NOTE: The following article is the 13th chapter of Original Sin: Ritual Child Rape and the Church, pp. 97-102.
Christianity redefined the ancient woman to the extent that it stripped her of age-old political and social rights. The priesthood’s actions were neither accidental nor purposeless; redefining femininity reshaped society for both women and children.
The aggressive denigration of women and the association of feminine allure with spiritual corruption had one horrible consequence for western civilization: in taking a stance against the feminine voice, the Church willingly justified, promoted and defended pedophilia. The early Church purchased its political power at the expense of children and the women who protected them. Priests and bishops actively perpetuated the violent, institutional abuse and rape of young boys.
It’s difficult to identify the most vitriolic of the Christian fathers, and perhaps even more difficult to distinguish them from ordinary priests and Church elders with more moderate misogynistic views. However, Tertullian, a late second-century Christian, was certainly among the foremost authorities in antiquity to rigorously stigmatize and oppress women. His peculiar affinity for violent opposition to social and political rights for women set the stage for a centuries-long conflict with paganism that fostered the protection of pedophiles.
According to Tertullian, womankind—by means of women’s tempting sexuality—had brought sin into the world, thus forcing the son of God, the most virtuous of men, to be put to death. According to Tertullian, Eve’s greatest vice was her beauty; Eve’s sexual allure was meant to attract only the devil and thus allow evil to come into the world. In the eyes of Tertullian, femininity was a gateway for vice and ruin; it was certainly the duty of all Christian men—themselves sons of the sexually deceived first man—to oppose the perceived power of women.
Tertullian summed up his views of women in a single sentence. In an apologetic work meant to defend his religion, Tertullian said: “The Christian man, once saved, no longer sees women: he is blind to feminine allure.” And with these words, Tertullian provided an entire generation of priest pedophiles with the theological justification for the rape of boys.
The real problem with the misogynistic rhetoric of the early Church, found in authors like Tertullian, was what appeared to be an attack directed against the goddess Venus. Venus was Desire—particularly feminine sexual attraction. Condemning any attraction to the female form was nothing less than a crime against Nature; it was a view in dissonance with the created world, and the pagans believed the Christians would suffer serious consequences for meddling with the natural makeup of the cosmos.
Tertullian, like Paul, Peter and Jesus, may have preferred to “cast out his eyes” rather than use them to “lust after a woman,” but his public push to stifle any trace of feminine sexuality had dire, and readily observable, consequences.
Within a century after the death of Tertullian, violent and aggressive Christian movements meant to stifle female sexuality sprang up in Europe, Asia and Africa. Women were forced to wear non-revealing clothing; young girls and mature women were forbidden from using makeup—something the Romans had been quite fond of—and those who had the audacity to adorn their skin with pigments made from botanicals and animal products were labeled prostitutes. Women were stripped of their jewellery, and eventually limited in their ability to appear in public.
The dire consequences of Christian social movements designed to stifle female sexuality were manifold and arose from the basic sexual philosophy that the Christians had attempted to prohibit. Stated otherwise, these movements, by their very nature, supported the promotion of pedophilia.
According to the pagan world, Venus was the dominant sexual element of the cosmos; as a creator, she was depicted as a conveyor of attraction—something that made her role in the universe a very active one. The masculine desire to “celebrate Venus” was considered a response, a passive reaction to a desire initiated by the goddess. In other words, following Venus (aka “desire”) meant answering a call given by a receptive female; the pagan world viewed this masculine response to female sexuality as a form of non-violent submission.
When Christianity condemned classical female sexual allurement as a tool of Lucifer, it simultaneously condemned the passivity of the male sexual response and promoted the role of the male aggressor—one who partakes actively in the sexual act by pacifying the object of his desire. Eve, like Venus, was considered to possess power by means of her force of attraction; Christian Church Fathers labored to transfer the pagan concept of active, dominant sexuality from the feminine to the masculine sexual experience.
In an attempt to quell the powers of feminine sexual attraction, the Christians created a serious social problem, which the pagans claimed was a conundrum of their own making. The Church spiritually criminalized the attraction of a man for a woman, but simultaneously demanded that the masculine sexual role be the dominant one. Thus, in the third and fourth centuries, for the first time in western history, sex became a tool of spiritual dominance; intercourse was viewed as a heavenly act, employed exclusively by men, in order to further the kingdom of god.
A Novel View of Sex
When this novel view of sex as a spiritually significant, masculine act was combined with the emerging Christian belief in the virtue of suffering and the value of temptation for the purification of the soul, the first institutional pedophiles were born. For decades, Christian priests had taught that their God used special trials of temptation to cleanse, test and initiate believers. Special priests known as “exorcists” believed that they could summon the devil himself, and that by way of possession, they could apply the “fires of temptation” to an initiate, in order to establish these new believers as members of the body of Christ. Otherwise stated, priests forced young candidates for baptism to confront sexual pleasure in the form of rape; in a dominant, masculine role, priests tempted young initiates with forced sexual acts, in order to encourage them to flee the sin and prove themselves as secure followers of Jesus.
By applying “the fires of temptation” to young initiates, the Christian priesthood was able to establish its own sexual dominance, while denying the precepts of competing pagan religions. Cults of Dionysus, Pan and Osiris may have been celebrated by the public with the display and veneration of large phallic objects—something the Christian clergy vehemently condemned—but each of the gods who represented a form of masculine sexuality was considered to be subservient to the feminine authority of Venus. By abolishing the pagan concept of sexual receptivity from the celebration of intercourse, the Christian priesthood established its own cult precedent: forced intercourse was a valid means of ritual purification. And with this, exorcist priests obtained the moral and ecclesiastical authority to sodomize initiates.
For centuries following the misogynistic pronouncements of authors like the Church father Tertullian, the pagans argued that the Christian attack on Venus was merely one aspect of an all-out war on sexuality; they believed unnatural views of human sexuality ultimately turned the most ardent Christians into sexual deviants—or perhaps in modern parlance, predators.
We knew that the pagans considered the Christians sexually perverted because, despite the fact that Christian monks destroyed any documents critical of the clergy, the Christian Fathers themselves wrote in great detail about the many ways they ran afoul of the non-Christian population.
Of course, Christianity eventually won the cultural war it initiated against the pagan world during the late Roman Empire, and the medieval period was born. The pagans claimed that the Christian cultural victory over their age-old traditions was made possible by the fear they instilled in their new members. This psychological weapon, a distinctive characteristic of early Christianity, was reinforced by episodes of intense sexual abuse. Christian priests used fear and abuse as a means of converting the pagan masses to willing and subservient stewards of Christian authority.
As a result of their cultural victory, Christian culture came to dominate the retelling of classical history, and most historians, even of the modern era, have argued from the Christian perspective—particularly with respect to sexual matters. Contrary to the expected—and often recorded—historical accounts, Christianity did not enforce a higher moral sexual standard, but instead, it initiated a period of sexual brutality; the Church ushered in an age of abuse and rape.
The pagan warning against abandoning Nature for dogma went unheeded, and the age of the institutional pedophile was unleashed on western civilization. For the first time in western history, sexual predators were given state-sanctioned protection. No matter how much the non-Christian population protested, pedophiles remained insulated in the Church, where they could pursue their practices without any fear of justice.
Ritual rape within the Church was standardized within just a few centuries of the death of Christ. The consistent application of a standard means for abusing children is evidenced in the writings of the earliest leaders of the catechetical schools that sponsored the indoctrination of new members. However, these standards did not just reinforce prohibitions; they also employed a positive element in the spiritual lives of initiates. Priests used the concept of “inspiration,” a religious idea that was universal in pagan culture, to provide positive reinforcement for the brutality of their sodomy ritual. The Church’s Holy Spirit became a psychological and inspirational means of positively reinforcing altered views of sexual intercourse forced upon new members.