Essay on Christian Propaganda
This is a free example essay on Christian Propaganda:
Throughout history, the Christian community has used various ploys in order to gain members. In the Ninth Century AD, monks, in England, recorded the folklore of their “heathen” neighbors in their own language. In the 11th through 18th centuries, in various areas, Catholics used raw torture and death to force conversion. And even today television stations such as PAX “family programming” is little more than tele-evangelists and trumped up “miracles.”
Two prime examples of the texts written and some what enriched by the monks of England are, of course Beowulf and Judith. While it remains unclear as to exactly who wrote the original manuscripts, it is believed that it was a monk or priest, and it has been widely accepted that these stories were handed down, generation to generation, by oral tradition. The epic poem Beowulf directly precedes Judith in the same manuscript, leading us to believe they were recorded by the same persons, with the same motives. In Beowulf we read of a hero that destroys the enemy of his brethren, Grendel (and Grendel’s mother), believed by some to be the descendant of the biblical Cain, thus ending his lineage; a lineage that has been that of pure evil from the time of Cain’s brother Abel’s murder. Beowulf then leads his people into battle with the dragon, killing both the dragon and himself, much like St. George. In Judith we read of a heroine (interestingly an Israelite) oppressed by a tyrant, Holofernes. Eventually Judith can take no more, and rises up and smites her oppressor, with, ironically, his own sword. Much as the Hebrews did in Exodus.
We then must look at instances such as the various Inquisitions instituted by the Catholic Church for nearly eight centuries, the most commonly known being the Spanish Inquisition. Starting in the mid- 15th century (1478), the Spanish Inquisition was not suppressed until 1834. Over these 356 years hundreds of thousands of heretics, heathens and other “sacrilegious” persons were tortured and killed by some of the most horrible means possible; all for what they believed, or did not believe, as the case may be. People were hanged, burned at the stake, boiled alive, or worse, for no “good” reason except they were not Catholic. They were told if they renounced their faith, they would be spared, but as those who did found out, more often than not, they were lied to. As anyone would guess, word of these events traveled rather quickly, and the Catholic population in Spain grew rapidly. So we ask. why did the Inquisition last 356 years? The answer is it did not, at least not in practice. Granted there were the fanatics that continued to torture those accused of heresy, but as a whole the practice was discontinued after a relatively short period of time. The institution, however, was not officially suppressed by the Pope until July 15, 1834.
If a person were to look at local television listings, the majority of what they would find would pertain to what the American public watches most, drugs, sex, and violence. However, there are a few networks, such as PAX that offer what they call family programming; what I call Propaganda. Over half of their programming consists of tele-evangelists. The network executives, rope in young parents with inoffensive material, hoping that they will watch their network almost exclusively. Before long, the children of these young parents are asking Mom and Dad, why they never go to church. Have they ever seen a miracle? And before you know it, this entire family is going to not only a Sunday worship, but Wednesday evening as well, not to mention the Tuesday-Thursday Bible Study; thus completing this vicious cycle. We have in this country, what is called Separation of Church and State, and freedom of speech. This is why we can turn on our television at five o’clock in the morning and see The Reverend Brother What’s his Face. But where does it stop? Will the church ever stop trying to brain wash us “heathens” into belief?