beneficial consequence of studying ancient, medieval, and Modern Greek history
was my rethinking of Christianity, which ancient Greeks and Romans basically
ignored for nearly 400 years.
Fear of the
accused the Christians of deisidaimonia, superstition, because of their fear of
the gods. Yet, in the fourth century, the Roman Emperor Constantine made
Christianity the state religion.
power, Christianity revealed its true colors. It set aside its public relations
message of “love” and went straight for the jugular. It declared war against
all non-Christian “pagans” and, especially, Greeks. With the support of the
Roman government, it made the worship of the gods a crime punishable by death.
and destroying millennial traditions was the most revolutionary project in
human history. It lasted for several centuries.
First Genocide in Europe
What the Christians
did to the Greeks was the first genocide in European history. Their war against
science included the burning of libraries, stopping of the Olympics, and
wrecking of the material culture of Greece – smashing of hundreds of temples,
government buildings, stadia, theatres and schools — precipitated the dark
ages, turning off the lights of Greek learning and pushing humanity back by
about 2,000 years.
forced on the Greeks soul-crushing, anti-Hellenic religious practices and way
of life. It made Greeks palimpsests: scraping their Hellenic poetry, myths,
philosophy, science and civilization and in their place inserting alien
Judeo-Christian hymns and myths. Greeks found themselves foreigners in their
historians rarely if ever teach this barbaric and epoch-changing episode of
European history. Writers either downplay the Christianization of Hellas or
avoid it all together. In my Medieval Greek history studies at the University
of Illinois, my major professor, Deno Geanakoplos, spoke about a “smooth”
transition from Hellenism to Christianity.
graduate school, I dug into the original historical sources and discovered
Christian terrorism and war, not smooth transition, undid the Greeks. This
discovery weakened and severed my tenuous connections with Christianity. It did
not bring me close to Judaism or Islam because they are made of the same cloth
– monotheistic sister religions all.
of One-God Religions
one-god faiths are still crusading against each other. On September 11, 2001,
Moslem Saudis launched attacks against America. They became suicide bombers and
drove high-jacked airplanes against skyscrapers in New York and the Pentagon.
President George W. Bush responded not by attacking Saudi Arabia, centre of
Islamic fanaticism against Christians and Jews, but by destroying Moslem Iraq
that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks or the possession of “weapons of
mass destruction,” as the State Department and CIA claimed. Bush said America
was fighting “a war on terror.”
continuing crusades of Islamic and Christian armies (largely American) are
proof that monotheism is antithetical to human nature and life on Earth.
Christianity and Islam, daughters of Judaism, are largely political forces of
states acting like empires. The religions themselves and their state overlords
want to conquer the world. Nothing else will satisfy them.
imperial attitude is incompatible with freedom, democracy, and human and
wars go hand-in-hand with careless technologies and pollution. The broadest
impact of this form of human development is the slow but steady warming of the
and global warming are products of practitioners of capitalism — on steroids
and monotheistic metaphysics.
20thcentury, communist states changed heart and attached themselves to the
ideology and application of capitalism.
worshippers of capitalism are well aware of the destruction and suffering they
cause. In fact, some of them among Christians (primarily in the United States),
wilfully are striving to end life on Earth because, they are under the
delusion, such holocaust will trigger the second coming of Christ. These are
fanatics that threaten America and the world.
In the United
States, Americans have “freedom of religion,” which gives tax-free status to
all kinds of groups claiming belief in, usually, monotheistic sects. The
Constitution also prohibits Congress from making laws on religion.
This is as
it should be because state favoring one religion over another may trigger
discrimination, violence, and genocide. However, this free-market capitalism on
religion also converts each religion to profitable business.
church has probably been the largest non-profit business on the planet. It led
crusades against Moslems and Christians, and tortured and killed heretics for
centuries. It made and unmade states and civilizations.
Now, in the
last century or so, the Catholic Church has been made infamous by the sexual
perversions of its priests and bishops. These celibate men think they are
priests, however, are far from being better than other people, much less the
fictional Jesus-like models of piety. They have been molesting children by the
hundreds of thousands for several decades all over the world.
gravity of this chronic ecumenical crime, nearly nothing is being done because
states are afraid to enforce the law within the Catholic Church. They could be
accused of religious bigotry. They also know their active intervention in a
major religion like Catholicism could trigger religious war.
his predecessors in the Vatican, Pope Francis looks the other way. He knows the
history of Catholicism, but prefers silence to responsibility. He pretends he
is angry with molesting priests, bishops and cardinals. But, in reality, he
refuses to face up the ridiculous policy
of the Catholic church: its obsession of enforcing unenforceable celibacy
(“Standards of sexual continence that run contrary to human nature”) among its
priesthood. So, Francis is covering up. In August 2018, Archbishop Carlo Maria
Vigano accused him for tolerating sexual
misconduct among Catholic clerics. He urged Francis to step down.
Carroll, a former Catholic priest, calls Pope Francis a liar, but urges him to
dismantle the priesthood in order to “save” the church. That is unlikely.
Dismantling the priesthood will surely bring the dismantling of the Catholic Church.
Yet why does Carroll wish to save the church? After centuries of crimes, is it
example of reigning superstition comes from the polygamist sect of Mormons in
Utah. The Mormons claim Judaic and Christian origins. They insist they are the
latest version of “saints” in Christianity and Judaism. They were persistent in
their religious claims and the Internal Revenue Service granted them tax
Church was probably embarrassed by the habit of male Mormons having several
wives – a characteristic of uncivilized people. The Mormon Church prohibited
polygamy, but to no avail. Some Mormon men keep reigning over several wives.
A group of
these men, about 7,500 strong, are members of the Kingston clan. They have been
living with several wives each – and specialize in crime. Each would sire
dozens of children and then cheat the federal government, especially IRS and
the US Department of Agriculture, of millions of dollars from food stamps and
welfare payments. Meanwhile, they own several businesses and live in luxury
like medieval landlords. They exercise feudal control over women whom they keep
in the dark. They live in grand houses and drive sports cars.
stories of deception and fraud speak for the long-standing vulnerabilities of
the one-god religions.
hierarchies of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are probably not that much
different than the hierarchies of Catholicism and Polygamist Mormonism. They
have been taking advantage of the millennial fears people have of the divine
and the natural world and the cosmos. In addition, they exploit the privileged
position they enjoy in their societies. They convert their religions into
power, large and luxurious houses for themselves and for worship, and financial
gain. They become the parties that are usually in bed with the governors of
their countries or, like Saudi Arabia and Iran, they are the rulers.
alternative to monotheism is polytheism. The Greek version of polytheism had no
holy books, priesthood, and desires for crusades.
to Greek polytheism because of what the Christians did to my ancestors. Second,
Plato said the Earth was the oldest of the gods. Seeing the Earth as sacred and
alive is essential for the survival of life. Polytheism is also democratic.
addition, the creators of Greek civilization: poets, heroes, politicians,
philosophers, artists, historians, soldiers and scientists (Herakles, Jason,
Homer, Achilles, Odysseus, Hesiod, Thales, Anaximander, Herakleitos,
Pythagoras, Parmenides, Aeschylus, Herodotus, Hippocrates, Pericles,
Democritus, Sophocles, Polykleitos, Phidias, Euripides, Thucydides, Plato,
Aristotle, Euclid, Alexander the Great, Ktesibios, Aristarchos of Samos,
Archimedes, Hipparchos, Galen and Ptolemaios) respected the gods and built
magnificent temples in their honor. In fact, Ptolemaios, second-century
astronomer, geographer, and mathematician of Alexandria, Egypt, said that
though mortal, each time he studied the heavens, he no longer touched the Earth
but he was near Zeus eating nectar.
good enough for me.
Evaggelos Vallianatos worked at the US
Environmental Protection Agency for 25 years. He is the author of 6 books,
including “Poison Spring,” with Mckay Jenkings.
Source: Counter Punch