Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bad History- Interesting Reaction


Interesting.  My one star trashing of the execrably anachronistic exercise in anti-Catholic bigotry - God's Jury by Cullen Murphy - continues to collect favorable vote.  It seems that yesterday, NPR re-ran its puff piece interview of the author.  This resulted in a sudden flurry of voting on my review.  Weirdly, my review received 8 helpful and only 3 unhelpful votes, which is surprising because you would think that NPR voters would be coming from the same perspective that Murphy's book caters to and my review trashes.

Also my review pulled to within 8 helpful votes of the first place review, after starting out nearly 30 behind.

Here is the God's Jury Amazon webpage - and if you haven't given my review a helpful vote, please do so.  I'm trying to get to number one on that page. 

And here is the NPR puff piece. 

It looks like Murphy is practicing his old trick of uprooting history to mischaracterize the concrete situation of history:
The idea that the pope would authorize the use of something as heinous as torture by priests or people working for priests is a pretty astonishing development.
 
The truth is that the pope didn't authorize torture.  As anyone who knows the relevant history is aware, torture was a sine qua non of the legal system until quite recently.  What the pope did was to restrict the use of torture, which was an innovation that was unheard of and wouldn't be followed by secular legal systems until centuries later.

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