Saturday, September 12, 2015

The ignorant bigotry of the SJW.

Tor.com​ has someone offering tips on writing a fantasy seriesn into historical times.  Tor has been staking a position on the SJW left, I believe, and this bit is very congenial about showing acceptance/respect for, inter alia, Islam or the Bronze Age.

There is is, of course, one time period that doesn't get that treatment:

//"The Catholic Church Makes Torture a Law (1252 CE)

Iron Chair torture chairThe history of Europe in the Middle Ages is constantly influenced by the actions of the Catholic Church, for good and for ill. During the 12th and 13th centuries, the Church faced a variety of challenges to its dominance, from internal power struggles over who should be Pope, to external land-grabs by nobility and neighboring kingdoms. The leadership of the Church during this time was often tempestuous, which is as close as I feel like getting to justifying the actions of Pope Innocent IV (I know, right?) in 1252, when he decreed the Ad extirpanda, a papal bull that demanded the torture of heretics.

This Church law stood for over three hundred years and allowed for the torture of thousands, if not millions, of people. One of devices used for confessional torture was the “Iron Chair,” a chair covered in small spikes that a person was then pushed into by a series of straps. (Pictured here.) If the torturer didn’t like your answer to their question, the straps were tightened, and you were sunk further into the beds of spikes.//

For the claim that "a papal bull demanded the torture of heretics," the author cites Wiki, which advises:

//"The following parameters were placed on the use of torture:[3]

that it did not cause loss of life or limb (citra membri diminutionem et mortis periculum)
that it was used only once
that the Inquisitor deemed the evidence against the accused to be virtually certain."//

In other words, unlike secular law, Ad extirpanda was a radical limitation of torture - in fact, the proof required for the use of torture was higher than what was required in English common law to execute.

That doesn't make torture acceptable, particularly where we have a system of evidence and the ability to compel attendance at trial, but it doesn't justify this kind of ignorant calumny. .


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