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The French Religious Wars. Remember the Alamo

The Hugonauts (HEW-go-nots) are Calvinist followers. This is a grassroots movement of Reformationist Christians that are a little more intellectually driven than the Lutherans. France is officially Catholic and the clash with the Reformationist groups is causing unbelievable friction. That friction is caused in part by the Hugonauts, themselves but when 80 Hugonauts are massacred, out come the pikes, the swords and the muskets. It's war and everyone is invited. Even the English get into the act on the side of the Hugonauts. In a few years, when the dust settles, 2 to 4 million people will lie dead. (You know it must have been bad when you can't pin down the number of dead any more accurately than that.) The Hugonauts are going to remember this massacre and in the modern day there will remain people who refuse to forget. [1] [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I was watching a movie and in the midst of a sad explanation of how small town pettiness had made a man's life miserable, he finally revealed the reason why he could never gain acceptance. His great, great, great grandfather was a Hugonaught. This was said lightly, because it all happened so long ago but it was not really a joke. The Armenians still remember the Armenian Genocide even though every person on both sides who was actually there is now dead. Jews remember the Holocaust. Texans remember the Alamo. Believe me. Texans really, really remember the Alamo. It's not a joke.

The Witchcraft Act: You'll Swing but You Won't Burn *

On a lighter note... practicing witchcraft will get you the death penalty but only if someone is actually harmed... someone other than the person accused of witchcraft, of course. Queen Elizabeth the 1st of England is easing up on those who are accused of witchcraft. Her father, Henry the 8th, did not require proof of actual damage in order to put a witch to death. Reading the reports of the time, it is apparent that even an 80 year-old woman who mumbled to herself as she walked along could be hanged if her mumbling was associated with a crop failure or bad butter. Good thing she didn't question Global Warming or she'd be in real trouble. [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The other virtue of this law is that witches are not burned unless the damage caused by witchcraft is accompanied with a conviction of high treason. This small mercy will be carried over to the future American colonies. Contrary to everything I've assumed since childhood, not a single witch was burned in the British colonies. That includes the time of the Salem Witch Trials. Many of the accused certainly died... usually by hanging, but not burned. [6]

Book Burning and the Black Legend of Spain

The Mayans need their heads straightened out about Christianity because there is too much idolatry going on so Spain sends Bishop Diego de Landa to get the job done. Up to this point, the Mayans got a pass for their backsliding because they didn't know any better... until now. The Bishop is having none of it. He accuses several people of murdering a man in their deadly pagan ritual but when the dead man shows up alive, the Bishop is not deterred. Idolators are given the chance to disavow their beliefs or die. He puts idols to the flames and burns the Mayan books. Only a few of these books will survive into the modern day. He will be recalled to Spain next year and put on trial. He will be acquitted of all charges in 1573. Nevertheless, this black mark will be added to the so-called Black Legend of Spain. [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Black Legend of Spain seems like propaganda. That doesn't make it incorrect but if every bad decision I made appeared in headlines but every good decision appeared in small print, your general impression of me would be distorted. For example: President Gerald Ford was an athlete who was considered nimble on his feet, but the comedian, Chevy Chase made his name on Saturday Night Live with his impression of President Ford as a bumbling fool. Thereafter, the Media would lie in wait for any misstep as President Ford walked off Air Force One, or bumped into a supporter at a fundraiser. So... it's OK to criticize this book-burning bishop from Spain for his religious zeal but remember that there was someone in 1562 that put this note into the bin marked "Bad Spain" for safe keeping.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1562, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. French Wars of Religion - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  2. Huguenot - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 20 April 2015. “Historically, 'Huguenots' were French Protestants inspired by the writings of John Calvin (Jean Calvin in French) in the 1530s, who became known by that originally derisive designation by the end of the 16th century.”
  3. Massacre of Vassy - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 20 April 2015. “The Massacre of Vassy, also known as the Massacre of Wassy, is the name given to the murder of Huguenot worshipers and citizens in an armed action by troops of Francis, Duke of Guise, in Wassy, France on 1 March 1562. The tragedy is identified as the first major event in the French Wars of Religion.”
  4. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster. “Eng. troops occupy Le Havre” 
  5. HLB (November 28, 2014). witchcraft act 1562. Intriguing-History.com. Retrieved on 5 January 2015. “This act was more merciful than the Witchcraft Act of 1542 put in place by Queen Elizabeth's father King Henry VIII twenty years earlier. It only demanded death if actual harm had been done to another person.”
  6. Salem Witch Trials - Facts & Summary. history.com. Retrieved on 21 April 2015. “As a wave of hysteria spread throughout colonial Massachusetts, a special court convened in Salem to hear the cases; the first convicted witch, Bridget Bishop, was hanged that June. Eighteen others followed Bishop to Salem's Gallows Hill, while some 150 more men, women and children were accused over the next several months.”
  7. Diego de Landa - Great Discoveries in Archaeology. anthropology.msu.edu (2015). Retrieved on 21 April 2015. “How did one person wipe away a whole ancient civilization's language, making deciphering the carved symbols on discovered artifacts so difficult? De Landa accomplished this through burning books and religious idols that would have helped to give insight to the language and other aspects of Mayan life. This was not to say that he was an evil person, he was just very passionate about converting other people to Catholicism and so anything disputing his religion needed to change.”
  8. Diego De Landa, Spanish Bishop and Inquisitor of Early Colonial yucatan. about.com (2015). Retrieved on 21 April 2015. “Spanish friar (or fray), and later bishop of Yucatan, Diego de Landa is most famous for his fervor in destroying Maya codices, as well as for the detailed description of Maya society on the eve of the conquest recorded in his book, Relación de las Cosas de Yucatan (Relation on the Incidents of Yucatan)”

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