Many fanatics, Christian or Muslim, insist that there was a “Christian Civilization”. Well, no. It’s not because people with vested interest repeat always the same thing, that it is decisively supported by the facts. It is not because some aspects of a civilization are of such and such a nature, that one particular aspect defines the whole thing. The philosophical, legal and behavioral foundations of the West were not “Christian”. Christianism was the fig leaf thrown, by the Roman plutocracy, over the apocalypse it preferred to the taxing continuance of civilization.
Although something called “Christianity” contributed to civilization considerably, the Christianism of bishop (Saint) Jerome, a “Founding Father of the Church“, in 400 CE Milan, was very different from the idiosyncratic Pagano-Christianism of Consul (and king of the Franks) Clovis in 500 CE (who re-invented Christianism thoroughly).
As so-called “Christmas” approaches, it’s good to remember that the Winter Solstice feast was Greco-Roman, and preceded the displacement of “Jesus” birth to the Winter Solstice, by more than a millennium.
[“What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed?” Michelangelo.]
Christianism initially hated the body, in opposition to Greco-Roman civilization: love the body, and soon you will love the mind, and will want one of your own.
So Christianism closed and destroyed the baths (thus promoting devastating, civilization destroying, epidemics among the 99%) and longed for the Apocalypse (generously provided by the telling collaboration of Roman plutocrats and invading barbarians: the analogy with Islamism now is uncomfortable! Our plutocrats have been busy plotting with Islamists ever since before the Great Bitter Lake Conspiracy!)
Although some lunatics tried to force an authentic Christian civilization, it became, literally, a Non Sequitur: it’s now called the “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”. When one wishes for the Apocalypse as Christians and later Muslims, wished, it should be considered synonymous to the decline and fall of civilization, society, population, reading skills, security, economics, and all and any standards of sophistication.
See Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen… (And yes, Somalia, Sudan, and more specifically Yemen, can be compared to say, Ethiopia, which is doing incomparably better.)
What do I mean by the non-existence of “Christian Civilization”? Consider the tyrannical, self-obsessed, much adulated cretin, Louis XIV of France, the self-described, self-adoring “Sun-King” (a bloody dictator much celebrated in France this year, as he croaked 300 years ago, justly covered by gangrene, from his toes, to the top of his head. Louis’ painful and disgusting three weeks of gangrene is the only indication from his reign, which I can discern, that there may be, after all, a God).
Louis XIV tried to make France into a Catholic society, by revoking the Edict of Nantes of his excellent grandfather, Henri IV. That was more than weird: a century earlier, under Catherine of Medici, queen of France, a similar episode had been launched, the Massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy. Not only did that surprise assault in the middle of the night, killed immediately 30,000, and most of France’s intellectual elite (which could only condemn and despise Catholicism), but it launched no less than seven religious wars in 36 years, bleeding France, killing up to more than 20% of the population (so Syria has a way to go! By the way, those who wonder where the French hostility to Abraham’s god comes from, should study this).
I repeat: in less than 40 years, wars among Christians in France, killed more than 4 million people (and terrorized everybody). Nor was it the first time: more tan a million Cathars, and all their works were annihilated by Christians around 1200 CE. And, in the Fifteenth Century, Protestants were hunted like wild beasts by Catholics (to the point Louis XI had to intervene, reminding all that killing people for religious reasons was against the law, and sending the army!)
How civilized is all that Christianism? When Rome was far removed from Christianism, no such massacre ever happened.
So here was that bloody imbecile, Louis the Blood King, trying the same trick all over again, all by himself (and his fanatical wife). It is still a great disease that such a creep is revered abjectly, by the French elite.
Thus Louis The Pervert threw out and abominably abused millions of Protestants. Many Protestants fled (that’s why there is winemaking in South Africa, and why so many Germans have French names). As protestants tended to be smarter, their flight made France much more idiotic, and thus more hospitable to Louis the Pervert and his vicious entourage of ill disguised monsters. Thus obnoxious critters make an environment hospitable to themselves
There is something in common between that so-called “Sun King” and the unfortunate fiction of Camus, Mr. Meursault, who kills an Arab, just because he can, and got too much sun, and could not care less. Louis XIV was the real life Meursault, and Camus channeling unconsciously that abomination of French history. Louis XIV killed the Protestants, just because he could, could not care less, and had too much sun.
Too bad Meursault and the Sun-King are still revered: it’s a sickness of the mood.
Christian propagandists always insisted that there was such a thing as “Christian Civilization”. But there was not.
The West was NOT A CHRISTIAN CIVILIZATION. It looked like one twice: around 400 CE, and around 1400 CE. But, in either case, although an attempt was made, the basic law was NOT Christian, but Roman (or the Salic law of the Franks, which was Roman written).
The attempt around 400 CE, a government of bishops, petered out right away. True Milan’s Saint Jerome, the most prominent “Founding Father of the Church”, had emperor Theodosius begging forgiveness (for some massacre). But then the Roman State, short in cash, put the Franks in charge of defending the North West “Limes” (frontier).
A century later, having established a huge “Imperium” (= Roman military command), the Franks sort of converted to Catholicism, modifying it extensively in the process, and submitting the Popes, for centuries to come.
The Franks re-established Roman (Late) Republican tolerance for ALL religions.
In other words, the empire of the Franks, the “Imperium Francorum” of 600 CE, was much more civilized than today’s Saudi Arabia. Arguably Arabia of 600 CE was more civilized than today’s Arabia, in the sense that Christianism, Judaism and the Cult of the Moon in Mecca, were all practiced without known religious massacre (the first religious holocaust was Muhammad’s personal annihilation of a Jewish tribe, a bit later; Muhammad is on the record as of the opinion that whoever insulted him should die, a tradition Muslims are keen, to this day, to carry forward, in the name of their Rophet; don’t ask me what a Rophet is).
The tolerance was extended to much more than Jews, Pagans (the Franks were de facto Christianized Pagans for centuries), Muslims, etc. By 800 CE, the “Renovated Roman Empire” led by Charlemagne, was at peace and the world’s richest
The “Final Solution” was Nazi (although I have accused many times Christianism to have inspired it). The “Manifest Destiny” was not particularly Christian (Founding Fathers and their preceding generation were very anti-Christian, and for “Nature’s God”). The Crusades were, mostly, a counter-attack (although I am very anti-crusades, that’s what they were in first order).
The annihilation of the Natives did not have to be a consequence from the Christian nature of the invaders. A very good example is the French, who never eradicated a population of Natives (and that’s why they lost America!)
“Secular ideologies” may have been by far the biggest mass killers…. Because they suppress everything else. In primitive societies the kill ratio is more like 50% (or at least 25%), whereas the two World Wars killed rather around 2% to 4% (at most, directly and indirectly, through famines and diseases they contributed to)
The preceding has to be kept in mind when inanities about Islam, and an “Islamist Civilization” are proffered, just because people are conditioned to mouth them, and believe it’s the truth, because everybody says it. It’s not because all the sheep bleat the same, that bleating is the truth.
This being said, because of the insistence of raw Islam to apply Islamist Law, instead of secular law, made “Islamist Civilization” much more of a reality. Islam wants to be everything, leaving no space for anything else. Islam wants to be all of society, and even to occupy visual space. Islam wants to be more than a civilization, it wants to be an obsession.
However, an inspection of history shows that all period of really shining civilization under “Islam” seemed to have involved see through dresses more than niqab, chador, and other attempts to make women into something that should be hidden.he vast body). Contributions by non-Muslims (Jews and Christian) tend to dominate (they were the majority for centuries).
Regimes which interpreted the Qur’an literally were highly successful, especially initially, thanks to ruthless surprise: initial conquest, from Spain to Central Asia, assaults of India, Indonesia, conquest of Anatolia by the just Islamized Turks, and a reconquest of Spanish Caliphate by savage, Fundamentalist Muslims from the desert. It ultimately backfired (except in the case of the Turks, arguably). For example the re-reconquest of Spain, made the “Reconquista” by the Catholics much more savage and thorough…
Many supposed “characteristics” of “Christianism” were established centuries before Christianism was imposed on the Greco-Roman world by emperors from Constantine to Theodosius, in the fateful Fourth Century. For example welfare and scholarship for worthy students was established by 100 CE (under emperor Trajan).
The Roman world kept on going, even, and especially after the Decline and Fall of the Roman imperial state. When Saint Louis, a Christian Fundamentalist and Jihadist (“Crusader”) of the Twelfth Century expressed, in writing his burning desire to “plant a knife in the belly of a Jew or Unbeliever” (“nothing would please me more”) he recognized he could not do it, because, well the (Salic and Roman) Law forbid him to do so.
Sharia Christian, or not never ruled the West very long (although, sometimes, it made sparks: see Bruno being burned alive). We are not going to start now.