Ralph: I heard about the Crusades of Christians killing but when I looked it up it was the Catholics who were the crusades. The Protestants were defending themselves. But has there been a time when Protestants have started an attack against the Catholics?
Edward: Yes. Iʼm afraid that when you learn history in America itʼs mainly American history, and whitewashed at that. The main events in which Protestants killed Catholics is mainly European history. A lot of killing, back and forth, went on for CENTURIES in England and all of Europe. The Protestants for their part, were convinced that the Pope was the Antichrist, which Luther taught, and as such, the Pope was caricatured as a Devil in Protestant picture-tracts. In fact, Luther also taught and believed that with the “Peasant Revolt” and the increase in lawlessness it brought, that the end of the world was nigh. Both Catholics and Protestants played up each other as “the devil.” And of course it was Luther, to whom the church had granted a vocation as Monk and scholar, who first threw down the theological gauntlet, and would not compromise, and whose inflamed speeches to “kill the revolting peasants,” and to “burn down the Jewʼs homes and synagogues and books and as they flee, grant them no safe passage,” and, who taught that “the Papacy is the Antichrist and must be defeated at all costs!”
The underlying causes of this devastating, general European war were conflicts of religion: Protestant verses Roman Catholic reform, pluralistic tolerance versus arbitrary imposition of faith, Lutheranism and Calvinism and the Protestant Union versus the Catholic League.
- George Childs Kohn, “Thirty Yearsʼ War” (1618-48), Dictionary of Wars, rev. ed.
Herbert Langer in The Thirty Yearsʼ War, says that more than one quarter of Europeʼs population died as a result of those thirty years of slaughter, famine and disease. Ironically, the majority of Europeans who killed each other shared such orthodox Christian beliefs as Jesusʼ deity, the Trinity, and even “creationism.” So you canʼt blame the horrific spectacle of the Thirty Yearsʼ War on modern day scapegoats like atheism, humanism or the theory of evolution. Such a war demonstrates that getting nations to agree on major articles of faith does not ensure peace. Far from it. Some of the most intense rivalries exist between groups whose beliefs broadly resemble one another but differ in subtle respects.
- Skip Church
In 1844 in Philadelphia, the “city of brotherly love,” Protestants besieged Catholic neighborhoods with cannon fire and pistols, and also set houses aflame, because the Catholics had protested the use of the Protestantʼs King James Bible in public schools. Martial law was declared, and it took two thousand federal troops to quell the rioting; eighteen people were killed and scores more were injured.
- Michael Feldberg, The Philadelphia Riots of 1844: A Study of Ethnic Conflicts
A holy war was set off in Brazil when a Pentecostal pastor, opposed to the “image-worship” of the nations 110,000 Catholics, displayed a statue of a black version of the Virgin Mary called Our Lady of Aparecida, and referred to it as “a horrible, disgraceful doll” while kicking and slapping it. Screaming, rock-throwing crowds surrounded the church of the Pentecostal pastor while thousands of Catholics protested by carrying images of the Virgin through the streets.
- J. D. Bell, “Nuts in the News,” The American Rationalist, May/June 1997
A 32-year-old Catholic woman was beaten to death after she refused to enter an evangelical church in northeastern Brazil. She was passing by the Church of the Kingdom of God when two pastors ordered their followers to bring her inside to attend a ceremony. When she refused, the group held her ten-year-old daughter while the pastors dragged her by the hair and beat her in order to “exorcise the devil from her.”
- J. D. Bell, “Nuts in the News,” The American Rationalist, Nov./Dec. 1994
As for the genocide of native Americans perpetrated by PROTESTANTS, along with the enslavement of Africans defended by PROTESTANT denominations in the South (and the Northern denominations did NOT complain except for the Quakers and a few evangelists), Iʼll leave that for another time.
Three Religious Truths
Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
Protestants do not recognize the pope as the leader of the Christian faith.
Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store.