Thursday, July 31, 2014


More than once I have had someone in the middle of a disagreement about politics say something along the lines of “a separation of church and state” or “ a theocracy”. My standard reply is the fact that I have never personally heard one individual ever…. in my lifetime… of any political persuasion…… suggest we should have a theocracy. I have never heard anyone suggest the church dictate the laws and the actions of the United States government.

I have always stated the obvious in this kind of discussion. What a person sincerely believes (or his religion) will affect the way he conducts all of his business – personal, family, career, and citizen participation. It is a tremendous advantage to know where a candidate or an officeholder is coming from and when they speak directly about what their personal beliefs and the origins and experiences of their beliefs are, that is a good thing. Many famous people in American history have quoted scripture and, whether sincerely or not, many have used a religious viewpoint or quote to justify or explain their behavior.

Again, I assert this is a good thing. It does not violate the true meaning of separation church and state or form some kind of theocracy. It merely reveals what the person says he is thinking.

Those that oppose even the mention of Christian thinking or scripture in a political discussion are quick to refer to things like The Spanish Inquisition and how the combination of religion and politics has an awful history. But I have a difficult time believing that they do not know it is THE PERVERSION OF CHRISTIANITY that does not mix well with anything, not Christianity.

The Inquisition was in Spain. Spain had a monarchy. While it is true the big shot in the whole dark period was in the clergy, he was never anything more than an advisor to the King and Queen. Presidents and Kings have often had advisors, like Obama’s Valerie Jarrett, that they gave near unlimited power to, but broke no laws in doing such.

It would have been a great advantage back in this day had the Bible been available to everyone if the references to doing God’s work had been openly discussed. The actions in The Inquisition were clearly wrong and New Testament refutations could have flowed from an unformed public. Instead, Torquemada unleashed his perverted ideas and used his position to stamp his behavior as “Christian” with little debate. Partially because of threats and partially because of a citizenry greatly limited in their ability to debate the truth of scripture, Torquemada’s own belief system, whatever you want to call it, was pushed on Ferdinand and Isabella.

Therefore, I would say it is ignorance and the dismissal of those who would justify or footnote their application of the Bible that has helped cause religion to have caused some dark days in world history. The Founders quoted scripture and many believed Christianity’s presence and influence in the Americas would be the only way the Constitution would work.

Please find below a short history on The Inquisition:

The Inquisition was established by the Monarchs of Spain in the atmosphere of a period of war with the Moors who were finally defeated at Granada in 1492. The Inquisition had been motivated by fear and distrust of both Jewish and Moorish converts whose loyalty to the state was suspect.

The Inquisition was officially not concerned with non-Christian Jews and Moors but with those who claimed to have converted to Catholicism. The sincerity of these people in their claim of conversion was held in suspicion and there was the general feeling that the larger body of Jewish population harbored potentially subversive elements.

The distrust of the Jews finally led to the Alhambra Decree sponsored by Tomas de Torquemada which resulted in the general expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. Tomas had apparently chaffed at the limitation of the power of his office as Grand Inquisitor only to the Jewish converso (that is, Jews who claimed to have converted to Christianity). Tomas detested the Spanish Jews who had not converted. He therefore, vigorously, urged Ferdinand and Isabella to issue an edict commanding all Jews to either leave Spain or convert to Catholicism

The Jews offered Ferdinand a large sum of money. Ferdinand might have accepted the offer but for a dramatic reaction from Tomas in which he stormed the Palace and accused the king of wanting to sell Christ for money like Judas did.

The jurisdiction of the Inquisition, as already mentioned, was limited to Christians over the age of fourteen, especially Jews and Moors who claimed to have converted to Christianity but were believed to be secretly practicing their old religions. Historians believe that about 2000 people were burned by the Inquisition between 1480and 1530.

The abuses of the Inquisition made Tomas so unpopular than an armed guard of 250 footmen and 50 mounted men had to be provided for his security. The abuses included arbitrary detentions, torture, and reliance on anonymous denunciation. Wealthy Moors and Jews were often targeted for judicial murder and their wealth appropriated. Anyone who spoke against the Inquisition could be arrested on contrived charges of heresy.

A Jew merely suspected of being a "marrano," not only had his property taken over by the Inquisition but he would be publicly humiliated by being forced to march through the streets naked from the waist down and flogged. "Marranos" were forced to live in isolated ghettos in which the conditions were very poor.

Tomas made an elaborate show of organizing a fair trial, most likely to soothe his conscience over the killings. In theory, an accused who confessed his sin of apostasy or heresy would be allowed to go free without any further consequences if he recanted, kissed the cross and confessed Christ. But in reality the chances of going free on confession narrowed as the trial went through its stages. At a point in the trial the accused would be gagged to prevent him from confessing.

The accused was assumed to be guilty from the evidence of unnamed accusers who were adjudged responsible citizens. Torture would be administered to force confession. An accused person who refused to confess would finally be handed over to the civil authorities for execution. Execution was done by burning. The accused person who refused to confess throughout the trial would be executed by slow burning using green wood while those who confessed before execution could be allowed mercy by quick burning using dry seasoned wood. The luckiest were garroted.

Tomas had always been an intensely religious man devoted to his faith throughout his life. He had been an ascetic friar who wore clothing of coarse materials beneath his robe to mortify his flesh. The apparent contradiction between his religious piety and involvement in the cruel murder of an estimated 2000 people can only be explained by the pattern of morality typical of the "Abrahamic" religions in which the highest expression of morality is service to God and religion. That was the context of understanding of the duty of man in which a blood drenched career is interpreted as holy service to the Christian deity.

Torquemada's exemplary service to God earned him several admirable titles: "Hammer of Heretics," "Light of Spain," and "Savior of His Country."


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