Western Civilization and Protestants

Western Civilization and Protestants

I’m being denied access, what does it say Buffalo?

It’s a question asked to the Real Catholic TV, asking, how do we know what Jesus prayed in the garden if the apostles were sleeping? Then he says this is a very good question, and took a lot of thought. The same thought will make you wonder how we know what the angel Gabriel said to Mary. And it all comes from the person who experienced it telling somebody. “Long before the sacred authors wrote the words, they already knew the details in their minds through the word of mouth. The faith was passed down by oral tradition first, not by a book. Some of it eventually got written down, but not all of it!.. Catholics promote the tradition that produced the bible, the original source. Protestants promote just the bible, the product. That makes no sense.” And he also says that “There’s no guarantor of the absolute truth other than the Catholic Church.” and that once you depart from the truth, moral chaos sets in… Western civilzation is doing so badly because too many people have departed from the truth, and that militant protestantism within itself bears the seeds of destruction.

Awesome video!!! Look for it on Realcatholictv.com if you still can’t see it. Thanks buffalo :smiley:

Michael Voris is quite possibly more deserving of the “Most Obvious Toupee-Wearer Award” than anyone I’ve ever seen! :p:p:p

This video is absolutely prejudiced and inaccurate. The Protestant Reformation, whether we like it or not, brought about many ideas and changes that strengthened Western Civilization, not weakened it. Scientific enquiry, though already underway in the Catholic world, blossomed after the Reformation, the rise of nation-states came about, the notion of individual freedom, the Church steadily disentangled itself from the court system and governments of nations so that secular nations could grow and different ideas could be diseminated, great Protestants brought about the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, etc. Some of our greatest literature, plays, and journalism has come from a free environment in which the Church was not regulating our freedom of speech. Men like Washington, Jefferson, Sam Adams, Locke, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Churchill, Mandela, and many other great statesmen were by no means Catholic and they left an indelible mark on the West. The Pilgrims and Puritans brought a strong sense of industry and Godliness to the New World that was not chaotic and mindless. Western Civilization is suffering from greed, excessive capitalism/consumerism, immorality, and selfishness that has come from technology, too many creature comforts, and a restless ego. These things happen no matter what church or religion is in power with time if the people get too much too soon. If everyone followed their Protestant denomination or Catholic faith or Mormon code of morality or Islamic values or Jewish sensibilities, we’d all be fine. But each religion or faith is falling short. This video has tunnel vision.

Another irony of this video is that Western Civilization existed prior to Christianity altogether? The Greeks and Romans, both pagan, established democracies, republics, a jury system, citizenship, voting, and other Western ideas long before Christianity came to power. The notion that Western Civilization will function in total chaos without Catholicism at the helm is baseless.

I suggest you read a Book called How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization? by Thomas E. Wood.

Here is a Preview:



Modern Western Civilization is due because of the Catholic Church. The Hospitals and Universities have their foundations in the Catholic Church… Read the Book that I recommend. Indeed there were democracies prior to Christianity.

We both know that in European history, that the Roman Empire was eventually taken over by Christianity. After the fall of Roman Empire, the Church had the big task of containing the pagans, and in time, they converted all of them to Christianity. Much of the development of the Western Civilization is due to the Catholic Church…

I don’t believe the spirit and/or influence of Catholicism suddenly died out with the Protestant reformation (think of the role the Church played in bringing down Communism).

It still continues today, Catholicism have very much to do with the development of Western Civilization in the past, and it still does to today. Like what you said, the Church have played an important role with the fall of Communism.

And I still don’t understand how Protestantism (note, not individual Protestants) brought about liberties when the reformation was wracked with bloody wars, witch hunts, the destruction of Catholic churches, monasteries and the like (which brought much social upheaval), as well as the appropriation of lands, unversities and churches that belonged to the Catholic Church, i.e, the people, or the extreme intoleration of Catholics in Protestant countries and colonies (Ireland is a prime example), while allowing nation states to garner control of ecclesial power for centuries is testimony of the Protestant (as a whole) desire for freedom, whose in particular I would ask?

p.s. And I don’t know about you but the Pilgrims and/or Puritans/Calvinists were really restrictive (look at Geneva and elsewhere) in what they could and could not do (by force in some cases), and furthermore, weren’t they in major part the cause of civil war in England?

Thanks, manny. I suggest you read Greek and Roman history. You might start with reading about Pericles of Athens, Socrates, Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Virgil, and Plato. You might also read about the Roman contributions to Western Civilization. These things all predated the Roman Catholic Church. You might also read about how Protestantism led to the rise of nation-states in which we now live, you and I included. I also suggest you read American history and compare the Protestant contributions to our nation along with the Catholic ones. Please look at history not through the lens of Catholic apologetics but also non-Catholic and non-Christian realities. I am not demeaning Catholicism by being honest that Catholics did not single-handedly create the Western World. The Catholics can be credited with preserving the Greco-Roman forefathers of Western Civilization but it is absurd to credit them with creating it. Surely you can see that. To deny Luther’s crucial role in creating liberty and respect for the descenting opinions and religious liberty for the West is one huge oversight. I know Luther is a bad word on CAF but his role and importance can’t be underestimated. We can’t just look through our own religious prejudices but through objective historical lenses. Thomas Jefferson, one of THE most powerful, influential, and brilliant statesmen the United States has ever had, the heart and soul of the Bill of Rights and early transitions from colonialism to nationhood, was very anti-Catholic and actually encouraged anti-clericalism in Virginia. The Pilgrims and Puritans, Martin Luther King, Thomas Edison, William Lloyd Garrison, Thomas Paine, John Jay, all these guys were protestants or deists. In my analysis, Western Civilization owes just as much, if not more, to the Greeks, Romans, Protestants, and secular folks as it does to Catholics. That’s not religious prejudice talking or personal desires for anachronism, it’s just the facts, as Joe Friday might say. I don’t need to read a history book through papal eyes to see that.

So you’re implying that witch hunts, executions like those of Jan Huss (who was promised a safe passage by the RCC only to be executed), inquisitions, and the like didn’t happen under Catholic rule? I must have imagined that history? History is replete with bloody wars, what’s your point? The United States was formed from a bloody revolution. I, as a proud American, for my part, am proud of my Protestant forefathers for fighting that war. You talk about Protestant intolerance of Catholics. Come on Josie, the same reverse concern is true for Catholics? You need to get out of apologetics mode in this case and just look at history. Catholics persecuted Protestants as well. Both sides are guilty. But in the long run nations were built, constitutions and liberty was created. Secular governments were formed where religious tolerance eventually became the norm. It took centuries and there were nasty bumps and spurts along the way. That’s how history is. If you have no tolerance for blood, you better never read the Holy Bible then, because God not only condoned but encouraged the deaths of Canaanites, Jebusites, Amorites, Amalakites, Philistines, Egyptians, and a whole host of non-Jewish folks in order to build the nation of Israel and protect her. Blood is the stain of history, sadly. And you show me a religion without blood on its hands? Pope John Paul II admirably apologized for the persecution of Jews for centuries, the executions and tortures of countless Protestants, and the Crusades. Surely as a good Catholic you’d agree with his apology and note the sins of Catholics are mingled with the sins of non-Catholics.

The Puritans were indeed restrictive. I never said I’d want to be one, did I? :stuck_out_tongue: And yes the sure did do some damage in England. Cromwell was a turkey if you ask me. But they played their role in the religious heritage of this country (my country at least). I said they played a part, for better or worse.

You might want a one-world government again ruled by the papacy with no religious liberty and everyone’s citizenship based on the Catholic Church’s baptism, crusades, inquisitions, ecclesiastical courts overruling secular courts, bishops owning obscene amounts of real estate, the pope taking massive taxes and Peter’s Pence from western powers, papal intrigue with royals, popes taking money from one country and funding wars against it with another, and religious synergism with the private sector, but I wouldn’t. No thanks. I prefer to choose the Church and choose my faith and follow God out of my own free will, not a church and state relationship run amuck. I’m happy with how history played out, despite the sad ills that came with it.

I’m also gratified that I can post my opinions on Catholic Answers Forums along with your opinions and I can speak without the lens of constant apologetics and still have the right to my opinion.

Christianity/Catholicism was unique to the world (although it was the logical fulfilment of Judaism which influenced the Greeks and Romans) so that it changed the very fabric of society as it gave meaning and purpose to all walks of life, i.e., bettering society as it was. Another thing to be mentioned is the fact that Christianity/Catholicism worked under such oppressive conditions that it’s a miracle it was able to survive, needless to say, when the Roman empire fell it was the Catholic Church which pulled society to its feet literally saving the Western world from disappearing under the bruteforce of barbarism.
Protestantism did not invent freedom or the idea that man had natural and inalienable rights (as well as property rights and the economic system called capitalism) the Catholic Church did though through her theology, nor did it approach the world in a vacuum, i.e., it was walking on the shoulders of giants. Moreover, I have read enough of American history to know that the many Protestants (as the majority of Americans were) divested Ameridians of their lands, and in their attempt to fulfil “manifest destiny” brought the destruction of tribes, and caused war with Spain. Then there’s the issue of slavery which could have been abolished had the forefathers implemented it into the constitution and/or Declaration of Independence but for which some reason they didn’t? And the U.S was the only western country that actually practiced slavery as it did.

But you’re not getting the premise of my argument, I don’t believe that Protestantism brought about the freedoms of which you refer to, maybe by default but not as a direct cause (the reformers allowed government and monarchy to consolidate ecclesial power, because they needed their support in order to establish their beliefs, so the nation state was made possible because it was established on the premise for greed and power, not Protestantism).

p.s. The Church had committed many wrongs but if it was indeed as corrupt as you would like to suggest it was, then there would have been little hope of recovery (just remember that more than two thirds of priests were killed in the plague which caused a gaping hole in the priesthood that was nonetheless filled too quickly). Furthermore, the state was always vying for more political control and so power struggles ensued between these two institutions. And it wasn’t a one world government as that would imply a theocracy which countries in those times were not. Kings and queens were sovereign for the most part.

I won’t deny the Catholic Church’s great contributions to Western Civilization at all. Were it not for Catholicism the great works of Virgil, Augustine, Plato, Aristotle, and other classics of antiquity would have either been destroyed or lost or forgotten altogether. They preserved a sense of law and order in a time of chaos. They also managed to Christianize Europe. To say they only had a small contribution to the West would be just plain nutty. I’m not saying that. What I am saying is that the original poster’s video is absurd. It makes it sound like Protestantism and anything other than Catholicism created utter, horrific chaos and that the Roman Catholic Church was and is the only real author of the Western culture and civilization we enjoy. I reject that completely.

What I see in your argument is apologetics for Catholics in history at the expense of the sins of Protestants. You mention the mammoth achievements of Catholicism in creation of various institutions or ideas but when you mention Protestants you either minimize their achievements or you focus in on their scars and pimples. Yes of course the founding Fathers of my country weren’t perfect. Slavery was a horrific blight on our past and it was no accident. It was a weakness in our founding and it plagued us for years and still does in many ways today. But don’t focus only on the mistakes of slavery. Look at the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Look at the right to free speech. Look at the right to assemble, the right to bear arms, the freedom of religion (some in here wouldn’t like this!), and the brilliant bicarmal/three-branched system. We have a wonderful political system and code of law.

When it comes to slavery, the stain on our history that you mention, you need to also focus on the ABOLITIONISTS, largely Protestants (many Anglican!) who fought to end slavery. And look at British abolitionists early on like William Wilberforce, an Anglican, who fought to end this sinful horror. We’re still working out the bugs in our democracy, it’s a work in progress here in the States. Sometimes we take a few steps forward, sometimes a few steps back. Martin Luther King, our great civil rights leader, another Protestant minister, brought about the modern civil rights agenda. But I would argue that it is the Protestant Puritan and Pilgrim heritage in America that has kept us from becoming an overly-secularized socialist state like Canada and many European countries.

And as for Capitalism, respectfully, I must say you are incorrect in saying that Catholics invented it in the Middle Ages. The Ancient Greeks, Romans, and the Umayyad Empire which was an empire of Syrian Muslims, all had strong capitalist structures as well.

True mercantilism was an innovation mostly of Protestants in England, etc. as well.

Catholics in CAF also try to say that Catholics invented hospitals. They may have encouraged, financed, and aided in the spreading of hospitals in Europe but hospitals predate Catholicism in the classical age again, just like capitalism, democracy, and Western ideals predate Catholicism. Greek temples to Asclepius, the god of healing, were considered hospitals in the ancient Greek world. King Ashoka, the great Buddhist king of India, had hospitals throughout India in the third century B.C.as well. And of course we know that Hippocrates and his contemporaries in the ancient Greek world pioneered what it was to be a physician, again predating Catholicism.

I would also point out that things like the Magna Carta were not innovations by the Catholic Church of the age but by the secular authorities in England seeking to expand freedom and more power to the people, less by the kings. Innocent III’s meddling in England as well as the attempted assasinations of Elizabeth I in England by the pope only show that the Church often played too much politics and was not always cooperating but rather obstructing changes internally to growing nation-states.

I’m totally willing to look at Catholic achievements but I also am completely willing to acknowledge Protestant greatness and contributions to the Western culture I enjoy.

Papal Eyes? You need to read history as it is describe by modern day historians like Thomas E. Wood, who happens to be a university professor. I have read the Classical Greeks and history that predates Christian. They do have contribution to Western Civilization but to ignore the historical evidence that Catholicism had little to do with the development with Western Civilization, would be ignorant.

I am a historical geek and I already a lot more about American history than most high school student. It world history happen to be my favorite subject and those figures you mention I alreayd know. There are many factors that help the growth of Western Civilization.

During the Middle Ages the hospital could serve other functions, such as almshouse for the poor, hostel for pilgrims, or hospital school. The name comes from Latin hospes (host), which is also the root for the English words hotel, hostel, and hospitality. The modern word hotel derives from the French word hostel, which featured a silent s, eventually removed from the word to leave a circumflex on modern French hôtel. The word is also related to the Sanskrit word ‘Ispital’ and the German ‘Spital’

Seriously, dude. You need to read Thomas E. Wood’s book.

The Greeks and Romans created Western Civilization. There is no debate about that. You act like this is a concession you’ll make in the argument. The Catholic Church is light years from the contributions of the Greco-Roman world. In a world of dictatorial monarchies and empires with lofty, selfish ambitions, the Greeks created the world’s first democracy. You make recommendations to me to read a Catholic historian. Naturally. He reinforces the expectation you already have about history. Self-fullfilling prophecy, Manny.

I took Greek Classical Studies at Fresno State University from Dr. Victor Davis Hanson, THE pre-eminent expert on Ancient Greece, antiquity, and Greek battle strategy. He writes for the Wall Street Journal, National Review, and he can frequently be seen on the History Channel, CNN, Fox, A&E, the Military Channel, you name it. He is the head of the Hoover Institute at Stanford. THAT is the guy you need to be reading. He takes no sides and doesn’t have an agenda in his works. Politically he is just as honest. I’ll match your university professor with mine. Hanson also teaches at the military academy at Anapolis from time to time. I also read history books from men like Diarmaid McCulloch. His book “The Reformation” is mammoth and epic in its objective portrayal of the many triumphs and many mutations and failings of the Refomation…he himself a liberal Anglican (one would never know it from his work). I’ve also read Eamon Duffy’s the “Stripping of the Altars” which portrays England as peachy hunky-dorry happy with their Catholicism before the rise of the Reformation. I found much of it compelling and some of it the prejudice of a passionately Catholic Irishman with papal bifocles on. I’ve also read Warren Carroll’s Christendom series. He is one of the most prejudiced Catholic writers. His knowledge is vast and well-written but his Catholic bias is penetrating.

I have read “history” books written by prejudiced Catholics and prejudiced Protestants. The history lay somewhere between the extremes…

Also, I certainly hope that your last comment that “[to] ignore the historical evidence that Catholicism had little to do with the development with Western Civilization, would be ignorant,” is not directed at me indicating that I am ignorant. I am anything but and would resent the implication. I hope that’s not what you meant. I would never assume you to be ignorant just because we might have somewhat divergent opinions on such matters. Also, I think you had a typo there. You said that anyone who ignores the evidence that the Church had LITTLE to do with creating w.c. would be ignorant. I’m sure you mean anyone who ignores the evidence that the Catholic Church had a great deal to do with the building of w.c. right? :wink:

He sounds interesting. I will look into him. But I maintain that the Catholic Church did indeed contribute to Western culture in huge ways BUT they did NOT single-handedly create it like this dufus with the bad hair piece says in the video that the OP put on there from youtube. Watch the video. It’s silly IMO. Saying that Catholics wrote Western Civilization and that Protestants destroyed it with their stench and vile evils is like Al Gore’s claim that he invented the internet…priceless!:confused:

That is Michael Voris. He is doesn’t tone down. He have a very negative view of Protestantism, so do I.

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