Continuing from Part 1.
Christianity as Conquest: Control of Art
This one has touched on this issue before, about which it is at once simple and impossible to be comprehensive. Which is to say, you can be comprehensive simply by saying, "Everything," but beyond that, you barely brush the surface.
Consider, as we go through this one, how art is, like other things taken by Christianity, but a component of "spirituality," about which more could be more-incompletely said. As a throwback to this one's promise to not attempt at being herein comprehensive, consider again the idea that everything spiritual becomes defined, through conquest, in Christ-language. We will never know what would have been written, let alone thought, in a Christ-free environment.
In that vein, consider the small sub-component of spirituality that is art. We certainly have been instructed, somewhere amidst a vast assemblage of Christian-founded and -enabled public schools or universities, on the Christ-centered art which permeated Europe, and then the world, since the advent of Christianity and colonialism.
We note here that, like universal Bangism, Christianity is the direct, sense-making predecessor to what was, as it is a form of its creator. The university and its learned men are not hostile to the press, nor vice versa, because of where they come from. And yet, dead white men who vocally believed in white supremacy and/or Christ founded the said universities and/or presses. In all technicality, this should be a problem during the new phase, in which the sins of the past are cast off, but we will not accept new tradition; only a revamped, yet somewhat-actual, tradition works. Ergo black academics do not break away in righteous media anger to found their own medical college, but rather take over, or try to take over, existing American/European colleges, because they were either, logically-inconceivably, "always black" (we actually did build this place) or "should've always been black" (we had the spirit to build it but actually didn't even though we could've). Wordplay aside, they are right, like feminist-preferencing universities. Nominal targets change, but foundations remain the same.
The even more subtle ways in which this weltanschauung served as a cruel gift, though not quite as subtle as that of basic perspective, is through its private subversion of art, in which the child's first fantasies include Christian themes. Not historically meaningful, it seems, until we attempt to calculate the growth and worldly effects of said X billion children. Far more profound, really, than that of the still-profound statues and paintings of biblical figures produced by older artists raised in a Christian perspective.
We encounter anew the darkly brilliant subtleties of Christianity, here. Through the jealous exclusivity of Yahweh's monotheism, we forestall countless avenues of progress, akin to jamming all the ocean's rivers through a single small funnel. Made of case-hardened titanium, you are free to do whatever you like before or after the funnel, but even the modern's relative freedom, and the pseudo-rebellion or managed transition from Christ-worship to Bang-worship, delivered by the same or successor media, the Christianization seems to be foundationally European. A simple trick, played after the bodies have been discarded, upon the stupid- or rape-spawned leftovers; like the Great War or wicked King Edward I, it works on those who believe the company line about their history. Publicly professed identity during the occupation is assumed, by the undiscerning, to be voluntary. Flattered Nu Euros seem to presume freedom as their baseline, so the choice to attend a meeting or fight a battle is perceived as an endorsement: a vulnerability they would address if they’re to survive in any recognizable form. Consider state policemen or soldiers, and they tend to have strong disagreements with, shall we say, the world historical significance (or local political significance) of the organization at large which they theoretically represent. When ignorant, it’s easy to believe in random "greatness"--it comes naturally to the remnants of Europe--and it often takes years for them to realize they’re just focusing on an area because someone told them to, and might be neglecting other areas for reasons that aren’t theirs. So too do we see age come into play, for once you've devoted your life to invading Africa/Asia, or handing out traffic citations, you are old and it harms you personally, your offspring, and your self-image to perceive of wrongs as wrongs. Plenty of retired soldiers and cops are vocally brave, and know better than to challenge the duped enthusiasm of the young. This is the inner conundrum of the whistleblower, who believes--often correctly, as many non-living friends and associates evince--that they'd better stay quiet. We hide what we know, in part, in disappearances, asylums, and official suicides.
“In the old days” they might resign and/or take up other trades. Yet they don’t, because there are no other careers, the pension doesn’t vest if you rock the boat, and several layers of intermediary officers offer an even more plausible veneer to what’s happening, being subject themselves to differing stresses.
There’s no way to tell what Leonardo actually would've painted on his own, just like there is no way to tell what anyone we believe in historically actually believed in the privacy of their minds. Maybe some of them actually did believe in that Rabbi, just like some people who spent 3 years in the Middle East actually wanted to defend Israel with their lives, or some people really thought the biggest problem in Middlesex was white drivers who exceeded posted speed limits.
...or that the best way to run society is to put an obese inbred in charge and do whatever his attendants say he says. People "should" be smarter about their history, and stop assuming that things existed because everyone thought it was the best way to do things. VATs and income taxes, for example, are paid because of a complicated dynamic of repression, appearance, and warnings, but not because everyone, let alone a simple majority, agrees with the idea or what the taxes are being spent upon. Like so much else since JC arrived, a majority of people could be privately hating/doubting the king, but be prevented from expressing it due to their individualized preferences against being hammered upon, and the amazing quantity of funds available to their oppressors. A new history would be currently dangerous, in the sense that it would expose who was actually creating this system of shifting illusions.
Art is nearly identical. If we're stupid, we assume that if Mom had not left the room a minute early on that one special day, she would've met the man who gave up and tried with someone else instead, and therefore we'd've been raised in, and believe in, a different denomination, and be equally certain of our salvation. Or maybe that man's our father, that's how they met, and if grandmom hadn't had that five-minute delay with her hair that night, she'd've never shown up, never met Grandpa, and would've met someone else in the next five years. Yahweh has a plan, of course, and makes things happen correctly, but if we're so delusional that we can look beyond that type of explanation we see different worlds, forsake Calvin, and ask what Leonardo, or someone almost as famous, would've painted if not the Pentateuch and later works. We do not know, similarly, what all of the "screenwriters" would have done with themselves without Hollywood, and if we think we're smart enough, we might imagine a different, non-invasive, actually creative venue for plot structure and the use of technology, and not be so reverent toward things as they are. Funny when we try to have it both ways, like the wrongness began sometime in the twentieth century: mentally, though, we can ask what might have been created if people weren't being sought out, groomed, then largely ignored by merchants who wanted to create and sell a certain derivative product.
What would have been painted? Written? Sculpted? We don't know. We can only guess, and we're limited by minds exposed since inception to products that have already been mainstreamed. Who we would have become, and what thoughts we would think, have been governed so thoroughly that it is difficult, if not impossible, for us to imagine thinking better. Consider a formative moment from your own memory, and then try to imagine what it would have been if you had been, oh, twice as inspired. Who are you today? Who would you be? The wasteland is harsh and tough, and breeds to its own methods. None of us know who we would've been in a worldly paradise.
Or just eat a Purim-cookie and celebrate the death of the pointy-eared holdouts again.
Funny that this one is listening to Christmas music while typing. There are adaptations, attempted traditionals, and a few "new but supposedly in the spirit of" ones. And they are often quite good. So we ask, again, what would have been created without the understood framework? What would've been built, what would've been channeled, and what would our special times look like and feel like if all of our drive to be creative, reverent, everlasting, et cetera, had not been funneled through the Risen Rabbi? People who believe in an environmental approach to society might say that "Christmas" (like those of us who remain, a stolen thing with only echoes of past meaning) creates certain traditions, like not shooting infants, and they have a plethora of explanations for why certain groups might accidentally discharge firearms at all, or on such a time.
People who believe in genetics might, though, imagine a past, and maybe a future, where Euros create, revere, and are spiritual as they are allowed, and while they appreciate the idea of a winter festival of some kind, find the peaceableness and togetherness to be created by the people rather than the environment. It's less than narcissistic, of course, to imagine that everyone doesn't approach things the way you do, but maybe, just maybe, a hint of the forebears might've survived.