Freedom...But Only The Right Kind of Freedom

Fun With Christianists: Things You Can Learn in a Christian ‘World History & Cultures’ Textbook (Part 3)

Pagan babies! Get your pagan babies here!It’s another exciting installment of our Sunday visits to Planet Earth as portrayed in Christianist textbooks! We’re continuing to mine a 10th-grade text, World History and Cultures In Christian Perspective, 2nd Ed. (A Beka Book, 1997) for all the snark it can yield. As we learned last week, the most important events in European history involved the “perversion” of True Biblical Christianity by the “Church of Rome” and the eventual triumph of the Protestant Reformation. This week: Fun with Church and State!

You know what the Christian Right likes? (OK, besides “rentboys.”) That’s right: Freedom! That’s what the Reformation was all about, remember, the sacred right to read the Bible for yourself and get your salvation straight from the word of God. So of course it follows that political freedom is good, too … unless, maybe, things get unruly.

After his break with Rome, Martin Luther was approached by German peasants who “hoped that the preaching of true, scriptural Christianity in Germany would…influence the feudal lords to treat the peasants more justly” (p. 257) Luther, in response to a petition from clergy on the peasants’ behalf, urged the nobles to reform, but

  • To the peasants, however, Luther advised patience. Violence and revenge would only make matters worse, bringing disorder and more tyranny. He wrote:

    If wrong is to be suffered, it is better to suffer it from rulers than that the rulers suffer it from their subjects. For the mob has no moderation, and knows none … It is better to suffer wrong from one tyrant, that is, from the ruler, than from unnumbered tyrants, that is, from the mob.

    [The] peasants were not at all satisfied with Luther’s response; they felt he had betrayed them. Luther’s language had been strong, but he was trying to make it clear that Christianity must not be thought of as a revolutionary political movement. Spiritual freedom does not always guarantee political or economic freedom” (p. 257).

We’re not sure whether this warning about the need for good Christians to quietly put up with tyranny precludes them from taking Second Amendment solutions to Obamacare, but to be fair, it’s possible that not even Martin Luther could have forseen the awful tyranny of a government making people buy health insurance.

For all of World History’s worries about doctrinal purity, it is remarkably blasé about the very worldly motivations for the Reformation’s arrival in England. It acknowledges that Henry VIII was looking for a hot younger wife in Anne Boleyn, but since “England was ripe for spiritual reformation” and the “break with Rome was a necessary first step in the English Reformation,” the textbook’s editors seem willing to give a pass to Henry’s randy johnson.

After all, “only a strong king like Henry VIII could take such drastic measures.” His worst excesses were, of course, doctrinal:

  • Despite the progress made under Henry VIII, the fact remained that the English king simply replaced the pope… [and took] complete control of English religion and politics. He ruthlessly suppressed pro-Romanist rebels … [but] he basically agreed with the Roman church on doctrine and practice. In fact, Henry had Parliament pass legislation making much Roman doctrine, including transubstantiation, the official belief of the Church of England (pp. 264-265).

The six wives and the tyranny? (The heads. You’re looking at the heads. Sometimes he goes too far. He’s the first one to admit it.) Sure, a bit tyrannical. But the Romish trappings of the Church of England? NOT COOL, DUDE.

OK, so you know where all this Church of England stuff is headed: Puritanism, yay! Under Charles I,

  • Dissenting Puritans experienced severe persecution at the hands of both royal and church officials, suffering imprisonment, whipping, branding, and other abuses. Many Puritans left England at this time; in fact, some who had feared such persecution had already taken refuge in America, where they established the colony of Massachusetts in 1630.

Where they proceeded to persecute other Christians who didn’t do God right, especially those awful Quakers. Oddly, World History doesn’t mention that stuff at all; we strongly recommend you read Sarah Vowell’s The Wordy Shipmates for some excellent history and commentary, such as this gem from Vowell’s discussion of John Winthrop’s shipboard sermon on departing from England for the New World (best known for its “city upon a hill” metaphor, which didn’t include the word “shining” — it took a Reagan to add that propaganda):

Because of the “city upon a hill” sound bite, “A Model of Christian Charity” is one of the formative documents outlining the idea of America. Dig deep into its communitarian ethos and it reads more like an America that might have been, an America fervently devoted to the quaint goals of working together and getting along. Of course, this America does exist. It’s called Canada.

World History skips over those early years of the New England colonies in its hurry to get to the Great Awakening, that outburst of revivalism from the 1730s to 1750s that gave us Jonathan Edwards and his cheerful sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” The textbook takes at face value Edwards’ own 1734 report of the revival campaign’s success:

  • The tavern was soon empty. People had done with their quarrels, backbiting, and intermeddling with other men’s matters…. It was a time of joy in families on account of salvation being brought unto them; parents rejoicing over their children as new born, and husbands over their wives, and wives over their husbands (p. 328).

The sourcing on that “empty tavern” story seems questionable, but we’re just spoilsports that way. Never ones to miss an opportunity to prove that America Is A Christian Nation, the editors close this chapter with a claim that takes pains not to overreach one single bit:

  • By the end of the Great Awakening, America was ready to face the hardships of war and the challenge of founding a new nation. Spiritual revival had prepared the people with a new appreciation for religious liberty and a greater understanding of the principles of political liberty…

    The American people felt a sense of unity and responsibility, characteristics they would need to stand together against the tyranny of the mother country (p 329).

Well, there you go. History really is much simpler and easy to understand when you reduce it to the story of how God arranged things so that America would eventually happen.

Next Week: Why the American Revolution was awesome, and the French Revolution was terrible. (Hint: Blame the Enlightenment and humanism…and, sure, the Church of Rome, of course.)

About the author

Doktor Zoom Is the pseudonym of Marty Kelley, who lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his nym from a fan of Silver-Age comics after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom
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    1. WhatTheHeck

      If God created man in his own image how come we're not invisible?

      Well, Mitt’s wealth is invisible and that’s good enough for me not to question the Bible, and, btw, only people like you, lacking in faith, can’t see us as the ghosts we really are.

      I’m invisible, I tells ya.

      1. Willardbot9000_V2.5

        Because you don't have a Christian militia to do it for you? I have spiting ability and employ it from time to time…smiting, well that usually requires the use of my old friend Louisville Slugger..

        I'm pretty much sure our invisible lord who takes no form and whom we never have any evidence of existing aside from his/her fervent believers likes to "tell" them to go smite people…or what you psychologists call paraniod schizophrenia.

    1. FakaktaSouth

      But ya know, I have found a way to deal with this, I say, lets all just get drunk on Sunday. It really does work. Join me, people of reason, it's way better and so so so much fun.

      1. Willardbot9000_V2.5

        Sure…and if anyone complains you can just say "jesus has a lot o' blood to share" before belching in their faces, which is in the parlance of Chris Christy how you say hello as well as goodbye.

    1. weejee

      Luther had the same idea for the Jews.

      First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom
      Martin Luther

    2. Veritas78

      I have trouble imagining Mitt Romney as anything but a dick, but I can see him as a phony, self-righteous Puritan. So, it fits.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      you'll probably want to make sure you get the 2010 revision, which is supposed to be largely the same, but goes up through the election of Obama. (I'm looking on ebay for that one myself)

      1. Willardbot9000_V2.5

        especially if the thesis contains sections describing teabaggers and conservatives…that topic alone is worth a multi-volume encyclopedia of stupidity, mental illness and self-delusion.

    2. cobweb2

      I, too, was going to order the text book because I can't wait for Wonkette's next week's critique, but the prices on Amazon and Ebay suggest that the novel has become a cult classic collectible which is out of my reach.

          1. WordSaladNation

            Couldn't find the third edition for less than one million whore diamonds, so I had to settle for the 1997 edition…HOWEVER, I'm going to try to buy up a few of these Christian tomes for the thesis, so I will definitely make sure to get one that's been updated since The Great Satan was elected.

          2. iTuna

            If you say you're with a school, and are looking into adopting a textbook, you can generally get the publisher to ship you one for free.

            Just saying.

    3. PsycWench

      Make sure you work "illusion of control", "cognitive dissonance", "confirmation bias" and my personal favorite here, "false consensus bias" into the thesis. Because these books exemplify each and every one.

          1. Doktor Zoom

            What the hell is Joe Bob up to these days? His first collection of columns was a formative influence on my appreciation of cheesy movies.

  1. sbj1964

    If you are over the age of 6 yrs old,and still have an imaginary,invisible friend that you talk with;you are delusional,and need professional help.

        1. Beowoof

          I know, but I still come here and say mean shit about people who need it. I do that for my own venting. And my friends here in Rochester need a walk.

      1. Willardbot9000_V2.5

        haha, same thought. I was also thinking about her penchant for surrounding herself with closeted gay guys whom she insists are heterosexual (they're just…fascinated by gay buttsecks) alongside this sort of nuttery as part and parcel for her burgeoning insanity plea…

  2. eggsacklywright

    Church of England. Hmph. When do we get the Church of America? I know the wingnuts are working on it, but, time's a-wastin'.

        1. weejee

          Shockingly so. When you bend over to light the candle putting your cathode in the air, the Cardinal's anode will come a calling and there will be ions for daze.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        Also, though there's no good copy of it online, Chas Addams' cartoon: "So there's a cardinal in the bird feeder. Big Deal!"

        1. tessiee

          I thought "Rockin' Robin" was about having a song with a flute solo that was awesome and did not suck.
          "Hocus Pocus", perhaps less so.

          1. tessiee

            is there no room for diversity in your philosophy, Horatio?
            I never said I *didn't* like "Hocus Pocus".
            "Hocus Pocus" is THE best driving/car passing song ever — yes, better than "Radar Love" — there, I said it.
            It is also the best song with yodeling in it that is not "the Lonely Goatherd". *
            That having been said, it is still not as awesome as "Rockin' Robin" by a damn sight — and I say that as someone who can't even whistle along with it, because I never learned how to whistle.
            [now you know my secret shame]
            *pre-emptively: Jimmie Rodgers libel!

          2. tessiee

            "Hymn 43" is still one of my favorite headbanging songs.

            I can exclude Ian Anderson's flute playing from the Canon of Suck, but there is no forgiveness for wearing brown corduroy pants.

  3. fartknocker

    "Spiritual freedom does not always guarantee political or economic freedom."

    So this is why abstinence is such a great policy for controlling the creation of babies, but the act of legitimate rape allows the woman to produce enzymes that kill the zygote, so no abortion should be allowed. I guess a woman's reproductive rights don't meet the spiritual, political or economic criteria being bloviated in this text book.

    1. Willardbot9000_V2.5

      Now you're getting it! Also notice the more than slight observation that we should let our wealthy betters do as they please because we cannot handle power as responsibily as they can. It's like every bullshit authoritarian justification roled up in one, "god wills it!"

  4. chascates

    Oh mighty Doktor, is there some country somewhere that isn't ate up with teh religionz? Some place where people are not judged by the ferocity of their Invisible Space Giant or by the degree to which they would be wiling to kill heretics/unbelievers? Or at least tell me of some place where the custom is not to ever discuss one's cosmic origin anxieties in public!

      1. chascates

        Greetings! My internet access was cut off for lack of payment and I had to rely on my fairy godmother to help me. Life without the internet is shamefully dull. Caught up on much reading however.

    1. Negropolis

      Yeah, the place is called Sweden. I'd say Scandanavia as a whole, but Norway seems to have a conservative religious streak that runs through a lot of it.

    1. Chichikovovich

      His policy of sentencing Lutherans to be burned at the stake (back when Henry and the pope were still BFFs) probably got him de-friended on Christianist Facebook.

      1. Juan_Oriley

        See, that would be a fun angle to play, but I don't know if our Paul Ryan/Bill Donahoe papists are up on their Henry VIII hatred.

    2. Doktor Zoom

      He gets only a brief mention: "Although More never joined the Protestant Reformation, he urged the church to reform the clergy and correct certain doctrines. More was later executed by King Henry VIII after opposing the king's actions against the church."

      So, for this textbook, a man for very few seasons.

    1. LibertyLover

      First experiments in the use of biological warfare: giving small pox laden blankets to the natives…seems a bit unChristianlike to me….

  5. sbj1964

    Ignorance,Superstition,Fear,Violence,Hatred,Bigotry,Backwardness,Misogyny,and intolerance these are the people of faith.One need only see the news in the middle east with the moozies representing for all to see.

    1. Negropolis

      Honestly, can you quit this? You've made your point on numerous occassions. This is almost the other side of the coin of religious bigotry.

      1. sbj1964

        I do not agree.If people of faith claim that they are one thing,and act contrary to their own set of moral standards they should be ridiculed.Whether Muslim,Christian,Jew,or any one of thousands of other cults.I hold them in contempt only because they act contemptible.They're ancient tombs contain some of the most vile,evil,ignorant,and murderous things ever set to print.They are a curse upon the race of man.And how can anyone defend the indefensible acts committed by the people of faith?

    1. larrylinn

      All right… all right… but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order… what have the Romans done for us?
      In Short they gave us Monty Python.

      1. Rotundo_

        And for that alone, they have my undying gratitude. But we did sort of have to re-discover all that good stuff since the church was hell bent on destroying knowledge as if it were the root of all evil.

  6. Chichikovovich

    Did they mention that Henry VIII was granted the title "Defender of the Faith" from Pope Leo X because of a pamphlet Henry published, excoriating Luther?

    Serious question: given the stance on political revolution, and their distaste for Charles I, how do they handle Oliver Cromwell's puritans and the regicide at the end of the civil war?

    1. viennawoods13

      Well, God WAS telling them what to do, unlike the false god who was telling Chuckles and his buddies what to do.

    2. smitallica

      Like they've ever even heard of Henry VIII, Pope Leo X, Cromwell, the English Civil War, or for that matter, England.

    3. Doktor Zoom

      Actually, yes, they mention the "Defender of the Faith" thing.

      Charles just pushed good Christians too far. After Charles "instigated a royalist rebellion and a war with Scotland" to regain his crown, Cromwell simply was "determined to be rid of him once and for all." The text simply notes that Cromwell threw the conservatives out of Parliament, deposed the king, and then the Rump Parliament convicted Charles of treason and had him beheaded. They're also not too worried about the Protectorate, noting that "many people viewed the new government as a military dictatorship rather than a republic." Also, too:

      As "Lord Protector," [Cromwell] gained powers that not even James I or Charles I could have had. On the other hand, Cromwell rarely exercised these powers. Instead, he concentrated on maintaining peace and order in England, promoting religious toleration, and defending the country from foreign powers.

      So, yeah, a little bit of dictatorship is OK as long as order is maintained. These fuckers don't mind tyrants who are also Bible-believing Christians.

      Also, the Restoration worked because "the fear that Romanism might be reimposed was enough to bring Englishmen together."

      1. Fare la Volpe

        A little bit of dictatorship is OK as long as order is maintained.

        Well at least the trains coaches run on time.

      2. Chichikovovich

        Yes – if the tyrants are Bible-believing Christians and the massacres they commit are of Catholics, like the massacres at Drogheda, Wexford, and other entertainments of Cromwell's Irish Adventure.

        Full props to Ollie on the religious toleration front, though. Inviting Jews to settle in England was huge.

        Edit: Though now that I think of it, Cromwell spent almost the entire first year of the 9 years he ruled to Commonwealth pacifying Ireland in a most bloody way. I observe that this does not seem well described by any of "maintaining peace and order in England", "promoting religious toleration", or "defending the country from foreign powers".

        1. AlterNewt

          You are right. And either way, only the God they all claim could weigh all of their righteous killing in the balance. Happy Sabbath.

  7. Jus_Wonderin

    "Wouldn't this be a great time for a piece of rhubarb pie? Yes, nothing gets the taste of shame and humiliation out of your mouth quite like Bebop-A-Reebop Rhubarb Pie."

    1. OkieDokieDog

      The overly religious need a 50 gallon drum of ketchup with its natural mellowing agents on top of their slices.

  8. ttommyunger

    Dear Wonkette: please quit trying to educate me. I am here for revenge, a good laugh or snark. I don't want to change the world, just influence it in a bad way….My other problem is that I am so intelligent, well-read and wise, that my brain is full to the brim. For me to learn something new would require me to forget something just to make room. Hell, it might be a PIN number, then where would I be? Also, keep it short; fuckwads like me have a very short attention sp…..Oh look, a squirrel!!!

        1. Rotundo_

          And yet, our government refuses to quantify a minimum daily requirement for those essentials of life. Heavy sigh, I guess it doesn't really belong in the food pyramid, but dammit there should be MDR specified for these things too! and assistance for procuring them for the financially challenged!

    1. iamrrm

      The articles could just consist of random letters, such as a monkey might type, along with a smattering of cuss words. I'm only here to read the comments anyway.

      1. ttommyunger

        Same here. When I sits, I sits loose, when I works, I works hard and when I thinks, I falls asleep.Sent from my iPhone

        1. IndianaKevin

          Reminds me of something whose source escapes me: Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits.

        1. Lascauxcaveman

          Ttommy, here's my Sunday morning gift to you (Don't worry, you don't have to memorize anything, just follow a few simple steps).

          Blessed are the nerds, for they shall haveth greater control over their electronical devices…

          1. LibertyLover

            "Wonketeers are soooo smart!"

            That's why you'll never catch us hanging with the Rick Santorums of the world.

  9. BarackMyWorld

    The history of anti-Catholic, everyone-but-us-are-sinners sentiment that runs throughout Protestant history is why I got a good chuckle out of Protestant Evangelical fundamentalists rallying around the super-devout Catholics Rick Santorum and Paul Ryan, and also Mitt Romney's religious pandering.

    1. chascates

      I'm rereading Richard Hofstadter's The Paranoid Style in American Politics (1965 ed.) and he writes that it was Joseph McCarthy's (himself a Catholic) crusade that caused traditional anti-Catholic denominations to accept the anti-Communist Catholics. Many well-off Catholics were sympathetic to the John Birch Society at that time.
      But then the Rapture-Ready crowd rally around Israel, at least until the pieces fall into place for the 'Stairway to Heaven'.

      1. tessiee

        Heshie's daughter: Whatever else you can say about the right wingers, they're a friend to Israel and the Jews.
        Heshie: Watch and wait, daughter.
        — "The Sopranos"

  10. smitallica

    Now wait. This textbook asks the peasants to quietly put up with tyrrany.

    So it WANTS us to be Catholics? I'm confused.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      No, no no…we only need to put up with Protestant tyrants.

      Hidden Muslims pretending to be Protestants don't count, either.

  11. Guppy

    Dissenting Puritans experienced severe persecution at the hands of both royal and church officials, suffering imprisonment, whipping, branding, and other abuses.

    What did Martin Luther just say?!?

    Where they proceeded to persecute other Christians who didn’t do God right, especially those awful Quakers.

    Don't forget their persecution of the Romish as well! Battle of the Severn represent!

    1. viennawoods13

      Those Puritans were nasty fuckers. Religious freedom my ass. They just imposed THEIR religious beliefs on everyone.

  12. Misty Malarky

    Jesus love the little children
    All the children of the world
    Something something
    They are precious in his sight
    Jesus loves the little children of the world

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Oh, that's easy. It ends with Jesus taking all the Christians to heaven and destroying the sinners.

      Oops, forgot the spoiler alert!

    2. Negropolis

      Seriously, you want to know the outcome of a Christian textbook? It's Jesus, silly. That's the end. That's always the end.

        1. tessiee

          Aside from a giggle about the fact that Randy Johnson's name is a double entendre (or two double entendres if you're English), I must confess I don't know who he is.

          However, we had a college football player who was a big buckaroo like that — 6 foot 7 or so, and just about as wide as he was tall. We used to say how grateful we were not to be his parents and have to feed him: "Billy Bob, time for dinner — a tossed green salad, fresh vegetables, an ox, and ice cream for dessert".

      1. LibertyLover

        OK… I thought the Bible was already pretty conservative, but now I see the error of my thinking… I wonder if the new Conservative Bible will just cut out the passages of the meek inheriting the earth and the whole of the Matthew 25 passages that speak of treating the "least of these" like Jesus…

      2. Charlie_Foxtrot

        It's important to have a literal interpretation of what conservatards think the Bible says. Goddamn libruls have corrupted it so much you can't hardly even tell Jesus hates all the same people the conservatards do.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Also, too, remember from Part 1 of our series on this fine book:

      God established civil government by ordering the death penalty (capital punishment) for murder. In establishing this first foundational civil ordinance, God again taught man the sanctity of human life (pp. 4-5).

      The power to kill evildoers with God’s permission is central to government. That alone tells you everything you need to know about these guys' worldview.

      1. bobbert

        Of course, he also ordered the death penalty for a few dozen other offenses besides murder, including sassing your parents. So the sanctity of human life roolz.

  13. Doktor Zoom

    OT: Peter Sagal on that amateur movie trailer: "The movie's been getting really bad reviews. Saudi Arabia gave it 'Two thumbs off.'"

      1. HistoriCat

        The idea that God is constantly tinkering with the world and reworking fundamentals of existence would explain a lot. But not Jar-Jar.

  14. DahBoner

    People had done with their quarrels…

    Does this mean Mitt and all his followers have left for the planet Wackadu?

    1. tessiee


      Although, sorry to be a buzzkill, but the thread is about the church kind of cardinal, not the bird kind of cardinal.

    2. tessiee

      All snark aside, DW — you are a really amazing nature/bird photographer. You should be getting published in "National Geographic" or "Smithsonian" or "Hot Shit Nature Photographers Monthly" or something.

    3. Doktor Zoom

      That is gorgeous. And well I remember your earlier notes on the frustrations of trying to photograph wobblers! (Those are songbirds who've joined the IWW, obviously.)

  15. gullywompr

    As an atheist, engaging in any sort of analysis of religious history is like eating cold oatmeal – if you really feel that it will make you a better person (knowledge and all…), then you will force yourself to do it, but it's boring as fuck, and not at all satisfying. Now quantum mechanics… there's a juicy steak, my friends!

    1. Chichikovovich

      Especially because the use of renormalization techniques in QFT requires a belief in miracles equal to any recorded in the Gospels.

      [Killjoy mathematician speaking here.]

      1. proudgrampa

        Well, renormalization is a heck of a lot better than making stuff up, like the Cosmological Constant.

        Talk about miracles…

      2. billy_reuben

        Re: renormalization, no faith at all. If it works, keep it. If it doesn't, throw it out. If you have something that works better, replace it with that. Math is a powerful tool for modelling reality, not the other way around [even bigger killjoy physical scientist here.]

    2. Negropolis

      I don't know. I'm someone that doesn't belong to religion, but I find religious stuff insanely interesting, because it's a part of the history of humanity. Religions also informs alot about particualr cultures. Religion also produces some kick-ass art and architecture.

      1. gullywompr

        My avatar is testament to that. I dig cultural artifacts (figuratively), particularly ancient ones, and yes, you can't study Angkor Wat, or the Maya, or Easter Island without coming into contact with the associated belief systems. But when I was in 10th grade, if I were forced to read this textbook, I would have spent all my time in class exclusively studying the neck of the girl sitting in the desk in front of me. I have a hard time mustering up a fuck to give for Martin Luther, or the C of E, or the Puritans. That's just me.

        1. billy_reuben

          So, what you're saying is… when the Christian fundamentalists become a remote, mostly extinct culture, then they will become more interesting? I could get behind that. Unlike all the other cultures you mentioned, I'm not sure what the fundies will leave behind that will be worth visiting.

        2. Negropolis

          Oh, this textbook is total, utter bullshit. I like the study of religion in a anthropological sort of way. I mean, I like how you can see the differences between Protestants and Catholics manifest themselves in the architecture of, say, the north and south of the Netherlands.

          But, this subjective bullshit trying to masquerade itself as "history"? No thank you.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        Ha! I'm still not absolutely decided on "Fun With Christianists" as a series title; I'm open to suggestions. (Rebecca likes "Sundays With the Lord" but I'm not in love with that either). My kid has threatened to become a Republican if I use "Readings From the Temple Of Zoom," so I guess that's out.

  16. LibrarianX

    Somebody translate this for me – are Papists banned from using the 2nd Amendment Solutions? What about Rent Boys?

    1. bikerlaureate

      Being a rent boy isn't unconstitutional.
      ("Yet." doesn't seem like the correct followup. It's unlikely that profession is going anywhere under a Amercian regime.)

  17. tessiee

    "That’s what the Reformation was all about, remember, the sacred right to read the Bible for yourself and get your salvation straight from the word of God."

    Well, that, and getting the wealth, power, and social control of the church away from those swarthy ethnics (if you know who I mean), and into the hands of white, blue-eyed, Anglo-Saxon males.

    1. GemlikeFlame

      And it was so impressively futile that they had to reform a couple of more times before it was all over. As far as the Papist doctrine of transubstantiation is concerned, while the Lutherans and a few other denominations dismiss it out of hand the Methodists and Presbyterians profess a faith in something semantically identical. The sophistry that Henry snubbed Protestant Christendom by wholesale adoption of Catholic doctrine is utter nonsense. The Protestant Reformation had been underway for about twenty years before Henry took most of Rome's British land holdings and power away in what is generally agreed to be a largely sectarian move, except for certain revisionist Protestant "scholars". Cites if anyone cares.

      1. billy_reuben

        I care! I care! I had thought that it had been underway for about 150 years, what with John Wycliffe's Lollard movement, but why it seemingly stagnated and then later became a viable political option, that I'd like to know more about.

  18. MrsConclusion

    "The American people felt a sense of unity and responsibility, characteristics they would need to stand together against the tyranny of the mother country."

    Amen. Together, as a unified whole, they unanimously agreed to bitterly disagree about slavery. But, of course, the Bible validates slavery, which is why today our slave population is thankful–not only for the fact that we live in a Christian nation, but for our obedience to the word of whatshisname–God.

    1. sbj1964

      The Mormon's sent the money changers back in time using The backward slingshot around the sun method aboard the Kolaug Mothership.

  19. LibertyLover

    I am beginning to think that this textbook is only picking and choosing the part of history it wants to push a certain agenda.*

    *File this under the "slow learner" department. ;-)

  20. Preacher_Griz

    ahhh! so now we come to know the great pacificist/apologists/reparationists of history who have failed their peoples all begin their names with Martin Luther:

    1) Martin Luther

    2) Martin Luther King

    3) Martin Luther Barry Soeterro Hussein Obama

  21. proudgrampa

    It's just sad to me to think that: 1) people are allowed to publish this crap and, 2) students are being taught this crap.

    Thus, history will repeat itself. Over and over.

  22. mavenmaven

    Someone should remind these guys that what Luther would have called 'indulgences' we would now call 'superPAC's…

  23. sbj1964

    If you attend a religious college like Notre Dame,or Liberty college isn't that like having a degree from Hogwarts?

      1. sbj1964

        They have to be because in a religious school the correct answer to every question is Jesus did it.How can anyone even take them serious?

  24. LibertyLover

    History really is much simpler and easy to understand when you reduce it to the story of how God arranged things so that America would eventually happen.

    It's ironic that people can believe that God could plot and plan and manipulate world events in such a way as to end up with a country called the United States of America and yet they cannot believe that organisms over thousands of years can't change and evolve….

    1. tessiee

      I had this discussion, seriously, with a former co-worker who was a big Christian. I didn't really care what he actually believed, I just wanted him to admit that if God was God, and therefore all-powerful, therefore God was capable of making organisms that could evolve.

      1. LibertyLover

        If you really wanted to blow his mind… you could have asked him if God is God, why didn't he create cars and skyscraper buildings and roads from the beginning?

  25. SayItWithWookies

    Ah yes — Protestantism, which gave us several fanatical murdering tyrants in exchange for just one. And of course the real loser was science and education, including Giordano Bruno and Michael Servetus (at the hands of John Calvin) among others.

    And odd how this book, in a roundabout way, admits that the peasants knew about justice before they were brought a bible they could read. Almost makes it seem that it has no correlation to their religious indoctrination at all, really.

  26. WhatTheHeck

    King Henry VIII and the Church of England had nothing to do with reformation, but every thing to do with sex. Legal sex that is.
    He was sexing his way through his wimmens to produce a legal male heir.
    But typically of sex. It never produces the results you had in mind.

    Religious reformation, my ass.

  27. DemmeFatale

    I agree.
    I thought she might have been trying to soft-pedal it, but with a title that says: "Neocons Slither Back," I don't think she was going for subtlety.
    (I'd say Mitt deep-fried them both.)

  28. Veritas78

    If wrong is to be suffered, it is better to suffer it from rulers than that the rulers suffer it from their subjects. For the mob has no moderation, and knows none … It is better to suffer wrong from one tyrant, that is, from the ruler, than from unnumbered tyrants, that is, from the mob.

    I think Luther has this backward, especially if you go by the "greatest good" math.

  29. cobweb2

    It's all about the $$$. These people don't really believe this crap; they're selling books to the stoopids. I was going to order the text book because I can't wait for Wonkette's next week's critique, but the prices on Amazon and Ebay suggest that the novel has become a cult classic collectible which is out of my reach.

  30. poorgradstudent

    It is better to suffer wrong from one tyrant, that is, from the ruler, than from unnumbered tyrants…

    Wait, Martin Luther had to put up with Libertarians too?

  31. vulpes82

    "Christianity must not be thought of as a revolutionary political movement" Yes, NOTHING revolutionary at all in Jesus's teachings. He was totally just a status quo kind of guy.

  32. worrierqueen

    How lazy would you be to create a universe and then loaf around for 13.7 billion years. Surely his unemployment benefits have run out by now?

  33. sbj1964

    One should ask themselves would I ever join a club that promotes hatred,the denigration of women,war,rape,murder,incest,cannibalism,slavery,ignorance,fear,superstition,homophobia,and intolerance?Most would say "NO".Well if you belong to a church,mosque,or temple you do.And if you don't believe me; read your membership book.

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