Before you bad mouth the faith of others…
…make darn sure your own faith is above reproach.
For a long time, I have heard how ‘bad’ Islam is — mostly from people who thing that their faith is the One and True religion. You hear how “evil” and depraved its ‘founder’ was — though most people don’t understand that what passes for Islam today was created long after its founder, Mohammed was dead. (Not much differently from Christianity and how it was formed and codified long after the death of Jesus.)
The oldest books of the new testament were written in about the year 80-100 AD, after everyone involved in Christ’s life or with first hand experience of Christ had died.
The “modern” or “First Church” was NOT started by Saint Peter as Catholics claim, but by Roman Emperor, Constantine. Emperor Constantine called the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, which is when the Bible was first put together: picking some ancient scrolls to include, and abandoning other ancient scrolls, almost arbitrarily. This was also the beginning of the Catholic Church, NOT St Peter. Constantine, as yet unbaptized, presided over the first great ecumenical council of the “Christian” church, which condemned Arianism and drew up a statement of essential beliefs called the “Nicene Creed”. Constantine sensed that the “Christian” religion -albeit apostate and deeply corrupted by then-could be effectively utilized as a revitalizing and uniting force to serve his grand scheme for imperial domination. Adopting the foundations of apostate Christianity to gain support in furthering his own political ends, he decided to unify the people under one “catholic,” or universal, religion. Pagan customs and celebrations were given “Christian” names. And “Christian” clergymen were given the status, salary, and influential clout of pagan priests.
Protestants might say Christianity did not begin till Martin Luther, in October 31, 1517, nailed “The 95 Theses” to the door of his church.
The American Christian Fundamentalist movement did not begin till about the 1930’s, and rose to power with men like Jerry Fallwell in the 1980’s. This is where we get the concepts of Biblical literalism and inerrancy.
So, by the modern definition that the most vocal Christians consider to be Christianity, it is only about 70-80 years old. But they still use the “Bible” as originally adopted by Constantine.
But let’s look at the First Church — the Catholics — shall we? After all, this is the actual roots of what passes as Christianity today. Was it pure and better than the birth of Islam?
Actually, it was about the same — if not worse.
H/T to Oddee for:
10 Worst Popes of all time
1. Pope Stephen VI: had his predecessor exhumed, tried, de-fingered, and thrown to the river
Stephen VI was Pope from 896 to 897. Fueled by his anger with Pope Formosus, his predecessor, he exhumed Formosus’s rotting corpse and put “him” on trial, in the so-called “Cadaver Synod” in January, 897.
With the corpse propped up on a throne, a deacon was appointed to answer for the deceased pontiff, who was condemned for performing the functions of a bishop when he had been deposed and for receiving the pontificate while he was the bishop of Porto, among other revived charges that had been leveled against Formosus in the strife during the pontificate of John VIII.
The corpse was found guilty, stripped of its sacred vestments, deprived of three fingers of its right hand (the blessing fingers), clad in the garb of a layman, and quickly buried; it was then re-exhumed and thrown in the Tiber. All ordinations performed by Formosus were annulled.
The trial excited a tumult. Though the instigators of the deed may actually have been Formosus’ enemies of the House of Spoleto (notably Guy IV of Spoleto), who had recovered their authority in Rome at the beginning of 897 by renouncing their broader claims in central Italy, the scandal ended in Stephen’s imprisonment and his death by strangling that summer.
2. Pope Benedict IX: the Pope who sold the papacy
Benedict IX was Pope from 1032 to 1044, again in 1045, and finally from 1047 to 1048, the only man to have served as Pope for three discontinuous periods. Benedict gave up his papacy for the first time in exchange for a large sum of money in 1044. He returned in 1045 to depose his replacement and reigned for one month, after which he left again, possibly to marry, and sold the papacy for a second time, to his Godfather (possibly for over 650 kg /1450 lb of gold). Two years later, Benedict retook Rome and reigned for an additional one year, until 1048. Poppo of Brixen (later to become Pope Damascus II) eventually forced him out of Rome. Benedicts place and date of death are unknown, but some speculate that he made further attempts to regain the Papal Throne. St. Peter Damian described him as feasting on immorality and a demon from hell in the disguise of a priest in the Liber Gomorrhianus, a treatise on papal corruption and sex that accused Benedict IX of routine homosexuality and bestiality.
3. Pope Sergius III: ordered the murder of another pope and started the “pornocracy”
Sergius III was Pope from 897 to 911, and has been the only pope known to have ordered the murder of another pope and the only known to have fathered an illegitimate son who later became pope; his pontificate has been described as “dismal and disgraceful.” The pontificate of Sergius III was remarkable for the rise of what papal historians call a “pornocracy,” or rule of the harlots, a reversal of the natural order as they saw it, according to Liber pontificalis and a later chronicler who was also biased against Sergius III. This “pornocracy” was an age with women in power: Theodora, whom Liutprand characterized as a “shameless whore… [who] exercised power on the Roman citizenry like a man” and her daughter Marozia, the mother of Pope John XI (931935) and reputed to be the mistress of Sergius III.
4. Pope John XII: raped female pilgrims and invoked pagan gods
John XII was Pope from 955 to 964. On 963, Holy Roman Emperor Otto I summoned a council, levelling charges that John had ordained a deacon in a stable, consecrated a 10-year-old boy as bishop of Todi, converted the Lateran Palace into a brothel, raped female pilgrims in St. Peter’s, stolen church offerings, drank toasts to the devil, and invoked the aid of Jove, Venus, and other pagan gods when playing dice. He was deposed, but returned as pope when Otto left Rome, maiming and mutilating all who had opposed him. On 964, he was apparently beaten by the husband of a woman with which he was having an affair, dying three days later without receiving confession or the sacraments.
That was four of the ten listed. Go to Oddee and read about the rest. Like it or not, this was the ROOT of the modern Christian movement, the foundation on which the faith is built.
Christ is famous for saying, “Let them without sin cast the first stone”. Another saying loosely based on that is “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”.
I find ALL organized religion to be nothing more than social engineering and completely false. I am NOT atheist, nor am I exactly agnostic. I think there IS something far greater than us — but I am not going to call it a “God” because that assumes a lot that I don’t think man has the capability to comprehend. I certainly don’t feel that the “God” of the Bible/Torah/Qu’ran is real. It is a plot that supports a hierarchy of powerful men to keep the masses in line and doing their bidding with the promise that while suffering in this way-station called life, there will be rewards in the ‘after-life’ to make it all worth it.