Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Superiority of Christendom

I think this worthwhile, especially given the bizarre idealization of primitive peoples in the Americas and the outright castigation of those who, while not without sin, were bearers of a higher culture and a not altogether unsubstantiated claim to truth, which I was certainly not the only one to endure in high school history classes.

It has recently become fashionable to decry the expansion of the West to the Orient and Africa and the New World, and to assert or imply that it would have been better if these regions and peoples had never encountered the West. The conflicts, misunderstandings, and bloody wars which arose out of this encounter, and especially the immense evil of black slavery to Europeans, seem at first to support this view... The Christian faith provided the spiritual resources to defeat the evils that arose from Christendom's contact with new cultures during the Age of Discovery. Slavery was eventually abolished in Christendom; thee is not the slightest indication that, outside of Christendom and without the Christian example, its abolition would ever have been thought of anywhere else... It it not considered polite to mention these things today, but in justice they must be spoken of: the million victims of the Thug strangler cult and the millions of innocent widows burned on their husbands' funeral pyres in India--the most painful of all deaths; the mutilated parade of the court eunuchs and the bound-footed women in China; the vicious female circumcision practiced in much of black Africa; the 80,000 human sacrifices a fifteen seconds per man during the dedication of the temple of Huitzilopochtli in Mexico City in 1487 and the island populations literally devoured by the Caribs in the New World sea that still bears their name. These vast and ancient evils Christendom would destroy, and for their destruction the Church of Christ has the right to ask thanks, not condemnation, from the people she delivered from them. - Warren Carroll, The Glory of Christendom, pp. 575-6


Adam said...

I have this sneaking suspicion that christendom has a few evils of its own.

A Wiser Man Than I said...

Undoubtedly, and Carroll spends many sorrowful pages bemoaning the mistakes of fallen man even in Christendom. Like all things built by man, it could have been better.

Still, it is worth noting that its cleaving brought about numerous revolutions, from France to Russia and beyond. The 20th century, brought about my a massive apostasy from Christianity, was the world's bloodiest, and our adventure in Iraq seems unlikely to discontinue this trend.

The world has experienced countless calamities, and will continue to do so, but removing Christianity has proven disastrous. And the worst is yet to come.