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Excersus CXVII: Proper Channels


This is clearly trivializing Excommunication for comedic (I hope) effect. I actually think that the power of excommunication was a more horrific thing than the Church's bandying about of the Hell concept. One can ignore Hell while living on Earth - but you can't ignore everybody in your community suddenly having nothing to do with you, treating you like a monster because the most respected person in the town, on orders from his boss, told them to. Even in our modern era, when excommunication is more quaint than anything else, it's hard enough to be the person who Doesn't Believe As Do His Neighbors. In the most recent Congressional elections here in the States, the only non-theist in Congress, Pete Stark, was voted out of office - nobody so easy to shun as the person who doesn't believe in your God, your lifeline to immortality. Take that, raise it by several orders of magnitude, and you have some notion of the power of the medieval Catholic Church to absolutely crush any individual of its choosing by simply saying, "You're not in the club."

- Count Dolby von Luckner

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