We’ve all heard the stories about the blood-thirsty Romans holding huge sporting events where poor defenseless Christians were throw to the hungry lions. The stories are somewhat true but the Romans did not reserve this spectacle for Christians only.
It seems that the Romans, a polytheistic society, welcomed the early Christians, allowing the continuance of the Christian monotheism with the only request that the Christians honor the religions of the Romans. Christians, as you might imagine, refused and were sufficiently recalcitrant to have the Roman government consider the Christians to be a subversive organization rebelling against the culture and religion of Rome.
This is where the lions and tigers and bears came in.
But I see that in the 300 or so years leading to the conversion of the Emperor Constantine, only a few thousand Christians were sacrificed. But if we jump ahead and look back, millions of Christians were slaughtered by other Christians. For reasons not as important as those that caused the Butter Battle, the gospel of compassion and love was adopted by both sides as they sliced and diced each other on the field of battle. The St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in France left between 5,000 and 10,000 Protestants dead in less than twenty-four hours. The Pope was so excited he had a vivid mural painted commemorating the killing of more fellow Christians in 24 hours than the Roman Empire managed in its entire existence. That fresco remains in a locked room at the Vatican.
Maybe Pope Frank will unlock the door and try to air out the stench of his religion.