Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 546, November 29, 2009

"How times change."

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Thanks for the Puritans
by A.X. Perez

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

I'm Catholic, no apologies, I'm of the opinion that the Roman Church is closer to the straight skinny than any other church. That said, thank God for Protestantism and Puritanism. Without them the concept of liberty wouldn't exist.

Did you know Odin was a king's god, Thor a peasant's? Check every pagan religion as they were practiced in the old days and you will find similar dichotomies: gods for the bosses, a different set of gods for the peasants. The Catholic Church continued this tradition with the custom of people asking the Saints to pray for them. The kings pray to Jesus, the peasants ask Mary and Joseph (and often a Christianized local godling) to pray to Jesus for them.

By dumping veneration of the Saints (correctly or darkest heresy) Protestants put us all to worshipping the one Triune God. We are all brothers in Christ, king or commoner doesn't matter. The beginning of egalitarianism.

Division of Church from State could not have occurred if everyone was Catholic, there would have been no need for freedom of religion, at best tolerance for Jews, Moslems and Orthodox Christians.

The biggest advance of course was the Puritans. They questioned whether it was proper for a sinner (Say Chuckie Stewart I) to be the head of the Church over Saved. This leads to the need for separation of Church and State. The process begun by splitting the church between Catholic and Protestants leads to the recognition that the head of the State should not be the head of the Church.

This finally leads to the idea that there should be no established Church, not toleration of other Churches but the freedom to practice whatever religion the Spirit leads you to. From here the step to intellectual freedom and freedom of speech and press becomes almost inevitable.

The need for intellectual freedom makes people realize that men (and women) cannot have masters, that we must be free. This came full circle when in the 1980's the Catholic Church became the center of resistance to the Communist rulers of Poland.

The same Church whose leaders had so often geeked for tyrants, the same Church whose breakup was needed to start the flood of freedom become the rallying point of those who needed to be free.

How times change.


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