Just realized the Commie witch hunt in the 50s was the church's Inquisition brought to America

Don't know why it took so long for me to see this but it clarifies things considerable.  As Arthur Miller knew full well there were many parallels between the Salem witch hunt, anti-Communist hunt and the Holy Inquisition. And anti-Commie hunt was started by a devout Catholic, Joe McCarthy, at they urging of his priest. This just adds to the amount of damage this church has done on our democracy in revenge for the Enlightenment taking away its right to rule society.

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There are parallels, but I think it's mostly because the psychology of witchhunts whether religious or political tends to run in the same track.

yes but i think the full awesome power of the catholic church was fully behind both and probably explains why they were so similar. I also agree with Marie Alena Castle's contention in "Culture Wars" that this church teamed up with the fundies is the main force behind our culture war as well as.

It's the same scare tactics, the same us-vs-them mentality, Eric, so no, we shouldn't be surprised.  These are the same stunts Ronald Reagan used to push through the Strategic Defense Initiative, among other programs, while he courted the evangelicals and warned repeatedly about the "evil empire" of the Soviet Union.

The saddest part of that whole business is that, even as too many Americans fell for that crap 30 years ago, they're falling for it again with Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and the rest of the current clown car running for president.  Our country desperately needs to grow up, and it keeps not doing so, partly because of people like them.


Many of us have forgotten how Reagan got the highest honor the Knights of Malta, a fraternal order of Catholic laymen could bestow on a non-catholic - the Merit Cross. The Knights were the stormtroopers of the  Church who murdered many of it opponents throughout history and were famous for running the ratline which helped hundreds of Nazis flee from defeated Germany after the war. The fact that most Americans are unaware of this is due to the power this Church has on our media.

It's a new one on me, Eric, but considering all the bible-thumping Ronnie did ex officio, I cannot say that I'm surprised.  Sadly, "All in all, it's just another brick in the Wall."

I'm just reading the book now too. One of the interesting points is the intentional conflation of patriotism and religiosity. Yesterday's bullshit PR campaign is today's driving force of insanity.

Kruse's book is an enormous recreation of the way these guys almost transformed the country into a theocracy. He recounts a truly enormous amount of information that most everyone has long forgotten.

Together with Marie Castles' "Culture Wars" and Susan Jacoby's "Freethinkers," you don't need much more to get at what really happened to this country in the first half of the 20th century.

Our atheist book discussion group here at Rossmoor, Walnut Creek CA, when it was still going, went through each of these books and I got more these readings and our discussions than in all my history classes in college. I strongly recommend them to any atheist who really wants to know what happened then.

Daniel, that book was a revelation all its own to me, as much as listening to Kevin Kruse was at the FFRF convention back in October.  If it were in my power to do so, I would have a copy of that book in the hands of every Congressperson our country has, and a healthy number of state officials as well (though whether they'd read it or not is another matter!).  "One Nation Under God" is treated as though it is a sentiment as old as our country is, and it plainly is NOT.

And there are a lot of people out there who have a lot of unlearning to do.

I see the parallel. This is the same reason that TV shows like "The Walking Dead" are so popular. It's the "us vs. them" thing going on all over again. This can be you and your family against anyone - your boss, your fellow workers, people you do not like, or anyone outside of your group.

Once you take this idea into your religion you can hear about it 3 times a week in church and "One Nation Under God" is easily born even if America never was set up that way. This appeals to one of our oldest survival instincts. Imagine for a moment that you are surviving in the wild and instantly you can see that it's "us vs. them" all over again.

Growing up is good, but it's all about education and I'm afraid that our politicians will continue to misuse these ideas to their own gain.

Kruse's book is a real eye-opener.  What I found most interesting was the section on the role Hollywood played, with Cecil B. Demille and the Order of Eagles spreading Ten Commandments monuments around the country to promote Demille's remake of the film.  DeMille's researchers apparently invented the whole story of Moses' upbringing as a prince of Egypt, but I can't imagine prying that one out of the zeitgeist now. There were a number of religious blockbusters released in the 50s: The Robe, Ben-Hur, Quo Vadis, Ten Commandments, etc.  Anyone noticed a similar trend today?  Passion of the Christ, Noah, the other Noah starring Christian Bale as an action hero, the new Jesus film . . . time to resurrect (sorry) The Last Temptation of Christ?  Come back, Nikos Kazantzakis; we need you!

Craig

The one big difference is that the earlier pieces at least had some gravitas to them.  The new crap is so clearly pandering that it isn't funny.

I fell for these 50's films as well when they were popular. After all, I was a Christian who just knew that the film makers were telling our story. Why would they lie? (Maybe money had something to do with it.) Imagine how I felt to find out later there is no evidence for Moses. The Bible says that Moses was not allowed to see the promised land, and he died and God himself buried Moses in a secret place. Hey wait! It was supposed to be Moses writing the book. How did that happen?

Dan Barker has studied Greek and he can tell you plainly that the Greek scriptures of the time had no reference of a cross. It was a stake. The cross is actually something pre-dating Christianity. The cross is very pagan and was added by the early church. Imagine now the movie "The Sign Of The Stake." It doesn't seem as special. Imagine again a priest comes in to bless you and he makes the sign of the stake. You would likely think he was going to cut you from your forehead down to your naval in one cut.

In the movie "Passion Of The Christ" I said immediately that they were going to beat this man to death before he could be crucified. A believer told me later that they felt Jesus was beaten more severely than what was shown. Really. They feel that way because they are bad sinners and it took all this torture to save them. They have to identify with Jesus and carry their cross daily. The religion survives through torture because "Jesus died for you." It's a personal relationship. He took on the sins of the whole world.

As for me, I've worked it out with Old Charlie to die for me. His family will get some money, but I just found out I'll have to die anyway. But wait! I won't be dead. My doodlededoo will always be alive somewhere. I was worried fore a minute there.  :)

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