The Spanish Inquisition is Largely a Myth

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Though the horror of the Spanish Inquisition is largely a myth, it has been used to malign religion for decades, even centuries. This is not to say that the Catholic Church, or some other churches for that matter, are innocent of crimes against humanity. On the contrary we know that many in churches were guilty of such crimes. Yet just as we must expose the real crimes of powerful people, we must be sure that light of truth shines brightly. In fact, the Catholic Church did engage in the burning and torture of so called heretics, but did so much more often in other countries of Europe. The BBC has actually produced some good documentaries, like the one below.

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Issued on: December 28, 2020

Today is the 850th anniversary of the martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket on December 29, 1170. Thomas Becket was a statesman, a scholar, a chancellor, a priest, an archbishop, and a lion of religious liberty.

Before the Magna Carta was drafted, before the right to free exercise of religion was enshrined as America's first freedom in our glorious Constitution, Thomas gave his life so that, as he said, "the Church will attain liberty and peace."

The son of a London sheriff and once described as "a low‑born clerk" by the King who had him killed, Thomas Becket rose to become the leader of the church in England. When the crown attempted to encroach upon the affairs of the house of God through the Constitutions of Clarendon, Thomas refused to sign the offending document. When the furious King Henry II threatened to hold him in contempt of royal authority and questioned why this "poor and humble" priest would dare defy him, Archbishop Becket responded "God is the supreme ruler, above Kings" and "we ought to obey God rather than men."

Because Thomas would not assent to rendering the church subservient to the state, he was forced to forfeit all his property and flee his own country. Years later, after the intervention of the Pope, Becket was allowed to return — and continued to resist the King's oppressive interferences into the life of the church. Finally, the King had enough of Thomas Becket's stalwart defense of religious faith and reportedly exclaimed in consternation: "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?"

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