Miscellaneous other false claims
It appears the culture wants to
blame the Catholic Church and other
Christians for a wide range of atrocities
that were perpetrated by various secular
cultures and individuals. For instance,
it is claimed that the Catholic Church
has favoured tyrannical governments,
mainly because they have opposed
‘liberation’ and other leftist groups.
This conclusion is drawn because the
church opposed the French revolution
and the Spanish Civil War (1936–
1939). However, these two revolutions
strongly persecuted the Church and
killed thousands of clergy as well as
untold thousands of other people. The
historical record shows that because the
Catholic clergy often opposed dictators
they were sometimes forced to support
tyrants as the lesser of two evils. Of
course, the Western press ignores the
20 million Russians executed for their
religion by the Russian revolution.
Stark concludes: “It simply isn’t true
that the Church opposes freedom and
democracy. Rather, it tends to oppose
tyrants, especially those who attempt to
destroy the Church” (p. 207).
It is also a myth that the Protestant
Reformation produced religious
freedom and a revival, gave birth to the
work ethic, and spawned capitalism.
Ironically, the most significant effect
of the Reformation was to produce the
Counter Reformation by the Catholic
Church to correct most of the abuses
that resulted from the ‘Church of
Power’ and allowed the ‘Church of
Piety’ to gain supremacy. The Church
of Power developed from the time
of Constantine when church offices
could simply be bought and were often
filled by non-Christians, a practice
called ‘simony’. History also shows
that capitalism actually started well
before the Reformation by monks3
and that capitalism encouraged the
development of the work ethic: “In
fact, capitalism was a very Catholic
invention: it first appeared in the great
Catholic monastic estates, way back in
the ninth century” (p. 213).
This book should give all of us
pause to reflect. We must constantly be
on guard for the myths of the past and
present-day myths, and be aware that
we likely have imbibed many myths. It
always helps to check original sources.
One wonders why secular scholars
continue to propagate so many
myths about the Catholic Church,
and Christianity, ignoring obvious
historical evidence. It was during
this ‘Enlightenment’ that the false
history seems to have started. It was
also during this time when Noah’s
Flood was tossed out, 10 millions of
years were claimed, and eventually
evolution was invented. How deep
does fake history go?
It is shocking that so many common
beliefs in our culture are false, but the
history shows this to be the case, thanks
to Stark and others. These myths are, in
part, responsible for the encouragement
of aggressive and violent atheists.
Protestants might note that this
year is the 500th anniversary of the
Reformation. A book like this should
help us focus on the real problems with
the Catholic Church, the theological
ones, especially since the Counter-
Reformation—denials of Sola
Scriptura and Sola Fide—without
being distracted by false charges. Note
that while the Catholic Church now
denies the sufficiency of Scripture, it
has historically affirmed the inerrancy
of Scripture, including all 66 books of
the correct Protestant canon. The power
of God’s Word in those 66 books is so
strong that it is bound to produce great
advances in science, art, and culture.
So, Protestants should not be surprised
that the Catholics’ use of those books
would bring greater benefit than it is
given credit for. Just as CMI has a
page “Arguments creationists should
NOT use”, this book could be called
“Arguments Protestants should not
Christians have always been
slandered by the culture, for instance
in Acts 28 Paul invites the local Jews
of Rome to hear him and they respond:
“with regard to this sect we know that
everywhere it is spoken against” (Acts
28:22b). But if a person wants to find
out the truth, it can be found. Jesus says
that if you want to find spiritual truth,
you need to actively seek it: “seek,
and you will find …” (Matthew 7: 7).
Without searching out the truth, it is
easy to believe the cultural myths that
sometimes can be very persuasive.
1. Stark, R., How the West Won: The neglected
story of the triumph of modernity, ISI Books,
Wilmington, DL, 2014; see review, Kulikovsky,
A., J. Creation 29( 1): 45–50, 2015.
2. Stark, R., For the Glory of God: How monotheism
led to reformations, science, witch-hunts, and
the end of slavery, Princeton University Press,
Princeton, NJ, 2003; see review, Williams, A.,
J. Creation 18( 2): 49–52, 2004.
3. Stark, R., The Victory of Reason: How Christianity
led to freedom, capitalism, and western success,
Random House Paperback edn, New York, 2005;
see review, Weinberger, L., J. Creation 20( 3):
4. Stark, R., God’s Battalions: The case for the
crusades, Harper One, New York, 2009.
5. Russell, J.B., Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus
and modern historians, Praeger, Westport, CT, 1997.
6. Many passages in the Old Testament can also
be taken to support anti-Semitism, but it would
be imbecilic to accuse the OT of being an anti-Semitic book. But the NT was also written by
Jews about a Jewish Messiah.
7. See also Rabbi Dalin, D.G., The Myth of Hitler’s
Pope: Pope Pius XII And his secret war against
Nazi Germany, Regnery, Washington, D. C., 2005.
8. The Catholic Church gets blamed for all the
criticism by the early Church Fathers since the
Catholic Church was the only one present at
the time, which is not the same as the Catholic
Church of Luther’s day or the Council of Trent.
9. Fara, P., Edmond Halley’s last portrait, Notes and
Records of the Royal Society 60:199–201, 2006 |
10. Oard, M.J. and Reed, J.K., How Noah’s Flood
Shaped Our Earth, CBP, Powder Springs, GA,