The Perils of Exposing Christianity

Preface to the book Christian Mythology Unveiled by Mitchell Logan. (1842)


According to the ignorant prejudices which priestcraft has interwoven through the human mind, the subjects treated of in the following Lectures, are considered as sacred ground by the votaries of superstition; and therefore every attempt to examine them with freedom, or to expose them to the test of reason and free discussion, appears shocking to the blindly bigoted, and alarming to interested priests. But as neither complaisance nor forbearance is due to either of these parties, the free inquirer, stimulated by the love of truth alone, will be earnestly desirous of emancipating the minds of his fellows, from the fears and delusions of a sanguinary and distracting superstition, which has no foundation in reason, either as it regards the past or the future; and from the gloomy grasp of its active, subtle, and vindictive priesthood, who want nothing but the power to imprison and roast alive, as they did in former ages. Yet even in the present times of science and reform, what has been the fate of the daring wight who has ventured to expose the origin, and shown the terrible effects of Christianity during fifteen hundred years? He has drawn upon himself the concentrated essence of malice from all the hireling sacerdotal orders, abetted by their allies the aristocracy of every country, by whom he has commonly been robbed and imprisoned, or otherwise ruined both in fortune and reputation.1 How does he incur the implacable vengeance of the theologians? Because his search after truth, in the paths of Nature, has a direct tendency to overturn that monstrous fabric of delusion, which enables so many hundreds of thousands of them to live in ease and luxury, at a prodigious expense to human industry. Why do the aristocracy and the rich of the land persecute and pursue him to ruin? The aristocracy being, in point of fact the national rulers, as such, have hitherto considered it necessary to support some kind of superstition, (any sort does equally well for the ignorant and vulgar), perceiving that, by an iniquitous confederacy with its priesthood, for mutual support, the strongest arm of bad government is created. Moreover, the ranks of the hierarchy are recruited by scions from aristocratical stocks, who are called by the "Holy Ghost," to receive revenues sufficient for "the attraction of gentlemen;" and whether these be younger sons, brothers, blackguards, or blockheads, it is all the same—they are good enough for Mother Church. This is a powerful—an almost irresistible scheme for fostering ignorance and falsehood—for upholding the foul connection between Church and State, and for perpetuating the mental slavery of the people. The cause of truth and the welfare of society call loudly for the exposure of these enormous corruptions; and the dangerous task will be hailed and encouraged by every true friend to human improvement, as the surest means of banishing from amongst men, the blasting and demoralizing belief in supernaturalism; for that is the principal, if not the sole source of all the moral evils on the face of the earth.

It was the strikingly eloquent saying of Mr. Paine, that, "prejudice is the spider that spins its web on the mind." This entangling web is so interwoven into the tender and plastic mind of youth, by systemized deception, that even the strongest intellect can hardly extricate itself during life: and this spell holds equally good with Jew, Christian, Mahommedan, or in any other of all the heaven-derived superstitions that have afflicted the human race. These are the universal plagues — the fatal barriers which stand perpetually between man and the harmonious union which he would ever maintain with Nature. All religions have in succession sprung out of the superstitions which preceded them; and there is no difficulty in proving that the Christian scheme is no exception to the rule; for, on its very front it carries the most conclusive evidence of having been drawn out of the exhaustless ethnical magazines of Paganism,2 and metamorphosed into that unsightly and distorted texture of wild and irrational superstition, which has deluded men by teaching them to overlook the moral and physical realities of nature—fixed their minds upon imaginary existence; and by an intercourse which surpliced magicians have pretended to with a place called heaven, every thing that is good and congenial to man upon earth has been destroyed.

"For 'tis the craft of priesthood that hath shaped
A future world,—the kings of distant days
Have countenanced the fraud, that fools, content,
Might look for blessings in another scene,
And bear the yoke more tranquilly in this."

None but bigoted and priest-subdued minds will deny that it has been Christian superstition, and its offspring, cherished ignorance, that have distracted and made stages for theological gladiators, of Spain, Portugal, and Ireland, for a succession of ages. By its natural tendency to corrupt every kind of government, it has shed the blood of Erin’s priest-ridden sons, to satisfy the rapacious hierarchy of a more favoured sect! In England, at this moment, is it not a demonstratable fact that, as theology enters into, and taints every thing, so it is the ready and insuperable barrier against every salutary improvement; for, whenever a reform of bad laws and abuses is proposed, or, any measure attempted that would tend to the relief and benefit of the people at large, does not churchcraft aristocracy and Co., put their veto upon it immediately?3

It is the essence of this pretended science of theology, particularly that of triune-Christianity, to oppose, and in every thing to combat the light of Nature and reason,—to degrade and crush the human mind in youth, as the best security against its future expansion; and hence it is, that poor deluded man, in his abject and ludicrous terrors, has been rendered the most bewildered, piteous, and contemptible of all animals,4 wishing to live for ever after death, yet afraid to die! Such being the nature of this dark pestilence, the terrible evils it has produced in Europe for so many centuries, and is still producing even to this day, are precisely what might be expected from such a cause. To any species of political tyranny that happened to be strong enough to bestow riches and power upon its priests, it has ever been ready to link itself; and to form the mainstay and support of that flagitious and shameful policy which promotes ignorance, as the surest medium through which to deceive mankind into submission to bad government. Even now, in the nineteenth century, there are no legislative disputes and dissensions in which it is not the perpetual bone of contention,—no national interests discussed wherein it forms not the most inflaming ingredient.5 From a cause that is thus essentially and innately evil, such effects must emanate of necessity; and, therefore, there would be the highest folly in expecting that this baleful superstition can ever change, or be any thing else than that which it hitherto has been—a burden and a scourge to every country in the exact ratio of its influence.

The reproachful canting cry of heretic, infidel, atheists &c., will be raised against the author of these lectures, by every fiery intolerant bigot into whose hands they may fall. But he alone is the true infidel who forsakes the laws of his nature, and gives up his mind to a belief in fabulous and demoralizing legends, which contradict all experience, and stand in opposition to the testimony of his own senses and reason.6 In regard to the term Atheist, which, of all others, is meant to be the most opprobrious, let our angry zealot, in the first place, define precisely what he means by the word :—if he explains it by saying, "it signifies one who supposes that there is no God;" we reply that it is impossible to understand this definition, until he declares in express and intelligible terms what he means by the word "God." If it is used to designate that incomprehensible power by which the universe is ruled, there cannot be such a thing as an Atheist in existence.

Do the Jews, Christians, and Mahommedans, by their wild and degrading anthropomorphism, or by forming their Deity in the likeness of any entity that the human mind can conceive, evince a worthy, or anything approaching to an adequate conception of the unknown,7 all-ruling Power? Quite the contrary; for in absurdly imbodying it as a located Being, or by conferring personification in any shape or manner whatsoever, they impiously create one of those idols which they pretend to abhor, and become themselves idolaters. These alone are the real atheists, as they not only endow their man-God with the worst of human frailties and passions, but contemn and repudiate the true revelation of Nature. The mean and grovelling notions which the half-inch mind of the priest-led fanatic has of his God, (for instance, the Jewish one) form a striking contrast with the elevated and pure ideas which fill the mind of Nature's free votary, towards the one universal Power,—a veneration infinitely too exalted to allow for a moment the puerile and ridiculous notion of its being personified in the form or likeness of any existing thing.8 But the priests of all religions that have at any time plagued the earth, have agreed in the absolute necessity of inventing such imbodied Gods or idols; and whether they be Jupiters or Jehovahs is no great matter, as they answer equally well as mystic sources from whence to derive the usurped power of the sacerdotal orders; and as relentless tormentors, to keep the minds of their frenzied dupes in perpetual terror. Without these pre-requisites, their trade would soon come to an end. Hence arises their well-known malignity against all who are sceptical respecting the existence of such supernatural personages; for those who have doubts about that which is indispensable to the theologians, are denounced by them as abominable atheists, which, being explained, designates the few unfettered, ingenuous minds, who are capable of perceiving the matchless absurdity of attempting, by any entity, or personified representation whatsoever, to convey the slightest rational idea of that incomprehensible Power, by which countless millions of worlds are ruled.

1. "Knowledge is called infidelity:
——Hence the few who knew
Aught worth recording, and were fools enough
To vent their free opinions, what has been
Their recompense and their reward! The stake, The fagot, and the cross." — Goethe's "Faust."

Infidelity—we say ~ but to what!
To vulgar superstitions enforced.
[Return to text.]

2. Beyond the limits of the papal conclave of cardinals, there is every reason to believe that very little true, or esoteric Christianity is known; and that only among the learned and most laborious in fearless research. In that modern cabbala of the initiated, the secret is guarded with the most solemn and profound vigilance; and the sacred trust is that there is not a vestige—not an iota of Christianity, whether Catholic or Protestant, that did not belong to Paganism, thousands of years before the reign of Tiberius; and that all the "religion" practiced in Europe, is merely the exoteric quackery of the old universal solar mythos. In like manner, it was only the initiated Jews of their cabbala, who knew the secret of the same mythos. This was called Gnosticism. [Return to text.]

3. The demon of Toryism, which pervades Europe throughout, is the legitimate offspring of priestcraft, aristocracy, and Co., that is, a confederacy of the great monopolizers of the land, and the church hierarchy, for the honest purpose of subjugating and fleecing the industrious wealth-producers. It was against this iniquitous demon that the Great Napoleon waged war for twenty years. [Return to text.]

4. No man will ever write as a true philosopher who seeks the approbation of more than one in every ten thousand of men, as they are moulded at present by theology. [Return to text.]

5. It was formerly maintained by hangmen and funeral piles, and now by clerical riches and power, hereditary lawgivers, corrupt judges, ignorant juries, fines and imprisonments. [Return to text.]

6. Diderot, in illustrating the conflict of priests against reason, says "Bewildered in an immense forest during the night, and having only one small torch for my guide, a stranger approaches, and thus addresses me,— 'Friend, blow out thy light if thou wouldst make sure of the right path.' This stranger was a priest. [Return to text.]

7. What do theologues now know of that which they call Deity more than was known to the philosophic Brahmin, Egyptian, or Zoroastrian, ten thousand years ago? Absolutely nothing. What does the pampered Oxonian professor of theology, know more of it than the meanest cow-boy in England? Absolutely nothing. [Return to text.]

8. The deist talks of 'Nature's God,' that is, the powers of nature personified, for it is impossible it should mean anything else. As a poetic figure, we have no objection to this. [Return to text.]

Back to Solar Mythology and the Jesus Story