Witch Trials

Many years ago the Catholic Church began to worry about evil. At the time the Catholic Church reasoned that Satan was an angel created by God. Satan had originally been called Lucifer, and he was a favorite of God’s many angels. One interesting thing was that the Catholic Church never questioned the idea that God might actually play favorites and actually have a favorite angel. The story tells us that Lucifer turned his back on God because of his personal pride and fought a war against the angels that chose to stick with God. In the end Lucifer was banished from Heaven.

Well, Lucifer was not happy being banished from Heaven so he decided that he would tempt God’s latest creation - man. Tempting man in the form of Eve was literally “child’s play.” And, God was upset with Lucifer’s triumph in the mortal realm. So, God told Lucifer that he could no longer influence man directly. This was somehow meant to reassure us that we didn’t need to fear Lucifer around every corner tempting us.

The Catholic Church, however, had a problem. They observed the fact that there was certainly evil in the world. And, they knew that Satan had been banned from directly tempting man, from this story. So, how was Lucifer tempting evil in this world? They finally realized that man was being tempted by witches. Witches were human beings that could get around God’s ban on Lucifer’s dealing in the mortal realm. Witches certainly must be tempting man as a proxy for Satan. And, the obvious conclusion is to put the witches to death and secure a world free from evil.

Suddenly this story seems very familiar to me. If it doesn’t sound familiar to you then I’ll offer a little more.

The Catholic Church became so worried about how the witches were operating in the mortal realm that they set out to round up the witches. They looked for people that appeared suspicious. They might be people that didn’t act like a “normal” person. They arrested those who were suspicious and took them to a detention center.

Obviously a witch was evil by the very definition. And an evil one would certainly attempt to cover up their affairs by lying. And therefore anyone who would deny that they were a witch would certainly fall into the category of what a typical witch might do. However, with a massive amount of pain a witch might finally be forced to admit that they were a witch in a moment of weakness. And once an inquisitor would have a confession they could put the witch to death and purify the world. Such a noble goal - Don’t you think?

The premise here is pretty straightforward. Good will triumph over evil! Those hunting witch were certainly good. And, witch by definition are those who spread evil and therefore must be evil. How could any problem arise out of such a black and white situation? Good purifies the world by eliminating evil.

There are a couple of things that the Catholic Church never considered. The first and most terrifying thought is that we are all evil. We have all committed evil and we are all capable of committing more evil. In fact, the very nature of the idea that killing off evil people would purify the world is an evil idea. Murder is an evil act in itself, and any one who believes that they are worthy to carry out the act is suffering from the addition evil of pride. Pride of course was the same evil that brought down Lucifer himself.

The thought that purifying the world of evil is worth the lives of the innocents that might be caught up in this action is an additional evil that plagues the very proposal. But, pride overwhelms the people who have this idea repeatedly throughout history. Genocide is another fruit of this horrible mindset. People who are different are accused of being evil and torture is used to prove the validity of the claim. If a small amount of pain won’t bring the confession, then more pain will surely provide it. The cycle can only be stopped if the pride in knowing the truth can be broken. And, the truth is that this rarely happens. The Holocaust of six million Jews, The Spanish Inquisition, Rwanda and even the torture of suspected 9/11 terrorists are all examples of pride gone wrong. And today, February 11, 2008 our government announced that there will be still more witch trials. Pride has no limit - especially in this administration.

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Don’t forget what Stephen Colbert said, “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

Cross Posted @ Bring It On, tblog, Blogger and BlogSpirit

Reflection

7 Responses to “Witch Trials”

  1. steve Says:

    I think most of us saw Kevin Smith’s Dogma… :)

    Eh…. So what does it mean when a jihadist kills a bunch of people in a strip mall with a suicide bomb? I mean… if you are going to bring up Catholicism and killing why not Islam? I mean they call those themselves martyrs for what they do. And there is no trial… no fair trial… no rules, law of the land that stops it. Who sends the signal? How? And why can’t we be the one’s punishing people that want to kill Americans?

  2. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Steve,

    I never saw that one.

    And I don’t think anyone here objects to us being the one who punishes those that want to kill Americans. They just want something resembling due process for those who are completely in our control, unarmed and helpless before we do. And as much as I have defended torture in certain circumstances, I’ve never tried to fit it into anything even attempting to resemble due process.

  3. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    I won’t watch any film with Ben Affleck in it.

  4. christopher Radulich Says:

    it is inherent in all religions that once they acquire the power of the gun they start killing.

  5. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    By “power of the gun” I presume you mean something along the lines of license to kill with impunity and general approval, being the ultimate power. Otherwise, I disagree. There are many Christians who literally have the power of the gun, being gun owners, who have never killed anyone or anything.

  6. Christopher Radulich Says:

    The first thing christians did when offical reconized by rome was to start killing each other in large numbers. They were fighting over the nature of christ.

  7. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Christopher,

    I wasn’t disagreeing with your thesis. In fact I agreed with it. I was merely trying to clarify it in my mind.

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