In The Bloudy Tenent, Williams points out that Constantine "did more to hurt Christ Jesus than the raging fury of the most bloody Neroes." at least under the Christian persecutor Nero, who was rumored to have had the Apostle Paul beheaded and Saint Peter crucified upside down, Christianity was a pure (if hazardous) way of life. But when Constantine himself converted to Christianity, that's when the Church was corrupted and perverted by the state. Williams explains that under Constantine, "the gardens of Christ's churches turned into the wildernesss of national religion, and the world (under Constantine's dominion) to the most unchristian Christendom." Legalizing, legitimizing the Church turned Christianity into just another branch of government enforced by "the sword of civil power," i.e., through state-sponsored violence.
In 325 A.D., the Roman Emperor Constantine decided to unify Rome under a single religion ... Historians still marvel at the brilliance with which Constantine converted the sun-worshipping pagans to Christianity. By fusing pagan symbols, dates, and rituals into the growing Christian tradition, he created a kind of hybrid religion that was acceptable to both parties.
Jesus himself, and most of the message of the Gospels, is a message of service to the poor, a critique of the rich and the powerful, and a pacifist doctrine. And it remained that way, that's what Christianity was up... until Constantine. :Constantine shifted it so the cross, which was the symbol of persecution of somebody working for the poor, was put on the shield of the Roman Empire. It became the symbol for violence and oppression, and that's pretty much what the church has been until the present.
Constantine, the Emperor, saw something in the religion of Christ's people which awakened his interest, and now we see him uniting religion to the state and marching up the marble steps of the Emperor's palace, with the church robed in purple. Thus and there was begun the most baneful misalliance that ever fettered and cursed a suffering world... When ... Constantine crowned the union of church and state, the church was stamped with the spirit of the Caesars.
George W Truett
The first time I was ever called ugly, I was thirteen. It was a rich friend of my brother Carlton's over to shoot guns in the field. 'Why you crying, girl?' Constantine asked me in the kitchen. I told her what the boy had called me, tears streaming down my face. 'Well? Is you?' I blinked, paused my crying. 'Is I what?' 'Now you look a here, Egenia'-because constantien was the only one who'd occasionally follow Mama's rule. 'Ugly live up on the inside. Ugly be a hurtful, mean person. Is you one a them peoples?' 'I don't know. I don't think so, ' I sobbed. Constantine sat down next to me, at the kitchen table. I heard the cracking of her swollen joints. She pressed her thumb hard in the palm of my hand, somthing we both knew meant Listen. Listen to me. 'Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision.' Constantine was so close, I could see the blackness of her gums. 'You gone have to ask yourself, Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?' She kept her thumb pressed hard in my hand. I nodded that I understood. I was just smart enough to realize she meant white people. And even though I still felt miserable, and knew that I was, most likely, ugly, it was the first time she ever talked to me like I was something besides my mother's white child. All my life I'd been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe.
Too often scholars have thought and even suggested that what happened during and after Constantine was that the church sought to replace the pagan temples, priests, and sacrifices with their own. This is at best a half truth. If this had been primarily what was going on, we would have expected to find priestesses showing up in the mainstream church in and after the time of Constantine, since there were certainly priestesses in the pagan temples. But this we do not find in the historical record. This is because the church of that period was not merely trying to supplant pagan religion with Christian religion, though some of that was going on. More to the point, there was a rising tide of anti-Judaism, and one of its manifestations was this Old Testament hermeneutic. The Torah had been claimed as the church's book, Jews were being ostracized and then later ghettoized, and a hermeneutic of ministry was being adopted which co-opted the Old Testament for church use when it came to priests, temples, and sacrifices, and indeed sacraments in general. Thus ironically enough while the structure of the ecclesial church was becoming more Old Testamental, the church hierarchy was not only becoming less tolerant of Jews, it was forgetting altogether the Jewish character of Jesus' ministry and his modifications of the Passover that led to the Lord's Supper celebration of the early church in the first place.
Ben Witherington III
An absolute monarch, who is rich without patrimony, may be charitable without merit; and Constantine too easily believed that he should purchase the favour of Heaven if he maintained the idle at the expense of the industrious, and distributed among the saints the wealth of the republic.
Did a Magdalene, a Paul, a Constantine, an Augustine become mountains of ice after their conversion? Quite the contrary. We should never have had these prodigies of conversion and marvelous holiness if they had not changed the flames of human passion into volcanoes of immense love of God.
Frances Xavier Cabrini
The guys on 'Game of Thrones' trust me implicitly to take care of the action stuff. I don't mess with their drama, but they allow me to come up with ideas like 'Hey, what if the giant had a bow? And what if he shot some guy off the wall?' With 'Constantine,' too, they really trust me to scare the audience.
All is artifice in my world, Constantine. Even me. Especially me. He taught me to be a duchess, to be an impregnable fortress, to be the guardian of my own heart, But he admitted that he could not teach me how or when to allow the fortress to be breached or my heart to be unlocked. It would simply happen, he said. he promised it would, in fact. But how is love to find me, even assuming it is looking?
But the severe rules of discipline which the prudence of the bishops had instituted were relaxed by the same prudence in favour of an Imperial proselyte, whom it was so important to allure, by every gentle condescension, into the pale of the church; and Constantine was permitted, at least by a tacit dispensation, to enjoy most of the privileges, before he had contracted any of the obligations, of a Christian.
Far too long, historians have accepted the claim that the conversion of the Emperor Constantine (ca. 285-337) caused the triumph of Christianity. To the contrary, he destroyed its most attractive and dynamic aspects, turning a high-intensity, grassroots movement into an arrogant institution controlled by an elite who often managed to be both brutal and lax.
The Berbers, among whom even today one finds light skins and blue eyes, do not go back to the Vandal invasions of the fifth century A.D., but to the prehistoric Atlantic Nordic human wave. The Kabyle huntsmen, for example, are to no small degree still wholly Nordic (thus the blond Berbers in the region of Constantine form 10 % of the population; at Djebel Sheshor they are even more numerous).
Judged by the stark, sure-footed portrait in Hard Time, Brian Azzarello and Richard Corben clearly have John Constantine down, cold and to the life. Azzarellos grasp of pacing, character and situation resonates through every scene with a black crystal clarity thats short of masterful, while Corben contributes what is, perhaps, one of the most darkly expressive pieces in a long, already-legendary career.
The grateful applause of the clergy has consecrated the memory of a prince, who indulged their passions and promoted their interest. Constantine gave them security, wealth, honours, and revenge; and the support of the orthodox faith was considered as the most sacred and important duty of the civil magistrate. The edict of Milan, the great charter of toleration, had confirmed to each individual of the Roman world the privilege of choosing and professing his own religion.
But this inestimable privilege was soon violated: with the knowledge of truth the emperor imbibed the maxims of persecution; and the sects which dissented from the catholic church were afflicted and oppressed by the triumph of Christianity. Constantine easily believed that the heretics, who presumed to dispute his opinions or to oppose his commands, were guilty of the most absurd and criminal obstinacy; and that a seasonable application of moderate severities might save those unhappy men from the danger of an everlasting condemnation.
Turn the anger of the Almighty against the godless Turks and Barbarians who despise Christ the Lord.....In the royal city of the east, they have slain the successor of Constantine and his people, desecrated the temples of the Lord, defiled the noble church of Justinian with their Mohometan abominations. Each success, will only be a stepping stone until he has mastered all the Western Monarchs, overthrow the Christian Faith, and imposed the law of his false prophet on the whole world
Pope Pius II
Nothing but the cross of Christ can so startle the spiritual nature from its torpor, as to make it an effectual counterpoise to the debasing and sensual tendencies of the race. Favored by temperament and education, individuals may measurably escape; but if the race is to triumph in the conflict between the flesh and the spirit, between the lower propensities and the higher nature, they must, as Constantine is said to have done, see the cross, and on it the motto, "In hoc signo vinces." By this sign we conquer.
How could the Christian Church, apparently quite willingly, accommodate this weird megalomaniac [Constantine] in it's theocratic system? Was there a conscious bargain? Which side benefited most form this unseemly marriage between church and state? Or, to put it another way, did the empire surrender to Christianity, or did Christianity prostitute itself to the empire? It is characteristic of the complexities of early Christian history that we cannot give a definite answer to this question.
Julian sincerely abhorred the system of oriental despotism which Diocletian, Constantine, and the patient habits of four score years, had established in the empire. A motive of superstition prevented the execution of the design which Julian had frequently meditated, of relieving his head from the weight of a costly diadem; but he absolutely refused the title of Dominus or Lord, a word which was grown so familiar to the ears of the Romans, that they no longer remembered its servile and humiliating origin.
The Emperor Constantine, who lifted Christianity into power, murdered his wife Fausta, and his eldest son Crispus, the same year that he convened the Council of Nice to decide whether Jesus Christ was a man or the Son of God. The council decided that Christ was consubstantial with the father. This was in the year 325. We are thus indebted to a wife-murderer for settling the vexed question of the divinity of the Savior.
Robert Green Ingersoll
In the 300 years of the crucifixion of Christ to the conversion of Emperor Constantine, polytheistic Roman emperors initiated no more than four general persecutions of Christians. Local administrators and governors incited some anti-Christian violence of their own. Still, if we combine all the victims of all these persecutions, it turns out that in these three centuries the polytheistic Romans killed no more than a few thousand Christians. In contrast, over the course, of the next 1,500 years, Christians slaughtered Christians by the millions, to defend slightly different interpretations of the religion of love and compassion.
Yuval Noah Harari
It took time for the church to come to terms with the ignominy of the cross. Church fathers forbade its depiction in art until the reign of the Roman emperor Constantine.... Now, though, the symbol is everywhere: artists beat gold into the shape of the Roman execution device, baseball players cross themselves before batting, and cancy confectioners even make chocolate crosses for the faithful to eat during Holy Week. Strange as it may seem, Christianity has become a religion of the cross--the gallows, the electric chair, the gas chamber, in modern terms.
if they hadn't both been pretending, but had had what is called a heart-to-heart talk, that is, simply told each other just what they were thinking and feeling, then they would just have looked into each other's eyes, and Constantine would only have said: 'You're dying, dying, dying!' - while Nicholas would simply have replied: 'I know I'm dying, but I'm afraid, afraid, afraid!' That's all they would have said if they'd been talking straight from the heart. But it was impossible to live that way, so Levin tried to do what he'd been trying to do all his life without being able to, what a great many people could do so well, as he observed, and without which life was impossible: he tried to say something different from what he thought, and he always felt it came out false, that his brother caught him out and was irritated by it.
The vestiges of pagan religion in Christian symbology are undeniable. Egyptian sun disks became the halos ... The pre-Christian God Mithras ... had his birthday celebrated on December 25 ... Even Christianity's weekly holy day was stolen from the pagans ... Christianity honored the Jewish Sabbath of Saturday, but Constantine shifted it to coincide with the pagans' veneration of the day of the sun ... To this day, most churchgoers attend services on Sunday morning with no idea that they are there on account of the pagan sun god's weekly tribute- Sunday.
For centuries after obtaining power during the reign of Constantine, Christians went on a censorship rampage that led to the virtual illiteracy of the ancient Western world and ensured that their secret would be hidden from the masses. The scholars of other schools/sects evidently did not easily give up their arguments against the historicizing of a very ancient mythological creature. We have lost the exact arguments of these learned dissenters because Christians destroyed any traces of their works. Nonetheless, the Christians preserved the contentions of their detractors through their own refutations. For example, early Church Father Tertullian (c. 160-220 CE), an 'ex-Pagan' and a presbyter at Carthage, ironically admitted the true origins of the Christ story and other such myths by stating in refutation of his critics, 'You say we worship the sun; so do you. Interestingly, a previously strident believer and defender of the faith, Tertullian later renounced orthodox Christianity after becoming a Montanist.
Arian paced the cavern in his mountain in agitation and a wee bit of anxiety. He was shaking off the dragon sleep from the past six hundred years. Not only had it been six centuries since he had been in human form, but there was a war the Dragon Kings were involved in. Con and the others were waiting for him to join in the war. Every King had been woken to take part. After all the wars they had been involved in, Arian wasn't happy to be woken to join another. Because of Ulrik. The banished and disgraced Dragon King hadn't just made a nuisance of himself, but he somehow managed to get his magic returned. Which meant the Kings needed to put extra magic into keeping the four silver dragons sleeping undisturbed deep within the mountain. They were Ulrik's dragons, and he would want to wake them soon. But it wasn't just Ulrik that was causing mischief. The Dark Fae were as well. It infuriated Arian that they were once more fighting the Dark. Hadn't the Fae Wars killed enough Fae and dragons? Then again, as a Dragon King as old as time itself, they were targets for others who wanted to defeat them. For Ulrik, he just wanted revenge. Arian hated him for it, but he could understand. Mostly because Arian had briefly joined Ulrik in his quest to rid the realm of humans. Thoughts of Ulrik were pushed aside as Arian found himself thinking about why he had taken to his mountain. When he came here six hundred years earlier, it was to remain there for many thousands of years. The Dragon Kings sought their mountains for many reasons. Some were just tired of dealing with mortals, but others had something they wished to forget for a while. Arian was one of the latter. There were many things he did in his past when the King of Kings, Constantine, asked. Not all of them Arian was proud of. The one that sent him to his mountain still preyed upon him. He didn't remember her name, but he remembered her tears. Because of the spell to prevent any of the Dragon Kings from falling in love with mortals, Arian had easily walked away from the female. Six centuries later, he could still hear her begging him to stay with her, still see the tears coursing down her face. Though he hadn't felt anything, it bothered him that he had so easily walked away. Because Con had demanded it. Loyalty-above all else. The Dragon Kings were his family, and Dreagan his home. There was never any question if he were needed that Arian would do whatever it took to help his brethren in any capacity asked of him.