A Fount of Injustice?

One of the challenges many critics of the church have used to write it off is the fact that we have some skeletons in our closet.  There have been several times in the last 2,000 years when the church got its mission not just wrong, but devastatingly so.  Still, are things really as bad as our critics allege?  A sharper look at history suggests perhaps not.  In this fourth part of our series, Reasons to Believe, we take a look at the church’s supposed dark past and discover that there may be a good deal more light there than most folks might think.  Read on for more.

A Fount of Injustice?

There is a story about the interactions between a powerful institution and a particular scientist from the 17th century that has come to define much about how many people view the church today.  The institution was the Roman Catholic Church.  The scientist was a man named Galileo Galilei.  Galileo, as the story usually goes, by carefully following the scientific method, discovered that the sun does not revolve around the earth as was widely believed in his day.  Instead, the truth is the exact reverse: the earth revolves around the sun.  For espousing this scientific fact which violated not only their false explanations of how the universe worked, but also the theological explanations undergirding them, the Church set out on a campaign to persecute this courageous scientist into silence.  When this didn’t work, Galileo was excommunicated—a social death sentence in that day—and placed under arrest.  He spent the remaining years of his life in prison where he died a martyr for the cause of science. Read the rest…