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Politics : World Affairs Discussion

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To: Emile Vidrine who wrote (1675)8/27/2002 10:23:12 AM
From: goldsnow  Read Replies (1) of 3959
 
In History as Mystery, Parenti turns his critical eye towards the biases of historiography via politicians, popes, professors, text book authors and corporations, the mass media, and other class ceilings. He also examines the ascendancy and later hegemony of a social system: "Christianity", which Parenti adeptly argues, "supported secular and ecclesiastical autocracy [Paul, Augustine, and other Christian leaders urge servants and slaves to be dutifully obedient and lovingly faithful to their masters, "as unto Christ", and "we repeatedly encounter a ready acceptance of autocratic secular power and an eagerness to enlist it to hunt down heretics, free thinkers, reformers, and other purveyors of heterodoxy"], class oppression ["if early church fathers...championed a church of the indigent and oppressed, of slaves and penniless peasants, they gave remarkably little evidence of it...the established ecclesiastics usually sided with the princes against the peasants, showing little sympathy for the democratic rights of commoners"; "Rather than sharing the wealth, the upper clergy shared in the wealth"], slavery ["for centuries, the church was itself the largest slaveholder in Europe"], sexism ["male church leaders repeatedly proclaimed the inferior nature of women", piling on restrictions and burning "tens of thousands of women" for their various "transgressions"], and anti-Semitism [leading the way to the Inquisition, many unnamed pogroms, and "preparing the Holocaust", numerous Christian leaders demonized the Jews "for the better part of two thousand years [through] papal proclamations, church sermons, pastoral letters, hymns, council edicts, and the pronouncements of bishops and leading theologians". There are, unfortunately, many notable examples, such as "In 1239, Pope Gregory IX attempted to cleanse western Europe of Jewish books, especially the Talmud"]. Indeed, Christianity "had a severely regressive effect upon just about every area of learning" including "such fields as literature, philosophy, art, theater, science, medicine, anatomy, astronomy, mathematics, and commerce...The burning of books was part of the advent and imposition of Christianity" (chs. 2-3).

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