Sunday, December 30, 2007

Gimme Dat Old Time Religion

Give me that old time religion
Tis the old time religion,
Tis the old time religion,
And it's good enough for me.

It was good for our mothers.
It was good for our mothers.
It was good for our mothers.
And it's good enough for me.

It has saved our fathers.
It has saved our fathers.
It has saved our fathers.
And it's good enough for me.

It will do when I am dying.
It will do when I am dying.
It will do when I am dying.
And it's good enough for me......

Give me that old time religion
Tis the old time religion,
Tis the old time religion,
And it's good enough for me.

It will take us all to heaven.
It will take us all to heaven.
It will take us all to heaven.
And it's good enough for me.......

When the legality of torture began being discussed here in the U.S.
I wondered where the religious organizations objections were.
It seemed to me they would be aghast at such practices,
but a little perusal of history gave reason for pause.
And the deafening silence.
As we hear the cries of unfairness today,
the alleged war against Christmas,
the notion that Christians in particular are persecuted
by church -state separation issues,
that science is the devil,
or that religion belongs in government
or science classrooms - let's have a look at how,
in days before the age of enlightenment
religious discrepancies were handled.

Heretic’s fork
Resistance is futile.
One end of this device was pushed under the chin, the other into the sternum,
with the strap securing this torture tool to the victim’s neck.
Immobilized and in great pain,
the victim will have to somehow speak the Latin word
“abiuro” (I recant),
or they end up being hanged or burned at the stake.

"Love one another." John 4:7-8, 4:16

As soon as Christianity had achieved ascendancy in the 4th century C.E., torture to aid "education" of theological positions was widely used, particularly against women, who "had their breasts crushed or scorched," were beaten with thorn clubs, and were compelled to sit on heated iron plates (McCabe, A Rationalist Encyclopaedia, 1948, pp. 587-89).
Torture leading to death was practiced on increasing hordes of victims as the centuries passed, culminating in the condemnation of 20,000 women by Benedict Carpzov, a Leipzig professor in the 17th century. The Spanish Inquisition added hundreds of thousands to the total, in tortures detailed in George William Foote and Joseph Mazzini Wheeler's Crimes of Christianity, and Eugene Montague Macdonald's History of the Inquisition.

God will "smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion" and "will discover their secret parts" since he doesn't like the way they dress and walk. Isaiah 3:16-17

Breast Ripper
Women condemned as heretics, or blasphemers had their breasts ripped out using this device.

Gimme Dat Ol Time Religion Boy! Real nice.
If you can't win them over by reasoned argument, and baffling them with bull ain't cutting the mustard, well we have ways of making you conform.
In the Old Testament,
after God takes away the women's jewelry and perfume, "discovers their secret parts," and makes them all bald and stinking, he'll kill their husbands. Women will then become so desperate that "seven women will take hold of one man, saying ... let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach." Isaiah 4:1
I guess there was some inspiration for torture there...

Crocodile Shears
Of course torture wasn't limited to females, though it was easy to accuse them of being witches.
And apparently a simple matter to determine their guilt. Throwing them in the water and if they float they are guilty of being witches, of course if they drowned they were innocent but what the hell, at least they weren't tortured wrongfully.
These Shears were used on men.
Now imagine having a hot date with this device,
which is actually an iron pincer with semi-cylindrical blades
that form a long narrow tube when closed together.
Teeth or spikes lined the inside of the blades,
which are first heated until red-hot before being clamped on the victim’s penis.
When his sex organ is “cooked” enough, it is then torn out from his body.
Hot dogs anyone?

The Lead Sprinkler

This tool, a holy water sprinkler re-design, was filled with either molten lead, tar, boiling oil or boiling water, then used to bless its victims by dripping its contents on their stomach, back and other body parts. Confess or we gouge out your eyeball!

Was this "persuasion" confined to Europe?
In the Colonies, Massachusetts imposed the death penalty on Nov. 4, 1646, for anyone denying the divine inspiration of the bible.
In 1692, deaf octogenarian Giles Cory, accused of witchcraft was crushed to death because he could not understand questions asked him by puritan leadership. Twenty-one other accused witches were hanged or died in prison in Salem, Mass., where two centuries later the founder of Christian Science, Mary Ann Morse Baker Glover Patterson Eddy, brought up one of her disaffected followers on yet another charge of witchcraft, according to her biographers Willa Cather and Georgine Milmine.

A dozen years later, various physical mutilations were prescribed for Quakers who would not desist from preaching. It was not an idle threat: on Oct. 27, 1659, the first in a series of Quakers was hanged on Boston Common for violating that law.

So much for religious freedom. It appears the atheists and deists who eloquently installed religious freedom in the Constitution saved these pious people from dogmatic extermination of each other.

The Pear
Used on alleged sodomites, adulterers, and those accused of incest, heresy, blasphemy or sexual union with Satan (Really?) in medieval Europe. This intricately-decorated device inserted into the mouth, rectum or vagina guaranteed swift salvation . A screw mechanism then makes its pointed “leaves” expand while inside any of those orifices, resulting in severe internal mutilation.

These folks perhaps overlooked Lev.19:18: "Love thy neighbor as thyself." (Either that or they were REALLY into some strange sadomasochism.) They also seemed to have forgotten "Blessed are the merciful" in Mathew 5:7.

Prayer Shackles
One way to convert those atheists and heretics!

The Rack

An always popular retreat for the dissident and the skeptic alike.
This early attempt at faith chiropractics was designed to dislocate every single joint in the body. Tied across the device’s board by the ankles and wrists, the victim’s body is then pulled in opposite directions by turning rollers at either end of the board.

"Live peaceably with all men." Romans 12:18

The Catherine Wheel

The convertee is tied to the side of the wheel, then gets every bone in his body shattered one by one by an executioner using a hammer or an iron bar. Victims of this form of torture often took hours, or even days to die. Some were fortunate enough to be granted “mercy”
( fatal blows to the chest or stomach).

"For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice." Hosea 6:6

Iron Maiden

Not the metal band. The interior of this device is lined with strategically-placed sharp objects that is intended to torture an infidel or freethinker unlucky enough to be put inside it.
These spikes impaled the victim in the eyes, the chest and the back, but usually missed vital organs, so as to leave the victim bleeding profusely and in great pain but still alive for a while anyway.

God will not forgive us unless we shed the blood of some innocent creature!
Hebrews 9:13-14, 22

The Judas Chair
The Judas Chair, also known as the Judas Cradle.
Non believers were hoisted up by rope or chain and then made to sit on the tip of the pyramid shaped device. You get the point?
"He that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more." Job 7:7-9

Give me that old time religion
Tis the old time religion,
Tis the old time religion,
And it's good enough for me.

No Thank you.


Anonymous said...

One significant thing you forgot in this article, is, that MEN created these torture pieces to convert others to "their" way of thinking conversion should be; God never devised or purposed any form of pressure to believe or convert one. He said, come unto, if one believes in the Bible, they can perceive its contents and understand it. God is JUST, doesn't mean he is a means, unlike us, He is able to commit us, by our deeds into heaven, or we can be loyal to Satan, and be ushered(and welcomed) into eternal hell. It is a choice, not a barter, demand, or torture to those who read the word for themselves and not let mere men devise the means by which they MUST obey. The "Old time religion" is usually wrong, because it is fashioned as a tradition, not a biblical truth. Show me one circumstance in the Bible where God made someone believe...even when put to death, one may not truly believe anything in their heart, but verbally confess it to apeas their doom...still, if not done in earnest, it is bogus.

Anonymous said...

Just as people created the torture devices, they also created the bible. Hello...

Ron USN Ret said...

As a person who has been waterboared in Waner springs Ca in 1972 Navy SERE SChool. I feel the need to discuss this issue. Their is fine line between intimidation and torture. One might say not giving water food or sleep is torture. Being with out my wife and family for long periods of time might be called torture. Being locked up in a small gage might be torture. I define Torture as something that leaves debilitateing scars eather mentally or physcially. The waterboard taught me something, it taught me that I wasn't John Wayne and that I was capable of betraying my country. But it left no debilitateing scars.

Anonymous said...

Ron usn ret - By your definition, does there have to be a physical scar or can a person suffer a debilitating mental wound? Tou were lucky to be tortured during your training rather than upon capture where you would not have the assurance that your torturers were working within well established boundaries.

The point of the article is that some people professing strong Christian beliefs are not willing to treat people they perceive to be non-Christians as their religion requires.

nels said...

In Sincerity..Only Humans can inflict inhumane treatment... God is Love, He gave Humans free will... I believe one upon my death I may learn God's purpose....

Anonymous said...

"Religion" consists of man-made institutions & is supposed to indicate one's personal beliefs. Many people act "religious", but their behaviors & beliefs are inconsistant & conflict with one another. To some degree, we are all hypocrits. Our ability to comprehend God is incomplete. To me, heaven will be where & when I fully & finally understand Him. Until then, I will act upon my limited -- though hopefully, still growing understanding by reading scripture, prayer & application. Thankfully, our Lord is a forgiving God who sends help to those seeking Him in earnst.

Anonymous said...

I am familiar with the long history of torture in the name of religious purity.
The Christian religion screams persecution and yet they are the greatest persecutors in history and the modern era.
If, in fact, there was persecution of Christian in the early milennia, I, for one, can certainly understand.
The Christian religion shows a distinct cruelty and absence of mercy, not to mentioned intelligence, behind an insincere veil of faith and concern.
More violence and war, not to mention private crimes of torture and oppression are committed in the name of religion, dare I say, the name of Jesus, than from any organized sector of society.
I hope for those atheist, agnostics and other civilized and concerned members of humanity and for all!

TJinSG said...

God was/is sure a merciful god. Read Leviticus 26:14-38 to see what he would have done to the Isrealites if they did not follow him. Here is a sampling.

22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.
24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.
Or how about John 3:36, basically believe or else.
36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.


Anonymous said...

Religion, in general, is simply the ultimate "Wait until your father gets home!" threat.

Religion is really spelled "C-O-N-T-R-O-L" and with "Jesus Christ, Inc." religion is also spelled: "M-O-N-E-Y" and "C-O-N-T-R-O-L"!

Ancients who lived in the shadow of the volcano appeased the god of the vlocano with sacrifices or offerings...the priesthood lived off the offerings and contolled the populace through threat and intimidation

Bugga! Bugga!

It ain't changed in the last 40,000 years.

When Christianity made its appearance with it's message of LOVE, SALVATION, PEACE and GOODWILL; the chage was dramatic...
the pace of atrocities committed in the name of Christ escalated!

We've all read abut the Inquistion, the Salem Witch Trials, the witch hunters in Merrie Olde England.

Here's two a lot of folks don't know about...but you can look them up in Wikipedia:

The Mountain Meadows Massacre (A little gruesome goings on by the Mormons) and the Albigensian Crusade (1209 to 1229) where the Catholic Church murdered an estimated 1,000,000 Cathars ...

Religion? No thanks!

Anonymous said...

It seems Man has a taste for evil deeds while at the same time speaks to loving one another... Yet in our comments on message boards, though without a knife, we see just how deeply we can cut one another.

We would likely live in a more peaceful world if we chose our leaders more carefully, but that would also mean some of us loving, peaceful folk would have to take on the task of passing judgement on them and punishing them when they misbehave! We must then determine when that becomes a catch 22...

Anonymous said...

The reason SOME Christians will not stand up and say torture is wrong is because even though their hearts tell them it "is" wrong, their bible tells them otherwise. According to the men who wrote the bible, god is not only ok with the torture of people of different faiths, he actually orders the killing of them. This includes men, women, children, babies, but sometimes allows his male followers to keep the virgins for themselves.(Numbers 15-18). This is just one of the many instances where God seems fine with the torture and killing of non-likeminded people. Christians are so confused. Should they please the loving God(Love thine enemy) or please the wrathful god(torture thine enemy) Now for anyone who would say that God did not order torture, but death only, think of how a young girl would feel, who just watched her entire family being murdered, including her grandparents and baby brother, and then be expected to have sex with the very perpetrators.
I believe Christians realize deep inside torture is wrong but go along with it because they refuse to say the bible is wrong (for fear of lightning bolts or HELL). So they find it easier to just keep their mouths shut about the whole subject.
The bible is a human product written by primitive man. Wake up from your dream people... please for humanity's sake.

Andrew said...

I guess when you don't understand Christianity ... nor the old testament ... nor the proper exegesis of scripture ... nor the defensible scholarly view of Christianity today -- you have to resort to the straw man of attacking 15th century CATHOLIC (take note) notions of Christianity.

It's very clear that torture and all the things the catholic church did in the 1500s were against Jesus and against scripture. The catholic church was caught up in its extra-biblical doctrine (note that: none of its condoning of the crusades or torture is in the bible.)

Did God command the Israelites to kill other nations? Yes. Often these other nations were engaged in rape and infant sacrifice.

Today though we are in the new covenant (post-Jesus) and whereas God lead people directly in the OT, today he leads by his holy spirit. And the Spirit would never tell someone to do something inconsistent with Jesus' words.

Jesus said "Love your neighbor as yourself." It's hard to love someone when you are killing them.

As to the right-or-wrongness of torture .. the bible doesn't say anything. I would rather someone be waterboarded (not die) than american lives taken. But this is simply a debate we will come down on different sides of.


"The bible is a human product written by primitive man."

Why do you suppose millions of modern intelligent people today hold fast to it? Wouldn't time have made it relevant? It's still shockingly relevant and applicable to our culture today ... time SHOULD have made it irrelevant.

Then there's the sheer number of prophecies fulfilled in the bible over the course of 3000 years ... all one consistent message from beginning to end by over 60 authors. This is why it stands as the most read and revered book on the face of the earth.


"Wake up from your dream people... please for humanity's sake."

So atheistic naturalism would help us out? 'You're just a bunch of fucking electrons and then you die.' Would that view of humanity really help us out?

If evolution created us why not kill everyone? Why not have a holocaust? It's consistent with evolution

Anonymous said...

If criminals today knew that such as the crocodile shears & the judas
cradle would be used on them, there'd be much, much less crime.
REVIVE TORTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Or...perhaps God shows mankind a better way to live by loving one another and mankind perverts it into torture and compulsion. All men, religious or not, are capable of nspeakable cruelty e.g. Stalin, Hitler etc. It is not confined to any one belief system. You are quick to blame God but don't seem to believe in his opposite or Satan (Or whatever you want to call him) or attribute any of the horrible behavior you describe to that being or to evil men - only to God. Why is that?

Editor said...

In response to Andrew, the 15th century Catholics had nothing to do with the witch burnings, this was a Protestant creation that made the inquisitions look like child's play and was brought to the "New World" by zealots of "the faith" as well.

Alan said...

Ron USN Ret
As a former US Army SF soldier who was also waterboarded in SERE I seem to remember there was a reason we went through that.To show us what the evil enemy who does not possess American values would do to us if captured.Don't you think that's why we were also taught the escape part?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author.
I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back from now on.

I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great
work, have a nice afternoon!

Stop by my homepage ... easy diets that work