Heretics burned at the stake

Many men and women throughout history of the Christian faith have been burned at the stake for heresy.
Modern hate crimes do not result in burning but the principle is no different .

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Comment by Loren Miller on January 7, 2013 at 6:58pm

Greg, I was referring specifically to the 16 which Joan referred to with this collection.  Obviously, there are many more apologies for the RC church to make, and Hitchens deals with quite a few of them in his Intelligence Squared talk, here and here.

Comment by Cheryl Easton on January 7, 2013 at 3:44pm

Just as well we don't exist to make people like us 'cause I certainly don't succeed in the popularity stakes when it comes to "conforming" to established ways. The hassle I have to put up with because I won't just accept thing being so "beause they always have been" and because I dare to think things through and refuse to make knee jerk judgements on sensationalist news items.
I'm sorry that you have had some obvious tough times Joan but glad you have come through with such a great positive attitude.

Comment by Cheryl Easton on January 7, 2013 at 3:25pm

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 7, 2013 at 1:42pm

Loren Miller, thanks for reminding me of Christopher Hitchens in his Intelligence Squared debate of 2009. It is an outstanding debate and one that warms my soul, if I had one. He scared the bejesus out of me with his confrontational style, and looking back, I realize he was heard and understood by very many people asking the tough questions. Brash? yes! Confrontational? certainly! Sensible? without a doubt! 
We do not exist to make everyone like us; we exist to think, reason, make decisions, take action, and be responsible for our own thinking and acting. 
There is nothing hearing our prayers, no scapegoat to redeem us from our mistakes, no heaven and no hell. 
That is GOOD NEWS. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 7, 2013 at 1:24pm

Cheryl, I am finally becoming grateful for my personal past memories because I experienced helplessness and hopelessness. When I decided I wanted to live free of family violence I had to step outside my familiar box, take risks, experiment, explore, fail, get up over and over again. 
I am so grateful to be free of fear of speaking up and acting in healthy ways ... some would say "evil" ways. Thinking is so much fun, acting is exciting, and celebrating is as good as it gets. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 7, 2013 at 1:20pm
Cheryl Easton, Hooray! You remember history and can recall it's effects on al life forms on Earth. The great tragedy exists because we do not remember! When one puts trust in an untrustworthy endeavor, they become part of the delusion. Thank you, Cheryl, for your comment, and interpretation. We need such honesty.
Now, the next step, it seems to me, is to "remember" a preferred future and then work toward that vision. Remember past and future, think and act in the present, and life can flourish!
Comment by Loren Miller on January 7, 2013 at 5:07am

Christopher Hitchens in his Intelligence Squared debate of 2009 referred to a number of apologies which the church should be obliged to make for wrongdoings over its existence.  I count 16 more to add to Hitch's list.

Comment by Cheryl Easton on January 7, 2013 at 4:41am

Joan, I beieve that those who remain silent may do so through either fear of standing out from the crowd and being marked as different and may be cast out or sent to hell!!) or have a deep seated fear  that those in authorty may somehow be complicent - and if we can't trust our leaders who can we trust? Some are afraid, some are afraid to think, some don't have the ability or haven't been taught or encouraged  to think and rationalise. Smetimes I wish I could be content with a 9-5 job, a good pay cheque and a cople of weeks holiday a year but something in me looks for more and something in me hates injutice and unfainess and any religions I've looked at are completely unjust and unfair - as well as irrational. I like to think that if I see somehng unjust I will voice my opinion - even if no one wants to lsten.

Comment by Cheryl Easton on January 7, 2013 at 4:27am

By far the biggest majority of those tried and convicted of witchcraft in Scotland were women. They were often independent women who were feared by authority - not because of what they were perceived to be able to do in a supernatural sense or because of their "ungodly" behaviour - but because of what they might provoke in other women - the lack of need of male domination and guidance. They were the Germaine Greers of their day and the patriarchal hierarchy wern't quite ready for this in the 17th century.Some of the female vicims, like some of the men who were convicted, owned property whch would be relinquished  to either the state or church, thereby giving the authorities a good reason for wanting a conviction leadng to a death sentence. In some cases convicted witches weren't executed but were scarred by branding and allowed to live as a warning to others. - I stronly suspect that these were the ones who owned nothing that the church wanted.

Often the truth behind these burnings isn't religious belief but greed shielded by that name. So whilst some, as you say may have suffered due to hatred from those with different beliefs many suffered for policital and fnancial reasons disguised as "god's wll".  By taking a look at individual victims and their circmstances and finding out who benefits from their demise youfind the real reason behind their persecution and prosecution.

I'm not sure which makes me more angry. People who really believe all the religious guff they are fed and who make others suffer because of their ill informed belief system or those who are sly and simply use it for their own ends.

After the introduction of the Witchraft Act in 1735 people were no longer convcted of "Witchcraft" in Scotland but could be prosecuted and fined or imprisoned for purporting to have the powers of a witch.
The last Scot to be convicted under the 1735 Act was Helen Duncan who was jailed for 9 months and the last person in the UK was Rebecca Yorke who received a lighter sentence - both women convicted as late as 1944 and their convictions may have been due to fears of secrets they might reveal during war time.

The Wtchcraft Actof 1735 was finally repealed in 1951 and replaced with the Fraudulent Mediums Act. 


Comment by Joan Denoo on November 26, 2012 at 6:17pm

These are only a few of the victims of the "Burning Times" that had at its heart, hatred for those  who believed differently than the people in charge at the time. 

Today, religious people do not burn others at the stake for differences of values. Whether it is about a woman's right to control her own body, or GLBT right to marry, or even the old quarrel about racial equality, or any of the social issues that create differences, there exist those who  assault and even murder, others still put on costumes or burn crosses to express their love for their god. 

Name it what you will, but these hate crimes do not support flourishing. 

My disgust comes from people who belong to religious communities who do not protest louder than we who put our trust in science and knowledge. Silence implies agreement. 

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