The Inquisitions Bush`s Fault? Almost ~ The Tale of Two Books

NPR has a left leaning bias, we all know that and I have proven it in the past. So reviews of a book they laud connecting the fanciful imaginations of the progressive in regards to history and Bush is a dream come true. In two reviews of the book/topic with the author of the book, God’s Jury, you can see a creeping bias, much like the pre-war Germany propaganda, has on the cover a “hooked nosed” Pope designating (implicitly or explicitly) the secular leftist hatred for anything Christian.

Cullen Murphey’s Cover:

WWII Propaganda:

Modern Islamo-Nazi Depiction:

Some NPR stories on the book/author:

1) The Inquisition: Alive And Well After 800 Years
2) The Inquisition: A Model For Modern Interrogators

NewsBusters has this in what they call a Liberal Two-Fer:

…NPR promoted it this way:

Murphy’s new book God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World  traces the history of the Inquisitions — there were several — and draws parallels between some of the interrogation techniques used in previous centuries with the ones used today.

“A few years ago, the intelligence agencies had some transcripts released … of interrogations that were done at Guantanamo, and the interrogations done by the Inquisition were surprisingly similar and just as detailed,” he tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “[They were] virtually verbatim.”

“Many people in the Bush administration were insisting [it] was not torture at all. The Inquisition was actually very clear on the matter. It obviously was torture. That’s why they were using it.”

Murphy’s own website summarizes the book this way:

The Inquisition pioneered surveillance and censorship and “scientific” interrogation. As time went on, its methods and mindset spread far beyond the Church to become tools of secular persecution. Traveling from freshly opened Vatican archives to the detention camps of Guantánamo to the filing cabinets of the Third Reich, Murphy traces the Inquisition and its legacy.

Surprise, surprise! Murphy sought out a blurb by leftist New Yorker writer Jane Mayer, one of the most prominent Bush-trashing journalists (and a favorite of Terry Gross):

“From Torquemada to Guantanamo and beyond, Cullen Murphy finds the ‘inquisitorial impulse’ alive, and only too well, in our world. His engaging romp through the secret Vatican archives shows that the distance between the Dark Ages and Modernity is shockingly short.”
—Jane Mayer, author of The Dark Side.

…read more…

This book is at odds with the most renown scholar and author of the book, The Spanish Inquisition, Henry Kamen. Take note of the difference in tone and most probably scholarship — as this interview shows… his [Cullen Murphey] connections are so general that any religion or government can be connected to this event. These generalities are not to connect a historical event to a modern one but in progressive fashion the goal of stoking emotions rather than basing something in fact/history is the prime mover.

From an Amazon book reviewer and author of Author of “Mission,” an African novel set in Kenya:

Henry Kamen’s The Spanish Inquisition is an amazing experience. It is a highly detailed, supremely scholarly and ultimately enlightening account of an historical phenomenon whose identity and reputation have become iconic. So much has been written about it, so many words have been spoken that one might think that there is not too much new to be learned. But this is precisely where Kamen’s book really comes into its own, for it reveals the popular understanding of the Inquisition as little more than myth.

He explodes the notion that the busy-bodies of inquisitors had their nose in everyone’s business. It was actually quite a rare event for someone to be called before it. And in addition, if you lived away from a small number of population centres, the chances were that that you would hardly even have known of its existence.

Also exploded is the myth of large numbers of heretics being burned at the stake. Yes, it happened, but in nowhere near the numbers that popular misconceptions might claim. Indeed, the more common practice was to burn the convicted in effigy, since the accused had fled sometimes years before the judgment, or they might have died in prison while waiting for the case to reach its conclusion. The intention is not to suggest that the inquisition’s methods were anything but brutal, but merely to point out that perceptions of how commonly they were applied are often false.

Henry Kamen skilfully describes how the focus of interest changed over the years. Initially the main targets were conversos, converts to Christianity, families that were once Jewish or Muslim who converted to Christianity during the decades that preceded the completion in 1492 of Ferdinand and Isabella’s reconquest. Protestants were targeted occasionally in the following centuries, but it was the families of former Jews that remained the prime target, sometimes being subjected to enquiry several generations after their adoption of their new faith. A focus on converts to Christianity gave rise to a distinction between Old and New Christianity, an adherent of the former being able to demonstrate no evidence of there having been other faiths in the family history.

What consistently runs through arguments surrounding Old and New Christianity, a distinction that was also described as pure blood versus impure blood, is that at its heart this apparent assertion of religious conformity was no more than raw xenophobia and racism. Henry Kamen makes a lot of the contradiction here, since Spain at the time was the most “international” of nations, having already secured an extensive empire and sent educated and wealthy Spaniards overseas to administer it. In addition, of course, Spain was emerging from a long period when Muslims, Jews and Christians lived competitively, perhaps, but also peacefully under Moorish rule. It is worth reminding oneself regularly that the desire and requirement for religious conformity during the reconquest was imposed from above.

Completing Henry Kamen’s The Spanish Inquisition prompts the reader to reflect on which other major historical reputations might be based on reconstructed myth. One is also prompted to speculate on the future of an increasingly integrated Europe, a continent forcibly divided for half a century where xenophobia and religious intolerance might be closer to the surface than most of us would want to admit.

One of my favorite quotes comes from a debate between Dinesh D’Souza and the late atheist Christopher Hitchens:

  ✦ Atheists regimes killed more people in a week than the inquisition could kill in three-centuries

 

And another reviewer:

The Spanish Inquisition by Henry Kamen is a balanced overview of this sad part of Spanish History. At 300 plus pages the author shows the motivation behind the Spanish Inquisition and that this inquisition was just that, “Spanish.” By sourcing Inquisition, Spanish, and other documentation author Kamen traces the roots and history of the Spanish Inquisition. He shows how this was a tool of the unified Spanish Crown that resulted in its own fear of it past and inability, at times, to deal with contemporary Spain, which came to be at the end of the Muslim domination of Spain and rise of the Protestant Reformation in the rest of Europe. The author does not gloss over the suffering it caused to both Jewish and Muslim converts to Christianity, but shows that overall people were better treated by “The Holy Office” aka the Spanish Inquisition than the secular courts. Remember, heresy was a secular crime, punishable only by the secular authorities. And while those Jews and Muslims who did not convert might be considered heathens they could not be heretics. So, those who suffered at its hands were Catholics. The author also shows that, for its time, the Spanish Inquisition acted rationally. For example, when the great witchcraft scare was dominating Europe and its colonies (lets not forget the Salem Witch Trials) for its part the Spanish Inquisition so this phenomena as mental illness or an overactive imagination. In other words Witch hunting stopped dead in its tracks when it got to Spain. Henry Kamen does not gloss over the torture or burnings of the inquisition’s victims, but does show that for all of Europe, Catholic and Protestant, this was not uncommon for most crimes. And, many of the victims of the Spanish Inquisition were burnt and punished in effigy. Kamen shows how the Spanish Crown used the Inquisition to deal with its fear of an Andulus (former Muslim rulers of Spain) Fifth column and the rise of Protestantism in Western Europe. Remember Spain controlled a good part of the present day Netherlands and Belgium as well as Parts of Germany. So some Lutheran ideas did make their way to Spain. But, Kamen also shows that much of Spain, mainly the rural areas, was never even touched by the Inquisition. And that the Inquisition never had whole hearted support from the crown, those in positions of power, and the common folk. It was not the Gestapo like machine painted by many of its critics. But, criticized it should be and author Kamen shows the sad effects of the Inquisition not only on its victims, but on Spain itself. The author concludes by showing that people’s view of the Spanish Inquisition is not based on the historical data available but on the imaginations of those who have not reviewed or studied this data. Overall a great work of history is this book.

A great video by a fellow arm-chair apologists is a good introduction to the topic:

~Busted~

This is an event little recognized in the study of Obama. I will post the discussion by Dinesh D’Souza on Obama’s past and why this event discussed below drives his outlook on life:

Barack Obama is making some British politicians nervous.

A bronze bust of Winston Churchill was loaned to President George Bush after the 9/11 attacks. The British government offered to let Obama keep the bust, but Obama decided to send it back. A bust of Abraham Lincoln now sits in the oval office where the Churchill one once rested.

Although most Americans view Churchill favorably, Obama’s Kenyan roots may not put him as much at ease.

It was during Churchill’s second term in office that the British brutally put down the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya. Obama’s grandfather was imprisoned and tortured during that suppression.

“The African warders were instructed by the white soldiers to whip him every morning and evening till he confessed,” said Sarah Onyango, Obama’s grandfather’s third wife.

Overly anxious British diplomats are now seeking an alternative for Prime Minister Gordon Brown to present to Obama when he visits him in the next couple of months.

Obama should not be surprised at the British reaction. Churchill has been recognized in polls as its greatest leader.

…(read more)…

Just a couple favorite quotes from Churchill:

Churchill: Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?

Woman: My goodness, Mr. Churchill! Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course.

Churchill: Would you sleep with me for five pounds?

Woman: Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!

Churchill: Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.


Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”

Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”


Nancy Astor: “Sir, if you were my husband, I would give you poison.”

Churchill: “If I were your husband I would take it.”

Dinesh D’Souza zeroes in on the roots of Obamas Rage


(Click the above graphic to hear Obama fulfill what Beck and D’souza talk about below.) Dinesh D’Souza has a new book out that I highly recommend. It pulls together many avenues of thought into the origin of Obama’s goals and worldview. In these two short Glenn Beck segments you have Beck and Dinesh talking about a topic that I think is just fascinating. I think D’Souza is one of the better thinkers out there of the semi-younger crowd. Great author to say the least.

By the way, the short clip of the video of the history of things Beck shows is refuted quite well below. I will post links to the other parts of this critique… in case you do not know, many schools play the original video… thus in a sense “brainwashing” these vulnerable minds. The part where it is mentioned that we spend 50% of our tax money on the military is just so, so false:

SEE THE REST OF THE CRITIQUE HERE

Obamas Father and His Choices of Radical Czars ~ Definitely Dreams of His Father

Dinesh D’Souza has revealed in an excellent article why he is a leading culturally minded conservative commentator/author of our day. I suggest reading the whole article, but D’Souza quotes from his fathers article where he says:

“We need to eliminate power structures that have been built through excessive accumulation so that not only a few individuals shall control a vast magnitude of resources as is the case now.” The senior Obama proposed that the state confiscate private land and raise taxes with no upper limit. In fact, he insisted that “theoretically there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed.” (page 3 of mentioned article)

This statement that may seemingly drive some of Obama’s thinking, brings to mind another statement made by his science czar, John Holdren. (Posts on Holdren at RPT, and at Blogspot [see Obama’s Czars].) Here is an impromptu attempted interview with Holdren… and take note these guys are radicals and wish to use and subvert language and definitions. So when Holdren says he was talking about using the free market to get his plans implemented, he doesn’t mean by allowing the free market to do so without coercion. His phrase in this exchange, environmental equality – is a code word for this coercion. Like Prager says, you can either have equality, or liberty, you cannot however, have them both.

The Blaze mentions that Holdrens co-authors, Paul and Anne H. Ehrlich, called for wealth redistribution (both within and among nations) “absolutely essential” in order to provide a decent life for everyone. Which makes sense of this goal quoted here:

Resources must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries,” Holdren and his co-authors wrote. ”This effort must be largely political, especially with regard to our overexploitation of world resources, but the campaign should be strongly supplemented by legal and boycott action against polluters and others whose activities damage the environment. The need for de-development presents our economists with a major challenge. They must design a stable, low-consumption economy in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth than in the present one. Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.

This is all providing explanations for D’Souza’s list of apparent contradictions in Obama’s actions as an AMERICAN President. I look forward to Dinesh’s book. It should provide meat for the soul and mind. By the way, if you do not know about Paul Ehrlich background and failed predictive powers, I highly suggest a book by Julian Simon entitled, Hoodwinking the Nation. An absolutely fascinating read (click the book cover for a quick intro about the bet the two men made about resources). May I finish that when a person tells you that the two parties are the same, they have no idea what they are talking about.

Dinesh D’Souza Debates John Loftus (Apologetics 315)

Of course I would be remiss not to mention gratitude of the almost encyclopedic cataloging of debates over at Apologetics 315.

This debate is a great example of diarrhea (D’Souza’s words) from the skeptic, i.e., typical rejections of Christianity. But in all Loftus’s points (basically Christianity commits acts of evil or “evil” is commanded by God), he is missing the grand-point of how you say one act is immoral and the other is evil. This point is made by Ravi Zacharias during a Q&A by a student at Harvard, how do you decide what is evil and what is not?

Atheism cannot answer this, theism (especially the Judeo-Christian ethic) can. So Loftus is borrowing from the Christian worldview to disprove it. In other words, how does the atheist respond to rape in historical evolutionary thought? It is currently taboo, but what about our evolutionary history? What about our evolutionary future? In theism, rape is always morally wrong, at all times in history and at all places in the cosmos. Do you get it? John Loftus is calling God immoral or Christians immoral… is he saying there is a “Divine Law” that supersedes human thought so when he states such a position we intuitively know and are supposed to understand what he just said? IF this is the case, then he is proving the Judeo-Christian God, not disproving “Ego Eimi.

Here is the debate between Dinesh D’Souza and John Loftus on the topic: Does the Christian God Exist? Debate video can be found here. D’Souza offers his follow-up thoughts on the Sound Rezn radio show here (mp3). Check out Dinesh’s newest book here. (original debate source here)

Full MP3 Audio here. (2 hours)

Enjoy this debate, it snuck in under my radar.