Christians, please wake up.
John Nassivera is correct that the indigenous Aramaic teacher, Jesus, and the early Christians rejected the institutional racism of the Roman Empire. For this, they were persecuted, and Jesus was crucified. For three centuries, the early Christians, many of them Jews and Assyrians who spoke Aramaic, followed His teaching, which recognized the value of all human beings and beyond that, the intrinsic value of the whole of creation.
But, astonishingly, Nassivera avoids telling the whole truth: as to how Christianity shifted away from the teachings of Jesus to become a key supporter of institutional racism right down to the present. This racism has contributed much to our current suffering, and must be faced with honesty and humility. This virus does not disappear if ignored.
This huge shift happened at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, when the newly converted Emperor Constantine offered the Christian bishops a deal that the majority accepted. Redefine Christianity with a clear doctrine so that Christianity can become the enforceable religion of the Imperial Roman Empire. Destroy the holistic and mystical Aramaic gospels and endorse the dualist Greek gospels. The Greek framework is compatible with the power of the emperor over the people, and the power of man over nature.
This made Christianity a powerful institutional religion, but it buried the core teachings of Jesus on peace, truth and justice for all. It made the Aramaic-speaking Jewish and Assyrian Christians, who understood what Jesus has actually taught, the heretics who were then killed during the next few centuries. It led to a thousand years of oppression by monks of the people, women and indigenous people, who reasoned like Jesus. With fragmentation, institutional Christianity sanctioned nationalism that led to state wars, and racism that endorsed institutional slavery.
The list goes on. Christianity still fails to accept deeply His core teachings on the sacredness of the creation itself. Most churches have not opposed institutional capitalism that exploits people and the Earth itself so the rich can profit materially. Consequently, we face the impending destruction of much of life on Earth by climate change. Please wake up.
Dr. Alan K. Betts lives in Pittsford.