After reading this, please don’t form an angry mob outside my house brandishing pitchforks, torches, sickles, and lanterns. There’s no right or wrong position being espoused here. I’m just sayin’ . . . .
Charles Manson is well known for his cult following of marauding murderers and sadistic killers. He had a way of convincing some folks to snuff out lives indiscriminately, without conscience. Fortunately, he died on November 19, 2017, so for some sickos, their martyr is gone.
Don’t you think it’s strange we have a goofy rabbit, sometimes referred to as Peter Cottontail, who (as the folklore goes) carries a basket filled with colored eggs, chocolate images of himself and jellybeans (shaped like eggs) and delivers them to children on a day that celebrates the resurrection from the dead of the executed savior, Jesus Christ? I don’t quite understand the correlation of the two, but I assume when the Easter Bunny was conceived, some thought went into associating his origin with the death of the Messiah.
In its infancy, Christianity was considered a personality cult. Throughout history, many people were killed by the followers of Jesus. The difference is it was not at his bidding, whereas Charlie Manson commanded his people to rain mayhem down upon unsuspecting souls. Christ couldn’t know what was going on (as he was dead), even though those doing the killing and torturing declared they were doing so “in his name.” Was Peter (the rabbit) created as a sort of soothing distraction? Who could blame a cute little bunny, giving away treats, for any indiscretions of the past? I’m sure anyone being tortured during the Spanish Inquisition did not have furry little critters dancing in their heads. They were just a little busy croaking.
There were several phases of inquisitive behavior (1184 – 1860); however, the Spanish Inquisition (1478 – 1834) is considered by historians the most notorious of them all; quite a blemish on the permanent record of influential distributors of The Word. There is not much mention of it during contemporary sermons. It’s better to forget and let bygones be bygones. After all, those who were involved are no longer available for interviews, and descendants can’t change whatever an ancestor considered appropriate.
Although the episode was referenced by many at the time as a “cleansing of souls,” it is argued to have been an economic grab bag, “unofficially” endorsed by the Spanish Monarchy to beef up a depleted Treasury, whose bills were coming due. The Horror Show began as a campaign to rid the land of non-believers and establish the Catholic Church as the one true religion.
But a big factor in its intensified purpose was the King of Spain owed lots of coin to Jewish merchants and money lenders, who helped finance overseas exploration and military campaigns (the Crusades), expecting to eventually be repaid. Because the King’s cupboard was bare, the best way to avoid paying back the loans was to force the Jews to become Christians, and if they refused (which most did) they would be killed under torture and their estates surrendered to the Church state. It was a win/win. If the Jews converted, they would donate a hefty portion of their funds to the Church state and if they didn’t, the money became Church state property upon their expiration.
Apparently, the fun part for the Inquisitors was the torture. They developed Torture Devices that no Confessor could ever withstand. Anyone subjected to these confession-letting tools eventually agreed they were heretics or would become Conversos, or died before they could. It’s interesting to note that several of the torturous contraptions had some underlying sexual perversion (hmmmm) associated with them. Some were attached to genitalia or inserted in orifices normally used for sexual activity or expulsion of bodily fluids and waste. I can picture in my mind a Church official wringing his hands while slobbering on his bib during the confessional ceremonies, enjoying the suffering of the soon-to-be convert or corpse (maybe that’s why they wore the long robes). Once they were done with Jews and heretics, the Inquisitors turned to witches, which gave them even more opportunity to indulge their sexual repression.
As a youngster, Easter meant coloring eggs, eating chocolate, a new suit from either Robert Hall in Suitland or Hecht’s Bargain Basement in Marlow Heights, those colored chicks from the 5 & 10 in Capitol Heights that always died within a week, and pancake breakfast at the First Baptist Church on 57th Avenue. Then there was fidgeting through the preacher’s talk about Christ and why we celebrate Easter, but all that went over my head because I couldn’t wait to get home to find the hidden eggs. I bet more children overdosed on hard-boiled eggs during that time of year than any other. The eventual flatulence was cause for celebration as each kid tried to out-toot the other. It was a grand time, followed by several days out of school. So, what about Jesus? Lost in the childish celebration of Easter is the reason for the holiday.
The Spanish Inquisition was evil, regardless of how it was perceived while taking place. Hindsight and our evolving mores tell us that something like that should not have happened. But it did. The views of torture and execution change with the times. Anyone subjected to the Inquisitors would think Abu Ghraib was like summer camp.
It’s over and done with and we just have to live with the fact it ever occurred. Fanatic following of any personality can lead to evil and multiple deaths of innocents. It just has to be kept in check. We can declare all the holidays we want to make it seem better, but it can’t erase the past. Charles Manson should never be forgiven. His victims can’t speak out for themselves. Neither can those who suffered during the Inquisition.
I’m just sayin’ . . . .
Bake My Fish