An indictment against Christianity (2 of 2)
(Top Posts - History - 060903)

Causality of the establishment / origins of christianity in the 3rd & 4th centuries (from the 6-part 312 minute DVD "Rome: Power & Glory"):

... Narrator: "From the beginning, Rome had built its empire by conquest and force of arms. In the early days of empire there had been real benefits to being defeated by Rome: citizenship, civil rights, trade, and prosperity. But by the 3rd century A.D., those benefits were evaporating: citizenship was giving way to slavery, peace and prosperity replaced by shameless exploitation. ... Rome was sitting on a powder keg of poverty and resentment."

"By the middle of the 3rd century, there were an estimated 5 million christians in the empire." ... "For centuries, Rome's power and confidence had been unshakable. She had basked in the achievements of her empire, convinced of the glory of her rule. But a cult from Judea confronted Rome's arrogance, challenged her inequality, and exposed her brutality. Rome, once a symbol of order and control, was crumbling into chaos and confusion." ... "In 284 A.D. Diocletian was crowned emperor. He had risen through the ranks of the army to seize power in Rome. As befitted a military man, his vision for the future was brutal and bold.

Diocletian felt the key to unity lay in division. He split the Roman world in two and agreed to share power with 3 other generals. ... In a desperate bid for respect, Diocletian declared himself the son of Jupiter. ... Now, even members of the imperial court were secretly converting to christianity."

Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, Director, British School at Rome: "Diocletian has said that the unity of the empire is not just a military matter but it's a religious matter and if we can stamp out christianity, then we will all be worshipping the same gods, so we'll all be the same empire. And when that gamble fails to come off, you fail to stamp out christianity, the martyrs produce more christians."

Narrator: "On February 24th, 303 A.D., Diocletian initiated the most sweeping persecution the christian church has ever faced. Churches were burned, scriptures destroyed. Christians, sent to work in state mines, were imprisoned and tortured for their beliefs. If they still refused to sacrifice to Rome's gods, they were publicly tortured. Rome, once a proud culture of tolerance, had become a repressive cult of order."

Dr. Christopher Kelly, Ancient Historian, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge: "What we see in Diocletian's persecution of the christians, are the only two Mediterranean-wide organizations, the Roman state and the christian church, battling it out for supremacy."

Narrator: "In 305 A.D., Diocletian retired to his summer palace, confident that Rome had won. He was wrong." 'In the blood of the martyrs, lie the seeds of the church.' - Tertullian

... "On October 26th, 312 A.D., rival Roman armies massed outside the city, waiting to do battle. At the head of one, was a young commander named Constantine. He knew the next day a river of Roman blood would flow. ... Constantine looked up into the sky. He saw a cross of light that seem to burn itself into the heavens and above it, the words 'IN HOC SIGNO VINCES' (by this sign you will conquer). He had crosses painted on the shields of his troops. The next day, at the battle of the Milvian bridge, he smashed the armies of his rival, Maxentius. No sooner was Constantine installed as emperor, than he repealed many of Diocletian's reforms, including his ban on christianity.

But he went even further, declaring himself a christian. Romans were stunned. Most thought christianity was just another weird eastern sect. Suddenly, their new emperor had declared himself a cult member. They thought they had another lunatic on their hands. They didn't. Constantine cleverly saw how christianity could unify an empire coming apart at the seams. Unlike Rome's pagan religion, it preached discipline, obedience, and only one god."

... Dr. Christopher Kelly, Ancient Historian, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge: "The pagans were a little more doubtful about Constantine's piety. One pagan story said that Constantine converted to christianity because, having murdered his son, and had his wife suffocated in a hot steam bath, he was desperately in search of a religion that would give him forgiveness, and christianity was the only religion that would do that, Constantine having been flatly refused forgiveness by a number of pagan priests."

Narrator: "Before he died, he had 13 coffins placed in his sepulchre, 12 for the 12 apostles, 1 for himself, as if Constantine was the 13th apostle of Christ, the one who finally brought his kingdom to earth. It may have seemed like god's kingdom was coming to earth, but not for long.

Christianity's growth from a small persecuted sect to the dominant religion of empire was a violent and bloody one. Even before Constantine died, fine points of christian doctrine about the holy trinity were generating furious debate and before long, bloodshed. In 366, a conference of bishops left 137 corpses on the floor of a Roman basilica."

Professor Keith Hopkins, Ancient Historian, King's College, Cambridge: "The 4th century was marked by bitter divisions of belief between bishops, and they fought with every weapon they could. They used state forces to expel some people from the church. What's remarkable about christianity is the degree to which christian leaders thought that their religion could encompass only a single orthodoxy." 'The very persons who ought to display brotherly love are violently estranged from one another. It's disgraceful, positively sickening.' -Bishop Chrestus

Narrator: "By the end of the century, there were over 60 official decrees outlawing different heretical beliefs. Before long, there were attempts to ban all non-christians from public office. Synagogues were burnt. Pagans observed the growth of christianity with alarm. Their Rome had been ruthless in punishing people's actions, but unconcerned about their beliefs. That sort of tolerance was now a thing of the past." 'Even wild beasts are not as ferocious as these christians in their hatred of one another.' -Amianus

... "With Rome's passing, the west's long love affair with its memory began. Paradoxically, it was the christian church that faithfully kept the language and culture of its former persecutor alive."

Dr. Christopher Kelly, Ancient Historian, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge: "Simply walk into any church. In its architecture and design, you have just walked into a Roman imperial palace. Sit down in that church and perhaps listen to the church service, listen to the liturgy, listen to the hymns. You are listening to Roman imperial court ceremonial. The structure of the buildings of the christian church, its liturgy, its choirs, its priests, its bishops, are taken, are imitative of Roman imperial court ceremonial." ...

Hitler's religious beliefs and fanaticism (quotes from Mein Kampf)

The Christianity of Hitler revealed in his speeches and proclamations

Hitler compared to God/Jesus/Christians

Quotes from Hitler's Henchmen and Nazi Sympathizers

Christianity in Europe during WWII

Photos showing the Christianity of Hitler and his Nazi's

Hitler's Bible--Monumental History of Mankind

Hitler's table talk and other extraneous sources

Nuremberg Trials / Christianity / Holocaust (1 of 4)
Nuremberg Trials / Christianity / Holocaust (2 of 4)

This series of posts covers the causal factors and history leading up to the anti-humanism invoked by the Nazis (and oft-forgotten, many members of the German military) ... posts 1 and 2 include excerpts from the Nuremberg trials.

Nuremberg Trials / Christianity / Holocaust (3 of 4)
Background providing a perspective on some of the events at issue, documenting the transition of Hitler from Catholic to the pseudo-'God' of Germany, by near-unanimous affirmation by the non-Jews of predominantly Christian Germany ... The Night of Broken Glass."

Nuremberg Trials / Christianity / Holocaust (4 of 4)
Hitler Youth ... Pope Pius XII was pope during the holocaust, the pope of controversy as regards WW II ... Vatican expresses sorrow over Holocaust, defends wartime pope ... Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism ... Further information on the leader of the German Reich, and the position held by Nazis and others during the period of time at issue.

A Moral Reckoning, by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen (The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair)

Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen

The Church as Sinner

The Holocaust and the Catholic Church (part one), by James Carroll

The Holocaust and the Catholic Church (part two), by James Carroll

The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930-1965: by Michael Phayer

Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, by John Cornwell

Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy, by Susan Zucotti

Secrecy and forgiveness go to the heart of the Catholic Church's crisis over paedophile priests. Peter Stanford looks behind the velvet curtain.