Tuesday, October 07, 2014

THE RADICALS

When the Radical Amish have serious disagreements with their brethren, they cut off the beards of their adversaries.  Our society convicts the offending Amish of hate crimes.

When the Radical Muslims have disagreements with anyone who does not believe as they do, they cut off the heads of their adversaries.  Much of the Muslim world either remains silent or lauds the pernicious murderers.  

However, as Harvey Yoder over at Harvspot points out, beheadings by religious fundamentalists are not new.  The early anabaptists were also know as The Radicals for their anti-establishment beliefs in the separation of church and state, adult baptism, non-violence, etc.  Below is Harvey's blogspot post:  

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Anabaptist Wolfgang Binder beheaded 1571
My wife's ancestor Hans Landis, one of the last known Anabaptists martyrs in western Europe, was executed in the year 1614, just 400 years ago.

Landis was one of thousands who were martyred for advocating for a free church, one completely independent of state control and free of all forms of coercion or violence.

One of the more common means of killing such dissidents in the time of the Protestant Reformation was beheading, next only to deaths by drowning or by burning at the stake. All of these brutalities against Anabaptists (adult baptizers) were carried out in the name of God by Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed jurisdictions alike.

Today we are shocked by similar forms of terrorism on the part of ISIL extremists. But even they have not even begun to decapitate as many people as were killed in this way by religiously controlled authorities in Christian-dominated Europe just centuries ago.

This suggests that brutal forms of torture and killing cannot be associated with any one religion, but with religious fundamentalists of any faith. Sadly, it took hundreds of years for so-called Christians to stop executing unbelievers, members of other faiths and even people of different Christian beliefs.

Maybe one day followers of Jesus will just get out of the killing business altogether.

16 comments:

Harvey Yoder said...

Thanks for posting this. Interesting blog!

Harvey Yoder said...

Thanks for posting this, Doug.

DES said...

You are welcome Harvey - thanks for coming over for a visit.

Bizzy Brain said...

Interesting information! I wonder if they went for head chopping to send an especially grisly message to their enemies, like the Islamists do today? Or if they had Uzis back then, would they have used those?

hoosierdaddy said...

Yes Bizzy, I think that they used the most grizzly means available in an attempt to quell the movement. When they burned Anabaptists at the stake, some of the martyrs continued to sing - so the executioners cut out their tongues. When Dirk Willems decided to forgo his escape to rescue his jailer from drowning, they killed him anyway. And as we know, despite such terrorism, Anabaptism continues to this day.

Bizzy Brain said...

Anabaptism will always be with us in one form or another, though one surefire way to reduce the number of members in the Mennonite version is to go ghey. The conflict this has created in the MCA strikes me as funny. The pro-ghey crowd relies on the "led by the Spirit" argument. On the other hand the anti-ghey crowd could also claim to be "led by the Spirit" (with a ton of scripture to back them up). The led by the spirit argument leads nowhere. I think the denomination should split into an anything goes group that does not regard homosexual acts as sinful, and a conservative group that sticks to the Bible. That is basically what happened with the Presbyterians. One group became anything goes (PCUSA) and the other remained true to the Bible (PCA).

Bizzy Brain said...

BTW, thanks for the Pastor Yoder link. Will put him on my reading list, and will even refrain from leaving acerbic comments. Lol!

DES said...

BB - glad to hear that you will show some restraint and some respect for the good pastor!!

DES said...

Bizzy - when the spirit moves, I will write a post about Mennos, gays, etc. Don't hold your breath.....

Bizzy Brain said...

Be good to hear your take on it, DES. I usually oversimplify. The liberals invaded my denomination, Southern Baptist Convention, decades ago through the seminaries and created lots of conflict, such as the MCA is now going through. Long story short, the SBC rid the seminaries of liberals and exerted church discipline on wayward congregations. We have a set doctrine based on a literal interpretation of the Bible, and the belief that scripture is unerring. If people want to abide by that, fine. If not, then find a church whose doctrine suits you. Don't tamper with ours.

hoosierdaddy said...

Bizzy Tizzy - So, literal interpretation of the Bible, eh. It clearly says that anyone who divorces and remarries is committing adultery; and it clearly says that adulterers should be put to death. So how many adulterers has your denomination put to death recently?

Bizzy in a Tizzy said...

I should have said, "Literal understanding of the scripture when properly interpreted." Lol! Was thinking of Genesis 1-11 when posting comment about "literal." But you raise an excellent point. For example, if a woman is married to a non-believer and her husband abandons her and disappears never to he heard from again, does that mean she is not free to remarry lest it be considered an adulterous relationship? Some would argue she is not free to remarry, others would argue she may without it being a sin.

Bizzy in a Tizzy said...

Genesis Chapters 1-11.

DES said...

BB - ah, the key phrase "when properly interpreted" - this acknowledges that scripture often requires interpretation, and hence the problems!!

Bizzy in a Tizzy said...

You hit the nail on the head, DES. And I don't think anyone has the slightest idea of how to overcome those differences of interpretation.

DES said...

BB - I think that differences of interpretation is the main reason there are 40,000 'brands' of Christianity.