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Chameleonic Christianity

SIR RICHARD GREGORY, in a letter to the London Times, punctures the pretentiousness of those who claim that this war, with its world-wide ramifications, is being waged to preserve Christianity. After pointing out that "Mohammedans, Buddhists, Hindus, Parsees, Jews, and other non-Christians, as well as many attached to no particular religious faith, are joined in world fellowship in the cause for which the United Nations are fighting", he adds, "it is, therefore, disconcerting - to say the least - to represent the war as a world conflict between Christianity and paganism".


There are numerous reasons, of course, why we and our allies have joined together in war to crush the opposition, but one thing is certain: the United Nations are fighting to preserve the doctrine that an ancient Jew was born of a virgin, turned water into wine, was crucified on a cross, was buried and rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven like an English Spitfire on its way to Hamburg. Whatever the various reasons are for our united war effort, they do not include the idea that our national existence depends on believing that a Palestinian vagrant fed a multitude of Semites on a few loaves of bread and a few fishes, and had enough left over to fill several bushel baskets.


As for Christianity and its absurd Bible, whoever heard of a modern gentleman picking up a gun, or of a nation going to war in order to prove that a herd of swine, in Judaic times, was possessed by demons? The United Nations are as little concerned in the "truths" of Christianity as they are in the exploits of Jack and the Beanstalk.


What these United Nations are fighting for, as Dr. Gregory points out, is for their own ways of life, their own social ideas, and for self-preservation. They are not sending their youth into battle or spending their substance for the mythology of the Bible. There are, for example, over 400,000,000 Chinese allied with us in the prosecution of the war. These "heathens" are not fighting to defend the Christian religion, nor are they, like Catholic Italy, fighting on the side of Hitler.


But leave it to Christianity to bedeck itself in stolen plumage. After blocking the cultural progress of the world for hundreds of years, it now poses as the champion of civilization, when, in plain truth, its behavior has been like that of the chameleon, changing colors and blending with the background whenever it is expedient. Let a people gather a few crumbs of culture in spite of Christianity and Christianity will claim the credit.


Christianity upheld slavery for over a thousand years, yet no sooner was emancipation achieved than it posed as "the black man's friend". It spat on woman suffrage, then, when woman's rights were won, it posed as the "liberator" of women. It fought tooth and nail the doctrine of evolution, but now assures us (from "liberal" pulpits, at least) that there never was any "real" conflict between science and religion. It opposed anesthesia in child-birth; it now proclaims it as God's "gift" to womankind. Before the war, it worshiped "the Prince of Peace"; it is now singing the song, "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition".

Friends and Colleagues