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As we all know the Inquisition was one of the most frightening and bloody chapters in Western history; Pope Pius XII was anti-Semitic and rightfully called “Hitler’s Pope,” the Dark Ages were a stunting of the progress of knowledge to be redeemed only by the secular spirit of the Enlightenment, and the religious Crusades were an early example of the rapacious Western thirst for riches and power.

But what if these long held beliefs were all wrong?

Raised as a Lutheran, Rodney Stark who has identified himself as an agnostic but has, more recently, called himself an "independent Christian" has written a powerful book  in which he argues that some of our most firmly held ideas about history, ideas that paint the Catholic Church in the least positive light are, in fact, fiction. Where lies the truth?


WINDOWS is constantly asking me to prove I'm human. I have tried to respond but failed. I wonder will this get through?


The Dark Ages weren't dark -- there was great flourishing, overlooked by those hoity-toity Enlightenment thinkers. I'm sure the Inquisition was vile but I think it belonged more to the Renaissance than the medieval period, and there were plenty of majority-on-minority atrocities that were far more economically or politically motivated than by religion. In my opinion, anyhow.... a lot of the persecution of Jews, for example, was all about not having to pay back debts justly incurred.
I think I would agree with you in all that. It is good to be reminded of these things from time to time.
I think all the Christian sects have that of which they would rather not be reminded, but an awful lot of 'truth' most certainly isn't.

A lot of Quakers see James Nayler as problematic, but the problems tend to be based on this sort of misunderstanding.