Church and State


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Origin of the Priesthood
Maintaining Deceptions
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Selecting Sources
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Retrospective Prophesy
Ambiguous Authorities
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Invent, Amend and Discard
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Case Studies
Re-branding a Sky-God
Making One God out of Many
How Mary keeps her Virginity
Fabricating the Nativity Story
Managing Inconvenient Texts
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Rational Explanations
Religion in General
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Divine Human Beings
Ease of Creating Religions
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    Record of Christianity
    Social Issues
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  • Church & State
  • Symbiosis
  • Meddling in Governance
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  • Abuse of Power
  • Church Law and Justice
  • Exemption from the Law
  • Unofficial Exemption
  • Financial Privileges
  • Control Over Education
  • Human Rights
  • Freedom of Belief
  • Religious Toleration
  • Freedom of Expression
  • Freedom of Enjoyment
  • Attitudes to Sex
  • Celibacy
  • Sex Within Marriage
  • Sex Outside Marriage
  • Incest
  • Rape
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  • Bestiality
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  • Necrophilia
  • Consequences
  • Science & Medicine

  • Ancient Times
  • Dark and Middle Ages
  • Sixteenth Century
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  • 20th and 21st Centuries
  • Medical Records Compared
  • Violence & Warfare
  • Crusades
  • God's Wars
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  • Christian Atrocities
  • Cultural Vandalism
  • The Classical World
  • Europe
  • The Wider Modern World
  • Possible Explanations
    Summing up
    Marketing Religion
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    Continuing Damage
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    Christian Discrimination
    Moral Dangers
    Abuse of Power
    A Final Summing Up
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    "History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose."
    Thomas Jefferson, letter to Alexander von Humboldt, 1813


    Lord Acton's aphorism about the effects of power is well known: Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely*. What is less well known is that he was referring to the power of the papacy, although he was himself a Roman Catholic. Misuse of power has been widespread throughout Christendom, among all leading denominations. The Anglican record is little better than that of the Roman Church. As the Right Rev. Stephen Sykes, Bishop of Ely, stated in 1990, the Church has always misused its power*. In this section we will take a look at why Lord Acton and Bishop Sykes should make statements like this.

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    §. Lord Acton (1834-1902), Historical Essays and Studies, Appendix. [ in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, 1887]

    §. "It is quite clear that power is a reality in the Church and it has always in Church history been misused". This remark was made in an address to the General Synod of the Church of England and quoted by The Independent, 14 th July 1990.

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