ANTI-CHRISTIAN STRATEGIES"My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures have become clearer and stronger with advancing years," said Abraham Lincoln, a century and a half ago. "What are the fruits of Christianity? Bigotry, superstition and persecution," said President James Madison some two centuries ago. "For seventeen hundred years the Christian sect has done nothing but harm" said Voltaire 230 years ago. Quotations of this sort by the wisest of thinkers and leaders, extending as they do back through the millennia, should serve as a skull and crossbones over the door of the church.
Christianity, obviously, is the worst of all worlds (with the possible exception of Islam). On the one hand, it exhorts its believers to live vicariously, to reach for nothing, inasmuch as Christ has done all the work of redemption for them. In this way it thoroughly discourages individualism, especially in its most creative aspects. On the other hand, it pledges salvation to the dregs of mankindthe lowest ranks of moralityto the mindless and the vicious. Thus it espouses egoism at the cheapest level.
Arrogant Christians are fond of saying, "You can't have it both ways." By that they mean that you can't accept the interconnectedness of everything and at the same time believe in the separation of the individual. But Christianity, founded as it is on the veneration of stupidity, has always confused paradox with inconsistency.
The wise man leans neither on belief nor on non-belief. The whole issue of God/Not-God is unnecessarily dichotomous, as is our analysis of morality/immorality. The Either-Or world is dangerous. Indeed, it is so dangerous that even to proceed in a line midway between this Scylla and Charybdis is to hem oneself in by unwanted limitations. "God" is a word that has yet to be defined and even the certainty of divine singularity vs. plurality is debatable. It is a common conceit that monotheism is a step forward from polytheism and one which some serious metaphysicians are finally beginning to question. The initiate may declare that there is but one "God", but he means that in a quite different sense from the common notion of exclusivity.
Monotheism (see MONOLATRY) always leads to monolithism. We are one another only by differing from one another. It is uniqueness that makes us divine. It is quite possible to deny the existence of "God" without elevating man (in his present condition) to apotheosis. There is, for example, the teaching of Pantheism, in which all plants, animals and, in fact, matter itself, are all equally God. This is also one God.
Anti-christians are admittedly defensive about "Salvation through Christ". First of all, non-Christians insist, there can be no salvation without one's own immolationnot the crucifiction of some 2000 year old personage of legend. Secondly, Christ is a type of supraconsciousness already potential, but undeveloped, in all men and women. It must not be confused with the self-pitying figures depicted in stained glass windows. The Christ level of consciousness is, in fact, certainly not available to the average, plastic-coated, postmodern illiterate, whose vision scarcely extends beyond that of an insect and whose tenacity is no firmer than a worm's pull. Therefore, to make salvation available to all men on a believe-as-you-go basis is idiotic. And finally, the Galilean mode is only one of many modes of consciousnessmost of which are a lot more interesting.