Christendom has become totalitarian, conquering, and exterminating, because it has not developed the idea of God’s absence and non-activity here below. It has attached itself to Jehovah no less than to Christ, and conceived of Providence in the manner of the Old Testament. Only Israel could stand up to Rome, because it resembled it; and this is how the birth of Christianity was marked with the Roman stain before it became the official religion of the Empire. The evil done by Rome has never been truly redressed.
God’s promises to Moses and Joshua were purely temporal, made at a time when Egypt was moving towards the eternal salvation of the soul. Having refused the Egyptian revelation, the Hebrews got the God they deserved: a carnal and collective God who, right up to the exile, did not speak (except in the Psalms?) to a single soul. . . . The only pure individuals in the poems of the Old Testament are Abel, Enoch, Noah, Melchisedek, Job, and Daniel. It is not surprising that little could be expected of such a people, fugitive slaves, conquerors of a paradise which had been fashioned by civilizations in whose labour they had not shared and which they destroyed through massacres. To speak of an ‘educational God’ in connection with this people is a cruel joke.

It is not astonishing that there should be so much evil in a civilization—ours—contaminated to the core, in its very inspiration, by this terrible lie. The curse of Israel rests on Christendom. Israel meant atrocities, the Inquisition, the extermination of heretics and infidels. Israel meant (and to a certain extent still does . . .) capitalism. Israel means totalitarianism, especially with regard to its worst enemies.


s. weil


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