I was so blown away by this painting I needed to post it on my blog to try to draw attention to it.  The painting by Pedro Berruguete (1475) is truly remarkable and important because it’s sheer incontrovertible evidence of how sadistic and criminal the Christian mind is and has been in history. 


File:Pedro Berruguete - Saint Dominic Presiding over an Auto-da-fe (1475).jpg



On the auto da fe website click on the painting to observe it in minute detail.  Lots to comtemplate. Truly amazing. 

The pious magnate sitting on the throne is none other than St. Dominic, the founder of the monastic order and promoter/advocate of the Inquisition.  The two condemned in the lower right are Cathars, considered heretics because they wouldn’t agree to pay tribute to the pope in Rome.  The Albigensian Crusade resulted in tens of thousands burnt at the stake.

To think St. Dominic has a New World island country named after him as well as several cities. Devout Christians kneel and pray to the sadomasochist monster.   I conjecture the holy man was a latter day Tom Dewey who rose to power and prominence by prosecuting bad guys and mobsters.  We haven’t evolved very much since.  The only difference is the Cathars were independent successful business people who didn’t like paying for protection.  To the pope they was an unmitigated persistent threat because they wanted to do away with the sacraments, the source of big money. 

Notice the burly butterball cleric dosing off directly beneath the Inquisitor.  Shows how routine these Auto da fé (Confessions of faith) must have been.  Believers should look at this painting to get an idea what unquestioning blind faith can do to people.  Check out the smug arrogance of St. Dominic.  If questioned about murder and sadism, he would have probably answered, “I was only doing my job.” 

The date of painting is significant because within twenty years Columbus would discover the New World and would be urged to name his discovery after his national hero. 

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Comment by Rich Goss on August 20, 2012 at 2:28pm

Nota bene:  Ed Teach just emailed this,  "Wow, pretty disturbing. You do have to magnify it to see what is really going on."

To get the full effect, you have to click on the link and then the picture.  Study closely their faces and mannerisms.  The scene comes to life.  It seems unbelievable but it's right before your eyes.


Comment by Frankie Dapper on August 20, 2012 at 1:49pm

And I wonder how many christians are even familiar with auto da fe. The same dopes who have no interest in history for starts, who know next to nothing of where their world view derives and are utterly incapable of critiquing it.

Comment by Frankie Dapper on August 20, 2012 at 1:35pm

Power corrupts. Its stench is the greater when its provenance is irrational and its reach is unbridled.

Too much focus on theology. It is at least as important to examine what it is, what is its nature, what does it do. And when the major religions have the power they reek to the mythical high heavens.

Comment by Rich Goss on August 20, 2012 at 12:57pm

Dave, click on the link to study the painting in detail.  It's an incredible masterpiece.  How about the two condemned with the fez-shaped dunce caps waiting their turn.  And the nun holding up the crucifix as if it were going to relieve their torment. I would have told her what the Incas of Peru told Pizarro a few decades later, “get the fuck out of here with your little man on a stick.”  No bull.


Comment by Dave Kilby on August 20, 2012 at 10:29am

Incredible painting. However, I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis. The problem, as it relates to the present day is that there are groups in the U.S. that would bring back this extreme intolerance. Just listen to some of the "Christians" and their comments on people not of their belief system.

I'm exploring the American history of religious intolerance in my upcoming post: "The Religious Wrong". Anyone curious can check out this work-in-progress at Grumbles From an Old Grouch" grumblesfromanoldgrouch.com

Feel free to make comments or suggestions.



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