Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Revealed Lie

Girard has a great discussion about Nietzsche, whom I have read but little. Nietzsche opposed Christianity because Christianity opposes human sacrifice. Nietzsche says humans need human sacrifice to move forward.

In analyzing Girard, I have found it difficult to reconcile his views with the truth that the Church advances by the blood of the martyrs. One of his main theses is that the Cross of Christ reveals the lie of the need of the one victim mechanism, sacrificing an individual for the good of the people.  I have wondered how exactly that squares both with the need for Jesus to die for the people and also for the need of Jesus's people, His martyrs, to continue to die for the people.

You will need to read Girard to get all the nuances and there are many. Anyway, once Girard brought in the discussion of Nietzsche, it all made sense to me. The reason the Church advances by the blood of martyrs is exactly because martyrdom really does reveal the lie and wickedness of the single victim mechanism. This is completely anti-Nietzchian. The martyrs are sacrificed for humanity but because they are so obviously innocent, their martyrdom reveals the lie. They expose the work of Satan in the world and the Church advances as a result.

Martyrs further reveal the Cross. Like Jesus, they are innocent of the accusations, and so reveal the futility of freeing the members of society through human sacrifice. In the old order, in ancient paganism, the victims were considered guilty by the persecutors and that narrative is the one that prevailed. But since Christ, the completely innocent victim, the lie is utterly revealed for what it is. A sham to assuage the conscience of the guilty persecutors.

This reality also gives us some handles to make distinctions between Christianity and other religions. The two major competing religions, Islam and Hinduism, are not champions of real victims. Islam attacks victims while fully justifying the perpetrators. It now claims martyr status for murderers. Hinduism continues to leave the poorest and neediest, (a form of innocence?) of its members as outcasts. Qualifier- By innocent, I do not mean completely morally innocent. We are all born sinners. I mean innocent of crimes against humanity or even crimes against the persecutors.

Faithful Christianity never claims martyr status for murderers. Her martyrs always willingly sacrifice themselves to the hands of the violent for the sake of saving others. Islam now has suicide bombers and likens them to martyrs. We need to understand how thoroughly unChristian, un-Jesus like such a position is.

Christianity cannot abide terrorism. We cannot have suicide bombers. Our 'suicides', if you will, always die trying to save others. This is the powerful revelation of the Cross that reveals the truth of the Satanic impulse to attack victims.

No comments: