Friday, July 20, 2012

It’s the 

Heretics about to be burned at the stake

Recent discussions at Western Hero on the subject of biblical infallibility and how it relates to the punishment of sin and homosexuality in particular have prompted this article, which hopes to further examine the subject from an historical as well as a humanistic perspective. 
The accompanying illustrations tell a story all their own requiring little textual amplification.

Two male lovers at rest

I do not believe the Scriptures are infallible and meant to be taken literally any more than I  believe the Church has been right in its blanket condemnation of homosexuality. The sheer viciousness, arrogance and barbarism of the Old Testament, the dour, pessimistic, anti-human Augustinian view of Christian doctrine, the grim, joyless life-denying aspects of Calvinism, and the smug, purse-lipped, puritanical prating of modern Evangelicals and Fundamentalists have done incalculable harm to untold millions of lives by fostering the kind of self-righteousness that leads to mutual suspicion, resentment, antagonism, official persecution, and the kind of virulent hatred that has often led to violence against those perceived to hold attitudes or engage in behavior proscribed and haughtily condemned by a few verses in the Bible.

Impalement graphically depicted

Having said that I agree that The Church –– and all the rest of us –– have an inherent right to be wrong -- in each other's eyes.
However, once upon a time –– and not so very long ago –– I would not have been able to issue a statement such as the one made above, which clearly implies that the Bible is ANYTHING BUT infallible and still expect to see the sun rise on another day.

Sawing sinners in half

There is nothing more evil than SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS, which is really nothing more than a pseudo-respectable venue for venting hatred, advocating intolerance and giving an official stamp of approval to Sadistic cruelty. 

The Pear of Anguish was inserted into the anus of sodomites, the vagina of
adulteresses, and the mouths of heretics. It was capable of expanding to make
use of sharp knives contained inside designed to mutilate the body cavities of
offenders causing excruciating pain usually followed by infection and death.

The Catherine Wheel. Sinners were stretched over the spokes and
 tied down, then their limbs were systematically smashed by clubs
or hammers held by their torturers and executioners

Not even murder is worse, because an assumption of righteousness used as a motive for condemnation of things not properly one's business is a mask for the kind of conceit and overweening pride that too often leads to the most dangerous form of GroupThink –– the Lynch Mob mentality.

The Judas cradle

Sodomites and adulteresses were impaled on this device,
and then systematically tortured until death
mercifully spared them further agony

Those who oppose The Church on this issue are probably right, but that doesn't mean that they have any more right to express their views arrogantly, haughtily and with the kind of aggression that tends to foster violence than vain, puffed up, fired up Evangelicals or those Roman Catholics who not-so-secretly long for a reprise of The Inquisition.
It's the BELLIGERENCE, stupid! The  sadistic, brutal, sheer barbaric viciousness of perverted concepts of "righteousness," apparently sanctioned by the Bible, that ought to sicken us.

We've come a long way since we burned "heretics" at the Stake, and for that we should only be humbly grateful to Almighty God, who has slowly-but-surely led us out of the darkness of primitive savagery, pagan barbarism and the tragic, Mediaeval misunderstanding of Christ's Word into the Enlightenment and hopefully –– someday –– far beyond.

The Coffin Cage where sinners were horribly kept alive
for days on end while their bodies were slowly chewed
by hungry rats or pecked at random by wild birds
and insects while the cage was suspended high above
the ground outside the city gates.

Anyone who does NOT want to see a world where EVERYONE may be loved and enjoyed for who they are is PERVERTED in my never humble opinion.

The Breast Ripper designed to mutilate and tear off
the breasts of women  deemed to be witches
or adulteresses. Sometimes the women were chained
to similar devices affixed to a wall and then roughly
pulled away leaving their breasts behind.

God works in mysterious ways. He cares nothing for manmade Doctrine and Dogma –– the faulty perceptions of ignorant individuals whose motives may be highly suspect. He wants only for us to love one another and live in peace and harmony.
Who knows? –– the admitted obnoxiousness of the Gay Rights Movement, which is really holding up a MIRROR to the twisted, mocking, hate-filled Face of the "Ignoscenti," may be a necessary step on the road to Social Salvation.
The hatred, scorn and mockery you see coming from the Gay Community today is nothing more than a REFLECTION of the abuse stated and implied they have had to endure from the Majority for countless centuries.
The REAL tragedy is the way Marxists have managed to MANIPULATE these ugly dynamics to further the ends of Cultural Marxism, the most ungodly ethos of them all. 
Ironically, religious zealots –– and the dear “Mrs. Grundys,” “Old Wet Hens” and “Ladies Who Lynch” of this world –– have probably done more to deliver us into the hands of the Communists than all the “Greedy Capitalist Pigs” on Wall Street combined.

If this image offends you as much or more than the other illustrations
accompanying this article, you must be the victim of a tragic mental disorder.

~ FreeThinke


  1. Reason exercised, and quite effectively I might add.

  2. Thank you, Les. It should be interesting to see what response -- if any -- I get from those who feel differently.

    It's been my generally sad experience to learn that Reason rarely-if-ever has the power to overcome Passion -- or more properly in cases like this -- deeply rooted prejudices based on misguided Authoritarian Tradition.

    As the old saying goes, "You can lead a whore to culture, but you cannot make her think." ;-)

    ~ FreeThinke

  3. The genesis of religious problems should be evident: religion is a human institution, subjecting it to all the strengths, and weaknesses, associated with the human condition. Whether homosexual behavior is sinful is not up to me; I am content to allow adults to pursue their own interests in the privacy of their own homes. I don’t care because I am not a homosexual, and I know that God will not hold me accountable for someone else’s transgressions. However, we should remember the homosexual community demanded this debate; they cannot now whine about any social backlash to a behavior most people find repugnant.

  4. @ Sam - To the extent that the gay community is treated equitably by all the secular Laws of the society, and to the degree they are not treated with prejudice and discrimination I agree with you.

    I believe that if there is a God, and I assume you are a conventional Christian, if not please forgive my assumption, he will judge the person, straight or gay, based on that person's character, and the way in which he or she led their lives in relation to others. In other words on "their works."

  5. Reminds me of the kriminalmuseum in the German old city of Rothenberg. They filmed part of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in that city, btw.

    I went there years ago with the whole family and Mom and Dad. I was stationed in Germany so it was an easy car trip. Lost my wallet, but luckily it was Germany, so an honest person picked it up and turned it into the police.

  6. I believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of the Lord.

    But literal? Well, it depends on the passage, I guess. For example, paradox is used in the Gospels.

    Promiscuity, both same sex and opposite sex, is clearly condemned in the Bible. As science has shown, promiscuity has serious physical and psychological consequences, and I'm sure that I don't have to list them.

    Sam said:

    I am content to allow adults to pursue their own interests in the privacy of their own homes.....[W]e should remember the homosexual community demanded this debate....

    I go along with that. I have zero interest in persecuting any person. Period.

    Frankly, the gay parades are disgusting. I'd say the same if a bunch of female whores were prancing around like that and if a bunch of heterosexual males were stomping around displaying their stuff. In my view, that kind of behavior is a form of pornography.

    IMO, we are supposed to be a free society. That said, I believe that some limitations are required: criminalization of pedophilia and pederasty.

    As a teacher (I taught elementary school from 1978-1997), I am ever mindful of the children, who require good role models and personal safety, the latter so that they are not robbed of their innocence.

    Finally, let us understand two things from the Biblical perspective:

    1. "All we like sheep have gone astray...."

    2. As far as I can tell, the Bible doesn't say that one sin rather than another is worse in God's eyes. ALL sin is condemned. I used to tell my young students: "Sin is like liver, and God hates it -- even a teeny piece of liver."

  7. Yeah, that's right, Sam. The damn homos demanded their rights.
    They brought it on themselves.

    y head hurts.

  8. "Beware of those in whom the urge to punish is strong"

    I don't want to punish homosexuals (we've decriminalized their activities already). But at the same time, I WILL NOT praise them, either. And recognizing their so-called "rights" is a form of praise that I, for one, will NOT offer.

  9. God made bisexuals too. I imagine it must be difficult to ride two different horses in two different direction simultaneously, but apparently, more people quietly manage that feat with aplomb -- even equanimity -- than may is generally supposed.

    "There are more things in Heaven and earth than are included in your philosophy, Horatio."

    ~ Shakespeare, Hamlet (imperfectly recalled no doubt, but the sense is right.)

    How could it be that in ancient Greece what we would probably label "pederasty" today was not only condoned it was touted as a positive virtue?

    In general the system there was that most men married and engaged in sexual relations with their wives primarily to beget progeny. True delight and what-we-would-call "romance" was experienced between older men and the teenaged boys they took under their wing to instruct them in the arts of manhood.

    This may sound preposterous to most of us raised in the Christianized West, but it was perfectly "normal" to the Greeks.

    We live under the dark shadow of Augustinian perceptions of human character -- a dreadful, suffocating, life-denying, hostility-provoking legacy in my never humble opinion.

    But so far no one, except Les, has expressed or explicated the essential point I was hoping to illustrate so graphically that it was undeniable. I'm not going to spell it out for anyone.

    I'd rather it come from you.

    The purpose here was certainly not to titillate the sadist in you with a vivid display of gruesome devices, but rather to prompt rejection of the demonic mentality that gave rise to such evil practices.

    If you have found anything about this post the least bit amusing, there is something seriously wrong with you.

    ~ FreeThinke

  10. FT,
    How could it be that in ancient Greece what we would probably label "pederasty" today was not only condoned it was touted as a positive virtue?

    Well, I've known two victim incestuous pedophilia (ages were 16 and 6, and 16 and 10). One was a case of male to male, the other male to female; the perpetrator was the same so he was after his little brother and his little sister, the latter of whom was impregnated; the pregnancy was terminated.

    I've known about several cases of father-to-daughter pedophilia (some cases with penetration and some with only fondling).


    I saw the effects on their lives later.

    I can't say that we know how "good" the Greek pederasty actually turned out. Rather ancient times and all that.

  11. Ahem.

    "two victim incestuous pedophilia" should read "two victims of incestuous pedophilia"

    Sorry. In a hurry.

  12. FT,
    God made bisexuals too. I imagine it must be difficult to ride two different horses in two different direction simultaneously, but apparently, more people quietly manage that feat with aplomb -- even equanimity -- than may is generally supposed.

    Perhaps. Maybe those in crisis don't say anything?

    Maybe they are "sex addicts"?

    Who knows?


    Oh so do I, AOW, but those cases you cited are not proper examples of what I've been trying to get everyone to discuss.

    And bad as everything you described undoubtedly is, would you seriously recommend burning the offenders at the Stake, or smashing them to death joint by joint and bone by bone on The Catherine Wheel, or tearing their insides to pieces with The Pear of Anguish, or impaling them on The Judas Cradle, or Disemboweling them with a Red Hot Poker or letting them be strapped immobile into a cage to be devoured at leisure by starved rats?

    I'm sure you would not, but THAT is where the "traditional" condemnatory attitude toward relatively mild offenses that involve no physical violence, theft or destruction of property often leads.

    Did you know that the last official Witch Burning took place in Germany in the LATE EIGHTEENTH century?

    The veneer that holds Civilization together is wafer thin and easily damaged.

    Most of us are only a heartbeat or two away from reverting to the brute savagery from whence the human race sprang.

    The blood lust of our animal nature lurks forever waiting to reclaim us and send us back to prehistoric horror at any moment.

    It takes constant vigilant prayer to ward it off.

    ~ FreeThinke

  14. we all need to take a half hour off, and read a wonderful story by Dorothy Canfield Fisher called SEX EDUCATION.

    It presents a great "Life Lesson" in the most clean and compassionate way imaginable.

    It's on the net. I may publish it here one of these days.

    ~ FT

  15. In order to give at least an idea of how uncertain, how belated, how accidental “the meaning” of punishment is and how one and the same procedure can be used, interpreted, or adjusted for fundamentally different purposes, let me offer here an example which presented itself to me on the basis of relatively little random material: punishment as a way of rendering someone harmless, as a prevention from further harm; punishment as compensation for the damage to the person injured, in some form or other (also in the form of emotional compensation); punishment as isolation of some upset to an even balance in order to avert a wider outbreak of the disturbance; punishment as way of inspiring fear of those who determine and carry out punishment; punishment as a sort of compensation for the advantages which the law breaker has enjoyed up until that time (for example, when he is made useful as a slave working in the mines); punishment as a cutting out of a degenerate element (in some circumstances an entire branch, as in Chinese law, and thus a means to keep the race pure or to sustain a social type); punishment as festival, that is, as the violation and humiliation of some enemy one has finally thrown down; punishment as a way of making a conscience, whether for the man who suffers the punishment— so- called “reform”—or whether for those who witness the punishment being carried out; punishment as the payment of an honorarium, set as a condition by those in power, which protects the wrong doer from the excesses of revenge; punishment as a compromise with the natural condition of revenge, insofar as the latter is still upheld and assumed as a privilege by powerful families; punishment as a declaration of war and a war measure against an enemy to peace, law, order, and authority, which people fight with the very measures war makes available, as something dangerous to the community, as a breach of contract with respect to its conditions, as a rebel, traitor, and breaker of the peace.

    - Nietzsce, GoM

    Perhaps its time again to celebrate the festival...

  16. Our debate appears to center between these two points: whether a majority within states decide the issue of homosexual marriage, or if homosexual marriage is a civil right indicating federal jurisdiction. Here, the issue isn’t so much homosexual union as it is “full faith and credit.” Personally, I don’t care because it doesn’t affect me. Yet, I urge caution and prudence in giving the term “civil right” a wide definition —otherwise, government may lower the bar by demanding that all of us become leftist nitwits.


  17. FT,
    The mother and father of all three of the children I mentioned (incestuous pedophilia) were beside themselves! I think the marriage survived.

    They blamed themselves because, early in their marriage, the oldest son, the perpetrator, had witnessed his parents non-traditional doings (switchies).

    After the incidents about, he enlisted in the Army. He told me, "I don't know what else to do. I must not be around children."

    I haven't heard from any of them in a long while.

    All of this transpired around 1985-1987.

    It may not be a typical case -- I don't argue that it is. However, who are we to say that the first sexual experiences given to these children by their loving brother was a good experience as I've heard opined elsewhere?

    Some cultures and even a Harvard psychologist have stated that such sexual practices are "healthy" for the boy or girl because they "provide a healthy introduction to the children's sexual life" -- an introduction that will serve them well later!

    What should be done with the offenders? Clearly, nothing like the practices described in this post and in your comment above!

  18. Addendum: CONSENTING adults is an entirely different matter.

  19. Freethinke, I am frankly a bit confused. You seem to be making two points but only say you make one.

    The brutal punishments of those who never harmed anyone by their practices- morally wrong or no- I get. I agree. If being a homo is morally wrong, fine, it is. And it is none of anyone's business as long as it does not harm another (in this case, I can't think of any besides rape, which is not directly related.)
    (One other note of that: Yes, God made homosexuals, bi, etc. He also made Down Syndrome and Psychopathic people if you want to go that route.)

    There is an air of no right and wrong though. That everything is allowable and must be tolerated. That, I will heavily disagree.

    Like AOW (no surprise) I believe the Bible is God's word. As such, it does not lie. How much has to interpreted historically, as a metaphor, etc, I will not debate. Can humans get it wrong? Yes and they have. Can they use God's laws as an excuse to break them (ie excuse for murder?) Yes and they have. Does that mean there is no right or wrong, or that all evil must be embraced? NO.

    There is a difference between Self-righteousness and upholding beliefs that yes, some thing are WRONG. The former is thinking you can judge that and doing so on fellow man (condemned up and down in the Bible btw).

    Last point:
    You can love the sinner while hating the sin. You can love a alcoholic and see alcoholism as wrong. You can love a murderer and see murder as wrong. That goes for any other example you can think off. Yes, loving others is big. So is fighting evil. (Determining what evil is though is where the problem usually lies)

    And since you seem to specifically bring up the gay rights thing... IMHO, government should neither punish it (they have no right) or force churches to condone it (also, no right).

  20. It is not what you believe but the belief that one has the right to force or enforce their beliefs upon others that is the moral wrong.

    I must say that sometimes I find you to be quite the enigma FT, as you seem fairly relaxed vis a vis immigration and religious social standards and very rigid and authoritarian in other areas.

    Just an observation.


  21. You are contrasting what you believe to be the cruelties of "religion" with what you are presenting as loving homosexuality. You also seem to be trying to link the Bible to the former.

    Fact is the main victims of that kind of torture down through the ages have been Bible-believing Christians. The Inquisition took something like 67 million lives over some hundreds of years, forget how many, and the majority as I said were BIBLE-BELIEVERS who were considered to be heretics by the Roman Catholic church. Yes, there were other victims, but in much smaller numbers. Muslims, witches, homosexuals. But it was -- and is -- the Bible-believers the papacy hated most.

    And isn't it interesting that the same torturing killing RC church has such a problem with gay priests, which as I've been coming to learn is far from a contemporary phenomenon, but as old as the institution itself, along with standard heterosexual sin as well of course (because imposed celibacy is evil, in direct disobedience of the Bible). But as for homosexuality, according to Romans 1 it is the last stage of idolatry in a culture, and the RC church is pagan antichrist idolatry to the max so it makes sense that they would be riddled with gay pedophilia.

    I feel sorry for Catholics who have no idea about the true history of their church and have bought the propaganda that says it is the "true" church. What a black joke THAT is. Few of the rest of us know any better either of course -- they are good at propaganda and very persistent at it and although their murderous inclinations have been quiescent for some time -- thanks to the Reformation -- they haven't gone away and when the time is right I'm sure they will be very happy to reinstitute their Inquisition against you and me.

  22. Wildstar,
    As I think about this post by FT, I must state that he makes an excellent point about hypocrisy.

    Christians CLAIM that they reflect the love of Christ and that they are God's little lights. Christians should be, of course.

    Nevertheless, hypocrisy -- sometimes very hideous hypocrisy as FT's post points out-- jumps out everywhere. The Scarlet Letter deals specifically with Christian hypocrisy (which destroys the hypocrite much more that his target); The Merchant of Venice deals with both Christian and Jewish hypocrisy and even delves into gender bias as well.

    Add to religious matters the element of sex, and we find outrage erupts all over the place.

    I also draw this sad conclusion about mankind: there is no horror that one group will not visit upon another group -- IF the power to do so is strong enough.

    There is an air of no right and wrong though. That everything is allowable and must be tolerated.

    I was address that very issue in some of my comments above although I never so stated.

    The problem comes with this question: Where are the boundaries?

    Also this: If not from the Bible, then from where? It seems that there is always some "expert" to suggest or to insist that thus-and-such is okay, but thus-and-such is not.

    The old issues of moral relativism and the slippery slope, I guess.

  23. FT,
    I read Dorothy Canfield Fisher's story "Sex Education." Certainly, perspectives and retellings can change with age, with maturity, and, yes, with the way the brain copes. Self-honesty is yet another factor. However, the cases of which I have spoken were "clear cut."

  24. AOW, there is only hypocrisy if you think the Catholic church is Christian, because it's that "church" that committed all the atrocities of torture and burning at the stake down through the centuries. Roman Catholicism is NOT Christian, nothing about them is Christian. They deny the Bible in many obvious ways, they used to refuse to allow anyone even to read it, now they are allowing it because it's politically necessary for them at the moment. True Christianity always existed outside that institution and it was those true Christians who were labeled heretics. Protestants haven't always done right, but when it comes to murder on a grand scale, even including the Holocaust (which Hitler modeled on the Inquisition) any attempt at moral equivalence between them and the RC is evil in itself. No, such mass murders are not just humanity doing its thing one group against another, such murderous activities is the result of ideology not human nature.

  25. "(Determining what evil, though, is where the problem usually lies)"

    Well, Wildstar, that is EXACTLY the crux of this entire posting.

    What many have traditionally regarded as "evil" or an "abomination," because some ancient leader or leaders of a near-savage nomadic people with a mammoth superiority complex DECIDED it was "evil" for purposes of their own, may not in fact BE evil at all.

    Evil -- like Beauty -- is in the eye (or mind) of the beholder.

    Of course I made it abundantly clear that I do NOT regard the Bible as infallible or in any way complete, so we may be reasoning from entirely different bases.

    If you REALLY have pored over, fully understood and are able to ACCEPT all the frankly hideous, totally irrational stuff in the Old Testament -- Deuteronomy and Leviticus in particular -- I won't be able to say much that would persuade you to discard notions I have long regarded not only as cruel but also as detrimental to human progress, but I will try. ;-)

    Please don't get me wrong. I am not an atheist and I do not reject The Bible completely, but my intelligence has long told me that great deal of Holy Writ is not only not holy it is -- shall we be kind and say? -- not well motivated.

    If I MUST spell it out, the purpose of this article [I hope you were able to see ALL of it? I was frustrated that the entire thing refused to post without interruption, which may have confused many casual readers into ignoring the "meat" of the piece] the purpose here was to show the graphic contrast between tasteful representations of "Forbidden Love" without any pornographic elements, of course, and the OBVIOUS undeniable EVIL of the brutal Crimes Against Humanity long perpetrated by the Ecclesiastical Courts for SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS in Europe. -- a literal Reign of Terror that purported to be "Christian."

    There are little or no appreciable differences among the barbarous atrocities committed by the ancient Jews richly chronicled -- and touted as both RIGHTEOUS and GOD-MANDATED -- in the Bible, the vicious inhumane practices of the Romans who crucified our Jesus -- and thousands upon thousands of other victims, and the harsh practices of Judgment and Punishment meted out by the Church's long term Theocratic Tyranny. NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER in ESSENCE.

    Evil is evil and atrocities are atrocities whether they be committed by savage, hyper-aggressive Semitic nomads, the administrators of a vast, far-reaching empire, or a hierarchical organization that PRETENDS to serve "God," but is in actual FACT just another barbaric, self-serving POWER BLOC trying -- with far too much success for far too long -- to pull the wool over the eyes of poor ignorant masses to keep them in line.

    When it comes to "ABOMINATION" two men lying down resting in each other's arms looking soulfully into each other's eyes just can't begin to hold a candle to the Stake, the Rack, the Judas Cradle, the Thumbscrews, the Pear of Anguish, the Catherine Wheel, the Red Hot Poker, the Breast Ripper, the Coffin Cage and the exotic delights of being lowered ever-so-slowly feet first into a Cauldron of Boiling Oil -- or being slowly Impaled on a Spike in such a manner that it could take you DAYS to die.

    Unless and until we see the UNDENIABLE TRUTH of what I've just said, and stop regarding harmless acts of mutual pleasuring and affection as "sinful," "criminal" or "sick," Civilization just AIN'T gonna make any progress -- in the PROPER sense of that word.

    We started to do well with the onset of The Enlightenment, then -- very sadly -- the Machine Age derailed us morally and spiritually -- a blow from which we have yet to recover.

    ~ FreeThinke

  26. I am glad this thread has finally attracted a lively exchange of opinion, BUT I had not desire or any intention of denigrating any church in particular.

    Everyone alive is guilty of some kind of cruelty, lack of consideration for the feelings of others, and of giving way to unhealthy, counter-productive passion that quickly degenerates into vituperation.

    My quarrel is with the BIBLE not the Catholic Church per se, although I do regard St. Augustine as having had a dismal, unwholesome influence on every generation that followed in his wake.

    PLEASE speak your piece freely, say what you feel compelled to say, and then MOVE ON.

    Our ambition here is to foster an atmosphere where sensitive, controversial, even highly inflammatory, issues may be discussed without acrimony and without anyone's taking umbrage, getting testy and leaving in a huff, etc.

    We've all been through that too many times already, and we are NOT going to have that kind of thing here.

    I sincerely hope I am not going to be forced to dig up quotations from Leviticus and Deuteronomy to further illustrate my thesis. It's just too dreary and depressing.

    I grew up in a time and place where there were so many things one wasn't permitted to dare even to THINK let alone SAY that it was downright suffocating. The atmosphere of constraint in a world fraught with taboos is crippling to intellectual -- AND spiritual development.

    Man may not live by bread alone, but he ALSO does not live merely by AVOIDING things considered too "sinful" ever to be examined, analyzed and openly discussed.

    ~ FreeThinke

  27. Finntann,

    Was it Churchill how said, "Consistency if the refuge of small minds?" Or was it the "hobgoblin" of small minds? And did Churchill even say it at all, either way?

    I don't care -- just like I don't care who wrote Shakespeare -- the point is It got said, and it seems quite true, and Shakespeare DID get written, thank God, even if Joe Doakes is the unacknowledged author.

    "The play's the thing," don't you know? -- not the author. ;-)

    ALSO, you are making false equivalencies by lumping various issues together as though they all belonged in the same category. Comparing the evils of Ecclesiastical Torture to Illegal Immigration and the issue of mounting a stout, proscriptive defense against evil ideologies while trying to maintain our territorial integrity in a world where Oligarchs are determined to sweep us into the dustbin of One World Government is like comparing fan blades with A/C compressors, or dripping faucets with microwave ovens, or snotty noses with cancer.

    ~ FreeThinke

  28. AOW, ALL sin may be condemned, but I truly believe it is high time we reexamined what truly IS sin and what clearly is NOT.

    The acid test --for me -- is CRUELTY.

    Whatever is cruel is sin. Whatever does no bodily injury to anyone, deprives them of nothing that rightfully theirs, does not destroy or deface someone else's property, is not coercive, does not extort, does not cause anyone undue anguish or mental stress is just NOT "sin."

    Unless God descends from the heavens appears to me in person accompanied by a choir of angels strumming golden harps, and tells me otherwise, I'm going to continue living by those common sense standards.

    Thanks so much for your calm, fair-minded approach to this difficult discussion.

    ~ FreeThinke

  29. You think the Bible is your target but it is not. The atrocities you illustrate were committed by the Roman "church" -- it is not a church and it is not Christian -- and you are extravagantly wrong about the Bible. The Roman Church tortures "heretics" based on its own traditions, NOT on the Bible by a long shot. All their traditions contradict the Bible.

    The Inquisition, the Holocaust, the murders by Communism, same as those of Islam are caused by IDEOLOGY and there is no such ideology in the Bible. Protestantism where it remains true follows the Bible and has no ideology of torture and mass murder but only of dying to self and dying for Christ.

    There are little or no appreciable differences among the barbarous atrocities committed by the ancient Jews richly chronicled -- and touted as both RIGHTEOUS and GOD-MANDATED -- in the Bible, the vicious inhumane practices of the Romans who crucified our Jesus -- and thousands upon thousands of other victims, and the harsh practices of Judgment and Punishment meted out by the Church's long term Theocratic Tyranny. NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER in ESSENCE.

    Oh yes there is. What you call the "atrocities" that were commanded by God in the Bible never involved torture or unnecessary cruelty and were always a clear representation of God's justice, described there for our edification because His justice continues to act in the present just as it did in the past.

    I know you prefer your opinion and I'll now leave you with it.

  30. Go through the Bible sometime and compare the incidents of what are clearly described as God's own commands for justice against some group or nation, versus those that have no mandate from God but clearly originate with human cruelty. God commands the wiping out of a tribe, but humanity commands insane cruelties. And the "humanity" there is the followers of idolatries, which is 2what Roman Catholicism and Islam are too, and a case could be made that Nazism and Communism are the same thing in essence.

    OK, NOW I'm gone.

  31. Oh and one more thing. Homosexuality is ugly in its essence, I don't care how peaceful and loving you can make the participants appear, it is a fundamental violation of God's creation order which made man and woman, who were to become one flesh. Such a violation of natural order is perverse and ugly.

    Not that I believe homosexuals choose their plight, they don't, they inherit it because of the sins of the fathers who had turned away from the truth, and I believe it MUST involve demonic influence as well. But that does not justify it, it explains it and makes it a sad situation but it can't justify it.

  32. Long held, and very often unchallenged beliefs (conventional religion and certainly Judaism and Christianity amongst others fit the bill) are often the perpetrators of injustices.

    I am not one to advocate an "open mind" because a "open mind" allows for all sorts of "stuff" to float around in a unbridled anything goes unconnected and therefore irrational disjointed universe of ones mind..

    I do advocate keeping an "active mind" which implies thinking, questioning, reflection, introspection, evaluation, reevaluation, and ultimately arriving at a conclusion that you may later in life find in error.

    There are no infallible words, books, or solutions. The only infallible is the pursuit of constant growth, knowledge, and the ability one has to tolerance and accepting there are likely many answers to every issues. The key to ethical living is to respect the rights of every individual and to do no intentional harm, either physical, mental, or emotional to another.

    Life just my be less complex, more enjoyable, and immensely more rewarding if we could just learn some simple basics.

    Christ whether divine or mortal taught much that is good yet not fully practiced by most.

  33. This has been an interesting discussion!

    Of course, people typically do not change their views, do they? I wonder at what point any of become entrenched in our views. I don't exonerate myself about that entrenchment, BTW, although I have been known to have changed some of my views as I've gotten more mature and stopped knee-jerk reactions.

  34. Nietzsche, "Twilight of the Idols"

    Wherever responsibilities are sought, it is usually the instinct of wanting to judge and punish which is at work. Becoming has been deprived of its innocence when any being-such-and-such is traced back to will, to purposes, to acts of responsibility: the doctrine of the will has been invented essentially for the purpose of punishment, that is, because one wanted to impute guilt. The entire old psychology, the psychology of will, was conditioned by the fact that its originators, the priests at the head of ancient communities, wanted to create for themselves the right to punish--or wanted to create this right for God. Men were considered "free" so that they might be judged and punished--so that they might become guilty: consequently, every act had to be considered as willed, and the origin of every act had to be considered as lying within the consciousness (and thus the most fundamental counterfeit in psychologicis was made the principle of psychology itself).

    Today, as we have entered into the reverse movement and we immoralists are trying with all our strength to take the concept of guilt and the concept of punishment out of the world again, and to cleanse psychology, history, nature, and social institutions and sanctions of them, there is in our eyes no more radical opposition than that of the theologians, who continue with the concept of a "moral world-order" to infect the innocence of becoming by means of "punishment" and "guilt." Christianity is a metaphysics of the hangman.

  35. FT,
    You mentioned Whatever does no bodily injury to anyone.

    The only problem I have (or had) with that is the tainted blood supply. My mother had to be tested for AIDS exposure because she had a "whole body" transfusion in 1977, then later losing weight for now apparent reason. No other risk factors were in play.

    When Mr. AOW had brain surgery in 1993, the hospital advised as follows: "Bank your own blood before surgery. Regardless of what you have heard, the blood supply is not safe from HIV."

    I do know a few children in pre-teens with HIV. Apparently, the culprit was the blood supply -- relatively recently.

    Of course, HIV is also transmitted via means other than homosexuality. As you might know, there is heavy needle-sharing here in the D.C. area (heroin use, mostly). I hate to think that the blood supply isn't properly tested because of politically-correct reasons.

    Perhaps medical technology has caught up now. I don't know.

  36. What purpose does all this "belligerance" serve?

    Nietzsche, "Human, All Too Human"

    Observe how children weep and cry, so that they will be pitied, how they wait for the moment when their condition will be noticed. Or live among the ill and depressed, and question whether their eloquent laments and whimpering, the spectacle of their misfortune, is not basically aimed at hurting those present. The pity that the spectators then express consoles the weak and suffering, inasmuch as they see that, despite all their weakness, they still have at least one power: the power to hurt. When expressions of pity make the unfortunate man aware of this feeling of superiority, he gets a kind of pleasure from it; his self-image revives; he is still important enough to inflict pain on the world. Thus the thirst for pity is a thirst for self-enjoyment, and at the expense of one's fellow men. It reveals man in the complete inconsideration of his most intimate dear self, but not precisely in his "stupidity," as La Rochefoucauld thinks.
    In social dialogue, three-quarters of all questions and answers are framed in order to hurt the participants a little bit; this is why many men thirst after society so much: it gives them a feeling of their strength. In these countless, but very small doses, malevolence takes effect as one of life's powerful stimulants, just as goodwill, dispensed in the same way throughout the human world, is the perennially ready cure.
    But will there be many people honest enough to admit that it is a pleasure to inflict pain? That not infrequently one amuses himself (and well) by offending other men (at least in his thoughts) and by shooting pellets of petty malice at them? Most people are too dishonest, and a few men are too good, to know anything about this source of shame. So they may try to deny that Prosper Merimée is right when he says, "Sachez aussi qu'il n'y a rien de plus commun que de faire le mal pour le plaisir de le faire."

  37. translated: ""Know that nothing is more common than to do harm for the pleasure of doing it:"

  38. Faith,
    there is only hypocrisy if you think the Catholic church is Christian, because it's that "church" that committed all the atrocities of torture and burning at the stake down through the centuries. Roman Catholicism is NOT Christian, nothing about them is Christian.

    I can't go along with that last clause, which I put in bold font.

    Does not the Catholic church believe that Jesus, the Son of God, died to our sins and rose again? You would condemn very single Roman Catholic over the many centuries to burn in hell? I can't go along with that.

    So, I posit that Roman Catholics who accept our Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior are saved from their sins. They may be in error on other doctrinal matters, and I personally believe that they are in error with certain aspects of the practice of their faith, especially the emphasis on good works as the path to eternal life. Also, I don't go along with praying to Mary and the saints -- and a lot of the other rituals.

    No, I'm not Catholic, nor are any in my family. Nor am I Episcopalian. I came to the Lord in the Baptist church, then did Bible study in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and various non-denominational churches (evangelical and considered by most to be fundamentalist in outlook).

  39. No, AOW, I am not condemning Catholics, I consider them to be victims of the Roman "church." It is possible that some of them are saved IF they believe the Biblical basis for salvation, but from talking to many ex-Catholics I've come to believe that it would be very hard to remain in the Roman system and actually be saved because so much of that life has to do with adhering to anti-biblical traditions that are prescribed as necessary to salvation. I have one ex-Catholic friend who believes it is absolutely impossible for a Catholic to be saved because of what that Church teaches about salvation.

    One thing people tend to forget is that the Protestant Reformers were all ex-Catholic priests. The rank and file Catholics were prohibited from reading the Bible but it was available to the priests and it was always the Bible that turned the tide against Catholicism.

    For the first few centuries after the Protestant Reformation Protestants KNEW the Catholic Church, the institution itself, particularly the papacy, was the Antichrist system, but that knowledge has eroded over the last century or so until now we have "Protestants" who don't recognize that Catholicism is Antichrist and consider it just another Christian denomination. This is extremely dangerous because they haven't given up their Office of the Inquisition or their desire to dominate the world, which -- oh how little we know history -- they dominated Europe for centuries as "The Holy Roman Empire." It was that empire that Hitler tried to resurrect as the Third Reich or in other words Third Holy Roman Empire. What tends to be suppressed about Hitler is that he was a Catholic and the Catholic Church acknowledged him as their "true son."

    You have to go back to old books to get the truth about these things and I've been trying to collect this information over the last few months kalthough I've been sidetracked quite a bit lately. I've started a new blog for the purpose and hope I get to it pretty soon, where I'm going to quote liberally from an amazing collection of unknown sources of this knowledge, the Lord willing.

    Meanwhile there are ex-Catholics online who know a lot more than I can hope to ever know -- go check out the ex-priest Richard Bennett's Berean Beacon site for instance. Also Mike Gendron.

    Again, the average Catholic doesn't have a clue, MAY be saved but more likely is deceived about that and needs to get out of that institution.

  40. Well, Thersites, I think you have neatly put your finger on our fundamental failing as a species -- the infinite capacity we have to avoid confronting unpleasant truths about ourselves by pointing fingers at objectionable qualities and the "sins" -- real and imaginary -- committed by others.

    It's so much easier to turn away from SELF, find fault ELSEWHERE –– and then seek to further mollify our deep dissatisfaction with SELF by PROJECTING that dissatisfaction onto handy objects. We then take the resultant ill will and use it to chastise, castigate, counsel, condemn, imprison, torture, and murder. The ultimate end of this infernal process is that -- as you say -- we take PLEASURE in inflicting injustice and great suffering on others.

    Now few seem to understand this, but JESUS tried to teach us to REVERSE this process. Look FIRST and FOREMOST at how we might improve the way way WE respond to life -- meaning other individuals, groups, crises, disasters, etc.

    I call it absorbing the evil instead of passing it on -- continuing the patterns of chain reaction and vicious cycling that holds humanity in its generally abysmal condition.

    So what did people do with the precious, life-affirming, life-saving message Christ gave us?

    The same thing the Scribes and Pharisees did, of course. Almost immediately after Christianity settled in as the dominant influence we made a TRAVESTY of The Word, and started to USE the Holy Writ as yet-another means to criticize and condemn others, so we'd have a "good excuse" to CONTINUE the ages old practice of satisfying our Sadistic, animalistic blood lust through PERSECUTION, TORTURE and MURDER.

    In this regard we CONTINUE to crucify Jesus over and over and over again.

    After having read the Old Testament all the way through for, perhaps, the third time in my life, it has become obvious to me that the ancient Jews had an overweening ambition to be Top Dog in their limited concept of the world, and reached the lamentable conclusion that the only way to achieve that goal was to MURDER THEIR WAY to the TOP. In the OT there is no attempt to teach other tribes the perceived error of their ways, no attempt to correct them, CERTAINLY no attempt to overcome whatever may have been objectionable about them with LOVE.

    Oh no! The ONLY way to deal with something perceived as "foreign" and "undesirable" -- and possibly just a little too competitive -- was to label it "evil" and then proceed to KILL it, STEAL everything of value (like GOLD! Yum yum yum YUM!) then LAY WASTE to the rest.

    If you get a vicarious thrill out of reading horror stories (Dean Koontz and Stephen King come readily to mind), you need look no farther than the Pentateuch.

    This is not GOD speaking. Instead, it is the worst aspects of MAN trying to justify his penchant for violence and plunder.

    ~ FreeThinke

  41. Oh P.S. Who would be condemning people to hell for an eternity by the way, someone who tries to warn them they are believing in a false method of salvation or someone who tries to be nice and tell them they are saved when they are not?

  42. The Pentateuch is indeed God speaking.

  43. All right, Faith. You've expressed your beliefs very clearly. They are in direct opposition to mine. We've known that about each other for a very long time. There is no need to play the badmintonish game of

    I'm right!

    You're Wrong!

    I'm right!

    You're Wrong!

    I'm right!

    You're Wrong!

    I'm right!

    You're Wrong!


    It gets us nowhere.

    The objective here -- as I keep trying to make clear -- is to SHARE differing views but not to lapse into adamancy or stridency.

    I have no illusions about having the power to CONVERT anyone to my way of thinking, but I am determined, as Les indicated, to question long-held ASSUMPTIONS that fly in the face of Reality -- and keep mankind in intellectual, moral and spiritual CHAINS.

    The title of the piece is "It's the BELLIGERENCE, Stupid!"

    And that BELLIGERENCE -- that fiendish penchant most of us have for SELF-JUSTIFICATION when we are in truth being, mean, selfish, stupid, irrational and destructive -- that I am attacking, and making every effort to SUPPLANT with a kinder, less egoistic, more benevolent, less competitive, less aggressive, less acquisitive, friendlier, more curious, less judgmental, infinitely more compassionate view of Life (God).

    ~ FreeThinke

  44. The article is a bit long, and the illustrations draw attention more easily than the text, so the following nugget of homespun wisdom and philosophy may have escaped the attention of many.

    I think it may be worth emphasizing, because this piece is NOT meant to be a polemic in favor of HOMOSEXUALITY, any more than it is meant to be a blanket condemnation and rejection of CHRISTIANITY.

    [T]he admitted obnoxiousness of the Gay Rights Movement, which is really holding up a MIRROR to the twisted, mocking, hate-filled Face of the "Ignoscenti," may be a necessary step on the road to Social Salvation.

    The hatred, scorn and mockery you see coming from the Gay Community today is nothing more than a REFLECTION of the abuse stated and implied they have had to endure from the Majority for countless centuries

    It's important to differentiate between the CONDITION of homosexuality and the various ways it may be EXPRESSED.

    Like just about every other phenomenon you could name homosexuality -- indeed ANY form of sexuality -- is "values neutral."

    Everything depends on how it is expressed, employed and enjoyed.

    ALL forms of human behavior and endeavor are subject to ABUSE -- even too much WORK is known to be harmful to us. Whenever a behavior, a quality an appetite, a predilection is abused, the process of ABUSE is evil -- NOT the behavior, itself.

    Only CRUELTY and VIOLENCE are intrinsically EVIL. And even there it is not only permissible but NECESSARY to use violent force to DEFEND against someone ELSE's violent ATTACK.

    One we start ENJOYING violence for its own sake we have become mentally ill, and need to be taken out of circulation before we can do increasing amounts of harm.

    ~ FreeThinke

  45. Faith,
    I know many ex-Catholics too. A FEW have stated the same as you mentioned: it is absolutely impossible for a Catholic to be saved because of what that Church teaches about salvation.

    I don't spend much time studying the latter days and the anti-Christ and eschatology as I leave that up to the Lord's sovereignty. I'm more of the school of be busy about the Lord's work until He returns.

    Witnessing is one thing, and there are many ways to witness. I've had reasoned discussions with Roman Catholics; none left the church as far as I know, but most of them with whom I've had personal contact really dove into the Bible and no longer considered the Pope infallible, etc.

  46. Yes, AOW,

    Sex and Sadism tend to "SELL BIG" in the blogosphere as they do everywhere else.

    I only wish readers could internaize what I just said in the last post -- that this is not ABOUT sex -- not about Sadism -- and certainly not an indictment of Jesus Christ.

    It is, instead an effort to stimulate an examination of Things We've Always Taken for Granted and Assumed Were True to see if those things still stand up in the LIGHT of REASON.

    Personally, I think it's very important to look into WHY we believe what we believe, and do what we habitually do with the possibility in mind of altering our beliefs if they are tried and found wanting.

    As I've said many times i many past postings, I believe GOD is TRUTH and LOVE -- among other vital essences.

    With that in mind, if you can accept it, it stands to reason that any uncharitable, unkind, depriving, excluding, punishing tenets MUST be ungodly since those negative notions tend to promote the extreme forms of viciousness and injustice amply illustrated in this piece.

    Faith conveniently forgot -- or failed to acknowledge -- that horrific deeds were done by Protestant Reformers as well. John Calvin had at least one perceived "Enemy of Truth" (by HIS definition), of course put to death at the Stake. The wholesale destruction of property and slaughter of human life visited on the monasteries in England after Henry VIII for entirely self-serving purposes arrogantly broke ties with Rome and established what became The Church of England are legendary.

    Cromwell's Persecutions were surely as horrific and blameworthy as any of the other bloody deeds in history, and of course the tragic flaws in Puritanism came out in The Salem Witch Trials, etc., etc., etc.

    Shirley Jackson captured the essence of this terrifying penchant human beings have for supporting Ritual victimization in her famous story The Lottery. Ms Jackson gave me nightmares for weeks on end when I happened, as a small boy, to hear a radio dramatization of that chilling tale. It caused me to lose my appetite and to wake up screaming for a long time after hearing the broadcast. Ms. Jackson had a morbid turn of mind, and will ever be my favorite author, but she accomplished something very rare in her field -- she created a scenario that once experienced could NEVER be forgotten.

    It's patently obvious what's wrong. Why do people have such difficulty accepting it.

    It's so simple it's ridiculous.

    ALL we need to do is apply The Golden Rule to EVERY human transaction and interaction, and all would be well.

    Thats IT.

    ~ FT

  47. FT,
    You make a very good point:

    Almost immediately after Christianity settled in as the dominant influence we made a TRAVESTY of The Word, and started to USE the Holy Writ as yet-another means to criticize and condemn others, so we'd have a "good excuse" to CONTINUE the ages old practice of satisfying our Sadistic, animalistic blood lust through PERSECUTION, TORTURE and MURDER.

    When ANY religious institution has the power to enforce the rule of civil law (as judge, jury, and executioner), the worst side of human beings comes out.

    The union of state and church is largely to blame, IMO.

    I suppose that the worst persecution and torture today visited upon same-sex people are in certain Islamic countries.

    I don't know of any Christian churches doing such a thing -- at least, not physical torture. Westboro Baptist Church does outrageous things as far as I'm concerned; their URL alone is despicable. Perhaps you've seen it.

    Clearly, belligerence is not one of "our better angels," one of Lincoln's turns of phrases if I'm not mistaken.

    You said:

    One we start ENJOYING violence for its own sake we have become mentally ill...

    Hear, hear!

    There is an episode if Law and Order: SVU in which this line is spoken:

    "Those who fight monsters should make damn sure they don't become one."

    Full explanation HERE.

    I would amend that line as follows to fit this post:

    "Those who condemn those considered as monsters should make damn sure they don't become one."

    I believe that such a monster lives within each of us. A terrible thing to say, but that's what I believe.

    By way of interest, also see Deuteronomy 12:28-31, which I found by accident via a Google search for those words from Law and Order: SVU:

    Be careful! Listen to and obey all the Commandments that I'm telling you, and then things will go well for you and your descendants through the ages… that is, if you do whatever is pleasing and good before Jehovah your God.

    'Now, after Jehovah your God destroys the nations where you are going and you inherit their land and start living there, 30 be careful not to become like them (after they've been destroyed) and start asking, How did those nations worship their gods? I think I'll start doing the same thing! No, don't do this to your God, because the things they sacrifice to their gods are disgusting to Jehovah, and He hates those who offer their sons and daughters to their gods in fires.

  48. FT,
    Yes, it really is as simple as you say:

    ALL we need to do is apply The Golden Rule to EVERY human transaction and interaction, and all would be well.

  49. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and understanding, AOW.

    I must depart for a while -- Duty calls, etc. -- but I'll be back later, God willing, of course.

    I hope many more differing views come in while I'm gone. I'm always interested in what others have to say -- unless it becomes overly repetitious to the point of being a nuisance. (All of us in the blogosphere know exactly what THAT means, don't we? ;-)


    ~ FT

  50. Finntann said:

    "It is not what [one] believe[s], but the belief that one has the right to force or enforce [one's] beliefs upon others that is the moral wrong."

    How succinctly you summed up the essential truth I had hoped would be discovered in the article, Finn!

    Thank you.

    ~ FT

  51. Thersites said:

    "Beware of those in whom the urge to punish is strong"

    'I don't want to punish homosexuals (we've decriminalized their activities already). But at the same time, I WILL NOT praise them, either. And recognizing their so-called "rights" is a form of praise that I, for one, will NOT offer.'

    Well, Thersites, I appreciate that quote from Nietzsche you left unattributed, but don't you see that the rest of your post is, itself, a form of punishment?

    No one is saying you have to take any of these people home and love them (smile!), but recognition of their right to coexist peacefully with the rest of us is hardly "praise."

    There are lots and lots of people I flat out don't like, because they are stingy, mean, inconsiderate, selfish, vain, insolent, and STUPID, BUT that doesn't mean I -- or anyone else -- should retain the "right" to do everything possible to make their lives miserable -- i.e. spit at them as they walk by, send them poison pen letters, spread malicious lies about them, try to get them fired, or otherwise harass, bully, intimidate or show my displeasure at their odious presence in my life.

    When I see women wearing burkas, I have to fight an urge to walk up them, tear off their obscene head gear, glare at them malevolently and tell them to get the HELL OUT of MY country.

    But I DON'T do it, because I pride myself on being a civilized person, and besides it would be morally wrong to indulge such behavior -- and worse -- very likely put me behind bars. ;-)

    No one could stop us from hating, because we are not truly rational creatures, but we CAN -- and MUST -- be stopped from EXPRESSING animosity towards people who have done NOTHING to harm us in any except that we just don't like "the cut of their jib."

    That's where what-Finntann-calls my "authoritarian side" comes in.


    ~ FT

  52. No one is saying you have to take any of these people home and love them (smile!), but recognition of their right to coexist peacefully with the rest of us is hardly "praise."

    ...That's NOT what they're asking for. They already HAVE that. Now they want me to pretend that I have victimized them for being but a benign presence in our midst, when in reality they represent a dangerous disease vector for all of humanity. For pointing out the OBVIOUS, they claim to have been " unfairly" labelled. Well, have they been? Or is their polyamorous "lifestyle" dangerous for the rest of us, just as needle sharing drug addicts are a dangerous to us? Should we legalize and honor needle exchanging too, in the name of "fairness" and "right"? Should we condone and remain uncritical of those whopractice infidelity just so cheaters don't feel bad about themselves?

    homosexuals should NOT be above criticism, which is the status they seek. I refuse to grant them that elevated status as politically correct, " sacred" cows.

  53. Funny thing... when 12 people die in a movie theatre from gunshots, the Left takes to the street to ban guns... but when 50,000 people are infected with the AIDS virus every year, no one's at fault and the victims requirie praise for the behaviour that infected them...

  54. What you say, FJ, is true of a relatively small, highly vocal segment of leftist-activists who happen to be homosexual, but it is no more true of everyone wit that sexual orientation than it's true that all Negroes are like Al Sharpton, Malik "Zulu" Shabazz, Maxine Waters or Little Black Sambo, or that all Jews are as ugly, pushy, and fiercely obnoxious as Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan and Sammy Glick.

    You don't have to be a liberal to avoid accusing all members of a particular group of running true to negative stereotypes.

    Nevertheless, that's your opinion, and we'll let it stand -- but please don't try to drive it into the ground.


    ~ FT

  55. I didn't "conveniently forget" anything FT, I acknowledged that Protestants aren't angels, but ONE wrong act by Calvin, which was probably the result of his CATHOLIC background, is not the same as the Inquisition.

    And Cromwell was DEFENDING the Protestants from the Catholic cruelties. You seem to have bought the Catholic propaganda. Well, no wonder, they've really worked at it.

    And what's your point AOW? It's okay for Cstholics to stay within the Antichrist system if they've found Christ? It seems to me that in that case the Holy Spirit would prompt them to leave it and if they don't leave it I'd have some question about their actually having found Christ.

    And the ANTICHRIST is not just an END TIMES issue, the Catholic Church has been Antichrist from its inception and the Reformers knew that. Actually, the attachment of the concept to the end times is also Catholic propaganda.

    Don't fall for the Catholic propaganda! It does not serve your Catholic friends to rationalize their staying within the Antichrist system.

  56. And the Salem witch hunt killed something like TEN or TWENTY at the most, based on a wave of hysteriak, compared to HUNDREDS by the Catholic church in Europe based on PROGRAMMED DELIBERATE PERSECUTION. And it was Protestant leaders who brought the Salem craziness to an end because they knew it was craziness. Not the case with the Roman church.

    And Henry the 8th can hardly be classed with the Protestant Reformers.

    Catholic propaganda is sure winning with you guys. Boy I really do need to get to my blog on this subject.

  57. This thread was not set up to be an anti-Catholic battering ram. In fact it's not even about RELIGION.

    I've already amply indicated what I've been driving at, yet -- as usual -- most just want to air their prejudices and passion instead of THINKING about the issues and implications contained in the post.

    There's nothing PERSONAL about any of this. The hope was to get readers to see the differences between Decency, Kindness, Affection and the Desire to Nurture, when pitted against Prejudice, Sophistry, Guile, Cynicism, Abuse of Power, Persecution, Sadism and the Ecclesiastical Perversion of Christ's Message.

    ~ FreeThinke

  58. Faith,
    And what's your point AOW? It's okay for Cstholics to stay within the Antichrist system if they've found Christ?

    I am not convinced that the Roman Catholic Church is the anti-Christ.

    Obviously, you are.

    One reason why I am skeptical is HERE.

    Over the years, the following have been called the Antichrist:

    Adolph Hitler
    Benito Mussolini
    Kurt Waldheim
    Willy Brandt
    Pope Paul VI
    Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands
    Saddam Hussein

    And, recently, Obama as well.

    Even Osama bin Laden.

    Even Islam itself (Walid Shoebat said that, I think).

    And more labeled as Antichrist as well.

    When you make your case at your own web site, feel free to email me. My email addy is toward the top of the sidebar at my blog site.

  59. There's nothing personal in anything I've said either, FT. I'm responding to your presentation of images of torture and persecution and attributing all that to "religion" and specifically to the Bible. You got the source of the evils you are decrying wrong. You identified the Bible wrongly, you identified Calvin and Cromwell wrongly, you identified the Salem witch trials wrongly (actually it was thousands of witches killed by Catholicism in Europe, not just hundreds, I got that wrong). You didn't know the evils are specifically Catholic. I'm informing you they are. You should be grateful for the information.

  60. We've all been very misled about the nature of the Antichrist. There will no doubt yet be a final Antichrist, yet to come, but meanwhile there are many antichrists in the world, as scripture tells us.

    But there is one main antichrist system and that is the Catholic church. Here's an article by the European Institute of Protestant Studies that describes how the Pope is antichrist:

    True Protestantism has been betrayed and we need to recover it.

  61. Well, Faith, I think it's time -- as AOW tactfully suggested -- to take this particular facet of the discussion offline. Please.

    As you know, when any one or two posters get carried away, it tends to make others avoid the conversation, and I had hoped to attract as many different viewpoints as possible to this particular discussion.

    Take are. Email me any time.


    ~ FT

  62. Beware the sour promptings always tempting
    To think unkindly of those who annoy
    With tone and gesture pushy and pre-empting,
    Whose aspect mars and robs the day of joy.

    How could we know what factors brought to bear
    Have shaped the character and destiny
    That irritate the fortunate and fair
    Who live above the fray decorously?

    Have pity on the crude and poorly schooled.
    If they could see themselves as others do ––
    Realize the baseness by which they’ve been ruled ––
    The pathos of their ways would make them rue

    The day that they arrived innocently
    Damned by patterns spawned genetically.

    ~ FreeThinke

  63. You’re born to fit the mold; for this you think
    The Lord has made you righteous, fine, “the best.”
    In quiet dignity you watch the rink
    Of life; cheer for your kind –– deride the rest.

    And yet, your way of life shines like the morn.
    Those who cannot join must yearn in pain ––
    Anger for the strong who fight with scorn ––
    Weeping for the weak who dream in strain.

    Anguish for us all, because we hate
    Anything that questions what we are.
    All we know is what we’re taught by Fate
    Keeping us suspicious, wary far

    From joining in the glowing Christian Feast ––
    As distant as the West is from the East.

    ~ FreeThinke

  64. PART ONE

    Was John Calvin a Killer?

    by Greg Boyd

    The last two blogs have generated a bit of a stir. Good! If what I’m saying about the centrality of Calvary-looking love is right, we need a major paradigm shift on how we view orthodoxy – which in turn should effect who we see as the “heroes” of orthodoxy.

    My contention is that, while we can and should continue to appreciate the theological insights of people who were involved in torturing and killing people, we should not regard them as heroes of orthodoxy – for they were guilty of the worst heresy imaginable. If we continue to esteem killers as heroes, we can’t help but have our vision of the beautiful Kingdom polluted. Of course, none of our heroes are perfect. But I would think, at the very least, they should not be guilty of the worst heresy imaginable. If we wouldn't make a person who denied the Trinity a hero of orthodoxy, we shouldn't make anyone who kills in Jesus' name a hero either.

    A few have questioned my claim that Calvin was responsible for Michael Servetus’ murder. One person argued that Calvin actually tried to stop his execution.

    It’s true that Calvin didn’t want Servetus burned alive. He advocated for him to be beheaded. But there’s no reputable Calvin scholar I know of who denies Calvin wanted him executed.

    Calvin himself had told his colleague Farel that if Servetus ever returned to Geneva, he’d “never permit him to depart alive, provided my authority be of any avail.” After the burning, Calvin said, "Many people have accused me of such ferocious cruelty that (they allege) I would like to kill again the man I have destroyed. Not only am I indifferent to their comments, but I rejoice in the fact that they spit in my face." Elsewhere Calvin said, "Whoever shall now contend that it is unjust to put heretics and blasphemers to death will knowingly and willingly incur their very guilt.”

    Even Calvin’s staunchest defenders (such as B. B. Warfield) grant that Calvin was ultimately responsible for Servetus’ death. They simply minimize his culpability by saying he was “a man of his times.”


  65. PART TWO

    I regard this response to be very weak. Jesus and the early Christians lived in very violent times yet refused to conform to them. And there were many Christians during Calvin's time (the 16th century) who argued that the use of violence is inconsistent with the teachings of the New Testament – including Calvin’s former friend Sebastian Castellio and all the early Anabaptists. Not only this, but by most accounts, Calvin’s enthusiasm for the use of force to uphold what he regarded as right doctrine and behavior went far beyond most other religious leaders of his time – including, very often, his own Geneva council.

    For those who are interested in doing further reading on this topic, here’s a few works I’ve read that I’d recommend:

    * Roland Bainton, The Hunted Heretic. I was fascinated with Servetus when I was at Yale and had a number of talks with the elderly Bainton on his book during this time. This man was a walking encyclopedia on the Reformation. (As a side note, he was close to 90 when I met him, yet was sharp as a whip and rode a bike all around town!)

    *John Fulton, Michael Servetus: Humanist and Martyr. An excellent overview of Servetus’ life, thought and death (which Fulton sees as a martyrdom)

    *Perez Zagorin, How the Idea of Religious Toleration Came to the West. A very scholarly work that includes a good section on how public outrage toward Calvin's murder of Servetus contributed to Christianity finally become a religion that tolerated religious differences. Sebastian Castellio played a major role in creating this outrage.

    *Bernard Cottret, Calvin: A Biography. Argues that Calvin was directly responsible for 38 executions in Geneva [other scholars argue he was at least indirectly responsible for as many as 58].

    *Robert M. Kingdon, Adultery and Divorce in Calvin's Geneva. Kingdon is one of the foremost scholars in the world on Geneva under Calvin. This book, published by Harvard Press, relies entirely on original sources and presents an incredibly harsh picture of Geneva under Calvin’s rule. For example, a number of children were imprisoned, tortured and even executed for being disrespectful to parents (though I'm not certain I got this information from this work).

    My point in all this is not to pick on Calvin. His defenders are right in at least one respect: Almost all segments of Christianity were killing enemies at this time, and Christianity had been engaged in this sort of barbarism for a thousand years by the time Calvin came on the scene. Tragically, Calvin's act of murder is not at all unique in the history of our religion.

    My point is rather that we need to distinguish clearly the Kingdom of God from all such barbarism. And to do this, we must stop making heroes of Christians who killed enemies rather than loving and serving them, as Jesus taught.

    [NOTE: Greg Boyd is a former atheist who turned to Christ in 1974, graduate of Yale Divinity School and Princeton Theological Seminary. professor of theology for 16 years at Bethel University. founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church, an evangelical megachurch in St. Paul, MN.]

    Submitted by FreeThinke

  66. What Calvin did in this case seems to me as follows: proof of the terrible peril of uniting any church with the power to enforce the rule of civil law. The potential for abuse is consistent with the pattern of history over and over again.

  67. That's right, of course, AOW, but it isn't only the Church. It is ANY entity that assumes too much power.

    As I never tire of saying, it is Power, ITSELF, that is our enemy.

    The art of maintaining good government is all tied up in maintaining an equitable BALANCE of POWER among ll factions.

    RIght now, we've lost that by letting the Supreme Court do all of congress's dirty work FOR them. It started in 1954. I was there -- I NOTICED.

    ~ FT

  68. If you want to learn about Oliver Cromwell here are a few places to start.

    Oliver Cromwell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Cromwell (25 April 1599 – 3 September 1658) was an English military and ..... Cromwell's association of Catholicism with persecution was deepened with ...

    Oliver Cromwell's head - Disambiguation - Elizabeth Claypole - Richard Cromwell
    Who was Oliver Cromwell? - Catholic Answers Forums
    42 posts - 5 authors - Aug 31, 2007

    Oliver Cromwell had gone from commoner to Lord Protector, the most ... Charles had persecuted Puritans and had long-since clashed with ...
    Cromwell, Oliver: Tyranny of 1649 - Irish Cultural Society of the ... is a street in Drogheda named after Oliver Cromwell's work there; it is called Scarlett Lane for the blood .... By plague, by famine, by war, by persecution .

    Old Ironsides: Oliver Cromwell and the Puritan Revolution Ironsides: Oliver Cromwell and the Puritan Revolution. By William P. Farley ... Churches that "separated" or "dissented" were brutally persecuted. Many were ...

    Oliver Cromwell - New World Encyclopedia 29, 2008 – Unfinished portrait miniature of Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper, 1657. .... Cromwell's associations of Catholicism and persecution were ...

    "The Tudors" and The Cromwell Dynasty 5, 2011 – Oliver Cromwell was a second-stage Protestant leader of the Puritan ... by a third in these persecutions with the best lands given to Protestants, ...

    OLIVER CROMWELL'S POLICY TOWARD THE ENGLISH - JStor AJ Loomie - 2004 - Cited by 2 - Related articles
    Stephen Smith, "The Persecution ... OLIVER CROMWELL'S POLICY TOWARD THE ENGLISH CATHOLICS .... was an ironical result of this type of persecution ...

    Oliver Cromwell and the Puritan Revolution Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View

    Then Olly brought the Prots a rest (Oliver Cromwell: 1649-58). A Bill of Rights said ... Persecution of the dissenters; Religious indifference of the masses and the ...

    Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England (1599-1658) - Familypedia,_Lord_Protector_of_Eng...Offspring of Oliver Cromwell and Elizabeth Bourchier (c1597-c1665) .... Cromwell's associations of Catholicism and persecution were deepened with the Irish ...

    A Moral Vision [Oliver Cromwell, the American Revolution, and ... 2, 2007 – The only corpse of an English Catholic martyr to survive to modern times is testimony to Oliver Cromwell's opposition to religious persecution.

  69. Here's something else bound to make you fall passionately in love "God" no doubt -- if you are a Sadist, that is:


    From An Illustrated History of Ireland

    by Margaret Anne Cusack

    Chapter XXX (excerpts)

    ... The besieged at last wavered; [mercy] was promised to them, and they yielded; but the promise came from men who knew neither how to keep faith or to show mercy.

    The Governor, Sir Arthur Aston, retired with his staff to an old mill on an eminence, but they were disarmed and slain in cold blood. The officers and soldiers were first exterminated, and then men, women, and children were put to the sword.

    The butchery occupied five entire days: Cromwell has himself described the scene, and glories in his cruelty.

    Another eyewitness, an officer in his army, has described it also, but with some faint touch of remorse.

    A number of the townspeople fled for safety to St. Peter's Church ... every one of them was murdered, all defenceless and unarmed ... others took refuge in the [wooden] steeplem ... Cromwell, himself, gave orders that it should be set on fire ... those who attempted to escape the flames were piked.

    The principal ladies of the city had sheltered themselves in the crypts. It might have been supposed that ... English officers would respect their sex; but, alas for common humanity! it was not so. When the slaughter had been accomplished above, it was continued below.

    Neither youth nor beauty was spared.

    Thomas Wood, ... one of these officers, and brother to Anthony Wood, the Oxford historian, says he found in these vaults "the flower and choicest of the women and ladies belonging to the town; amongst whom, a most handsome virgin ... kneeled down to him with tears and prayers to save her life."

    Touched by her beauty and her entreaties, he attempted to save her, and took her out of the church; but ... a soldier thrust his sword into her body; and the officer, recovering from his momentary fit of compassion, "flung her down over the rocks," according to his own account, but first took care to possess himself of her money and jewels.

    This officer also mentions that the soldiers were in the habit of taking up a child, and using it as a [shield], when they wished to ascend the lofts and galleries of the church, to save themselves from being shot or brained.

    It is an evidence that they knew their victims to be less cruel than themselves, or the expedient would not have been found to answer.

    Cromwell wrote an account of this massacre to the "Council of State." His letters,tell their own tale; and unquestionably that tale plainly intimates that [Cromwell]was little less than a demon of cruelty.

    Cromwell writes thus:

    "It hath pleased God to bless our endeavours at Drogheda. ... The enemy were about 3,000 strong in the town. ... I believe we put to the sword the whole number of defendants. I do not think thirty of the whole number escaped with their lives. ... This hath been a marvellous great mercy."

    In another letter he says that this "great thing" was done "by the Spirit of God."

  70. Read how and why Jan Huss, an early mild-mannered reformer was burned at the Stake in another one of myriad Ecclesiastical Power Plays:

    ~ FreeThinke

  71. Read what the Church did to John Wycliffe, the first translator of the Bible into English: body

    Lovely people!

    ~ FreeThinke

  72. Apparently you have no interest in hearing that there is another side to the story, or that the side you have published is all lies and propaganda. Wikipedia's accounts are heavily Catholic propaganda. But consider this from the European Institute of Protestant Studies:

    Rome always blackens those employed in the furtherance of Heaven's purpose against her. Hence Rome's attempts and successes in utterly crucifying the character of God's instruments. This she does in order to give coming generations the most bigoted, malicious and outrageous views of the faith and character, methods and attainment of those very instruments so signally used and honoured by God.
    No one has suffered more by such diabolical treatment than Oliver Cromwell.

    …After his death and the return of the perfidious Stuarts, Oliver Cromwell was blackened beyond recognition. The Roman Church in Ireland furnished the tarring and feathering process. Even today in the public mind he is often painted as the vilest of the vile, the persecutor of the people of God, a reprobate and hypocrite of the lowest order; but those who have studied the evidence and examined the well-established historical facts, even though their background was deeply prejudicial, have had to admit that the Cromwell of his detractors was not the Cromwell of real life. That it was a colossal slander of the true Oliver Cromwell.

    When Thomas Carlyle produced his monumental work The Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell, a distinguished critic, writing in the premier Blackwood Magazine, stated: "If there is anyone who still believes that Cromwell was a thorough hypocrite, that his religion was a systematic deception to cover his ambitious designs, the perusal of these volumes will entirely enlighten him to the contrary. We look upon this hypothesis, the Machiavellian explanation of Cromwell's character, as henceforth entirely dismissed from all candid and intelligent minds. Cromwell was a genuine Puritan. There is no doubt about that."

    ….."The power of Papal propaganda has maligned Cromwell and made him the monster he never was as far as Ireland is concerned. I would suggest that those who want to study Cromwell in Ireland should read Antonia Fraser's Cromwell: The Chief of Men on this episode of Cromwell's life. "She puts forward a cool and convincing defence of Cromwell in Ireland, which will be a surprise to Irish readers brought up on legend rather than facts." - Sunday Telegraph.

    Cromwell’s actions at Drogheda were done in the effort to stop the bloodshed brought about by the Catholics.

  73. You just need to get your criminals and your victims sorted out. Huss and Wycliffe were the victims of the Roman church because they were Bible believers and dared to give the people the Bible in their own languages. But you hate the Bible, remember, you should be happy the Roman church murdered them.

    There's a great video series on the history of these things by Chris Pinto at Adullam Films. You can find the ones on the history of the Bible and the persecutions by Rome at You Tube, bootlegged of course.

  74. Here's the film A Lamp in the Dark at You Tube:

    I'm looking forward to the next part of this series which is due out soon and which will be called Tares Among the Wheat

  75. 1. "There is nothing new under the sun."

    2. "The more things change, the more they remain the same."

    Despite all protestations to the contrary, there must be something about murderous violence and barbaric acts of cruelty we find alluring, or they wouldn't fill the pages of newspapers and fiction [Haven't the two become largely synonymous in recent years? ;-] and make up such a huge proportion of the content of movies and television as they do.

    I really do believe the less we permit ourselves to dwell on stories and images of violence and mindless, twisted, degenerate, out-of-control behavior the less it would be apt to permeate and dominate the public consciousness.

    Alexander Pope, possibly the greatest or certainly the most facile and prolfic creator of rhymes who ever lived, wrote:

    "Vice is a creature of such fearful mien
    As to be hated needs to be seen.
    Yet seen too oft -- familiar with her face --
    First we endure -- then pity -- then embrace."

    Truer words have never been recorded.

    Our primary source of tales exemplifying, justifying and positively extolling violence and brutality is, of course, The Pentateuch.

    This article –– It's the BELLIGERENCE, Stupid! –– is an attempt to provide graphic historical evidence that Holy Writ has been used almost continually to inspire -- and provide official sanction -- for continuing barbarous practices indulged in by human beings since time immemorial.

    The hideous irony there, of course, is that organized Christianity, itself, by lapsing into ancient practices of establishing and maintaining Law and Order very quickly became the absolute antithesis of Christ's Purpose -- i.e. promoting Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men.

    ~ FreeThinke

  76. All I can say is what a waste of two gorgeous men.

  77. Well, Lisa,

    I have to admit that's one way of looking at it that didn't occur to me.

    Thanks for visiting. Please come again.

    ~ FreeThinke

  78. What can you say, Lisa?

    Just about anything you feel like saying, of course.

    I like to provoke people into thinking a little differently than they might normally, but I don't feel it's appropriate to try to tell anyone what they must think.

    That approach is what gave us the Stake, the Gallows, the Dungeons, and all those other grotesque forms of maiming, mutilating and otherwise insulting the human body, which is after all The Temple of the Holy Ghost.

    Daring to try to bully, harass, threaten, imprison, torture and brutally murder people to force them to think a certain way -- or at least say they do to avoid being torn limb from limb -- is about as ungodly as it could get.

    That many have believed this could ever have been RIGHTEOUS is the ultimate insult to human intelligence.

    But you don't have to agree with me to be welcome here.

    Thanks again for visiting.

    ~ FreeThinke



We welcome Conversation
But without Vituperation.
If your aim is Vilification ––
Other forms of Denigration ––
Unfounded Accusation --
Determined Obfuscation ––
Alienation with Self-Justification ––


Gratuitous Displays of Extraneous Knowledge Offered Not To Shed Light Or Enhance the Discussion, But For The Primary Purpose Of Giving An Impression Of Superiority are obnoxiously SELF-AGGRANDIZING, and therefore, Subject to Removal at the Discretion of the Censor-in-Residence.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.