Bloody Trail of Christianity! Bloody Trail of Christianity!!


The inquisition and Slavery

The inquisition and Slavery

Whilst all this revolt was taking place, the Catholic Church did not sit idly by. They fought back to regain control, and boy! Did they fight!

The inquisition: Defined as a Roman Catholic tribunal for discovery and punishment of heresy (adherence to a religious opinion contrary to Church dogma), which was marked by the severity of questioning and punishment and lack of rights afforded to the accused.

With the uncontrolled upheaval in the Catholic Church, Rome feared it was losing complete control; Soon the revolt was going to be at its doorstep. The Church leaders convened and came up with a new strategy to combat the falling membership of the church; they introduced the inquisition and later participated in slavery, which was to descend Europe into its darkest period ever!

There has been no more organized effort by a religion to control people and contain their spirituality than the Christian Inquisition. Developed within the Church’s own legal framework, the inquisition attempted to terrify people into obedience. The inquisitor, Francisco Pena stated in 1578, ” We must remember that the main purpose of the trial and execution is not to save the soul of the accused but to achieve the public good and put fear into others“.

The christian missionaries inquisition and execution

The inquisition and execution

The Inquisition took countless human lives in Europe and around the world as it followed in the wake of Missionaries. And along with the tyranny of the Inquisition, churchmen also brought religious justification for the practice of slavery. The Church’s understanding of God was to be the only understanding. There was no discussion or debate.

As one Inquisitor said, the layman must not argue with the unbeliever, but ” thrust his sword into the man’s belly as far as it will go”. Pope Innocent III declared that ‘anyone who attempted to construe a personal view of god which conflicted with Church dogma must be burned without pity’.

Few heretics returned to the church of their own accord under very harsh conditions. The church turned to its own canon law to authenticate an agency, which could enforce adherence to church authority. Pope Gregory XI established it as a separate tribunal, answerable only to the Pope. The law replaced the common law tradition of ” innocent until proven guilty” with ” guilty until proven innocent”. The procedure adopted left no possibility for the suspect to prove innocence. The process resulted in the condemnation of anyone even suspected of heresy. There was no right to counsel. No evidence was needed and the heresy does not have to be spelled out. A suspected friendship with a convicted heretic was also a crime. The accuser or witness is not known. One’s only recourse was an appeal to the Pope in Rome, which was farcical. The Inquisitor was both prosecutor and judge.

An inquisitor was selected primarily on the basis of his zeal to prosecute heretics.

The Inquisitors soon grew very rich. They received bribes and annual fines from the wealthy that paid to escape accusation. Inquisitors even accused the dead of heresy, sometimes they would exhume bones of the dead for people already dead for even up to 70 years and burn them, as an excuse to confiscate his estate from his heirs.

The Inquisition had devastating consequence on the economy. Aside from directly seizing the property of successful merchants by accusing them of heresy, the Inquisitors crippled commerce by holding certain operations suspect.

By far the cruelest aspect of the inquisitional system was the means by which confessions were wrought: The torture chamber. Torture remained the legal option of the Church from 1252. It was sanctioned by Pope Innocent IV.

In 1262, inquisitors and their assistants were granted the authority to quietly absolve each other for the crime of blood shed. They simply explained that the tortured had died because ‘the devil broke their necks’.

Thus with the license granted by the Pope himself, inquisitors were free to explore the depths of horror and cruelty. Dressed as black-frocked fiends with black hoods over their heads, inquisitors extracted confessions from nearly anyone. They invented every conceivable device to inflict pain by slowly dismembering and dislocating the body. Many of these devices were inscribed with the motto ” glory be only to God”; the same idea carried abroad with the first slave ship to Africa, which was aptly named ” JESUS”.

History of Chrstian missionaries torturing of the people.

History of Chrstian missionaries torturing of the people.

There were other modes of torture, namely, the rack, the hoist, and water tortures. Victims were rubbed with lard or grease and slowly roasted alive. The most horrific of them all were the Ovens built to kill, made infamous in the twentieth century by the Nazis, were first used by the Christian Inquisition in Easter Europe. Victims were thrown into a pit full of snakes and buried alive. One particularly gruesome torture involved turning a large dish full of mice upside down on the victim’s stomach, a fire was then lit on top of the dish causing the mice to panic and burrow into the stomach. Should a victim withstand such a pain without confessing, he or she would be burned alive at the stake.

The inquisition often targeted members of other religions as severely as it did heretics. The Inquisition now lent its authority to the long-standing persecution of the Jews. Particularly during the Christian holy week of the passion, the Christians usually rioted against the Jews or refused to sell them food in hope of starving them.

At the beginning of the 13th century, Pope Innocent III (this man should aptly be called ‘guilty, nothing innocent about him’) required Jews to wear distinctive clothing; This has followed them to this day.

The Muslims were equally persecuted. Now you know that when you think of the worst vested to humankind , you may now stop thinking of the petty crimes of a few deaths committed in modern times by pockets of rebellious Moslems, the crown for the most horrific wickedness to humankind happened in the Spanish Inquisition ( In the cowls of Christianity) and Slavery!

The tyranny inherent in the belief in singular supremacy accompanied explorers and Missionaries throughout the world. When Columbus landed in America in 1492, he mistook it for India and called the native inhabitants “Indians”. It was his avowed aim to “convert the heathen Indians to our holy faith” that warranted the enslaving and exporting of thousands of Native Americans. That such treatment resulted in complete genocide did not matter as much as that these natives had been given the opportunity of everlasting life through their exposure to Christianity. The same sort of thinking also gave Westerners the license to rape women. In his words own words, Columbus described how he himself ” took (his) pleasure” with a native woman after whipping her “soundly” with a piece of rope.

The inquisition quickly followed their wake. By 1570 the inquisition had established an independent tribunal in Peru and the city of Mexico for the purpose of “freeing the land, which has become contaminated by Jews and heretics”. Natives who did not convert were burnt like any other heretic. The inquisition spread as far as Goa, India, where in the late 16th and 17th century it took no less than 3800 lives (recorded).

Even without the formal Inquisition present, missionary behaviour clearly illustrated the belief in the supremacy of a single image of God, not in the supremacy of one all-encompassing divinity. If the image of god venerated in a foreign land was not Christian, it was simply not divine. If the image is not their image, it is heresy, for which you could be subject to any one of those torture options enumerated in the previous chapter.

Portuguese missionaries in the Far East destroyed Pagodas, forced scholars to hide their religious manuscripts and suppressed old customs.
I have not delved into African slavery here; it is a big topic on its own. It is a pet project for which I will devote my time and complete the ” WHITE DEVILS” I have been meaning to write. First I have to go through Chancellor Williams’ ‘ The destruction of a black civilization’ for the third time. I hope to deliver this hopefully this time next year, all things being equal.

Well, That is it! I hope I have been able to shed some light on the bloody road christianity has taken, and for my believer readers you have some resonance from the last chapter on the inquisition and are able to draw some parallels. The story above clearly shows you what your enslavers had in mind when they brought you their bible. They wanted to spread their supremacy and control you with their own single image of God- their God. Not blaming them , it is human nature, survival of the fittest. The question is ” when will you wake up?”

The Missionaries that came to your lands, accompanying the explorers often took part in the unscrupulous exploitation of foreign lands. many became missionaries to get rich quickly and then return to Europe to live off their gains. In mexico, Dominicans and Jesuits were known to own the largest flocks of sheep, the finest sugar ingenios and best estates. the church , particularly in South America ( We will leave Africa out of it for now) supported the enslavement of native inhabitants and the theft of native lands. ( Is anybody still complaining about what our hero, Mugabe, has done?)
North America is also another big topic, suffice to say that the 18th century Anglican church made it clear that christianity freed people from eternal damnation , not from the bonds of slavery.

The bishop of london wrote:
The freedom which Christianity gives , is a freedom from the bondage of sin and Satan, and from the Dominion of men’s Lusts and Passions and inordinate Desires ; but as to their outward condition, whether that was before, whether bond or free, their being baptised, and becoming Christians, makes no manner of change in it

Slaves should however be converted to Christianity , it was argued, because it would make them more docile and obedient.

That is a good point to end this lecture . Thank you for your time.

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