Is Christianity a religion for cowards and weaklings? Does belief in Christ necessitate self-abnegation and surrender to heretics, Satanists, and communists (but I repeat myself)? Is Christianity a suicidal belief system responsible for the decline of the West???
Some Twitter users on the Right seem to think so:
This tweet was sent in response to another user named “Barbaric Disciple” who was quoting from Nietzsche’s On the Geneology of Morals Essay 1 Section 7 in which Nietzsche alleges that Christianity (through Judaism) is the source of the love of weakness and world-hating resentment made manifest in modern liberalism. Here is the relevant passage of which he quoted a part:
It was the Jews who, with awe-inspiring consistency, dared to invert the aristocratic value-equation (good = noble = powerful = beautiful = happy = beloved of God) and to hang on to this inversion with their teeth, the teeth of the most abysmal hatred (the hatred of impotence), saying "the wretched alone are the good; the poor, impotent, lowly alone are the good; the suffering, deprived, sick, ugly alone are pious, alone are blessed by God, blessedness is for them alone-and you, the powerful and noble, are on the contrary the evil, the cruel, the lustful, the insatiable, the godless to all eternity; and you shall be in all eternity the unblessed, accursed, and damned!" ... One knows who inherited this Jewish revaluation . • . In connection with the tremendous and immeasurably fateful initiative provided by the Jews through this most fundamental of all declarations of war, I recall the proposition I arrived at on a previous occasion (Beyond Good and Evil, section 195) "-that with the Jews there begins the slave revolt in morality: that revolt which has a history of two thousand years behind it and which we no longer see because it-has been victorious.
To radically over-simplify for the sake of clarity, for Nietzsche there is a straight line between the Sermon on the Mount (Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth) to transgender rights and public celebrations of twerking. Nietzsche holds that it was the Jews who started this move toward degeneracy. They were the first to institute the slave revolt in morality by maintaining loyalty to their God even after they were defeated and enslaved.
According to Nietzsche, because the Jews themselves were losers the only way they could keep their God even in captivity was by making him a loser-lover. If their God had been so mighty then why had he allowed them to be conquered? The only way to make sense of this arrangement is that God must love losers because they are better than the brutal and unthinking conquerors.
Nietzsche argues that the slave revolt ultimately taken over from the Jews by Christians culminates in a denegration of all the masterful virtues and characteristics—courage, martial strength, and nobility, etc. Christians long for the world beyond this one and therefore come to despise life as we actually live it.
Nietzsche isn’t entirely wrong. There certainly is a strain of life-hating resentment in modern Christianity. You can’t swing a dead cat in America without hitting a Christian (usually a pastor or theologian) earnestly handwringing about racism, colonialism, and white supremacy. David French is perhaps the most prominent face of this brand of weak-willed surrender-to-the-liberals-at-every-opportunity Christianity.
BUT that isn’t the only way to understand the faith. It certainly isn’t the Christian tradition. Ever heard of the Cathars, a gnostic sect of Christianity from the 13th century, that preached a doctrine that amounted to a complete liberation from all morality—even prohibitions on pedophilia and incest? Probably not. Why? Because in 1209 Pope Innocent III declared a crusade against these heretics which culminated in their extermination. Many such cases.
The historical evidence is clear: Christians have been the most relentless and efficient killers in all of human history.
European conquerors bearing the cross managed, before the beginning of the 20th century, to bring nearly the entire globe under the control of Christian-dominated governments. It was Christian armies that crushed the Muslims at Lepanto. Chrisitan soldiers that stormed the beaches of Normandy. Christian soldiers that slugged it out at the Somme, Antietam, and Waterloo.
Nietzsche’s attack on Christianity, ultimately, I think, rests on a number of unproven assertions. Christians certainly have historically believed in meekness before God, yes. But I hold that submitting to the Lord Jesus Christ is fundamentally different than submitting before Satan and his minions. I’m not alone in that camp. St. Augustine in the City of God argues that Christians can wage wars in defense against evil, for instance. He has a low view of what politics can accomplish (it cannot bring about heaven on earth) but he also believes Christians have a duty to rebuke sin and degradation where they find it—even with force in certain cases.
So, no, Christianity is not a religion of servile weakness. It has, from virtually the very beginning, been a force of conquest and exploration. When liberals talk about the problematic history of Christianity, they’re righter than they know! From Constantine until the Communists, Christian warriors have posted a long series of rarely interrupted “W’s.” Even now, in its chastened state, Christendom remains a force to be reckoned with.
Deep down, the communists who dominate the earth worry they too could get the Cathar treatment. If history is any guide, they’re right to harbor that fear!
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> To radically over-simplify for the sake of clarity, for Nietzsche there is a straight line between the Sermon on the Mount (Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth) to transgender rights and public celebrations of twerking.
Well, there is an even straighter line from Nietzsche's elevation of the Will above all else, and the notion that a man who wills himself to be a woman ought to be celebrated.
Your writing is brilliant, and vastly underrated. The style is not flashy, but the substance of your essays hits like a sledgehammer.
I think I binged ten of these Substacks last night, they are magnificent. Well done, good sir.