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#Fundamentalists : They only want to help

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 7.52.12 AMWolf Hall episodes are available. I found 2-5. The video quality is subpar but the dialogue is unforgettable. Take this exchange between Thomas Cromwell and Thomas More (way too many Thomases in the 16th century):

Scene: Cromwell working at his desk. More comes to see him to speak to him about Cromwell’s friend and fellow lawyer Bainem who has been accused of {{gasp!}} reading the bible in English and speaking heretical views on grace and communion and purgatory.


Cromwell: Lord Chancellor, you should have warned me. Will you have something to eat?

More: Thank You, no.

Cromwell: Drink then? Some wine?

More: Your friend, Bainem? He has recanted his heresy and been set free. I thought you should know.

Cromwell: Well, thank you.

(Cromwell returns to his work. More looks disappointed and turns to leave. Cromwell looks up.)

Cromwell: I heard he’d been put to the rack.

More: To save his soul, I would have had him whipped, I’d have had him burned with irons, I would have had him hung by his wrists. In these last 10 years, the Turks have taken Belgrade, lit fires in the great library of Buda, only two years since they were at the gates of Vienna. Why would you want to make another breach in the walls of Christendom?

Cromwell; (laughing) The King of England is not an infidel. Nor am I.

More: I think your faith is for purchase. I think you would serve the Sultan if the price was right. Do you think because you’re a councilor that you can negotiate with heretics behind the king’s back? No. I know about your letters that come and go. I know that you are in communication with Tyndale (note: Tyndale was a proponent of translating the bible into English and was hounded out of England by the Catholic faction)

Cromwell: Are you threatening me? (Join the crowd) I’m just interested.

More: Yessss, yes, That’s precisely what I’m doing.


They only cause you excruciating pain and death because they love you.

There you go. The 16th century version of ISIS with a Christian twist. Since then, the protestants and catholics have switched on who has the upper hand. In this century, in this country, the protestants do. But they’ve occasionally joined forces with the catholic faction to oppress women.

As for poor Bainem, he soon recanted his recantation.  More had him burned. For his own good, of course.

6 Responses

  1. Fundamentalists of any faith think God (or the gods, for polytheists) shares their obsessions with power and simian social hierarchy, and so shares their cruelty.

    They see God as an alpha male primate. An AMP tends to be touchy about respect, and shamelessly wrathful against perceived slights, because the alpha male fears that insufficient bowing and scraping may indicate an imminent attempt to overthrow the alpha male. Of course, that is foolish. It’s the guy kissing your butt you need to be wary of–he’s probably got his eyes screwed upward, picking out the best spot on your back to stick a knife eventually.

    Part of the problem is that humans have not yet encountered any non-human intelligences with which we can communicate, and so we find it difficult to imagine that a non-human intelligence, such as a god or the God, might not share our human obsession with power and hierarchy, and the cruel mindset which comes from that obsession. (The whales show great intelligence, but we can’t communicate with them.)

    It also stems from the pre-scientific belief that the gods or the one God control, and even micromanage, the natural environment. In this worldview, natural misfortunes such as diseases and storms become the wrath of the gods or the one God. Like a small child who thinks his/her parents got divorced because s/he misbehaved, pre-scientific people think natural misfortunes are punishment from the gods or the one God, rather than the mindless workings of an indifferent natural universe.

    This view is extended to hybrid social/natural misfortunes such as poverty, leading to the puzzling fact that many professed Christians consider the poor to be poor because they are sinful, and so it is a mistake to give them money through a sensible welfare state, and even private charity must have a thousand and one strings attached. They believe this despite the clear instructions from Scripture and church doctrine to take care of the poor. One thing the Right and the Left agree upon is that poverty results from sin. They disagree, crucially, about whose sin it is. The Right thinks the poor are poor because the poor sin. The Left knows the poor are poor because the poor are sinned against.

    Conversely, fortunate events, such as riches, are seen as favors from the gods or the one God–so it is wrong to take any portion of “God’s favors” from the “worthy” and distribute them among the “unworthy”.

    I’ve yapped enough for now. I need to get ready to go to church. :mrgreen:

  2. “They see God as an alpha male primate.”

    Or as someone, I think it was Tiptree, put it:
    “having the secondary sex characteristics of one half of a weakly dimorphic species.”

    I always used to wonder who, other than human female virgins, that hairy omnipotence was constructed to mate with.

    • I would expect God has a physical form only when S/He chooses to have one.

      If I understand correctly (I don’t bother to think much about it), God did not “mate” with Mary the way Zeus mated with too many mortal women to count. One reason the “Immaculate Conception” was “immaculate” is that the ordinary method was not used.

      As for me, I lean toward a heretical notion: Jesus was the biological son of Joseph, and God adopted him some time after Joseph died. (Joseph does not appear in the stories of Jesus’s adult life, so we can assume he died before Jesus began his ministry.)

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