What I’m not buying is your attempt to re-frame or re-contextualize history to reinforce the validity of your belief system. Even with your analysis of that article it’s like you’re selectively taking the pieces that you want and disregarding the rest. It's NOT that everything you say is untrue; it’s just that when you make statements like Christianity "sustained" civilization or "pulled the West out" of the Dark Ages, it's as though you’re taking a piecemeal approach that doesn’t reflect the overarching historical reality. History is complex and there is often not one "right" view - perhaps I'm overly critical of the role of Christianity in history, but by the same token, you're overly lenient.
What you’re doing is like Confederacy defenders who claim that the Civil War was not about slavery. Certainly there were a multitude of reasons why various individuals fought in the Civil War and why the South seceded, but slavery is mentioned numerous times in the Articles of Confederacy AND in a speech given by the vice president of the Confederate States in which he repeatedly identified slavery as the cause for succession. That doesn’t negate the other reasons but it provides an overarching theme to the cause.
I’m not trying to confuse the issue, but I’m just saying that these are examples of the type of argument you’re making.
It actually CAN be argued that Christians DID “sustain” civilization during Medieval Times – but they did so in the same way as the Borg in Star Trek – “Assimilate or be destroyed.”
Christians did indeed promote art, culture and philosophy, and built numerous institutions during that time period – but they did so, in large part, for the same reasons that Nazis promoted art, culture and philosophy, and built institutions – in order to indoctrinate the masses with their ideology.
The bottom line is, “Christian” rule during the Middle Ages was FAR from purely benevolent. Spreading "Christian-dome" during that time period was synonymous with rulers spreading their empires. I didn’t live during that time period, so I can’t really say for sure what happened, but we do know that near the end of that era Martin Luther was so disgusted with the Church that he started a movement to rebel against it. To the best of my knowledge, he wasn't an atheist and wasn't just some jerk making trouble, so what does that say about the state of the Church (the guiding force behind Christianity) at that period in history? You CAN argue that all of the corruption and evil committed in those times was the result of corrupt and evil rulers, but then why try to defend that period as a highlight in Christian history?
Also, I was using "utopia" in the way it is commonly used in modern language to mean "an ideal community or society possessing a perfect socio-politico-legal system". Jesus didn't promise such a society, but YOUR assertion seems to be that people are savage, immoral beings without religion (Christianity), therefore it follows to reason that they should be civilized and benevolent moral beings WITH religion (again, read "Christianity"). Which is why I brought up the Middle Ages in the first place. Christianity was the dominate religion at the time in Europe, yet it wasn't the height of moral behavior in human history. If there is no connection between the practice (or at least the pretense) of Christianity (or religion in general), then how can the argument be made for its necessity for "moral" behavior?
And it's pretty easy to identify the flaws in reason by any group that uses violence to enact social change - especially by groups such as the Nazis who's entire premise of the differences between the races, the causes for the ills in German society and the "solutions" to resolve those issues where all critically in error. When people make the claim that they use reason to justify their actions, they should be challenged on it and if their actions are "unjust", "immoral", or "unethical", then the flaws in their logic will bear that out. We shouldn't simply accept that because people claim to use logic or reason to justify evil ends that their reasons are valid - anymore than when people claim to use religion to justify evil. The difference is when people try to use reason, then they can be argued with. However, when people use religion...well, you can't really argue with someone who's motivation is that "God" told them to do it.
I think it could easily be demonstrated that society as a whole is far less Christian or even religious in general than in those times, yet we are also more moral - well, at least, we're not burning "heretics" anymore or enslaving people who owe large debts or making war in the name of religion (for the most part), or castrating young boys so that they stay sopranos for the rest of their lives, etc. Does the LACK of Christianity MAKE people moral? Of course not. But as a famous physicist once said, "With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion."