Rants & Essays

Tom On Xtianity and Goth

By Tom Fosdick

It was an eye-opener for me several years ago when I first stumbled across the concept of Christian Goth. The reason it opened my eyes is that quite simply I'd never thought of it before, I'd just kind of assumed that there was no such thing.

My thinking begins many years ago, and I mean many. It is a natural thing that the leaders of a tribe want to subdue their members. It's also a pretty natural thing that people are inherently frightened shitless of pegging it. The rulers then have a very useful tool; they can use the fear of dying to control their subjects. What's more, they can do it without their subjects even thinking about it. The answer to everyone's problem is the notion of a superior being, a God. If the religion is organized by the leaders of the tribe, with say, a priest of some sort, then they have control. Gods are useful things, they tend to have these things called morals. Now, I admit, this does turn out to be pretty useful. Making sex amoral means less babies means less mouths to feed, and swiping things from other people has always caused trouble. So the religion develops a code of conduct as it were. Something to abide by that makes us all get along nicely, not from God, but from man; a philanthropic act it may seem. The trouble is, most of these religions said (and say) that killing is not a good idea. Gods generally are apparently not keen on killing. They do however seem to have an odd tendency to (apparently uncharacteristically) condone the mass slaughter of other races and peoples worshipping another God.

This is the first important point to the argument. For some reason the people do not question the writings of the prophets and the words of the priests, but they go out and merrily bump off Johnny foreigner by the thousands.

Religion has then become social control. The authenticity of the original theories and scriptures is irrelevant now. Yes they may have come from some superior being, or they may just be the words of the ruling classes, it doesn't matter. The rulers have proved that they can dictate what people think.

So now I begin on Xtianity. "Spreading the word of the Lord" is a fundamental tenant of Xtianity. I don't think that whoever wrote that quite had in mind what it was going to turn into though. Xtians were taught to hate with a passion anyone who did not believe in the same god, and they still are. Quite predictably everything outside Xtianity is deemed evil and Satanic and must be eradicated. So "converting" these "evil pagans" became a priority, and despite the fact the Bible states quite heavily "Thou shalt not kill," kill is exactly what the missionaries did.

The means of converting people was rather effective; it resulted in the governments of what were to become the major western countries having Xtianity established; that is to say affiliated to the government. So laws were passed based on Xtian morals and society was shaped in the ways of 'God.' The whole basis of our modern culture is in Xtianity.

Then come along the goths. Well, OK, several people like us have existed before, but I'm not really interested in them for the purpose of this particular discussion. Goths were different; we started out just really being rebellious and punky, but it wasn't at all long before other things started creeping in. Our image had found us a place outside the Xtian based society that the rest of the world lived in. We looked at it and we laughed, then we hit the books. There were others who had thought like us before, we could and did learn a lot from the philosophers of the past and today. We became philosophers, we debated, we discussed, we looked at society and laughed more, they really had got things wrong. The biggest problem is that Xtian culture is outdated. One pretty darnn easy thing to pick out is sex. Why all the taboos about sex? It's as natural as taking a dump. The reason for the taboos I mentioned earlier. But we have the birth control (Yes, I accept STDs, but HIV+condom has killed most of them). No need for the taboos about sex, they went out of the window. So too did a lot of other stuff. We built our own culture, we had our own rules and they were definitely not compatible with Xtian culture.

Then this guy in a pub who I'd been talking to for half an hour or so drops into the conversation that he's a Christian, and a goth. My immediate reaction was "No you're not, you're one or the other." I didn't understand why I felt that way then, I do know.