Couple of things.
The "Spanish Inquisition" wasn't technically an organ of the Roman Catholic Church. It was actually run by the Spanish Crown, long after the
church had decided that the Inquisition caused more damage than it helped. But of course you've spotted that religion was used for a litmus test of
loyalty, since most of the enemies of the crown were muslim insurgents (moors) in recently conquered parts of the Iberian Peninsula, or French and
Italian Jews who had just fled from those countries, and were therefore suspect. The main goal of the Spanish Inquisition was to root out
Protestants, and give support to the pro-Catholic counter-reformation. It lasted until Napoleon's invasion of Spain.
Most native English-speakers have imbibed the raging anti-catholicism of their protestant ancestors, and confuse the Spanish Inquisition
Catholicism in general. While the Inquisitions were not exactly shining moments in human history, they also were not always the nightmare
torture-scenes protrayed in UK and US serials of the 1940's.
In fact, the first Inquisition was administered by local bishops (not the vatican) didn't use torture for its first hundred years, and in later
times, confessions obtained by torture were not admissable in court. But if you read "Foxe's Book of Martyrs," or read comic books or watched
movies based on other such anti-catholic propaganda, you saw generalizations from the Spanish Inquisitions imposed upon the whole system of local
Don't believe me? Read for yourself:
Wikipedia on "Medieval Inquisition"
Secondly, if the only way most people got their religion was by being born into it, then Only Arabs would be muslim, and only a few Jews would follow
Jesus. Obvioiusly, some people out there are studying various religions and making up .their own minds.
. One of the many reasons that
"hardcore" "fundamentalist" arab-muslims hate the west is that some of their members convert to Christianity after comparing it with the way
they've been raised. That, plus beer and pork sausage.
No, I'm not a catholic. But I do read old books, which is often nearly as dangerous