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Old 04-19-2001, 10:31 AM   #11
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ohwilleke:</font>
Hello ohwilleke

First, rather than asserting that a myth is hotly disputed (as you have done in both of your posts) the easy way to establish that they are not myths is to demonstrate that there is actual supporting evidence for the claims. Since you have failed to offer any evidence, the charge that these are myths stands, and has been proven.

Second, as we once again get to address the question of was Hitler a Christian (nice catch Bede, I can't believe I forgot that little gem), let's go through the evidence one more time.

First, let me stipulate that yes, Hitler was baptised a Christian (so was virtually every non-Jewish European of his time). Also, he said publicly and in Mein Kampf that he was a Christian. So much for the evidence that he was a Christian. Now let us turn our attention to why no serious person (and certainly no serious historian) believes that Hitler was a Christian at the time he ruled Germany 1933-45.

From my thread Hitler's "Christianity":

I will address the real question of Hitler's beliefs, and then see if he was, in fact, a Christian. (And my apologies to those of you that have had to bear with me through this discussion at least twice before in the last 8 months).

From Hitler (for Coleman Smith and anyone interested) My post of August 22, 2000 01:50 PM:

Hitler was a politician trying to win power in a democracy from 1922 until he finally seized power in 1933. Does anyone here honestly believe that his public statements reflect what he actually thought and believed?

If so (and who knows, maybe he did believe at one time), does anyone here believe in the doctrine of once a Christian always a Christian?

Now, I will concede every single public utterance offered by Hitler on the subject of Christianity. At the same time, I believe we can lend more credence to his private statements, since these were the ones that he would not have expected to get out, and therefore better reflect his true opinions. Let's take a look:

“They (Protestant clergy) are insignificant little people, submissive as dogs, and they sweat with embarrassment when you talk to them. They have neither a religion they can take seriously nor a great position to defend like Rome.”
“Hitler Speaks”, Hermann Rauschning (London: 1939) pg. 62)

Hitler's Table Talk 1941-1944 (found at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS.../103-1838309-6 135816 ) records the private, off the record, informal conversations of a man who, more than anyone else, came close to destroying the western world. On Martin Bormann's instructions, the secret conversations at Hitler's headquarters from July 1941 to November 1944 were all recorded. This is the real companion volume to Hitler's Mein Kampf, whereby what had been a project suddenly was reality, almost to the disbelief of its author.

All of the following quotations are from between July 11, 1941 and February 27, 1942.

"National Socialism and religion cannot exist together.... The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.... Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things." (pg. 6-7)

"Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure." (pg. 43)

"The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death.... When understanding of the universe has become widespread... Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity.... Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity.... And that's why someday its structure will collapse.... ...the only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little.... Christianity the liar.... We'll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State." (pg. 49-52)

"The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity.

Originally, Christianity was merely an incarnation of Bolshevism, the destroyer.... The decisive falsification of Jesus' doctrine was the work of St.Paul. He gave himself to this work... for the purposes of personal exploitation.... Didn't the world see, carried on right into the Middle Ages, the same old system of martyrs, tortures, faggots? Of old, it was in the name of Christianity. Today, it's in the name of Bolshevism. Yesterday the instigator was Saul: the instigator today, Mardochai. Saul was changed into St.Paul, and Mardochai into Karl Marx. By exterminating this pest, we shall do humanity a service of which our soldiers can have no idea." (p 63-65)

"Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery.... .... When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. Let's be the only people who are immunised against the disease." (pg. 118-119)

"Kerrl, with noblest of intentions, wanted to attempt a synthesis between National Socialism and Christianity. I don't believe the thing's possible, and I see the obstacle in Christianity itself.... Pure Christianity-- the Christianity of the catacombs-- is concerned with translating Christian doctrine into facts. It leads quite simply to the annihilation of mankind. It is merely whole-hearted Bolshevism, under a tinsel of metaphysics." (pg. 119-120)

"It would always be disagreeable for me to go down to posterity as a man who made concessions in this field. I realize that man, in his imperfection, can commit innumerable errors-- but to devote myself deliberately to errors, that is something I cannot do. I shall never come personally to terms with the Christian lie. Our epoch in the next 200 yearse will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity.... My regret will have been that I couldn't... behold ." (pg. 278)

Alright, enough of Hitler's rants. Where DID he get his ideas then?

“…he (Hitler) shared with Stalin the same materialist outlook, based on nineteenth-century rationalists’ certainty that the progress of science would destroy all myths and had already proven Christian doctrine to be an absurdity.”
“Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives”, Allan Bullock, McClelland & Stewart, Inc. 1991, pg. 386)

“On the other hand Hitler’s own myth at least had to be protected, and this led him, like Napoleon, to speak frequently of Providence, as a necessary if unconscious projection of his sense of destiny which provided him with bot justification and absolution.”
(Ibid. pg. 386)

“Yet I think no one who lived in the Third Reich could have failed to be impressed by Nietzsche’s influence on it… Nazi scribblers never tired of extolling him. Hitler often visited the Nietzsche museum in Meimar and publicized his veneration for the philosopher by posing for photographs of himself staring in rapture at the bust of the great man… A Nazi could proudly quote him on almost every conceivable subject, and did. On Christianity: “the one great curse, the one enormous and innermost perversion… I call it the one immortal blemish of mankind… This Christianity is no more than the typical teaching of the Socialists.”
“The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”, William Shirer (Simon and Schuster, Inc. 1960, pg. 100)

Other contributing philosophers included Johann Gottlieb Fichte and his “Address to the German People” of 1807, G. W. F. Hegel to whom the State was all, Heinrich von Trietschke who celebrated both the State and War, and of course Friedrich Nietzsche (Ibid. pg. 98-99).

It appears that Hitler was something of a deist (albeit a twisted one, maybe like Robspierrie or Napoleon), and based on my understanding, deists are not Christians (at least not in their own minds, or those of most Christians).

So... moving right along, what kind of "Christian State" did the Nazi's have planned for Germany?

“Political reasons led Hitler to restrain his anticlericalism and refuse to let himself be drawn into attacking the Church publicly, as Bormann and other Nazis would have liked him to do. But he promised himself that, when the time came, he would settle his account with the priests of both creeds. When he did, he would not be restrained by any judicial scruples.”
“Hitler and Stalin” (pg. 386).

Dr. Hans Kerrl, Minister of Church Affairs “The party stands on the basis of Positive Christianity, and Positive Christianity is National Socialism…National Socialism is the doing of God’s will…God’s will reveals itself in German blood…Dr. Zoellner and Count Galen (the Catholic bishop of Muenster) have tried to make clear to me that Christianity consists of faith in Christ as the Son of God. That makes me laugh…No, Christianity is not dependent upon the Apostle’s Creed… True Christianity is represented by the party, and the German people are now called by the party and especially by the Fuehrer to a real Christianity… The Fuehrer is the herald of a new revelation.”
“The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” (pg. 239)

The Thirty Point Program for the “National Reich Church”
“A few of its articles convey the essentials:

1. The National Reich Church of Germany categorically claims the exclusive right and the exclusive power to control all churches within the borders of the Reich: it declares these to be national churches of the German Reich.

5. The National Church is determined to exterminate irrevocably… the strange and foreign Christian faiths imported into Germany in the illomened year 800.

13. The National Church demands immediate cessation of the publishing and dissemination of the Bible in Germany.

14. The National Church declares that to it, and therefore to the German nation, it has been decided that the Fuehrer’s Mein Kampf is the greatest of all documents. It…not only contains the greatest but it embodies the purest and truest ethics for the present and future life of our nation.

18. The National Church will clear away from its altars all crucifixes, Bibles and pictures of saints.

19. On the altars there must be nothing but Mein Kampf (to the German nation and therefore to God the most sacred book) and the left of the altar a sword.

30. On the day of its foundation, the Christian Cross must be removed from all churches, cathedrals and chapels…and it must be superseded by the only unconquerable symbol, the swastika.”
“The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” (pg. 240)

“In reality Hitler’s power exceeded that of any monarch. The notion of “divine right” was replaced by the claim that the Fuehrer was the savior appointed by Providence and at the same time the embodiment and medium of the unarticulated will of the people.”
“The Hitler State”, Martin Broszat (London: 1981, pg. 214)

I apologize again for the length of this post, but I have grown tired of listening to rabid anti-Christians spout off ignorantly about "Hitler's Christianity". Hitler was neither a Christian nor an atheist. The best way to describe him was as some kind of twisted deist and egomaniac. The memory of His evil lives with us to this day, but don't ever let bad history try to reinvent what really happened, or who this man really was. After all, such tactics are the methods of all history rewriting tyrants, and we should not follow in their footsteps.

Peace,

Nomad

[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited April 19, 2001).]
 
Old 04-19-2001, 10:51 AM   #12
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Bede:
Myth:
That Galileo was put on trial for saying the earth isn't flat.

Truth:
He was put on trial for satirising the pope and making theological claims about science. One of these claims was that Copernicus contradicted the bible and was right. This is half true.

LP:
A straw position. Galileo was found guilty of maintaining something contrary to the Bible, that the Earth moves around the Sun.

Copernicus had tried to cover his rear end by maintaining that heliocentrism was only a speculative hypothesis, and Galileo had been ordered by the Church to do that also. However, Galileo then wrote a book that was supposedly even-handed but in which geocentrism came off as rather dumb. That was all the "proof" the Church "needed" that Galileo was still pushing heliocentrism.

Bede:
Myth:
That Hitler was a Christian.

Truth:
We've been through this a million times and never has a scholar of nazism been produced who'll even give this madness the time of day. Hitler used Christianity and conned a lot of Christians who should have known and behaved better.

LP:
You can argue that he had not been a true Christian all you want, but if that was the case, then he was very good at being a fake one. Consider _Mein Kampf_, where he used Jesus Christ's attack on the moneychangers in the Temple as an example of what ought to be done about the Jews.

Bede:
Myth:
That reading the Blind Watchmaker makes you an expert on evolution.

Truth:
It won't. Try John Maynard Smith's 'Theory of Evolution' instead. Dawkins wrote the forward to this, at least.

LP:
Why is that supposed to be the case?
 
Old 04-19-2001, 10:51 AM   #13
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad:2. Myth: Christians burned down the Great Library in Alexandria in 415AD. This one got its start apparently from Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Ohwilleke: This is a seriously disputed point about which reasonable people disagree rather strongly.</font>
Not quite. Reasonable but ignorant people disagree. Once they have seen that there is no evidence for the assertion that Christians destroyed the Great Library and they still believe it, they become unreasonable.

Actually, I have about a 50/50 hit rate with this. Half are like Bill who just cannot bring themselves to accept that the story is a myth despite being happy to say the same about Christian beliefs. The other half admit they learnt something when they read my essay. Anyway, why not produce the evidence or admit you've learnt something ?

Also, please produce evidence that at any time and in any place the Catholic Church (as opposed to a few ignored churchmen) ever tried to claim that the earth was flat. I think you'll find you've learnt something else.

Yours still on his favourite hobby horse

Bede

Bede's Library - faith and reason

PS: Deliberate biological warfare? I'm curious. What do you mean?

[This message has been edited by Bede (edited April 19, 2001).]
 
Old 04-19-2001, 10:56 AM   #14
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Nomad:
Hello ohwilleke

First, rather than asserting that a myth is hotly disputed (as you have done in both of your posts) the easy way to establish that they are not myths is to demonstrate that there is actual supporting evidence for the claims. Since you have failed to offer any evidence, the charge that these are myths stands, and has been proven.

Second, as we once again get to address the question of was Hitler a Christian (nice catch Bede, I can't believe I forgot that little gem), let's go through the evidence one more time.


Let's dump one set of evidence. As I have already pointed on this board a couple of times, Hitler's Table Talk is worthless as an actual example of Hitler's thinking, because it was taken down by a stenographer at Bormann's orders and edited by the rabidly anti-Catholic Bormann. It is not a reliable source.

That said, Hitler was certainly some kind of twisted theist. Whether he was a Christian is highly debatable; for every quote you turn up about him slamming Christianity, I can turn up one praising it, from mandatory prayers in German schools, to the use of "God" in SS oaths, to public remarks.

For example on 4/26/33:
"Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without religious foundation is built on air; consequently all character training and religion must be derived from faith . . ."

In 1941 he told General Engel: "I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so."

Several times he quoted his original writing in Mein Kampf "I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews. I am doing the Lord's work."

One reason Hitler is so controversial is that he had the habit of saying to his audience whatever he thought they wanted to hear, or of teasing them with fanciful nonsense. One need only read the controversies over many of his major speeches or extended rants. Was he really on the level when he outlined his plan for global domination to selected staff in 1937, or was he just toying with men he was to fire in a short time? He also appropriated the language, ideals, anti-Semitism and to a certain extent the eschatology of Christianity, and used it to his own ends. A canny politician, he also placated various groups, such as the Church, by telling it what they wanted to hear.

Certainly there is no doubt that had Hitler remained in power, he would have moved against the Christian churches in a stronger way. Certainly he broke the Concordat with the Church as soon as he could, a move that prompted protest (but no action) from the Vatican. Certainly he promoted pagan beliefs, to which his culture, even Nazis, paid very little attention.

However, Nomad, there is no dispute that Hitler was raised a theist, and was baptized a Catholic. He remained a churchgoer until around 1918. Since he was baptized, and the Church has no process for kicking you out, he died a Christian, at least in some sense.

I will leave you with a speech he gave in 1922:

My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.

In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison.

Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever
before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross.

As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice . . .

And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly, it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people. And when I look on my people I see them work and work and toil and labor, and at the end of the week they have only for their wages wretchedness and misery.

When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil, if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom today this poor people are plundered and exploited."


Michael
 
Old 04-19-2001, 11:07 AM   #15
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Bede:
Myth:
That Carl Sagan was a great scientist.

Truth:
He was a jobbing astronomer who was a great communicator and had a gift for self publicity.

LP:
How is he supposed to have been "jobbing"? Carl Sagan is responsible for:

Groundbreaking work on planetary atmospheres, including work on that of Venus (a runaway greenhouse effect), Mars (dust storms), and Titan (organic materials producing color). Nuclear winter is a natural extension of that work.

Being a leading proponent of SETI, having written books on it and organized conferences on it.

Being a leading proponent of open-minded, yet skeptical, evaluation of pseudoscientific claims. This has included AAAS conferences on UFO's and Velikovsky's theories, and has included refusal to sign "Objections to Astrology" as excessively dogmatic and high-handed.

Being chief editor for 12 years of the journal _Icarus_, a leading journal of planetary-science research.

So I think that he is worthy of the title

The Great Sagan
 
Old 04-19-2001, 11:13 AM   #16
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Umm... MIchael?

Did you read my post?

I conceded that Hitler said publically that he was a Christian. This is especially NOT surprising during the period he was running in elections to win votes (like 1922 for example). I also said he was baptised a Christian. So was every virtually every other non-Jewish European born in the late 19th Century. I also said that he was a deist of some time. Deists are theists.

So, the question here is, was Hitler a Christian during 1933-45, and what evidence do you have to support this belief?

As for rejecting Hitler's Table Talk, please offer your evidence that Bormann redacted or editted it in any significant fashion.

Thanks,

Nomad
 
Old 04-19-2001, 11:58 AM   #17
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Nomad:
Umm... MIchael?

Did you read my post?

I conceded that Hitler said publically that he was a Christian. This is especially NOT surprising during the period he was running in elections to win votes (like 1922 for example). I also said he was baptised a Christian. So was every virtually every other non-Jewish European born in the late 19th Century. I also said that he was a deist of some time. Deists are theists.


Good to know we agree on some things.

So, the question here is, was Hitler a Christian during 1933-45, and what evidence do you have to support this belief?

I don't have it as a belief. I don't know what Hitler thought. All I can say for certain is that he was some kind of twisted theist, and seems to have had a messiah complex.

After all, I am sure my old Church counts me as a Christian. Are Mormons Christians? You make the call. At what point does one cease to be a Christian? After all, many of Hitler's racial policies were anticipated in Church policy of earlier centuries, and some of his other policies were good by even elevated ethical standards. Is it open, public rejection that makes one not a Christian? Or private unbelief? Hitler seems to have been unclear in both cases.

It might be more interesting to know what you think makes him NOT a Christian.

I do know that on numerous occasions between 1933-1945 he made utterances to others indicating that he was Christian, such as the one from 1941 I put there, and others, including, as I mentioned above, his public school policies, which date from that period and after, and the SS oath, which also dates from that period, and other remarks. Thus, comparing quotes is probably a pointless exercise. A substantial case can be made for both. Does poking fun at the stupidity and sheeplike herd mentality of Christianity make one "not a Christian?"

As for rejecting Hitler's Table Talk, please offer your evidence that Bormann redacted or editted it in any significant fashion.

There's a website on the issue, with relevant quotes:

http://www.gate.net/~zardoz/HitlerSources.htm

It makes this excellent point:

But even if we take this simplistic approach and assume the Table-Talk as the actual thoughts and beliefs of Hitler, it fails for the simple reason that dismissing a religion of one's own faith does not exclude or excuse one from a personal belief as a Christian. A Christian is simply a person who believes in God and Jesus in some form or manner. Christianity, the body of believing people, simply does not require organized religion at all.

Michael

[This message has been edited by turtonm (edited April 19, 2001).]
 
Old 04-19-2001, 02:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bede:
Myth:
That Galileo was put on trial for saying the earth isn't flat.

Truth:
He was put on trial for satirising the pope and making theological claims about science. One of these claims was that Copernicus contradicted the bible and was right. This is half true.</font>
There seems to be some disagreement about Galileo, shall I have a go?

Myth:
Galileo was a great atheist scientist who opposed the incorrect Biblical view that the Sun revolves around the earth.

Truth:
Galileo was a Christian.
Galileo wrote a public letter explaining why his theory was not contradictory to the Bible.
A lot of Galileo's trouble came from bad relations with the other scientists of his day. They went whining to the Catholic Church and were able to convince the Church that Galileo's views were non-biblical.
Galileo then (stupidly) wrote a book which portrayed those who disagreed with his views as idiots. The Church wasn't very happy at this, but didn't do much more than give him a slap on the wrist.
 
Old 04-19-2001, 03:25 PM   #19
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:

So, the question here is, was Hitler a Christian during 1933-45, and what evidence do you have to support this belief?

I don't have it as a belief. I don't know what Hitler thought. All I can say for certain is that he was some kind of twisted theist, and seems to have had a messiah complex.</font>
Yeah, I'd agree with this.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">After all, I am sure my old Church counts me as a Christian. Are Mormons Christians? You make the call. At what point does one cease to be a Christian?</font>
The standard working definition of a Christian is that he or she can confess the Nicene Creed and mean it. That makes Mormons non-Christians since they reject that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are of one Being and substance.

Personally, I do not see the idea that anyone that ever claimed to be a Christian at any time is a good way to tell who is a Christian and who is not.

BTW, I wouldn't put much stake in the SS oath meaning much. Himmler was the head of the SS from its inception, and was officially a pagan. He obviously didn't have any problem taking this oath, or having his troops take it, so making the leap to the conclusion that the oath confirms Hitler as a Christian is a very big leap.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">As for rejecting Hitler's Table Talk, please offer your evidence that Bormann redacted or editted it in any significant fashion.

There's a website on the issue, with relevant quotes:

http://www.gate.net/~zardoz/HitlerSources.htm

It makes this excellent point:

But even if we take this simplistic approach and assume the Table-Talk as the actual thoughts and beliefs of Hitler, it fails for the simple reason that dismissing a religion of one's own faith does not exclude or excuse one from a personal belief as a Christian. A Christian is simply a person who believes in God and Jesus in some form or manner. Christianity, the body of believing people, simply does not require organized religion at all.</font>
Thanks for the quote. On the other hand, if you don't have any evidence that Bormann actually DID edit the book in any significant way (as opposed to he COULD have done it), next time, just say so.

Thanks again,

Nomad

 
Old 04-19-2001, 03:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Originally posted by Tercel:
There seems to be some disagreement about Galileo, shall I have a go?
</font>
Oh great, I can't wait for this...

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Myth:
Galileo was a great atheist scientist who opposed the incorrect Biblical view that the Sun revolves around the earth.
</font>
I have never read anyone, anywhere claim Galileo was athiest.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
The Church wasn't very happy at this, but didn't do much more than give him a slap on the wrist.
</font>
Slap on the wrist? Is this Revisionist History 101?

from http://www.hao.ucar.edu/public/educa...s/galileo.html

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
On June 22 1633 Galileo was forced to kneel in front of the Roman Inquisition and recant his beliefs in the Copernican doctrine and the motion of the Earth. He was then sentenced to life imprisonment, which was almost immediately commuted to perpetual house arrest without visitors, ostensibly for having disobeyed a 1616 injunction by Cardinal Bellarmine "...not to defend or teach the Copernican doctrine...". Galileo's Dialogue was put on the Index of Prohibited Books, as well as Copernicus' De Revolutionibus and the books of Kepler dealing with planetary theory.

Galileo's sentence was upheld rather rigidly despites numerous appeals to the Inquisition and the Pope by Galileo himself, as well as numerous prominent scientists and statesmen in Italy and Europe. After Galileo became blind in 1637, the enforcement of his sentence was relaxed somewhat, and he was allowed to receive visitors for extended periods of time. In 1638 he completed yet another landmark work, Discourses on Two New Sciences provided the foundations for the modern science of mechanics. The manuscript was smuggled out of Italy and the book published in Holland.

Galileo died on the evening of January 8, 1642. The Roman ecclesiastic authorities vetoed the public funeral and honor planned by the Florentine state. His books, together with those of Copernicus and Kepler, were removed from the Index in 1835, and only in 1992 did the Roman catholic Church formally admitted to having erred in dealing with Galileo.
</font>
Slap on the wrist, indeed!
 
 

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