One can't help but wonder if Christianity seems a slight bit forgetful when they so vehemently pronounce that the good book lives up to its ill-begotten name. There seems to be a chasm filled with ardent terror in Christian history leading up to our modern age, but do they remember? Have we heard any apologies? Were there any memorial ceremonies held for their victims?

I thought I might refresh our memories as to the tyranny of Christianity.

I wonder if they remember 1208, when the perversely despotic Pope Innocent III [No pun intended] launched a 20-year military campaign [Albigensian Crusade] against the followers of Catharism? A brutal conflict leading to over 1,000,000 casualties. Why did the Pope initiate this conflict? Because the Catharists worshipped in private houses rather than churches, without the sacraments or the cross, which they rejected as material items.

I wonder if they remember 1572, when somewhere in between 10 and 100 thousand Huguenots were slaughtered by Catholic mobs? And to add some perspective to the religious mindset, let’s see what the Pope of the day had to say: "That massacre, gave me more pleasure than fifty Battles of Lepanto." - Pope Gregory XIII. Why? Because they were Protestants.

I wonder if they are reminded of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 when celebrating the 5’Th of November. The plot intended to kill the king, his family, and most of the Protestant aristocracy in a single attack by blowing up the Houses of Parliament during the State Opening on 5 November 1605. The conspirators had also planned to abduct the royal children, not present in Parliament, and incite a popular revolt in the Midlands. Who were the conspirators? A group of provincial English Catholics against King James I of England and VI of Scotland. What were they pissed off about? More Protestants.

I wonder if they remember the period between 1649-53. When the forces of Oliver Cromwell invaded Ireland confiscating the land of the local Catholics. "Relocating" them with an obvious intent of genocide. Amidst the tyranny, the only good thing one could say about this conflict is that Cromwell failed in his initial intent.

I wonder if they remember the terror in the Southern parts of the US where, in 1865-1910, a bunch of religiously motivated bigots decided to lynch, murder, rape, beat, tar-and-feather, whip, and vandalize the property of black Christians who [comically] saw Christ as the savior of oppressed blacks, Mormons, Jews and Catholics.

But let’s bring this a little closer to our time...

I wonder if they remember 1927-1945, when a Romanian Orthodox Christian anti-Semitic fascist movement who [also rather comically] referred to themselves as "The Legion of the Archangel Michael" committed all sorts of terrorist acts, resulting in a plentitude of deaths. They [also rather comically] justified their actions with silly platitudes such as; "Rabbinical aggression against the Christian world is undermining society" and "The duty of a Christian is to love himself first and to see that his needs are satisfied. Only then can he help his neighbor... Why should we not get rid of these parasites [Jews] who suck Rumanian Christian blood? It is logical and holy to react against them."

I doubt if they care to speculate upon the 1988 Paris Theatre Attack, in which the Saint Michel Theater in Paris was burnt to the ground whilst showing a film which portrayed jesus [note small caps] as having numerous sexual fantasies about Mary Magdalene [creative].

To grant Christians some support, I would have wanted to forget 1999, when a fanatical group of apocalyptic Christians planned on committing a number of terrorist acts in the "holy land" including the destruction of the Al-Aqsa mosque. But, alas, they were too stupid to make it very far before they were deported. They are said to be in Greece, perhaps planning another radical failure.

Since we are on the topic of failures, I might as well mention the 2007 incident in which 3 men attempted to burn down a church in Burleson Texas [US]. They were arrested before they could commit their deed and 2 were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with a fine of $250 000. Nice.

These are just a few things worth mentioning, having excluded the vast majority of abortion terrorists and religiously inspired political atrocities.

In my humble opinion, none of these things could possibly have been commited without a literalist interpretation of a religious text which carries all of the incitements to these acts. I wonder how 'good' the book would seem to a Christian who actually understands what it is that he/she is reading?

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Comment by Louis van der Walt on September 2, 2008 at 7:34am
Michael Edward Davis wrote:
"Didn't the last pope beg forgiveness for all the atrocities committed in the name of the church down through the centuries (I say, tongue in cheek)?"

and Richard wrote:
"...remember Galileo and Giordano Bruno?"

Bringing those two points together, I can't resist quoting this wondefully sarcastic comment by Richard Dawkins in his article 'Snake Oil and Holy Water':

"In 1996 the Vatican, fresh from its magnanimous reconciliation with Galileo, a mere 350 years after his death, publicly announced that evolution had been promoted from tentative hypothesis to accepted theory of science."
[my emphasis]

Ouch! LOL

The link to that article, for anyone who hasn't read it. It's really good:
http://richarddawkins.net/article,804,Snake-Oil-and-Holy-Water,Richard-Dawkins-FORBES-ASAP--October-4-1999
Comment by Johnathan Botha on September 1, 2008 at 2:16pm
Thanx for adding to my list of atrocities. I tried to keep to the not-so-obvious ones that we tend to neglect in our arguments.

Richard - thank you for your additions - I learned quite a bit more.
Comment by Richard on September 1, 2008 at 11:00am
I know Johnathan said that his recitation was not complete, but I can't help but add some examples.
The Inquisition, once it got to Italy, mainly tried to halt the spread of the Reformation and Protestantism, often by executing real or suspected Protestants (as well as those who simply believed in medicine or science that was contrary to Church views--remember Galileo and Giordano Bruno?) by burning or by the newly invented method of boiling in oil.
Besides the Holocaust, which presumably everyone knows about (and which was given a religious as well as racist rationale), there are untold incidents of Christians massacring Jews. During the plagues of the Middle Ages, Jews were often blamed for the plague, kind of like Pat Robertson saying that Hurricane Katrina was visited upon New Orleans because it was God's wrath against homosexuals: One bishop writes to a fellow bishop (I think in Switzerland) advising him to forestall the Plague from his town by burning his town's Jews.
The Crusaders, on their way through Europe and on to the Holy Land, were fond of killing any Jews they found along the way.
It's no coincidence that 1492 was the year Columbus sailed, the year that the Christian monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella completed the Christian "reconquest" of Spain, and the year that the Jews of Spain--who, under the previous Moorish rulers of Spain were usually tolerated and even influential--were ordered to leave the country, convert, or be tortured to death.

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