Did Luther's reformation revolt kill 50,000 Catholics?


#1

I watched the movie Luther. It showed the slaughter of ordinary unarmed non-combatant Catholics (including women and children) and the burning of churches. It claimed that 50,000 Catholics were killed in the revolt in Germany. It did claim that this was not Luther himself, but his followers, who instagated the atrocity.

I would think that this, if true, would make the inquisition look like small potatoes.

Does anyone have any links, quotes or opinions on this issue? My sister is a Lutheran and she was horrified by such a thought.

I have to give the Lutheran church credit in the fact that they did not cover up this issue in their making of the movie Luther.

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


#2

Luther, in their writing was very anti-semite and against farmers that were catholics, and thanks of him, many princes and dukes rob properties to the church. I don´t know if there were 50,000 catholics killed, but there were, in addition we have the researches about 500 thousand witches killed in germany by the protestant inquisition, greetings


#3

500,000 witches is over the top by a factor of ten. It is true enough that prior to the Protestant Revolt, the Catholics did not kill very many “witches” but afterwards Catholics were guilty of it too.

Who Burned the Witches?
www.catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=4005

As for the violence in Germany due to the Revolt, the number of deaths due to the ensuing mobs and wars was in the six digits–for some reason 300,000 over a roughly period less than decade stands out in my memory, although it may have been less. I don’t know how many of these were Catholics.

This is one reason why the people of Spain saw the Inquisition as a blessing. “If rooting out heretics and putting to death a few hundred of them can save us from what is happening in Germany, then thank the Lord for the Inquisition!” they might have said.


#4

THE PROTESTANT INQUISITION “Reformation” Intolerance and Persecution Dave Armstrong

ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ247.HTM


#5

[quote=Steven Merten]I watched the movie Luther. It showed the slaughter of ordinary unarmed non-combatant Catholics (including women and children) and the burning of churches. It claimed that 50,000 Catholics were killed in the revolt in Germany. It did claim that this was not Luther himself, but his followers, who instagated the atrocity.

I would think that this, if true, would make the inquisition look like small potatoes.

Does anyone have any links, quotes or opinions on this issue? My sister is a Lutheran and she was horrified by such a thought.

I have to give the Lutheran church credit in the fact that they did not cover up this issue in their making of the movie Luther.

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com
[/quote]

## These may be of interest:

German Peasants War, 1524-1525
[font=Georgia]
Tyrolean Peasants War, 1525-1526

The German Peasants’ Rebellion

Peasant Violence: Rebellion and Riot in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1789

History of Baden-Württemberg - The Peasants’ War (1524-1525)


A better comparison than with the Inquisition, would be with mass risings such as the Jacquerie of 1358 - for which Luther can clearly not be blamed. Risings on a large scale were not invented by Luther - as the links make clear.


Plenty of churches were burned before Luther - his having burned churches and monasteries, was part of the case against William Wallace in 1307. Many churches were burned in France in the Hundred Years’ War of 1337-1453. Rebels will burn or otherwise destroy anything, churches included - so there is nothing remarkable in this having happened in the Peasants’ War of 1525. ##
[/font]


#6

Thanks for all the links. I guess I have my reading cut out for me know.

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


#7

[quote=Steven Merten]I
I have to give the Lutheran church credit in the fact that they did not cover up this issue in their making of the movie Luther.

[/quote]

I do not think the Lutheran church made this movie, any more than the Catholic Church made the Passion movie (unless it is another movie about Luther I am not familiar with)


#8

[quote=Steven Merten]I watched the movie Luther. It showed the slaughter of ordinary unarmed non-combatant Catholics (including women and children) and the burning of churches. It claimed that 50,000 Catholics were killed in the revolt in Germany. It did claim that this was not Luther himself, but his followers, who instagated the atrocity.

I would think that this, if true, would make the inquisition look like small potatoes.

Does anyone have any links, quotes or opinions on this issue? My sister is a Lutheran and she was horrified by such a thought.

I have to give the Lutheran church credit in the fact that they did not cover up this issue in their making of the movie Luther.

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com
[/quote]

Actually they did cover a large part of the story up Luther inspired this by writing a treatise the film makes it appear it was a mob that directed themselves they were instructed by the princes who were given instructions by Luther.

The film similarly shows Luther’s horror and grief over the massacre of over 100,000 peasants by the German princes in response to the peasant uprising — but fails to reveal that Luther himself, in a vituperative essay called “Against the Murdering and Thieving Hordes of Peasants,” specifically called upon the princes to show no mercy in crushing the uprising. This selective depiction creates the impression that the guilt and remorse we see Luther feeling over the peasant massacre is simply due to his awareness of how distortions of his own teachings played a role in the peasant revolt — which, since that seems not to have been Luther’s fault, implies that Luther was in no way implicated in the peasant massacre, when in fact he was.

THe Quote was from decentfilms.com
full story here
decentfilms.com/commentary/luther.html

Lutherans are sheltered from learning the darker side of Luther who wrote against the poor and the Jews.


#9

[quote=Steven Merten]I watched the movie Luther. It showed the slaughter of ordinary unarmed non-combatant Catholics (including women and children) and the burning of churches. It claimed that 50,000 Catholics were killed in the revolt in Germany. It did claim that this was not Luther himself, but his followers, who instagated the atrocity.
[/quote]

I don’t know the number of people killed by the peasants, but I’d guess it was well under 50,000. Probably no more than a few thousand at most. The figure of 100,000 gets thrown around for the number of peasants killed by the nobles in various battles and massacres. Whether the peasants count as Catholics is up to you, but many of them at least embraced their own version of Luther’s teaching and thus presumably don’t count as Catholics.

I would think that this, if true, would make the inquisition look like small potatoes.

Why? Peasant revolts happened a lot in the late Middle Ages. This one had a version of early Protestant theology thrown into the mix, but that’s hardly the same thing as organized, legalized execution of people for religious reasons. If you want to start counting wars and massacres, then we have to count all the people Catholics killed, and the numbers really start mounting up.

Besides, I’m not clear if you’re blaming Luther for the people the peasants killed or the peasants who were killed. I suppose you could try to get him for both–the peasants’ victims because some of the rebels were inspired by his ideas (even though he rejected their interpretation), and the peasants themselves because he urged the nobles to slaughter them (after hearing exaggerated and one-sided reports of the atrocities the peasants were committing). Of course, Luther’s initial response to the war was to tell both sides that they were doing wrong in fighting each other. So it seems rather unfair to blame him entirely for either set of victims, let alone both.

In Christ,

Edwin


#10

[quote=Franze]Luther, in their writing was very anti-semite and against farmers that were catholics, and thanks of him, many princes and dukes rob properties to the church. I don´t know if there were 50,000 catholics killed, but there were, in addition we have the researches about 500 thousand witches killed in germany by the protestant inquisition, greetings
[/quote]

Where are you getting that number from? As Racer says, the figure seems way too big in the first place. And in the second place, both Catholics and Protestant killed witches. Roughly speaking, the witch-hunts lasted from about 1400 to 1700. From what I’ve learned about this (I don’t claim to be an expert in this subject, but I did take a couple of classes in grad school from a guy who was), historians have not found a correlation between witch hunts and confessional affiliation. But what they have found is that the worst hysteria took place in areas where Catholic-Protestant conflict was rife. Solidly Catholic areas like Spain and Italy had many fewer witch-hunts, and the Inquisition seems to have been in part responsible for this. They were generally more careful and more professional than the episcopal or civil courts that handles such cases elsewhere. France, Germany (both Protestant and Catholic), and England were some of the worst areas for witch-hunting, if I remember correctly.

In Christ,

Edwin


#11

[quote=Maccabees]Actually they did cover a large part of the story up Luther inspired this by writing a treatise the film makes it appear it was a mob that directed themselves they were instructed by the princes who were given instructions by Luther.
[/quote]

Who was instructed to do what by whom? The peasants were certainly not instructed to revolt by the princes! You’re not making any sense here. Luther explicitly condemned violence on both sides at the beginning, and only turned harshly against the peasants when he was informed that they were committing horrendous atrocities, and when his enemies started blaming the whole thing on him (as people like you still do!).

Yes, Luther did use inflammatory language about the Catholic hierarchy and the princes who persecuted the “Gospel,” and this did play a role no doubt in touching off the revolt. If that’s what you’re saying, then I can’t disagree.

In Christ,

Edwin


#12

[quote=Contarini]Where are you getting that number from? As Racer says, the figure seems way too big in the first place. And in the second place, both Catholics and Protestant killed witches. Roughly speaking, the witch-hunts lasted from about 1400 to 1700. From what I’ve learned about this (I don’t claim to be an expert in this subject, but I did take a couple of classes in grad school from a guy who was), historians have not found a correlation between witch hunts and confessional affiliation. But what they have found is that the worst hysteria took place in areas where Catholic-Protestant conflict was rife. Solidly Catholic areas like Spain and Italy had many fewer witch-hunts, and the Inquisition seems to have been in part responsible for this. They were generally more careful and more professional than the episcopal or civil courts that handles such cases elsewhere. France, Germany (both Protestant and Catholic), and England were some of the worst areas for witch-hunting, if I remember correctly.

In Christ,

Edwin
[/quote]

I am looking fo information, please wait, greetings


#13

[quote=Contarini]Who was instructed to do what by whom? The peasants were certainly not instructed to revolt by the princes! You’re not making any sense here. Luther explicitly condemned violence on both sides at the beginning, and only turned harshly against the peasants when he was informed that they were committing horrendous atrocities, and when his enemies started blaming the whole thing on him (as people like you still do!).

Yes, Luther did use inflammatory language about the Catholic hierarchy and the princes who persecuted the “Gospel,” and this did play a role no doubt in touching off the revolt. If that’s what you’re saying, then I can’t disagree.

In Christ,

Edwin
[/quote]

Look Luther wrote in constantly vile and violent fashion did he really mean for people to go out and kill someone. Probably not but his language could easily be interpreted in a violent manner.
Luther was careless and crass in his teachings. Thus he incited the peasants to revolt and likewise the princes to then crush them. He condemned violence after the fact that the words he used lit the flame of violence perhaps he should have been a bit More careful in his language if he mean non-violence he should have used non-violent language instead he used violent and crass language not befitting of a so called reformer.
**

[font=Comic Sans MS]What wonder if princes, nobles and laity should smite the heads of the pope, bishops, priests, and monks, and drive them from the land?

(Grisar [1], 172; Wider die Bulle des Endchrists; / Assertion of All the Articles Condemned by the Last Bull of Antichrist; WA, VI, 614 ff.; EA, XXIV-2, 38 ff.)
[/font]**

Oh that sounds like he is encouraging non-violence doesn’t it?


#14

MaccabeesQuote:
Originally Posted by Steven Merten
*I watched the movie Luther. It showed the slaughter of ordinary unarmed non-combatant Catholics (including women and children) and the burning of churches. It claimed that 50,000 Catholics were killed in the revolt in Germany. It did claim that this was not Luther himself, but his followers, who instagated the atrocity.

I would think that this, if true, would make the inquisition look like small potatoes.

Does anyone have any links, quotes or opinions on this issue? My sister is a Lutheran and she was horrified by such a thought.

I have to give the Lutheran church credit in the fact that they did not cover up this issue in their making of the movie Luther.

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com*

Actually they did cover a large part of the story up Luther inspired this by writing a treatise the film makes it appear it was a mob that directed themselves they were instructed by the princes who were given instructions by Luther. Quote:

The film similarly shows Luther’s horror and grief over the massacre of over 100,000 peasants by the German princes in response to the peasant uprising — but fails to reveal that Luther himself, in a vituperative essay called “Against the Murdering and Thieving Hordes of Peasants,” specifically called upon the princes to show no mercy in crushing the uprising. This selective depiction creates the impression that the guilt and remorse we see Luther feeling over the peasant massacre is simply due to his awareness of how distortions of his own teachings played a role in the peasant revolt — which, since that seems not to have been Luther’s fault, implies that Luther was in no way implicated in the peasant massacre, when in fact he was.

THe Quote was from decentfilms.com
full story here
decentfilms.com/commentary/luther.html

Lutherans are sheltered from learning the darker side of Luther who wrote against the poor and the Jews.UOTE]


#15

In my post above I pasted in Macabbees post #8. I have watched the movie. In the movie Luther is surveying he scene of destructiona and devastation. Meanwhile, there is a voice over with Luther saying the following (exact quote from the movie):

"I have finally torn the world apart. I urged the princes to action, and how they have answered my call! I said these rebels were outside God’s law, that nothing on earth is more poisonous, hurtful, or devilish than a rebel, that they must be stopped by every means possible. And yet the blood they shed is as nothing compared to this slaughter* I have unleashed."**

[My note: they* = the peasants, in their original rebellion;
this slaughter** = the 50 or 100 thousand peasants
killed by the princes]

In light of these words which Luther spoke in the movie, I am puzzled as to how and why the reviewer at decentfilms.com would say that the movie implies that Luther was in no way implicated in the massacre.

In my opinion, this doesn’t seem like a cover-up.


#16

[quote=puzzleannie]I do not think the Lutheran church made this movie, any more than the Catholic Church made the Passion movie (unless it is another movie about Luther I am not familiar with)
[/quote]

Hello puzzleannie,

Watching the credits at the end of the movie they indicated that it was the Lutheran church who produced the movie. I cannot remember exactly how it was stated and just who in the Lutheran church made it but it was stated in the credits that they made it.

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


#17

[quote=Steven Merten]I watched the movie Luther. It showed the slaughter of ordinary unarmed non-combatant Catholics (including women and children) and the burning of churches. It claimed that 50,000 Catholics were killed in the revolt in Germany. It did claim that this was not Luther himself, but his followers, who instagated the atrocity…
[/quote]

Your figure of 50, 000 seems a bit skewed. If we use the mathematical formulas of exaggeration I learned as a Baptist about the Inquisition we would calculate as follows:

Inquisitions combined death tally:

4,000 conservative to 20,000 liberal estimates by scholars. This averages at 12,000 deaths total.

80,000,000 deaths claimed as fact by Baptists during the Inquisitions.

If we divide 80,000,000 by 12,000 we get a factor of 6666.7 (rounded off of course)

So if we take the truth of 50,000 and multiply it by the BHRDF (Baptist Historical Revisionist Distortion Figure) of 6666.7 we get the figure of 333,335,000 Catholics were burned and killed by protestants.

Now, if 500 years later we ask everyone to write in the stories they have heard or had handed down to them we could compile them together in a factual and historically accurate account and call it something like “Foxes Book of Catholic Martyrs”. We will take all the stories sent to us and declare them real and accurate and enhance them when we need to so as to make them more dramatic. We know that nobody would send us a story or old wife’s tale unless it was true.:thumbsup:


#18

[quote=Steven Merten]Hello puzzleannie,

Watching the credits at the end of the movie they indicated that it was the Lutheran church who produced the movie. I cannot remember exactly how it was stated and just who in the Lutheran church made it but it was stated in the credits that they made it.

[/quote]

thanks Steve, the movie I saw was a video from a few years ago so there must be 2 Luther movies floating around.

We all need to step back, pick up some good history books and so some research before we start casting aspersions and accusations. We have people vehemently accusing Luther of inciting the peasants to revolt, and of instigating the government to brutally supress the peasant revolt. You can’t have it both ways.

You have people here claiming Luther burned churches, and that he denounced those who were burning churches. you can’t have it both ways. You have people here saying Luther instigated the burning of witches, and that he condemned the burning of witches.

can we please do our research before we make historical claims, analyses and judgements? thank you.


#19

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