The Bible as Sword

Somewhere out in the huge internets (hey… I had to give a shot to Mr. Bush here), I found this very enlightening post regarding the Bible, Christianity and the history of violence in the name of God

When medieval European nobles decided they wanted to take a road trip – preferably one that would provide them with an opportunity to draw upon their core skills as rapists, plunderers and dashers-of-baby-brains-against-rocks — they turned to the Bible for moral guidance. And, under the patient tutelage of priests and popes they discovered that God would be enthusiastically supportive of princes, barons and assorted thugs setting off to reach the big Holy Land Souvenir and Gift Shop where they hoped to pick up pieces of the True Cross.

When the Spaniards reached the New World and discovered that it was populated by people known to Christendom as “future slaves” they found in the Bible all the support they needed to carry on their holy work of slaughtering children, raping women and incinerating Aztec priests. (Granted, the Aztec priests had it coming.)

Whenever Christians have found it necessary to deal with heretics, there was the Bible, their moral guide, ready to support them in their desire to stretch an Albigensian out to twice his normal length.

And when, on occasion (about five centuries, give or take,) Catholics felt it advisable to massacre Protestants, or Protestants thought it might be helpful to slaughter Catholics, both sides reached into their ever-present Bibles and came up with all the theological support they needed.

Here in the United States the Bible was in one hand and the whip in the other as slave masters drew upon holy writ to justify selling children away from their parents, working their fathers to death, raping their mothers and then, with something approaching perfect efficiency, enslaving the resulting progeny.

Run, Injuns, run, the Lord says right here in this chapter, in this very verse, that I have the right, even the moral obligation, hallelujah, to burn you out, starve you out, and hound you through forest and across plain till you’re exterminated, praise be.

Put a sheet on your head, string up a black man, castrate him and set him on fire? Absolutely, and let’s sing Onward Christian Soldiers as we do it.

Out of respect for the blogger, I won’t re-post the whole thing. Skip on over to Sidways Mencken to read the whole thing. ‘Tis wonderful.

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