Seems like my What if's didn't go down too well...
Speculative Catholic was kind enough to steal - er, I mean, reproduce ;) - part of my post, attracting a 'thanks but no thanks' kind of reaction...
I'm not sure what to make of the silence here - maybe I've scared everyone off with the merest thought of such heresy! Well, you can all come back, I'm not about to do that just yet. Although I do find the idea interesting.
The first question that occurred to me after 'What if Christ had not been crucified?' was 'Would the Roman Empire have fallen?'
Robert Silverberg explores this possibility in Roma Eterna, but from the perspective of Christ never having been born; he supposes that the Exodus failed, leaving the Hebrews a barely noticed minority among whom a great prophet never rose, and never started Christianity.
And you don't see anyone throwing bricks at him, do you? I guess it must be safer to just take Christ out of the equation than to wonder what he might have done differently.
I'm just thinking aloud here, please ignore me if I continue to offend. :)