particular concepts, particularly relating to Christianity. Questions about the concept of the trinity – the Godhead being three in one – caused many debates as some of us; myself and others did not find this logical or feasible. Our religious studies teacher became exasperated by persistent questions on this topic, and arranged for the local priest to attend and address the question. His explanations did little to remove our doubts in this very fundamental and important area of faith.

I recall one particular lesson where we were doing Bible studies and I queried why we, as Christians, failed to prostrate in the same manner that Jesus had in the garden of Gethsemane prior to his arrest. I was unable to identify any relationship between Jesus's prayer and ours as his Christian followers. However, the Muslim prayer most closely resembled Jesus's.

After leaving school, I lost contact with most of my school friends. I also abandoned many aspects of Christianity and instead submerged myself into the urban street culture of my local friends and community – we would make our own religion based on the ethics and beliefs that made sense to us.

The passivity that Christianity promotes is perceived as alien and disconnected to black youths growing up in often violent and challenging urban environments in Britain today. "Turning the other cheek" invites potential ridicule and abuse whereas resilience, strength and self-dignity evokes respect and, in some cases, fear from unwanted attention.

I converted to Islam after learning about the religion's monotheistic foundation; there being only one God – Allah who does not share his divinity with anything. This made sense and was easy to comprehend. My conversion was further strengthened by learning that Islam recognised and revered the prophets mentioned in Judaism and Christianity. My new faith was, as its holy book the Qur'an declares, a natural and final progression of these earlier religions. Additionally, with my newfound faith, there existed religious guidelines that provided spiritual and behavioural codes of conduct. Role models such as Malcolm X only helped to reinforce the perception that Islam enabled the empowerment of one's masculinity coupled with righteous and virtuous conduct as a strength, not a weakness.

My personal experiences are supported by academic research on the same topic: Richard Reddie, who is himself a Christian, conducted research on black British converts to Islam. My own studies revealed that the majority of young people I interviewed converted from Christianity to Islam for similar reasons to me. Islam's way of life and sense of brotherhood were attractive to 50% of interviewees, whereas another 30% and 10% respectively converted because of the religion's monotheistic foundations and the fact that, holistically, the religion "made sense" and there were "no contradictions".

My research examined whether such converts were more susceptible to violent radicalisation or more effective at countering it. The overwhelming conclusion points to the latter – provided there are avenues to channel these individuals' newly discovered sense of empowerment and identity towards constructive participation in society, as opposed to a destructive insularity which can be exploited by extremists.

Many Muslim converts – not just black British ones – will confirm the sense of empowerment Islam provides, both spiritually and mentally. It also provides a context within which such individuals are able to rise above the social, cultural and often economic challenges that tend to thwart their progress in today's society. Turning the other cheek therefore is never an option.
Abdul Haqq Baker: The UK Guardian, August 2013

In the light of these arguments, a question occurred to me: could the ultimate origins of misandrist feminism be Christianity itself? After all, the puritan strain of Christianity is still a form of Christianity. Moreover, feminism flourishes above all in the Christian West, not in Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist lands.

Jesus has always been a big 'hit' with women

Examination of Christianity’s turbulent history supports this view. Its cringing emotionalism has always appealed to the passive female mind.  Many of Jesus’ followers were, supposedly, women. Even today, women outnumber men in Christian congregations. The earliest Christian martyrs were whimpering, asexual masochists, not bold warriors. Indeed, the Roman Catholic Church still seems fixated on murdering male sexuality. Monks and priests are expected to repress all sexual self-expression, a course not only misandrist but deeply damaging to the individuals concerned.

Even more telling, scholars have raised valid questions about the sexual orientation of Jesus, St Paul and other important Christians. An impartial observer would have to say that their frantic asexuality quite possibly concealed carnal drives of the most disordered kind. Indeed, a huge proportion of modern Christian clergy are homosexuals or paedophiles, especially those within the Catholic Church and the Evangelical movement.

Christ is often represented in art as feminine or asexual

As the article opines, Christianity has little to offer men beyond submission, passivity and sexual repression.  It is also noteworthy that the United States is both the most feminist and the most overtly Christian nation in the western world. The limp resistance offered by Western men to feminism also owes much to Christianity.  While Muslim women who defy male authority are scarred with acid, lashed or beheaded, Anglo-American men ‘turn the other cheek’ even while their rights, assets and lives are stripped from them.

He sure did...

My posts are speculative thought-pieces about feminism in the Anglosphere, nothing more. As an atheist, I do not hold Hindu or Muslim beliefs any ‘higher’ than Christian ones.  However, it seems self-evident that Western Christianity shows a deep historical tendency to pedestalise women and exalt passive, distinctively ‘feminine' values. In particular, it holds misandrist (and entirely fanciful) notions about the dynamic, life-enhancing force that is male sexuality

Jesus: An Asexual Icon

Certainly, no healthy male could long endure the asexual/celibate ‘ideal’ extolled by Christianity. Indeed, the Roman Catholic Church has much in common with feminism in its hatred of male sexuality and preoccupation with asexual gender-relations. It could even be said that Anglo feminism is a form of secular Neo-Christianity. For all their faults, at least Judaism and Islam deal with men as men, the true sign of a ‘masculine’  faith.  As always in the Anglosphere, the gulf between feminist ‘revolution’ and ‘traditional’ western values is disquietingly small.

Radfems or early Christians?

64 comments:

  1. Rookh wrote: "While Muslim women who defy male authority are scarred with acid, lashed or beheaded, Anglo-American men ‘turn the other cheek’ even while their rights, assets and lives are stripped from them."

    How true this is! Anglo-American men are supposed to be passive and asexual and of course allow their wives to financially rape them in divorce court!

    This does not happen in Muslim countries, in those countries women would be punished for cheating on their husbands and they would not receive financial rewards for divorcing their husbands.

    It does seem as if their are a lot of "manginas" in Christian nations, who put women on a pedestal. Here in America, the Christian church tells women they can be "born again virgins" and no matter how immoral their past was, some man will be ready to marry them and will forgive them of all their transgressions!

    Of course, the same church will tell men, that they need to live perfect lives in order to get to heaven. Also the Christian church in America puts all the blame on men for things like marital problems and morality.

    There is a double standard for men in the Christian church (both Catholic and Protestant churches) here in the USA. Women are seen as angels who can't do anything wrong, while men are guilty of being evil, immoral and sexually aggressive.

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  2. *Here in America, the Christian church tells women they can be "born again virgins"*

    'Born Again' virgins? How does that work?

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    1. Hi Rookh, here is a good definition of the term "born again virgin." Only in America would a ridiculous term like this exist.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born-again_virgin

      You can thank the Christian church for this term, they are constantly bending over backwards to please women here in America. According to them, women can do no wrong, only men are capable of being evil.

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    2. Women are the real children of hell, if such a place exists. I'm not saying men are perfect, because nobody can be perfect, but women are far more lacking in terms of morality in logic than men.

      Bible itself says that women defile the men. Truer words have never been spoken.

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    3. *AND logic*

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  3. Rookh:
    I would suggest that many of the problems you mentioned with Christianity and Feminism arose with the Reformation and, more recently with Vatican 2. From the time Christianity came into power in Rome throughout the Middle Ages, it was a masculine-dominated institution that fairly well rivaled modern Islam or Buddhism and had a strict gender polarity built into its system.

    Ironically, that polarity was the Code of Chivalry, but Chivalry meant something different then than it does now. Originally it had to do with upholding warrior codes and it imposed reciprocal obligations on women---true women were pedestalized, but they had to earn that position back then (today they obviously don't, hence Chivalry 'died.')

    True, it might be argued that mediaeval Christianity was a pretty stiff mixture of Christainity and residual European Paganism, but it seemed to have upheld a gender polarity and a masculine ideal nonetheless. With the Reformation, and the female deities/saints and the concept of the 'Mother Church' destroyed, Christian men began transferring that veneration once reserved for the Virgin Mary and female saints to earthly women. And the result has been exactly as James Bond describes it.

    As a side note, in spite of US military adventurism in the Middle East and media propaganda, Islam has been spreading like wildfire over here too, especially among American blacks, for the same reasons the article describes.

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  4. Your article is a list of strawmen and distortions and it is not a sign of great intelligence to generalize from particulars.
    These Western societies and their Christianity left your Islamic/Hindu/Asiatic societies in the dust culturally and socially centuries ago, and you, the clothes you wear, your haircut and manner of living are all copies and models of this society you disparage.... even your disparagement, the fact that it is allowed is a result of the Christianity you shallowly criticize... but that is your nature of course. When this Christianity wear off, with your help, you will be forcefully escorted to leave our Western society and you may criticize Western society for not living up to it’s ‘Christianity’ then I wager.

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    1. Dr. Rookh makes an excellent point - I think that the churches in our country need to seriously look at themselves, and re-read the bible in its entirety, maybe make a graph of what it talks about the most - and then preach accordingly.

      As Dr. Rookh points out in later comments - the "priests" telling heterosexual men that it is "bad to look at a woman" are now coming out of the closet as being openly gay.

      Does the bible talk about things other than sex?

      How often does it talk about sex.

      Is it awkward how often the people "preaching" it talk about sex - more specifically - how "evil" it all is???

      And most of them are turning up gay???

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  5. *These Western societies and their Christianity left your Islamic/Hindu/Asiatic societies in the dust culturally and socially centuries ago*

    I would say Western societies are technically and scientifically superior. However, I can't see the divorce ridden, gynocentric, crime-infested western societies as being especially superior in other areas of life. Julius Evola argued that science arose in the West because Christianity never developed beyond the simplistic fairy tales aimed at the common people, thereby feeding the alienation of educated western men and focusing their mental energies on the material world. Also, the Western nations share a pre-Christian, classical heritage that has stealthily supplanted Christianity since the Renaissance. This is the real source of the West's scientific standing, not Christianity.

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    1. Rookh:
      "Julius Evola argued that science arose in the West because Christianity never developed beyond the simplistic fairy tales aimed at the common people, thereby feeding the alienation of educated western men &c"

      Prior to Christianity, this was essentially the stated policy of Graeco-Roman culture. They held that their State religions were necessary to keep the populations in order while those who had the knowledge and intelligence to contribute to civilization were free to exercise it. The Mediaeval Church basically followed that same policy, though the power of ecclesiastical despots was much stronger than in the Classical period and those men were circumscribed in their pursuits more. The Renaissance did change much of that, though and brought Christianity into greater harmony with science; but the Reformation caused a backlash among the common people and organized religion and science have been split in the west ever since.

      I'm not sure though that the split is necessarily a good thing; since you have an amoral science competing with an unscientific religious structure you get what Ayn Rand described as: 'A body without a spirit is a corpse; a spirit without a body is a ghost: the split is best described the conflict between a corpse and a ghost.'

      Therein is where I think the danger really lies here. The Classical and Renaissance thinkers may not have accepted organized religion, but philosophical considerations factored into their education strongly. That element is missing today: hence in terms of feminism, you have one camp supporting it with junk science and the other supporting it with Scripture.

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  6. etype, check out these shocking links about the state of the modern Catholic Church:

    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/07/29/catholic-priests-its-empirical-fact-that-many-clergy-are-gay

    http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/uk/catholic%2Bchurch%2Babuse%2Bpaedophile%2Bpriests%2Bremain%2Bin%2Bcatholic%2Bchurch/3767477.html

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  7. To etype, Christianity has been in opposition to science for centuries! Due to the catholic church, Galileo was under house arrest until his death. Western science excelled in spite of Christianity, not because of it.

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  8. Christianity is the gayest fucking religion ever, and no man with a pair of balls can tolerate being a part of it. I gave up Christianity when I was only 18. Best decision I ever made in life.

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    1. Christianity can go to hell.

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  9. Christianity wasn't always like this. The feminization of Christianity comes about around the 14th century. The basic issue, I think is that women began to control more wealth, and since the Church is basically dependent on other people's charity, various clergy began to overlook the more questionable and novel modes of devotion that wealthy women began to adopt.

    Now, it wasn't until the 12th century that celibacy for parish priests was formally adopted as a rule. The Eastern Orthodox still allow married men to be ordained, and I think it should be so generally. The However, I do think celibacy is something a few people can handle and are even gifted to deal with. The hermits and the subsequent monastic tradition were a very male, albeit extreme, response of trying to perfect oneself. Unfortunately, the female imitation of it often tended to have a romantic/erotic tone to it. This romantic interest continues and is exploited to this day, especially since most things labelled Christian today are really just branded entertainment for women anyway.

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    1. I believe on the basis on the reliability of the gospels and the resurrection. Not on the actions of its believers.

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    2. Feminization the church detailed:

      www.podles.org/files/Church-Impotent/ChurchImpotent_Chapter6.pdf

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    3. Very interesting - describes the transition of Christianity from a Lordship to a feminine religion in very plausible, succinct terms.

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  10. Hmm. I remember in college, the "worst" male-haters and hate-inciting women were from the middle east.

    They were not raised with christian values.

    The organizer of the Duke Lacrosse castration marches - Manju Rajendran.

    I have seen many examples of severe hatred from non-christian people coming from non-western countries.

    Perhaps there are other cultures and religions that hate male sexuality?

    One funny thing about the "religious nuts" - the bible talks about marriage very little. It makes no mention about "age of consent" - many head figures in the bible were polygamous...

    All things that are part of most "holy christian crusades".. They are talked about very little in the bible.

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  11. This is a rather complex issue - I do agree with Rookh that an anti-male puritanism has infiltrated many Christian-dominated areas, with the most anti-male (and by definition, anti-male sexuality) countries 'boasting' Protestant Christian heritage.

    However, I feel in this case that culture transcends religion, much in the same manner that religion transcends politics. For example, I do note that countries in Sub-Saharan Africa don't have these quibbles with males and male sexuality, despite being predominantly Christian.

    The more extreme Islamic countries also have their issues with female sexuality (Saudi Arabia). I don't feel that their approach is correct either; a healthy middle ground does certainly exist between these two extremes.

    But then, I consider myself a believer, so maybe I'm a tad biased. :)

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  12. The act of throwing acid into the faces of females is a pathetic display of typical male hysteria, narcissism, psychopathy, entitlement and calculated revenge. This method of subordination is certainly not a feature of Islam since Sharia Law allows a sentence of blinding by the same substance on the perpetrator. Moreover, it is not remotely an expression of masculinity but one of impotent rage and malicious jealousy.

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    1. You ignore the fact the women deserve to be burned with acid.

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  13. It is true that Islamic law does not openly approve such actions. However, even Sharia is still far more pro-male than Christianity. Consider the relative ease with which men can divorce their wives in Islam, for instance, or the lower status of a woman's testimony in an Islamic court (quite the opposition of a western family court). Moreover, Islam does not censure male sexuality or self-identity in the way Roman Catholicism does.

    Residual national traditions also have a strong part to play in these matters. Despite being more overtly 'Christian' than most Protestant countries, Latin nations are far less misandrist in most respects.

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    1. I think there's a very real and shocking truth revealed here and it is that masculinists such as yourself only actually recognise 'justice' for men when institutions and individuals seek to embezzle, mutilate, torture and disfigure any woman who simply goes about the business of living... And all because you're all too old and/ or ugly to get girlfriends.

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    2. Anon1804:
      It's evident you've never read the Koran or anything from the Islamic theologians, but are simply spouting femihag propaganda.

      Islam is probably one of the most sex-positive of all major religions; Mohammed wrote entire chapters on it, whereas the New Testament and Church Fathers say little about it. There are also MANY built-in protections for women in Isalm: for example, needing four witness to prove adultery and the provision that man may take no more wives than he can financially support.

      Most marriages in Islam are also arranged---the fathers have the financial obligations if the marriages fail; hence the incentive is to find a man worthy of being a husband.

      Now of course exactly the opposite happens in the 'civilized' West: divorces are rampant and women choose dysfunctional thugs over worthy men.

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    3. *And all because you're all too old and/ or ugly to get girlfriends* Do you mean we're not retarded, jobless criminals? Besides, most people here are sublimely indifferent to Anglo-American women - they want women that are human-sized...

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    4. Rookh:
      And as proof of that, even Moslem men can get Anglo-American women easily, as long as they're thugs. The deceased Boston Marathon bomber had an American wife, for example. And didn't those idiots who bombed the London Subway a few years ago all have British girlfriends?

      It seems like being a Moslem is only a 'deal-breaker' for women if the Moslem guy is actually a respectable human being...

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    5. Well, we all know a debate on here isn't TRULY complete without our resident Anglo feminist accusing us all of being, shall we say, aesthetically unappealing geriatrics.

      This exhortation made no sense to me until recently until I realised that the Anglosphere is SO youth-oriented that anything above the age of say, 20, is considered old nowadays.

      I guess by that standard almost all of us are like Methuselah - but then what is she? A babushka? LOL

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  14. Clarification on "turning the other cheek"

    http://www.tektonics.org/lp/madmad.html

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  15. Some interesting points there but this level of fine intellectual debate is a million miles away from the crude ideas that have shaped mass experience in western Christian societies. Pea-brained American evangelicals, Anglican paternalists and repressed Roman Catholics are all conspicuously lacking in this nuanced understanding of Christianity and take all of it literally, at face-value.

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    1. Anti-intellectualism is what causes the problems with Christianity today.

      The explanation of the trinity:
      http://www.tektonics.org/jesusclaims/trinitydefense.html

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    2. Again, all a million miles away from historical Christianity and rather more problematic than the earlier link. Saying that God has different aspects in Judaism is still a long way from the Christian Trinity, which has obvious links to western paganism and Greek philosophy. If Jesus was so 'on point' with Judaism, why did the Jews so pointedly reject his Messianic claims? Do you believe in miracles and the Resurrection? In my view, making the religion so dependent on fairy stories has been Christianity's downfall, in the long run. Prior to the emergence of scientific methods and their corollary skepticism, such fairy tales facilitated the spread of the religion. Once they arose, however, outright rejection of Christianity became inevitable, at least amongst intelligent males. Now, Western Christian belief is monopolized by women, irrational zealots and the uneducated, for this very reason.

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    3. You can contact the author that that article for details:
      jphold@att.net

      And yes. Christianity is dependent on the reliability of the gospels and the resurrection.So far people like Lee Strobel and example of an intelligent male have come to faith as a result of such evidence.

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    4. The Amazon reviews of Strobel's books suggest he does not subject Christian apologists to sufficient scrutiny. Also, he was a Christian when he wrote these books, not a skeptic. The following passage exposes his weaknesses:

      http://evaluatingchristianity.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/the-case-against-lee-strobel/

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    5. Aaargh. And here I was hoping that this is one of the more solid people to be trusted. Didn't realize he was a snake. Thanks for exposing him.

      Alright I have only William Lane Craig:
      http://www.reasonablefaith.org/is-there-historical-evidence-for-the-resurrection-of-jesus-the-craig-ehrman

      and John Lennox left:
      http://www.reasonablefaith.org/is-there-historical-evidence-for-the-resurrection-of-jesus-the-craig-ehrman

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    6. Whoops John lennox:

      http://www.amazon.com/Gunning-God-Atheists-Missing-Target/dp/0745953220

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    7. The resurrection disproved is Christianity destroyed. So I might have to reevaluate my life should that happen.

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    8. The following critique of Lennox looks rather damning, attacking his abuse/misrepresentation of statistics:

      In reality, the core of the book is a rehash of established anti-evolution arguments: the various claims of Jonathan Wells, Michael Behe’s irreducible complexity argument, and various claims about information theory. And what’s really strange is that the obscurity of the presentation isn’t limited to the outer cover: Lennox hardly mentions intelligent design except for a vague expression of dislike for the term. Wells’ name never appears except in the endnotes. Michael Behe is identified euphemistically as the author of “a book that has demonstrated a lot of critical discussion.” Other prominent members of the Intelligent Design movement are cited as authorities without any explanation at all of who they are.

      Furthermore, Lennox generally talks as if there were no established criticisms of these authors, as if the many years of debate over Intelligent Design never took place. It’s as if when Lennox was writing his book, he was deathly scared that a reader somewhere might Google “Intelligent Design” and find out that his claims have been thoroughly refuted by credible scientists. In at least one case, it’s clear Lennox knows damn well his claims have been refuted: he claims that the probability of generating a particular 100 amino acid protein at random is 1 in 10 to the 130. In an endnote, he admits that actually the calculation behind this is based on a false premise, and the correct number is actually only slightly less than 1 in 1000, but hey, they’re both small numbers. This is like promising to make someone a trillionaire 10 to the 118 times over, and then giving them only a thousand bucks, because hey, it’s a lot of money either way.

      http://www.uncrediblehallq.net/2009/09/08/john-lennox-closet-creationist-charlatan-a-review-of-gods-undertaker/

      When a reader in mathematics at Oxford is deliberately fudging his figures in this way, it indicates the belief system he is trying to defend is fundamentally unsound. It is possible to be intelligent and believe in utter nonsense if the reasons for the belief are irrational (childhood indoctrination, quiescent personality, latent homosexuality). If think this is true in this case.

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    9. An excellent debate. The Christian apologist avoids several long-standing problems with his position, all of which hang on the lack of non-canonical support for the Resurrection, or indeed the historical life of Jesus. The Jews had nothing to say of him in his lifetime, astonishing if one considers the claims made about Jesus by John and other Christian writers. It is often said by Christian scholars that, judged by the same standards skeptics apply to Christianity, there is no real evidence for the existence of Hannibal or Sikander. However, lots of non-canonical evidence for their existence can be found in military archaeology - fallen weapons at known battle sites and surviving siege-works like those at Tyre spring to mind. This response caught my interest:

      Answer from Dr. Ehrman: 'So you’re asking for non-canonical sources. I think one reason Bill didn’t want to answer is because the non-canonical sources don’t bear out his position. The non- canonical pagan sources in fact never refer to the resurrection of Jesus until centuries later. Jesus actually never appears any non-canonical pagan source until 80 years after his death. So clearly he didn’t make a big impact on the pagan world. The Jewish historian Josephus mentions Jesus but didn’t believe in his resurrection. There are non-canonical Christian sources that talk about the resurrection, but unfortunately virtually all of them that narrate the event, although they are non-canonical Gospels, narrate the event in a way that disagrees with Bill’s reconstruction. They don’t believe that Jesus was physically, bodily raised from the dead. For evidence of that simply read the account of the Second Treatise of the Great Seth or read the account the Coptic Apocalypse of Peter; just go down the line.'

      This statement from the apologist highlights another perennial problem, the absence of canonical first person corroboration for any of these events:

      'So apart from a prejudice against miracles, there’s no good reason for denying the historical core to those narratives, especially when you remember that we’re not talking about sources that are 30, 40, 60 years later. We’re talking about traditions on which those are based that go back to within five or seven years after the crucifixion.'

      Traditions? Verbally transmitted traditions dating from 2000 years ago cannot be presented as facts, without some kind of transcription to temporally locate them (or demonstrate their existence).

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    10. Oral traditions are more reliable than you think:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng0oL5kZ97c

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eWOM7NlO1s

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJpBKmeLW_Y

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    11. Very interesting again. However, you are referring to the verbal recollection techniques used by Jesus, lending credence to the concept of a historical Jesus. The verbal traditions about Jesus that led to the four Gospels invite no scholarly consensus, however. And they are crucial to events like the Resurrection (no one seriously denies a historical Jesus exists). What do you think of the 'hard readings' contained in Mark? And also the lack of a true Resurrection story in Mark? Since Mark was (probably) recording the recollections of Cephas, does this not somewhat undercut the Resurrection (interesting that the oldest Gospel and the only one based on eye-witness testimony does not include it, or a cogent account of it).

      Delete
  16. From the evaluating christianity site:

    The Vardaman example shows exactly the kind of approach Strobel takes to these “interviews.” They are not the “critical” “hard-hitting” questions of a “cynical” journalist — they are the exact opposite; they’re uncritical, unquestioning, sycophantic suck-ups to people who share only the very narrow ideological point Strobel wants to advance in the first place.

    Now, I guess people enjoy Strobel’s one-sided “journalism” — where he asks the easiest, most leading questions of cherry-picked experts who support (but do not oppose) his narrow view of the supposed “evidence.” Strobel is certainly a very wealthy man; he’s sold millions of books and has his own TV show. But I find him to be thoroughly disingenuous.

    Are there other examples? Absolutely. The Case For A Creator is one big series of lies, from the very first pages where Strobel uncritically repeats Jonathan Wells’ utterly false claims that biology textbooks today teach that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny (see pp. 20-21) to the chapter on Behe that asks no critical questions (despite the fact that Behe, under actual cross-examination in Kitzmiller v. Dover, was completely shredded), it’s all vintage Strobel. The chapter on Jonathan Wells, for example, has Strobel asking a “question” that paraphrases a Discovery Institute press release almost word-for-word!

    Again, all I can say is that if you’re using Strobel as an outreach tool, you are going to get burned. Despite his protestations to the contrary, Strobel is simply not a reporter doing “interviews.” He’s a propagandist feeding leading questions to sympathetic supporters who are going to give Strobel the predetermined, agreed-upon-in-advance answers that he’s seeking. Maybe that’s useful if you want to “fire up the faithful,” but it isn’t going to convince a skeptic.

    And that’s the Case Against Lee Strobel.

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  17. Rookh, mate, you're talking through your backside.

    You're as pig-ignorant about Christianity as most atheists (dumbly equating church idiocy with what the Bible teaches), so sit down and I'll put you in the picture.


    "Many of Jesus’ followers were, supposedly, women."


    Gasp! What a scandal!

    So flipping what? To whom did Jesus entrust his church? Did He choose twelve women as his disciples? Er no. Well maybe a nice gender-equality-box-ticking six women and six men? No. He chose twelve men. Not even one measly woman. Those who were married even left their wives to follow him and these men lived as brothers together. Women followed them, but so what? Women follow strong leaders.


    "Even today, women outnumber men in Christian congregations."


    Precisely because THE CHURCHES ARE NOT DOING WHAT JESUS TAUGHT. They pedestalise women, whitewash women's sins (just like the rest of society does) and empty the pews of men. But you (deliberately) equate the unbiblical and unchristian practices of churches with Christianity itself. And before you accuse me of the "no true Scotsman" fallacy, just try reading the Bible through first, and tell me whether what you read matches what you see in churches.


    "The earliest Christian martyrs were whimpering, asexual masochists, not bold warriors."


    You don't even believe lies like that yourself -- you're just enjoying slinging mud at better men than you. ...And if you were faced with what they faced, you'd doubtless cack yourself and betray your friends to Rome.

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  18. "Indeed, the Roman Catholic Church still seems fixated on murdering male sexuality."


    The Church of Rome isn't Christian, cretin. It's the Roman state religion continuing under new management, as testified by the countless Christians it has murdered. Surely I don't have to give an atheist a history lesson about Constantine? Vatican doctrine is a mixture of Christian and antichristian -- and Rome's forbidding priests to marry is what the Apostle Paul terms "a doctrine of devils".


    "Monks and priests are expected to repress all sexual self-expression, a course not only misandrist but deeply damaging to the individuals concerned."


    Duh. Again, this isn't anything to do with what's actually written in the Bible -- it's paganism. The idea that Christ came to make us all eunuchs is nonsense. He didn't bar people from marrying, but laid down solid rules for those who chose to marry. He was chiefly concerned with the epidemic of easy divorce in his day -- he taught that the only grounds for a man to divorce his wife were if she turned out not to be a virgin on their wedding night, or if she cheated with another man. And a divorced woman was -- as far as Christ was concerned -- toxic waste (she should either ask her husband to take her back, or stay single). He also commanded women not to frivorce their husbands. You think the modern feminised church obeys any of this? So just how 'Christian' is the church?


    "Even more telling, scholars have raised valid questions about the sexual orientation of Jesus, St Paul and other important Christians. An impartial observer would have to say that their frantic asexuality quite possibly concealed carnal drives of the most disordered kind."


    You wish. Had to laugh at "frantic asexuality". You really haven't read the Bible, have you, mate?


    "Indeed, a huge proportion of modern Christian clergy are homosexuals or paedophiles, especially those within the Catholic Church and the Evangelical movement."


    A huge proportion? I'm no defender of the Church of Rome -- in fact I hate it -- but even I can't make that one stick. Statistics? One would expect a "huge proportion" to be what? Seventy percent? Eighty? That doesn't fly -- even for Romanists -- but then you claim a "huge proportion" of Evangelical pastors are nonces. Based on what?

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  19. "As the article opines, Christianity has little to offer men beyond submission, passivity and sexual repression."


    The church, maybe -- but there's no way Christianity is sexually repressive; the Bible's teaching on sex takes account of male sexuality and is far kinder to men than our 'liberated' sexual free-for-all, which only works for sluts and priapic bad-boys.



    "It is also noteworthy that the United States is both the most feminist and the most overtly Christian nation in the western world. The limp resistance offered by Western men to feminism also owes much to Christianity."


    Wrong. ...Owes much to 'Victorian'/chivalric attitudes which the churches adopted, perhaps -- but not to what is actually in the Bible.


    "While Muslim women who defy male authority are scarred with acid, lashed or beheaded, Anglo-American men ‘turn the other cheek’ even while their rights, assets and lives are stripped from them."


    What's that got to do with anything? The Biblical punishment for a woman's infidelity was death -- even if the woman "played the whore" while betrothed or before marriage, God (i.e. Jesus in the Old Testament) decreed that she deserved a swift, public and very violent death. You won't hear that in a church. The White Knights'd pull you out of the pulpit before you could open your mouth (if the women didn't get you first). The feminists will shriek about what the Bible says sluts deserve, though. Ever stopped to think why feminists HATE the Bible and either try to subvert its teachings (female 'theologians' anyone?) or decry it as irredeemably misogynist; a tool for the oppression of women (blah, blah, blah)?


    "My posts are speculative thought-pieces about feminism in the Anglosphere, nothing more."


    ...And far heavier on the speculation than on the thought. Go read the Bible and come back and tell me with a straight face that it's feminist. It's the diametric opposite of feminist.

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  20. "As an atheist, I do not hold Hindu or Muslim beliefs any ‘higher’ than Christian ones. However, it seems self-evident that Western Christianity shows a deep historical tendency to pedestalise women and exalt passive, distinctively ‘feminine' values."


    Really? Why are so many of the historical pillars of the Western church routinely referred to as 'misogynists' by female academics (and whipped male ones)? ...But even if one allows what you've said, you've still shifted your argument -- you want to attack Christianity (i.e. the teachings of Christ), and so you equate Christianity with the unbiblical practices of the Western Church. Go and read the Bible and you'll see it certainly does not pedestalise women. As for 'passive' values, it's anything but -- pacific, certainly, but hardly 'passive'. You seem to think it something akin to Buddhism. Again, try reading the Bible. Ask God for wisdom first, though -- a heathen like you won't understand it otherwise.


    "In particular, it holds misandrist (and entirely fanciful) notions about the dynamic, life-enhancing force that is male sexuality."


    But the Bible is anything but misandristic -- and its teachings on male sexuality are only to prevent men screwing other men's wives and screwing up other men's lives. God doesn't want men being damaged by other men's selfishness.


    "Certainly, no healthy male could long endure the asexual/celibate ‘ideal’ extolled by Christianity."


    But that's not Christianity, Bullwinkle. It's crappy church dogma again.


    "Indeed, the Roman Catholic Church has much in common with feminism in its hatred of male sexuality and preoccupation with asexual gender-relations."


    At last we agree! ...And you forgot the pedestalising of the Queen of Heaven, the Virgin Mary (the goddess worshipped by the Church of Rome is nothing like the humble and rather minor figure of Mary in the Bible.)


    "It could even be said that Anglo feminism is a form of secular Neo-Christianity."


    Yes, one could say that. ...If one wanted to showcase one's ignorance of the faith.


    "For all their faults, at least Judaism and Islam deal with men as men, the true sign of a ‘masculine’ faith."


    But Jesus was a Jew, for Pete's sake! And the foundation of Christianity is the Old Testament Law -- Christianity is no less male-friendly than that.


    "As always in the Anglosphere, the gulf between feminist ‘revolution’ and ‘traditional’ western values is disquietingly small."


    But "'traditional' western values" are not the same thing as Christianity -- they are a travesty of Biblical teaching.

    The Bible is the message from a God who always self-identifies as male (Father, Son, Holy Spirit -- 'he', 'he', 'he'), transmitted through all-male writers, and addressed to a largely male audience. When God incarnated, it was as a man: he then took twelve males as disciples, and entrusted the transmission of his Gospel to another male (Paul), who far from being a supplicating gynolater instead forbade women to teach men or even to have authority over them, and who said that women should be silent in church, should learn from their husbands, and should obey their husbands and submit to them. The fact that the churches choose to ignore this says nothing about Christianity itself, and everything about how rubbish the churches are.

    I know you'll shut your ears to all of this, but there it is: hopefully this wasn't too 'passive' for you...

    Turn or burn, scoffer, before it's too late. (I urge the former, but you'll probably cut off your nose to spite your face and choose the latter.)

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    1. Obscurum, how about you go fuck yourself? Or rather go and fuck your pathetic, wretched, scum sucking, effemiante savior figure on a stick, you worthless cunt.

      You're the sort of a guy i'd love beat to death.

      Oh, and your God is dead and your faith is a lie. There's no afterlfie, and you're just a rotting piece of shit.

      Jesus was a queer cocksucker.

      Delete
  21. *The fact that the churches choose to ignore this says nothing about Christianity itself, and everything about how rubbish the churches are.*

    You make some valid and interesting points but they echo the views of left wing intellectuals about Marxism. I can't count how many times I have heard Marxists say, "What happened in Russia or China wasn't real communism! It was state capitalism / collectivist nationalism / Asiatic fascism / whatever." Now, that may be true but in a practical sense, the historical entity known as Communism is widely seen as one of several tyrannical regimes that failed in Russia and China during the twentieth century. Moreover, it was these regimes which had a massive impact on the lives of millions of people, not the 'ideal' or theoretical version of Communism found in Marx's writings.

    And so it is with Christianity. What you say about 'real' Christianity has some elements of truth to it. However, the practical experience of Christianity for the vast majority is of Cathodox Churches and their direct offshoots, such as Anglicanism. Now, as you admit yourself, these 'churches' are loaded with ideas from pagan Greek philosophy, Indian asceticism, European paganism and God-knows where else. Further, you admit that a post-Marian, proto-feminist cult in these churches is deeply inimical to men and masculinity. As a pragmatist, the 'true' nature of the religion is secondary to me. The Christianity that moves masses, speaks to politicians, gives succour to homosexual paedophiles, exalts women and vilifies male sexuality - that of the established churches - is the one that truly matters. Because that version of Christianity is the force that opposes me. And more, because that version is the one that the vast majority identify as being 'Christianity'. This last point is of vast importance to the activist. Why bother attacking marginalized people like you when churches wielding vast power, wealth and influence are identified by the vast majority of people as 'Christians'? Hardly seems a sensible use of resources.

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  22. But quite aside from that, the blunt fact remains that Christianity has always appealed to women far more than it has to men. Of course, you would say that is the 'church' version of Christianity, which has a tangential relationship to the scriptures. However, the following quotes from Paul and Jesus could hardly be interpreted as 'manly', with their hand-wringing pacifism and drooling masochism. And it is this lack of manly self-respect that leads so many young black men away from Christianity towards Islam. Your world-view is permitted by the fact you are coddled: white, middle-class, educated and entitled (like nearly all British/commonwealth Christians, I hasten to add). In an urban slum as a member of an ethnic underclass, your Biblical world-view wouldn't last a day. And that was the thrust of the original article: Even your 'true' Christianity is simply not viable for males in adverse socio-economic and ethno-cultural circumstances, which is why they are rejecting it in droves.

    Acting by the following quotes won't win much respect in the ghetto...

    Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"[d]says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

    Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

    Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yes, all that 'fear and trembling' and turning the other cheek - what recipes for success in a world of casual violence, racism and trans-generational poverty. Er, right...

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    1. I think there is also a misconception of turning the other cheek:

      http://www.tektonics.org/lp/madmad.php

      Turning the other cheek does not mean what we think it means.

      Delete
  24. Not Thomas Fleming6 February 2014 09:50

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/18/jesus-radicals-sexy-calendars_n_4468845.html

    Speaks for itself.

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    1. Wow - I thought feminists and right-wing Christians were enemies to the end! Seems like our Bable thumping friend was sadly misguided...

      Delete
    2. I noticed this on that Huffington Post page:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/06/pope-francis-un-report_n_4739360.html?ref=topbar

      Delete
  25. Christians turning the other cheek, while insisting on the Jewish origins of Jesus and the superiority of monotheism over polytheism has enabled both Judaism and Islam in their quest for power.

    Christianity invented modern science, resulting in both Pakistani and Israeli nukes.

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    1. Bharatiya Nari30 May 2014 21:41

      Christianity did not "invent" squat.

      Delete
  26. Not Thomas Fleming14 February 2014 07:48

    https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/what-goes-around-comes-around/

    "In Belgium and the Netherlands, a sixteen year old can consent to sex, which means that predatory teachers, ministers, and social workers may now seduce adolescents without automatically facing rape charges. Naturally, there is strong agitation, especially in Belgium, for lowering that age to 14. Indeed, between 1990 and 2002 the age of consent in the Netherlands was 12. Not coincidentally, the low countries—Belgium in particular—are infamous for child prostitution and child pornography. "

    Tommy seems to be quite well informed on this particular topic. Maybe a little too well informed...

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  27. As it happens in England the age of consent is also sixteen which means that predatory pupils can now seduce teachers, ministers, etc.

    The intriguing question is whether the West (especially the Anglo-sphere) achieved what they have because of or in spite of Christianism (as it has been practiced Anglicanism may not be Roman but it is Catholic) and more intriguingly whether it is soon to implode (or not).

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  28. Sebastian Hawks18 May 2014 10:25

    As I read this I am reminded of how 19th century Japan was eager to learn everything it could about Western science and technology, but wanted nothing to do with it's culture. Other nations have similar philosophies as well towards the west and the Anglobitch thesis makes it ever clear as to just exactly what they instantly recognized as diseased in Western Culture and wanted no part of....it's femininity. Clearly anyone not raised in a Christian environment will immediately see it as a feminine religion of weakness, and realize that western culture will sexually disenfranchise males. Sex is readily available for any man with a few bucks in the orient and the "40 Year Old Virgin" phenomenon is non-existent. I saw a TV show here in the states where the American writers were completely deluded as to how different the rest of the world is from the Anglosphere and had a character who recently arrived from the orient be a sexually frustrated "40 Year Old Virgin" archetype. Obviously the writers are completely unaware that this guy would have probably visited his first prostitute as a teenager with his buddies. I'm willing to bet that that movie itself (40 Year Old Virgin) only makes sense to an Anglo-American audience. Men raised in a more patriarchal culture probably can't fathom such a pathetic person could even exist.

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    1. Bharatiya Nari30 May 2014 21:33

      Sebastian, I don't know where you are referring to by the outmoded term "the orient" but I am from South Asia and we have plenty of 30 and 40 year old virgins.

      The reason is because South Asians are by nature sexually conservative and we have a multi-thousands of years tradition of brahmachari and sannaysa (you can google those terms).

      Family oriented cultures teach sex within marriage only. Yes, there are also prostitutes in South Asia but your average Indian student isn't patronizing them. Brahmacharya is still a respected concept amongst Hindus, Jains and Sikhs.

      Delete
    2. Bharatiya Nari30 May 2014 21:50

      You are also wrong about this, "As I read this I am reminded of how 19th century Japan was eager to learn everything it could about Western science and technology, but wanted nothing to do with it's culture. Other nations have similar philosophies as well towards the west and the Anglobitch thesis makes it ever clear as to just exactly what they instantly recognized as diseased in Western Culture and wanted no part of....it's femininity. Clearly anyone not raised in a Christian environment will immediately see it as a feminine religion of weakness, and realize that western culture will sexually disenfranchise males."

      - The reason why most Asians (East and South) have long held policy to utilize Western infrastructure but not adopt its cultures is because we have our own cultures that we are proud of and we have not given up our goddesses for your silly "father god only" nonsense.

      The traditional religious traditions of Japan is Shinto, which has a plethora of goddesses.

      Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, ALL the indigenous traditions of Asia, as well as Africa and indeed the entire world, have the concept of Divine Feminine right alongside Divine Masculine.

      Only Abrahamic Monotheism starting with Judaism came up with the ridiculous concept that Divinity was exclusively male.

      This has disenfranchised women in those traditions and later in the West (as indigenous western traditions were ruthlessly replaced by the Christian father-god).

      Now that Atheism is gaining traction in the West its no coincidence that western men are disenfranchised.

      You went from rejecting the Goddess to now rejecting the God.

      The traditional peoples of the world who refused to give way to Abrahamic Monotheism and held onto our perfectly balanced concept of Divinity: God and Goddess together, do not want to be overcome with the neurosis and identity issues we see you father-god-turned-atheists undergoing.

      Shakti and Shiva
      Yin and Yang
      Feminine and Masculine

      That is THE WAY.

      Delete
  29. Bharatiya Nari30 May 2014 21:28

    "a growing number of young black people are choosing Islam in preference to Christianity. "

    American Blacks made the same mistake back in the 60s with the Nation of Islam which itself gave birth to a number of quasi Islamic cults, as well as "authentic" Sunni Islam.

    Ever notice how a lot of American rappers have Arabic names?

    Anyway, now they are waking up, rejecting Islam (and its offshoots) and getting into ATR (Traditional African Religions) or Buddhism or Hinduism.

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  30. Christianity = dehumanization. Both misandry and misogyny. It is pretty much anti-everything. Other religions allow happiness, individualism, a reasonable amount of selfishness, and one's own survival.

    ReplyDelete