By Richard Edmondson
Andre Vltchek, a writer whose commentaries appear on a number of sites including RT and Telesur, has published a vitriolic screed against Christianity in which he refers to Christians as “bastards” and accuses the faith of spreading a “monstrous dogma.”
The article was posted Christmas day under the title “The Barbarity of Christianity and the West” at the Dissident Voice, a site touting itself as “a radical newsletter in the struggle for peace and social justice.”
Throughout his article, Vltchek seems to equate Christianity with what he refers to as the “Christian West,” accusing Christians of electing “near fascist governments” which then proceed to unleash destruction throughout much of the world.
“Hundreds of millions, all over the world, have died so that the ‘message of Jesus’ could live,” he asserts. “Millions are still dying now, so that Christian fundamentalists can manipulate, rule and plunder the world, unopposed…”
“The only reason why the Christian West prospered and won countless colonialist battles is because it behaved like a beast, a true animal, in short: like the most brutal and barbarous thug on the face of the Earth,” he adds.
Vltchek is particularly concerned, and of course justifiably so, at events taking place today in the Middle East, but rather than look for other possible causes, such as the geopolitical ambitions of certain national leaders and/or powerful political lobbying groups, he seems to place the entire blame upon Christianity. Moreover, his hatred of the Christian religion appears at times to rise to an almost pathological level:
What a sick world they have been creating!
“Our dogmas, our religion raped you. Pray to it for your salvation!” Bastards!
At one point in the article he even seems to advocate violence against Christians:
How to neutralize them? How to get rid of them? During and after their revolutions, the French and then the Russians used to hang them on streetlamps. It is not done like this, anymore.
On Sunday, I contacted Vltchek by email in an effort to get a clarification on his views. Specifically I posed four questions to him. Though he refused to answer any of the questions, he did respond to my email within a few hours. Here is what he wrote:
Dear Mr. Edmondson
I definitely do not intend answering your questions, as I don’t like the tone in which your email is written. All your questions are already answered in my essays, and it appears that you are leading this somewhere where I don’t want to go.
Anyway, my essay is not an attack, or a mockery. It is a list of horrors performed by Christianity for centuries. Nothing abstract or emotional, just concrete, rational stuff.
Here is the email I had sent to Vltchek, and which includes the four questions:
Dear Mr. Vltchek,
I am writing about your article on Christianity, posted December 25 at Dissident Voice. I’m thinking of posting a commentary on it on my blog (link below), and was wondering if you would care to answer a few questions.
- You rightfully express concern about events in the Middle East. I’m wondering does your concern extend to Christians in Syria and Iraq who have been kidnapped and murdered by ISIS, and has it occurred to you that your anti-Christian vitriol, as posted now on the Internet, could possibly make things even more dangerous for them?
- Do you think that generally speaking it’s acceptable to express hostility and contempt for other peoples’ religious beliefs? Specifically, I’m wondering about cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Were those acceptable, in your view, and do you see your attack on Christianity as being any different from that?
- I agree with you that the West has unleashed a horrendous amount of destruction in the Middle East, but are you sure Christianity is the main driving force behind that? Are you aware of the extent to which the pro-Israel lobby shapes US foreign policy? I ask the question because you don’t seem to mention either AIPAC or Israel in your article.
- Any other comment or point of clarification you would care to make?
Vltchek also refers to “all the horrors committed by Christianity” and insists as well that there is something “encoded in Christianity” that has resulted in “the greatest crimes against humanity, committed, again and again, until this very moment.”
Whatever may be the psychological or underlying causes of Vltchek’s apparently deep-seated hatred, he does describe what he refers to as a “‘Christian episode’ from my youth” in which he encountered a Polish priest who he says attempted to molest him on a train ride from New York to Washington D.C. According to Vltchek, the man’s “insane face was twisted by lust” as his “hands kept grabbing me, searching for the zipper of my fly.” Vltchek narrates that he then stood up and “punched him straight in the face, with all my strength.” Afterwards, as he relates it, a “reasonable, good-humored African-American man” working as a conductor on the train proceeded to pat him (Vltchek) on the shoulder while confiding, “I was molested in my church on several occasions.”
The piece finally closes with what some readers conceivably might construe as another call for violence. Here Vltchek warns ominously that “without stopping this monstrous dogma,” Christianity in another few decades “could easily devour another 10 or 20 million human lives.”
One need not wonder what the response would have been had the word “Christianity” been replaced in Vltchek’s article with the word “Judaism.” Were someone affiliated with a major media outlet to refer to Jews as “bastards,” and to talk about hanging them from streetlamps, that person would be fired in a heartbeat. No prominent broadcast or Internet news provider, either mainstream or alternative, would continue to offer a platform to such a person.
The article “The Barbarity of Christianity and the West” seems to have been published at the Dissident Voice website alone. Perhaps Vltchek wrote it especially for them. I do not know. However, you can go here and here to see other articles he has written and which have been published at RT and Telesur respectively. He has also appeared on Veterans Today radio programs, and it is said that he has done work for Press TV as well, though I could not find anything on Press TV’s site, only a video segment uploaded to YouTube more than a year ago in which he was interviewed as a guest commentator. My hunch is that probably Veterans Today, RT, Press TV, and Telesur are all unaware of his views on Christianity, or at least unaware of the extreme nature of them.
Certainly Christianity, in its past, has things such as the crusades for which it should be held responsible, and certainly as well there are Christians today who harbor misguided views on a number of subjects. At the same time there are also Christians who do wonderful work helping to provide for the poor. Catholic Charities, for instance, operates more than 160 local agencies nationwide serving millions of people per year.
The major shortcoming of Christian leaders in America today–and I have said this many times–is their reluctance to stand up and speak truth to power and to denounce America’s invasions and wars of aggression. There are a good many Western Christians today who have openly opposed these wars. Here and here are but two examples. Would that the leaders of the churches they attend might find the courage to speak out in the same way, but alas, for the most part, they don’t.
At the same time, I’m not aware of Obama or any current member of Congress actually citing passages from Christian texts to justify their wars, either–and largely religion seems to be left out of debates on the floor of Congress. (Yes, it’s true Congressional sessions traditionally are opened with a prayer, mainly as a mere formality, but these have been delivered by Christian clergy, Jewish rabbis, Muslim Imams, and, on at least one occasion, by the Dalai Lama.)
By contrast, one might look to Israel where numerous people, including within the government, do appear to use Judaism as justification for Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Or…you could perhaps look to Myanmar, where Buddhists are carrying out a campaign against the Rohingya people that has been described by some as genocide.
The point I’m trying to make is that we live in a corrupt age, and that all religions, to some degree, have become corrupted. But this doesn’t just apply to religions. The corruption spreads across the board–to governments, education systems, the media, the legal system–pretty much you name it. Corruption is in virtually every fiber of the West’s being these days. There are all kinds of ideas on why things have reached this state, but one thing most sensible people would agree on is that it is wrong to blame all members of a group for the crimes or misdeeds of some.