The Inquisition, used by atheists to revile Christians, was not a Catholic killing machine, but a fairly successful attempt to save lives from secular “justice.”…

Like “McCarthyism,” “inquisition” has become a term that epitomizes intolerance, tyranny, and the squelching of free expression. Moreover, stories of Inquisition barbarity date back much further than the Crusade myth, whose seeds weren’t sown till the 19th century. For instance, a man writing under the pseudonym Reginalds Gonzalvus Montanus described the Spanish Inquisition thus in his 1567 document A Discovery and Plain Declaration of Sundry and Subtill Practices of the Holy Inquisition of Spain: “A court without allegiance to any earthly authority, a bench of monks without appeal. There is nothing else in the world to go beyond them in their most devilish examples of tyranny. Indeed, they do so far exceed all barbarousness, a man cannot more aptly liken them than to that they most closely resemble and from whence they proceed: their sire, Satan himself.” Now, this certainly is a thorough condemnation, but is it perhaps a bit too thorough? Does it seem a bit too infused with a fervor that could lend itself to fiction making? And given that subsequent Inquisition histories were strongly influenced by Montanus’ claims, that its imagery has colored all Inquisitions – and that the narrative now aligns perfectly with our militant-secular spirit of the age – we perhaps should wonder if it is more agreed-upon myth than matter of fact.

Selwyn Duke, “The inquisition and iniquity: Burning heretics or history?” The New American (2013, Dec 23)


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