Oliver Cromwell was one of the most evil individuals in history. When I was in London, going through Westminster Abbey, I had the great honor of stomping on the spot where his head was buried. I suspect that I detest him more than any other single person in history. More of my ancestors died, because of him, than due to any other cause of death other than old age. He is what happens when extreme Calvinists take over a country. This is the type of thing R. J.Rushdoony envisioned, a nation based on Calvinist, a Cromwellian dictatorship of pure hatred, obscenity, and cruelty, all in the name of Christ. He was a dictator, with methods compared to those of the Nazis.
Because of Cromwell, nearly 200,000 people died, out of a population of about five million. In Ireland, it is estimated that 112,000 Protestants and half a million Catholics died by plague war and famine. In Scotland around 60,000 people died. England lost nearly 4% of its population, Scotland 6% and Ireland lost 41% of its population. This is what Rushdoony’s followers would do to the United States. I calculated that, of my immediate circle of friends and family, if you follow the edicts proposed by Gary North, not only would my entire family be slaughtered, but I’d also be dead – for heresy. Their theology is derived from John Calvin, who was a monster, sociopath, and a murderer.
- “In the preface to the Institutes he admitted the right of the government to put heretics to death . . . He thought that Christians should hate the enemies of God . . . Those who defended heretics . . . should be equally punished.” (115:178)
- During Calvin’s reign in Geneva, between 1542 and 1546, “58 persons were put to death for heresy.” (122:473)
- “While he did not directly recommend the use of the death penalty for blasphemy, he defended its use among the Jews.” (123:102)
- In defense of stoning false prophets, Calvin observes:”The father should not spare his son . . . nor the husband his own wife. If he has some friend who is as dear to him as his own life, let him put him to death.” (123:107/59)
- He talks of the execution of Catholics, but, like Luther, did not readily attempt to act on his rhetoric:”Persons who persist in the superstitions of the Roman Antichrist . . . deserve to be repressed by the sword.” (123:96/60)
- B. James Gruet In January, 1547 in Calvin’s Geneva, one James Gruet, a kind of free-thinker of dubious morals, was alleged to have posted a note which implied that Calvin should leave the city:
- “He was at once arrested and a house to house search made for his accomplices. This method failed to reveal anything except that Gruet had written on one of Calvin’s tracts the words ‘all rubbish.’ The judges put him to the rack twice a day, morning and evening, for a whole month . . . He was sentenced to death for blasphemy and beheaded on July 26, 1547 . . . Evangelical freedom had now arrived at the point where its champions took a man’s life . . . merely for writing a lampoon!” (114:176/61)
- Durant gives further detail:”Half dead, he was tied to a stake, his feet were nailed to it, and his head was cut off.” (122:479)
- C. Comparet Brothers In May 1555, a drunken riot occurred, precipitated by a group which objected to the excess of foreign refugees in Geneva. Dissidents of Calvin were termed “Libertines.” “The brothers Comparet, two humble boatmen, were executed and pieces of their dismembered bodies nailed on the city gates.” (46:192)
- “The Comparet brothers, with Calvin’s approval, were tortured . . . Under the rack they said the riot had . . . been premeditated, but denied this again before their execution. A number, including Francois Berthelier, were beheaded . . . Several others were banished, and the wives of the condemned were likewise driven from the city.” (123:48)
- “All the other leaders of the party took flight and were sentenced to death in their absence.” (46:192)
- D. Michael Servetus
- The most infamous execution in Geneva was that of Michael Servetus, a Spanish physician who denied the Trinity, and was a sort of Gnostic pantheist. He had met Calvin, and the latter declared on February 13, 1547 in a letter to Farel: “If he comes, provided my authority prevails I will not suffer him to return home alive.” (46:186)
- “With Calvin’s knowledge and probably at his instigation, . . . William Trie, of Geneva, denounced Servetus to the Catholic Inquisition at Vienne and forwarded the material sent by the heretic to Calvin.” (114:177) Daniel-Rops says of this episode, that “Protestant historians refer to it with embarrassment.” (46:187) “The fact cannot be dodged that Calvin delivered Servetus to the Inquisition, and then tried either by a lie or a subterfuge to cover his part in the matter.” (123:42) “Upon arriving at Geneva on August 13, 1553, he was detected almost immediately . . . through Calvin’s instigation he was arrested and put in prison. Calvin . . . hoped for his execution.” (123:42)
- “On August 20 he wrote to Farel: ” ‘I hope that Servetus will be condemned to death, but I should like him to be spared the worst part of the punishment,’ meaning the fire.” (46:190) This is the most that can be said about Calvin’s “mercy” in this case.”On October 26, the Council ordered that he be burned alive on the following day . . . That he desired Servetus’ death . . . is clear.” (123:44)
- “Calvin’s observations on this appalling death make horrifying reading: . . .”‘He showed the dumb stupidity of a beast . . . He went on bellowing . . . in the Spanish fashion: “Misericordias!” . . .'” (46:190-91)
- Henry Hallam, the Protestant historian, gave the following opinion:”Servetus, in fact, was burned not so much for his heresies, as for personal offense he had several years before given to Calvin . . . which seems to have exasperated the great reformer’s temper, so as to make him resolve on what he afterwards executed . . . Thus, in the second period of the Reformation, those ominous symptoms which had appeared in its earliest stage, disunion, virulence, bigotry, intolerance, . . . grew more inveterate and incurable.” (62)
- ” ‘Servetus’s death, for which Calvin bears much of the responsibility,’ writes Wendel, ‘marked the reformer with a bloody stigma which nothing has been able to efface.'” (46:191)
- This stigma, however, is shared by many other “reformers”, who commended this atrocious vendetta: “Melanchthon, in a letter to Calvin and Bullinger, gave ‘thanks to the Son of God’ . . . and called the burning ‘a pious and memorable example to all posterity.’ Bucer declared from his pulpit in Strasbourg that Servetus had deserved to be disemboweled and torn to pieces. Bullinger, generally humane, agreed that civil magistrates must punish blasphemy with death.” (122:484)
- In 1554 Calvin wrote the treatise Against the Errors of Servetus, in which he tried to justify his cruel action: “Many people have accused me of such ferocious cruelty that (they allege) I would like to kill again the man I have destroyed. Not only am I indifferent to their comments, but I rejoice in the fact that they spit in my face.” (46:191)…”
- February 1545 – “Freckles” Dunant dies under torture without admitting to the crime of spreading the plague. His body was then dragged to the middle of town and burned.
- 1545 – Following the incident with Dunant, several more men and women were apprehended including a barber and a hospital supervisor who had “made a pact with the devil.”
- March 7, 1545 – Two women executed by burning at the stake (presumably for the crime of sorcery, i.e. spreading the plague). CALVIN INTERCEDED apparently to have them executed sooner rather than later after additional time in prison. The Council followed his directive happily and urged the executioner to “be more diligent in cutting off the hands of malefactors.”
- 1545 – more executions, tortures carefully watched to prevent death. Most of the tortured refused to confess. Means of death varied a little to include decapitation. All under the crime of spreading the plague. Some committed suicide in their cells to avoid torture, afterward the rest were handcuffed. One woman then through herself through a window.
- 1545 – CALVIN HAD the magistrates seize Belot, an Anabaptist (against infant baptism) for stating that the Old Testament was abolished by the New. Belot was chained and tortured.
- May 16, 1545 – The last execution concerning the plague outbreak, bringing the total dead to 7 men and 24 women. A letter from CALVIN attests to 15 of these women being burned at the stake. CALVIN’S only concern was that the plague had not come to his house.
- April 1546 – Ami Perrin put on trial for refusing to testify against several friends who were guilty of having danced. She was incarcerated for refusal to testify.
- July 1546 – Jacques Gruet was accused of writing a poster against Calvin. He was arrested and tortured until he admitted to the crime. He was then executed.”
- “Calvin and Farel returned on September 13, 1541 and re-established their theocracy. Between 1542-1546, they banished seventy-six (76) and fifty-eight (58) executions took place, including thirty-four (34) women, who were burned at the stake for spreading the plague by magical means.”
The thing that bothers me the most about the tendency toward Christian Reconstructionism and the lies that are told about the Christian faith is that what has evolved from this extreme version of Calvinism is not what Christianity is all about. The worst of it is how people – good people are being led astray. The honest fact here is that, if my faith weren’t strong enough, and if I did not know the difference.
The series continues tomorrow with the reason for my current rant and rave. Trust me, it’s well worth losing it.