In my course on Hispanic Civlization, I was talking about the horrors of the Inquisition.
“Why do the Christians always come off like the bad guys?” one student asked giving me an accusatory stare.
I didn’t want to tell her that we still had the genocide of the indigenous peoples of the Americas in the name of the spread of Christianity ahead of us in the course.
And the ruin that religious fanaticism brought to the Spanish-speaking world during the years of the Empire.
And the way the Church constantly undermined the struggle for progress and the attempts to create a democratic society in Spain in the XIXth and early XXth centuries.
And the fascist Catholic dictatorship that existed in Spain between 1939 and 1975.
I have no desire to hurt the sensibilities of my Bible Belt students who have spent their lives in places where religion is the only form of entertainment and community organizing. But what can I do if history is the way it is?