Wednesday, February 27, 2008

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….

4 Comments:

Blogger tony said...

Interesting.Especially the hand-holding-Bible image.yes, I guess its true.Maybe its the same aruement as used by the gun-lobby?Its not the "weapon" itself but who holds the trigger?

7:23 AM EST  
Blogger Lvka said...

the wanton savagery that occurred on the European continent between 1250 and 1700.

In other words, there was significantly less of this "wanton savagery" for a good 1,000 yrs before it all began ... right? Or?

3:04 PM EST  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Although the Crusades were no picnic, for my money, things really took a shitward turn when Pope Innocent IV authorized the use of torture to extract confessions in 1252. Sanctioning torture is never a positive development.

You seem like a nice fellow, though. Surely, you must agree that those who tortured innocent people in pursuit of "witchcraft" and "sorcery" are now in hell, right? After all, neither witchcraft nor sorcery exists in the first place.

6:50 PM EST  
Blogger Lvka said...

I desire that all men be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), and shy away from judging anyone, so that I myself might not be judged (Matthew 7:1; Luke 6:37), since judgemnet will have no mercy on the one that showed no mercy, and mercy conquers judgement (James 2:13). The only one who I ever plan on judging is myself (1 Corinthians 11:31). -- And sorry for the preaching (actually, this was more of a desideratum of mine, ... not something I actually accomplish :p)

As regards torture, or murder, what can I say save that the Apostolic Canons advise the following:

If a bishop, presbyter, or deacon shall strike any of the faithful who have sinned, or of the unbelievers who have done wrong, with the intention of frightening them, we command that he be deposed. For our Lord has by no means taught us to do so, but, on the contrary, when he was smitten he smote not again, when he was reviled he reviled not again, when he suffered he threatened not
. (Apostolic Canon #37 or #38).

And yes, witchcraft and sorcery do exist (don't worry: those that You see on TV pretending to be so are mostly frauds, obviously).

1:39 AM EST  

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