Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Inquisition was a Good Thing

I hadn't heard about the Nazi-wanna-be group "Youth for Western Civilization" until I heard about Tom Tancredo getting run out of UNC-CH by a broken window, that I wrote about yesterday. The founder of the chapter of that group at UNC-CH, Riley Matheson, gave an interview before that whole fiasco, going on about the views and goals of the group. The one thing that struck me as absurd above all the others, of course I love medieval history, so it might just be me, was his comments about the Inquisition.
At the same time, YWC promotes a celebration of western European culture. On the YWC Web site and Facebook group, there are numerous historical references to European culture. I was wondering how that plays into your role at UNC.

"The problem with university students and faculty is that there is basically, in our opinion, a deep mistrust and hatred of Western heritage. We're constantly focusing on the sins of our past. It's not to say they weren't sins. It's just to say that we need to revitalize our culture and not constantly talk about mistakes we might have made. We've long since made up for the sins we might have committed."

Do you mean slavery and the Inquisition?

"I can definitely say that slavery's one of the sins. When it comes to things like the Inquisition, I'd rather not comment—I don't want to condemn it. That's a personal opinion, and not really a club opinion."

You have got to be kidding me. You don't want to condemn the torture and murder of hundreds of thousands of people because of thought crimes? WTF are these people smoking? The Inquisition tortured people to extract confessions. They wanted to know if anyone else might be heretics or were skiving off of their Catholic duties. They used waterboarding, the rack, and in certain times and places, things worse than that. The Spanish Inquisition, which is probably the most well known thanks to Monty Python's Flying Circus, was apparently renowned for their creative torturing of prisoners. But they weren't the only Inquisition. There were plenty of others that operated all over Europe from the mid-13th century when it was founded to combat Catharism in the Languedoc to the 19th century. In fact, the Holy Office of the Inquisition still exists to this day in Catholicism, albeit under a different name, The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

When someone wouldn't give in under torture and condemn other people, and renounce any thoughts that they had that were contrary to the "good" teachings of the Catholic church, they were turned over to the secular arm of the government and burned at the stake, or in certain other times and places drawn and quartered, dragged by horses and/or hanged. Sometimes if the "crime" was a small one, they were given penance, and if they relapsed into their heresy, they didn't get a third chance. The second trial was a certain death sentence. And this stupid bastard doesn't want to condemn any of that, indeed, it seems that he wasn't keen on telling the interviewer what he really thought about it since he didn't want to comment on it. I wonder why? Could it be because he fancies doing that sort of thing to people?


  1. I dont want to condemn it? Uh, yea your response would be a most professional sounding WTF statement if I ever read one. Honestly you are a lot nicer about it than I am. I love Western History too, for lots of different reasons, but not because I want to go forward with emulating mistakes and sins committed in the past, or worse yet, lionizing them for some misguided political movement. Or my personal favorite, reinventing the wheel in the worst sense--as in those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it??

    Wow this guy is a serious nutter.

  2. I often wonder if it's a willful ignorance that they don't know anything about history, or that they do know, but try to justify it.

    And there are lots of good things about western Civilization, but there are lots of good things about other civilizations too. And obviously, there are a lot of bad things as well. People are people.

  3. I can almost hear it now, "Ahhhhhh, the halcyon days of mass torture under the tutelage of Torquemada. Those were the days. If you weren't one of us, we made you one, or you died. No multiculturalism there, I tell ya." I can just see that idiot creaming his jeans over that. What a moron.

  4. In other words these clowns are nothing more than Nazis in jeans and T-shirts!

  5. The Nazis were probably smarter. I seriously doubt if what passes for our "Nazi Party" here in the U.S. would qualify for anything other than Cannon Fodder or Dr Mengele experiments. Seriously. Many are functionally illiterate on their best days. And they wouldnt pass the Race-Screening either. TO put it simply--they aint white enough.

    Authentic Naziism would be above their comprehension and out of their intellectual reach. And that is not to talk the latter up. I wouldnt want it to come back--that being said, it is truly laughable to see these great slugs and hyperactive idiots who seem to fancy themselves the spiritual or ideological inheriters of Nazi culture. The only culture I see in that bunch grows between their toes.

    The horror of the Nazis was both the banality of evil, that was couched within the contrived constructs of forced normalcy. And their ability to compartmentalize their ability to gas people, starve them and experiment or otherwise murder people for reasons of race or perceived defect--and then go home, eat a nice meal, take in the theatre and watch their children play as if nothing terrible had happened.