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Beyond the Crusades: Christianity's Lies, Laws and Legacy Paperback – December 3, 2016
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About the Author
Michael Paulkovich is a contributing editor for The American Rationalist, columnist for American Atheist magazine since 2012, contributor to Free Inquiry, Humanist Perspectives and other journals; inventor and retired NASA Space Systems Engineer.
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This book is a chronicle of Christianity's terrible history of depravity and evil. I understand-- those who make a fetish of their 'faith' don't want to hear it, don't want to admit the truth. I get that. But we've all heard the old saying about how forgetting the evils of the past condemns us to repeat it. Just as we must never forget other atrocities such as the Holocaust for example, we must never forget the bloody legacy of Christianity.
We can be as the Buddha urged, lamps unto ourselves. No organization is necessary. You are already good-- now be free.
“Beyond the Crusades” is an exhaustive expose of Christianity. NASA scientist, author Michael Paulkovich provides the readers with an indictment on Christianity and the Bible. This irreverent 470-page book is broken out by the following four parts: I. Christian Timeline, II. A Case Against Religion, III. Christian Roots, and IV. The Bible.
1. An exhaustively researched book.
2. The always-fascinating topic of Christianity, the expose of Christianity.
3. A welcomed irreverent tone.
4. Makes perfectly clear what this book is about. “Moreover, Christianity is no peaceful religion, no gentle church. As such my book is not only about the Jesus character, it is and must be about the Bible and the appalling history of Christendom based on biblical teachings, thus addressing my subtitle: Lies, Laws and Legacy.”
5. I like the Timeline, it takes the reader through the evolution of Christianity.
6. Exposes key errors in the Bible.
7. What is with December 25th? Find out.
8. Paul’s influence on Christian Dogma. “It is largely the consensus among religious scholars and historians that Paul affected the doctrines of Christendom more than did the canonical gospels. The traditional “head of the household” is the man, largely due to Paul’s misogyny.”
9. Key milestones of Christianity. “Also early in the fourth century, Roman leaders decide they need a unified religion—a god, any viable or pretended god to hold the flagging Empire together. Emperor Constantine had a choice among many deities believed at the time to be true.”
10. The creation of the Bible. “In 331 Constantine the Great commands a compilation of various scriptures for the Church of Constantinople—fifty texts, all to be identical. This is the “fifty Bibles” with which you are probably familiar. At that time the concept of a “bible” was nebulous and inexact (as indeed it is today), and thus it was up to his team to decide which scriptures (and which “son of god”) should be included: that is to say, Constantine’s cronies invented the Bible, or one of the earliest versions.”
11. A look at the persecution of the non-Christians. “The Myth made into Law. It is 391 CE now, as Roman Emperor Theodosius bans all pagan practices, and just a few years later in 395 he elevates Jesus (posthumously) to divinity, declaring Christianity the only “legitimate” religion of the world, under penalty of death.”
12. Goes through all six Crusades.
13. Christianity and slavery. “…not only does the Good Book never disapprove of slavery, the OT actually legislates it (e.g. Ex 21), and meek and perfect Jesus instructs us regarding how severely we must lash our human chattel (Luke 12:47).”
14. Some eye-opening facts. “Also in 1525 William Tyndale completes his translation of the New Testament into English; Tyndale would be executed in 1536 for the crime of “illegal possession of the Bible in English.””
15. Christianity and violence. Many examples of a variety of Christian-inspired acts of violence throughout time.
16. Witch Hunts! “The prime reason Christians had hunted down and killed “witches“ over the centuries: because the Bible tells them so. Of course. As previously mentioned, it is due to the biblical decree “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” of ancient and superstitious scripture, Exodus 22:18.””
17. Jesus and violence. “Jesus, a perfect being and the son of god, condemns people to death and eternal hell simply because they had not repented. Loving Jesus often employs the vile trick of infinite blackmail, damning you for eternity if you merely do not follow him. Comedian Bill Hicks pointed out that “eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions god’s infinite love.””
18. Christianity and plagiarism. “Jesus the Rebus. Beginning generations after Jesus’ supposed lifetime, the New Testament was pieced together as a first- and second-century contrivance, canonized several centuries thereafter, then followed by over 1,500 years of more modifications and re-interpretations. For whatever their reasons the first authors of Christianity gathered stories from Hebrew, Egyptian, Persian, Babylonian, Roman, and other ancient legends, dating from hundreds and even thousands of years prior to the apparent time of Jesus.” “Yet one should be quick to point out that all religions are manmade. Humans created the various gods, not the other way around. There is no such thing as a “natural religion” or the “one true religion.” Revealed wisdoms do not exist; they are manufactured by humans without any true revelation, then related second-hand, third, fourth, and so on.”
19. A Part devoted to dissecting the Bible. ““Why should one think that God performed the miracle of inspiring the words of the Bible, if he didn’t perform the miracle of preserving the words of the Bible?” — Bart Ehrman”
20. Extensive notes and Bibliography included.
1. This is an expanded and updated revision of the author's "No Meek Messiah" first published in 2012, having not read the original I can’t say for certain if it’s worth the upgrade but it can be read for free via Kindle Unlimited.
2. It requires an investment of your time.
3. The writing style is not the most fluid, it’s also repetitive.
4. I love the concept of the Timeline but it becomes a bit tedious to go over fact after fact.
5. Lack of supplementary visual material to compliment the narrative.
6. Some may question Paulkovich’s background to write such a book. More an observation than a negative.
In summary, Michael Paulkovich must be commended for such an exhaustive and compelling expose. A lot of work went into writing this book and the curious reader will surely benefit. The irreverent humor may turn off prudish eyes but I actually found that it broke up the monotony and highlighted the author’s sense of humor. Not perfect but a worthwhile read that can even be used as a reference, I recommend it!
Further suggestions: “God’s Gravediggers: Why no Deity Exists” by Raymond Bradley, “God: The Failed Hypothesis” by Victor Stenger, “How to Defend the Christian Faith” and “The Christian Delusion” by John Loftus, “Fighting God” by David Silverman, “A Manual for Creating Atheists” by Peter Boghosian, “God Is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, “The Not-So-Intelligent Designer” by Abby Hafer, “The God Virus” by Darrel Ray, “Infidel” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, “Faith vs. Fact” and “Why Evolution Is True” by Jerry A. Coyne, “Atheism for Dummies” by Dale McGowan, “Nonbeliever Nation” by David Niose, “Good Without God” by Greg Epstein, “Freethinkers” by Susan Jacoby, “Nailed” by David Fitzgerald, “Think” by Guy P. Harrison, and “Why I am Not a Christian” by Richard Carrier.
Devastating to normative orthodox Christian dogma. Be ready to be challenged, And to think deeply.