Friedrich Nietzsche, The AntiChrist

Der Antichrist (also could be translated as The Anti-Christian).  Written in 1888 and first published in 1895.

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Here it becomes necessary to call up a memory that must be a hundred times more painful to Germans.  The Germans have destroyed for Europe the last great harvest of civilization that Europe was ever to reap the Renaissance .  Is it understood at last, will it ever be understood, what the Renaissance was?  The transvaluation of Christian values , an attempt with all available means, all instincts and all the resources of genius to bring about a triumph of the opposite values, the more noble values.  This has been the one great war of the past; there has never been a more critical question than that of the Renaissance it is my question too ; there has never been a form of attack more fundamental, more direct, or more violently delivered by a whole front upon the center of the enemy!  To attack at the critical place, at the very seat of Christianity, and there enthrone the more noble values that is to say, to insinuate them into the instincts, into the most fundamental needs and appetites of those sitting there .  I see before me the possibility of a perfectly heavenly enchantment and spectacle: it seems to me to scintillate with all the vibrations of a fine and delicate beauty, and within it there is an art so divine, so infernally divine, that one might search in vain for thousands of years for another such possibility; I see a spectacle so rich in significance and at the same time so wonderfully full of paradox that it should arouse all the gods on Olympus to immortal laughter Caesar Borgia as pope!  Am I understood?  Well then, that would have been the sort of triumph that I alone am longing for today : by it Christianity would have been swept away !  What happened?  A German monk, Luther, came to Rome.  This monk, with all the vengeful instincts of an unsuccessful priest in him, raised a rebellion against the Renaissance in Rome.  Instead of grasping, with profound thanksgiving, the miracle that had taken place: the conquest of Christianity at its capital instead of this, his hatred was stimulated by the spectacle.  A religious man thinks only of himself.  Luther saw only the depravity of the papacy at the very moment when the opposite was becoming apparent: the old corruption, the peccatum originale , Christianity itself, no longer occupied the papal chair!  Instead there was life!  Instead there was the triumph of life!  Instead there was a great yea to all lofty, beautiful and daring things!  And Luther restored the church : he attacked it.  The Renaissance an event without meaning, a great futility!  Ah, these Germans, what they have not cost us!  Futility that has always been the work of the Germans.  The Reformation; Leibnitz; Kant and so called German philosophy; the war of "liberation"; the empire every time a futile substitute for something that once existed, for something irrecoverable .  These Germans, I confess, are my enemies: I despise all their uncleanliness in concept and valuation, their cowardice before every honest yea and nay.  For nearly a thousand years they have tangled and confused everything their fingers have touched; they have on their conscience all the half way measures, all the three eighths way measures, that Europe is sick of, they also have on their conscience the uncleanest variety of Christianity that exists, and the most incurable and indestructible Protestantism.  If mankind never manages to get rid of Christianity the Germans will be to blame.  
 

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