I’ve been reading How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. It’s a fascinating book that makes a very compelling argument for why Catholic-Christianity is responsible for the moral, ethical, and legal basis for Western civilization.
When the author compares some element of Western civilization with the way the pagan world operated in Christ’s time, I am often struck by how similar the pagan world was to the way the Left wants our world to become.
I recommend this book, even if you’re no fan of Catholicism. All of Christianity was Catholic until 1517, by which time Western civilization was well established.
Even where they reject certain Catholic doctrines, most Protestants take Catholic values for granted. This is very evident in the Constitution, which was written by Protestants and which the Left wants to radically alter.
This book can give you a good insight into the political and cultural battles we face today and make it even more clear that it’s not so much a political and cultural battle as it is a spiritual one.
Booker T. Washington was born on April 5, 1856, the illegitimate son of a black slave and a white plantation owner. Following emancipation, he worked his way through school, eventually becoming a teacher. In 1881, at the age of 25, he helped to found the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, a college for training black teachers.
Washington devoted his life to improving the lives of black Americans through education and vocational training, with a strong emphasis on teaching the life skills they would need to gain social acceptance, overcome white racism, and lead productive lives. He was often criticized by other black civil rights leaders of his time who found his style too understated and insufficiently confrontational. Washington’s formula for success for black Americans — education, thrift, and hard work — is what many black kids nowadays dismiss as “acting white.”
Booker T. Washington said:
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”
“No greater injury can be done to any youth than to let him feel that because he belongs to this or that race he will be advanced in life regardless of his own merits or efforts.”
“There’s a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. … Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances because they do not want to lose their jobs. There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well because as long as the disease holds out, they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.”
Washington wrote fourteen books, including an autobiography, Up From Slavery, which was published in 1901. He was instrumental in raising the funds for and helping to establish thousands of educational institutions for blacks throughout the south. He remained head of the Tuskegee Institute until his death in 1915, at which time Tuskegee’s endowment had grown to more than $1.5 million, due largely to his efforts.
If you are a Trump voter who is sick of being portrayed as evil by the lying left, then you know exactly how I feel about the lies that are commonly believed about the Catholic Inquisition.
Excerpt from “Seven Lies About Catholic History” by Diane Moczar (pp. 95-96, altered slightly for clarity only) [TAN, 2012]:
Spanish King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V came to his thrones as a young man just as Luther was getting going nicely. He was understandably anxious that the appalling disorder and loss of life caused by Protestants in the German lands not spread to his realm of Spain.
Thus he had the Office of the Spanish Inquisition keeping a lookout for Protestant missionaries trying to infiltrate Spain from the north. The very presence of this court seems to have had the desired effect: in the whole of the sixteenth century, the century of the Reformation, the Spanish Inquisition executed 182 heretics, or less than two per year.
By comparison the Protestant persecutions of Catholics in England, Ireland, the Netherlands, and elsewhere in northern Europe, together with the wars fought between Catholics and Protestants on the European continent, took tens of thousands of lives.
BBC: De-mythologizing the Spanish Inquisition
This video is long, but it is VERY much worth watching! What most people think they know about the Spanish Inquisition is based on anti-Catholic slander published by Protestants in the 16th c. This so-called “Black Legend” has been repeated ever since. The Spanish Inquisition kept meticulous records which have now, finally, been opened up and really studied by serious historians. The story they tell is very different from the “Black Legend.”
The last five minutes is particularly compelling. A fellow I believe is a Spanish historian explains why the myths about the Inquisition became so popular and pervasive. His insights speak loudly to our own political myths. One point he makes is that a myth is simple; it is easier to believe a simple lie than to wrap our minds around the complexities of reality. The other point is that we don’t like to face the ugliness within our own natures; it is more comfortable to project that ugliness on to some “other” who is sufficiently distant to be safely demonized.
Catholic theologians used Catholic doctrine to condemn mistreatment of New World natives during the Age of Discovery. Their writings formed the basis of international law, a concept that did not exist at the time.
An excerpt from How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. (p. 153) [Regnery, 2005] —
That injustices were committed in the conquest of the New World no serious person will deny, and priests at the time chronicled and condemned them.
But it is natural that we should wish to find some silver lining, some mitigating factor, amid the demographic tragedy that struck the peoples of the New World during the Age of Discovery.
And that silver lining was that the encounters between these peoples provided an especially opportune moment for moralists to discuss and develop the fundamental principles that must govern their interaction.
In this task they were aided enormously by the painstaking moral analysis of Catholic theologians teaching in Spanish universities.
As Hanke rightly concludes,
“The ideals which some Spaniards sought to put into practice as they opened up the New World will never lose their shining brightness as long as men believe that other peoples have a right to live, that just methods may be found for the conduct of relations between peoples, and that essentially all the peoples of the world are men.”
These are ideas with which the West has identified for centuries, and they come to us directly from the best of Catholic thought.
Thus do we have another pillar of Western civilization constructed by the Catholic Church.
“There are 109 verses in the Qu’ran that call Muslims to war with non-believers.” [5:18]
“Reports of Spanish mistreatment of the New World natives prompted a severe crisis of conscience among significant sectors of the Spanish population in the sixteenth century, not least among philosophers and theologians.” – Thomas E. Woods, Jr., How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization [p. 136]
This was a new thing in world history. Before the rise of Catholic nation states, nobody much cared how conquerors treated the conquered. Might made right, as they say. It was standard practice for the mighty invaders to loot and pillage the natives, to slaughter those who resisted, to burn their property, and to enslave the survivors.
And, while the slaughter of New World natives was a heinous evil, the fact is that the foundations of international law were laid in the sixteenth century because Spanish Catholics were appalled about it.
“Laws governing the interaction of states had remained vague throughout the years, and had never been articulated in any clear way. The circumstances arising from the discovery of the New World gave impetus to the study and delineating of those laws … when theologians applied themselves to a serious reckoning with these issues. … Here again does the Catholic Church give birth to a distinctly Western idea.” — – Thomas E. Woods, Jr., How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization [p. 136-137]