A seasonal expose of the biggest Chi-Ting cult of them all: Christianity!
This piece is dedicated to all the teenage Born Agains, who congregate around the Quo Vadis (wasn't that a bad Victor Mature movie from the 50s?) Interfaith Centre, where they sell the most expensive chapatis and dosas in all the world!
Was there a Jesus Christ? Probably not, pretty much all evidence was destroyed by Vespasian's son Titus when he sacked Jerusalem in AD70. The only source from the time is Josephus' The Jewish War and the bit about Jesus is a blatant Byzantine insert from the late 4th century AD. There is a document called the Toledot Yeshu, from the 2nd century AD, which talks about a Yeshua ben Pantera who it claims was the bastard son of a temple prostitute and a Greek mercenary in the Roman army called Panther. So if there was a Jesus he was probably the spawn of a hooker and a good-time boy on the piss ... So much for the virgin birth!
The gospels are stitched together for the first time in the late 2nd century AD (during the reign of Marcus Aurelius and then his mad son Commodus) by Ireneaus of Lyons as part of his propaganda war against the Gnostics. Basically these texts are edited and re-arranged by seriously demented old men who are into boy fucking and really hate women! The grumpiest of them all being Tertullian: "I will receive my reward in heaven (fondling cherubs no doubt!) while you sinners will burn in hell etc etc!" Origen of Alexandria even went as far as cutting his bollocks off, so he wouldn't be tempted by sins of the flesh!
What seems to have emerged is a confused synthesis of various dying-resurrecting Gods from the ancient world i.e. Osiris, Horus, Tammuz, Dionysus, Mithra etc ... Then it all gets a brutal re-write when a very ambitious young warlord called Constantine manages to murder his opponents and gain ascendancy in Rome. So he needs a suitable tool to unify his fractious empire and the logic of One God, One Emperor, One Empire serves his ends. Unfortunately Christianity attaches itself like a fatal parasite to the Empire and only 80 years after Constantine's death, Rome is sacked by the Goths followed by a succession of Barbarians over the next 60 years. The Western Empire crumbles into the dark ages, but the Catholic church emerges as the dominant force in Europe and they give us 1000 years of darkness until the Renaissance and the Reformation break their monopoly of power and knowledge. The historian Edward Gibbon in Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, blamed Christianity for the fall of a higher civilisation and a lost millennium and we agree! What has the Church given to the world apart from simony, sodomy and rampant nepotism? Well, bugger all except maybe the inquisition, mass witch burning and collective madness on an unprecedented scale! The writer Gore Vidal has said that: "the adoption of Christian monotheism was the biggest disaster the Western world ever made, a mistake that we have still to recover from!"
Now that we have crawled into the first decade of a new millennium let's consign Christianity to the garbage heap of history and make that ex-Hitler youth Pope Ratzinger an unemployable old Nazi, while we sell his ermine and gold to the poor!
If you really want a laugh we recommend Gore Vidal's Live from Golgotha. It starts with Saint Paul in the sack with Saint Timmy and then gets really deviant!
If you like dry factual stuff (the type of personality profile that enjoys rubbing coarse sandpaper against your genitals until they bleed Thomas à Becket stylie!) we recommend Elaine Pagels' The Gnostic Gospels and The Origins of Satan ...