Religion: A touch of evil
Christopher Jones writes: The Cathars considered everything of this earth inherently evil and I am not too far away from this idea. The cruelties of the past are easily explained by the single minded belief that these cruelties were being inflicted in name of good, which is perhaps the most evil thought of all. Interestingly and perhaps unwittingly, Lynda Nyquist mentions Nazi atrocities in the same message as cruelty to animals: I am reminded of Eugen Drewerman who said that "God created man to torture animals" and correctly pointed out thaat the Shoah pales by comparison to what man has inflicted on animals out of greed or pure lust for blood.
RH: This is an over-simplification of the ideas of the Cathars, known in France as the Albigensians. who saw life as a struggle between good and evil. Pope Innocent III ordered their ruthless suppression, for which purpose the Dominicans and then Inquisition were used. Dante applauded this cruelty, Dante himself being a cruel, cantankerous individual. Despite his literary fame, I therefore do not like him. His "Inferno" expresses his willingness to condemn individuals to hell without trial in the worst tradition of hanging judges, He thought he was speaking for God, as did the misguided Pope.
Ronald Hilton 2005
April 13, 2005