Okay, let's talk about why attempts to critique (or hell, straight up stick it to) Christianity in SFF often end up being more anti-Jewish than they are anti-Christian.
This was inspired by Jay Kristoff's work, which manages to evoke a whole bunch of antisemitic medieval tropes AND, as a bonus, even shits on the name "Ashkenazi", which is the Jewish term for most European Jews.
But the thing is, Kristoff's SO antisemitic that I don't think it's accidental.

I'm more interested in how it happens out of ignorance rather than malice.
So, negative evocations of Christianity in SFF usually fall into one of three categories:

1) allegories for/evocations of the Inquisition
2) allegories for/evocations of witch hunts
3) Christianity without Jesus
I suspect there are also evocations of the Crusades out there, especially in SFF by non-Western authors, but I haven't seen it nearly as much.
And I want to be clear that these aren't usually discrete uses of these tropes. They usually blend together. Evocations of the Inquisition usually have evocations of later witch-hunts as well, and it's almost always Christianity Without Jesus.
And I'm generally fine with using the Inquisition and the witch hunts as models for fictionalized versions of the church as a force for evil. They were the church as a force for evil in real life.
They're often clearly written by people who haven't actually *studied* the periods in question before using them as a model--the Salem "witches," for example, were Christians, and not just women, and targeted more for financial reasons than religious ones.
But honestly, whatever.
It's the way Evil Christianity Analogues are generally missing a Jesus figure that starts to make them problematic.
Because much of the world's perception of Jews and Judaism is basically "it's like Christianity but without Jesus."

And attempts to portray Christianity Analogues as bloodthirsty and primitive generally assume that what's "primitive" is what's *older.*
And they also really tend to distrust ritual, and portray ritual either as primitive superstition, or as a facade that the Evil Priests use to manipulate the Naive Villagers.
And you may think you're sticking it to Christianity by doing your fic with evil Inquisitors who burn witches, but when a hallmark of its evil is that there's no Jesus analogue, you're actually not sticking it to Christianity. You're reinforcing its supremacy.
Or put another way, the idea that if you remove Jesus, Christianity becomes evil is just the flipside of "REAL Christianity is inherently good."
If you're going to have masses and Inquisitors and witch burnings and all the other trappings of Christianity, put a fucking Jesus analogue in there.

Because it's not "religion", it's SPECIFICALLY THE RELIGION OF JESUS that did all these things.
And a lot of this comes from a very old anti-Jewish trope:

the "OT God=vengeful, NT God=loving" rubric
Now, I'm not going to spend a lot of time debunking that trope in this thread, other than to say that every single loving- or compassionate-sounding thing Jesus ever said is literally a quote or paraphrase from the Tanakh
But there's a long-standing idea in pop culture Christianity that the problem with Christianity is the Old Testament.
You hear it ALL THE FUCKING TIME on TV. Some bigoted Christian character quotes something from the OT and the hero says something like, "we've had a whole other testament since then."
So, the idea that if you do Christianity without Jesus, you get Bloodthirsty Old Testament Religion is a huge trope in...

Christian depictions of Satanism.
You know what I'm talking about, yes? Satanism as portrayed by Christians is missing Jesus, and usually involves a lot of animal sacrifice, and then humans sacrificed like animals, and a smattering of Hebrew, that Ancient And Alien Language.
So it's intended to be a dark mirror of Christianity, and there are *elements* of that, in that there's usually elements from Catholic mass, maybe some Latin.
But in essence, what they're creating is Ancient Evil Religion Without Jesus, which ends up looking a lot like what they tend to *think* Judaism looks like. (Without the "Evil", of course, or at least without saying it out loud.)
animal sacrifice, which Jesus negated the need for
Hebrew as an ancient powerful magical alien language, rather than as, I dunno, the language of real people?
a vengeful and bloodthirsty deity figure, without a mediating savior
it looks a little different whether you're getting it from Catholics or Protestants, of course

with Catholics, it's "this is a mockery of the mass, which is why it's ritualized"
With Protestants, you get something a lot uglier.

It's Christianity as fresh and organic and flexible and real and just about a genuine relationship with God, opposed to ancient, heartless, primitive, ignorant ritual
And of course, when actual Satanism became a thing, primarily as a way to troll Christians, but also pulling in a lot of really ugly white supremacist Victorian ideas about the occult...
...it didn't start from 'what could we do to create a practice that actually highlights everything that's wrong with Christianity.' You know, like an actual satire of it.

It started with what *Christians* thought Satanism would look like.
And again, and I can't emphasize this enough:

What Christians think actual Satanism would look like *isn't* a critique of Christianity. It's a *reification* of it. It's *self-congratulatory.*
And you can see this because, attempts by heavy metal artists and edgy teenagers notwithstanding, there's nothing actually attractive about Christian depictions of Satanism.

No one seems to be having any fun. There's no *there* there.
It exists, in their imaginings, solely to mock Christian ritual, but like, no one actually *wants* to eat a host made of feces? No one *wants* to have unpleasant and ungratifying sex? It's just misery for misery's sake, which is what they imagine non-Christianity to be.
And again, the people who did all the horrible things Christianity has done weren't practicing Christianity-but-without-Jesus.

They were practicing Christianity full stop.
And yes, actual Judaism as practiced by actual alive Jews isn't actually anything that resembles Christianity, with or without Jesus.

But the problem is, for most of the world, their *understanding* of what Judaism is is "basically Christianity, but without Jesus."
When you decide to do an analogue of Christianity to be the evil religion in your SFF, but you neglect to include *the central element of Christianity*, which is, you know, Jesus, what you're actually suggesting is that Jesus is the thing that redeems "Abrahamic religion."
So if you think that Jesus is the thing that makes Christianity good, what does that say about what you think about Jews? (Or Muslims, for that matter?)
And you might want to ask yourself why, if you're pissed at Christianity, and if you want to create an SFF setting that contains Evil Religion, you can't seem to bear to actually include a Jesus figure in your portrayal.
Because otherwise you're actually just reinforcing the idea that Christianity is actually inherently good in a way other religions are not.

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