By Ben Klassen
In an attempt to purge Christianity of pre-Christian and Pagan elements, the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter Reformation was born. Can you imagine? A religion trying to purge itself from Pagan elements while its birth was centered in Mithraism; a religion trying to purge itself from Pagan elements while it celebrated Pagan festivals … a religion trying to purge itself from Pagan elements while a cave-temple was dedicated to Mithra in Rome on Vatican Hill, the seat of the Catholic Church. The irony. Anyway, the Protestant Reformation was ignited by Martin Luther with fear mongering taking center stage. People were frightened with stories of the devil and the danger of magic, and they were to be convinced to believe in an authoritarian God who demanded discipline, struggle, and the renunciation of physical pleasure. A series of civil wars followed between Protestants and Catholics in France and England as well as the bloody Thirty Years War involving Germany, Sweden, France, Denmark, England, the Netherlands, and the Holy Roman Empire represented by the Hapsburgs. Although both sides considered themselves Christian, blood flowed freely, on the 24th of August 1572 in what is known as the massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day, 10,000 Protestants were slaughtered in France. Instead of condemning the bloodshed of thousands of Whites, Pope Gregory XIII wrote to France’s Charles IX, “We rejoice with you that with the help of God you have relieved the world of these wretched heretics”. Did not both Christian factions pray to the same God? Protestant mobs incited by preachers and with the endorsement of public authority, destroyed images of saints, much in the way that fourth century Christians vandalized the sacred sites and images of more ancient traditions. What ye sow ye shall reap?
Protestant leaders were no more tolerant. John Calvin, whose doctrine formed the basis of Presbyterianism, established a powerfully repressive, police-state theocracy in Geneva that is perhaps best remembered for burning the well known physician, Michael Servetus, because of his dissenting views of Christianity. Just like Catholocism, the Protestants fragmented, each new denomination laid claim to the sole divine truth, denouncing all others. Reformers taught that God was in heaven, not on earth and that any supernatural energy in ...