Steven Clark read what I wrote and made several welcome comments. I'd like to address the following part of his comments:
"Most of your rant facts were accurate (except for the early followers of Christ killing and somehow figuring Hitler was killing Jews, Gypsies, and Christians for Jesus. Your rant might be more effective if you distinguished your players better"
I'm sorry for the confusion, Steven!!! Here is some clarification that I hope will help:
1. re the Holocaust: I don't claim that Hitler killed Jews (or did anything else) for Christ. My point was that Christian anti-Semitism and the existing prevalent Christian culture led to the environment where the holocaust was possible.
2. re early Christians persecuting & killing those who believed differently, I was thi8nking of the Arian heresy and all the fighting that went on with that in the 4th-6th centuries. I checked the Catholic encyclopaedia to get the history (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07256b.htm):
[citation begins]The Council of Nicaea anathematized the heresiarch [Arius himself], but its anathemas, like all the efforts of the Catholic bishops, were nullified by interference of the civil power. Constantine and his sister protected Arius and the Arians, and the next emperor, Constantius, assured the triumph of the heresy: the Catholics were reduced to silence by dire persecution. At once an internecine conflict began within the Arian pale, for heresy, lacking the internal cohesive element of authority, can only be held together by coercion either from friend or foe. Sects sprang up rapidly: they are known as Eunomians, Anomoeans, Exucontians, Semi-Arians, Acacians. The Emperor Valens (364-378) lent his powerful support to the Arians, and the peace of the Church was only secured when the orthodox Emperor Theodosius reversed the policy of his predecessors and sided with Rome. Within the boundaries of the Roman empire the faith of Nicaea, enforced again by the General Council of Constantinople (381), prevailed, but Arianism held its own for over two hundred years longer wherever the Arian Goths held sway: in Thrace, Italy, Africa, Spain, Gaul. The conversion of King Recared of Spain, who began to reign in 586, marked the end of Arianism in his dominions, and the triumph of the Catholic Franks sealed the doom of Arianism everywhere. [citation ends]
Thanks to all for tolerating my ranting!