The worst government is the most moral.
One composed of cynics is often
very tolerant and humane.
when the fanatics are on top there
is no limit to oppression."
"When money transactions replace gift transactions,
the circle of self shrinks to eventually become the lonely, mercenary domain of
John Calvin and
Adam Smith. To live in the gift reverses that
process, undoing the bonds of the discrete and
separate self and all that goes with it. To live in the gift is to
relinquish the compulsion to control, the program to label and number the
world, the quest for reductionistic certainty, the drive to convert the
world into money and
John (Jehan) Calvin, a
strict literalist, believed Biblical scripture to be the actual incorruptible
Word of God which carried
John Calvin, trained to
be a lawyer, studied under some of the best legal minds of the Renaissance in France.
Part of that training involved
the newer humanistic methods of exegesis, which dealt with a text in the
original language directly via historical and grammatical analysis, as opposed
to indirectly via layers of commentators.
John Calvin legal and
exegetical training was important as he
applied these exegetical methods to
the Biblical scripture.
John Calvin systemized
the Protestant interpretation of the scriptures with the publication of The
Institutes of the Christian Religion.
John Calvin self-consciously imagined
biblical narrative literally.
Calvin taught a corrupt literal interpretation of scripture.
Calvin taught total depravity (people are born evil and care only about
themselves) and predestination (some people are destined to hell,
especially those who refute the dogma of
total depravity and predestination -
John Calvin had a
flawed sense of logic. Man is totally depraved and yet somehow those totally
depraved human beings were able to perfectly
document and accurately describe through Biblical accounts the attributes of
"If there were no one to punish, then God would be incapable of
demonstrating that he was a mysteriously vindictive God." -
John Calvin made the
claim that only his interpretation of scripture was to be absolute - with stern
retribution for transgressors.
John Calvin founded
the first Protestant absolutist
theocracy in Geneva, Switzerland.
Calvinist Geneva, the "Protestant
Rome," was a totalitarian police state
with systematic subjugation of an entire populace according to a specific
doctrine - Calvinistic dogma.
In 1542 the council approved John Calvin's religious regulations.
The ministry was divided into pastors, teachers, lay (nonreligious)
elders, and deacons. The pastors governed Calvin's Church, and their permission
was required to preach in Geneva. To control
public behavior, an elected group of pastors and elders were given the
right to search people's homes; to banish anyone from the city; to force
attendance at weekly sermons; and to ban gambling, drinking, dancing, and immodest dress.
Criticism of John
Calvin and other church officials was forbidden, as were immoral writings
and books about Catholicism. Punishment for first offenses was usually a fine.
Repeat offenders were banished, and extreme offenses carried
the death penalty. From 1541 until
John Calvin's death fifty-eight people were executed and seventy-six were
banished in order to preserve the moral order
of Calvinistic dogma.
sculpture or public art was forbidden. A special permit was required to print
anything for publication. It was forbidden to write letters abroad, and local
mail was all read by a committee, coming and going. Everyone was encouraged to
spy on everyone else, children on their parents, workers against each other,
servants against their masters." - Rafi Metz*
"Most savagely of all were
punished any offenders whose behavior challenged Calvin's
political and spiritual
infalliblity. A man who had publicly protested against the reformer's
doctrine of predestination was mercilessly flogged at all the crossways of the
city and then expelled. A book printer who, in his cups, had railed at Calvin
was sentenced to have his tongue perforated with a red-hot iron before being
expelled from the city. Jacques Gruet was racked and then executed merely for
having called Calvin a hypocrite." -
Stephan Zweig*, The Right To Heresy
John Calvin was
instrumental in the burning of Michael
Servetus* the physician who first accurately discribed the
circulation of blood.
and John Calvin
communicated by letter each trying to convince the other of his
Servetus was denounced as a heretic by
Guillaume Trie, a rich merchant who had taken refuge in Geneva and friend of
Michael Servetus was
convicted of heresy by the French inquisition
but escaped before his execution could be carried out.
Michael Servetus shortly thereafter attended a
sermon by John Calvin
in Geneva and was arrested. Michael Servetus
was found to be a heretic and was
condemned to be burned alive.
executioners tied Michael Servetus to a
chair, lowered him into the flames, then raised him up, then lowered him into
the flames again, and again, and again, so in all it took half an hour before
back to stacks
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and is responsible for the collapse of morals, the elevation of self-centered
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