I got sucked into a fascinating blog battle going on between two varieties of Christian, around Emperor Constantine, the one who set up the infamous Council of Nicea in 325. This was where a standardized version of Christianity was hammered out, and orders made to destroy all other gospel accounts and religious tracts. It's amazing how they argue over details and differ in irrelevant interpretations. In case they are too outraged to print my comment I publish it herewith. All this squabbling over trivia.
What difference does it really make whether Constantine was properly baptized as a Christian or not? In any event, it was not until 43 years after his death that Christianity was mandated as the official religion of the Roman Empire, when anything else became expressly forbidden.
Rather than looking at the players we should look at the play. Perhaps the underlying driver behind Christianity's rise to power was its outright support of meekness. After all, when you are running something as brutal as the Roman Empire it is quite useful to have your subjects believe that suffering will get them to heaven. The concepts of loving your enemy, turning the other cheek, and praying for those who oppress you would come in handy too. It is no wonder that rulers throughout Europe embraced the Church for centuries thereafter.
Is it any surprise that the three Abrahamic religions have experienced more religiously triggered suffering than any other faiths, fighting wars between each other and between other versions of their own? Could their embrace of suffering as spiritually positive support this ongoing insanity? Hindus and Buddhists and Shinto and ancient Sun worshipers do not and did not fight wars in the name of their religions.
Unfortunately, after the Council of Nicaea there was little left to inform us of the nature of early Christianity, Now we also have discovered the few tattered scrolls hidden long ago at Nag Hammadi. The rich spiritual seam that should be explored is into the nature of Christianity before the Roman Empire got is hands upon it. Perhaps there is something of great worth to be discovered therein. What we usually end up with is chapter and verse on the conflict and players with little idea of what the actuality was like.
Until anything more sensible comes along, I will continue to commune with the obvious source of the light of life, our local star. It's undeniably right there, nothing to argue about, and unquestionably the most important thing in our lives. And there is every reason to believe that our Sun is much much more than a dumb ball of hot gas, a very ungrateful attitude indeed.