Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Diet of Worms

Most Christians don’t enjoy the Diet of Worms (1521)
Or any of the history of the Christian Church because it’s evidence of just how much of it is really humans deciding and doing things. God hardly enters into it at all. Sure they would claim that these religious figures of history were divinely inspired at least as long as what they find attributed to them could be said to be “good” but when less “divine” actions, from political maneuvering to expropriation, persecution, torture or murder are documented, well then the blinders go back on and the naysaying begins. This is because religion was a source of power for nobility, - especially royalty.

Martin Luther is the one history remembers for his founding of the Lutheran church and the start of the reformation, or what should be more accurately called the split in the Catholic Church that led to the spawning of many new sects of Christianity. Before the “happy” happenstance of protestant churches dominating and being accepted, back then, Martin Luther was just another heretic to the Catholic Church, and he was very lucky to not be caught and executed.
If you look at the history of the Church of England and the English Reformation, the politics, and violence are horrifying. All were human activities, not “acts of God” though I’m sure some saw gods hand in everything. It’s this history that led to the age of enlightenment and the founding fathers of the United States came right out of this strife over religion. Seems history supplanted by “social studies” in schools doesn’t really touch on these delicate details very much though.
Time after time, History has shown us that religion and religious power mixed with governmental power leads to despotism, persecutions and unnecessary death (all things incongruous with the tenets of the myriad sects of Christianity). Hence Science may be #1 on the religious fanatic’s shit list, but History is a close second.
So many Atheists would like to see religion eliminated,
become marginalized or turn into merely a cultural touchstone. So how do you imagine this might come about when there are so many deeply in the thrall that they politically, financially and violently support their beliefs? Is there some assumption that erosion through education will be all that is needed?
If a revocation of the law that gave churches the right to be nonprofit and not pay any income taxes were to come to pass in the US, then the religious will bemoan their persecution and claim the government is being unfair. Would they next ask if the government intends to engage in expropriations? (It’s unlikely that will happen unless there’s a highway or other infrastructure that needs to be put through right where a church is located, well, unless other things change too! History of Expropriations, A.K.A. legalized theft according to some, is an interesting subject.)
Will the religious engage in political maneuverings to try and change the constitution again? If those efforts fail will they become violent or will they heed the lessons of history, especially recent history, and strive for non-violent forms of protest?
So the question of whether the lessons of history need to be relearned by some keeps coming up. We do know that the law has been a friend and enemy to the secular minded. And, strangely, when God fails to show up and smite the enemies of “________” faith then they will resort to using the law (Human Authority) to get their way. It seems likely that the law will continue to be the tool that must be appreciated and honed to advocate change in this world. This is why it is so important the nonreligious support secular organizations, be politically active, as well as educate.

No comments:

Post a Comment