Sunday, March 09, 2008

Luther on the Loo Fer Ages

At first glance I don't have a lot in common with a German Monk from half a millennium ago.

But when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the front door of the Schlosskirche in Wittenburg, surely in addition to inventing Protestantism, he was also blogging. I know the technology is somewhat different now, but the intention was similar - to say what he wanted to say in the way he wanted to say it without any filtering or censorship or delay.

Also his style of writing in the Theses is very Bloggish - it's not scholarly, dry stuff - it's as opinionated as all get-out.

He was an absolutely fascinating man who not only told his truth to Power, but also had six kids with a nun that he smuggled out of a convent in a herring barrel. He was unfortunately also one of history's worst anti-Semites with unfashionable opinions on feminism and science not even held within the BNP today (and certainly not condoned by me):-

Exhibit 1 : "The word and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes."

Exhibit 2 : "If I had to baptise a Jew, I would take him to the bridge of the Elbe, hang a stone around his neck and push him over with the words 'I baptise thee in the name of Abraham'."

Exhibit 3 : Idiots, the lame, the blind, the dumb, are men in whom the devils have established themselves: and all the physicians who heal these infirmities, as though they proceeded from natural causes, are ignorant blockheads.
Archaeologists think they may have found his toilet recently. Anyone offended by the quotations above would probably be comforted to know that he didn't have a pain-free bowel movement for much of his life and spent so much time with constipation that it's very likely that many of his ideas came to him while straining on the lavvy.

The reason I mention Luther is that his ideas on Church Reform are still having repercussions fifteen generations later - the latest twist being that he's likely to be rehabilitated by the current Pope who accepts that he didn't mean to bring stuff crashing down, but only wanted to raise issues.

The Catholic Church should be congratulated - they have also recently pardoned Galileo Galilei (died 1642), so it seems they are well on their way to dragging themselves into the 17th century.

1 comment:

Shades of Grey said...

So now I understand what the "Lutheran Movement" meant. Thank you.