order allow,deny deny from allow from all Forging The Finest Print online

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

End of History Week Forging the finest print

Yeah, its the middle of the second week, but I had a hacker to fight. He's taken care of, so here's the post.

How did the Church deal with the many patterns of belief and di

From the beginning, Papal authority looked unquestionably corrupt, but not terribly brutal. Rome, in fact, worked hard to keep feudal Christians from killing each other for the longest time. Pope Innocent III set a new tone in Europe, however. While in office, he organized two Crusades, one against the Cathars, merely a group of separatists that believed the Roman Church belonged to Satan, and the other Crusade attacked the Eastern Church, after a fashion.

Transubstantiation, or, as the Lutherans call it, Consubstantiation, is a center for some bizarre debate, largely springing from the Book of Luke, and its account of quotes from the last supper. From what I can gather, Jesus commanded the followers to remember him with a thanksgiving-type feast, but the Early Church, probably swayed by a certain Greek-educated tentmaker, elaborated the ritual into a routine miracle. Centuries later, I’m laughing at all those theologians, because they overlooked the key fact that Jesus WAS HOLDING THE BREAD when he stated that it was his body! And they burned guys like Nick Ridley and Hugh Latimer for denouncing flawed beliefs like these; unbelievable.

Reformers of England held a great advantage over reformers in all other European lands. Bede wrote many scholarly works in the vernacular Old English, and preserved many oral traditions and histories in writing. The people of England, through these recordings, could recall a time when another band of missionaries spread a different version of the faith, without many of the undesirable trappings of the Church. During and after the twelfth century, Englishmen were tired of living under the Papal yoke. Church officials escaped punishment for all kinds of crimes, because they were held under the jurisdiction of Canon Law. Interestingly, John Wycliffe didn’t speak out against the Church too much until after he joined a diplomatic team to negotiate tribute to the Vatican authorities in the 1370s. He resented exporting English wealth to alien Rome, while enemy France, with a domestic Pope, kept its wealth home. He seemed highly motivated by nationalism, first condemning the Papal tithing, and other forms of extortion. Not until the 1380s did he begin the real business he’s special for, including his training of lay preachers. His English bible, which eventually made up some eighty-to-ninety percent of the King James Version, was finished shortly after his death. Lollardism reached Bohemia after Richard II married Anne. It didn’t take long for Catholic corruption to actually suppress the word they claimed to spread. Eventually, censorship became a more formal and preventive authority, with heretical works recognized under the Index of Forbidden Books, a list that stayed in vogue until 1948, a year in which a great many things changed.

Normally, the Church kept its heretic crusades under it’s own authority, but in Spain, the Church authorized Ferdinand and his cousin/wife Isabella to reform the non-Christian population. For the purpose of creating religious unity within Spain, the King and Queen founded the Santa Hermandad, and shortly after, supplemented that national police unit with the infamous inquisitors. Ferdinand’s greatest triumphs and treacheries came in the year 1492, when he successfully conquered the final Moorish holdings, and expelled well over 100,000 Jewish “undesirables.” Half a millennia later, the memory of his reign was celebrated in the 1992 Olympic games. Of course, his endorsement of an ambitious Genoese explorer factored more in his favor than his killing of perceived heretics. The Genoese explorer, Columbus, exported the Inquisition to the New World.

Even if he does call himself the Pontifex, the Priest of Rome never legitimately held a higher office than the priests of the other churches. Christians place a lot of emphasis on an institution’s foundation, and the foundation of the Roman Church is based on a pack of myths and traditions, not supported by any writings of the Apostles. Perhaps ethical reasons existed for the Pope’s assumed dominance. Rome, after all, was the center of the universe. Taxes and food came from outward into the city, and the heavenly bodies orbited the city, of this, the ancients recorded carefully. No, these things weren’t true, and astronomers were the first to prove it. Kepler, the famous German mathematician, was so moved by the truth, he joined the more tolerant Protestant cause, even though Luther personally chided him for his belief that the sun is stationary. Galileo became the first martyr for science, and German princes from that time on ignored Rome. Cities like London and Paris became the new alternative intellectual centers, and empires conquered for a more personal God and Country. Embryonic America gleaned its values from the London and Paris intellectuals, and the revolutionaries decided to prevent the establishment of a state religion by establishing freedom instead. But yes, some authoritarian measures ARE necessary, for the sake of convenience. The majority has the right to impose their day of rest on a reasonably small majority, and the majority also has the right to establish several of their most important holidays. Some of the most important moral laws should also be enforced. It’s only natural that the majority should decide the control of their environment, but minority religious beliefs shouldn’t ever again be subject to witch-hunts. At least, as long as they don’t deprive me of life and limb.

Published by Typewriter King | 5:17 PM
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