Good thing that Jerry Falwell is dead--even though, in a sense he lives on through his university, Liberty. Unfortunately, Pat Robertson (also has a university, Regent), James Dobson, and other fundamentalist preachers are out there carrying on the tradition of using religion as an evil political tool in the United States. Remember Ted Haggard? He was another good one. Good thing buying meth from a gay prostitute ended his career as a evangelical preacher.
You're probably too young to remember the fictional character Elmer Gantry. A movie was made about him many many years ago. Burt Lancaster played the lead role. That is why I like to call it the "Elmer Gantry Syndrome".
Quite a few years back, there was a child preacher by the name of Marjoe Gortner. When he became a young man, he made a documentary about tent revivalists. Exposing them for what they were. I guess his conscience got the better of him.
There probably aren't many things more evil, than to take a thing that people look to for hope. For comfort. Something to believe in that enhances their otherwise mundane life, and use it for personal gain. We have had this type of thing exposed again, and again, and again over the years. And innocent people are still taken in. Why? Because people still hope.
Didymos, my memory is a little fuzzy too. I'll have to check my reference material. I don't know what Pope it was actually, but there is this thing in my memory that says, Pope innocent the third. something I read about twenty years ago when studying the development of the English bible.
I had this thought at that time, that the persecution and cruelty of the people responsible for the reformation was justification, to me anyways, that they were doing the right thing. But now, with all of the willful ignorence of those who refuse to see the remarkably brilliant style of literature in the bible such as allegorical stories that illustrate a simple message, the poetry, the hyperbole. I just feel that maybe the Pope could have had a point, even though the method was cruel. Historically.