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The Truth about Orthodox Christianity
As described in
The Grand Inquisitor by Dostoevsky
The writings of Fyodor Dostoevsky and Helen Ellerbe show substantial evidence that the orthodox Christians did in fact steal from humanity the divine freedom it was promised by Jesus Christ. This thesis is supported in Dostoevsky's "The Grand Inquisitor" from his book The Brothers Karamazov. The dark side of Christian history by Helen Ellerbe also supports this theory. The Inquisition itself shows credibility to the theory that orthodox Christianity was established to conquer and control the freedom of humans.
2. Orthodox Christianity has a history of trying to deceive humanity. In her book, Ellerbe proclaims that: "Orthodox Christianity fostered humanity's shift towards a world view that pays little heed to the idea of divinity." (Ellerbe 165). In addition, the Grand Inquisitor "...claims it as a merit for himself and his Church that at last they have vanquished freedom and have done so to make men happy." (Dostoevsky 1081).
3. Reading "The Grand Inquisitor" while considering the history of early Christianity, the question can be asked, "Did orthodox Christians really believe in God?" Or is the God they believed in a guise that Christianity has put forward to have humanity believe in Him through its teachings only. The Roman Church had taken God's celebrations of nature and converted them to Christian celebration. In The dark side of Christian history, Ellerbe supports this when she writes "Unable to convince people of the absence of God in nature, the early Church instead incorporated aspects of the very nature worship it condemned..." (Ellerbe 143).
4. The Spanish Inquisition was established in 1478. King Ferdinand V and Queen Isabella I requested the Inquisition. At first, The concern of the Inquisition in Spain was over the conversion of Marranos:
Marranos were Jews that were converted to Christianity using force and pressure by society. It is estimated that by the end of the 14th century about 100,000 Jews had become Marranos, although the greater number of Jews openly adhered to their faith even at the risk of expulsion. Some Marranos actually accepted Christianity, but most of them practiced Judaism in secret, while others waited only for an opportunity to throw off their Christian disguise (Encarta 99).
Later, the Inquisition turned to people of Islam and attempted to convert the in the same way they had done to the Jews. And, even later, to those suspected of being Protestants. The Spanish Inquisition was similar to the first inquisition that was started in France. It was centrally directed by the Supreme Council of the Inquisition, but its procedures were similar to its medieval counterpart." Although the Spanish Inquisition received approval from the Pope, the papacy turned the control of the Inquisition over to the King and Queen after only a few years of being started. The prose that Ivan Karamozov wrote in "The Grand Inquisitor" was set in Seville, Spain.
5. Dominican Churchmen, including Tomas de Torquemada, as well as other religious, were officers of the Inquisition. The most influential and notorious Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition was Tomas de Torquemada. Tomas was the first Grand Inquisitor and executed thousands of suspected heretics. It can be assumed, but not substantiated, that the Grand Inquisitor in Dostoevsky's story is the same person or has a very close resemblance. Dostoevsky portrays the Grand Inquisitor's attire: "He is not dressed in his gorgeous cardinal's robes. As he was the day before, when he was burning the enemies of the Roman Church." (Dostoevsky 1079). Of course, this is only speculation on my part since little more is known about the Inquisitors themselves. The Grand Inquisitor involves taking the man performing miracles in front of the cathedral prisoner. The Grand Inquisitor begins to question and threaten the Prisoner.
6. The Grand Inquisitor tells the Prisoner that the Prisoner himself had turned all his power over to the Pope: "All has been given by Thee to the Pope, they say, and all, therefore, is still in the Pope's hands... (Dostoevsky 1080-1081). This idea is also in agreement in The dark side of Christian history where it is written: Christianity has helped to create a society in which people are alienated not only from each other but also from the divine." (Ellerbe 1).
7. The Grand Inquisitor's statements and questions support the deceit of orthodox Christianity. He accuses the Prisoner of ignoring man: "Thou didst reject the only way by which men might be happy. But, fortunately, departing Thou didst hand on the work to us." (Dostoevsky 1081). During that time of feeling ignored, Christianity was free to change many Pagan beliefs to be vilified or to conform to Christian ideals. The Prisoner, when asked to do so by the dread spirit had refused to turn rocks into loaves of bread. The Prisoner had turned away from providing Man food from Nature. The Church took this as another reason for Man to turn to it as their salvation. Dostoevsky writes: "They will find us and cry to us, "Feed us, for those who have promised us fire from heaven haven't given it." Then, And we alone shall feed them in Thy name, declaring falsely that it is in Thy name. Oh, never, never can they feed themselves without us!" (Dostoevsky 1082). Helen Ellerbe states that "The Church spent centuries prohibiting displays of reverence that involved nature." (Ellerbe 142). In addition to the forsaking of nature, The Grand Inquisitor accuses the Prisoner had given men freedom, but man could not handle the freedom that was given to them. The Church took over that feeling of freedom. "For fifteen centuries we have been wrestling with Thy freedom, but now it is ended and over for good". (Dostoevsky 1081). And have concluded that they have taken control of man's freedom: "But let me tell Thee now, today, people are more persuaded than ever that they have perfect freedom, yet they have brought their freedom to us and laid it humbly at our feet. (Dostoevsky 1081) and "Modern thought most often validated Christian tenets. The perception that the universe operates like a machine or a clock corroborated St. Augustine's contention that human beings have no free will." (Ellerbe 173). Even Man's freedom to celebrate was usurped by Orthodox Christianity. Humanity had been forced by the church to consider their pagan events as Christian. Christian holidays were held at the same time
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