“The miraculous lie is, generally speaking, useful to many who exert all their efforts to adorn and promulgate it: those who know the truth are either sensible enough to keep silence, cunning enough to pretend to believe it, or weak enough to lose reputation and to be considered liars by opposing it.”
–Sir Richard Burton
I submit the Christian fable of the Cross worked for the West for so well for so long precisely because it is a fantasy. Conversely, the modern secular fable born of and displacing it–all men are born equal in the eyes of God gave birth to all men are equally endowed (and thus interchangable in the great, malleable mass of humanity)–fails because it makes a falsifiable assertion about physical reality.
You cannot disprove a fantasy. Whether or not Jesus was God is quite immaterial. It is not a worldly question. Thus it leaves room for man to investigate and understand the living world. And so many a good Christian did–and many a good atheist from Christendom as well, for he too is blessed by the idea of man created in the image of God. He paid his tithe in hypocrisy and went on his way. A good religion leaves room for such hypocrisy. The Islamic world’s stubborn backwardness may be due largely to the stultifying effects of a religion leaving no breathing room for the hypocrite. But the assertion that each individual is imbued with the personal dignity and rights that come from being created in the image of God–the Jewish idea Christians put on the Cross for all humanity–has been beneficial to say the least. I might even call it progress, if I trusted it’s going to end well. And if I believed in progress.
The new prevailing lie–Christianity’s patricidal, ingrate bastard–makes of the first the fiction that each individual is equally endowed with the host of human talents. It thus asserts material reality in the present and is falsifiable (and has been, repeatedly). It has none of the advantages of fantasy. It may be ridiculous to believe in the Cross and Resurrection, but it is harmless in and of itself. It is the practical edicts anchored to that myth that count. And those edicts have been very good to us. So far.
On the other hand, to take as literal truth the Egalitarian Lie is to misunderstand human nature and material reality. Christians have created a fantasy about the afterlife. Progressives have created a fantasy about life on earth. Which is the greater lie? Which, in demanding silence or acquiescence on the part of society and the individual as Christianity once did and progressive egalitarianism does now, strains and distorts society more?