11) Renaissance vs Reformation

To understand how the educated – for real, collectively, the best educated people – elite could use such appalling unscientific grounds to effect such massive changes in entrenched religious views, we need to place their ideas in the context of their time.

The Renaissance is often envisioned in terms of Italy’s resurgence of magnificent art. But the workhorse printing press is what truly resurrected medieval society back to knowing, and emulating Edgar Allan Poe’s poetically succinct summary in To Helen [of Troy]

Until about a 100 years ago, we were quite sure that the Trojan War was purely legend, and that asking when it happened would be like asking when Atlantis sank. But at the close of the 19th century archaeologists led by Heinrich Schliemann found the remains of a great citadel that existed on the Western shore of Asia Minor, the traditional location of Troy, and which appeared to be overrun in a great war around the year 1250 B.C.E., a time which is compatible with the traditional story of the Trojan War.

The gods of the Trojan War are the missing links from which both classical Greece and Rome are descended.

The best starting point to begin any cursory investigation into the Classical World is with the twin verse epics compiled by Homer…Iliad and Odyssey…between 1050 and 850 BC…Much like contemporary Hollywood superheroes, in whom we see our own desires and appetites incarnated…The Greek and Roman deities…often appear astonishingly childish…Constantly swayed by anger, jealousy, resentment, and envy, they are prone to violent temper tantrums whenever they fail to get their own way. Zeus (Homer’s thundering “storm-bringer”) notoriously metamorphosed himself into various animal forms in order to impregnate a succession of unwitting and reluctant women…Through his mother Olympias, Alexander considered himself a direct descendant of Achilles[a demigod]…he used to sleep with a dagger and his private Iliad under his pillow, calling it his journey-book of excellence in war…Alexander lived out the poems he most preferred…

What began on…Alexander the Great’s Makran expedition passed to the Ptolemies in Egypt, to the generals and emperors of Rome to crowds as vast as 150,000 in the Circus Maximus.

[Roman] Virgil’s Aeneid, which is modelled on both Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey in almost obsessive detail and yet transforms them at every turn, begins and ends with anger. Instead of the mutual regard between Achilles and Priam that characterizes the final scene of the Iliad, Virgil chose to conclude with a duel between the champions on either side, Trojan and Latin: Aeneas [another demigod] slaughters Turnus in an excess of fury…In his anguish, Achilles abuses the corpse of his enemy, until even the gods are appalled at his inhumanity…

The scene has shocked and disturbed many readers, for the chilling violence with which Virgil elected to end his poem…Why has Virgil outdone Homer in the ferocity of the ending? Sex and violence presented together clearly provided a highly arousing combination…

erotic tales…permeated the world of Greek and Roman mythology.

At Greek drinking parties (‘symposia’), the only women in attendance were slave girls and the high point was drinking wine afterwards…[Greek and Roman males] had sexual relations with one another..such couplings were…broadly acknowledged as simple facts of life.

Judging by the available evidence, the human appetite for sexual license is matched only by a concomitant lust for gruesome depictions of violence…

mass carnage…took place…on a regular basis…

The setting of wild beasts against men and other animals may have provided exotic kicks, but it was the the Imperial Games that drew the biggest crowds as each emperor vied to surpass his predecessor in staging grandiose scenes of indiscriminate slaughter…Emperors were well advised to provide suitably gruesome entertainment for their avid audiences, because crowds as vast as 150,000 in the Circus Maximus could use the occasion to shout out specific complaints or praises at their ruler…punishments began to be staged in outlandish mythical or fantasy styles.

Sex and violence presented together clearly provided a highly arousing combination. Fans went wild for particularly virile stars…it was a small step at Rome to stage the myth of Pasiphae, who squatted inside a wooden cow and had sex with a bull…

Caligula enjoyed playing the role of gladiator himself, while Claudius was known to be particularly fond of a bloody fight to the finish…When [Nero’s wife was] kicked to death by Nero, he picked the freedman who looked most like her, had him castrated, and used him for sex instead…after personally fighting ostriches in the arena, Commodus (177-192) cut off their necks and advanced on the senators in their special seats…gesticulated at the Senators as though their necks might be next.

“Women having sex with animals…squatted inside a wooden cow [mounted by] a bull…”

I thought I was familiar with sexual abuse through my profession, but I discovered how innocent I was in thinking that this exhibition surely killed the woman when I googled “pornography of woman having sex with a bull and received “About 53,900,000 results (0.47 seconds)”.

The enduring appeal of sex and violence provides a contiguous thread throughout the history of Ancient Greece and Rome, raising issues which percolate all the way down to the Renaissance and questions that remain relevant to many contemporary controversies and conflicts.

Renaissance artists clearly knew what their audiences liked and satisfied this appetite for cruelty by depicting buckets of gore, suppurating gashes, and the extremities of torture. Graphic decapitations of…John the Baptist…Jesus impaled on the cross invariably spurted bright gouts of crimson blood…After Michelangelo, Caravaggio (1571-1610) exerted the most prodigious influence on Italian painting as it evolved…

Like Homer and Herodotus, his lasting influence has continued to echo down the centuries, informing…a host of other artists…

Amor vincit omnia [Love Conquers All] is known to have…lived with Caravaggio…and the two may well have been lovers…his Del Monte period are replete with “full-lipped, languorous boys…who seem to solicit the onlooker with their offers of fruit, wine, flowers – and themselves”…Louis Crompton, in his “Homosexuality and Civilization…”Caravaggio’s 1599 portrait of a Boy With Flowers is incontrovertibly androgynous, as are all eight versions he painted of St John the Baptist.



Amor’s nudity is blocked here. His work is certainly obsessive, and assuredly obscene by depicting the ascetic St. John the Baptist in his paradigm.

In doing so he reveals the nature of the Renaissance – “transforming Christian society back to unbridled sexuality including what is still known today as Greek sex.

It took the Puritan Reformation to put a stop to such voyeuristic pleasures being purveyed in churches.”

The war banner of the Reformers was “Know the Truth, And the Truth Will Set You Free.”

Martin Luther struck the first blows against the corruption of both the medieval Roman Catholic Church and the Renaissance of sex and violence. How? Simply by empowering ordinary people to read the Bible for themselves, where they could discover individual freedom from both religious tyranny and “lusts of the flesh”, what we currently call addictions to physical drives leading to self- and other-destructive behaviors like substance and sexual abuse.

Martin Luther became the world’s first best-selling author.In the seven years from 1518 to 1525, Luther’s writings accounted for a third of all books sold in Germany and his German language Bible went through more than 430 editions.

This kicked off a frenzy of translating the Bible into the national languages with a resultant surge of Bible adherents breaking away from Catholic dictates.

Having Bibles wasn’t enough, they needed to be read by individuals, not pontificated from pulpits to gullible followers. “It has been estimated that “in the later Middle Ages out of the total population 10 per cent of men and I per cent of women were literate.” Martin Luther advocated state-funded free education of all social levels, for both boys and girls.

This policy elevated Germany to the heights of academic and scientific scholarship.

In the nineteenth century the Germany university was the most admired institution of higher education in the western world.

As literacy and education rates among Protestants rose, they began out-earning their Catholic counterparts. Five centuries after Luther, that earning gap persists.

So powerfully did Luther’s influence reverberate down through the agesthat, during a visit to Germany in 1934, Rev. Michael King Sr. chose to change both his and his son’s name to Martin Luther King. MLK Jr…. [the] namesake of the great German reformer would make full use of the power of free speech in catalyzing the American civil rights movement.

John Knox the 16th century Scottish…is remembered mainly for his reform of the Scottish church / kirk but he also made a significant contribution to the reform of education, which has lasted until the present day and has impacted on other contexts.

Ironically, Hutton with his Principles of Geology was the product of the Reformer’s success in empowering all men and women to read to “know the truth”. He chose to go to the Dark Side.

aj2yxiq89xs31As did France, which transmogrified into an apex predator.

In 1789 the French Revolution began by denying religion altogether. Accepting only what the senses could experience, it set up the atheistic Cult of Reason. Proclaiming “Renaissance humanistic ideals”, it replaced

  • the Hebrew 7 day work week with Rome’s 10-day work week,
  • sacred days of worship with pagan sensual festivals replete with intoxication and rape.

Robespierre, one of the most influential leaders of the revolution, detested the amoral culture spawned by atheism. Believing, like Nietzsche did later, that belief in a god was necessary to achieve the virtue essential to a Republican form of government, Robespierre replaced the Cult of Reason by the Cult of the Supreme Being.

Within the year Robespierre was executed, and his religious reformation wiped out.

perhaps his compatriot the Comte de Mirabeau was closer to the mark when he acidly observed, “Liberty’s a bitch who likes to be fucked on a mattress of corpses.


Promising enlightenment through scientific discoveries, freedom from religious dogma, and political democracy for all classes, the French Revolution rapidly degenerated into an orgy of blood eliminating everyone refusing to submit to the new ruler’s laws, or deemed unfit for service. And not just for France, but for most of continental Europe. And not just for France, but for most of continental Europe under the first of two lowly privates catapulted to Supreme Dictator of the reorganized Roman Empire seized from the Church.

Napoleon crowned himself Emperor in the presence of the Pope, like Charlemagne who kicked off what became retroactively known as the 1st Reich with the “Holy Roman Empire.”

This usurpation of what had been the Pope’s authority for millenia enhanced Napoleon’s intended impression, that he was the highest authority in France, more powerful than the Church.


Like August Caesar before him, he already had absolute power through his position of First Consul for ife. Unlike Caesar, by doing this, Napoleon did away with the flimsy illusion of the Republic. Napoleon further undid any democratic reforms of the Revolution by re-establishing the French aristocracy, the French Court, and granting titles and land to those that served him well throughout his campaigns.

The second lowly private was, of course, Hitler with his Third Reich. Again with the Pope’s approval.

In July 1933, Hitler and Pope Pius XI signed a concordat, or treaty. On the face of it, the Vatican had scored a great triumph…

Hitler had even more reason to be satisfied. The concordat was his first international agreement, and it vastly enhanced his respectability in Germany and abroad.

The second, of course, was Hitler with his Third Reich. Once again, with the Pope’s approval.

In July 1933, Hitler and Pope Pius XI signed a concordat, or treaty.On the face of it, the Vatican had scored a great triumph…

Hitler had even more reason to be satisfied. The concordat was his first international agreement, and it vastly enhanced his respectability in Germany and abroad.

The French Revolution was the shocking event that…ushered the West into the modern era. It provides a valuable cautionary tale against religious extremes and some of the most fascinating and bizarre episodes of history. Happy Bastille Day! May the Goddess Reason be with you.

What? Back up. How does the goddess Reason fit with “enlightenment through scientific discoveries?”

Festival of Reason, Paris, 1793

Thoughtful consideration of the available options must lead to a realization that identifying with the elitists of this world through shared ideologies simply traps the masses into becoming their victims, either for elimination or as slaves.

The following cases have NOTHING to do with religion. They are totally secular-humanist

A new study has found that as much as a sixth of foreign aid intended for the world’s poorest countries has flowed into bank accounts in tax havens owned by elites

Don’t imagine that living in a democracy keeps Americans safe from exploitation by an elite group of the world’s most gifted secular-humanist leaders

The most important assassination of the 20th century

Patrice Lumumba, the first legally elected prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo…assassinated…1961…by American and Belgian governments…

it was during the colonial period that the US acquired a strategic stake in the enormous natural wealth of the Congo, following its use of uranium from Congolese mines to manufacture the first atomic weapons…

Patrice Lumumba’s determination to achieve genuine independence and to have full control over Congo’s resources in order to…improve the living conditions of our people was perceived as a threat to western interests.

Africa Map Countries And Capitals - Google Search | When The - Printable Map Of Africa With Capitals

Joseph-Desiré Mobutumanaged to destroy the third largest – and potentially the richest – country in Africa…

Mobutu’s [assassination of Lumumba], almost certainly masterminded by the Americans…

Early in his rule, Mobutu consolidated power by publicly executing political rivalsand other threats to his rule…before an audience of 50,000 spectators.

In 1968, Pierre Mulele, Lumumba’s Minister of Education…was lured out of exile…still alive, his eyes were gouged out, his genitals were ripped off, and his limbs were amputated one by one…

Mobutu…nationalized foreign-owned firms and forced European investors out of the country…handed the management of these firms to relatives and close associates, who quickly…stole the companies’ assets…[the country] went from “prosperity to bankruptcy almost overnight”…

By 1977…rebels based in Angola invaded…The governments of Belgium and France deployed troops with logistical support from the United States and defeated the rebels…

Mobutu was re-elected in single-candidate elections in 1977 and 1984. He spent most of his time increasing his personal fortune…

The infrastructure virtually collapsed…The soldiers…supported themselves by robbing the civilian population…

[Meanwhile] Mobutu…cruised on the Congo on his yacht…he erected a palace, the “Versailles of the jungle”. For shopping trips to Paris, he would charter a Concorde from Air France;

The man who diplomats allege could pay off Zaire’s entire debt with a personal cheque has more than 20 luxury properties in the West

Mobutu’s rule earned a reputation as one of the world’s foremost examples of kleptocracy and nepotism

Mobutu led one of the most enduring dictatorships in Africa…

Mobutu was the subject of one of the most pervasive personality cults of the twentieth century. The evening newscast opened with an image of him descending through clouds like a god…He held such titles as “Father of the Nation”, “Messiah”, “Guide of the Revolution”, “Helmsman”, “Founder”, “Savior of the People”, and “Supreme Combatant”…

For the most part, Zaire enjoyed warm relations with the United States…Mobutu befriended several US presidents, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush

Zaire received nearly half the foreign aid Carter allocated to sub-Saharan Africa

Mobutu enjoyed a very warm relationship with the Reagan Administration…Mobutu visited the White House three times, and criticism of Zaire’s human rights record by the US was effectively muted…Reagan praised the Zairian strongman as “a voice of good sense and goodwill”.

Mobutu also had a cordial relationship with…George H. W. Bush; he was the first African head of state to visit Bush at the White House

Mobutu was befriended by televangelist Pat Robertson.

It’s official: half of the world’s wealth is now owned by the top 1%. Escalating levels of global inequality over recent years have led to the top percentile of wealth holders now possessing 50.4% of all household wealth, according to a new report by Credit Suisse.


Who owns that wealth?


Can’t feel smug about being a citizen of North America. The top 1% of U.S. earners now hold more than all of the entire middle class. The status of the middle class in America has fallen to that of supporting the rise of the elite class.



As of 2021, the nation’s middle class, defined as the middle 60% of the population, accounting for 77.5 million families, altogether holds less wealth than the top 1% of the population.

Their share in three main categories of assets — real estate, equities and private businesses — slumped in one generation. That made their lives more precarious, with fewer financial reserves to fall back on when they lose their jobs…

The concentration of wealth in the hands of a fraction of the population is at the core of some of the country’s major political battles…

Over the past 30 years…American wealth has shifted to the top 20% of earners, who now hold 70% of the total.

Financially squeezed workers helped drive support for former President Donald Trump and the populist turn in the Republican party.

Don’t imagine that American democracy protects from exploitation.


Could our conversion from Reformation to Renaissance culture have anything to do with that?

This is the recurring pattern whenever God is eliminated from society. As even atheist Nietzsche endorsed, the reality of freedom without an absolute moral foundation inevitably translates into one law “to rule them all” – Might Makes Right.

AKA Survival of the Fittest.

If this phrase alone doesn’t clarify the purpose of Evolution and the future of most of humanity then check out the common thread in good literature.


In its capacity to warn about such extremes, fantastic fiction has the edge over what is called realism. ‘Realism’ has a knee-jerk tendency to avoid extremes as implausible, but ‘Fantasy’ actively embraces them.”

History has proven that the Reformation’s foundational “Know the truth, and the truth will set you free” is the only path to freedom.


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