Church History and The Other

last year's wisteria. Despite this year's total lack of rain (until
Thursday, anyway) -- this year looks just as lush
I recently posted on another's blog a response that focused on church history: the Catholic view vs the Anglican view and how we kind of ignore the mainland Europe view despite its great influence on both sides in the U.K..

It struck me how quickly I leapt to the defense of Anglicanism, and how the more I wrote the more I realized I wasn't revealing the whole story.

Yes, Protestants killed Catholics and Catholics killed Protestants probably in fairly equal measure. And we talk of kings, popes, queens and lives lost.

But what about lives lived? Was there a mob mentality of only bad things happening: loss of life, destruction of vestments, hiding one's faith?

Did nobody act kindly to another? Or did they persist in seeing the Other: not my beliefs, not my God, not-fill-in-the-blank.

Was nobody kind even within the constraints off how culture bound them? Has anyone ever researched this? The Protestant who sheltered the Catholic?

Are we even able to do this today? Am I? Yes, my smile at the homeless guy is more than what most people do, but it is also less than offering food, offering shelter, offering a way out.

Can we look at someone we disagree with and NOT roll our eyes heavenward? Are we unable to see that as we are God's beloved, so are they?

They are God's beloved too.

[Sorry, Caroline, this isn't the post you'd suggested]


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