A Torturous Thought
To their limited credit, Christians have mellowed over time. Christians’ practices—if not Christian theology—have become rather benign, at least when compared to the wanton savagery that occurred on the European continent between 1250 and 1700. Centuries ago, inquisitors butchered roughly 40,000 innocents for “witchcraft” or “sorcery.” Historical evidence documents the hideous torture to which the accused were subjected, and the pious glee with which the inquisitors inflicted their agony. I often reflect on the fact that, when contemporary Christians clutch the Bible in church, they are holding the very same tome that helped to inspire delusional primitives to torture, mutilate and roast thousands of their fellow creatures. A bloodstained Bible, and perhaps a Malleus Maleficarum, was doubtless next to many a torture rack. I often wonder whether, in the imaginations of Christians, the Inquisition’s devout savages are basking in the ethereal delights of heaven or roasting in the bowels of hell. True, the Bible indeed avers, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live,” but, given that no sorcerers existed to be uncovered, thumbscrews and the Judas Cradle seem rather more evil than, for example, homosexual copulation.
What say you, Christians? Is Pope Innocent IV presently in that place where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth”? An atheist can hope….