Take Me Somewhere Else
Admittedly, what ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is doing to bring its religious authority and to push its self-proclaimed status as caliphate to the Middle East, and to bring most of the Muslim-inhabited regions of the world under its control, is pretty darn savage. They’re brutal. We, as a Christian nation, are shocked by their behavior. What we, as a Christian nation, are forgetting is that ISIS isn’t unique in their savagery.
The Roman Catholic Church was actually the original savages starting back in the 1200’s with their inquisitions. The Inquisitions were the judicial system within the Roman Catholic Church whose job was to wipe out all other religions that went against their own. Sectarianism would have been the word in every media outlet had there been such a thing as media 800 years ago. Basically what this means is that if you did not believe in the ONE God – the creator of all things – your community, your faith, and your life was about to end due to heresy by the hands of the Roman Catholic Church. There could not be a freedom of faith back then.
While, in the beginning of the Inquisition’s young authority in The Church, imprisonment of heretics was the most popular avenue to deal with those that opposed the teachings of Catholicism. That was, until, The Inquisition met those who practiced Catharism. The Cathar belief was that there were two Gods. One God was good and spiritual. The second God was so evil that they called him “Satan”. The Cathar belief was that The Roman Catholic Church was the spawn of Satan. In fact, The Cathars called the Roman Catholic Church “The Church of Satan”. So they openly opposed the Pope and all things Catholic. This wasn’t going to do for the Pope, who tried to end Catharism through talk and action and diplomacy. It wasn’t until the murder of the papal legate, who was returning back to Rome from Southern France, by the Cathars in direct defiance of Pope Innocent III that torturous methods were introduced to end the Cathar religion once and for all in 1208.
The Roman Catholic Church, and the Pope, found that torturing and annihilating all heretics would serve their religious endeavors well, and they found that torture was pretty effective. The Inquisitions carried through the centuries, and through the land. By 1256 Pope Innocent IV gave the inquisitors total absolution to use instruments of torture to pry confessions of heresy out of their captors. There was the Episcopal Inquisition (1184 – 1230s), The Papal Inquisition (1230s), The Medieval Inquisition, the Inquisition to attempt to wipe out the Dominican Order, The Protestant Reformation and then the Catholic Counter – Reformation, the Witch Trials, the Spanish Inquisition, the Mexican Inquisition, the Peruvian Inquisition, the Portuguese Inquisition, the Goa Inquisition, and the Roman Inquisition.
The last execution of the Inquisition was carried out in Spain on July 26, 1826. This was the execution of the school teacher, Cayetano Ripoll, for the teaching of Deism in his school. Thousands of people were executed throughout the history of the Inquisitions, all because these heretics had faith and beliefs in other Gods other than the one God of the Roman Catholic Church.
What ISIS is trying to accomplish is nothing new. The Roman Catholic Church has been killing innocent people long before ISIS made it cool. ISIS’s actions doesn’t make their attempt at genocide right, but it’s not unique.