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Posted by Paul R. Martin on April 1, 2002 05:40:20 UTC

Hi Mike,

I am afraid I might have given you some wrong impressions, and I apologize if I did.

I had no intention whatsoever of slighting or making light of Voltaire's contributions to civility. My attribution of shortsightedness was whimsical and meant only to impress you with how farsighted I am. My expressed ignorance of how Voltaire had influenced civil jurisprudence was specifically to say that I am not educated in the details of his life and work and was not meant to imply in any way that Voltaire had not had a positive influence.

I have read enough history to have had my fill of grisly stories of how utterly unbelievably barbaric pious, devout, religious officials can be if they get sufficient power over people. I choose not to read such accounts any more since I have long since formed my firm opinion, which I doubt anyone can shake, that religious organization is far and away the worst evil that has ever befallen this planet -- without exception, peer, or even close second.

Out of courtesy to you, I did read your post, and it turned my stomach. It is utterly beyond my comprehension how anyone, who knows of such a history of cruelty and unspeakable horror, can live with themselves belonging to, contributing to, and defending the religious organizations that have visited such awfulness on our world. I can only believe they either are ignorant of history, or the church has successfully brainwashed them since childhood to accept and defend the church under threat of a worse punishment. After all, roasting slowly over an open fire for eternity is worse than what Calas endured.

The whole thing boggles my mind.

Warm regards,

Paul

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