For the Love of God! book cover

Darrell W. Conder's

Things You've Never Heard In Church:

For The Love of God!


While recently driving through the backwoods of Arkansas, I noticed a prominent sign posted in someone's frontgodislovesign.jpg yard. It read: "God Is Love." I had seen or heard this "sentiment" many times before, but as I drove along on that beautiful fall day I started reflecting on what these words truly mean. The biggest, fattest truth of all is that no such god exists either in or out of Christian scriptures—that indeed the Christian god is the antithesis of love, the proof of which begins in the opening chapters of the bible.

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It is in Genesis where we are first introduced to the elohim (the Hebrew word for "gods") who create a man and a woman and then quickly devised one of the most cunning deathtraps imaginable with a fruit tree and a talking serpent. Overlooking the point that any logically-minded person should reject such a tale as pure fantasy (a talking snake!), let's focus on the fact that the Genesis gods purposely set the stage for humanity's fall from "grace," and then cursed every man, woman and child who will ever be born with indescribable suffering and sadistic death because some remote ancestors fell into their trap. This means that all of history's wars, all of its brutal murders, rapes, plunderings, suffering, diseases, etc., can be traced back to that hideous fruit tree death trap, as St. Paul explains in Romans 5:14: Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come."

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After the snake thing in Eden, one would think that the Adam family would keep their distance from the gods described above. Not so. In fact soon after being booted out of Eden we find the Adam family had organized into the world's first church to worship these gods—well, a kind of church, considering that there were only four members: Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel. As is the habit within churches the world over, in short order there arose a theological dispute between the two younger members. Setting a precedent for all time to come, the dispute was settled when Cain turned on his brother Abel and bashed out his brains over whose sacrifice had been more acceptable to the gods. And, who do you suppose sat by and watched the world's first murder? It was the omnipotent elohim, one of whom later introduces himself as Jehovah. Even worse, the All-Merciful One didn't seem overly upset about the murder because in one of the few instances in the bible where he shrugged his shoulders over sin, Jehovah let Cain go scot-free. In fact, he not only let Cain go, he gave him godly protection by pronouncing a curse on anyone who sought revenge—even though in Genesis 9:6 this same god commands that "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man."

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In the story of Cain and Abel we find the beginnings of humanity's descent into murderous chaos—and all because of a basket of fruit. (Romans 5:12, NKJ: "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned ..." Also see I Corinthians 15:20.) Overlooking the pettiness of the thing, one of the major problems with the C & A tale is that it directly contradicts God's promise that he doesn't hold children guilty of nor punish them for the sins of their fathers, which is clearly stated in Deuteronomy 24:16: "The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin." This precept is even more bluntly stated in Ezekiel 18:20: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him." More confusion is tossed into the mix by Exodus 20:5 wherein God gives his famous ten commandments and threatens to punish children for the sins of their fathers: "... for I the lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. . ." This threat is given force in Deuteronomy 32:25: "The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs."

So, which is it? Did God lie on Mt. Sinai when he handed down his ten commandments, or did he lie in Deuteronomy and Ezekiel? The answer is clear—there is a bold lie somewhere in this mishmash. My vote is for God lying when he promised not to punish children for their father's sins because the bible is full of examples of him smiting children or grandchildren for a trifle committed by a parent or some remote ancestor, such as the murder of righteous Abel because his mom and pop ate a piece of fruit. Hey, when it comes to punishment, the famous "God of love" seldom let bygones be bygones, an example of which can be found in Matthew 23:35 wherein Jesus threatened the Pharisees with revenge for murders carried out by their ancestors, and/or remote relations: ". . . on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar."

The cold hard fact is that no god or goddess can match the bloodlust of Jehovah, a prime example being the story of the Great Deluge. To tell that story we return to the Adam family.

After God dumped Adam and Eve out of Eden, he essentially went away and left humanity on their own. For the first 2,000 years no laws were given, nor penalties threatened, such as are found in his infamous ten commands. However, the lack of knowing what ticked off God and what pleased him made absolutely no difference to the Almighty as he sat up in heaven looking down on humanity. This is made plain in Matthew 13:14: "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15) For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16) But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17) For verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them." In other words, God purposely kept humanity from understanding his version of right and wrong, which forced the masses to "sin," and for which he perpetually stands ready to exact a terrible revenge.

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About 4,000 years ago God looked down on the earth and decided that it was a cess pool of sin—such a cess pool that it should be turned into a giant toilet bowl in which humanity could be flushed away. Never mind that God himself was to blame for human misbehavior when he cursed all unborn generations back in the Eden snake thing. Never mind that he neglected to open their hearts to their "sinful" ways so that they could be given a chance to repent and turn to him. God simply decided to arbitrarily teach the world a lesson in obedience by drowning every man, woman and child, every grasshopper, beetle, worm and ant, and destroying every single tree and blade of grass on Earth—except for a floating zoo and eight people, who, if we judge by their behavior immediately after the flood, were a piece of real work. What I mean by that statement is that after our omnipotent "god of love" carried out his global murder and destruction, old Noah crawled out of the ark and went off on a drunk, during which his son Ham, homosexually raped him in the anus. (For the details of this story, see my eBook on Genesis.)

Now answer truthfully here: Where in the story of Noah's flood do we find any traces of a "god of love?"

Because of the sheer volume of death and destruction, the flood was a hard act to follow, even for the supreme homicidal "god of love." In the rest of the bible's tales of murder the death tolls never approached those of the flood, being a bit more reasonable (i.e., not in the millions but thousands), such as when God rained down fire and brimstone on the defenseless towns of Sodom and Gomorrah, after which he murdered righteous Lot's wife with some kind of salt trick. Okay, I know that bible-pounding preachers say that the queer men of Sodom and Gomorrah had it coming, but let me ask them this: Why would God create homosexuality and then make it a sin for which he demanded the death penalty? (See my eBook "Things You've Never Heard In Church Series: Jehovah Finally Comes Out of the Closet!") Even more, what about the women and children? Why did they need to die for the "sins" of a few oversexed gay men? And, speaking of Lot, don't you think it strange that he and his two daughters were the only ones judged righteous enough to escape God's wrath back in Sodom since Lot left there and immediately went on a drunk, incestuously fornicated with his two daughters and fathered two sons? (So much for God's sense of right and wrong!)

Okay, let's get back to God murdering children for the sins of their fathers, which he says he doesn't do, but then does, a good example of which is the slaughter of Eli's children. Now old Eli was a godly man, being a high priest, judge and ruler of Israel (1Sam 2:31, 1 Sam 22:16-18), but Eli had a problem: He was a lenient father. We can certainly understand the almighty god of love being pissed off about that, since leniency seldom plays a part in his omniscient brain. For his horrendous "sin" God contrived to break Eli's neck; but the All Merciful One didn't stop there. The god who doesn't punish the children for the "sins" of the father, also went after Eli's priestly descendants.

Here they were, the Eli family, busy day and night on God's behalf squeezing gold, sliver, copper and all those other things God needs, like sheep, cattle, grain and linens from the Lord's terrified faithful, so one would expect some little show of mercy from the Great Cosmic Lord of the Manor. Not so! Decades after old Eli had "sinned," and after God had broken his neck, our god of love had the Eli family hacked to pieces.

What is so incredible is that for decades the Eli family knew of God's intentions, since he had it announced via the prophet Samuel, and they were told that their god of mercy wouldn't accept any form of repentance! No way out—the Lord was out for their blood and nothing in heaven or on earth (or hell) would move his resolve: 1 Samuel 3:12: "Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both ears of every one that hears it shall tingle. In that day I shall perform against Eli all the things which I have spoken concerning his house... I will punish his house for ever, for the offense that he knew that his sons made themselves accursed, but restrained them not. The iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever."

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Certainly, Eli was a special case, meaning that God took a personal interest in killing his family. In the case of plain garden-variety sinning Israelites, God sometimes let nature do his dirty work, such as when he let a tornado wipe out Job's children because Job was worshiping too perfectly. In Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28:53 and Jeremiah 19:9, God threatens disobedient Israelites with wild beasts, which will drag off and eat their children alive. If this failed to strike the required amount of fear, God threatened to cause the Israelites to eat their own children, which they ultimately did, if what we read elsewhere in the bible is to be believed. But, if God really got miffed, he didn't hold back—all-out murder and mayhem followed his displeasure, which we read in Hoesa 13:16: ". . . because they have rebelled against their God [read tired of worshiping an unpredictable homicidal deity], they will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open." Isaiah 13:16 threatens: "Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes...and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children."

I ask: God is love? God is mercy? God is forgiveness?

Skipping over a fair amount of godly blood and gore, let's direct our attention to the tale of the Israelite Exodus. First of all, let me point out that for no rhyme or reason God arranged for the Israel family to move en masse down to Egypt to be tossed into the misery, abuse and murder of slavery for the next four hundred years! I say for "no rhyme or reason" because we never really learn what the children of Israel did to deserve this punishment, except that they had the misfortune to be selected as the chosen ones of an unpredictable homicidal supreme torturer. Anyway, four hundred years of misery and death dragged by as God listened to the prayers and supplications of his chosen ones begging on their gnarled knees for deliverance. Interminable waiting being the key ingredient of prayer, God finally moved against Egypt with all his homicidal inventiveness—in such proportion as to put old Cecil B. DeMille and his Hollywood film to shame!

To get even with his quarry, God needed a front man for his dirty work. Now, far be it from the Holy One of Israel to simply select a man from among the millions of Israelite minions. Being the Supreme Dramatist, he first contrived to kill off all the little Israelite baby boys, save one, whom he saved in a water-logged basket. The little runt was called Moses, and in the fullness of time became to be one of the Lord's most zealous admirers.

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After first murdering an Egyptian, Moses fled into the wilderness where he had his first encounter with God via a burning bush. I think Charlton Heston and his boss Cecil B. DeMille have made most of us familiar with that tale, so we skip ahead to the time when Moses reappears in Egypt, presents himself to pharaoh and performs some divine magic with the demand to let the Israelites go free.

Now old pharaoh, being smart enough to see that he was dealing with a fire-breathing homicidal god, wisely decided to be rid of the Israelites rather quickly! But God would have none of that. He had cast the Israelites into bondage for no good reason, set the Egyptians up as the fall guys, and now he was hell-bent on killing off a large number of helpless people—and no rational human was going to spoil his fun, pharaoh or not. So what did he do? God "hardened" pharaoh's heart, which means that he prolonged the Israelite's bondage so that he could torture and kill Egyptians. Oh, and what methods of madness, mayhem and murder God used on them!

Trapped like rats, the God of Mercy tortured and killed the helpless Egyptians with a variety of ingenious tricks. He tortured them with utter darkness, he sent locusts to bring on mass starvation, he sent frogs to blanket the land, he poisoned the Nile River with blood, he rained deadly hail stones down on their heads, he covered them with boils, etc., until the land was a ruin of death and stink. It was only then that God sprung the final phase of his death trap—he "unhardened" pharaoh's heart who promptly freed the Israelites.

One can almost hear old pharaoh's sigh of relief as he watched the Israelites waddle off into the desert, only to have the Lord zap him yet again with another dose of heart-hardening. And so God's puppet pharaoh took off in pursuit after the departing Israelites. Finally catching up to the lot at the Red Sea, God sprung his trap on what was left of the Egyptians in a cunningly-devised water death. One thing you can say about the All Loving One—he does have a flare for inventive murder! But here's the real icing on the divine cake: After God had put pharaoh and his people out of their prolonged misery, he turned his "love" on the poor Israelites, who didn't fully realize what kind of deity who had them in his grip, they being cut off from his "mercy" for the past four hundred years.

The killing off of the free Israelites started almost immediately once they got into the desert, and continued for the next forty years. With the exception of Caleb and Joshua, every last man and woman who escaped Egyptian slavery was exterminated by God with armies, snakes, heart attacks, thirst and earthquakes, until the "love of God" had slaughtered the whole damned bunch—including his loyal servant Moses! The only twist in this tale is that this time God spared the children for the sins of their fathers—a logical move since there wouldn't have been any Israelites left to occupy Canaan, and no chosen ones for God to "love" in the coming years. (Actually, the children made it into Canaan by the skin of their teeth, since on two separate occasions God decided to kill off every last one of them had not Moses begged for their lives!)

It is the fashion of Christianity to preach the love of God for all humanity. "We are all one in the Lord!" "Red and yellow, black or white, we are all precious in his sight!" We see an example of God's love for people of color when he led the Israelites to the borders of Canaan. Since the land was already inhabited with people, what do you suppose our God of mercy did? Did he order Joshua and his priest to convert the Canaanites to "God's truth" so that all could live in peace and harmony? No! Did God at least order the Canaanites to leave the land? No! The all-merciful God of the bible, who loves all peoples in all lands, commanded the Israelites to murder every last man, woman, child and animal down to the suckling lamb: Deuteronomy 7:1 "When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; 2) And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: you must utterly annihilate them."

We are talking godly genocide here folks, a prime example being the Midianites, who actually were cousins to the Israelites—being descended of Abraham. Kinship notwithstanding, we read in Numbers 31 how God ordered that every Midianite man, woman and child—including every suckling babe, down to the last suckling lamb—to be hacked to death. But there was a snag to God's order. Some of the Israelite commanders didn't have God's appetite for wholesale murder, even after killing an estimated 250,000 people. What they did was to allow the Midianite women and children to live. Of course this didn't set well with the "God of love," nor his chief executioner. Giving the whole thing some thought, Moses, that supposed champion of liberty and justice, first ordered that all the little infant Midianite boys be dragged from the arms of their terrified, screaming mothers and hacked to pieces by razor-sharp Israelite blades. Casting his eyes over the female captives, and undoubtedly noting that some were quite young and beautiful, Moses displayed a spark of humanity when he decreed that all virgins were to be spared. Well, sort of spared.

Mothers, who had earlier watched their terrified infant sons hacked to pieces, were now slit open by God's sword-wielding executioners, while their pregnant daughters had their unborn babes sliced from their bellies. Those who were not mothers or pregnant, were stripped naked and herded into groups where they were "examined" by the bloodied soldiers to determine their virginity. When this perversion ended, and more sliced-up girls joined their butchered sisters, mothers and baby brothers, 32,000 naked survivors were handed over to the leering, lustful Israelite men for a giant gang-rape! And what of God's holy priests? They took their share of the booty, including 675 sheep, 72 head of cattle and 61 donkeys, and 32 virgin girls! Who among those reading this wants to try and convince me that God is love? If you want to try, then let me direct your attention to King David.

Where do we begin with David? How about in Acts 13:22 where we read the boast that David was a man after God's own heart, which, when we consider David's bloodlust, is one of the few truths found in the bible! In fact, reading through David's résumé, at times it's hard to distinguish between him and the homicidal god he served. Like his master, David's life was one long history of murder, rape, plunder and revenge—a prime example being when God used David to execute his revenge on children for the sins of their father.

When David ascended the throne of Israel he learned that God was cursing the land with a famine because king Saul had sinned. What do you suppose Saul's sin was? Something rather horrid you suspect? No! Saul's sin and ultimate fall from God's grace was because he showed mercy when God sent him to annihilate the Amalekites: Samuel 15:2-11: "Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys." Now, we aren't talking about Saul sparing hundreds of people, or even a few dozen—he spared one man and a few miserable sheep and cattle, the animals being intended for a sacrifice to the God of love. For this "sin" God ultimately killed Saul, stripped away his kingdom and went on a bloodletting spree against his children.

Actually, one of the most hypocritical, lying utterances in the whole bible is found when Saul attempts to repent of his sin and begs Samuel to intercede with God. Samuel tells Saul that the kingdom will be ripped away from him and given to another and then says: "He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind." God "does not lie"? God "does not change his mind"? What god was Samuel talking about here! The bible is full of example of God lying and changing his mind—an example being when he twice decided to kill off the whole of Israel, only to change his mind when Moses interceded. Indeed, if God doesn't change his mind, then the whole of the New Testament, with its formula for a sinner's redemption, is bogus!

Let's have this clear. The bible teaches that God does not lie: 1 Samuel 15:29: "The Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent." Titus 1:2: "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began." Heb.6:18: "It was impossible for God to lie." Sounds good, except for these contradictory revelations: 1 Kings 22:23: "Now, therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee." 2 Chronicles 18:22: "Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets." Jeremiah 20:7: "O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived." Ezekiel 14:9: "And if a prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet." 2 Thessalonians 2:11: "For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie."

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Anyway, the cure for God's curse on Israel was for David to offer seven of king Saul's sons as a human sacrifice on crosses. This was done and the story is capped off by the scene of the murdered boys' pitiful mother sitting for weeks below the rotting corpses of her sons driving off animals and vultures. (2 Samuel 21:1-10) Perhaps this story explains the meaning of Ezekiel 18:4, when God warns: "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die."

My opinion when reading the tales of King Saul and King David, is that I cannot help but feel sorry for Saul and outrage at David! Saul showed mercy by sparing a life for which he and his sons were killed by God, while in David's case no crime was too great to incur divine wrath. Take David's rape of Bathsheba and his plot to murder her husband to conceal his crime. If God does not lie, nor change his mind, as the bible clearly teaches, then God should have followed his own command and punished David with death. But he didn't do that. Indeed, God didn't even remove David from the throne of Israel. Instead he killed a new-born baby, caused a rebellion that killed off tens of thousands of Israelites, had a group of David's sex slaves publically raped, and lastly killed off David beloved son Absalom. One can argue that David suffered through these losses, but the fact is that he got away with murder and remained on his throne to a ripe old age, at which time he was given a young virgin to molest on his death bed. Even more disgusting is the fact that this wasn't the only time that others paid the ultimate price for David's follies. Let's take the time when David conducted a census of Israel.

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Before the time of David there was no problem with Israel being numbered. The Torah grows tedious with Israelite census numbers. But, for some arbitrary reason God decided that in David's time it was a sin to number Israel. Okay. God being God, we shouldn't question his wisdom. However, what is questionable is the fact that it was God who tempted David to number Israel, which immediately placed David in the role of a sinner, for which God turned and exacted a penalty for David's "sin.": 2 Samuel 24:1: "And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah." God's treachery in the census trap is further compounded when we read the same story in1 Chronicles 21:1, except this time it was Satan causing David to number Israel. This strange twist is part of the reason that some Jewish biblical scholars teach that Satan and God are one and the same being! (For a complete history of the biblical Satan, see the author's eBook A Study of Satan and Human Tragedy.) This aside, let's put the census story into perspective.

1) God got ticked off with Israel, so 2) he made it a sin to number Israel, and 3) laid a trap for David to sin by numbering Israel in order to go on a bloodletting binge—to the tune of 70,000 dead Israelites men, and who knows how many hundreds of thousands of women and children caught in the wake. Where in this tale do we find a fair, compassionate god? Nowhere! God set up David, killed off a few hundred thousand people, and then turned around and heaped the blame on his loyal servant for their deaths!

The ultimate hypocrisy in the tale of David and God is God deciding that David had spilled too much blood in his life to build God's holy temple. With God's record of arbitrary murder and mayhem one would have thought that David's life of murder and mayhem would have been a prerequisite for building such an edifice! Nevertheless, with a straight, stern face God deprived David of temple building, while giving a resurrected king David the consolation prize of reigning over the twelve tribes of Israel in God's prophesied coming new world order. I don't know about you, but with these two running the future, I opt to be elsewhere!

Earlier I mentioned that God's curse on Israel was lifted only when David offered seven of Saul's sons as a human sacrifice. Like virtually all the gods of the time, from time to time Israel's god demanded human blood as an offering. Usually he got his dose of blood from the murder of Israel's enemies, or from plagues on Israel itself, but on occasion God took direct human sacrifices, including those of young virgins.

When I related the rape of young Midianite virgins by Israelite soldiers, I neglected to mention that the original Hebrew text leaves open the very real possibility that the thirty-two virgins given to the priests were offered to Jehovah as burnt offerings, as the text specifically states that they were Jehovah's portion of the war spoils. This is a rather involved theological discussion, but one that leads into the next tale, which is the story of Jephthah and his young virgin daughter, which itself lends weight to the above possibility.

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Jephthah vowed that he would offer as a human sacrifice to the "Lord" the first person who came out of his house, if God would give him victory over the Ammonites. Now the very fact that Jephthah made such a vow proves that human sacrifice was a way of life for the worshipers of Jehovah, which is a point not made by your average Sunday-morning preacher. It also tells us something else about dear old Jephthah. My guess is that his wife was customarily the first one out the door to greet him on his return home, which would explain his vow. This aside, God gave Jephthah his victory and looked on approvingly as his henchmen sliced up twenty towns full of men, women, children and suckling babes. Upon his return, Jephthah's virgin daughter was the first one to come out of his house to meet him, which caused old Jephthah great misery. What did God do? Did he remind Jephthah of the ten commandments, which clearly state that it is a sin to commit murder? No. Did God remind Jephthah that he did not punish children for the folly of their parents? No. Did God at least feel generous towards Jephthah for butchering twenty towns full of people in his name—telling him to just forget his vow, spare his daughter and slop a few hundred gallons of sheep's blood on his holy altar instead? No. Our god of mercy and forgiveness, who had looked on approvingly as Jephthah and his butchers sliced up all those people and their unoffending babies, held Jephthah to his vow and watched as the young virgin girl was offered to him as a human sacrifice! (Judges 11:30-38) Again, I ask: God is love?

I could go on for many more pages with such examples, but I'll skip over these to get to the real culprit of this genocidal madness—Jesus Christ! I blame him because we are told in John 1:1-3 that Jesus was the god who created everything "in the beginning", which means that Jesus was the God of the Old Testament, a.k.a, Jehovah. This is made even more plain in Colossians 1:16-18 NKJ: "For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist." (Also see John 8:58, when Jesus told the Pharisees: "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." This verse fits well with Exodus 3:14: "And God said unto Moses, i am that i am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, i am hath sent me unto you.")

So, Jesus was the god who set up Adam and Eve for their fruit fall and then cursed all humanity to an existence of misery and death; it was Jesus who watched as Cain knocked out Abel's brains; he was the god who drowned damned near every living thing on earth in the great Deluge; Jesus was the god who killed off a large portion of Egypt during the Exodus, and then all the generation of Israelites who came out of bondage during forty years of torment and misery; it was Jesus who gave his nod of approval as his chosen ones slaughtered hundreds of thousands during the Israelite invasion of Canaan; it was Jesus who oversaw the slaughter of Midianite infant boys and pregnant women, and the wholesale rape of the Midianite virgins, and who accepted the sacrifice of 32 virgins from his holy priests—and the sacrifice of Jephthah's virgin daughter!

Jesus, the homicidal Jehovah of the Old Testament, resurfaces in Matthew wearing a mask of meekness, love and mercy—something like a Mafia lieutenant who dons a new identity under the Federal Witness Protection Program! Jesus' rehabilitation as a god of respectability, meekness, love and mercy is debuted during his pious but ridiculous Sermon on the Mount (turn the other cheek, bless those who curse you, etc., etc., ad nauseam), but a duel personality like Jehovah can't keep up such a demanding masquerade for long.

In Luke 19:27 shades of the old Israelite "god of love" come shining through when Jesus utters this command: "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me." Did you catch this? The same Jesus who commands his sheep to bless those who curse them, to let people slap the hell out of them, to let thieves rob them (a handy excuse for a priest or minister), does not practice what he preaches. When it comes to someone slighting our "god of love," he wants blood—and not just a little blood! Before his supposed return to earth, Jesus the Christ outlines in the book of Revelation how he will exterminate most living things on earth and utterly destroy most of the earth's surface. Talk about the spirit of revenge, and talk about not teaching an old god new tricks!

Perhaps my fundamental mistake here is misunderstanding the word "love." Perhaps I should reconsider the word within a Christian perspective—you know, the way God truly "loves" people. If I did this, maybe I could become one of those good Christian examples that one finds in history.

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When Pope Innocent III was anointed as the Vicar of Christ in 1198, one problem that faced him was heresy—a heretic in his time being someone who studied the bible. Darling old Innocent decided the best way to deal with this annoyance was a bit of Jehovah-style bloodletting. So his holiness cast an eye on Beziers, France to put the fear of the Lord into his subjects. It is recorded that the last savage Christian persecution under a pagan Roman emperor, Diocletian, killed some 2,000 Christians. In Beziers, Pope Innocent III killed at least six times that number—12,000—in one afternoon! For this day's holy work, his holiness pronounced a special blessing for his soldiers, and promised an indulgence from purgatory. Where was Jesus when Christian soldiers murdered Christian men, women and children in his name? In the same place when his soldiers sliced open pregnant Midianite girls back when he was calling himself Jehovah, that's where!

At least the victims of Christ's love died somewhat quickly in Beziers. Those who fell into the hands of the Holy Inquisition, which was a Christian office set up to seek out and punish heretics and witches, had it a bit more rough. One eye witness wrote: "feet wrenched off legs, eyes torn from their sockets, and the prisoner burned with brimstone and basted with oil." This is no exaggeration.

First of all, let's understand that torturing non-believers has a precedence in God's holy word. In 2 Samuel 12:31 we can read about David, a man after God's own heart, taking the men, women and children of Rabbah and all the other Ammonite cities by putting man, woman and child "under saws, and under harrows [toothed plows] of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick-kiln." So the Holy Inquisition had its authority to torture and murder in God's name by simply imitating the work of a man "after God's own heart," the details of which were to be found in scripture.

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When "heretics" were arrested, they were taken to a torture chamber, stripped naked (in case the Devil had applied some secret mark to their body), and were made ready for the holy work of the ministers of Christ. Typically a victim was hoisted into the air by their hands, which were tied behind their back, effectively dislocating shoulders and arms with horrific pain. While hanging in this agony, a priest might apply flaming balls of sulfur to the genitals, or feet, or breasts, or under the arms, or on the back. If the victim was a woman, there was a special device for spreading the vagina (called the vaginal pear), which allowed for the ripping of the cervix and also for placing flaming sulfur directly inside the vagina. In fact, genitalia was a special target for the Holy Inquisition, as historian Barbara Walker notes: ". . . [priests] liked to attack women's breasts and genitals with pincers, pliers, and red-hot irons." Even more terrible to contemplate is that in some cases there were no breasts to mutilate because under the rules of the Holy Inquisition, girls as young as nine years could be tortured in the name of Jesus. (Walker, Barbara G. The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths & Secrets. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1983, p. 445.)

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Dr. Paul Carus, in his famous book The History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil (Avenel, New Jersey: Gramercy Books, 1996: originally published in Chicago in 1900 as The History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil From the Earliest Times to the Present Day) provides us with an example of what it was like to be arrested for heresy: "The hangman binds the woman, who was pregnant, and places her on the rack. Then he racked her till her heart would fain break, but had no compassion. When she did not confess, the torture was repeated, the hangman tied her hands, cut off her hair, poured brandy over her head and burned it. He placed sulphur in her armpits and burned it. Her hands were tied behind her, and she was hauled up to the ceiling and suddenly dropped down. This hauling up and dropping down was repeated for some hours, until the hangman and his helpers went to dinner. When they returned, the master-hangman tied her feet and hands upon her back; brandy was poured on her back and burned. Then heavy weights were placed on her back and she was pulled up. After this she was again stretched on the rack. A spiked board is placed on her back, and she is again hauled up to the ceiling. The master-hangman again ties her feet and hangs on them a block of fifty pounds, which makes her think that her heart will burst. This proved insufficient; therefore the master unties her feet and fixes her legs in a vise, tightening the jaws until the blood oozes out at the toes. Nor was this sufficient; therefore she was stretched and pinched again in various ways. Now the hangman of Dreissigacker began the third grade of torture. When he placed her on the bench ... he said: ‘I do not take you for one, two, three, not for eight days, nor for a few weeks, but for half a year or a year, for your whole life, until you confess: and if you will not confess, I shall torture you to death, and you shall be burned after all.' The hangman's son-in-law hauled her up to the ceiling by her hands. The hangman of Dreissigacker whipped her with a horsewhip. She was placed in a vise where she remained for six hours. After that she was again mercilessly horsewhipped. This was all that was done on the first day."

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In 1599 in Bavaria, Germany, a convicted witch by the name of Anna Pappenheimer, after already being mercilessly tortured in prison, was taken into the public square where her flesh was peeled off with red-hot pincers, after which her breasts were sawed off. But her tormentors were not through. The bloody severed breasts were forced into the mouths of her two sons, in a perverse parody of breast feeding the boys, who were later burned alive along with their mother. In the crowd, Anna's ten year old son was made to watch all this horror. The next day, he too was burned alive in the name of Jesus.

For males, the testicles and penis were targeted, and special devices were invented solely for this purpose such as a hollow, hinged devise that was heated glowing hot into which the penis was placed—this on top of seared flesh, smashed bones, fingernails that had been smashed or pulled out, and any other horror dreamed up in the minds of good God-loving priests to make the heretic confess his/her sins.

Some of the special torture instruments invented solely for use during the Inquisition include the brodequin, a device which was used to crush the legs by tightening, or by using a mallet for knocking in wedges to smash the bones until the bone marrow spurted out. This device was handy because when the victim inevitably passed out from the pain, it was proof of their guilt since all knew that losing consciousness was a trick of the Devil to spare his children pain. Other tortures included applying oil to various parts of the body and slowly roasting them over an open fire. Sometimes an oversized boot was fitted on the victim and boiling water or sizzling hot grease was poured inside. When considering the mercy and love of God, imagine the pain we all have felt when we inadvertently burn our fingers on a hot pan. Now consider the pain these helpless victims suffered, and the pain they endured afterwards from the horrific lingering pain of massive burns over the most delicate parts of their body.

And then there was the torture of squassation, which entailed strapping hundred-pound weights to a suspended victim's arms and legs, and then hoisting the weights up above the victim, and then releasing the ropes, which dislocated

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virtually every bone in the victim's body. It was said that several applications were often sufficient to kill even the strongest man. The wheel was perhaps the worst torture device. A naked victim, who usually already had been subjected to the tortures described above, was stretched spread-eagle on a large wheel. Wooden cross pieces were placed under the wrists, elbows, ankles, knees and hips. The skilled inquisitor then used a wooden mallet to smash the victims bones and joints in dozens of places, although taking special care not to kill. According to the observations of a seventeenth-century German chronicler, the victim was transformed ". . . into a sort of huge screaming puppet writhing in rivulets of blood, a puppet with four tentacles, like a sea monster, of raw, slimy and shapeless flesh (rohw, schleymig und formlos Fleisch wie di Schleuch eines Tündenfischs) mixed up with splinters of smashed bones." In this indescribably horrid state, the victim's smashed noodle-like arms and legs were then braided into the spokes of the wheel. The wheeled victim was then hoisted up on a pole and left to the elements to suffer a slow death. Eyewitnesses tell how crows would often feast on the helpless screaming victims as they begged God for the mercy of death.

The water torture began with a naked victim strapped to a table. A funnel was inserted down their throat and gallons of water were forced in until the victim's stomach was literally ready to burst. The inquisitor would then beat the victim's stomach with mallets rupturing internal organs. Or, in another variation, a length of knotted cord was forced down the victim's throat with the water, and then yanked from the mouth, effectively resulting in disemboweling.

Cleansing the soul was accomplished by forcing a victim to swallow scalding water, grease or glowing coals. We can add to this list, the cat's paw, the breast ripper, the testicle ripper, the rectal pear, the shin vice, the head crusher, Saint Elmo's belt, the rack, ducking the witch, the heretic's fork and numerous other ways to "discover" the mark of Satan.

During all of this sanctimonious horror God's ministers practiced the ultimate absurdity by blessing the instruments of torture with holy water and invoking God's blessing: "Lord God we pray thee manifest thy truth on this thy servant [the instrument of torture]. Thou, O god, who hast, in former times, done great signs and wonders among thy people by fire ... If this thy servant, who is about to undergo this trial, is guilty, let his hand be seared and burnt by the fire: but, on the other hand, if he is innocent, suffer not the fire to affect him. Lord God, thou to whom all secrets are known, fulfill, by thy goodness, the hope of our confidence and faith, while we undertake this examination; that the innocent may be set free, but the guilty detected and punished." von Bracht writes: "When the priest had finished this prayer, he sprinkled the red hot iron with holy water, and pronounced upon it the benediction; The blessing of God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, fall upon this iron, that we may by it form a righteous judgment." (von Bracht, Thielem Jansz von. The Bloody Theatre, or, Martyrs' Mirror of the Defenceless Christians, Who Suffered and Were Put to Death for the Testimony of Jesus, Their Savior From the Time of Christ Until the Year A.D. 1660... Translated into the German; From Which it is Translated, Compared with the Original, and Carefully Revised; and Numerous Texts of Scripture More Correctly Quoted Than in the German Edition, by I. Daniel Rupp... Lancaster County, Pa: David Miller, Near Lampeter Square, 1837, p. 241.) When the torture session was through, and if the victim had not confessed—or died—he or she was returned to their prison cell to await their next "examination."

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Speaking of the "examination," the rules of the Inquisition stated that a person could only be subjected to one torture session. Although the initial examination could go on for an entire day, even sadistic perverts get tired and must take a break. To get around the inconvenience of the one session rule, the inquisitors simply declared a recess in the session, which could last for hours, days, weeks or months, meaning that a victim could be "examined" endlessly—unless they died. Not only this, there was an inducement for the "examination" to last because the Church charged the victim's family for their torture services! That's right! The holy men of Christ charged a family for burning and ripping their daughter's breasts, wrenching off her fingers or toes, pulling out her fingernails, applying burning sulfur to her genitals and raping her. The longer the sessions, the more money extracted for the work of Christ. On top of this, there was a charge for the victim's upkeep in prison, which meant that the family had to pay for their daughter's filthy rotten food and lodging in a filthy, disease-ridden overcrowded, rat-infested cell.

The medieval prison defies description. The places used for the ordinary prisoners were deplorable hell-holes, but the cells to which heretics were consigned was even worse. When a man or woman was thrown into a heretic's cell, it wasn't unusual to find rotting maggot-infested corpses lying about. Food was often non-existent, and when it was offered, it was foul and rotten—tossed on a floor covered with excrement, urine, maggots, pus and blood. If this were not bad enough, the stronger prisoners, driven half mad with hunger, often took the food from the weak, who were left to die in the filth.

Ten or fifteen people crowded together in one cell without sanitation brought predictable results—disease. Very often mass death occurred from an epidemic inside the prison, which the Church declared was God's "divine retribution" because it proved the guilt of the prisoner.

There was no such thing as medical attention for a heretic, meaning that ill, half-conscience prisoners were left to be eaten alive by swarming rats. Rats, in fact, were a useful tool to the inquisitor. On occasion the Inquisitor would order that a prisoner be closely chained to the floor of his or her cell so that the rats, accustomed to feeding on human flesh, would then feed on this living meal throughout the night—or days. The unfortunate heretic, in keeping with the inquisitor's perverse desires, might have fish oil or other food smeared on their genitals or breasts in order to provide the rats with a target in their feast. It was all yet another tactic used by the inquisitors to induce the heretic to confess their sin against the Lamb of God, who was sitting up in heaven just waiting for the repentant sinner to come to him, as Rev. Billy Graham's theme song proclaims: "Just as I am, without one plea but that thy blood was shed for me and that thou bids me come to thee Oh, Lamb of God, I come I come."

In time, it became a custom to allow "zealous Christian men" to pay a few coins to visit the cells of women prisoners, so that they could personally "examine" the accused. (Walker, op. cit., p. 446.) The condemned women, who usually had been gang-raped and tortured by their inquisitors, were now subjected to brutal men who not only raped them, but thought it their God-given duty to inflict further pain and suffering.

That the arrests and tortures often were for sexual gratification can be seen in the case of a priest/inquisitor named Foulques de St. George of Toulouse. The people of Toulouse, thoroughly disgusted with his atrocities, took the dangerous step and gathered evidence that Foulques de St. George arrested women simply to torture and rape them. That this was the case can be seen from the records of the chronicler of Trier, Germany who noted that all the females in two nearby villages were killed by inquisitors in 1586—not that their actions mattered to the servants of God when one considers words like these from the great St. Augustine: "What is the difference whether it is in a wife or a mother, it is still Eve the temptress that we must beware of in any woman... I fail to see what use woman can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing children." Undoubtedly this sentiment gave rise to this observation from the great Protestant reformer, Martin Luther: "If women become tired or even die, that does not matter. Let them die in childbirth, that is why they are there."

The Holy Inquisition had as its authority the words of Ecclesiastes 26:25 to aid in their useful work: "A shameless woman shall be counted as a dog; but she that is shamefaced will fear the Lord."

In time, the charge of heresy was joined with another charge, which provided a very large number of female victims for God's torture devices—witchcraft!

Karen Armstrong writes: "The old pagan belief in witchcraft received its Christian baptism in 1484, when Pope Innocent VIII brought out an astonishing Bull, Summa Desiderantes . . ." (Armstrong, Karen. The Gospel according to Woman. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1987, p. 103.)

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Unleashing a plague that was to last for centuries, Pope Innocent officially began the witchcraft hysteria by empowering two Dominicans, Jacob Sprenger and Heinrich Kramer, to investigate the practice of witchcraft. The result was a book called Malleus Maleficarum (Hexenhammer, or The Hammer of Witches), which was a handbook to help the Inquisitors in their work of discovering witches. Released in 1486, The Hammer of Witches employed Pope Innocent's papal bull Summis desiderantes as a preface. Soon the book was second only to the bible in public notoriety—and was a useful tool for the inquisitor since it essentially placed full blame for witchcraft on women, while painting men as their victims. For a priesthood that enjoyed arresting, raping, torturing and burning women, this book was a God-send.

Among other perversions, Malleus Maleficarum taught that witchcraft was due to women's "insatiable sexuality" and that owing to her "inferior humanity" a woman was more susceptible than a man to the devil through sex. (ibid, p. 104.) And quite convenient for the inquisitors, it taught that the more beautiful the women, the more likely a suspect since her beauty was undoubtedly used by Satan to entice innocent young men into his grasp! Armstrong writes: "Indeed, the Malleus is quite clear that part of a woman's danger is her beauty." (ibid., p. 112.)

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Malleus Maleficarum was "filled with a pathological hatred of women," as historian Walter Nigg writes, which was an attitude fostered by countless centuries of Christian teaching, via the woman-hating pen of St. Paul himself. Thanks to Paul, Christians taught that women were inferior "because, being formed from a man's rib, they are ‘only imperfect animals' and ‘crooked' whereas man belongs to a privileged sex from whose midst Christ emerged." (Nigg, The Heretics. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1962, p. 277.)

What a grand arrangement for a perverse priesthood! Beautiful women were in league with the Devil, and needed to be arrested, taken to a private cell, stripped naked, tortured and burned to death. Even more ludicrous was the claim that if the inquisitor became sexually aroused during the torture of these naked beautiful women, it was sure evidence that the Devil was working through the victim to entice him; and when this sexually aroused man of God raped his victim, she received full blame and her torture was even more savage.

On December 5, 1484, Pope Innocent VIII declared that Germany was particularly infested with witches. For the next one hundred years Germany endured human bonfires—almost all being fueled with German women. (Lea, Henry Charles. A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1922, Volume III, p. 540.) For example, in1586 the summer was late in coming to Trier, Germany. The unseasonable cold, said the archbishop, was due to witches! A woman was arrested, tortured and made to confess that a coven of witches was going to cause the entire summer to be cold in order to ruin crops and thus ruin the economy of the town. The end result is that the archbishop arrested, tortured and burned 118 women and 2 men. For his part, the archbishop was praised by the Vatican for his quick action, while the "love of God" smoldered within the ashes of his victims. (Lea, op. cit., p. 549.)

In mid-seventeenth-century Neisse, Silesia more than two thousand babies, girls and women were roasted alive in ovens during a nine-year period for suspected witchcraft—and so it went throughout most of Europe.

In the Gospel of Mark (10:14) Jesus once said: "Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God." Well, "suffer the little children" is a fitting way to relate what Christ's Holy Inquisition did when it arrested untold thousands of children. In 1629 the chancellor of Würzburg, Germany wrote that three hundred children of three or four years of age were accused by of having had intercourse with the Devil, all of whom were tortured and burned to rid the Church of their evil threat. Actually, given the Christian clergy's extensive pedophilic record, it does not take much imagination to wonder why children were included in the priestly pursuit of rooting out heretics and witches.

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Being arrested for witchcraft by God's church was a no-win situation for the victim. An arrest for witchcraft was a death sentence. First, a suspected witch was brought before an inquisitor and asked a trick question. Asked if they believed in witches, most said "no." This was an incriminating answer because His Holiness the Vicar of Christ had said Europe was infested with witches, and one didn't dispute papal authority under any circumstance! So, the answer was enough to convict—and no witch, even if he/she freely confessed their crime, would be spared death the penalty because the Exodus 22:18 expressly stated that no witch should live.

When a witch or heretic was sentenced to death, it was by fire because the Church reasoned that it was wrong to shed blood, and burning didn't shed blood. Besides, the Lamb of God had paved the way for these holy, purifying fires in John 15:6 "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." This scripture was clarified by Leviticus 21:9 which prescribes burning for a profaning woman.

The burning of heretics dates all the way back to a papal statute of 1231, which demanded death by fire, adding that it was to be used universally. (Nigg, op. cit., p. 220, and Salomon Reinach. Orpheus. New York: Horace Liverlight Inc., 1930, p. 328.) In fact, in the Inquisition's heyday the pope promised indulgences (remission for punishment) in hell or purgatory for those who provided fuel for these cleansing fires! (This offer by the papacy wasn't for any religious concern, but because providing firewood was expensive, and the Church was looking for ways to cut costs as the number of victims grew. Reinach, op. cit., p. 328.)

There was one hypocritical technicality that is worthwhile to note here, and that was the practice of handing over the victim to local governments to be burned. This was done so that God's ministers could claim that the Church had never killed anyone. The victim's trial ended with these words: "We [the ministers of Christ] cast you forth from this our ecclesiastical court and leave you to be delivered to the secular arm. But we earnestly pray that the said secular court may temper its justice with mercy that there be no bloodshed or danger of death." (Coulton, Inquisition and Liberty, pp. 168-69.) But the fact is that no secular court dared contradict the findings of the Inquisition, nor did it secular dare let a victim go free—had any judge dared do so, he would have likely found himself before the very priests whose judgement he had overturned, facing a death penalty.

When the victim was led to a public place for his/her burning, they were often horribly abused by the assembled superstitious crowd, which often had been whipped up to a state of bloodlust by the ranting sermons of their local priest. But this last abuse was little compared to what the victim had already suffered. If the victim was a woman, she usually had had her tongue cut out, or bored through with a glowing hot poker to keep her from telling a bystander that she had been raped by God's ministers—the official excuse for this practice being that it kept the guilty from blaspheming the Lord during their burning.

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One of the most horrible recorded cases of burning is that of an unnamed Jersey woman, who was murdered in a public square in 1562. Being in the last weeks of pregnancy, the morning of her execution brought on labor. As the fire started to crackle beneath her feet, the wretched woman gave birth, after which a godly Christian onlooker scarfed up the unoffending baby and tossed it into the flames beneath its screaming mother's feet—and all this occurred while Jesus sat up in heaven on the right hand of his father watching the spectacle!

With that last comment, as we read these accounts let us keep in mind that the victims mentioned here were God-fearing, Jesus-loving Christians who undoubtedly cried out in their misery to the Lord for mercy and deliverance. Where was this loving deity as his faithful roasted alive? Well, either he sat in heaven and looked on approvingly, or (like Kenneth Taylor's translation of 1 Kings 18:27 in the Living Bible) was doing what Elijah said about the god Baal, and couldn't hear prayers because he was sitting on the toilet!

Mark Twain once wrote: "During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church, after doing its duty in but a lazy and indolent way for 800 years, gathered up its halters, thumbscrews, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry. . . There are no witches. The witch text remains; only the practice has changed. Hell fire is gone, but the text remains. Infant damnation is gone, but the text remains. More than two hundred death penalties are gone from the law books, but the texts that authorized them still remains."

One of the great tragedies resulting from the wholesale murders of "witches" was the almost total elimination of those who treated illness with natural remedies, which had been passed down through a thousand generations. Essentially the Church taught that the only remedy for illness was touching a holy relic (which the Church sold), or being anointed by a priest with holy oil. Anything else was regarded with suspicion—especially if the ill person recovered from the application of natural medicines. Hence, natural practitioners, most of whom were women, were the first to be arrested and charged with witchcraft. And so, in the cleansing fires of the holy mother Church, died thousands of years of natural treatments for every medical problem known to man. That loss was so great that even today humanity suffers the effect by paying absurdly high prices for chemical remedies, the side effects of which are often much worse than the benefits. Thank you very much Jesus!

Okay, so far I've covered God's love inside the Christian torture chambers and dungeons. But all of this was somewhat mild when compared to the Church's remedy for a problem called the Protestant Reformation. People—hordes of them—countries full of them—were finally reading the bible and thinking for themselves, and something had to be done because people thinking for themselves are dangerous to any organization, be it churches or governments. In other words, the Holy Inquisition had to be taken to the streets on a massive scale. Good Christians everywhere had to be whipped up into a blood frenzy if the Church was to survive.

It is going way beyond the scope of this article to present a detailed history of the Reformation, nevertheless it is vital to offer a few significant horror stories to complete the true picture of Christianity. One such example is when Pope Pius IV sent his armies into Orange (in the Netherlands) in 1562 to massacre Protestant heretics—the Holy Inquisition having already pronounced a sentence of death for heresy on the whole population.

Hordes of merciless soldiers marched into the Netherlands with the promise of plunder, rape and torture, and the promise of an indulgence from his holiness the pope! During the endless months of horror, women were raped en masse, hung by their breasts and tortured with fire, knives and a host of improvised devices; men were hung by their genitalia until the helpless organs were ripped from their bodies, all the while being subjected to the love of God with fire, knives and glowing-hot pokers; men, women and children were dragged behind horses until they died in their agony, or tied spread-eagle between four horses and ripped apart; children were tortured to death and then hung up as decorations in the city streets—all with the blessings of a priest, who watched and sprinkled "holy water" on the devices of torture.

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On the occasion of their marriage, King Henry II of France gave his wife an unusual gift when he ". . . celebrated the coronation of his wife Catherine de' Medici with a bonfire of heretics." (A Brief History of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Peoples. New York: A.S. Barnes & Company, 1883, p. 450.) Queen Catherine was obviously delighted with the spectacle, since she later loosed Catholic mobs into the streets of Paris to hunt down, torture and murder their fellow Protestant Christians on St. Bartholomew's Day (August 24) 1572. As in the Netherlands, mobs publically raped, tortured, murdered and plundered their helpless neighbors. By the end of the day 70,000 Huguenot men, women, children and babies lay mutilated and dead in the streets. When the Vicar of Christ, Pope Gregory XIII, got word of this great massacre, he held a grand celebration, said High Mass, gave special blessings to the murderers, handed out great honors to the one who plotted the deed, Queen Mother Catherine, and then ordered a medallion to be struck commemorating the event. (De Rosa, Peter. Vicars of Christ, The Dark Side of The Papacy. New York: Crown Publishing, Inc., p. 145.)

St. Bartholomew's Day was only a small accounting of the murderous terror against the Protestants of France. Salomon Reinach records that at Caen, and many other towns, ". . . parents might be seen following the hurdles on which the bodies of their children were being drawn, to be hacked in pieces by the pupils of the Jesuits." (Reinach, op. cit., p. 366.) No wonder that Voltaire wrote about the Inquisitions: "You follow these scenes of absurdity and horror with pity; you find nothing like them among the Romans, the Greeks, or the old barbarians. They were the fruit of the most infamous superstitions which has ever degraded man... but you know that we have not long emerged from such darkness, and that not even yet is the light complete." (Reinach, op. cit., p. 326.)

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Perhaps the most ironic case in the heresy insanity was that of Lutheran Church founder, Martin Luther. When this Catholic priest successfully rebelled against the papacy, thousands were encouraged to begin thinking for themselves in matters of religion. This freedom was fostered by Luther until it included questioning his doctrines. During the Peasant's War, Luther urged the nobility to have no mercy, and to track down and kill heretics—this time "heretics" being those who disagreed with Lutheranism. He urged trained killers to "track them like dogs and kill these children of the devil!" Taking him at his word, the nobles and their armies butchered over one hundred thousand God-fearing men, women and children. Luther later boasted that "I, Martin Luther, slew all the peasants in the rebellion, for I said that they should be slain; all their blood is upon my head. But I cast it on the Lord God ..." (O'Brien, John A. The Faith of Millions: the Credentials of the Catholic Religion. ninth ed. Huntington, IND: Our Sunday Visitor, 1938, p. 29.) Right on Martin Luther—the impetus for religious murder can always rightly be laid on the head of God and his holy word!

And then there was Ireland.

In a letter from Rome, dated May, 1538, the following instructions were received: "His Holiness Paul III, now pope, and the council of the fathers, have lately found, in Rome a prophecy of one St. Lacerianus, an Irish bishop of Cashel, in which he saith that the Mother Church of Rome falleth, when in Ireland, the Catholic faith is overcome. Therefore, for the glory of the Mother Church, the honor of St. Peter, and your own secureness, suppress heresy, and his holiness' enemies." (Fox, John. Fox's Book of Martyrs. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1926, pp. 300-301.) Once century later this letter was used to unleash the horrific annihilation of Protestant Christians in that most Catholic Christian of nations.

The Irish Protestant massacre had been secretly planned by the Catholic clergy for months prior to its unleashing on 23 October 1641, the date of the feast of Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit Order. When it began "... every Protestant who fell in their [the Catholic's] way was immediately murdered. No age, no sex, no condition, was spared."

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Examples tell how Protestant children from one area were rounded up and attacked by a crowd, who hacked, stoned, and beat them to death, while their parents were hanged by their feet or hands from trees and tortured, or burned alive. In other towns, women and children were tied to trees, and vicious dogs were set loose on them, while cheering crowds watched. Some were tied to the tails of horses and dragged to death. Of course, women were raped by the thousands, after which they were sexually mutilated. In one place Protestant women were stripped naked, and having their breasts cut off, were allowed to slowly bleed to death to the taunts of the Catholic crowds. Whole families were buried alive, while over their graves, others were skinned alive. The Christian mobs who performed these deeds were granted a special indulgence by his holiness, the pope, which meant, according to Catholic doctrine, sending these murderers directly to heaven for killing their fellow Christians in God's name.

One Catholic priest a certain Father Mahoney, told his congregation "You have already killed 150,000 enemies ... as your enemies confess in their writings. I think more heretics have been killed; would they had all been. It remains for you to slay all other heretics and expel them from the bounds of Ireland." (Campbell, Alan. The Scarlet Woman of the Apocalypse. (Belfast, Northern Ireland: published by the author, 1989, p. 19.) With the murder of little unborn babies, cut from wombs and fed alive to dogs and pigs, while their mothers, still barely alive, were forced to watch, the pope was able to "sleep better, knowing the enemies of Christ" had been put down in Ireland! Of course, this horror was recompensed in kind when the rabid Protestant Lord Protector of England, Oliver Cromwell, came to Ireland with his armies and killed untold thousands of Catholics, including terrified Catholic women and children who were burned alive inside their church during the siege of Drogheda.

Early seventeenth century Bohemia had a population of 4,000,000, eighty percent of whom were Protestant. During the Thirty Years War, after the Hapsburg emperor Ferdinand II, the holy order of the Jesuits and their armies had done the work of Christ, only 800,000 people were left in all Bohemia and Hungary, all of whom were Catholic. The war, which had started as a religious war in Bohemia, eventually drew in all the German states, and then Sweden and France, and in the end as many as twenty million men, women, children and suckling babes lay dead in the bosom of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

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In Spain the infamous Dominican monk Tomás de Torquemada (1420-98) was the papal arch-inquisitor, whose work was the model for many murderous successors. In eighteen years he burned 10,200 heretics and killed a further 97,000 by sentencing them to life imprisonment. 10,200 heretics is nothing if one counts the Spanish Inquisition's work in the New World, where victims are said to have numbered into the millions. To use just one example of the cruelty practiced there, we quote this from Don Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas's book, Devastation of the Indies: "But now I am going to tell of another action the Spaniards engage in which is perhaps even more ferocious and infernal than the one I have just recounted, and it still goes on at the present time. As has been said, the Spaniards train their fierce dogs to attack, kill and tear to pieces the Indians. It is doubtful that anyone, whether Christian or not, has ever before heard of such a thing as this. The Spaniards keep alive their dogs' appetite for human beings in this way. They have Indians brought to them in chains, then unleash the dogs. The Indians come meekly down the roads and are killed. And the Spaniards have butcher shops where the corpses of Indians are hung up, on display, and someone will come in and say, more or less, ‘Give me a quarter of that rascal hanging there, to feed my dogs until I can kill another one for them.' As if buying a quarter of a hog or other meat.' Other Spaniards go hunting with their dogs in the mornings and when one of them returns at noon and is asked ‘Did you have good hunting?' he will reply, ‘Very good! I killed fifteen or twenty rascals and left them with my dogs.'" (De Las Casas, Bartolomé, The Devastation of the Indies, Baltimore & London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992, p. 127.)

And on and on and on it went. But hold on! God's "love," the kind about which we have been reading, is still alive!

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Skipping over two world wars, in which the Christian of Europe killed each other off to the tune of tens of millions dead, we come to America's current president. Before George W. Bush ran for president, when he was governor of Texas, he told a friend that "I believe God wants me to run for president." According to several pro-Bush sources, it was normal for George W. Bush and his supporters to speak this way. One says that Bush made the decision to run for president after hearing a Texas minister named Rev. Mark Craig preach about Moses being called by God to deliver the Israelites, and how Bush's mother supposedly turned to her son and said, "He was talking to you." Stephen Mansfield, the author of The Faith of George W. Bush, goes on to say: "Not long after, Bush called James Robison (a prominent minister) and told him, ‘I've heard the call. I believe God wants me to run for President.'" Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention heard Bush say something similar: "Among the things he said to us was: I believe that God wants me to be president." Once George Bush got into the White House, these messages from God get even worse.

Once in the White House, President Bush confidently told those around him that he was guided by divine intervention. In the 02/06/03 edition of the New York Times Jackson Lears reported Bush as saying, ‘"Events aren't moved by blind change and chance'..., but by ‘the hand of a just and faithful God.'"

In an article dated Friday, 14 March, 2003 titled "America's deep Christian faith" BBC correspondent in Washington Justin Webb writes: "The Bush administration hums to the sound of prayer. Prayer meetings take place day and night. Power of prayer: George W Bush is famously the born-again president ... And nobody spends more time on his knees—I am back in metaphorical mode here—than George W Bush. He is famously born again - at the age of 40 it was goodbye Jack Daniels and hello Jesus. He has never looked back.... It's not uncommon to see White House functionaries hurrying down corridors carrying bibles."

Time magazine reported, "Privately, Bush talked of being chosen by the grace of God to lead at that moment." The conservative Christian publication, World Magazine, quoted White House official Tim Goeglein as saying, "I think President Bush is God's man at this hour, and I say this with a great sense of humility."

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The president was even more candid about his special relationship with the Lord when he decided to send America's massive war machine against the essentially defenseless nation of Iraq. After that blunder was committed, President Bush told Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas that, "God told me to strike at al Quaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did." (Haaretz, Thursday June 26, 2003, article "Road map is a life saver for us".) And strike George did!

Like Moses leading Israelite armies of old, George Bush's American armies fell upon the helpless population of Bagdad with an arsenal of cruise missiles, cluster bombs, dive bombers and assault helicopters that initially killed an estimated 10,000 Iraqis. Onward Christian Soldiers! This army killed Iraqis in their beds and cribs, in their fields, streets, cafes, mosques, homes and cars. They burned them to death in their stores, factories and schools. Mutilated and beheaded—hands, feet and arms blown away—children, women, men old and young, no matter, the armies of Jesus triumphed in Bagdad!

With the smoke still ascending in Iraq, George W. Bush was drunk with his mission from God. He recklessly bragged about that mission in the aforementioned interview, and revealed future plans: "In Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs, a major three-part series on BBC TWO (at 9.00pm on Monday 10, Monday 17 and Monday 24 October), Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Prime Minister, and Nabil Shaath, his Foreign Minister, describe their first meeting with President Bush in June 2003. Nabil Shaath says: ‘President Bush said to all of us: ‘I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, ‘George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.' And I did, and then God would tell me, ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq . . .' And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, ‘Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East.' And by God I'm gonna do it.'"

President Bush told Bob Woodward, whose 2004 book, Plan of Attack, gives a detailed account of the President's road to war, that after giving the order to invade in March 2003, "I was praying for strength to do the Lord's will." When Woodward asked if President Bush had sought advice from his father, former President George H. W. Bush, the President replied that his earthly father was "the wrong father to appeal to for advice ... there is a higher father that I appeal to".

I say that it's bad enough when the man in the White House says he is hearing voices from the man upstairs, but when he acts on those voices and starts doing the Moses thing by invading countries and killing every man, woman and suckling babe in sight, pardon me if I'm a bit dubious. I say this because history amply proves that there's nothing more dangerous than a "man of God" on the loose with a sword in hand!

In an editorial for the New York Times, Jackson Lears (Oct. 26, 2004 "How a War Became a Crusade") puts the whole "God" thing into perspective by first mentioning that millions of born-again Jesus-loving Christians believe that God has placed George Bush in the White House, and that to vote against George is a betrayal of God: "God is out there, actively campaigning for President Bush," said Beverly Ryan, a retired legal secretary and born-again Christian from West Palm Beach, Florida. Speaking of the Iraqi invasion, she said: "George Bush did what God wanted him to do. Who cares what the rest of the world thinks?"

Well Bev, I may not be the rest of the world, but I care—and having just waded through a condensed history of God's love through the ages, I'll bet a large number of others do as well. In fact, I more than just care! When the most powerful man in the world backed by an army of born-again evangelicals (about 40 million of them according the New York Times editorial) spreads the love of God via depleted uranium bombs, then I think it's time for all of us to stand and open our mouths—especially since shades of the abominable Holy Inquisition are again appearing on the horizon.

Do you remember the events before Mr. Bush's invasion of Iraq, how he went into Afghanistan looking for terrorists? Do you remember how he hauled boatloads of prisoners back to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as suspected terrorists? Do you remember how Bush's inquisitors tortured these men to extract confessions? How can things have gotten so bad that a supposedly civilized country like the good ol' USA would resort to such depravity? Well, it did and it gets worse.

On December 3, 2004 the Associated Press broke this story: "U.S. Can Use Evidence Gained by Torture" In shades of the Holy Inquisition, the Bush Administration has deemed it legal for its military tribunals to use evidence gained through torture against prisoners at drumhead court martials. In effect, this means that President George W. Bush, who paints himself as God's avenger, will take these torture-confessions and use them to execute enemies of the big oil companies and other more important Middle East interests. My question here is this: How long will it take before such tactics will be turned loose on the citizens of the USA? If the lessons of history are of any value, then not long.

All know of the infamous Patriot Act—how it rode public hysteria and was rammed through Congress in the aftermath of 911. Under the provisions of this Act anyone who protests Bush's Iraqi invasion is now deemed a "terrorist" by his administration. Even worse, Constitutional rights that we have all taken for granted are essentially gone, and under the law, anyone found guilty of terrorism against the USA (read the Bush Administration) ultimately could be executed as an enemy of the state. Let's see: arrests for disagreeing with the gospel of George Bush, torture, confession, mock trial and execution. To me we have in place the ingredients of the Holy Inquisition!

Now I'm not finished here. Do you remember Saddam Hussein's imaginary weapons of mass destruction—the lie for which American kids were sent to die in the deserts of Iraq ("officially" nearing 3,500 as of this writing)? Well, such weapons do exist, except that they didn't originate in Iraq. Weapons of mass destruction were brought into Iraq by the Bush Administration's invasion force. Specifically I speak about so-called dirty bombs.

A dirty bomb is made of depleted uranium, which is a byproduct of the nuclear enrichment process. In other words radioactive waste from the U.S. nuclear weapons industry—a cheap and profitable way to dispose of unwanted radioactive waste. These weapons are known as DUW, and were first used in the so-called Gulf War during the first President George Bush's invasion of Iraq, an estimated 350 tons worth. A dirty bomb, when fired, breaks up when hitting an object and ". . . vaporizes into extremely small particles, which are dispersed into the atmosphere, where they remain until they fall to the ground with the rain. As a gas, the chemically toxic and radioactive uranium can easily enter the body through the skin or the lungs and be carried around the world until it falls to the earth with the rain." (See the American Free Press article, "Media Silent About U.S. Use of Banned WMDs: Depleted Uranium: A War Crime Against the World", August 16, 2004, page 1.)

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During this second invasion, the US military has used more than five times that number on an essentially helpless population. What all this means is that the Iraqi people will be developing cancer and a myriad of medical problems due to radiation poisoning. "The ‘epigenetic damage' done by DU has resulted in many grossly deformed children born in areas such as southern Iraq, where tons of DU have contaminated the environment and local population. An untold number of American babies have also been born with severe birth defects as a result of DU contamination." (AFP, ibid.) Indeed, returning troops are now showing signs of DU contamination, which means that our president, in order to carry out his alleged God-given command to invade and conquer nations that don't fit the agenda of a new world order, have exposed American soldiers and their families to a potentially horrid future of suffering and death.

Okay, American boys have been used by the politicians as cannon fodder for the past two hundred plus years. So what else is new? Well, I can't help what's happened before my time, but I'll be damned if I'll sit silent and watch such a spectacle unfold; and I'll be double damned if I'll keep quiet while a U.S. president does his work in the name of Jesus Christ—history's greatest fraud and destructive force!

In closing I ask how long must this curse continue devouring flesh and blood before the masses say enough of God's love?! Isn't it time for you—for us all—to stand up and be counted?

(Author's note: For a number of years there has been a movement underway to minimize the torture of the Inquisition and the number of deaths. Learned professors and authors have brazenly disregarded the mountain of evidence—eyewitness accounts—to pronounce the subject grossly exaggerated. Such denials smacks of Christianity, specifically Roman Catholicism, trying to whitewash the blood and gore of its murderous past. One such work is from Catholic Treasures, titled The Truth About the Holy Inquisition, by Marian Horvat. The ad reads "An impartial analysis of the Inquisition—its origins, purpose and policies. Presents scholarly evidence and sources that reveal the bias of the lies and negative myths that were generated by the enemies of the Church." "Enemies of the Church"? Considering that it was a mortal risk to life and limb to report anything negative about the Holy Inquisition, the few reports that were written and have survived the full weight of the Christian Church censors, tell any thinking person that the Inquisition was much worse than what we read, which can be deduced because of those few surviving records. So, to the Marian Horvats of the world, who never cease making excuses for the Christian Church because you can no longer rack 'em and burn 'em, your historical manipulation is nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to keep the money flowing into the coffers of Christ. I say it's time for you and your pedophile-ridden priesthood to crawl back under your damned Jesus rock and go away.

Copyright © 2005 & 2007 by Darrell W. Conder, Port Townsend, WA. All Rights Reserved



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