John Fisher, Again

John_Fisher_(painting)Writing in The American Conservative, Rod Dreher refers, by implication approvingly, to St. John Fisher, “the English Catholic bishop who went to his death rather than conform to the king’s dictates.”

Say what you will, but Fisher was no defender of religious liberty. I posted about this sinister fanatic (a man who played an important role in the trial and execution of Thomas Hitton, the man often described as England’s first protestant martyr) a few years ago.

Let’s return to Wikipedia (in this case, why not?):

Hitton was a priest who had joined William Tyndale and the English exiles in the Low Countries. He returned to England on a brief visit in 1529 to contact the supporters of Tyndale and to arrange for the distribution of smuggled books such as the first English Psalter translated by George Joye. He was seized near Gravesend on his way to the coast to take a ship,and found to be in possession of letters from the English exiles. He was then arrested on the grounds of heresy, interrogated and probably tortured. He was condemned by Archbishop William Warham and by Bishop John Fisher and burnt at the stake at Maidstone on 23 February 1530.

As I noted in my earlier post, Fisher was no defender of freedom of conscience. What he was defender of his conscience, and, indeed, an enforcer of it on others. As for his fate, well, biter bit.

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1 Response to John Fisher, Again

  1. The American Conservative article did cite Fisher with implicit approval. Fisher had Hitton put to death and the King had Fisher put to death for the same reason, i.e., disagreements over religious dogma. That context is what The American Conservative article did not point out. The reason for leaving the context out is obvious: Ideologues usually don’t worry much or at all about context, unspun fact and/or unbiased when spinning stories and history to favor/fit their ideology or self-interests.

    In a nutshell, that is the problem with two-party politics. It is based mostly on ideology and self-interest (competing special interests). Instead politics should be based mostly on unspun fact, unbiased logic that is focused on transparent, honest service to the public interest. Two-party politics is corrupt, because corruption in politics includes serving special interests before serving the public interest. That was the point of campaign finance laws that date back a century ( ).

    As var as ideology in politics goes, it routinely poisons both reality (facts) and logic. The evidence is overwhelming, e.g.,

    One can easily argue and defend the proposition that political and/or religious ideology in politics is one of the top two or three sources of failure, waste, distrust, hate and corruption in American politics.

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