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Christianity & Sadism
Voluntary pain being inflicted upon Jesus and the notion that, "they don't know any better"
These were the last words Jesus Christ said on the cross:
“My God, my god, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
“Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
“I am thirsty” (John 19:28).
“It is finished!” (John 19:30).
We can believe that these words mean something about ethics or morality, but that’s beside the point. Remember, Jesus was dying, being crucified, in pain, while alive. He sacrificed his life just so he could live by his actions. It was another day in paradise and another nihilistic evening out for the public. After the day Jesus was killed, guilt and trauma surrounded his followers and those who witnessed his death. There is a story that Jesus rose from the dead, but in what metaphors and stories is this true? And where did he go after his death? To “heaven,” of course!
The true punishment that the Christian suffers is his constant guilt that Jesus is dead. Jesus is rather a memory about the flaws of humanity, and the guilt-tripping the Christian must feel that he is a sinner. Never perfect, never rational, always flawed.
…Doesn’t this sound like a sadistic position?
The Marquis de Sade was an intellect and writer who covered libertine sexuality and the transgressive nature of revolution. Sade was the idol of complete liberalism, of total freedom against all values. There was no sense of ethics in his work. He wanted liberation from all forms of control. The word “sadism” relates to Sade’s interest in pain and inflicting it upon others.
And rather, isn’t Jesus enjoying his pain?
Desire and passion are constantly shunned and ignored by contemporary Christians. Only intellects like René Girard and Alvin Plantinga have justified both desire and passion, front and center, as the main motivators for Christian belief. Any further negating of desire or passion advocates prudish behavior or monkish attitudes.
So what desires and passions did Jesus Christ have in himself while he was in pain?
The truth is, there was never a supernatural resurrection of Jesus. The supernatural elements of religion are based upon whimsical or esoteric thinking, negating actual science and the reality of the world. His “resurrection” was metaphorical.
Perhaps the word “sadism” is a modernist invention, taking place years after the death of Jesus. And the simple, crude definition of “inflicting pain on others “ is not justified. I would describe sadism as “philosophy, written work, investigations, and imaginary first-person fantasies around violence, suffering, sex, torture, abuse, crime, and skepticism against all conventional laws.” It’s more experimental in transgressive light than it is ethical.
If we are told to “love another” from John 13:34, it is never explained that one must suffer through pain and misery because of original sin. If the Old Testament is nothing more than a foretelling story of Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the New Testament argues that the public crucifying Jesus is no different from Eve eating from the apple of knowledge. The former is esoteric in meaning, while the latter is straightforward. As if Luke is witnessing that the common people are naturally sadistic and evil!
…But are they evil? Jesus seems to be enjoying that the Jews are torturing him. Where is his anger? Where is his sense of defense? Why won’t he get up and fight? Because that would destroy his character! That would assume he’s human like everyone else! Jesus died the same way Socrates drank the hemlock. Socrates was ready to die without remorse. Jesus could forgive anyone, even if a man raped his wife! …Wouldn’t that make him, ...a cuck?
If patience and kindness mean walking over weaker men while they take pride in that, consider Friedrich Nietzsche right in all of his critical observations on Christianity.
If this is some “4D Chess” move that Jesus is trying to woo over and redeem God’s anger at men since the Garden of Eden, then this is truly baffling. Jesus screams at God, almost going in denial that humanity (or at least this Middle Eastern culture) is sadistic like this. And then the public is supposed to be forgiven after all this torture to feel bad and guilty that it was all just a trick to show that a supernatural God was behind this test this entire time?
As stated before, what if Jesus never came back to life, and the “resurrection” was a political campaign advocated by followers who were traumatized by his death, and advocated a revenge plan against those those who crucified him?
Sadism is a fantasy. It inflicts pain as the desire. Evil could be described as “something which causes pain and suffering.” But the mere fact that one wishes and consents to suffering is the interesting part.
“I am thirsty,” or, is it the fact that Jesus is dying of blood loss? But metaphorically, what is he “thirsting” for? He proclaims, “It is finished.” No longer must he suffer, and die. Some Christians argue that this line is some transcendental, metaphysical understanding that Jesus saw his entire life’s narrative as a work of God. Again, it could just be an end to his suffering.
…But did Jesus enjoy it? If he knew that was all bound to happen, why did he accept his death?
If we truly should accept Jesus and his role model, we hate ourselves for being natural animals. Camille Paglia once wrote that Sade’s The 120 Days of Sodom is rather a “satirical response to Jean-Jacques Rousseau.” If human beings were all just profoundly evil, from calculated design and intention, they would take up the cartoonish fantasies in Sade’s work, something so brazenly transgressive, that it can’t be real. Because the truth is, that human beings are not evil. This is another wise observation that Friedrich Nietzsche makes in Beyond Good and Evil.
I cannot help but think about some kind of condescending liberal telling an obscure higher power to “forgive” me for my actions. I am always forgiven for who I am, unconditionally, at the expense I am forced to know that “Jesus died for my sins.”
Suffering is prized over the non-suffering. The intricate details about harm, abuse, and violence are projected to make us feel guilty about something we have never done. As if the truth is that Jesus was brave enough to suffer, and enjoy it to save us.
If I am loved truly for who I am, I wouldn’t be mocked for investing myself into desires and passions, the very same objectives God has given me, and yet ironically, calls blasphemous. The details of the crucifixion of Jesus are torture porn at best. If we are all sadistic and evil, and should be innately evil causing Jesus harm, (who enjoys the pain), I don’t buy this story.
I would rather read and embrace Lord of the Flies by William Golding than be told I’m a caricature made up in Sade’s imagination. Hence there is likely a post-critical viewpoint of this sadist conundrum and its answers. Like watching a horror film, people naturally enjoy violence and the blood rush of suspense with the unthinkable. But it does not make any sense If my actions are ignorant, and someone is telling me, “he does not know what he’s doing.”
If that’s the case, let me write the unthinkable, and stop guilt-tripping me like all humanity is bad. That’s why we have Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Otherwise, this fixation by Luke implies that he considers the Marquis de Sade the truth!
Then I guess I should appreciate Justine as a work of art and true to what humanity is.