In my Hispanic Civilization course, we talk about the crimes perpetrated by Spanish Christians in the name of Jesus. The extermination of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, the crimes of the Inquisition, the fascist Catholic dictatorship of Franco (1939-75). My students look horrified (one was actually in tears when we read Bartolome de Las Casas's account of the destruction of the Indies.) How could they do that in the name of such a peaceful, charitable religion? they ask. How is it even possible?
I came home after this kind of discussion today and I watched recordings from the trial of Scott Roeder, the murderer of Dr. Tiller. He talks about his "conversion" to Christianity in a way that would make Torquemada listen up and take notes. This makes me want to bring these recordings to my students and ask them: "What have you done to stop this insanity? Nothing? Then keep your crocodile tears about the victims of Spain's militant Christianity to yourselves."