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Who is God: Everything You Wanted To Know About The Faith Business But Were Too Confused To Ask
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Who are these people and what do they believe in?

      In the first couple of centuries after that unfortunate business with The Son Of God and the cross, a nebulous collection of Christian thought was slowly creeping through Europe from the Middle East and was having very little success with anything it came across.
      It was going to take over five hundred years, a pope called Gregory and a monk called Augustine to bring the real Christianity of Rome to the churches and minds or ordinary folk.
      Born in 540 into the aristocracy of Rome and with a couple of popes hanging proudly from the family tree, Gregory Anicia had a head start up the ladder of Roman power.
      With a good education, influential friends and a couple of well thought out career moves by the age of 32, Greg had managed to land the plumb job of Administrative President of Rome and despite the seemingly irrepressible Lombard Dynasty who were still busily invading northern Italy, began to tackle the deep corruption that had already invaded Italian politics.
      Two years later and sadly disillusioned with politics Gregory took time out to convert one of his conveniently inherited palaces near Rome into a nice little monastery called St Andrews and install enough monks to try to make his own spiritual amends for the political impropriety of others.

      In charge of the monks was Augustine and in charge of Augustine was Gregory (by now, Pope Gregory) who made the good prior the sort of offer that any good prior would be foolish to refuse.
      So on a nice spring morning in 596 Augustine and 40 monks left the relative safety of the Benedictine Monastery for a working holiday in England.
      The lads were in no great rush and took a full year to travel the 800 miles from the beautiful Eternal City to the somewhat less than beautiful Isle of Thanet just off the English Kent coast.
      Bravely hiding their disappointment and continually surprised at avoiding a slow and painful death at the hands of the heathen English, Augustine and his merry monks opened for business at Canterbury and set about converting King Aethelred and as many of the Saxons as possible before anyone seriously questioned their intentions.
      The rest, as they say, is history: Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury, and Canterbury got its cathedral. Popes and Archbishops came and went and apart from the usual ups and downs of an emerging civilisation all was reasonably well with the world. (And naturally, both Gregory and Augustine became saints).

      Well that is, until the 31st of October 1517 when Martin Luther kicked off the Reformation by nailing his well thought out some rather severe criticisms of the Catholic faith to the door of his church, and a few (16) years later King Henry VIII forced through a clever piece of legislation that not only allowed him to divorce Catharine of Aragon but also meant that he could wave goodbye and good riddance to the increasingly heavy handed Catholic control of the English Church.
      From that point on clever Henry made sure that he would be in sole charge of the newly named Church of England.
      Sibling rivalry, political upheaval and civil war re-wrote the fortunes of Protestants, Anglicans, Catholics, Presbyterians and Evangelicals and just about everyone else, but by 1660 with the restoration of a real (but flawed) King Charles II and a real (but short lived) confidence in a safe future, the Church of England was restored to firmer ground and a reasonably secure future.

      As English explorers got more into the travel business and started to conquer the world by killing or enslaving whoever got in their way and stealing whatever looked shiny and expensive there was much talk of their Christian God being solely on the side of the gun-toting conquerors.
      The newly oppressed (who's deities had been quite happy to take the odd bit of forest fruit and occasional virgin in return for the odd shower of rain and an occasional home win) quickly realised that their own gods were coming up a bit short in the firearms, alcohol and tobacco departments.
      For the oppressed it was the definitive no-win situation and for the last three or four hundred years, with only slight variations on this theme, Christian religious enlightenment has followed the same destructive course and swept the world with a greater effect than the entire ancient Greek, Mogul and Roman Empires combined.


Roots:Judaism (before, during and after Christ, admitted). Zoroastrianism (denied). Early Celtic Christian (ignored). Catholic Christian (St Augustine 597). The Reformation (31st Oct 1517). And lastly, Anglicanism (Henry VIII in 1533).
Location:Originally: England, with the Reformation. Now: Trying to remain World-Wide.
Top God:God, the Christian one.
Running Time:Approximately 1500 years.
Status:Orchestrating their own demise.
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