Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Christian Dark Ages

The year after Alexandria burned, in 392 the Roman Empire began prohibition of all “Pagan” worship. Note that “Pagan” is a Christian word meaning any and all religions other than Christianity. So in 392, all other religions were officially decreed against the law. In 410 Emperor Honorius continued the policy decreeing: “Let all who act contrary to the sacred laws know that their creeping in their heretical superstition to worship at the most remote oracle is punishable by exile and blood, should they again be tempted to assemble at such places for criminal activities.

For decades, Pagan temples within the Empire were burned and destroyed. A 386 written protest to the Roman government of Christian pillaging remains, stating: “If they [the Christians] hear of a place with something worth raping away, they immediately claim that someone is making sacrifices there and committing abominations, and pay the place a visit—you can see them scurrying there, these guardians of good order (for that is what they call themselves), these brigands, if brigands is not too mild a word; for brigands at least try to conceal what they have done: if you call them brigands, they are outraged, but these people, on the contrary, show pride in their exploits ... they believe they deserve rewards!” -Helen Ellerbe, “The Dark Side of Christian History” (28)

Even after the destruction of most temples, Rome’s non-Christians continued to practice their pagan religions and hold strong to their beliefs. In response to this the Emperor outlawed the practice of all religions other than Judaism/Christianity and decreed non-compliance punishable by death.

By 435 a law threatened any heretic in the Roman Empire with death. Judaism remained the only other legally recognized religion. Yet, Jews were isolated as much as possible, with intermarriage between Jew and Christian carrying the same penalty as adultery: the woman would be executed. The Church had triumphed. The belief in but one face of God had led to the legal enforcement of but one religion. Orthodox Christians acted on their belief about God. As they perceived God to control in an authoritarian manner, so they set about finding a way in which they, in God's name, could exercise similar authoritarian control. To that end, they built an organization that appealed to the government of the Roman Empire by promoting uniformity and obedience.” -Helen Ellerbe, “The Dark Side of Christian History” (29)


Constantine and proceeding emperors used Christianity as an ideological and political unifying/centralizing force to assimilate or destroy everyone into their ever-expanding empire. The death penalty was delivered dictatorially and indiscriminately. The Roman Empire was gaining power and influence when in 540AD the worst plague in known history hit killing an incredible 100 million people. Over 10,000 people a day died in Byzantium alone. Compare this to the infamous 14th century “Black Death” which killed (only) 27 million. Needless to say the plague spelled disaster for the Roman Empire, but not for Christian imperialism.

The plague had quite different impact upon Christianity. People flocked to the Church in terror. The Church explained that the plague was an act of God, and disease a punishment for the sin of not obeying Church authority. The Church branded Justinian a heretic. It declared the field of Greek and Roman medicine, useless in fighting the plague, to be heresy. While the plague assured the downfall of the Roman Empire, it strengthened the Christian church. After the plague, the Church dominated the formal discipline of medicine. The most common medical practice between the sixth and sixteenth centuries used for every malady became ‘bleeding.’ Christian monks taught that bleeding a person would prevent toxic imbalances, prevent sexual desire, and restore the humors. By the sixteenth century this practice would kill tens of thousands each year. Yet, when a person died during blood-letting, it was only lamented that treatment had not been started sooner and performed more aggressively.” -Helen Ellerbe, “The Dark Side of Christian History” (42)

Following the wake of the plague and the fall of the Roman Empire was the rise of the Christian Church. Following the rise of the Christian Church was the decline of most every other facet of society.

The Church had devastating impact upon society. As the Church assumed leadership, activity in the fields of medicine, technology, science, education, history, art and commerce all but collapsed. Europe entered the Dark Ages. Although the Church amassed immense wealth during these centuries, most of what defines civilization disappeared … Technology disappeared as the Church became the most cohesive power in Western society. The extensive aqueduct and plumbing systems vanished. Orthodox Christians taught that all aspects of the flesh should be reviled and therefore discouraged washing as much as possible. Toilets and indoor plumbing disappeared. Disease became commonplace as sanitation and hygiene deteriorated. For hundreds of years, towns and villages were decimated by epidemics. Roman central heating systems were also abandoned. As one historian writes: ‘From about A.D. 500 onward, it was thought no hardship to lie on the floor at night, or on a hard bench above low drafts, damp earth and rats. To be indoors was luxury enough. Nor was it distasteful to sleep huddled closely together in company, for warmth was valued above privacy.’ The vast network of roads that had enabled transportation and communication also fell into neglect and would remain so until almost the nineteenth century. The losses in science were monumental. In some cases the Christian church's burning of books and repression of intellectual pursuit set humanity back as much as two millennia in its scientific understanding … History was rewritten to become a verification of Christian beliefs. Orthodox Christians thought history necessary only in order to place the events of the past into Biblical context.” -Helen Ellerbe, “The Dark Side of Christian History” (41-45)


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12 comments:

Sergio Recio Gamo said...

Wonderful article, friend; as usual in you. ;)

"Constantine and proceeding emperors used Christianity as an ideological and political unifying/centralizing force to assimilate or destroy everyone into their ever-expanding empire." I think this is key of all things: Use a Principle/Believing/Truth/Lie/Wathever that is strong enough to build a TYRANNY that unifies all the people in the same way of thinking; if no different thinking, then there is no threat to the Authority -That is what I think.

Obviously, the Principle is corrupted in the hands of this evil people. Even if it is the True Faith of The True God. Tyranny destroys all things good because is EVIL in itself. Again, just my opinion.

Eric Dubay said...

Agreed. Great points.
~Eric

Anonymous said...

This post is very thought provoking indeed. As Christianity was around way before Jesus, back in time of Augustus!!
Wow, you even have your own books and radio show, I will definitely keep track of your Podcasts...
Keep safe there in Thailand.
James, Brisbane, Australia

muzuzuzus said...

It is really unnerving to realize that we are still caught up in it!!
The Judeo-Christian-Islamic myths

and we have their so-called anti---the New Age Lucifer cult, and all this is wanting Armegeddon, and it tooled up with weapons, and unconventional weapons that are said to be 'incredible'

Happy Christmas?

Anonymous said...

Great article Eric, this sure show once again that...

'' All Roads Lead to ROME ''

The Secret Empire of Julius Caesar bloodline is The eye of the pyramid, The Power that Be, The Empire we must fight and succeed to Overthrown..!

Lovegra said...

Wow i like this imagination and picture .........Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

You are again confusing the catholic false religion, with true Christian. You asked some questions about Jesus being the only way, and that is because Jesus is God and Jesus paid for our sins with His death, and nothing else can do that, not works or religions or anything. Also about the person that sins it up until the moment of death and then believes in Jesus and is saved, well, that is how merciful the Lord is. Of course, since a person doesn't know when they will die, that's a risk not worth taking.

Xinyu Hu said...

I don't believe in either god, Jesus, Satan, or Mary or any other god or gods. I am no atheist either, nor an agnostic. I just am. Problem?


I don't believe in sin either.

Eric Dubay said...

I'm with Xinyu on this one. I don't believe in Sin or Jesus, though I do believe in Karma / the Golden Rule, what goes around comes around. If we are "judged" at all, it is certainly based on living a moral life, not something as superficial and willy-nilly as mandatory beLIEf in supernatural deities. Peace

Anonymous said...

That was the whole point, though. No matter how hard you try to live a moral life, that still won't pay for your sins. That is why Jesus went to pay for our sins. That's why only believing in Jesus means not going to judgment. And all who go to judgment to have their moral life judged, will fail the judgment, since living a moral life still won't pay for your sins, any more than doing good deeds would pay for a jail-able offense in man's court.

Eric Dubay said...

That was the whole point, though. No matter how hard you try to live a moral life, that still won't pay for your sins. That's why only believing in Jesus means not going to judgment.

Haha, so you have "original sin" that comes from Adam and Steve the gay gardners, then no matter how morally we live our lives, even if we are perfect selfless saints for 100 years, that is no good. The only thing that is good, even better than living a perfect selfless life, is living however the fuck you want to and before your dying breath make sure to "believe in Jesus" and you'll be fine. Lol, I can't wait until Christians reach the pearly gate and St. Penis laughs at them for thinking all they needed to do to get in was say they believed in the invisible man. He'll educate you that, no, judging your soul against the weight of a feather (as in the Egyptian rendering) is a metaphor for living a moral life, not believing in fairy tales :)

Xinyu Hu said...

So, Anonymous here tells us that we had better "believe" in his fancy Cheeses Crusty or else we are all doomed?

You can believe in all the invisible men, women, animals or cats you want, but don't push it down our throat.

Thank you for your inconsiderate-self-righteous-holier-than-thou- "Jesus-is-savior" fairy-tale, but I am not buying it.

I have never met a "true Christian," so I doubt I'll get to meet your invisible man, whom I doubt exists, if at all - it is only the result of too much delusional thinking.

Prove to all of us that "sin" exists, and don't quote your Bible, a Koran, or any religious text from any religion, cult or other "belief" system (not even a paraphrase). If you can do that, you may get my indifferent respect.