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"Historic" Christianity and Eurocentric Nationalis

"Historic" Christianity and Eurocentric Nationalism

by Corey Gilkes

"By the time the fool has learnt the rules of the game, the players have all gone home". - African Proverb

We the "people of colour" have an amazing naivete with regard to religion [no matter what faith]; most of us follow one religion or another mainly for the religion itself, what it stands for and for what we feel we may be getting out of it spiritually. It is hardly, if ever, adopted with the purpose of gaining political and economic power [evangelists notwithstanding] and we feel that others view religion the same way. Christianity of course is a prime example; so much time is wasted arguing about which denomination is better or whether Creation or Evolution is true, or whether the Bible is the infallible Word of God. Always the same tiresome arguments going round and round in circles. Little time is spared for carefully contemplating the extent to which religion has been used as a tool for exploitation and the lengths those who seek political and economic power would go and have already gone in the pursuit of such power.

For many of those who have studied slavery and colonialism it is well known that of all the institutions developed or exploited by European powers, religion was the most debilitating. The destruction of indigenous peoples' image of the Almighty did more to make them submissive to the will of the colonial powers than force of arms ever could. In the last two essays I attempted to throw light upon an aspect of Xianity that is almost completely overlooked by most devotees of the religion; the more esoteric meanings behind what is written in the scriptures. But there is still one other aspect of Xianity that needs to be looked at; an aspect which I believe is at the heart of Western European hegemony. That is the actual way in which the Christian religion has been used by the European to seize and maintain control societies and people.

Now religion has always been used to justify the taking of other people's land, this is not something that is exclusive to Europe. But what is it about Christianity, or rather Western Europe's version of Christianity that made this religion have such a profound impact upon the lives of billions of people - even many of those who profess not to believe in it? The fundamentalists would be quick to say that this is testimony to the power of Almighty God and the message of his son Jesus Christ. We can safely dispense with that romanticised myth. This is history and not theology. The difference lies in the European creation of apostolic Christianity and the line of succession that went with it. Unlike the practitioners of the older faiths, which for the most part held that their faiths were to be interpreted allegorically, the European created a faith, the legends of which, he insisted, was historical. He couched his desire to seize and maintain control with a bogus "universal brotherhood of man" message first revealed to the benighted people of the world by God incarnate in the form of Jesus. In other words, though the concept of brotherhood existed in many faiths, what undermined these faiths was the belief that the Xian story actually took place. We shall look at this in detail:

The foundation of European expansionist ideologies is the perception of a divine right, a manifest destiny, a belief that stemmed from God's bestowing upon them authority to control world affairs. This authority can be traced in an unbroken line all the way back to St. Peter belief that the and they to. Religion has also been the foundation of nationalistic ideals. Western Europe, however, took this to a quite different level.

To understand the political implications of an historic Christianity, one must look to the early centuries of Christian Rome and Emperor Constantine. Scholars believe that his reign represented the turning point in Europe's history. One can say then that the starting point of this European manufactured myth begins with this historical figure. According to the general outline of the popular story Constantine became emperor after defeating his main rival Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge. He was said to have been inspired by a vision in the sky - later reinforced by a prophetic dream - of a luminous cross and an inscription which read "In Hoc Signo Vinces" [by this sign, conquer]. He then had emblazoned upon the shields of his soldiers, the Greek letters chi and rho, the first two letters of the word "Christos" and this resulted in his victory in battle and over paganism. Upon his ascension to the throne, he forbade all persecution of Christians, became a Christian and adopted Christianity as the state religion of Rome. Later, by virtue of a document that was "uncovered" in the 8th century, he was believed to have conferred upon the Pope some of his own secular power. The document was called the "Donation of Constantine".

That's pretty much the legend, and of course, the truth tells us a much different tale. Constantine did defeat Maxentius at Milvian Bridge, he did ascend the throne in the year 312 and during his reign Christian persecution was halted - sort of. But he had no mystical vision at all: the chi rho monogram can be traced back to Ancient Egypt via such "pagan" cultures as Pompeii centuries before the Xian Era. Further, Constantine was neither converted to Xianity nor did he adopt Xianity as the state religion of rome during his reign. Sol Invictus, a form of sun veneration, was the predominant religion in Rome and Constantine himself functioned as a Sol Invictus high priest, and he was never "converted" to Xianity until he lay upon his deathbed [and it appears that that happened because he was too feeble to protest].

It was upon the basis of this "Donation" that the Church asserted its prerogative to crown kings and assume temporal authority.

Messages In This Thread

"Historic" Christianity and Eurocentric Nationalis
what's religion?
Re: what's religion?
religion is perceiving
Yeah man, ya got it *NM*
Re: religion is perceiving
life as we know = unity of body + mind + spirit

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