We all know the story. Catholics, mad with power, decided it was time to use their power to torture their people, so they started the Spanish Inquisition. In it, they needlessly abducted innocent civilians and subjected them to the most cruel torture after which they would burn them to death because they were bored.
Any reasonable person would express shock and horror at the Spanish Inquisition if that is indeed what happened. But the story told above is so nonsensical that I couldn’t believe it, and so I did a little research.
It turns out, the Iberian peninsula was occupied by the Muslims after a long and aggressive Jihad over the span of hundreds of years. Thanks to miraculous victories in Europe, the Muslims were held on the Iberian peninsula. There, the Christians and Jews suffered under their Muslim rulers.
After some time, the Christians started the crusades in response to raids on pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem. The pope promised salvation to those knights and lords who would wage war on the Muslims and free Jerusalem from their barbaric rule.
In the West, bit by bit the Christians took land back from the Muslims. This is where Spain came from: a response to the Muslim invasion with the intent to maintain control. The fighting was harsh and bloody, and the methods used by the Christians hardly Christian, yet compared to the times they lived in and the methods of their enemies, perhaps entirely forgivable.
Spain imposed a law saying that all Jews and Muslims must convert to the Catholic faith or leave. At the time, this was not an unreasonable law given the context and circumstances. In response, many Jews and Muslims left, but some converted.
The church started an inquisition of their own, which the Spanish took over in their peninsula. Their goals were simply to ensure that those who converted were sincere and those who were not sincere left.
Yes, horrible things happened. Horrible things always happen when you write a law targeting someone’s beliefs and outlawing certain ideas. See, if people disagree, then you have to enforce that law, and the only way to enforce a law is to kill the offender, since you cannot change their behavior and expect their ideas to change too.
The reason why I bring this up is because we need certain elements of the Spanish Inquisition if we are to remain free and safe in our country. To wit:
- There is a state religion of the United States. There is a state religion of every country. The state religion is what you must believe in if you are to consider yourself American.
- There is heterodoxy and orthodoxy when it comes to any religion. Orthodoxy are those teachings which perpetuate the religion, while heterodoxy diminishes it. If the religion is to survive, heterodoxy must be taken seriously and addressed. Heterodoxy believers must know that they do not conform to the orthodoxy, along with everyone else.
- All religions are in competition one with another. There is the marketplace of ideas, and all religions are contending for the heart, mind, and soul of the people. Foreign religions must be identified, addressed, and isolated appropriately otherwise the competition will lead to open conflict.
- The “priests” of the state religion is the state itself. They are tasked with identifying and labeling heterodoxy, isolating foreign religions, and maintaining a healthy set of orthodox beliefs. When the time comes to change beliefs, the priests are the ones who do it.
I know this kind of language bothers atheists. (I hear them shouting, “Ban all religions!!1!”) This infantile response is the exact sort of problem with heterodoxy. Heterodoxy is born either of incorrect teachings in the orthodox, or in misunderstandings of the orthodox. Typically, popular opinion morphs into heterodoxy. Sometimes heterodoxy is a good thing, but if it is, it is because it is born of knowledge, not ignorance. Those atheists who do not understand that their religion is just another sort of religion, and cannot pronounce clearly the teachings of their religion, deserve to be ignored.
Now, on to the dirty business.
What is the orthodox religion of the United States of America? Quite simply, it is found in the Declaration of Independence. It is also found in the philosophers who rightly claim a role in that document. If you cannot understand that document, and you do not believe that everything it teaches is the absolute truth, then you are in conflict with the United States of America itself. In short, you are an enemy, a threat to our very existence, our very nature.
Who are the priests of the orthodox religion of the United States? You might be tempted to say it is our government officials, or perhaps the Supreme Court, or some other official. You would be wrong. Read the Declaration carefully and you will see who is authorized to speak on behalf of that religion, and the answer is “Us.” We are the guardians of our own state religion.
This is an important part. Unlike every other country which is top-down, we are bottom-up. We chose to be that way for an important reason: governments are, by nature, corrupt.
Have you taken your job as priest of the American religion seriously? Can you name the fundamental doctrines of our nation, and can you spell out how we are different than every other country on the earth? If not, then what kind of priest are you, and how long will that religion last?
Now, on to other important, relevant topics: What heterodoxies are being taught out there? Can you name the principle challengers? Do you rightly identify them as the enemy of our state, our country, our essence? Jesus spoke of “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. Who are the wolves in sheep’s clothing in our state? What are they whispering?
The threat of the Muslim invasion of the United States is real. There are people who have determined that they want to change America into a Muslim state, and impose Sharia Law on us. These people actually exist, and they are a real threat. There are other threats just as sinister and just as evil. (Remember, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, and so it’s rather easy to readily identify these threats just by the company they take!)
What to do? How do you keep these ideas out of our country? First, you identify the ideas as a threat, and clearly label them. Then you do your own American Inquisition. Obviously, we don’t believe it does any good to kick people out or kill them if they think differently than we do, but we should take material threats very seriously and execute on them accordingly.
But when it comes to ideas, the way we isolate and contain the foreign ideas that threaten our existence is to call them out and point them out. When a wolf is in sheep’s clothing, label that wolf clearly and explicitly. Then when the wolf speaks, you will know what he is truly saying.