“The Inquisition is more accurately viewed not as a relic but as a harbinger.” – This is a quote from Cullen Murphy in his book God’s Jury: the Inquisition and the Making of the Modern world.
I am studying the Middle Ages in Europe right now and am trying to make sense of the incredible violence perpetrated upon those deemed heretics by the Church and their concomitant allies such as the monarchies and their lower level (cough..demons…did I say that or think it?) duchies, lords, and wannabe upper class administrators who imposed the will of the Church upon regular people as they meted out and enforced the laws of an increasingly centralized government and the royalty that were intent upon increasing their power.
What I am finding is a hideous historical loop. Heretics in the Middle Ages included those non-sanctioned Christian sects, Jews, the poor, homosexuals, women, and my favorite –witches who were scapegoated and annihilated by these growing powers. What I am finding – to my horror – is that what was happening then has never stopped happening and is happening how.
I thought I was studying history, but it turns out that I am studying the present. Now I see this Inquisitional intention and its self-replicating tentacled bureaucracy everywhere — in the futile death clown car spectacle that is our election process in 2016; in the increasing attempts at legislating sexual activities and the reproductive powers and autonomy of women, and in the exposure of the elite and their resource grabbing in the Panama papers….I mean this is enough to make me crazy.