Murder in the Name of Religion

Before the nation state emerged around 1500, the killing done in the name of religion was simply that, murder sanctioned and sanctified by the Godly. In the Crusades, the Pope called on the “faithful” not nations to slaughter the “infidel.” On the way–in a delightful diversion– the Crusaders mass murdered Jews and Eastern Orthodox Christians, target practice for the big game of Islam. Nation states emerged approximately 400 years after the First Crusade. Church/state union prevailed in early modern England and France, much to the dismay of the Puritans and Huguenot (French Protestants) respectively. The problem with church/state union is that heresy becomes treason and vice versa! One of the most vicious wars in history, the 1618-1648 Thirty Years had Protestants and Catholics slaughtering each other, Christians killing Christians. Irony abounds! With time, the secular state began to trump the church. Henry VIII disobeyed the Pope over his right to divorce a Spanish Catholic queen and then created his own Royal church. Peter the Great made the Russian Orthodox Church his personal lackey. Most peoples of the modern world came to accept the secular nation state as a matter of course. One notable exception to this worldwide trend is the United States–the most backward modern nation in the world–where a vocal minority of Christian fundamentalists argues that America is a Christian nation. Hell, even the Pope came out for “evolution as more than a theory!”
*By the way it was nation states that give birth to liberalism, capitalism, socialism, fascism and all the other secular ideologies. These ideas are secular not religious in their origin. They can only be referred to as religious in a metaphorical sense not in any true sense.


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