Tuesday Forum: February 5, 2013

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1,118 Responses to Tuesday Forum: February 5, 2013

  1. Tom

    Bingo, Gab. That was the whole idea of the September 14 circus.

  2. Tom

    What’s the point of voting for the Libs if we can deliver this/these projects? Plus Free Stuff™ (paid for with borrowed money). Except no-one will believe them. All aboard the karma bus.

  3. Gab

    It occurred to me,Tom when pondering the early announcement, that Labor and the lovemedia will put pressure on Abbott to release detailed policies early so that they can

    1) ridicule and carry on with the Abbott not fit for PM meme
    2) and swipe policies, titty-fart around with them a bit, re-badge them and call them their own as they did in 2007.

  4. Tom

    The killer truth, which Abbott simply has to keep repeating (preferably with a smile on his face and in his voice) is: You just can’t trust these pricks with money. 72% increase in government spending. $262 billion in government debt. They’re bankrupting the country and killing the economy.

  5. Tom

    $1500 per Australian household per year just to pay the interest on the debt they’ve accumulated in the past five years. The bottom line is taxes will have to rise.

  6. squawkbox

    Yobbo, you’re a halfwit. The Saxons in Germany were forcibly converted by Charlemagne, but the Saxons in England and the Vikings in Scandinavia all converted voluntarily. If not, please tell me what mysterious power was able to forcibly convert the Vikings when they were the scariest power in Europe?

  7. Yobbo

    It’s wrong to say that the Vikings and the rest of Scandinavia converted voluntarily.

    A few Scandinavian chiefs and kings did convert voluntarily (and when I say voluntarily, I mean they were given a choice between conversion and war, and chose conversion), and they then attempted to impose their beliefs on the rest when they got back to Scandinavia.

    The result was 200-300 years of religious civil war that eventually resulted in victory for the Christians, except in Lapland, which did not convert until the 1800s.

  8. Yobbo

    It’s also wrong to say that the Vikings were the “Scariest Power” in Europe.

    The Holy Roman empire led by Charlemagne was the pre-eminent power in Europe around 800 AD, and it was he who introduced Christianity to Scandinavia.

    There is a reason that the Vikings were successful in England but only dared turn up in places far away from Charlemagne, like Russia and Slovakia.

  9. Yobbo

    At least some Christians are willing to accept the fact that their religion was spread by force.

  10. 2dogs

    Scandanavia was converted by force.

    Harald Bluetooth had started a war in alliance with rebels in the Holy Roman Empire, but was defeated. He converted to Christianity as a term of peace.

    This peace agreement brought considerable trade advantages to his kingdom, and the wealth generated from trade allowed him to expand his kingdom northward, expansion his Christian heirs continued.

  11. Abu Chowdah

    “Does it really make sense banning Craig Thomson from visiting hookers?”

    It’s likely that some sex workers will be called to give evidence not in the interests of the defendant. If so, it makes sense to ban the defendant from seeking to contact possible witnesses.

  12. Abu Chowdah

    Yobbo, your last link would make for enlightening reading around these parts! Very interesting.

  13. Abu Chowdah

    This issue, more than any other we’ve published, raises the awkward matter of forced conversions—”Be Christian or die.” There’s no sense in pretending this was an exceptional missionary tactic; for many centuries, it was the method of choice among Christian rulers and missionaries. The conversion of much of Europe and of Latin America is unimaginable without the sword.

    It is not a pleasant aspect of our heritage, but one that nonetheless teaches us a great deal about human nature and what, in fact, solidifies Christian faith.

    To explore this topic, Christian History spoke with Richard Fletcher, history professor at the University of York, England. Professor Fletcher has spent a lot of time researching medieval Europe, the era when forced conversions were the rule, and his The Barbarian Conversion: From Paganism to Christianity (Henry Holt, 1997) is one of the splendid results.

  14. nilk

    For those who think we’re living in a free country (ya, nobody here), Geert won’t be talking in Sydney.

    I’m too angry to think at the moment, and have to head out the door, but consider this:
    An elected politician who has done nothing but speak persistently and consistently against islam is so terrifying that nobody with any sort of authority wants him here.

    Why?

    He’s never killed anybody, never been found guilty of bashing anybody or doing other than using strong language.

    So words can kill, I guess.

    After yesterday’s assassination attempt on Lars Hedegaard, I wonder how long it will take before Geert’s security slips up and the Dutch have themselves another martyr on the altar of Free Speech.

  15. Rudiau

    From My Cold Dead Hands…
    A Sandy Hook father whose report you won’t see on 3 monkey media. (video ~3mins)

  16. Rudiau

    From nilk’s link.

    It was not her only setback. ”Yesterday PayPal froze the funds in the account that is processing ticket sales. They will not tell me why. All staff keep saying is the account is under review. It’s been like an Orwellian nightmare.”

    This follows a refusal by Westpac to allow her to set up a payment system and refusal by more than a dozen venues to host a Wilders event, citing security concerns.

    FMD.

  17. nilk

    Rudiau you have no idea. It’s insane. I keep thinking of Barry O and his mispronunciation of ‘corpsman’. I guess when we’re talking of the ‘ANZAC spirit’ we can pronounce the last word the same way.

    I am beyond ashamed. What a pack of jellybacked, whining sooks. Afraid of one man and his words.

    Well, actually, afraid of the potential for the ummah unleashed, which is even worse.

    It just shows how far we’ve fallen, and can no longer scoff about the UK or Europe.

  18. Rudiau

    nilk
    Have just tweeted this shame on #auspol and #ozcot.

  19. nilk

    Thanks, Rudiau. I was working on a blogpost about Wilders called ‘The Last Free Man In Captivity’, but have been so busy that I’ve not finalised it.

    I know what I’m doing tonight. 🙂

  20. Rudiau

    Bolt juxtaposes.
    Gillards borrowed v Abbotts own.

  21. Rudiau

    I’m surprised Bolt hasn’t reported on Geert Wilders.
    He was/is a big fan of the man.

  22. JamesK

    I see the man with the burning hatred of Christians was at it yet again last night.

  23. Token

    At least some Christians are willing to accept the fact that their religion was spread by force.

    What a silly absolute statement.

    Of course in some circumstances it was spread by force. Every Christian knows that.

    Do we need to dig up some articles on the way athiesm was/is forced upon people via violence in Left Wing Totalitarian countries to stop this absolute holier than thou attitude of athiests?

  24. WhaleHunt Fun

    A burrning hatred. Greenies. Not me. Love Burning. Starting with whaleoil and then coal then greenies in that order

  25. Rabz

    nilk,

    That news about Wilders is just absolutely infuriating.

    Chalk up another victory for islamic stupidity, bigotry and violence.

  26. Rudiau

    More on free speech.

    This will not do. It will not do at all. Instead, the United States should go on the offensive and demand that blasphemy be legalized in every country on earth.

    It’s all Salman Rushdie’s fault.

  27. dover_beach

    At least some Christians are willing to accept the fact that their religion was spread by force.

    But we do accept that it was in some cases spread by force, and as Alcuin in his letters to Charlemagne counselled, we believed this was and is contrary to the Gospels. We also recognize that the Germanic invasions of the fifth century destroyed existing centres of Christian culture on the Continent that had to be re-Christianized through the establishment of monastries, bishoprics, and schools by monks from Ireland. And, again, we recognize that the Saxons drove Christians out of England during the end of the fourth century. And we also recognize that England was re-Christianized by missions sent by Rome that returned in the centuries following lead by men like Augustine of Canterbury that patiently and over a number of generations re-established the necessary institutions and acting here and there in concert with local Saxon kings converted the pagan Saxon. and In other words, we have a complex historical picture that resists the sort of caricatures you’re presenting.

  28. Tom

    As Larry Pickering says:

    Her (Gillard’s) elevation of Novis Peris at the expense of Crossin is just another thought bubble in the bath and designed to combat Abbott’s history of charitable work within Aboriginal communities.

    Now Nikki Savva reports:

    Gillard did consult Northern Territory MP Warren Snowdon days before booting long-term senator Trish Crossin for Peris. He objected, was ignored, then stayed quiet rather than tell his colleagues so they could help scuttle it. Now he is worried about losing his seat, especially as Labor insiders fear more damaging stories will emerge about Peris and predict it will end, as it began for her, in tears.

    …which refers to unverified, but highly credible accounts of Peris’s poor behaviour like this.

  29. Rudiau

    Tom, from Smithy
    Her Royal Smugness
    “A self satisfied stretch after the rush of ruining someone’s career.”

  30. Tom

    Abbott was on breakfast media this morning hosing down his northern Australia vision thing, with speculation that Turnbull is leaking to try to damage him. Former Darwin resident Bolt is a supporter of the idea, but only if the envirofascist economy killers are taken on.

  31. .

    No, people converted to Christianity originally because the old pagans were a bunch of clueless yokels. In fact, the very word ‘pagan’ was derogatory erstwhile slang for yokel. You can read all about how Christians won the cities of the ancient world and established things like hospitals in Peter Brown’s magnificent histories.

    I’m with Yobbo.

    Why did the Charlemagne have a right to not only rule over the Eastern Franks but the rest of Germany including the Saxons and Wends?

  32. .

    We also recognize that the Germanic invasions of the fifth century destroyed existing centres of Christian culture on the Continent that had to be re-Christianized through the establishment of monastries, bishoprics, and schools by monks from Ireland.

    …and that justifies invading land that the late Christian Roman Empire never subjugated?

    Soon you’ll be defending the bulls that backed the Norman invasion, Lordship of Ireland and electorships of the middle to late Holy Roman Empire.

    Bloody hell pick your battles guys.

  33. .

    There is a reason that the Vikings were successful in England but only dared turn up in places far away from Charlemagne, like Russia and Slovakia.

    What was it?

    It also depends at what time you are referring to. There were so many changes over hundreds of years.

  34. Why did the Charlemagne have a right to not only rule over the Eastern Franks but the rest of Germany including the Saxons and Wends?

    Right is a silly word, even today. People only have what they allowed by others, or take by main force.

  35. dover_beach

    …and that justifies invading land that the late Christian Roman Empire never subjugated?

    dot, in your excited state, you must have missed the following:

    But we do accept that it was in some cases spread by force, and as Alcuin in his letters to Charlemagne counselled, we believed this was and is contrary to the Gospels.

    Why did the Charlemagne have a right to not only rule over the Eastern Franks but the rest of Germany including the Saxons and Wends?

    Good question. And by what right where the Saxons in Britain in the fourth century? This idea that the Saxons and Vikings were innocently going about their lawful business only to be cruelly molested by Christians is just absurd.

  36. .

    “This idea that the Saxons and Vikings were innocently going about their lawful business only to be cruelly molested by Christians is just absurd.”

    The Saxons were, in Germany at least.

  37. On ABCNews24, Emerson gets a free kick against the Opposition, opining that Tony Abbott has no interest in policy, but no Opposition MP has a say. Lyndal Curtis does her usual inept job of epitomising.
    Ho hum.

  38. 845 AD: Ragnarr Loðbrók attacks and captures Paris with a fleet of 120 ships. Now that is staying away from the Franks. Later, of course, the northmen took what is now called Normandy; that’s really keeping well away from the Franks

  39. Andrew

    Is Abbott’s internal position still so weak he can’t have Turnbull shafted? The prick has a bigger ego than Rudd and his primary popularity is with people who will never vote for the Coalition.

    His cabinet is largely filled with ‘moderates’. J Bishop, Pyne, Turnbull, Macfarlane, Hockey, Hunt and Brandis. Dutton is a tricky one to say where he stands. Kevin Andrews is in there although he is not the best performing minister. Scott Morrison is in the middle of the two factions, although I think he is more aligned with the conservatives.

  40. JamesK

    dot: “I’m with Yobbo.”

    Of course he is.

  41. Andrew

    I forgot Mirabella, who is aligned with the conservatives.

  42. JamesK

    I want Morrison to be PM after Abbott

  43. Infidel Tiger

    ”Yesterday PayPal froze the funds in the account that is processing ticket sales. They will not tell me why. All staff keep saying is the account is under review. It’s been like an Orwellian nightmare.”

    Isn’t PayPal owned by a supposed libertarian? What madness is this?

  44. Isn’t PayPal owned by a supposed libertarian? What madness is this?

    Standard operating procedure for Paypal.

  45. candy

    Bit ahead of yourself there JamesK. Don’t wish your life away …

  46. JamesK

    Bit ahead of yourself there JamesK. Don’t wish your life away …

    And then Kelly O’Dwyer

  47. .

    James

    If you have anything worthwhile to say, please comment…otherwise, crawl back up your arse the way you came out, head first please.

  48. JamesK

    James

    If you have anything worthwhile to say, please comment…otherwise, crawl back up your arse the way you came out, head first please.

    Stop pretending to be intelligent dot.

  49. Infidel Tiger

    The leaked Abbott email about northern Australia must be really damaging – Fairfax are ignoring it.

    I think we can safely assume Abbott’s camp leaked it deliberately.

  50. H B Bear

    His [Abbott’s] cabinet is largely filled with ‘moderates’.

    As has been said previously it is hard to pick out a “dry” or small “l” liberal amongst them. Mathias Corman seems promising, although in the Senate. Kelly O’Dwyer will hopefully inherit some of Costello’s thinking in Higgins. Amongst the senior members and Shadow Ministers a continuation of Howard’s big spending conservatism seems to be an odds on bet.

  51. Yobbo

    What a silly absolute statement.

    Of course in some circumstances it was spread by force. Every Christian knows that.

    I refer you to CL’s claim a few hours ago that the Saxons and Scandinavians converted not because they were forced to, but because they were stupid yokels who would presumably believe anything.

    The truth is that both groups fought for centuries to retain their old religions, but were eventually forcefully pacified and converted.

  52. Infidel Tiger

    The truth is that both groups fought for centuries to retain their old religions, but were eventually forcefully pacified and converted.

    I pray one day we can do the same again to Europe.

  53. .

    Stop pretending to be intelligent dot.

    You have no argument. You are incapable of arguing anything.

    C.L called the history of the spread of Christianity glorious.

    No. It is a mixed bag.

  54. Rabz

    What’s even more pathetic is that hunt, a mad warmy, retains his influence. He must be sidelined after the election (or preferably before).

    Is there any way of ensuring that turnbull announces his ‘retirement’ before the election? He really is a liability.

  55. .

    Still waiting on DB to tell us why the Saxons, Wends, Sorbs and Bavarians ‘deserved’ to be invaded and forcibly converted as he implied – as well as being at the same time “regrettably” converted.

  56. Infidel Tiger

    Still waiting on DB to tell us why the Saxons, Wends, Sorbs and Bavarians ‘deserved’ to be invaded and forcibly converted

    It made their lives immeasurably better. They will be eternally grateful.

  57. Rabz

    Is there any way of ensuring that turnbull announces his ‘retirement’ before the election? He really is a liability.

    Atually, scratch that. It may make him even more of liability…

  58. Gab

    Damn shame about The Conversion in Scandinavia. People really did enjoy those human sacrifices and then those darn Christians came along. Christianity is a kill-joy.

  59. .

    How many people do you think Charlemagne killed to create his Empire and stroke his own ego, Gab?

  60. C.L.

    Japanese Roxons call for replica Michelangelo’s David to be provided with undies.

  61. JamesK

    Still waiting on DB to tell us why…

    Who’s “us” dottie?

    You and the even more irrationally hate-filled Yobbo?

    That both of you indignantly feign thoughfulness after being widely criticised for your evident bigotry is amusing but tiresome in the repetition.

    How many people do you think Charlemagne killed to create his Empire and stroke his own ego, Gab?

    Why doncha just fuck off you inanely ignorant little tosser?

  62. Tom

    Fairfax lines up the usual Green left mouth-breathers to attack AbbottAbbottAbbott’s north Australia policy paper:

    Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury told Sky News the Coalition’s northern plan would be ”hundreds of billions of dollars of white elephant infrastructure”.

    Mr Bradbury, who represents Lindsay, a western Sydney seat Labor holds by only 1.1 per cent, said Mr Abbott’s idea would result in ”gold plated footpaths in Karratha while people are stuck in traffic gridlock in Sydney”.

    Greens leader Christine Milne also rejected the plan, saying it was a recycled idea from former Queensland premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen and mining magnate Gina Rinehart.

    She said it was an ”old frontiersman” plan that didn’t fit in with what the Australian economy needed, which was a transition out of a ”dig it up, cut it down and ship it away” mentality.

    ”This is just Tony Abbott doing what Joh Bjelke-Petersen and Gina Rinehart want,” Ms Milne said.

    If it’s clever, the Coalition can attack these government ferals for their negativity. The Greens are the original Dr No!

  63. Gab

    History is history. Dover has already pointed out

    But we do accept that it was in some cases spread by force, and as Alcuin in his letters to Charlemagne counselled, we believed this was and is contrary to the Gospels.

    Hey let’s talk about how many people are still being killed in the name of Islam today, including, but not limited to, Christians.

  64. C.L.

    Wow, the atheist Taliban are still going strong this morning.

  65. .

    That both of you indignantly feign thoughfulness after being widely criticised for your evident bigotry is amusing but tiresome in the repetition.

    I’m sure as a proud Catholic man, because I think calling the spread of Christianity “glorious” is over-egging the pudding, I’m a “tiresome bigot”.

    You’re a pest James. Fuck off.

    How many people do you think Charlemagne killed to create his Empire and stroke his own ego, Gab?

    Maybe someone can answer the question instead of flying into a fit of rage as some sort of brainless, proxy defence against radical Islam and the secular hard left.

  66. Gab

    I guess they’re missing the good old days what with those human and animal sacrifices and all.

  67. Gab

    The only rage being exhibited here is by you, Dot.

  68. C.L.

    Gab, last week there was a story about a new-found mass grave in Mexico from the pagan days. Thank God the spics were converted to the One True Faith.

    No big moves afoot to reinstitute cannibalism in New Zealand either.

    And if you haven’t noticed Aborignal babies dumped on ant hills about town, thank the nearest Christian.

  69. .

    Wow, the atheist Taliban are still going strong this morning.

    Take that back C.L., you are more honourable than this. Your slur is in fact bit of a joke considering Charlemagne was a lot more characteristic of a Talibani than anyone in modern Australia, or any modern democracy.

    DB is wrong. yes the Saxons, Wends, Sorbs, Avars, Bavarians etc were doing just fine before Charlemagne.

    Please tell us, as you have implied DB, what crimes they were engaging in daily and why Charlemagne’s intervention saved more lives or stopped more suffering than it created.

    Gab brought up barbaric practices in Scandinavia.

    I’m sure that Charlemagne did not intervene to end that – and created his Empire purely out of vanity once the Western Frankish provinces were united and rebellious local lords in Aquataine and Gothia were suppressed.

    Or are you really going to assert that Charlemagne conquered Western Europe just to help everyone else out?

    The fact of the matter is outside of the USA and England (which had terrible religious persecution under Protestant monarchs and Puritan Grandees), before the mid 1800s, most of the West was still ruled by bloodthirsty dickheads. The US and England only beat the rest by about 100-200 years.

    It’s not about religion. It’s about recognising the theme that Niall Ferguson points out – we haven’t been truly civilised for very long and last century nearly fell into that abyss again with megadeaths.

    We don’t need to glorify monarchies from over 1000 years ago to defend Western civilisation.

  70. Yobbo

    You and the even more irrationally hate-filled Yobbo?

    I apologise profusely for pointing out irrational and hateful historical facts that CL is apparently unaware of.

  71. .

    The only rage being exhibited here is by you, Dot.

    Yes, when James chimes in with his brainless “of course” and “you’re an anti Catholic bigot”.

  72. .

    And if you haven’t noticed Aborignal babies dumped on ant hills about town, thank the nearest Christian.

    I thank the British Empire, the gallows and a cadre of well trained barristers and judges.

  73. Gab

    CL renounce your evil ways.

  74. Cold-Hands

    Assange’s supporters beginning to recognise their messiah has feet of clay: Jemima Khan turns back on Assange.

    She writes that she wanted to stand up for free speech, but she says Mr Assange has let his rock star status go to his head.

    “I don’t regret putting up bail money for Assange but I did it so that he would be released while awaiting trial, not so that he could avoid answering to the allegations,” she says.

    “I have seen flashes of Assange’s charm, brilliance and insightfulness – but I have also seen how instantaneous rock-star status has the power to make even the most clear-headed idealist feel that they are above the law and exempt from criticism.”

    …”It would be a tragedy if a man who has done so much good were to end up tolerating only disciples and unwavering devotion, more like an Australian L Ron Hubbard.

  75. JamesK

    dottie is sounding like keroboy Hammy.

    Don’t suicide for shame of your heritage dottie.

    For you, there’s so much more immediate to be shameful about.

  76. Gab

    Or are you really going to assert that Charlemagne conquered Western Europe just to help everyone else out?

    Charlemagne sought to expand the Frankish empire. Not for wealth and control but merely to convert the pagans? That appears to be secondary motive. Power and wealth. He was the only one in the history of the world ever to do so. There have been no other invasions committed by anyone else in history in the name of whatever, except for maybe when the Brits invaded Australia.

  77. C.L.

    The interesting and amusing thing is that Christianity’s critics accuse it of sinning against its own precepts when mistakes – some of them terrible – were made.

    But with atheism, there are no mistakes.

    Mass murder is a feature, not a bug.

  78. Yobbo

    Charlemagne’s first act upon conquering Saxony was to institute the death penalty for any Saxon who continued to worship Pagan gods. Including one lovely episode of the massacre in cold blood of 4,500 Saxons who had been caught practicing pagan rituals.

  79. JamesK

    The interesting and amusing thing is that Christianity’s critics accuse it of sinning against its own precepts when mistakes – some of them terrible – were made.

    But with atheism, there are no mistakes.

    Mass murder is a feature, not a bug.

    Sinc!!!!!!!

    That’s a classic from CL.

    It deserves to be formalised as a Catallaxy Liberty Quote

  80. Cold-Hands

    This is the first hearing in the committal process. At this hearing the Court will set a timetable for the exchange of information between the prosecution and the defence and dates for matters which will ultimately be determined in a higher jurisdiction. Applications for bail may also be lodged at this time.” -see http://www.magistratescourt.vic.gov.au/jurisdictions/criminal-and-traffic/criminal-proceedings/types-hearings

    Firstly, there is no expectation by either the police or the accused that a witness list will be handed over to the accused by the police at a Filing Hearing. Mr. Thomson’s criticism of the police on this point is a complete and utterly disgraceful comment. It is ill-informed and misleading. It should be denounced

    Practising lawyer at Michael Smith’s demolishes Grey’s The police not being to provide a list of witnesses against Craig Thomson was not a good look. while correcting the false impressions left by Craig Thomson’s recent statements.

  81. Yobbo

    The interesting and amusing thing is that Christianity’s critics accuse it of sinning against its own precepts when mistakes – some of them terrible – were made.

    But with atheism, there are no mistakes.

    Mass murder is a feature, not a bug.

    CL’s daily claim that communism was nothing more than the practical application of atheism.

  82. Gab

    Charlemagne’s first act upon conquering Saxony was to institute the death penalty for any Saxon who continued to worship Pagan gods. Including one lovely episode of the massacre in cold blood of 4,500 Saxons who had been caught practicing pagan rituals.

    Yes? And? So? Now what?

  83. Rule #1 of christianity:

    If your neighbor is a practising christian, at branding time be sure to brand the calves in the paddock next to him first.

  84. Yobbo

    Yes? And? So? Now what?

    So can CL now admit that Christianity was spread under threat of death in Saxony at least? Because if you read up the thread a bit, he has still refused to acknowledge that.

    Shall we go further and list the crimes of CL’s “greatest man in history” Thomas More?

  85. Andrew

    Howard’s big spending conservatism seems to be an odds on bet.

    I agree that Howard’s spending was extravagant in some areas, the Coalition in those years were rather economically ‘dry’ when you look at Industrial relations and taxation.

  86. Gab

    FFS, CL stop upsetting the atheists.

  87. Andrew

    I do like Abbott’s plan for the Northern Australia to be expanded.

  88. dover_beach

    Your slur is in fact bit of a joke considering Charlemagne was a lot more characteristic of a Talibani than anyone in modern Australia, or any modern democracy.

    Oh, yes, just like the Carolingian Renaissance, there was a similar Talibani Renaissance that occurred in Afghanistan just a few years back.

    DB is wrong. yes the Saxons, Wends, Sorbs, Avars, Bavarians etc were doing just fine before Charlemagne.

    Yes, they were doing just fine conducting raids on surrounding settlements and enslaving those captured or conducting their own acts of conquest. The Avars were not even native to the Carpathian basin being descended from Scythians, etc. further east – that were forcibly moved by Turkic migrations to the West – who would have forcibly displaced whoever they found in that area, who would have themselves done the same.

    Please tell us, as you have implied DB, what crimes they were engaging in daily and why Charlemagne’s intervention saved more lives or stopped more suffering than it created.

    I haven’t implied anything of the sort but then again I’m not drawing historical caricatures. On the whole, I think Charlemagne’s influence was a net positive for Europe as a whole.

    Or are you really going to assert that Charlemagne conquered Western Europe just to help everyone else out?

    And yet you implied this precisely about the British Empire.

  89. If any of your umpteenth Great Uncles were burned alive at a stake, instead of being given food and shelter, when shipwrecked off the coast of Spain hundreds of years ago:

    That was because of Christians.

  90. Gab

    Shall we go further and list the crimes of CL’s “greatest man in history” Thomas More?

    Sure, go right ahead if it pleases you but please could you cite from books instead of Wiki?

  91. JamesK

    Sure, go right ahead if it pleases you but please could you cite from books instead of Wiki?

    what’s the point?

    The dunce wouldn’t have read the books either

  92. Yobbo

    Sure, go right ahead if it pleases you but please could you cite from books instead of Wiki?

    Wiki cites books, Gab. Try clicking the little numbers next to the passages you don’t believe. They are citations.

  93. Gab

    Then you should have no problem citing from the books. Not every sentence in Wiki is sourced.

  94. duncanm

    tee hee.. someones been having a laugh on Wikipedia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offset_Alpine_fire

    “- Mining Magnate Eddie Obeid”

  95. Old Fridgie

    Sinc you needn’t have worried about Catallaxy becoming an echo chamber, it has become evident that even without trolls like SFB and Monty (who have been in absentia for a little while now), there are still plenty of topics for the Cats to disagree on…

  96. Old Fridgie

    Well one anyway…

  97. .

    Your slur is in fact bit of a joke considering Charlemagne was a lot more characteristic of a Talibani than anyone in modern Australia, or any modern democracy.

    Oh, yes, just like the Carolingian Renaissance, there was a similar Talibani Renaissance that occurred in Afghanistan just a few years back.

    It is a fact they have more in common with the Taliban. They destroyed religious icons they did not like.

    DB is wrong. yes the Saxons, Wends, Sorbs, Avars, Bavarians etc were doing just fine before Charlemagne.

    Yes, they were doing just fine conducting raids on surrounding settlements and enslaving those captured or conducting their own acts of conquest. The Avars were not even native to the Carpathian basin being descended from Scythians, etc. further east – that were forcibly moved by Turkic migrations to the West – who would have forcibly displaced whoever they found in that area, who would have themselves done the same.

    How does that justify conquering Western Europe from the Ebro to the Danube and Oder?

    Please tell us, as you have implied DB, what crimes they were engaging in daily and why Charlemagne’s intervention saved more lives or stopped more suffering than it created.

    I haven’t implied anything of the sort but then again I’m not drawing historical caricatures. On the whole, I think Charlemagne’s influence was a net positive for Europe as a whole.

    Yet above you said how they were doing all sorts of things wrong.

    Or are you really going to assert that Charlemagne conquered Western Europe just to help everyone else out?

    And yet you implied this precisely about the British Empire.

    No, I didn’t, and I know you are literate enough to be able to tell that if you didn’t have a dismissive attitude of anything that challenges a cult of personality for Charlemagne.

    The British Empire made Aborigines better off through rule of law – not because of missionaries.

  98. .

    tee hee.. someones been having a laugh on Wikipedia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offset_Alpine_fire

    “- Mining Magnate Eddie Obeid”

    Absolutely hilarious, and well played.

    That wiki page is so damning about the ALP. They need to be ground into the dust.

  99. dover_beach

    It is a fact they have more in common with the Taliban. They destroyed religious icons they did not like.

    So they, both Charlemagne and the Taliban, are like the early Protestants, the Puritans, and Jacobins as well? Interesting.

    How does that justify conquering Western Europe from the Ebro to the Danube and Oder?

    I wasn’t justifying, I was merely stating facts.

    No, I didn’t, and I know you are literate enough to be able to tell that if you didn’t have a dismissive attitude of anything that challenges a cult of personality for Charlemagne.

    How have I expressed anything that would even suggest a cult of personality regarding Charlemange? I referenced his failure to follow Alciun’s advise.

    The British Empire made Aborigines better off through rule of law – not because of missionaries.

    Why, yes, and no Saxon was made better off by Charlemagne’s conquest. And, of course, the creation of a British Empire and its conquests of parts of the Americas, Africa, and Asia, was not itself analogous to Charlemagne’s conquests of parts of Europe because the latter did not make the conquered lands “better off”.

  100. .

    I’m not saying people weren’t bettered by invasions by a technologically more advanced conqueror.

    The British Empire certainly did make Aborigines better off – eventually.

    I object to C.L.’s characterisation of the spread of Christianity as “glorious” and the idea that Aborigines were civilised because of modern day Christians in Australia.

    They are absurd statements.

  101. Rococo Liberal

    What is all this historical bilge ebing thrown about by the atheists?

    The answer is simple. When Chritianity was a force for conquest human life was considered less than important. By the time that totalitarian regimmes began the mass killing sprees that dwarf anything Christian conquerors ever did, the moral environment had altered so that the taking of human life was regarded as evil.

    In essence this means that atheistic regimes are far more evil than their Christian predecessors.

  102. jupes

    I guess they’re missing the good old days what with those human and animal sacrifices and all.

    Yes. Leviticus has always been my favourite part of the bible.

  103. Token

    CL’s daily claim that communism was nothing more than the practical application of atheism.

    If all Christians are to be held accountable for the dark ages morality of Charlemayne applying his form of Christianity, all Athiests will be held accountable for the dark ages morality of communists applying their form of Atheism.

  104. .

    What is all this historical bilge ebing thrown about by the atheists?

    Lies.

  105. Gab

    If all Christians are to be held accountable for the dark ages morality of Charlemayne applying his form of Christianity, all Athiests will be held accountable for the dark ages morality of communists applying their form of Atheism.

    Hey why do pagans get a free ride in the murdering stakes? What did the pagans ever do for us?

  106. Gab

    Yes. Leviticus has always been my favourite part of the bible.

    Then you’ll be completely enthralled by the Qu’ran.

  107. twostix

    The British Empire made Aborigines better off through rule of law – not because of missionaries.

    Oh dot that’s some heroic anti-libertarian historical revision and distortion.

    A) The Rule of law in the Evangelical Empire was inextricably intertwined with christian ideology. Judges and barristers regularly exhorted christian ideas and beliefs in the court room as support or defence for the morality of their cases. Christianity was absolutely everywhere.

    Your constant attempts to erase that from history are wrong.

    B) Missions were setup in NSW decades before there was any presence felt by the government and “rule of law” in those areas.

  108. .

    If all Christians are to be held accountable for the dark ages morality of Charlemayne applying his form of Christianity, all Athiests will be held accountable for the dark ages morality of communists applying their form of Atheism.

    Let the chips fall where they may. There is no need to gussy up Western European history. Admitting that Charlemagne was an unpleasant person does not take away from the results of what Martel, Leo I did nor does it give any credence to athiest dictatorships. You’d have to be paranoid to think that it would.

    Liberal democracy is still the best thing that has happened in humanity.

    Yes, you do have to credit Christianity with being moderate and accepting disestablishment and dissent, but only after a long series of religious wars, and the theological and governance reforms of the reformation and counter reformation.

  109. brc

    Well one anyway…

    Old Fridgie, you can always bring up Churchill if things get dull.

  110. jupes

    When Chritianity was a force for conquest human life was considered less than important.

    So mass murder was OK when Christians were doing it, but now they’ve allegedly stopped, mass murder is bad.

    OK RL. Got it.

  111. .

    The Rule of law in the Evangelical Empire was inextricably intertwined with christian ideology. Judges and barristers regularly exhorted christian ideas and beliefs in the court room as support or defence for the morality of their cases. Christianity was absolutely everywhere.

    That survives, and has been applied in Australia from colonial times, in equity, mostly.

    Missions were setup in NSW decades before there was any presence felt by the government and “rule of law” in those areas.

    …and they civilised the entire people? No. They civilised a few. Tribal law is being stamped out now only because of the intervention etc. Not by cheery Pastors and Priests.

  112. jupes

    If all Christians are to be held accountable for the dark ages morality of Charlemayne applying his form of Christianity, all Athiests will be held accountable for the dark ages morality of communists applying their form of Atheism.

    Logic fail. Many athiests are also anti-communist.

  113. Skuter

    I do like Abbott’s plan for the Northern Australia to be expanded.

    I certainly want to hear more about it. On a related note, did anyone see David Bradbury on Sky this morning discussing it. I think we have a new candidate for Dr NO. It was almost on the same faux-outrage scale as Gillard’s misogyny speech…

  114. twostix

    So mass murder was OK when Christians were doing it, but now they’ve allegedly stopped, mass murder is bad.

    That’s not even nearly what he said.

  115. Token

    Wow, aren’t we lucky that noone in this country went over the top criticising Lance Armstrong for being a drug cheat.

    A YEAR-long government investigation has concluded that drug use is widespread in Australian sport, along with links to organised crime which may have led to match-fixing.

    The Australian Crime Commission probe identified widespread use of prohibited substances including peptides, hormones and illicit drugs in professional sport.

    [H/t Bolta]

  116. .

    Abbot…

    No buddy that’s not a bad idea. But…

    Why can’t the private sector do it?

    Probably because, of 30 years plus of environmental regulation.

    There is so much scope for more hydroelectric dams in NSW and QLD to mitigate floods, provide power and provide irrigation and potable water.

    Now try imagining getting such an enterprise off the ground. It’s easier to get a rare earth, uranium or coal mine off the ground.

  117. jupes

    Then you’ll be completely enthralled by the Qu’ran.

    Yes. A despite its short length it’s a very revealing book. I prefer the Hadith for a more comprehensive insight into the RoP.

  118. Token

    Logic fail. Many athiests are also anti-communist.

    As DB noted, many Christians at the time of Charlemagne rejected his methods as well, but similarly were powerless to stop him.

  119. C.L.

    I don’t watch that Kitchen show but I like those Indian girls. I don’t get how they’re loathed by Australian viewers. Then again, this whole “death threats” thing seems like another dinosaur media beatup.

  120. .

    sfdc was right.

    I got a copy of the Quran and I found it so boring I stopped at pg 2.

    How they ever got people to spread their faith with such zealotry…I will never, ever understand. It’s like mainlining valium.

  121. jupes

    That’s not even nearly what he said.

    No doubt you can enlighten me then.

  122. Gab

    I prefer the Hadith for a more comprehensive insight into the RoP.

    Which one and why?

  123. Dan

    What did the pagans ever do for us?

    Erect Stonehenge.

    I recommend a visit there for the solstice and observe its new modern purpose of entertainment as all the locals get drunk and then vomit and urinate on the stones.

    Some of the more serious modern pagans take drugs and copulate nearby. It caters for all tastes.

  124. C.L.

    I object to C.L.’s characterisation of the spread of Christianity as “glorious” and the idea that Aborigines were civilised because of modern day Christians in Australia.

    I haven’t once used the word glorious, Dot. You’re somewhat casual with your use of quotation marks.

    What I said, correctly – was:

    No, people converted to Christianity originally because the old pagans were a bunch of clueless yokels. In fact, the very word ‘pagan’ was derogatory erstwhile slang for yokel. You can read all about how Christians won the cities of the ancient world and established things like hospitals in Peter Brown’s magnificent histories.

    But sure: the story of how a small band of men gathered around Our Lord Jesus Christ spread the Gospel and created the most wonderful civilisation in earth’s history is indeed glorious. Ad maiorem Dei glorium.

    And yes, Christians ended the old pagan/heathen slaughterhouses of the world – from Mexico to van Diemen’s Land.

    I also pointed out that atheists were the worst mass murderers in human history.

    ———————————————

    Now will you wild-eyed atheists stop wrecking another thread?

    Please. Just shut up about religion.

  125. jupes

    Which one and why?

    Here is something I posted somewhere – probably Bolta – a few years ago:

    The Koran:

    The Koran is the direct word of Allah as dictated to the Prophet Mohammed. Every single word in the Koran is the word of Allah himself. This is the book where you really get to know Allah, what he likes and what he doesn’t like. For example, he really likes the ‘fire’ but he’s not too fond of unbelievers. He’s also pretty fond of himself just quietly. This is probably best summed up in the following sura:

    4:56 Lo! Those who disbelieve Our revelations, We shall expose them to the Fire. As often as their skins are consumed We shall exchange them for fresh skins that they may taste the torment. Lo! Allah is ever Mighty, Wise.

    The Hadith:

    Now the Hadith is different to the Koran in that it is the story of the life of the Prophet Mohammed as told by his followers. Much like the Gospels in the Bible. Oh what fun those Muslim chaps had in the good old days! Fighting, raping slaves and marrying six year old girls. It’s a rollicking read. This is the book where you really get to know Mohammad and what a humanitarian he was. This is probably best summed up by the following passage:

    Muslim 017, Number 4206:

    …There came to him (the Holy Prophet) a woman from Ghamid and said: Allah’s Messenger, I have committed adultery, so purify me… By Allah, I have become pregnant. He said: Well, if you insist upon it, then go away until you give birth to (the child). When she was delivered she came with the child (wrapped) in a rag and said: Here is the child whom I have given birth to. He said: Go away and suckle him until you wean him. When she had weaned him, she came to him (the Holy Prophet) with the child who was holding a piece of bread in his hand. She said: Allah’s Apostle, here is he as I have weaned him and he eats food. He (the Holy Prophet) entrusted the child to one of the Muslims and then pronounced punishment. And she was put in a ditch up to her chest and he commanded people and they stoned her. Khalid b Walid came forward with a stone which he flung at her head and there spurted blood on the face of Khalid and so he abused her. Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) heard his (Khalid’s) curse that he had huried upon her. Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: Khalid, be gentle. By Him in Whose Hand is my life, she has made such a repentance that even if a wrongful tax-collector were to repent, he would have been forgiven. Then giving command regarding her, he prayed over her and she was buried.

    Inspirational stuff from the Prophet there! The world’s first humanitarian stoning.

  126. jupes

    Please. Just shut up about religion.

    Of course, just so long as you get the last word.

  127. Gab

    You could have just sais you prefer the Sahih Mulim version, Jupes. No need to pontificate about it.

  128. Gab

    Yeah but apart from that, Dan what did the pagans ever do for us?

  129. .

    What a crock of shit, if you don’t agree with C.L., you’re an athiest.

    But sure: the story of how a small band of men gathered around Our Lord Jesus Christ spread the Gospel and created the most wonderful civilisation in earth’s history is indeed glorious. Ad maiorem Dei glorium.

    Rubbish. The Roman Empire already existed and our law has its roots in Roman law, even if we are not a civil law country (the definition of property for example). The church of the middle ages, was not glorious, the Pope was effectively an Imperial overlord over Kings and Emperors and received taxation revenue from everywhere. It was “glorious” in the sense that it was perhaps one of the largest Empires that ever existed. A true glory of the church for example is how Leo I dissuaded Attila from attacking Rome.

    To say Christendom on its own was glorious is far fetched too. Medieval England, one of the more free nations at the time, and first to throw off feudalism along with the Low Countries, before and after the Norman conquest and until the War of the Roses, had slavery, in addition to the bonded servants and landless labourers. Of course, the Tudors, Stuarts, Puritans and anti Jacobites all inflicted their own oppressive crap too.

    Furthermore, the Church had serious problems until the end of the counter reformation.

  130. .

    Yeah but apart from that, Dan what did the pagans ever do for us?

    I hope you’re riffing monty python with a sense of irony.

  131. Tom

    It’s only taken them half a day, but Fairfax have now gone into howler monkey mode on Abbott’s north Australia policy paper, wheeling out clown prince Ross Gittins and one of its Kremlin production line talking heads in a three-and-a-half-minute interview with clown prince Craig Emerson — a wall-to-wall anti-Coalition propaganda play with not a dissenting sentence penetrating the stitch-up, complete with the customary is-Abbott-an-idiot? poll.

  132. JamesK

    What a crock of shit, if you don’t agree with C.L., you’re an athiest.

    Obummer’s strawmen haven’t a patch on dottie’s

  133. .

    What a crock of shit, if you don’t agree with C.L., you’re an athiest.

    Obummer’s strawmen haven’t a patch on dottie’s

    Okay genius boy…

    Now will you wild-eyed atheists stop wrecking another thread?

    Um okay…except I’m not an athiest, James. You also accused me of being an anti Catholic bigot before. No.

    You actually think I’m a worse political figure than Barack Obama. This speaks volume about your paranoid mindset.

  134. C.L.

    Atheists were the worst mass murderers and most irrational morons in human history. End.

  135. Gab

    Of course, just so long as you get the last word.

    You tell ‘im, jupes.

    Now, why don’t you regale me with more tales of how evil we Christians are and how badly Western Civilization has suffered due to Christianity alone.

  136. Dan

    I dunno Gab…

    A bunch of Nordic musicians in horned helmets and animal skin coats playing heavy metal songs about Thor?

  137. .

    Atheists were the worst mass murderers

    Arguably. Hitler was born into a Catholic family and Abbot Stalin trained in a seminary.

    Mao – “religion is poison”, massive bpdycount, copycat killers like Pol Pot etc. Okay. I’ll give you that.

    most irrational morons in human history

    Tell me why it is irrational to doubt when Jesus Christ had a moment of doubt – and why say Anslem of Canterbury’s arguments are completely robust.

    I’ve only seen arguments against him that I assumed were biased the same way left wing uni professors refuse to give Ayn Rand any credence, but the argument should be self evidently true.

  138. C.L.

    Incidentally, if it wasn’t for the Catholic Church acting alone in 1571, Europe would now be continental Saudi Arabia. Just say ‘thank you’ and we’ll move on.

  139. .

    Yeah but apart from that, Dan what did the pagans ever do for us?

    HINT:

    ATHENIAN DEMOCRACY

    DEFEAT OF PERSIA

    ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC

    HOMONOIA

    ROMAN EMPIRE AND ROMAN LAW

    I agree the hippy Jesus Christ and his true followers were a great, and moderating influence on the above.

  140. JamesK

    Wrt:

    Okay genius boy…

    You have quoted somebody else not me, genius

    You actually think I’m a worse political figure than Barack Obama

    So dottie’s rebuttal of my accusation that he uses strawman arguments is itself a strawman argument.

    Wow

  141. C.L.

    Hitler was born into a Catholic family and Abbot Stalin trained in a seminary.

    LOL.

    The old ‘Stalin trained in a seminary’ line.

    Um, no.

    He was admitted to a seminary school as a boy and was promptly expelled.

    Hitler was an atheist.

    So was atheist icon Mao.

  142. Gab

    Mao was raised a Buddhist.
    Historian Allan Bullock writes, Hitler “had no time at all for Catholic teaching, regarding it as a religion fit only for slaves and detesting its ethics.”

    “Hitler needed the support of the German people — both the Bavarian Catholics and the Prussian Lutherans — and to secure this he occasionally used rhetoric such as “I am doing the Lord’s work.” To claim that this rhetoric makes Hitler a Christian is to confuse political opportunism with personal conviction. Hitler himself says in Mein Kampf that his public statements should be understood as propaganda that bears no relation to the truth but is designed to sway the masses. ”

    Dinesh D’Souza, Was Hitler a Christian.

  143. .

    Incidentally, if it wasn’t for the Catholic Church acting alone in 1571, Europe would now be continental Saudi Arabia. Just say ‘thank you’ and we’ll move on.

    Are you talking about the Battle of Lepanto?

    It is a pivotal moment in history but you are really over egging the pudding again.

    The Hapsburgs were not the Catholic Church, the fact that the Austrians refused to be crowned in Rome but rather ruled as Emperor elect shows this.

  144. Jessie

    Climate Consciousness just released this report for anyone interested.

    CSIROh!
    Climate of Deception? … Or First Step to Freedom?

  145. .

    I actually thought Hitler tried to reinvent Christianity to fit in the nationalist, racialist and totalitarian teachings of Nazism and at the same time repudiating the Jewish roots…which is odd, considering that Jesus must have been Jewish.

    I had forgotten that C.L. about Stalin. Anyone who takes my joke seriously needs to take some Thorazine. I don’t think Abbot is Stalin…FFS you guys are paranoid.

  146. Dangph

    I got a copy of the Quran and I found it so boring I stopped at pg 2.

    The trouble with the Koran is that they arranged the chapters in order of length instead of in chronological order! It also repeats itself a lot.

    Allah, amazingly, is not a very good writer.

    There is a version of the Koran called A Simple Koran. They put the chapters in chronological order, stripped out a lot of the repetition, and added in some historical context about the life of Mohammed.

    It’s still very boring, I have to say. I haven’t gotten very far in it. So far the message is that if you don’t believe in the message of Islam, you are going to go to hell. They repeat that message over and over.

    I think it will get more interesting later when they start killing the infidels.

  147. Tom

    Oh and unicorns, with an added bonus of an opportunity for Jascon Clare and Kate Lundy to tell us how much we need the government.

  148. Tracey

    ”This is just Tony Abbott doing what Joh Bjelke-Petersen and Gina Rinehart want,” Ms Milne said.

    Oh dear. Did Christine miss the bit where Joh died years ago?

  149. Skuter

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/media/abc-wins-one-off-10m-increase-to-budget/story-e6frg996-1226572712989
    Of course it would be waaaay to cynical to suggest this is a ploy from Conroy to garner more favourable coverage from ‘our ABC’…the red underpants gnome wouldn’t do that, would he? /sarc off
    These knuckleheads must think we’re stupid…

  150. dover_beach

    It’s absurd to imagine that the choice is either Jerusalem or Athens and the early Christians and their descendants had the good grace to absorb those elements of pagan culture that were worth absorbing and they did a remarkable job of this particularly in relation to intellectual and institutional framework of antiquity. But they also cast off its most vile elements and Christianized the remainder. But to have people here criticize Charlemagne, for instances, for practices that the pagans themselves would never have even thought twice of doing and did when they were the victors is just incredible.

  151. Gab

    FFS you guys are paranoid.

    So you’ve already said before. I think you’re paranoid about us guys.

  152. Gab

    It’s absurd to imagine that the choice is either Jerusalem or Athens and the early Christians and their descendants had the good grace to absorb those elements of pagan culture that were worth absorbing and they did a remarkable job of this particularly in relation to intellectual and institutional framework of antiquity. But they also cast off its most vile elements and Christianized the remainder. But to have people here criticize Charlemagne, for instances, for practices that the pagans themselves would never have even thought twice of doing and did when they were the victors is just incredible.

    Dover, I beseech you to stop being so balanced and even-handed in your comments.

  153. C.L.

    Dot, can you stop going on about religion?

    It’s really boring for everyone.

  154. .

    I’ll stop when people stop calling me an atheist for disagreeing with them about history. It’s a slur considering you have called athiests morons, mass murderers and so on.

    It’s absurd to imagine that the choice is either Jerusalem or Athens

    Of course, we’re left with a legacy of synthesis and we got the best of East and West.

    Thinking about it more – I’d say Hitler was a heretic with a messiah complex.

    But to have people here criticize Charlemagne, for instances, for practices that the pagans themselves would never have even thought twice of doing and did when they were the victors is just incredible.

    I’ve criticised everyone in the British Empire basically before 1832 as well. I mentioned that before and serial pest James said having such a belief was pretentious, I was being a wanker, pretending to be of a higher intelligence than I really am – after that deluded fuckwit has offered nothing of substance for an entire day.

  155. Andrew

    Gillard’s lying and not answering of questions is getting worse every day.

  156. Gab

    I’ll stop when people stop calling me an atheist

    Paranoid atheist then?

  157. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Interesting discussion on the Scandinavians and Charlemagne and the Christianisation of Europe and beyond. Yobbo is right. It was at times very forced and brutal. CL is right too. It was often not, being peaceful and considered, bringing many advantages with it, both economic and moral.

    I am the proud owner, and avid reader, of Richard Fletcher’s ‘The Barbarian Conversion’ (Henry Holt, NY 1998), which I purchased in a Christian bookshop in the Aldgate in Oxford. The complexity of the conversion process, ably dissected by Fletcher, is summared briefly for us as this:

    “Magic stones; magic letters; magic belts and bridles; magic dust. These few samples from a vast body of evidence prompt reflections on the manner in which Christian churchmen of the early Middle Ages were prepared to make room for customs and beliefs, practices and pratcitioners, of long ancestry and continuing vitality outside a Christian dispensation. It is a process that historians of religion term syncretism, which has been defined by The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church as a ‘fusion of various beliefs and practices’. The process has been called by other names: adaptation, borrowing, compromise, dilution, juxtaposition, surrender, transference are just some of them. Which one we chose to employ will reveal something of what we think about the processs. It has long been recognized that a readiness to adapt was of critical importance in the process of Christianization. So far, so simple. But there are other fine discriminations to be made and variables to which the enquirer must be alert. The problems are not dissimilar to some of those we encountered in chapters 5 and 6 when observing the interplay of missionary churchmen and warrior aristocracies. It was a matter of drawing lines around the limits of what was acceptable in trditional belief and practice.” 1997:253

    I believe that I can make a contribution to showing that something else was also going on in religious conflict during this period, the remnants of which can still be found, if we know where to look. I have done a bit of looking. It concerns the Nicene Creed and the poorly explained appeal of Arianism to the Germanic nations.

    All I wish to do is set the ball of discussion rolling in a populist manner on certain aspects of Christian syncretism and yes, of conflicting belief systems. I chose to do it this way because I am no historian, nor do I want to become one, and should my book sound like Fletcher’s then none of my friends would want to read it. I just found something to do with a name (I am fussy about names 🙂 ), in Scandinavia, at Gamla Uppsala, a linkage I think no-one else has spotted – yet – although some are getting close (Sutton Hoo helps), and I wish to put it out there in a way that a lot of people might read; to share with them my excitement about how and when I found this name, and then how I found a lot more because I knew what I was looking for. A different sort of detective story, maybe. There is a history of this conflict. It lies embedded in the Arthurian legends.

    I found in pursing some on-topic reading that very little consideration has been given to the prospect that there existed for a very long period in Europe a developed and anterior religion, categorised as ‘heathen’, one which did not just have its external rituals and simple beliefs as Fletcher elaborates, but which had also a strongly imagined theology. Pagan, CL, is a term originally used regarding the peasant beliefs in the old pantheon of the Romanised countryside during the period of Christianisation of the cities. Pagan was not a term for those whose gods ruled beyond the power of Rome and its Romanitas. Those gods were ‘heathen’: the ancient gods of the Germanic hearth.

    This heathen religion deserves more attention, but work in this area, as I ruefully admit in my now written first chapter, is speculative, a ‘salvage’ anthropology, and it can’t really be more. Given what I have found, I deem that this lost religious past has not been well served by work of contemporary religious historians, who cannot leap from the particularist (every locality had its own deities, there was no real pantheon and no theology). I have no skin in any academic game, so I can make this leap in order to seek remnant forms of something more grand, as say the great nineteenth century historians of religion such as Sir James Frazer were doing. Not that the seekers of The White Goddess (as Robert Graves put it) were right, or that Gaia seekers today are anything but deluded fools, but there is a masculine and feminine in this this as in other early religions that I can unpick, even if only for fun. It could bring out some home truths about gender roles sorely needed under today’s feminisms.

    As I say in that just formed first chapter, it is a good thing that, on this, I have no great academic reputation to lose, and that therefore Lizzie B can prattle away happily as she wishes.

    If this doesn’t work for me, then no sweat, I will move on to other things.

    Another book I have found useful is Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick, “A History of Pagan Europe”, Routledge 1995. An easier read, more of an overview, but drawing together a mass of information that demonstrates just how much of the old ‘pagan’ (read ‘heathen’) religious iconography is still extant; I think some of the beliefs are dimly visible too, euheumised into folk tales. I would not of course be the first to say this (folklorists do go on), but I think I can add something yet unsaid that has a particular salience to early Christianity. You have to have an obsessive interest with words and their origins and meanings to even begin to think this way: maybe my only qualification, maybe too my downfall.

    CL – for more on ‘paganism’ in the Romanitas, you might find another of my favourites a good read:
    Ramsay MacMullen, Yale UP, 1984 “Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries”.

  158. .

    Really Gab, if you want to antagonise me and everyone else finds this very dull, prepare for more dullness.

    C.L., could you refrain from making up history such as ‘the Catholic Church saved Europe and thus civilisation in 1571 (because there would have been NO land battles after this) and you can thank *us* “Catholics who believe the Church has never done anything wrong that can’t be excused with moral relativism, which otherwise we bitterly oppose)” for saving civilisation”?

    Cheers.

  159. Gab

    Aww, Dot I just get a kick out of your meltdowns.

  160. .

    If you say braindead things, what do you expect? A commendation?

  161. Skuter

    If you say braindead things, what do you expect? A commendation?

    It seems to work for the slapper…

  162. dover_beach

    I heartily recommend Brown’s The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity, A.D. 200-1000 (Making of Europe)

    The title is slightly misleading as he also addresses its fortunes in the East, particularly in Asia Minor and Caucasus.

  163. .

    It’s going into a wishlist, I have a pile of literature a metre high I haven’t touched. Besides 2 pages of the Quran and about five of The Shiralee.

  164. John H.

    It’s going into a wishlist, I have a pile of literature a metre high I haven’t touched. Besides 2 pages of the Quran and about five of The Shiralee.

    Becomes a problem eh? How much to read and how to choose what to read. I’ve been very scatter brained over recent months, hoping but continually failing to find something interesting I can sink my teeth into. I have decided to cut down my blogging because I think it is leading me to think about too many things.

  165. JamesK

    An impish read but informative:

    How the Irish saved civilization:
    the untold story of Ireland’s heroic role from the fall of Rome to the rise of medieval Europe

    It’s only 250 odd pages but even that would be challenging for Yobbo and co.

    It certainly illustrates the core role of monasticism in European cultural advancement and the Irish monks syncretism with Pagan fables

  166. Tom

    Just to make sure, the Gillard rabble has allocated an extra $10 million to the ABC to splurge on new journalists in an election year:

    The ABC’s director of news, Kate Torney, told staff in a speech at the broadcaster’s Ultimo head office today that was broadcast to ABC news offices around the country that there was “’No better place to be if you’re a journalist than the ABC”.

    She added she was in a “rare and privileged position to be talking about recruiting more journalists”.

    The sum is a one-off payment linked to the ABC’s news gathering review undertaken over the last 12 months in order to restructure ABC News. It is not linked to the upcoming triennial funding package.

    Some of the money will be spent on improving regional newsgathering, including putting in better communications infrastructure and more cameras, as well as hiring more journalists for extended specialist and network rounds.

    The broadcaster is also investigating the introduction of a fact-checking unit.

    The increased funding comes amidst continuing negotiations with the federal government for the broadcaster’s triennial funding package, due to be announced in the coming May budget. It was postponed for 12 months last year.

    This week, ABC managing director Mark Scott, chairman Jim Spigelman and others visited Canberra to lobby politicians and presented its annual showcase of programs last night.

    The chairman stressed the broadcaster’s role as a strengthener of citizenship and a national builder, not just an audience chaser.

    He said the broadcaster was not just another media company, but a “gift from the government of Australia”.

    Communications Minister Stephen Conroy pre-empted today’s announcement by telling the ABC showcase the government was committed to strengthening the ABC’s news gathering abilities, particularly in regional areas.

    h/t Blair

  167. Abu Chowdah

    Sinc!!!!!!!

    That’s a classic from CL.

    It deserves to be formalised as a Catallaxy Liberty Quote

    Good god, man. Have some self respect and stop acting like a teenager.

  168. Yobbo

    Hitler was a Roman Catholic and the Pope instructed all Catholics to pray for him on his birthday until he died.

  169. Abu Chowdah

    Interesting discussion on the Scandinavians and Charlemagne and the Christianisation of Europe and beyond. Yobbo is right. It was at times very forced and brutal. CL is right too. It was often not, being peaceful and considered, bringing many advantages with it, both economic and moral.

    Yes indeed. Sounds just like Islam, which used Christianity as it’s blueprint.

  170. Yobbo

    In his book Mein Kampf Hitler made numerous religious pronouncements.[2] In its pages, historian Richard Steigmann-Gall notes, “Hitler gave no indication of being an atheist or agnostic or of believing in only a remote, rationalist divinity. Indeed, he referred continually to a providential, active deity.”[31]
    “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

    Learn.

  171. Abu Chowdah

    It’s only 250 odd pages but even that would be challenging for Yobbo and co.

    You are on fire!

    You nailed it. Reading long texts is a challenge for anyone who disagrees with you and backs their position with facts.

    Run, James, run from the facty, fact-filled facts.

  172. .

    Don’t let your sadness overcome you and make you rude:

    I’m Maverick.

  173. WhaleHunt Fun

    More scum to sell on Sept 15th, kidneys included

  174. Yobbo

    But to have people here criticize Charlemagne, for instances, for practices that the pagans themselves would never have even thought twice of doing and did when they were the victors is just incredible.

    I think you missed the part, Dover Beach, where CL claimed that there was no forced conversion of anyone in Europe, and they all took up Catholicism purely because of the beauty of the teachings of Jesus.

    So again, forgive me for describing what actually happened.

  175. Abu Chowdah

    My goodness, Yobbo. It sounds like Hitler struck a chord with the belief of the religious masses that they are backed by a divine destiny. Could it be that he manipulated a human flaw in this manner, exploiting a religious imperative? Surely, not!

    Actually, Yobbo, sarcasm aside, you are late to this party. CL already described Nazism and Stalinism as “cults” up thread, tacitly acknowledging that they were, like all cults including his own, a human phenomenon.

  176. Infidel Tiger

    After 5000 years of religious debate I would be shocked if the good denizens of Catallaxy couldn’t comprehensively end the debate once and for all.

  177. Infidel Tiger

    “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

    Lee Rhiannon?

    Christine Milne?

  178. Gab

    Learn.

    Interesting. I linked to a book that gives a different historical perceptive on Hitler and his using religion merely as propaganda and he believed religion just enslaved the masses but I guess Yobbo’s Wiki link trumps all.

    braindead

    Why thank you, Dot. Coming from you, the scholar and genius that you are, I’ll take your enlightened criticism under advisement and be sure to agree with you on everything in future.

  179. Yobbo

    The truth of the matter is, if Constantine had never decided to make Christianity the official religion of Rome, nobody would ever have heard of it.

    It was the Roman empire that was spectacular and glorious, not Christianity. Christianity has no more to offer than any of a dozen other religions.

    Its only claim to fame is that it happened to be the religion of the greatest military power in the history of mankind.

  180. Yobbo

    Actually, Yobbo, sarcasm aside, you are late to this party. CL already described Nazism and Stalinism as “cults” up thread

    CL repeatedly and incorrectly refers to Hitler as an atheist. He quite plainly wasn’t. He believed in a theistic god, he simply disliked organised religion.

    Stalin was an actually an atheist. Hitler was not.

  181. .

    Why thank you, Dot. Coming from you, the scholar and genius that you are, I’ll take your enlightened criticism under advisement and be sure to agree with you on everything in future.

    Really Gab? You trolled me earlier because you thought my responses were amusing.

  182. JamesK

    LOL

    The reliably vile Yobbo is back with his Hitler is a Catholic meme.

    And Pope Pius prayed for him apparently.

    You are quite mad as well as being a thoroughly vile man Yobbo.

    And Abu, you apparently enjoy playing the cretin intermittently.

    *yawn*

  183. Skuter

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/julia-gillard-sells-her-boutique-canberra-apartment/story-fn59niix-1226572752216

    Interesting. Maybe I’m reading too much into things, but it seems Gillard has resigned herself to losing the election and she looks set to resign from politics afterwards…the opposition should press her on whether she intends to resign if she loses the election. It could take the sting out of any government attempts to try and avoid a by-election befor the general election in the event someone is removed or retires from the HoR…

  184. Gab

    Beautifully said, Lizzie at 3.01pm, all of it. Throughly appreciate your comment above. Your upcoming book sounds intriguing and I am sure will be enjoyable; I look forward to its publication. As a few have noted here, you were born to write.

    You have to have an obsessive interest with words and their origins and meanings to even begin to think this way:

    A very good memory is a boon also.

    maybe my only qualification, maybe too my downfall.

    Yin and yang, a curse and a blessing, depending upon attitude, but balances itself out, imho.

  185. dover_beach

    where CL claimed that there was no forced conversion of anyone in Europe

    I don’t think CL actually said that.

    So again, forgive me for describing what actually happened.

    But you hadn’t since you claimed that Christianity converted Europe by force.

    Learn

    Indeed, from your wiki link:

    According to Max Domarus Hitler promoted the idea of God as the creator of Germany, but Hitler “was not a Christian in any accepted meaning of that word.”[52] Domarus also points out that Hitler did not believe in organized religion and did not see himself as a religious reformer.[52] According to historian Laurence Rees, “Hitler did not believe in the afterlife, but he did believe he would have a life after death because of what he had achieved.”[53] Historian Richard Overy maintains that Hitler was not a “practising Christian,” nor was he a “thorough atheist.”[54] According to Robert S. Wistrich Hitler thought Christianity was finished but he did not want any direct confrontation for strategic reasons.[55] Samuel Koehne, a Research Fellow at the Alfred Deakin Research Institute, working on the official Nazi views on religion, answers the question Was Hitler a Christian? thus: “Emphatically not, if we consider Christianity in its traditional or orthodox form: Jesus as the son of God, dying for the redemption of the sins of all humankind. It is a nonsense to state that Hitler (or any of the Nazis) adhered to Christianity of this form.”[56] Koehne says Hitler was probably not an atheist and refers to the fact that recent works have asserted that he was a deist.[56] Richard Evans concluded his statements on Hitler’s religious views by suggesting that the gap between Hitler’s public and private pronouncements was due to a desire not to cause a quarrel with the churches that might undermine national unity.[49]

    And yet you merely quoted from Hitler’s ‘early period’ and ignored the scholarly consensus. But at least you have Overy’s judgement that Hitler wasn’t a thorough atheist, and Koehne’s that Hitler was not so much a atheist as a deist.

  186. stackja

    Token 7 Feb 13 at 1:43 pm

    Sport drug cheat stories take heat off ALP political cheats stories. Seems convenient. McT again?

  187. .

    It was the Roman empire that was spectacular and glorious, not Christianity. Christianity has no more to offer than any of a dozen other religions.

    Its only claim to fame is that it happened to be the religion of the greatest military power in the history of mankind.

    That’s entirely the point Yobbo.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_2

    The point is made again in The Last Temptation of Christ.

  188. Yobbo

    The reliably vile Yobbo is back with his Hitler is a Catholic meme.

    No James. It’s CL whose only argument ever on this subject is “HITLER AND STALIN WERE ATHEISTS! ATHEISTS BAD!.

    Hitler was not an atheist. This is a historical fact. He was raised a Catholic, confirmed as a Catholic. He later became antagonistic to the hierarchical nature of the Catholic church, but he always remained Christian and was never even close to Atheism. Ever.

  189. ella

    Gab,

    Hitler got his ideas for Mein Kampf from biologist Ernst Haeckel. Heackel had a theory of nature he called “monism” – turned into a movement called the Monist League. Monism is the opposite of dualism, as I’m sure you know.

  190. Yobbo

    I should make this clear though: It doesn’t make a bit of difference to me whether Hitler was Muslim, Catholic, Atheist or Hindu. He didn’t start WWII to spread atheism.

    CL is the only person here who cares what religion Hitler and Stalin were.

  191. Abu Chowdah

    LOL

    The reliably vile Yobbo is back with his Hitler is a Catholic meme.

    And Pope Pius prayed for him apparently.

    You are quite mad as well as being a thoroughly vile man Yobbo.

    And Abu, you apparently enjoy playing the cretin intermittently.

    *yawn*

    Apparently!

  192. dover_beach

    The truth of the matter is, if Constantine had never decided to make Christianity the official religion of Rome, nobody would ever have heard of it.

    Nonsense. Christians had been kicking goals well before Constantine. And this makes Constantine’s act before the battle of the Milvian bridge explicable.

    It was the Roman empire that was spectacular and glorious, not Christianity. Christianity has no more to offer than any of a dozen other religions.

    What, no word of complaint of the Romans subjection of Gaul or Iberia or Carthage? Earlier today you shed copious tears about the Saxons but now, not even a care for the Averni. Damn Charlemagne, but Julius Caesar, glorious! glorious!

    Its only claim to fame is that it happened to be the religion of the greatest military power in the history of mankind.

    And, of course, that without Christianity the glories of antiquity would have been driven into the dust by the yokel heathens to the north, rather than preserved and perfected.

  193. duncanm

    re the ABC funding boost:

    The broadcaster is also investigating the introduction of a fact-checking unit.

    WTF?

    Isn’t that what the fricken news people are supposed to do now?

    Maybe they could use their well earned breaks ™(MWD) to check the facts.

  194. Yobbo

    You are quite mad as well as being a thoroughly vile man Yobbo.

    Yep, correcting CL’s never-ending lies and half-truths in defense of his favourite supernatural being makes me insane.

    I’d actually be interested to know if JamesK has ever contributed anything to this site except insults.

  195. .

    Damn Charlemagne, but Julius Caesar, glorious! glorious!

    Believe whatever the hell you like.

  196. dover_beach

    He later became antagonistic to the hierarchical nature of the Catholic church, but he always remained Christian and was never even close to Atheism. Ever.

    Yobbo, this is contradicted by your own link above as I demonstrate in my quotation above with the appropriate emphasis.

  197. Yobbo

    And, of course, that without Christianity the glories of antiquity would have been driven into the dust by the yokel heathens to the north

    It was actually the other way around. Christians under Charlemagne undertook an orgy of iconoclasm in Saxony and Scandinavia that lasted decades, if not centuries.

    The Romans were preserving the works of antiquity long before they became Christians.

  198. Septimus

    Good afternoon Sinclair,

    Do you think a new ‘Religous Wars’ thread might be started? Or is this it?

    If the latter, could we have a new thread for ‘Anything Other Than Religious Wars’?

    Kindest regards, Septimus

  199. Yobbo

    Yobbo, this is contradicted by your own link above as I demonstrate in my quotation above with the appropriate emphasis.

    I could quote the parts that agree with me if you like, but I think linking to it is enough, since it’s a pretty long article and anyone who is actually interested can read the whole thing themselves.

  200. dover_beach

    Sorry dot, but if you are going to complain about Charlemagne’s conquest of Saxony but offer not a bit of complaint about the Roman conquest of Iberia, Gaul and Carthage you cannot be surprised if I point out the stunning moral and intellectual hypocrisy.

  201. Quentin George

    I’d be more grateful for Catholics “saving” western civilisation if they hadn’t played a big hand in ending that same civilisation before hand, what with the closing of the philosophy schools in Greece and the end of religious tolerance in the Empire.

    Islam also wouldn’t have got any foothold outside of Arabia were it not for the made desire to impose catholic orthodoxy on the “heretics” of the West (ie, Arians) and the East (Monothelitism).

  202. Ivan Denisovich

    Its only claim to fame is that it happened to be the religion of the greatest military power in the history of mankind.

    I’d guess that the Soviets ruled over a larger territory.

    The truth of the matter is, if Constantine had never decided to make Christianity the official religion of Rome, nobody would ever have heard of it.

    Stalin was an actually an atheist.

    Foolowing that line of argument, atheism should have spread and be continuing to spread like wildfire through the former Soviet Republics.

  203. .

    Sorry dot, but if you are going to complain about Charlemagne’s conquest of Saxony but offer not a bit of complaint about the Roman conquest of Iberia, Gaul and Carthage you cannot be surprised if I point out the stunning moral and intellectual hypocrisy.

    …how…because I think Julius Caesar was a paragon of virtue?

    What the fuck made you think that?

    I have repeated myself that until a few hundred years ago, even the enlightened West was ruled over by bloodthirsty dickheads.

    Please learn to familiarise yourself with other people’s arguments before you carelessly bandy about phrases like “caricature”.

  204. Fisky

    Could someone please tell me how many Catholics there are in Australia and how this number was arrived at? I’ve heard conflicting claims, some of them seemingly inflated.

  205. dover_beach

    I could quote the parts that agree with me if you like…

    That would be tendentious. You could have just summarized or quoted the judgement of scholars in this area as I did but that wouldn’t have suited the argument your running.

    It was actually the other way around. Christians under Charlemagne undertook an orgy of iconoclasm in Saxony and Scandinavia that lasted decades, if not centuries.

    Yes, they were cutting down sacred trees, but they were also absorbing parts of heathen culture and creating new festivals, as they did in England and Ireland and elsewhere.

    The Romans were preserving the works of antiquity long before they became Christians.

    Of course, the Christians in the West were Romans. They took up the baton against the repeated invasion of Roman lands from the North and East.

  206. Huckleberry Chunkwot

    Just to change the subject slightly, did anyone else notice that m0nster made a drive-by appearance on the Mrs Magoo thread today?
    He is obviously lurking around these parts but hasn’t had the balls to stick his head up since the Newspoll numbers on Monday.
    I can’t wait to see how truly pathetic he is after the only poll that counts later on this year.

  207. Yobbo

    Foolowing that line of argument, atheism should have spread and be continuing to spread like wildfire through the former Soviet Republics.

    It probably would have, if Stalin had reigned for 1000 years, and had burned more people alive instead of just trying to make them atheists by way of propaganda.

  208. JamesK

    No James. It’s CL whose only argument ever on this subject is “HITLER AND STALIN WERE ATHEISTS!

    Well he’s right!

    Some argue Hitler was a theist it’s clear he is no believer in a judeo-christian God.

    He rightly saw the Catholic church as his enemy and successfully (and much to the Church’s shame) the ‘Concordat’ was signed in 1933.

    Under the Concordat, the church was guaranteed autonomy of ecclesiastical institutions and their religious activities but had to cease political activities.

    Under the Concordat, German Bishops agreed to swear an oath of loyalty to Nazi Germany

    But despite leftist revisionism Pius was a hero not a villain particularly with respect to Mussolini’s and Hitler’s treatment of Jews.

    There’s no point in being vile and absolutist and then subsequently affecting reasonableness and moderation only after the blow-back Yobbo.

  209. Token

    If the latter, could we have a new thread for ‘Anything Other Than Religious Wars’?

    So you looking forward to the Guns debate dominating the OT?

  210. harrys on the boat

    For fucks sake give it a rest on religion. Lets get back to ridiculing this clusterfuck of a government, more fun and everyone can play.

    Sinc, please end the religious comments or give them a new thread. Also how are your mighty bombers looking? Tried placing money on them for the spoon yesterday but betting was suspended.

  211. JamesK

    So you looking forward to the Guns debate dominating the OT?

    I liked Henson Ong – Legal Immigrant’s speech on 2nd Amendment
    Gun Violence Prevention Working Group Public Hearing – Hartford, CT – 1/28/2013

  212. dover_beach

    Please learn to familiarise yourself with other people’s arguments before you carelessly bandy about phrases like “caricature”.

    dot, your response to Yobbo’s:

    It was the Roman empire that was spectacular and glorious, not Christianity.

    was “that is entirely the point”. To which I then made the observation that you find so offensive for reasons that escape me given what you’ve said.

  213. Ivan Denisovich

    It probably would have, if Stalin had reigned for 1000 years, and had burned more people alive instead of just trying to make them atheists by way of propaganda.

    Constantine didn’t rule for a thousand years and plenty were killed or imprisoned for their religious beliefs in the Soviet Union.

  214. Yobbo

    Constantine didn’t rule for a thousand years

    No, but the Catholic Church did.

    Stalinism was only in vogue for about 20 years. They probably would have converted more people given another few hundred years.

  215. dover_beach

    Well, we can be certain that Stalinism certainly killed more people in those twenty years than all Christian rulers combined did in those thousand years.

  216. Pedro

    You have to laugh that anyone really thinks the irish saved western civilisation. Byzantium anyone? There was a reason the book was so small.

  217. Pedro

    “Well, we can be certain that Stalinism certainly killed more people in those twenty years than all Christian rulers combined did in those thousand years.”

    Yes, we’re all agreed that stalinism is yucky, but that says nothing about atheists.

  218. dover_beach

    BTW, the idea that the Church was ‘ruling’ in England or France or Germany or Spain or Hungary in the 800s or 1100s or 1300s is just ahistorical nonsense.

  219. Ivan Denisovich

    No, but the Catholic Church did.

    Stalinism was only in vogue for about 20 years. They probably would have converted more people given another few hundred years.

    Your argument, though, is that it was down to Constantine’s intervention. The parallels are there, but not the success. Quite the contrary. There has been growth in religious belief and observance.

  220. Pedro

    True, but the church was a big player and shares lots of responsibility.

  221. Yobbo

    Well, we can be certain that Stalinism certainly killed more people in those twenty years than all Christian rulers combined did in those thousand years.

    Stalinism was eradicated though (except in North Korea I guess).

    The catholic church is still killing millions of people every year by forbidding them from using condoms to prevent HIV.

    And yet, some people still think it’s a wonderful organisation.

  222. Quentin George

    BTW, the idea that the Church was ‘ruling’ in England or France or Germany or Spain or Hungary in the 800s or 1100s or 1300s is just ahistorical nonsense.

    Um, what? Ever heard of the investiture controversy? The Pope was able to make the most powerful secular European ruler wait in the snowing nothing but a hair-shirt until he was forgiven. The Church was the only, I repeat, only trans-national power in Europe. The power it wielded under fellows like Innocent III was immense. The Catholic Church and its priests were untouchable by the secular rulers, and remained so for centuries. That’s power.

  223. dover_beach

    You have to laugh that anyone really thinks the irish saved western civilisation. Byzantium anyone?

    I’m not familiar with the book but it is true that Irish monks returned to western parts of the Empire that fell to ruin following the Germanic invasions of the fifth century to re-build the institutions that would latter form an important part of the European civilization. That they saved it is most likely an exaggeration. Byzantium more or less gave up the Western half of its empire. I don’t blame them as they were under the hammer themselves.

  224. Quentin George

    Sorry, for “…snowing…” read “…snow wearing…”.

  225. Abu Chowdah

    Well, we can be certain that Stalinism certainly killed more people in those twenty years than all Christian rulers combined did in those thousand years.

    Economies of scale: Population sizes PLUS technological advances.

  226. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    DB – I have digested all of Brown’s book on The Rise of Western Christendom that Amazon have let me have as a taste online – there is no Kindle version, as with so many of these must-have reads on history etc. I’m sure there is a market? I will have to order it in via mail.

    I like the bit ‘the sheer excitement of men of the pen of the sixth, seventh and eighth centures as they set about to create for themselves an orderly and ‘usable’ view of the origins of their own tribes’. It’s no secret that a lot of editing went on too: see The Eddas, which bear signs of strong Christianisation; also Beowulf. Bede libelled Celtic Christianity too, in favour of his Roman preference and Anglo-Saxon being. Thus the Irish and the Welsh even today carry that mark or stain of ‘cowardice’ and ‘foolishness’ which possibly traces back to Bede’s attack on them for not doing more to Christianise the early Saxons Kingdoms (the Cornish, by being slipped into England, seem to have escaped). The warrior Scottish were – well- a bit Scottish about being messed with, and are still so, merely carrying the stain of parsimony.

    I have been getting into the Latin (and other things) in the work of C5th Gildas – “On the Ruin of Britain”; a work sorely misinterpreted as even vaguely historical (historian Nicholas Higham would agree with me there in his very good book on the C9th Historia Brittonum, a text which sources from Gildas). Gildas’s De Exidio Britanniae is certainly a Biblical redemptive Jerimiad. But I want to show too how it is metaphorical in quite another way, and that what it is being metaphorical about can help us to rewrite some C5th history, with the aid of a few legends or two, some genetics, some archaeology, some further ancient textual analysis about a poor little C9th monk’s ‘scribal error’ that is not really an error (Lizzie to his rescue) even though his tiny hand was frozen, and some further linguistics from Lizzie. Pelagianism is relevant of course, but again, not the whole story.

    The Pinenne Thesis mentioned by Brown (in outline) gave the Germanics no quarter in the cultural stakes, and of course this is where I come in – to say that syncretisms were everywhere, but in my view there was a big battle over one syncretic element that really caused trouble. What was the name that Percival could not mention in the Grail legends, and why did it matter so much? I know what it was and why it mattered. Cryptic, eh?

    James – I have read that book on how the Irish saved civilisation. It is excellent. In Ireland I went to the Dingle peninsula and looked at the Gallus Oratory and all the little beehive huts and imagined the monks all copying out their Plato, plateless in the squalor. Amazing stuff.

    You don’t have to tell me how great the Irish are. 🙂

    Dot – too many books to read, true, and John H yes, da blogs can be da problem at times, and with all the reading and ideas you run into the wood and trees problem, so I am going to try and refocus to the bare bones of what I want to say and leave others to do the clever work of academic fencing and footnoting. Blogstop and Rabz advised: put some sex into it. Somehow I might manage that too. 🙂

    I have to write this as Lizzie, as myself. My thesis is about the significance of a name, of names and naming. I hope this may explain some of my petulance lately over my own name.

    And Gab, if it doesn’t bloody well get written this year I will dump it and write what everyone else does. Biography 101.

  227. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    “For fucks sake give it a rest on religion.”

    No harrys on the boat, no! I want more! Bring in the B-doubles and the supertankers delivering more on religion. 🙂

    Anyway it’s only been going for 24 hours – give ’em a chance ‘cos it’s the right thing to do (Comrade Lying Slapper™).

    I have an abiding affection for the Roman Catholic faith, love the Mass and I’m not minded to argue the toss about that here. Nonetheless I do enjoy reading the passionate and sometimes mad arguments here, and the evidence offered, for matters on which, for Mick, the science is settled! 🙂

  228. JamesK

    Well, we can be certain that Stalinism certainly killed more people in those twenty years than all Christian rulers combined did in those thousand years.

    Economies of scale: Population sizes PLUS technological advances.

    Do try and desist being a dumbfuck Abu.

  229. dover_beach

    The catholic church is still killing millions of people every year by forbidding them from using condoms to prevent HIV.

    LOL. Yes, those poor promiscuous sods are routinely flouting one of the Church’s teaching only to faithfully follow the other.

    Um, what? Ever heard of the investiture controversy?

    Yes, I have, I’ve pointed to this precisely to prove this point. If they indeed did ‘rule’ there would have been no controversy. Apparently, we should be shocked that the Church would want to appoint bishops and abbots themselves rather than have this performed by the local secular ruler.

    The Pope was able to make the most powerful secular European ruler wait in the snowing nothing but a hair-shirt until he was forgiven.

    Yes, wonderful, isn’t it. Libertarians wet their pants from joy when Packer fronted the Senate and treated them with contempt but the Pope telling this or that King that he, not they, will appoint members of his own organisation is an affront to the dignity of kings and princes. FM.

    The Church was the only, I repeat, only trans-national power in Europe. The power it wielded under fellows like Innocent III was immense. The Catholic Church and its priests were untouchable by the secular rulers, and remained so for centuries. That’s power.

    Not quite. Thomas Beckett, the Archbishop of Canterbury, for instance, was not quite untouchable and was murdered by the King’s men during the investiture controversy.

  230. Infidel Tiger

    Have you ever heard more wank in your life than all these shrieking banshees banging on about match fixing and drugs in sport?

    That fascist gnomelike shit stain Senator Xylophone has called for all gambling to be immediately suspended.

    What a load of cobblers.

  231. Fisky

    Well, we can be certain that Stalinism certainly killed more people in those twenty years than all Christian rulers combined did in those thousand years.

    No, we cannot be sure of that at all. The 30 Years’ War led to a dramatic fall in the population of Central Europe through battle casualties, starvation and disease, perhaps not quite equal in proportion to the Black Death.

  232. tbh

    Nothing like a moral panic to get statist politicians in a lather, IT. They have to justify their existence somehow. How about we leave the regulation of sport to the administrators of those sports eh?

  233. Infidel Tiger

    The catholic church is still killing millions of people every year by forbidding them from using condoms to prevent HIV.

    I didn’t know all those barebacking homos were such devout Catholics?

    I’m curious as to why they listened to the Church on not using contraception but not on abstinence?

  234. dover_beach

    Lizzie, the latest edition of Brown’s The Rise of Western Christendom is available on Kindle.

  235. Gab

    if it doesn’t bloody well get written this year I will dump it and write what everyone else does. Biography 101.

    If, you say? Charming; after you captured my interest now you tell me it may not happen. But then, the pressure of expectation from your readership can overwhelm and stifle the creative process. You’ll have to forgive my enthusiasm, stemming from regret that I simply cannot write as brilliantly as some, yet can recognise literary exceptionalness in others. See Dot, I’m not totally “braindead”. But I’ll harass you no more on your progress. I’ll be like Percival 2.0 🙂

  236. JC

    I had a interesting conversation with a friend in the oil and gas business in the US.

    He reckons that carmakers are working on engines that you will be able to fill from the gas line to the home.

    Oil to gas is the biggest short of a lifetime.

  237. JamesK

    I didn’t know all those barebacking homos were such devout Catholics?

    Actually ope Benedict said:

    …sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalisation of sexuality, which, after all, is precisely the dangerous source of the attitude of no longer seeing sexuality as the expression of love, but only a sort of drug that people administer to themselves…There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralisation, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanisation of sexuality.

  238. JamesK

    Actually Pope Benedict said:

  239. JamesK

    He reckons that carmakers are working on engines that you will be able to fill from the gas line to the home.

    Yeah!

    All that would be required is a compressor and tank.

  240. Yobbo

    I didn’t know all those barebacking homos were such devout Catholics?

    The 42 million Africans living with HIV/AIDS are not homos. They are mostly heterosexual Catholics who have been told by their church:

    A:) Condoms are a sin
    B:) Condoms don’t stop AIDS anyway, so why use them.
    C:) Condoms increase HIV risk because condoms make people have sex more.

    I’m curious as to why they listened to the Church on not using contraception but not on abstinence?

    Because abstinence is against human nature. Abstinence education doesn’t even work in Western Countries. It is completely unrealistic.

    However, obeying the order not to use condoms is much easier for most people, as nobody actually likes wearing condoms anyway.

  241. Abu Chowdah

    In what way was I being a “dumb fuck”, JamesK?

  242. Yobbo

    Insults are all JamesK has.

  243. nilk

    Lizzie, the latest edition of Brown’s The Rise of Western Christendom is available on Kindle.

    For $35 on kindle it would want to come complete with links to the winning lotto numbers.

  244. jupes

    Now, why don’t you regale me with more tales of how evil we Christians are and how badly Western Civilization has suffered due to Christianity alone.

    More tales Gab? I haven’t regaled you with any yet.

    Modern Western Christianity is not evil. However for a large part of its history it was. The period when Christianity was at its most powerful was called the dark ages. The Spanish Inquisition went from 1477 – 1834. There were also Medieval, Roman and Portugese inquisitions.

    Despite this, Modern Western Christianity has evolved into a civilizing influence on society. I believe this is mainly due to the seperation of Church and state.

  245. Fisky

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/january_february_2013/features/wholesome_millennialsblack_bro042170.php

    Great trends in the US among young people over the last 20 years – lower use of hard drugs, fewer teenage pregnancies, more abstinence and better high school retention. Teenagers of all races are living far cleaner lifestyles than their parents did.

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