Sunday, July 31, 2011

My response to Susan Campbell's question

Susan Campbell is a columnist in The Hartford Courant.  She's one of the few reasons I continue to read the paper online. 

Dear Ms. Campbell - You asked a really wonderful question in your recent column:

"If Breivik is a perversion, and Christianity is a religion of peace, how does it get twisted, and not just in violent, life-ending ways like Breivik's?"

As someone who has wrestled with the same question for many years, I thought I might offer my answer, because I don't believe the answer lies in either philosophy, or in theology. The answer lies in history. When Christianity became the state of religion of Rome upon the conversion of Constantine, it grafted unto itself the power structure of the Roman Empire. Thus, what had been a cult of the have-nots, became most emphatically the property of the haves. The way Catholic dioceses are organized, for example, and the governing structure of the Vatican, comes down pretty much intact from the Roman beaurocracy created to administer the Empire in Constantine's day.

And the Council that created the current and accepted Canon of Scripture occured after this as well, so of course all the scriptures are skewed in such a way that taken as a whole, they support the power-over world view grafted onto the developing religion. Consequently, all sects of Christianity - especially the so-called fundamentalists - are susceptible to falling prey to these interpretations which I believe are most emphatically not in line with the actual teachings of Jesus.

These are simple facts of history. If you want to know what's gone wrong in a system, I think the easiest place to find the answer is in the beginning. But hardly anyone studies history that far back any more, and certainly the fundamentalists of the Christian world aren't eager to acknowledge the ramifications of that ancient infestation.

Sincerely yours,

Annie Kelleher


Kathy said...


Walk in the Woods said...

I haven't read the Courant in years, so the context of your response my be lost on me. But that's neither here nor there. On the other hand, "power-over world view grafted onto the developing religion" and "most emphatically not in line with the actual teachings of Jesus" *are* here and there … and all-too-everywhere. And that is not lost on me.

Context lost or not, your response resonates for me.

rox said...

wow that is so what I always say ! I just can't handle rome catholic or pagan it stinks . and yes abuses are always learned and passed on weather we christian , hindu neo pagan whatever . I mean the whole method of burning at the stake was a pagan method of torture to begin with not a christian one and it shows how behaviours are taken on by all peoples nothing to do with our religion , race etc. I love reading about the church before rome ! there were female priests and bishops married too and we can see how in celtic countries when rome did not have such a hold on them they still held true many of their ways which included having women be priests until rome came along and tried to stamp out that practice in the celtic christian church . so much history ! I always always when struggling with the issue of rome feel I need to go back to the beginning and it sure didn't start in rome ! I found your blog via peace bloggers ! I will follow now ☺ thanks !

The Johansen Family said...

Hi Annie ~ I'm just wondering...have you ever actually read the whole Bible? Or even the whole New Testament?