Many "Crimes" of Christianity Refuted
CADRE member Bede, a historian, has blogged on his site about the alleged crimes of Christianity. As many people know, Christianity is blamed for a number of the ills that have fallen humanity ranging from the dark ages to the repression of women to sponsoring or approving of slavery. In an essay by Kyle J. Gerkin entitled "Objection #7: Church History Is Littered with Oppression and Violence (2001)", he discusses these crimes beginning his essay stating: "This objection is a statement of fact, which cannot be avoided."
Well, Bede does a great job of "avoiding" the question by listing ten crimes and errors addressed by Mr. Gerkin and posting links to responses refuting each and every one. Bede's blog posts links to refutations for each of the following alleged "crimes" of Christianity:
1. Christianity has opposed the rise of science. Refuting article:"The Mythical Conflict between Science and Religion".
2. The Crusades were uniquely destructive religious wars. Refuting article:"The Real History of the Crusades".
3. Christianity caused the Dark Ages. Refuting article:"The Early Middle Ages -- (450 to 1050)".
4. The inquisition killed hundreds of thousands. Refuting article:"Frequently Asked Questions about the Inquisition".
5. Millions of witches were executed. Refuting article:"Who Burned the Witches?
6. Hitler was a Christian. Refuting article:"Hitler and Christianity".
7. Jesus never existed. Refuting article:"Refuting the myth that Jesus never existed".
8. Jesus married Mary Magdalene. Refuting article:"Dismantling The Da Vinci Code".
9. Christians destroyed most ancient literature (refuted) and the Library of Alexandria. Refuting articles:"The Mysterious Fate of the Great Library of Alexandria" and "Christianity and Pagan Literature".
10. Christianity is supportive of slavery. Refuting article:"The Truth About the Catholic Church and Slavery".
Since Bede does not have a system where I can link to a particular post, I have taken the liberty of linking to each of his links, above. Bede has more to say, and I encourage you to go directly to his site and read his comments in full.
I highly recommend reading through Bede's list of refutations since it will prepare you to respond to some of these same tired objections that, like most objections, have some basis in fact but are overblown to the point of being undeniably false. I also recommend looking over the Christian CADRE main webpages where we have linked to a number of good articles on several of these subjects (search engine for both the CADRE site and the sites of some of our members is included). With respect to the question of Hitler's supposed Christianity, we have a page entitled Hitler: Was He The Product of Christianity? which contains several essays on this topic. Essays on issues relating to the historical Jesus can be found on both our Historical Jesus: Copy Cat Savior? page and our Answering the Skeptics page.
Addendum as of July 1, 2005:
I recently recieved an e-mail from Kyle J. Gerkin noting that I have misrepresented what he said because Bede at Bede's Library misrepresented it. Mr. Gerkin says:
As always, I am pleased and humbled when people take the time to comment on what I have written, whether they agree with me or not. However, Bede misrepresented my article. He says, "But time is short so I have contented myself with debunking Gerkin's misconceptions." And then he goes on to list "great myths of Christian history". The problem is, I don't make over half the claims he lists, either in the linked article or eleswhere.
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I have contacted Bede about this, and he explained (as I suspected) that he originally intended to respond to my article specifically, but then got onto another track about "Christian myths" in general. Thus, he admitted the way it is written is misleading (even if unintentionally so) in implying that I make all the claims that he proposes to refute. He graciously edited the original post and then posted a corrective here: http://www.bede.org.uk/2005/06/apology.html.
Having noted that error, I stand by the position that Bede has responded to each of the so-called "crimes" of Christianity, but I certainly acknowledge that if Bede was wrong in his statement that Mr. Gerkin listed them in his article (as is apparently the case) then our statement that Mr. Gerkin made the claims (which relied upon Bede's statement) is also wrong. I apologize to Mr. Gerkin for the unintentional misrepresentation of his position.