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Loki
Sunday, November 2nd, 2003, 08:43 PM
Christians complain a lot about the "persecutions" they allegedly suffered in ancient Rome. Given that they were trying to destroy the heathen spiritual values that had made Rome great in the first place, it is not surprising that the heathens tried to defend themselves.

The Christian apologists also try to imply that heathenism somehow just melted away before the Christian religion, as if the heathens somehow saw "the error of their ways" and leapt to accept the Christian god as soon as he was offered to them.

What the Christians don’t like to remember is the very real persecution they inflicted, as soon as they could, on heathens who chose to retain the faith of their forebears.

Here is just a small sample of the atrocities that led to the Christian destruction of heathen Europe:



Roman Empire

315 CE. Christianity becomes legal.

From now on Pagan temples are increasingly destroyed by Christian mobs. Some famous temples that are ruined include the Sanctuary of Ęsculapius, the Temple of Aphrodite in Lebanon, the Heliopolis, the Temple of Serapis in Egypt, and many others. Christian priests such as Cyril of Heliopolis and Mark of Arethusa become renowned as "temple destroyers" .
Pagan priests are increasingly murdered, together with their heathen congregations.

356 CE. Pagan services are punishable by death. The Christian Emperor Theodosius even murders children caught playing with the remains of heathen statues.
Pagan philosophers are cruelly murdered. Perhaps the most revered heathen martyr is Hypatia of Alexandria, daughter of Theon the mathematician. Urged on by St Cyril of Alexandria, a mob of Christian fanatics dragged the world-famous philosopher from her chariot, stripped her naked, hauled her to the church, and there murdered her by scraping the flesh from her bones with sharp oyster shells. Her mortal remains were then burned before the screaming Christian hordes.

The slaughter of the Saxons

c. 550 CE. Germanic beliefs are outlawed in the Frankish kingdom. All heathen temples and symbols are ordered to be destroyed. Heathen songs, dances and holidays forbidden under pain of extreme punishment.

719 CE. Frankish Christian missionaries ravage Frisia with fire and sword.

January 774 CE. Charlemagne vows to convert the Saxons, or, failing that, to wipe them out.

780 CE. Charlemagne decrees the death penalty for all who fail to be baptised, who fail to keep Christian festivals, who cremate their dead, who are hostile toward Christians, etc etc.

782 CE. 4,500 Saxon nobles are beheaded in one day at Verden on the Aller for refusing to convert.

804 CE. The last heathen resistance in Saxony is put down. In thirty years of genocide, from 774 to 804, two thirds of the Saxons have been killed.

The British Isles

597 CE. The Augustinian mission arrives in Kent. Its aim is to convert heathen kings, who will then force the new religion on their followers. The situation is confusing, because kings seldom live to a great age, and their successors often repudiate the alien faith.

616 CE. Athelfrith, heathen king of Northumbria, defeats a huge Christian crusade at Chester.

617 CE. Athelfrith slain at battle of River Idle. His neurotic rival Edwin becomes king, and is subsequently converted to Christianity, forcing his subjects to give up their old faith.

653 CE. King Sigibert foists Christianity on heathen Essex.

654 CE. Penda of Mercia, the last great heathen Anglo-Saxon king, is slain by Christians at the battle of Winwęd. Only Sussex and the Isle of Wight hold out (for a short time) against Christianity.

Late 8th century onwards. Heathen Scandinavians settle all parts of British Isles.

1066 CE onwards. William the Conquerer is still passing laws against paganism. Its last redoubt, in practice if not in theory, is the Border counties which form a buffer between England and Scotland.

1603 CE. James VI of Scotland becomes also James I of England. He crushes the Borderers and destroys their separate culture.

Scandinavia

994 CE. Olaf Tryggvason adopts Christianity in exchange for accepting a vast amount of protection money from the English. Through a brutal campaign that tolerates no opposition he "converts" Norway to Christianity. With Norway fall Shetland, the Orkneys and the Faroes.

c.1000 CE. Olaf holds prominent Icelandic pagans hostage and demands that Iceland accept the new religion. Iceland falls.

After 1000 CE. On the death of Olaf Norway returns gladly to paganism.

1016 CE. Olaf the Stout, later called St Olaf, seizes the throne of Norway. He murders, blinds and maims heathens. Heathen temples are ruthlessly robbed and destroyed.

Twelfth century CE. The great temple at Uppsala in Sweden is destroyed by Christian fanatics.

Elsewhere

It is impossible to estimate the numbers of Eastern Europeans murdered by crusading Christians. The Teutonic Knights, for instance, conquered heathen Prussia in 1226. All Prussians who refused to convert to Christianity were murdered. The Lithuanians were a heathen tribe who were attacked by the Teutonic Knights throughout the 13th century. They held out successfully, with the help of religious refugees from Prussia and Lettonia, until a monarchy emerged. King Mindaugas betrayed the ancestral religion of his subjects in 1251, after which Lithuania was forcibly converted to Christianity.

It is equally impossible to estimate the numbers of pagans murdered in the New World by Christians. Columbus planted a cross wherever he went, vowing to "do all the mischief that we can" to natives who refused to convert. The Christians brought with them skills of torture that had been refined on their own people in Europe for hundreds of years.

One Indian chief, Hatuey, fled with his people but was captured and burned alive. As "they were tying him to the stake a Franciscan friar urged him to take Jesus to his heart so that his soul might go to heaven, rather than descend into hell. Hatuey replied that if heaven was where the Christians went, he would rather go to hell." (Source: D. Stannard, American Holocaust, Oxford University Press 1992.)

That same sentiment must have been expressed time after time in Europe in the period when Odinists were offered a choice between converting to Christianity or being tortured, maimed and killed. The 4,500 Saxon nobles callously slaughtered by the Christian fanatic Charlemagne on one day in 782 must have had similar thoughts. The Norse Sagas record occasions when Christians tortured entire Odinist families in the hope of forcing parents to convert, thereby sparing their children further pain. Sometimes the children were stronger than their parents, urging them not to yield and thereby bring disgrace on their ancestors.

Conclusion

It is clear that Christianity prevailed over European heathenism solely because Christians resorted to torture, murder, and other clear breaches of the law that applied in those times, while the heathens upheld the prevailing "rules of engagement" that they considered to be honourable.

Sigrun Christianson
Sunday, November 2nd, 2003, 09:19 PM
The Catholic Empire was never about power & money. It was always about spreading a merciful and just spirituality to every corner of the globe even when that meant murder and arson... even when it meant accepting conversion or being slaughtered. Christians, unlike the rest of us heathenous heretics, have a good reason for killing people: they are trying to save our immortal souls. I'll run right over to the church now and offer my apologies and ten percent of my income. ;)

Christianity has been such a blessing to us all - inquisitions, dogma, corruption, slavery, poverty for the masses and gilded cathedrals for the holymen, just to name a few favorites. That shuffling of the pedophiles was cool, too. Christianity and the Bible is so much more believable & credible than the tales & practices of pre-Christian Europe, huh? And so much more 'moral' and 'just'.

Yes, Noah gathered two of everything on an arc. The red sea parted. Snakes are the devil. Non-believers will suffer an eternity in Hell. Sure, I believe all of that... Oh, King Solomon and that baby-halving story... so clever of him! What a genius! Poor, poor Adam, being deceived by that manipulative witch Eve... And hell, my own conception was immaculate, too! ;)

I would fall to my knees and say the rosary if once, JUST ONCE, a professed Christian would admit that MAYBE, just MAYBE the Catholic Church made some mistakes and MAYBE continues to make mistakes.

I'm stealing a great phrase when I reply that just because a man dies for something does not make it true. Just because a man believes whole-heartedly in something does not make it true. The mental wards are full of people who believe whole-heartedly the most bizarrre and obscure delusions imaginable, but Christians have Churches instead. ;)

Milesian
Sunday, November 2nd, 2003, 10:02 PM
I had written a lengthy reply to these posts and then my PC crashed.
Don't you just hate that? :D

Anyway, I'm not going to spend 30 mins writing it out again.
Suffice it to say, I have neither the will not motivation left.
I respect the above people and I already know your views very well.
The fact of the matter is that I spent some time as an amateur apologist and I spent many long hours debating with people who held the same views and refuting the same tired arguments which were trotted out again and again.
To continually refute and correct and answer points such as these, comprehensively and part-by-part, is actually very exhausting and one quickly sickens of it.
In addition, it rarely changes the other persons mind. A person who has zero desire to believe will never believe. As someone who was once an Anti-Christian and mocked and ridiculed the Faith I now cherish, I know this better than anyone. I am grateful for the grace that I was toppeled from my proud perch and shown humility.
For my friends here, I hope the same for you (although you probably don't ;) )

So you will, I hope forgive me if I forgo my argument in this case.

I understand there are athiests and heathens here.
I do not agree with their views in any shape nor form, yet I respect them and tolerate their beliefs. I leave them alone to debate as they will.
I even did a Pagan test and posted my results earlier today (hope I'm not struck down for that :P ).
Unfortunately, it seem more difficult for others not to stick the boot into my beliefs. I have debated with Njord and Loki before and found it altogether pleasing to debate such things civily (sneaky little digs taken in good humour. lol!)

However, I am forced to conclude with others that there has been a change in which aggressive and hostile posts against Christianity have become more common of late. It has gone from tolerable - to tiring - to offensive.

In such a case, I will now be no longer debating theological or spiritual matters in this forum. Music to the ears of some, I expect ;)
I shall seperate my Faith from here and will pursue it's development in other places.

I hope I don't seem to be moaning, but I thought I would make my position clear.

Sigrun Christianson
Sunday, November 2nd, 2003, 10:09 PM
I am perfectly tolerant of all faiths, until their adherents try to force themselves on me. By all means, praise your religion with passion - but don't expect to go unchallenged.

Oh, and Milesian, you started it this time with this, "Now if you will excuse me, I have to sacrifice my first-born to the great idol of Crom Cruach on the Plain of Desolation LOL!" You joked, we joked back - just better. ;P

You are totally correct in getting out the kitchen when you can no longer take the heat. I admire that. :D

Milesian
Sunday, November 2nd, 2003, 10:13 PM
A one liner which was obviously tongue in cheek? lol
Then I apoligise if I detect some maliciousness behind the jokes of others that I know was not present behind my own.
And if you say I started it, then fine.
I will not be drawn into a blame game.

Alas, I do not recall "forcing" my beliefs on anyone.
I posted an article which in many ways reflected my own. I did not force anyone to accept this article as true. To do so would be ridiculous.

Anyway, my thanks for permitting my escape from this debate.
You are as always, magnanimous in victory ;)