New We Are Atheism Blogger Dan Hettmannsperger III click here for full bio.
Among Atheists, Agnostics, Free Thinkers & Secular Humanists I hear a great deal of cynicism regarding the “out” movement. “Monotheism will never go away, Dan, it’s just too deeply engrained for us to ever hope for it to be illuminated.” I myself cannot abide by such a view. Let us consider for a moment just how far we have come to see how far we have to go.
Christianity established it’s hegemony when it became the official religion of the Roman Empire in the 4th Century. From that time on it stretched its tendrils as far East as Russia and as far West as the whole of the Americas, crushing all opposition and forcing millions to convert. In the 16th Century Christianity was a fact of life so entrenched that almost no one even bothered to question it, for to do so was to court disaster in the form of legal sanctions so harsh that they often included the death penalty. It has been estimated that between 1400 and 1700 alone in Europe some 100,000+ innocent women were burned as witches. It can be argued that the absolute height of Christian power was in 1633 when the Inquisition forced Galileo to recant his view that the Earth orbits the Sun and not the other way around, a “crime” which earned Galileo no less than two years of house arrest.
Well, things have certainly changed since then haven’t they?
What passes for leadership in the Christian world often seems to be at best a pack of hateful charlatans with worse ethics that the Russian Mafia. Since 2001 the Catholic Church has become a public relations nightmare consisting of the largest organ of the Christian faith being reduced to a Witness Protection Program for child-rapists. In 2006 Pastor Ted Haggard, former head of the National Association of Evangelicals(NAE), an organization representing more than one million people, was forced to resign in disgrace after being exposed as a whore-mongering closeted homosexual with a penchant for street drugs. Just this last week for the first time in more than 600 years a Pope resigned. Of course he and the Vatican claim this do to health-issues, and absolutely nothing to do with the ongoing sexual scandals that have become the norm for the largest Christian denomination on earth.
As we look at the current state of Christianity and Monotheism as a whole we cannot help begin to see it now as a paper tiger. A piñata whose vulnerability is now all too apparent. When I was a teenager back in that dark period of American history known as “The Reagan Years” the only person who seemed to have the guts to attack the churches openly was the late comedian George Carlin (1937-2008). Now in the 21st century the religious and their views are mocked openly and often by the likes of South Park, The Daily Show, The Onion, 30 Rock, Modern Family and countless other shows and comedians. The Catholic Church, once capable of having heretics burned en masse, now cannot even silence a single one of its critics. As their power continues to fade I cannot feel anything but hope for the future our children will inherit. The disease may not be cured, but it is certainly in remission.