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Freedom of Religion... Only for the King *

The Peace of Augsburg settles a problem with a King being of a different religion than the majority of his subjects: everyone must become the same religion as the King. In years gone by this wasn't such a problem. Religion was somewhat like rooting for the local sports team. If the King was Christian, the majority of his subjects wanted to be Christian too. That is also the reason why women wear their buttons backwards in the modern day because in the past they wanted to look like the Queen who had her buttons on backwards so that her valet could dress her. But in the Renaissance you must have a principled reason to follow a certain religious sect. This so-called compromise for peace is going to cause a war so severe that modern nations are still doing things in a certain way to prevent another war like the one coming up in a few decades. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I know what you are thinking... "It's a start for religious freedom." No. This is totally goofing everything up in the long-term in exchange for short-term stability. Imagine what would happen if you were living in a Protestant country with a Protestant King when the King dies. His heir takes the throne and is a Catholic so now you must be a Catholic. Then the Protestant King from another country moves in and annexes your town. Now you are Protestant again, and when your original King takes your town back, you go back to Catholic. After a while the general population is going to get sick of this and do something about it called the 30 Year's War. It was a fight over Protestants rebelling because they were sick of being Catholics. It's going to be horrifying no matter which side you are on. [3]

Mad Queen Joanna and Trusting Your Mind to Others

Spain is being ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles the 5th, and has been for years. His mother, Queen Joanna, is known as Joanna the Mad and she has been living in a convent ever since her husband died. It seems that she might have been mentally abused by her husband because once he passed away she lost her mind and was judged mentally unfit to rule Spain. Despite his probable abuse, she loved him and when she passes away this year at the age of 75 she will be buried next to him. [4] [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
It is difficult to know whether Queen Joanna was mentally ill or if she was pressured into no longer trusting her own mind. Mental illness is quite real and medicine can help... but ... how can we know if a drug is making our mind better or worse when we are using that same mind to make that evaluation? When we cannot trust our own mind we need to trust someone to help us figure it out. I saw a Mythbusters episode on Blind Driving. They asked the question: "Can a blind man drive a car?" The answer was "yes" as long as he was willing to trust his co-pilot who is giving him instructions. The key to evaluating one's own mental condition in a situation where one cannot trust his own mind is to trust the right people, and resolve to follow their directions. Personally, I follow this advice when looking for a job. When I follow my wife's instructions I usually get the job. It galls me that I cannot trust my own mind in this area but it has been demonstrated to me over and over again that she has the better mind in job hunting. I have come to trust her. Everything else? Well... no one is perfect. [7] [8]

The New Antisemitism: Forced Confinement of the Jews

With the Protestant Reformation in full swing, Pope Paul the 4th is trying to get a counter-Reformation movement going. He begins by issuing a canon law stating that all Jews shall be confined to ghettos. They shall wear yellow hats to make them easily identifiable, and the only commerce they can engage in is selling food and second-hand clothing. This is the beginning of the forced ghetto-ization of the Jews. These and further restrictions will remain in force throughout Europe until the early 1800s. Essentially, any Jew found outside the ghetto walls after curfew can be murdered with impunity as if he were an escaped serf. [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Jewish ghetto-ization was not like modern day ghettos where people live in poor areas together. It's not "red-lining" where real estate sales to Jews and blacks were restricted to certain areas. It was an area with walls and a gate to keep the Jews in at night. If you couldn't get along with your fellow Jews, you were out... and that meant death. So... every disagreement with your fellows carried an unspoken consequence. This gave Jewish religious leaders a lot of leverage. In the 1800s the Enlightenment intellectuals released the Jews only to find that intellectuals liked Jews in the abstract, but not on the street. The Jews were rounded up again, but it didn't stick. Jews left the ghettos and started coming to the United States in numbers during the 1840s. Charleston and Houston were their primary destinations. [11]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1555, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Peace of Augsburg - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 April 2015. “It officially ended the religious struggle between the two groups and made the legal division of Christendom permanent within the Holy Roman Empire.”
  2. Cuius regio, eius religio - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 April 2015. “Cuius regio, eius religio is a Latin phrase which literally means 'Whose realm, his religion', meaning that the religion of the ruler was to dictate the religion of those ruled.”
  3. Thirty Years' War - Facts & Summary. HISTORY.com. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing (1996). Retrieved on 9 April 2015. “The Thirty Years' War (1618-48) began when Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II of Bohemia attempted to curtail the religious activities of his subjects, sparking rebellion among Protestants. The war came to involve the major powers of Europe, with Sweden, France, Spain and Austria all waging campaigns primarily on German soil. Known in part for the atrocities committed by mercenary soldiers, the war ended with a series of treaties that made up the Peace of Westphalia.”
  4. Biography of Juana the Mad of Castile (1479-1555). madmonarchs.guusbeltman.nl (2011). Retrieved on 7 April 2015. “Agitated and lonely, Juana was to survive her husband by half a century. Often she slept at the floor and refused to change clothes. She died on April 13, 1555, at the age of 75. When Charles V was informed of his mother's death, the tiding induced his melancholy and thoughts of death. It made him advance the date of his abdication. Crippled with gout, he retired to prepare for his own departure from life.”
  5. Staff writer (2013). War of the Castilian Succession, Part I. SpanishWars.net. Retrieved on 12 April 2015. “Joanna realized that Isabella's supporters surpassed her own by far, though she did have powerful allies, who proposed a marriage between Joanna and her uncle, the Portuguese king Alfonso V. He accepted.”
  6. Joanna of Castile - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 7 April 2015. “There is debate about the diagnosis that she was mentally ill. Joanna's symptoms were perhaps aggravated by her non-consensual confinement and control by others who had assume her royal powers to legitimise the claims of her husband, father, and son to the throne.”
  7. Mythbusters Driving Blind. YouTube (2015). Retrieved on 12 April 2015.
  8. Alex Shrugged notes: As of this writing, 2015, I have been out of work due to a disability so I have not looked for work for a long time but if I were to do so, you can bet I would follow my wife's advice... and it would gall me just as it has in the past. Nevertheless... no BS... I'd follow her advice.
  9. "Chapter XX: The Counter-Reformation", Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy (BOOK), Random House. “Anti-Semitism had first manifested itself in Rome soon after Constantine the Great adopted Christianity in the fourth century, and with succeeding centuries it had grown steadily worse. But it was under Paul IV that the Jews were first rounded up into a ghetto, forbidden to trade in any commodity except food and secondhand clothing, permitted only a single synagogue in each city -- in Rome seven were demolished -- compelled to speak only Italian or Latin, and obliged to wear yellow hats in the street.” 
  10. Pope Paul IV - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 April 2015. “He compelled the Jews of Rome to wear distinctive clothing and confine themselves to a ghetto.”
  11. Alex Shrugged notes: I know I'm writing a little blandly here. I am actually upset but I can't say what I feel about this segment without putting in more emotion that it requires. I'm Jewish and I'm writing this segment the day after Passover ends.

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