I think there are certain alpha males (control freaks, egomaniacs) who naturally gravitate toward seeking power over cities, nations and the rest of the world, either through the means of capitalism or socialism or religion. These people think they have the right to rule, or that god is calling them, or that their ideas are the best, or that they are the best. And the more power and wealth they gain, the more sure they become of themselves and/or their particular ideas and "mission." Self-delusion is an evil escalating cycle.
--Edward T. Babinski
The following are excerpts from: The Dark Side of Christian History by Helen Ellerbe
Available at amazon.com
Caption: While some Americans felt the threat to the principles of their Constitution posed by the Roman Catholic Church (as illustrated by this 1855 engraving), fewer were aware of the similar threat posed by the branches of Protestantism. In forging the Constitution and its Bill of Rights, the founding fathers of the United States rejected orthodox Christian ideology. As the U.S. Senate ratified in 1797, "The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."
The democratic priniciples established in the United States were created in spite of Orthodox Christianity, not because of it. As a treaty written during George Washington's administration and ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1797 stated, "The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."
Orthodox Christians repeatedly opposed religious freedom in America. The Puritan John Norton expressed the orthodox view of liberty of worship as "a liberty to blaspheme, a liberty to seduce others from the true God. A liberty to tell lies in the name of the Lord." When Vermont passed a bill allowing religious liberty, the Dartmouth Gazette (November 18, 1807) echoed the orthodox sentiment, calling the bill a striking example "of the pernicious and direful, the infernal consequences to which the leveling spirit of democracy must inevitably tend."
During Thomas Jefferson's and James Madison's efforts to separate church and state, Madison pointed to history and argued that whenever "ecclesiastical establishments" had shaped civil society, they had supported political tyranny; never had they protected the people's liberties.
Organized Catholics have done no more than Protestants to support personal liberty and democracy. From opposing the Magna Carta in the thirteenth century, to establishing a precedent for totalitarian states with the Inquisition, to refusing to protest the attempted Nazi extermination of Jews during World War II, the Catholic Church has championed authoritarianism and opposed democracy and freedom. As the nineteenth century Pope Gregory XVI wrote:
It is in no way lawful to demand, to defend, or to grant unconditional freedom of thought, or speech, of writing, or of religion, as if they were so many rights that nature has given to man.
Power and authority should, in the eyes of the orthodox, be exercised only by those at the top of the hierarchy.
Excerpt, pg., 183-184, The Dark Side of Christian History, by Helen Ellerbe
Thus, with lisence granted by the Pope himself, inquisitors were free to explore the depths of horror and cruelty. Dressed as black-robed fiends with black cowls over their heads, inquisitors extracted confessions from nearly anyone. The Inquisition invented every conceivable devise 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 rack, the hoist and water tortures were the most common. Victims were rubbed with lard or grease and slowly roasted alive. Ovens built to kill people, made infamous in twentieth century Nazi Germany, were first used by the Christian Inquisition in Eastern 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 naked 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 pain without confessing, he or she would be burned alive at the stake, often in mass public burnings called auto-da-fé.
The Inquisition often targeted members of other religions as it did heretics. The Inquisition now lent its authority to the long-standing Christian persecution of Jews. Particularly during the Christian Holy Week of the Passion, Christians frequently rioted against Jews or refused to sell them food in hopes of starving them. At the beginning of the thirteenth century, Pope Innocent III required Jews to wear distinctive clothing. In 1391 the Archdeacon of Seville launched a "Holy War against the Jews." By 1492 the Inquisition in Spain had become so virulent in its persecution of Jews that it demanded either their conversion to Christianity or their expulsion. Muslims experienced little better. Not surprisingly, Islamic countries offered far safer sanctuaries to escaping Jews than Christian lands.
-Excerpts from page 83-86, The Dark Side of Christian History, Helen Ellerbe
Martin Luther believed that differences in gender, class, race, and belief indicated superior and inferior states of being. In 1533 he wrote, "Girls begin to talk and to stand on their feet sooner than boys because weeds always grow up more quickly than good crops." In 1525 he supported the merciless suppression of the Peasants' War, a rebellion that his own spirit of independence from the Roman Church had helped to ignite. Although Luther could find no scriptural warrant for exterminating Jews, he believed that they should be enslaved or thrown out of Christian lands and that their ghettos and synagogues should be burned.
-page 99, The Dark Side of Christian History, Helen Ellerbe
The Dark Side of Christian History
Available at amazon.com
I've heard if you don't know where you've been, it's difficult to know where you're going.
Do you believe that centuries-old anti-semitism from the time of Christ, helped Hitler's popularity and rise to power? I have one book here, called "Hitler's Cross", by Erwin W. Lutzer, and Ravi Zacharias (Moody Press), I purchased from a resource for Messianic Jewish Books, very interesting, on page 62, the author states:
"Hitler offered himself as a messiah with a divine mission to save Germany. On one occasion he displayed the whip he often carried to demonstrate that "in driving out the Jews I remind myself of Jesus in the temple." He declared, "Just like Christ, I have a duty to my own people." He even boasted that just as Christ's birth had changed the calendar so his victory over the Jews would be the beginning of a new age. "What Christ began," he said "I will complete." In a speech just days after becoming chancellor, he parodied the Lord's Prayer, promising that under him a new kingdom would come on earth and that his would be "the power and the glory. Amen." He added that if he did not fulfill his mission, "you should then crucify me."
Hitler did become a god for millions. Rudolf Höss, commander of Auschwitz, stated before his execution in 1947 that he would have gassed and burned his own wife, children, and even himself if only the Führer had commanded it. Much of the nation came under the spell of a man who was hailed as the long-awaited Savior of a people who had become weary of poverty and humiliation.
At one of the Nuremberg rallies, a giant photo of Hitler was captioned with the words, "In the beginning was the Word." The Lord's Prayer was changed by some to read, "Our Father Adolf who art in Nuremberg, Hallowed be thy name, the Third Reich come..." If you did not say, "Heil Hitler!" when you entered a restaurant or a business establishment, you would not be served.
Hitler's Cross by Erwin W. Lutzer
The Revealing Story of How the Cross of Christ Was Used As a Symbol of the Nazi Agenda
Available at amazon.com