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.

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Comment by Prog Rock Girl on April 12, 2010 at 3:09pm
There would still be other bullshit around without Christianity. There would certainly be pre-Christian religions--many of which are "niced up" for modern times, but are not the same as they were originally practiced. Hinduism and even Buddhism have extremist streaks. It's true that Christianity spread homophobia to places like India and Africa but I think homophobia in the Bible started out b/c someone was uncomfortable with homosexuality, and someone in some other culture could have had the same reaction and declared it wrong. The same with sexism and racism. Abrahamic religions perpetuated these things but certainly aren't the only way for sexism, racism and homophobia to exist. I don't know if Islam would exist and be wreaking the same havoc on the world that it is now--it could be lesser, or it could be even worse. Christians--even if their religion is about the same--oppose Islam. I don't think we would be living in paradise without religion. Religion helps corruption because "faith" is never held accountable, but human nature is still imperfect. There will still be divisive things and power struggles, and people will always be corrupt.
Comment by Adrian on April 12, 2010 at 1:44pm
Comment by Clarence Dember on March 19, 2010 at 4:23pm
I think the reason religion has proliferated throughout the centuries is not because it is right. It is merely persistent. We must persist further, brother.
Comment by Loren Miller on December 13, 2009 at 7:22am
The sad fact is that religion has repeatedly had it's pants pulled down, literally and figuratively, over the past 20 years, and while people's faith may have been shaken by pedophile priests, philandering pastors, plus a couple who were working a con game more than a spiritual retreat, the by-in to religion continues.

About the only thing I can hope is that our growing numbers and vocal response to these atrocities MAY swing the tide. The problem, of course, is that in being vocal, we make ourselves a target ... and last I looked, we're still in the minority. If these dips don't blink at gay-bashing, I doubt atheist-bashing would be much of an issue to them ... though if they try it on me, they're liable to have bitten off more than they can chew!
Comment by Rich Goss on October 10, 2009 at 8:51pm
I always appreciate your comments, Heretic. It's a good time you didn't live back then, because with a name like "Heretic" you wouldn't have lasted too long either. It's like wearing a teeshirt with "PREY" on it rather then Pray—a costly typo.
Comment by Rich Goss on October 9, 2009 at 8:15pm
Darrel, thanks for the input. "Spiritually advanced." Let's take that to an overcrowded prison somewhere in Arizona. We tell the inmates they’re “spiritually advanced” even though they’re in prison. As low IQ as many of the inmates might be, almost all of them would recognize the con in a few minutes. I don’t even think Benedict himself could pull it off. Doesn’t say much for the Africans.
Comment by Rich Goss on October 9, 2009 at 8:09pm
Carver, Another good name for God's Dogs would be Domino Naris, the nose of God.

Seriously, it's difficult to contemplate the fact that this was once reality. And then we look at this week’s Mohammadan man who was bragging about his sex life on TV. I’m not sure what they did to him, something like a thousand lashes. I’m not sure I heard it right.
Comment by AgeOfAtheists14 on October 9, 2009 at 7:08pm
ha, the poopeh
man, there was a priest freaking out that the miami herald is anti-cathy because there was an article on that polansky rape and they put the priests/bishops in the same story!


f-ck religion
Comment by Jim DePaulo on October 9, 2009 at 6:34pm
More than just the notable thinkers that were brutally tortured and killed by the voice of god on earth, there were the 10's of thousands of inspiring minds that kept silence out of fear of death at the hands of the prince of peace's earthly representatives.
The "heroes" of the Inquisition was the Dominican order expressly created by the Pope for the task - their name says it all Domino Carnis "Gods Dogs". Their mission was to stamp out those that dared to stray from the mindless dogma of the church.
Comment by Darrel Ray on October 9, 2009 at 6:25pm
This Pope seems to be even more clueless than the average Pope. I am amazed at his most recent statements about "Africa being more spiritually advanced" because it has not allowed materialism (read condoms and abortion) to over take it society."

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