It is a legacy that fosters sexism, racism, the intolerance of difference, and the desecration of the natural environment.
The Dark Side of Christian History shows how the Church, throughout much of its history, has demonstrated a disregard for human freedom, dignity, and self-determination. It has attempted to control, contain, and confine spirituality, the relationship between an individual and God.
As a result, Christianity has helped to create a society in which people are alienated not only from each other but also from the divine.
This Christianity – called orthodox Christianity – has had a devastating impact upon the whole of mankind, and its study can help enlighten us as to the very core difference between religion and spirituality. When we understand we have come to be separated from the divine, we can begin to heal not only the scars but the very alienation itself.
The author notes that her intention here is to offer, not a complete picture of Christian history, but only the side which hurt so many and did such damage to spirituality.
It is in no way intended to diminish the beautiful work that countless Christian men and women have done to truly help others.
And it is certainly not intended as a defense of or tribute to any other religion.
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From the back cover:
"By denying evil we do harm. By denying darkness we obscure the light. Over a period of almost two millennia, the Christian Church has oppressed and brutalized millions of individuals in an attempt to control and contain spirituality. The Dark Side of Christianity reveals in painstaking detail the tragedies, sorrows, and injustices inflicted upon humanity by the Church. This expose is a compelling and passionate cry for human dignity and spiritual freedom."
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Such cruelty! It's hard to believe any human being could do such hideous things, especially people who claim to speak and act for God. Who would want a God such as they believed in?
One could say the same about the God so many believe in today. People are not burned at the stake or buried alive these days (not that I know of, anyway) but religious people can still be cruel.
Far too many of them are politicians who want to take control of this country and the fundamentalist believers are backing them. They seem to be all too eager to lie and cheat their way to power in order to force everyone to live by their beliefs. They work tirelessly to get their beliefs made into law.
And I'm sad to say they are steadily making progress.
May they never succeed.
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