[Buddha-l] buddha-l Digest, Vol 103, Issue 6

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Mon Sep 16 16:07:30 MDT 2013

>> The Spanish Inquisition, to take just one of your examples, was not about 
>> hard-core Abrahamists persecuting multi-religionists. Generally the 
>> persecuted also belonged to a single religion -- Catholicism -- which has 
>> many sects. Those, like the conversos (derogatorily called Marranos in 
>> much literature), who remained closet Jews, were duplicitously 
>> maintaining two religions -- one publicly and the other in secret, so 
>> secret that it was forgotten even within the family after a few 
>> generations.
> Exactly my point. The Inquisition was aimed only at Catholics who were 
> practicing some other religion alongside their Catholicism.

No, it was aimed at deviance WITHIN a single religion. The converso 
circumstance was not a matter of a group happily dappling in multiple 
religions and receiving the ire of authorities for such dappling, but rather 
one where one had to hide one's actual religion in order to avoid execution, 
and took on the appearance of the second religion to avoid persecution. They 
were not being persecuted for participating in two (or more) religions, but 
in order to assure that their conversion was pure, to exorcise any remnants 
of former Judaism. Given their druthers, they would have dropped the 
Catholicism, not the Judaism. Many Spanish and Portugese Jews chose exile --  
many moved east into the eastern mediterranean, north africa and middle 
east, and in northern and eastern Europe Amsterdam and Poland being some of 
the few places welcoming the refugees (e.g. granting them some degree of 
citizenship, etc.).

As for Catholic subsects, they are still part of single religion. That there 
are authorities trying to regulate what is acceptable and requisite for such 
members doesn't alter that basic fact.

Let's try an analogy. US citizens can lean right, left, in between, spend 
more time tweeting and following celebrity fluff than learning the names and 
policies of their state and federal representatives, antisocial hermits, 
philanthropists, etc etc etc. They are all citizens, and while there is 
plenty of conflict -- actual and attitudinal -- between such groups, they 
concede, sometimes grudgingly, that those "others" are citizens with rights 
to vote,etc (though they may actively try gerrymander or obstruct those 
rights). Whether diversity within a religion is welcome or alarming to some 
of its members and leadership, it does not mean that diversity constitutes a 
different religion.

That religions sample and adopt elements from other traditions --  
appropriating INTO themselves those factors -- is something I mentioned 
before this side-thread appeared.

>So when I cite the Inquisition in general as an example of an attempt to go 
>against the grain of the general population, which was comfortable with 
>several religions to a customer,

They were not "comfortable". It was forced on them, not a matter of 
self-motivated sampling, and they were terrified.


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