Published Sat Jul 6, 2019 10:38 PM PDT
People are often mystified by the way Christian ethics are continually referenced in literally every moral dispute, and not only that, end up becoming the victor on a long enough timeline. I credit this to people not studying enough philosophy and history, so I'll give you some examples of this happening and also explain why it happens. Perhaps then you will see that my allegiance to Christianity is less a sort of preference and more a sort of necessary compulsion which everyone needs to make a choice about.
One example would be the French Revolution, during which they tried to eradicate Christianity entirely, declare it was now Year One, change the week to ten days to get away from the biblical seven-day standard, and also change the months, once again for the purpose of being metric but secondarily to get rid of the Church standard, the Gregorian calendar, which is what we still use everywhere in the world to this day. In spite of massacring tons of priests and nuns and dedicating the Cathedral of Notre Dame to the Cult of Reason, for some reason these moves all proved unpopular and so therefore when Napoleon reigned, he eliminated them and restored relations with the Church (well, he was still quite a bit hostile to the Church, since he kept the Pope captive with military threat and forced him to crown him as Emperor, but even still, it was better than before).
Another example might be the current immigration tizzy, where the right-wing keeps finding itself at odds with Christianity. Right-wingers usually either just declare the Church to be overly liberalized, or many of them reject Christianity altogether as "too weak", favoring some sort of paganism or Nietzscheanism instead (one quite notable example even preferred Islam to Christianity in his private talks). But the Church keeps forcing the right back to the center, forcing them to begrudgingly abandon racial prejudice, to love their neighbor, to care for the poor and sick and the resident alien, and so on. And the left will constantly invoke the Church when it comes to these issues, and it does so with a good measure of success; moderates may not care what the left thinks too much, but they do care what Jesus Christ thinks. This is because Jesus Christ is basically a super-weapon in everyone's mind, and so calling on his words can actually have a changing effect on people like pretty much nothing else.
But why is Christianity such a super-weapon? Well there's two possible explanations for that, one which would be Church-authorized, and the other which would be meant to satisfy the mind of a skeptic. So I'll start with the first one: the Church is correct about everything because it is divinely guided by the Holy Spirit. That one's simple enough, either you believe it or you don't. Now for the answer to help skeptics, if we were to think in secular ways, we can study how morality evolves in society and we can also see why Christianity is this massive fixture on everyone's brains. And I do mean everyone... even people who grew up in foreign countries and religions, they all tend to just by default see Christianity as the truth now.
That may seem a bizarre statement since more people are identifying as non-religious than ever and church attendance is at an all-time low, with no sign of stopping, but these more superficial aspects of claiming allegiance and the more subconscious aspects of having allegiance anyway are different. Because actually the reason people don't like people who are overly showy with their faith is they regard it as non-Christian; Jesus tells us to practice our faith in private instead of in public, to never make a display of it. And someone who does make a big display of their faith is much more likely to be in danger of hypocrisy, which is a capital offense. The Church reconciles this to mean a certain kind of display which is good, pure and uplifts the community is beneficial, but never a tainted kind, which can damn the judgmental and self-righteous.
But anyway, let's look at the Nietzschean evolution of morals. If we assume all this religion stuff is total bunk, that wouldn't stop the profound impact it has had on human history and the depth to which it has embedded itself in the cultural psyche. For a thousand years, the Church reigned supreme over Europe; its cathedrals are everywhere, its art and its values define Western civilization. Even secularists tend to think of themselves almost as Christians but "without the hocus pocus", none of the miracles or other nonsense, but all of the moral values of Christianity, as they perceive them. Like the Emperor of Mankind in Warhammer 40k, they see Christ almost as an activist for the destruction of religion in favor of moving forwards into a secular morality, who was perversely distorted by the Church and made into a God to be worshipped, with all its accompanying rituals. In any event, even in this scenario, the values of Christ are the values of today and for all time, including retroactively, and those who reject them end up finding themselves anathematized, and must live in a lonely world where they are stuck with only the devil as a companion. Examples of this can include, extreme sexual degeneracy, or an extreme devotion to economy, or extreme devotion to an ethnic group, none of which can come close to the light of Christ. These people make their choice, and they live with the consequences.
So because everything we have and are is rooted in this one man and his teachings, he is effectively a "god" to humanity whether we believe in the supernatural or not; and from there it's just a hop, skip and a jump to realize that he might actually in fact be God after all, which would explain why his wisdom is so unfailingly in line with what our deepest heart tells us is correct. And this is in fact exactly how he is treated and exactly how everyone sees him, anyways. So, like it or not, Christianity is here to stay; no matter how much one tries to change minds by appealing to Christ, one always keeps the faith front-and-center, and any attempt to deviate from his values will be found repulsive by everyone. Them's the breaks, kids.
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