Christianity is a revolt of all creatures that creep on the ground against everything that is lofty: the gospel of the “lowly” lowers….
The Antichrist, §43
Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Antichrist is one of the West’s great books: It is well-reasoned, it is well-written, and it is dispositive; it belongs on every educated man’s bookshelf, and it should not be spoken of in whispers.
The gist of the argument he makes is this: The Jesus movement arose in the very bottom of society, rationalized failures as virtues, and fashioned a god that met its needs — a miracle-worker who saved the helpless. When the ‘suits’ took over the predation of the sick, the weak, the defeated and the damaged began on a grand scale, but in order for the movement to grow it must drag men down and ruin them, make them helpless, drive them to their knees, so that they plea for help from the cosmos.
Think about the things you hear in church every Sunday morning, and you know Nietzsche had figured-out the Holy Mens’ game:
You’re no damn good.
You were born putrid, filled with lusts, deserving of only condemnation.
Your own efforts can never make you fit to live.
There isn’t one of us who hasn’t heard those things dozens, tens of dozens, of times; y’all know I’m not making it up. Christianity does wage a sort of psychological warfare against the healthy, does thrive on degradation, does grow most easily amongst the decadent and the damaged. No? Look at what American evangelicals have done to Uganda.
Enough, then. Bertrand Russell got things exactly right:
We want to stand upon our own feet and look fair and square at the world — its good facts, its bad facts, its beauties, and its ugliness; see the world as it is and be not afraid of it. Conquer the world by intelligence and not merely by being slavishly subdued by the terror that comes from it. The whole conception of God is a conception derived from the ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings. We ought to stand up and look the world frankly in the face. We ought to make the best we can of the world, and if it is not so good as we wish, after all it will still be better than what these others have made of it in all these ages. A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men. It needs a fearless outlook and a free intelligence. It needs hope for the future, not looking back all the time toward a past that is dead, which we trust will be far surpassed by the future that our intelligence can create.