Did you ever stop to think what life would be like if Christian thought never happened? In the twenty-first century we should be living in an earthly paradise. Species consciousness would have given it to us.
The fact is Christian thought crippled and stultified the progress of consciousness. We have species consciousness for only 150 years since the publication of Origin of Species
—and even then the Church tried to render Darwin’s ideas ineffectual and worthless. The Inquisition did more damage to humanity than all wars and diseases combined. It’s the murder of our freethinkers, geniuses and great scientists that has perpetuated war, disease and misery.
Species consciousness is the knowledge that humans are just another animal and our sun just another star. We are a part of nature. Humans grew out of nature and at the molecular level, and we are the stuff of the earth—at the atomic level we are the stuff of exploding stars.
By now, an enlightened humanity should have been through with war, racism and violence. We should have been through with misogyny, homophobia, sexism, nepotism, political corruption, bullying and poverty. People would be living by a new golden rule: Enjoy your brief life, try to be a good person and be honest. By now our national motto should be: IN REASON WE TRUST.
Just think, if people were honest there’d be no need for cops, lawyers, judges, street gangs, correction officers, vigilantes, locksmiths, death squads, safety packaging engineers, illegal immigrants, executioners, penitentiaries, clergypersons, and places of worship.. There would be no need for priests because people would be honest enough to accept the findings of science. There would be no need for soldiers because nations would be composed of honest people.
The truth is the Church tried to keep people ignorant so it could more easily impose its will. The Inquisition was an extortion racket by an ruthless organization. The property of the accused was confiscated on accusation. Very few made it back to claim what was theirs.
I wouldn’t have lasted five minutes in those days. “Hey, priest,” sez I, “I think the world is round—not flat.”
“You better not tell that to Christian soldiers. That’s blasphemy because it’s contrary to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. You’ll wind up with being tortured to death.”
“Like Winston Smith in 1984
, I can’t say two plus two is NOT four.”
I present three tragic stories in history to demonstrate how great men were done away with to keep Christian believers ignorant. Each truncated life is an historical fact.
Giordano Bruno: (1548-1600) a great man. He was one of the few astronomers who accepted Copernicism in the late sixteenth century. He not only agreed with the Polish monk’s findings but took it one step further by theorizing that the sun is one of billions and billions in a continuum. In refutation of the Book of Genesis he theorized there is nothing special about Sol.
Needless to say, the church would hear nothing of it. The pope wanted everybody to believe the world is flat because the Holy Scriptures said so. They persecuted him his whole life and finally got him in 1600. They burned this great man at the stake like a piece of meat. Four hundred years later Cardinal Angelo Sodano outrageously apologized for Bruno’s murder and called it “a sad episode.” What balls, what audacity.
Does the Cardinal think he can undo the damage of murdering Bruno and the world’s greatest intellectuals by saying he’s sorry? It is because of the church’s hegemony for hundreds of years that we are living now in a world gone mad, virtually on the brink of self destruction.
Here’s another great man who met the same fate for the same reason. I was so moved by his story that I devoted a chapter of Mirror Reversal
to him. Like Bruno, Lucilio Vanini (1585-1619) was born in a small town in Italy and was his contemporary. He also took the vows at a monastery and at a young age decided to devote his life to study. It didn’t take long before he said something he shouldn’t have and like Bruno, spend his life on the run.
What is remarkable about Vanini is that he was the first person to theorize the evolution of mankind—the first since the ancient Greeks of the Miletus School 800 BC. Anaximander posited that life began in the sea. Vanini should have gone down in history as a wonderful hero and tribute to human ingenuity, as the man who enlightened two thousand years of ignorance. Even today the snuff is still working; he is virtually unknown except to a few scholars. Pope Paul V ordered his execution like a mafia boss ordering a hit. It wasn’t enough to burn him at the stake. Vanini was tortured and his tongue cut out so he could never again divulge the truth. His ashes were scattered and there was no trace of him for centuries. The theory of evolution was anathema to Holy Scripture. This atrocity set humanity back 240 years until Darwin.
Is it enough for Cardinal Sodano to apologize? Think of what 240 years means in modern times with human knowledge doubling every ten years. Suppose the Information Age happened at the end of the Sixteenth Century? We surely would be living in an earthly paradise where the purpose of life is to have fun and lavish in philomathy (the love of knowledge.)
Overpopulation would have been the first problem solved. If we can prevent one girl from having an unwanted baby, we can prevent every girl from having an abortion or having to raise an unwanted child. How easy it would be to solve this pernicious and dangerous problem of too many people. In an advanced society with a reasoned birth control, every child born on the planet would be anticipated with love and enthusiasm.
The third tragic individual among incalculable others is Michael Servetus (1511-1563). He was another genius murdered because of Christian thought. He was a physician, scientist, author and theologian. His interests were astronomy, meteorology, medicine and anatomy. In the latter field, he was the first European to map out pulmonary circulation. This is truly a great man and genius: how difficult it must have been to figure out why the pulmonary vein carries oxygenated blood.
But in his pursuit of theology he made some claims inimical to the contemporary zeitgeist—the spirit and beliefs of the time. He dared to question the trinity and made statements contrary to Biblical teachings. When John Calvin read some of his letters, he was outraged and set a dastardly trap. He lured Servetus to Geneva under the pretext of a conference and had him arrested. Servetus was given a mock trial and charged on two counts: not believing in the trinity (nontrinatarianism) and the belief that babies shouldn’t be baptized (anti-paedobaptism). He was the first man I know to be burned alive with his books.
The church needed to keep people illiterate and ignorant. Persons who sought the truth were persecuted and killed.
John 8:22 says, “The truth shall make you free.” He should have completed the statement by adding: “from religion.”
All right, I know we can’t arrest the pope. He didn’t commit these atrocities and crimes against humanity—his organization did. We can’t put him in jail.
Let’s approach the Vatican and say in the fashion of John McEnroe, “Look, you can’t be serious with an apology. ‘Sorry’ just doesn’t make it. ‘Sorry’ doesn’t bring back the millions of alleged witches and accused heretics you destroyed, nor the centuries of lost human progress.”
Get into this life instead of the next. In the name of justice that you claim to embrace and encourage, sell your gold ring, plates and cups. Serve up Jesus on some fine bone china; He’ll never know the difference.
Take the gold out of your safes, vaults and tabernacles and use the money to assuage human suffering. What good is the gold doing but a glittering tribute to the Church’s power?”
If Pope Benedict has any love and respect for reason and justice, he’ll do it straightaway.
“Not a chance, you say.” Well, consider that unless we free ourselves from the shackles of the pandemic God Virus, all life and the dream of future life will be gone, and our beautiful planet will be just another scorching, lifeless and desolate terrestrial planet.