Christianity And Lithuania

ABC News reported on the discovery of another CIA secret prison that was being used for some period of time between 2001-2005.  This one in Lithuania.  Red explores its long bloody history and one of its recurring themes:

Vilnius has a long and bloody history. There are mass graves there containing the remains of tens of thousands of Poles and Jews exterminated by the Nazis. It is also the tomb of the tattered remnants of Napoleon’s Grande Armee. During a 14th Century civil war the city was razed to the ground. It was repeatedly pillaged and burned in the 17th Century. An outbreak of the plague killed 35,000 people at the dawn of the 18th Century; one hundred years later, the city still hadn’t rebounded, as it was home then to but 20,000 people. In the mid-19th Century Vilnius was the bloody fief of one Mikhail Muravyov, known to the city’s ever-dwindling number of inhabitants as “The Hangman.”Prior to all this, Lithuania was the last European country to succumb to Christianity, yielding to the pope only in 1387. Gediminas, the nation’s pagan potentate, had told a 1324 papal delegation that he had no desire to forsake Perkunas, a thunder god. He was appalled by Christian intolerance, bloodletting, hate.

“Why do you always talk about Christian love?” he asked the pope’s men. “Where do you find so much misery, injustice, violence, sin and greed, if not among the Christians?”

Given that we now know for certain what we long suspected, that George II pursued his War on Terra under the delusion that he was doing the bidding of the Christian God, Gediminas’ critique remains wounding and germane, 700 years on.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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