Inconvenient Priest

Does organized religion have blood on its hands for not publicly questioning the official story of 9/11 as year after year of revelations have laid bare the impossibility — the absurdity — of what the U.S. government’s Executive Branch and the captive news media continue to uphold as the truth?

Perhaps the answer is yes. It turns out that on this day the topic is fitting for an execution that took place on Dec. 29, 1170. The paragraphs that follow are from The Calendar of Saints (Forward Movement Publications, 2004).

— Mark Channing Miller

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Champion of the Church’s Honor

“There is no more celebrated English saint than Thomas Becket who was treacherously murdered in his own cathedral during Christmastide. The four knights who chopped him down were unwittingly dispatched to do so by King Henry II who had grown weary of years of conflict with Becket over the relationship between the Church and the Crown.

“Henry and Thomas had been comrades and the King had nominated him for Archbishop of Canterbury in part because he thought he could influence him. That had not turned out to be the case. When he took the Chair of St. Augustine, Becket turned from the convivial life of a courtier to the austere life of an ascetic and became a champion of the poor and of the rights of the Church. Henry II sought to control and use the Church for the Crown’s political and economic aims.

“He never intended to have Becket killed, but after years of altercation he exclaimed, ‘Who will rid me of this pesky priest?’ Four of his knights set out to oblige the King and a few days later they fell upon the Archbishop in his cathedral at Canterbury and hacked him to death.

“Thomas Becket’s death signaled a victory for his cause since it resulted in the rallying of enormous public pressure against the King. The slain archbishop became a symbol of the integrity and independence of the church from an oppressive government. The sainted archbishop was laid to rest in Canterbury Cathedral and the site of his death became a shrine. For many generations it was the most popular place of pilgrimage in the British Isles.”

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