and also the thread about religious fundamentalism, hopefully the man-imposed arguments between Catholicism, Protestantism and Islam are seen to be about the man-erected edifications of respective bureaucracies rather than in any way relating to the worship of God.
It was the preception of these absurdities that caused people like Sir Isaac Newton and Sir Christopher Wren to be Freemasons, St Paul's Lodge being the first lodge to be founded in London. Count Zinzendorf is a character to research. Freemasonry was the only available route to freedom of thought at the time, and by reason of its secret nature, offered protection and immunity from the scourges of cries of heresy and resulting punishments abounding at the time. It is said that History is a Foreign Country, and entering 17th century England is a very strange place.
Even incontinence was seen as a sign of a crime against God and so resulted in Excommunication.
Excommunication is a process that runs through all primitive societies and especially where an individual points out uncomfortable truths that go against the commonly held fashions of beliefs upon fragile foundations.
The more fragile the foundation, the more rigidly the excommunicative systems are enforced.
To send someone to Coventry has found itself in the 20th century vocabulary and teenagers practice exclusion on the basis of "They're not one of us", and it's an oppressive process intended to bully people to come into line.
It was seen to be rather a stupid punishment when both Galileo's and Copernicus' observations about the Earth and astronomy were found to be and seen to be correct, contrary to the fashionable doctrines of the day.
A late 20th century sect practices a process of "disconnection" when friends or family members are seen to have negative characteristics in terms of sympathy towards the sect. The Nicean Gospels carry the same flavour in splitting families in exhortation of the superior duties towards God.
The tome by Christopher Hill "Society and Puritanism in Pre-Revolutionary England" sets the scene in the Chapter "The Rusty Sword of the Church":http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=vSRHjfvg3OQC&lpg=PP1&ots=9vaKnULiyQ&dq=Society%20and%20Puritanism%20in%20Pre-Revolutionary%20England&pg=PA304#v=onepage&q&f=false
and it makes fascinating reading.
Thank goodness we live in the 21st century in which freedoms of speech and incontinence are permitted.
Mackie HR824MKII speakers are the best thing since sliced bread for the full scale presentation of computer software generated organ music)