The Christians Beat You To It

Mike Clawson here…

Atheists may think they have the corner on baby-eating, but I was just recently reading a Christian text from the early third century that addresses some of the many accusations that Romans tended to make against Christians, and I noticed this:

The notoriety of the stories told of the initiation of new recruits [to Christianity] is matched by their ghastly horror. A young baby is covered over with flour, the object being to deceive the unwary. It is then served before the person to be admitted into their rites. The recruit is urged to inflict blows onto it – they appear to be harmless because of the covering of flour. Thus the baby is killed with wounds that remain unseen and concealed. It is the blood of this infant – I shudder to mention it – it is this blood that they lick with thirsty lips; these are the limbs they distribute eagerly; this is the victim by which they seal their covenant; it is by complicity in this crime that they are pledged to mutual silence; these are their rites, more foul than all sacrileges combined.

Seems we Christians were eating babies long before atheists came on the scene. :)

And the passage continues:

We all know, too, about their banquets… On a special day they gather for a feast with all their children, sisters, mothers – all sexes and all ages. There, flushed with the banquet after such feasting and drinking, they begin to burn with incestuous passions. They provoke a dog tied to the lampstand to leap and bound towards a scrap of food which they have tossed outside the reach of his chain. By this means the light is overturned and extinquished, and with it common knowledge of their actions; in the shameless dark with unspeakable lust they copulate in random unions, all equally being guilty of incest, some by deed, but everyone by complicity. For whatever may happen in individual cases is the general aspiration and desire of them all.

Baby eating and incestuous sex orgies! Now how are you going to compete with that? ;)

  • http://www.romsteady.net/blog/ Michael Russell

    We can’t compete without practice.

  • Siamang

    Holy crap!

    History doesn’t repeat, but it sure does rhyme!

  • http://www.travisjmorgan.com Travis Morgan

    That is sick.

  • http://t3knomanser.livejournal.com t3knomanser

    Technically, Hellenic Atheists predate Christianity by a fair margin. Now, as to the baby-eating and incest orgies, well- that’s a little harder to guess.

  • http://hotchicksdigsmartmen.blogspot.com/ Janiece

    But were they Jewish babies?

  • Rsanders

    If you’re gonna roll it in flour you might as well deep fry it!

  • http://www.headdibs.blogspot.com James

    Would you please be so kind so as to provide an exact link or reference to the passages you refence above? I found this to be relevant in Chapter 28 titled (they had long titles) “CHAP. XXVIII.–ARGUMENT: NOR IS IT ONLY HATRED THAT THEY AROUSE AGAINST THE CHRISTIANS, BUT THEY CHARGE AGAINST THEM HORRID CRIMES, WHICH UP TO THIS TIME HAVE BEEN PROVED BY NOBODY. THIS IS THE WORK OF DEMONS. FOR BY THEM A FALSE REPORT IS BOTH SET ON FOOT AND PROPAGATED. THE CHRISTIANS ARE FALSELY ACCUSED OF SACRILEGE, OF INCEST, OF ADULTERY, OF PARRICIDE; AND, MOREOVER, IT IS CERTAIN AND TRUE THAT THE VERY SAME CRIMES, OR CRIMES LIKE TO OR GREATER THAN THESE, ARE IN FACT COMMITTED BY THE GENTILES THEMSELVES.”

    He writes, “Believe us ourselves when penitent, for we also were the same as you, and formerly, while yet blind and obtuse, thought the same things as you; to wit, that the Christians worshipped monsters, devoured infants, mingled in incestuous banquets.” Note the past-tense, “we were the same as you.”

    A precise reference for your quotes would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

  • Jasen777

    But they also called the Christians atheists. So they probably just got things mixed up.

  • http://blueollie.wordpress.com ollie

    “Baby eating and incestuous sex orgies! Now how are you going to compete with that?”

    Evolved/Rational could always post more photos? :)

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike Clawson

    Would you please be so kind so as to provide an exact link or reference to the passages you refence above?

    The quotes I mentioned occurred in Chapter 9, paragraphs 5-7. Though I was quoting from Bart Ehrman’s translation, so what you find on that website won’t match precisely.

  • PrimeNumbers

    Funny how normally the Christian argument is “it must be true as it’s been written down in this old book”….

  • http://www.headdibs.blogspot.com James

    Thank you for making that plain for all to see. Please make certain that attention is granted to the entire work in terms of Octavius writing against and in response to Caecilius; that is, the chapters provided in the post above were comments and heresay from a pagan who basically did not know what he was talking about. From chapters 28 and following are Octavius’ response to these accusations of incest and cannibalism, among other things.

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike Clawson

    Please make certain that attention is granted to the entire work in terms of Octavius writing against and in response to Caecilius; that is, the chapters provided in the post above were comments and heresay from a pagan who basically did not know what he was talking about. From chapters 28 and following are Octavius’ response to these accusations of incest and cannibalism, among other things.

    Yes, thank you for clarifying that James.

  • CatBallou

    I’m still trying to figure out how covering a live baby in flour would actually disguise it enough that you wouldn’t know what you were hitting.
    Y’know, purely out of curiosity. Not that I need to know how.

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike Clawson

    I’m still trying to figure out how covering a live baby in flour would actually disguise it enough that you wouldn’t know what you were hitting.

    Good question. Maybe this part came after the dog had already knocked out the light. :)

  • Steven

    How is this possible? A minority group being accused of the most heinous crimes imaginable. It’s a good thing that nothing similar could happen in our more enlightened times.
    All sarcasm aside, I think we can be reasonably sure that nothing that the ancient author describes ever took place (at least I really hope it didn’t).
    This looks like another example of how human nature hasn’t changed much in the past 2,000 years – we still hate and fear anything (or anyone) that is different.

  • Russ

    Mike,

    Will you stop at nothing to convert us to Christianity?

  • http://aurorawalkingvacation.blogspot.com Paul

    So, because other people spread lies about Christians in the past, it’s OK for Christians to spread lies about Atheists today. Is that what you’re saying?

  • Siamang

    Um… Paul…

    If you followed Mike’s posting here in the past you’d already know the answer to that question.

    Nowhere even close.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Yes Mike is the kind of Christian who would try to talk the other Christians out of lighting the fire after the angry mob ties us up to the stake. Of course, he might end up being tied up there with the rest of us if the fundi’s have their way.

  • http://drakim.net Drakim

    Of course he isn’t saying that Paul. He is mostly making a joke. Sheez, relax!

  • Claudio I

    Maybe I’m too new to the baby-eating meme with regards to Atheism. For me it’s always been about staying far away from religious stupidity and not so much about consuming babies. Where did this come from, the idea of Atheists being baby eaters?

  • http://daybydayhsing.blogspot.com Dawn

    So, because other people spread lies about Christians in the past, it’s OK for Christians to spread lies about Atheists today. Is that what you’re saying?

    When exactly did you have your sense of humour surgically removed?

  • http://www.sheeptoshawl.com writerdd

    Hahahah. That’s funny. When I was a kid in church we were always told how corrupt the Romans were because of their incestuous sex orgies.

  • http://aurorawalkingvacation.blogspot.com Paul

    Mike is the worst kind of Christian. Because he can convince us all that he’s reasonable, he thinks we should forgive him for the sins of his brothers. I far prefer the Fred Phelps of the world. At least Fred isn’t fooling himself about what he believes.

  • http://thebitchreport.blogspot.com/ Milena

    Mike is the worst kind of Christian. Because he can convince us all that he’s reasonable, he thinks we should forgive him for the sins of his brothers. I far prefer the Fred Phelps of the world. At least Fred isn’t fooling himself about what he believes.

    Oh, please. That’s essencially the same old tired argument that because *insert name of atheist* killed X amount of people, all atheists are bad. You could go blaming people for “the sins of their brothers” ad infinitum, but in the end, you’ll find that there’s a vast amount of difference between them and you need to judge on an individual basis.

  • http://micketymoc.mchronicles.net/ micketymoc

    That’s just weird logic, Paul. He’s not asking us to forgive Christians for anything. He doesn’t even ask us to judge Christians by the way we judge him.

    At worst maybe he challenges your ideas of how a Christian behaves, so perhaps that offends you.

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike Clawson

    Thanks for coming to my defense y’all.

    Paul, relax, it’s just a silly post. I didn’t have any point with it. I certainly wasn’t trying to give any offense.

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike Clawson

    Where did this come from, the idea of Atheists being baby eaters?

    Good question. I don’t think I’ve ever heard any Christian actually seriously say that about atheists. I think it’s just a way of mocking some of the other over-the-top attacks you sometimes do hear people directing towards atheists (e.g. being communists).

  • http://peacefulatheist.wordpress.com Lily

    I know what you’re actually trying to say, Mike… all of us baby-eating atheists are actually Christians, we just don’t know it yet. ;-)

  • gribblethemunchkin

    So early baby eating recipe (falsely credited to christians, but probably designed by atheists)
    1. roll baby in flour
    2. tenderize baby
    3. deep fry baby
    4. enjoy!

    Sounds delicious. I’m not so hot for the incestuous orgy though. Having my mum anywhere in the room while….you know….that would definately be a mood killer. And as we all know, where orgies are concerned, mood is everything.

    Thanks for the post Mike. It just shows that no matter how much things change, things kinda stay the same.

  • Jen

    Man, Christians sure have gotten more conservative in the past few years. I can’t even remember the last time we got to beat a flour-covered baby.

  • http://www.abandonallfear.org.uk Lex Fear

    I’m surprised that more informed atheists have no knowledge of Lamentations 4:10?!

    I think I mentioned it in a comment here before so why has no-one posted or leaped on this?

    I’m practically giving you all points here.

  • http://cyberlizard.com CyberLizard

    Man, if they still had that kind of initiation, instead of just getting dunked under water, I might be tempted to join back up!

  • http://mattstone.blogs.com Matt Stone

    “Mike is the worst kind of Christian. Because he can convince us all that he’s reasonable, he thinks we should forgive him for the sins of his brothers. I far prefer the Fred Phelps of the world. At least Fred isn’t fooling himself about what he believes.”

    If that’s Atheist logic… sheesh

    Paul, lighten up. That chip is way too big for one man to carry.

  • http://www.atheistrev.com vjack

    If you research the Crusades, you’ll find many reports of Christians eating babies during the siege of Antioch too. Maybe their accusations against atheists are merely projection.

  • Valhar2000

    Baby eating and incestuous sex orgies! Now how are you going to compete with that?

    Why would we compete? Surely in these modern tolerant times when fraternity reings supreme and petty differences are set aside we can all find common ground to get down and boogy!

  • teammarty

    Maybe in the WAY old days, nobody had glasses so they couldn’t tell it was a live baby. They had to drug it so it wouldn’t cry.


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