Monday, July 1, 2013

Part 2: When Jesus is a Hard Atheist

“The almighty God of vengeance has chosen you to be the instrument of his wrath against his enemies.”

Gregory XV

“When it is a case of only upholding some spiritual tenet, such as infant baptism, original sin…we conclude the stubborn sectaries must be put to death.”

“If I had all the Franciscan friars in one house, I would set fire to it…To the fire with them!”
…Why do we not rather assault these monsters of perdition, these cardinals, these popes, and the whole swarm of the Roman Sodom, who corrupt youth and the Church of God? Why do we not rather assault them with arms and wash our hands in their blood?"

First to set fire to their [Jews’] 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…Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed…I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb.”

Martin Luther

Preaching for the start of the 2nd Crusade:
“Fly then to arms; let a holy rage animate you in the fight, and let the Christian world resound with these words of the prophet, “Cursed be he who does not stain his sword with blood!”
“If the Lord calls you to the defense of His heritage think not that His hand has lost its power. …His goodness has caused to dawn for you a day of safety by calling on you to avenge His glory and His name."

“Christian warriors, He who gave His life for you, to-day demands yours in return. These are combats worthy of you, combats in which it is glorious to conquer and advantageous to die. Illustrious knights, generous defenders of the Cross, remember the example of your fathers who conquered Jerusalem, and whose names are inscribed in Heaven; abandon then the things that perish, to gather unfading palms, and conquer a Kingdom which has no end.”

But Christ's knights can fight their Lord's fight in safety, fearless of sin in slaughter of their adversaries and fearless of danger at their own deaths, since death suffered or dealt out on Christ's behalf holds no crime and merits great glory. Hence one gains for Christ, and then gains Christ Himself, who most willingly accepts the death of an adversary for the ends of vengeance and then even more willingly offers Himself to a knight for the end of consolation. Christ's knight deals out death in safety, as I said, and suffers death in even greater safety. He benefits himself when he suffers death, and benefits Christ when he deals out death.”

“The Christian glories in a pagan's death, because Christ is glorified;”

Bernard of Claurvaux

“I hope the Portuguese will forswear fratricidal strife with the Spaniards and bathe their swords in the blood of heretics in Europe, in the blood of Moslems, the blood of the heathen in Asia and America…conquering and subjugating all regions under one Crown and under the feet of the successor of blessed Peter…”

Antonio Vieira SJ, a sermon in Lisbon, 1642

“There is no better way of preaching than with the sword and the rod of iron…”

Anchieta, first Jesuit Provincial of Brazil

“To keep ourselves right in all things we ought to hold this point: what I see as white I would believe black if the hierarchical Church determined it so.”

Ignatius Loyola

Claiming that the Civil War slaughter was God’s will: “The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?”

Abraham Lincoln

On fighting the American revolutionaries: “…I trust I shall stand acquitted in the eyes of God and men in denouncing and executing the vengeance of the state against the willful outcasts—the messengers of justice and of wrath await them in the field; and devastation, famine and every concomitant horror that a reluctant but indispensable prosecution of military duty must occasion, will bar the way to their return.”

British General Burgoyne

“Jesus was saying was not that you will build my Kingdom, but you will build my Church with the sword….
“What I believe that He was saying was in ‘building My Kingdom, you will be attacked you will have to fight physical battles at times’. And remember, eleven of those disciples were martyred for their faith."

American General Boykin, 2010

These Christian leaders, and many others have claimed God is calling us to go to war and kill others,
in contrast
Jesus said,
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God… You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Matthew 5: 9, 43-48

In the Light,
Daniel Wilcox