Interested in the struggle between muslim and western civilization, I've been reading up on the Inquistion.
A lot of what I have learned is pretty disheartening. As concerns my education.
I am an American protestant, and it seems that, while the Inquisition was pretty disgusting, it was not quite what it was always portrayed to me in
school (and Monty Python films!)
The stereotype of the "Spanish Inquistion" includes these myths.
1. The inquistion tortured everybody, and took thier wealth
2. The inquisition burned people, thousands of women, ALIVE, at the stake.
3. The Spanish Inquisition was an arm of the Catholic Church.
4. The Inquisition was focused exclusively on witchcraft.
I have been studying the Inquisition among the Pueblo tribes in the American Southwest. In the period I'm reading about, (1680-1720), torture
wasn't even used in the province I'm researching!
The inquistion, as well as the British protestent version, did kill witches, by hanging. Their bodies were burned afterward, because they couldn't
be buried in the community churchyard, and their bodies were thought to spread plagues.
The Spanish Inquisition was an arm of the Spanish government, rather than of the church. The Spanish crown was trying to unify Spain and expel the
(Muslim) Moorish invaders, as well as Jews . . .
The inquisition was actually focused on what priests taught, and upon what saints were venerated.
Here is an article, the introduction to which specificaly adresses Anglo- Protestant, anti-Catholic and Anti-spanish propoganda. (Note it IS from a
Even though it definitely has an axe to grind, the article also makes a telling point, if you've ever watched old pirate movies, or watched a british
stage production (My Fair Lady, for example).
I am interested in this because of the similarity to the "Red Scare" of the 1950's. Elia Kazan said that the Hollywood people he named REALLY WERE
COMMUNISTS who sought the violent overthrow of the United States.
But of course, that has been edited out of the history books, and both the McCarthy trials and the Inquisition are held up as Right-wing excesses of
hate and hypocrisy.
Sort of like today's patriot act.