The Huguenots and the Second Amendment

 

Francis1-1What I learned from yesterday’s Ask Me Anything was that overwhelmingly, Ricochet wants to know more about the history of the Huguenots and their relationship to the Second Amendment. (Or, at least, Tenacious D does.)

When Ben Carson suggested that an armed populace would have been better able to resist the Holocaust, he walked off the history cliff for two reasons. The first was his failure to appreciate what it took to defeat a modern engine of death like the Nazi war machine — one that rolled over armies comprised of millions of trained soldiers with guns, planes, tanks, and artillery in Czechoslovakia, Austria, Poland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Yugoslavia, and Greece, and often did so in a matter of days.

He also missed a chance to explain to Wolf that in all likelihood, the Founders were thinking about the extermination of a European religious minority. But that minority wasn’t the Jews — it was the Huguenots.

What he should have said was, “Wolf, as you should know, if the Huguenots had been armed, their chances would have been a lot better. It all started with the Catholics taking away their weapons. Every American in the eighteenth century would have known that.”

And they would have.

Now, historians differ about the number of dead in the French wars of religion and even its exact dates. But they now estimate that between 1562 and 1598, the war claimed between two and four million lives, and could well be described, in modern vocabulary, as a Huguenot genocide.

We all know the background. The Reformation was spread by the invention of the printing press. For the first time, there was an inexpensive way to mass-produce and disseminate books. This fueled a wildcat spread of information — in all disciplines — across Europe’s borders. (Those familiar with this period know exactly why I wonder if we should just bomb the undersea cables before this Internet business gets out of hand.)

Francis I firmly opposed heresy, of course, given that he ruled by divine right, but he was genuinely unsure whether the early Lutheranism that arrived in France during his reign was heretical. (Catholic doctrine was as yet unclear.) Distracted, perhaps, by foreign affairs — he was building an alliance with the Ottoman Empire — he failed to see that of course this was heresy, and moreover, a revolutionary doctrine. As the schism developed, he attempted to steer a middle course. But in 1534, the Affaire des Placards woke him from his naive fantasy about “moderate Protestants.”

Overnight, posters appeared in public throughout France warning of “Genuine articles on the horrific, great and unbearable abuses of the papal mass, invented directly contrary to the Holy Supper of our Lord, sole mediator and sole savior Jesus Christ.” These directly attacked the Catholic conception of the Eucharist and supported Zwingli’s position on the Mass, denying the physical existence of Christ in the sacraments. Most terrifyingly, he awoke to find such a poster on the door of his bedchamber — an unthinkable security breach. It left him deeply shaken.

Fast-forward to 1535, when the ambassadors from the Ottoman Empire accompanied him to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris to share with him the satisfying sight of Protestant sympathizers burning at the stake.

His heir, Henry II, was in no doubt that he was dealing with a heresy. On June 27, 1551, he issued the Edict of Châteaubriand: Protestants would no longer be allowed to worship, assemble, nor even speak of religion. And the 1557 Edict of Compiègne imposed the death penalty on those who preached illegally — or even assembled to discuss it.

The repression only hastened the onset of the civil war. By 1560, violent religious extremists were destroying images and statues in Catholic churches. Huguenot rhetoric changed: At first, they had opposed the policies of the monarch. Now, they began opposing monarchy itself.

Eight wars ensued. Religion had been the basis of the European social consensus for a millennium; the entire social order rested upon the belief in a single faith. And the entire social order collapsed. France was laid to waste, the crops wiped out; citizens suffered a nightmare of destruction. Whole villages were massacred. Famine and disease killed the survivors. Details here.

Now, I confess that here my memory is failing me. I can’t remember when, exactly, the policy of disarming all but the Catholic nobility came into effect. But I do remember that it did. Does anyone on Ricochet remember? I know that it happened, but I can’t remember when.

In any event, Catherine de Medici — the king’s mother, an Italian, a Catholic, and a member of the family for whom Machiavelli wrote The Prince — is widely believed to have instigated the 1572 St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. (I believe some historians contest her role.) The king’s sister was to be married in Paris to a Protestant, Henry III. The wedding attracted France’s wealthiest and most prominent Huguenots. The king gave the orders that they be assassinated.

The extermination began suddenly, with the ringing of church bells. Admiral Coligny — the leader of the Huguenots — was stabbed and his body thrown out a window. There’s no evidence (as far as I know) that Charles IX and his mother intended the bloodshed to go beyond the assassination of the their leaders, but the murders inspired the mob to a frenzied massacre of Protestants that rocked the Continent. Catholic clergy were said to have fallen upon unarmed men, women, and children. Commoners began hunting Protestants throughout Paris, barricading the streets so they couldn’t escape. The bodies of the dead were collected in carts and thrown in the Seine. The fish were said to have been poisoned. The slaughter spread to other cities and the countryside. In the end, according to contemporary historical estimates, as many as 30,000 were killed.

The Huguenot movement was crippled by the loss of its leadership. Those who remained were radicalized; those who could, fled — to Germany, Switzerland, England, Ireland, and, of course, what was to become the United States.

Their descendents included George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and Paul Revere.

The history of the Second Amendment is of course complicated, and this was certainly not the only event on the Founders’ minds. But if Wolf Blitzer had interviewed them at the time, very likely this is how it would have gone:

Wolf: But to make the comparison, Mr. Washington, to Catholic France, the slaughter of millions of Huguenots by the Catholics, the devastation that erupted in Europe and around the world, to the United States of America, I want you to reflect on what that potentially means.

George Washington: I think the likelihood of the Catholics being able to accomplish their goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed. There’s a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first.

And about that, he would have been right.

Whether this has any relevance to America now, I don’t know. But if you’re going to argue this point from history, that’s the example you want.

Published in General, Guns, History
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  1. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    John Seymour: ISIS can harm us, sure, but they don’t have the capability of disrupting our society.

    Disagree in two senses. The first is that there’s some chance — a small one at this point, but not zero — that they’ll get their hands on biological weapons. They could easily get hold of chemical weapons (I don’t for a second believe Russia got them all out of Syria); and they may be able to figure out how to get them to the US. A dirty bomb isn’t impossible to imagine, either. There are many inventive forms of terrorist attack that could cause severe disruption. No need for me to run through all the scenarios I can imagine, but they certainly have the desire to cause significant mass-casualty attacks, and if you’ve got the motive, the means and the opportunity aren’t too hard to find.

    None of these would wipe us out — they’re not “existential threats,” as the cliche goes — but they’d certainly disrupt our society. After all, not that long ago, 19 inventive terrorists managed to disrupt our society in ways I could never have imagined — we’re still feeling the effects of it.

    They could also disrupt our society by pulling off just a few more small-scale attacks, causing mass hysteria, panic, and overreaction. That’s how terrorism works — it terrorizes people.

    • #31
  2. TempTime Member
    TempTime
    @TempTime

    Benjamin Glaser: Benjamin Glaser I descend from Huguenots

    Me too (de la Noye), or so the family ancestry book says.

    • #32
  3. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    Randy Webster:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: When Ben Carson suggested that an armed populace would have been better able to resist the Holocaust, he walked off the history cliff for two reasons. The first was his failure to appreciate what it took to defeat a modern machinery of death like the Nazi war machine — one that rolled over armies comprised of millions of trained soldiers …

    No one thinks that the Jews would have been able to defeat the Wehrmacht.

    Let’s be clear about this, however: the Jews and other Holocaust victims were not murdered by the Wehrmacht. The were murdered by the Schutzstaffel or SS.  This was an organization developed by and for Hitler’s NAZI party, not the German national army.

    Don’t misunderstand: the Wehrmacht has plenty to answer for, including activities that aided and abetted SS criminality and its own atrocities against Jews in occupied territories. But we should be clear about how the whole horrible madness worked. Armed Jews violently resisting SS round-ups might have punctured the fearsome SS reputation, the consequences of which could have been dramatic over time.

    While the phrase “Nazi war machine” ostensibly gets closer to the SS, generally this a mistaken appellation signifying the German military under NAZI rule, as Claire’s description of its exploits makes clear.

    • #33
  4. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    I think Carson’s remarks are being nuanced beyond what he intended to say.  While individuals with weapons are not effective against organized armies, that’s only true in the sense of conventional warfare.  In the case of the Jews, it would have been asymmetrical warfare – resistance, one by one.  That potential for sudden death makes the forces that would kick in the doors much less interested in pursuing their intended prey.  Subduing the Jews would have been much more difficult, and costly, and not nearly as effective as it was.  The French Underground proved very capable of making life difficult for their captors, and aided immensely the U.S. invasion on D-Day, with this same asymmetrical warfare.  Underestimate it’s power at your peril – which we’re doing, by the way.  This also calls to mind the interesting history of the FP-45 Liberator pistol, produced in the U.S. during WW II.

    The idea that the “Islamization” we’re witnessing is the result of the destabilization of Islamic society is, I believe, incorrect, and plays into the hands of the “It’s all our fault” crowd.  Rather, it’s the reestablishment of Islamic society and the caliphate, that is driving it, and it’s only our fault to the extent that the U.S. has encouraged it, through our inaction, or feckless action, against it.  We are returning to the Middle East of the 13th century or so – the one that Jefferson halted.  We are returning the Shores of Tripoli to their condition before the Marines took care of things back then.

    • #34
  5. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    I just have one observation concerning the situation in Germany during WWII. Their is a distinction that should be made between the Wehrmacht and the SS concerning Hitler’s attempts to destroy Judaism in Germany. High ranking Wehrmacht officers were actively plotting to kill Hitler after the Polish invasion. They were making overtures to Great Britain to allow for the formation of an interim government for Germany with the diplomatic assistance of the Vatican in the aftermath of a successful assassination of Hitler.

    Wehrmacht troops did not run the camps nor did they engage in the slaughter of Jews and Catholics in Poland. Unfortunately after military success in France and the Low Countries some, but not all Wehrmacht officers felt that the German people supported Hitler and a coup would not be successful. Those officers that lost heart did not betray officers that continued to make plans to kill Hitler.

    • #35
  6. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Wow – a lot of interesting history here. When it’s all said and done, it is astonishing at how humans can be so cruel to each other in the name of anything, and also how they can misinterpret God’s teachings – I don’t know where it states in the Bible that if someone does not follow the commandments, or if you don’t believe what is written here, to go ahead and slaughter……Are we evolving to a better place or more of the same?

    • #36
  7. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Front Seat Cat:Wow – a lot of interesting history here. When it’s all said and done, it is astonishing at how humans can be so cruel to each other in the name of anything, and also how they can misinterpret God’s teachings – I don’t know where it states in the Bible that if someone does not follow the commandments, or if you don’t believe what is written here, to go ahead and slaughter……Are we evolving to a better place or more of the same?

    I guess you call call it confirmation bias today. Not infrequently, Christian kingdoms’ histories read like someone read Christ talking about bringing a sword, not peace & thinking he was a man after their own taste, after all!

    • #37
  8. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: When Ben Carson suggested that an armed populace would have been better able to resist the Holocaust, he walked off the history cliff for two reasons. The first was his failure to appreciate what it took to defeat a modern engine of death like the Nazi war machine

    I don’t know the exact words used by Carson, but resisting the holocaust is not the same as defeating the Wehrmacht.

    I got the following from the American Holocaust Museum website:

    After the Nazis seized power in Germany in 1933, Adolf Hitler publicly discouraged “disorder” and acts of violence. In practice, though, street violence against Jews was tolerated and even encouraged at certain periods when Nazi leaders calculated that the violence would “prepare” the German population for harsh antisemitic legal and administrative measures implemented ostensibly “to restore order.” For example, the orchestrated nationwide campaign of street violence known as Kristallnacht of November 9-10, 1938, was the culmination of a longer period of more sporadic street violence against Jews.

    So if Jews had been armed to beat off the bullies early in the game, before the whole German population was “prepared” for its part in the holocaust, history could have taken some other directions.  However, I admit that not all those other directions would have been good.  As is the case now, a lot would have depended on the specifics of how and when people defended themselves.

    As for the Huguenots using firearms to defend themselves in the 16th century, keep in mind that those were clumsy and slow weapons in those days, maybe not so good for street fighting.

    • #38
  9. Man With the Axe Inactive
    Man With the Axe
    @ManWiththeAxe

    Somewhat off topic, but I suddenly wonder whether those “immigrants” in Germany would have been so willing to molest German women if there was a pretty good chance many of the women would have been armed and trained?

    • #39
  10. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    John Seymour: ISIS can harm us, sure, but they don’t have the capability of disrupting our society.

    What we now have to go through to get on an airplane certainly is disruptive, no?  So, at a minimum, we have some definitional challenges here.

    I get the point that they can’t destroy us—Lincoln was right, we’ll die by suicide.  But your faith in free-flowing information fails to consider the sort of madness that already afflicts western civilization.  I refer to the suppression of information about sexual assaults by recent “refugees,” most notably in Cologne but in reality throughout Europe.  Consider how long it took our own President to even acknowledge the possibility that the San Bernardino attack was Muslim terrorism. Look how hard he and the Democrats are working to ensure the issue quickly changes to “gun control.”  Yesterday an elected mayor of a major metropolis assured the gullible that a man who insists he attempted to kill a cop precisely for Islam was somehow mistaken about his own motivation.

    So, let’s just say everything having to do with “information” is a cultural phenomenon; the dominant political culture we currently reside in is hostile to our own self-protection.  Like I said, Lincoln was right.

    • #40
  11. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    Man With the Axe:Somewhat off topic, but I suddenly wonder whether those “immigrants” in Germany would have been so willing to molest German women if there was a pretty good chance many of the women would have been armed and trained?

    Stop lying.  You don’t “wonder.” It’s perfectly obvious how different things would have been if modern Germany’s political culture encouraged women to adopt a stance of armed resistance to criminal assault.

    And it’s certainly not off topic!  Sheessh!

    • #41
  12. Man With the Axe Inactive
    Man With the Axe
    @ManWiththeAxe

    HVTs: Yesterday an elected mayor of a major metropolis assured the gullible that a man who insists he attempted to kill a cop precisely for Islam was somehow mistaken about his own motivation.

    “This shooting had nothing to do with the police.”

    “This shooting had nothing to do with guns.”

    “This shooting had nothing to do with shooting.”

    • #42
  13. muckfire Inactive
    muckfire
    @muckfire

    Pilgrim:Guns in private hands only would be useful for protection in a mass civil disorder, i.e. rampaging mobs but not against organized military or police.

    I don’t follow this line of reasoning at all-we have loads of very recent historical evidence of insurgencies armed with mainly small arms flumoxing great powers.

    And further, the right to armed self defense isn’t a guarantee of success in the endeavor, it is a guarantee of a fighting chance. If the state sends men with guns to take you and your family away for the crime of existing, a free man with a gun at least has the option of trying to make it bloody for them. The existence of that potential outcome is the best deterrent of the state going down that road.

    • #43
  14. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    Titus Techera:

    Front Seat Cat:Wow – a lot of interesting history here. When it’s all said and done, it is astonishing at how humans can be so cruel to each other in the name of anything, and also how they can misinterpret God’s teachings – I don’t know where it states in the Bible that if someone does not follow the commandments, or if you don’t believe what is written here, to go ahead and slaughter……Are we evolving to a better place or more of the same?

    I guess you call call it confirmation bias today. Not infrequently, Christian kingdoms’ histories read like someone read Christ talking about bringing a sword, not peace & thinking he was a man after their own taste, after all!

    No, you’ve got it backwards.  Man’s cruelty to others is not at all astonishing (see Genesis 6:5) What’s astonishing is how Judaeo-Christian teachings came to dominate and a civilization emerged which strives mightily to counter man’s natural inclination.

    Which makes the self-serving reading of Christ’s teachings which TT highlights, sadly, unremarkable.

    • #44
  15. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    I think you may have misread me–I agree with you, hence the talk about the ‘confirmation bias’…

    As for the kindness of latter-day Christians: It is to an extent owed to Christianity, but almost as much it is owed to the modern political science & modern natural science that emerged from the age of religious wars-

    It is more than a little difficult to reconcile the Biblical teaching about man’s natural evil to the fact of peace in our latter-day liberal democracies, don’t you think?

    • #45
  16. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Bryan G. Stephens:If guns in the hands on the people is not a threat to the regime, why did Japan disarm its population of all guns it could during the Tokugawa period?

    To be fair Japan had a long history by then of disarming people of weapons, once the a stable government was formed.

    • #46
  17. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Valiuth:

    Bryan G. Stephens:If guns in the hands on the people is not a threat to the regime, why did Japan disarm its population of all guns it could during the Tokugawa period?

    To be fair Japan had a long history by then of disarming people of weapons, once the a stable government was formed.

    & their gradual rearming as rule bean to crumble-

    • #47
  18. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    Quietpi: The idea that the “Islamization” we’re witnessing is the result of the destabilization of Islamic society is, I believe, incorrect, and plays into the hands of the “It’s all our fault” crowd. Rather, it’s the reestablishment of Islamic society and the caliphate, that is driving it, and it’s only our fault to the extent that the U.S. has encouraged it, through our inaction, or feckless action, against it. We are returning to the Middle East of the 13th century or so – the one that Jefferson halted. We are returning the Shores of Tripoli to their condition before the Marines took care of things back then.

    What a great observation.  And might we not go even further?

    Hasn’t Islamic society been unstable since the passing of the Prophet?  It’s precisely for lack of a mechanism to pass the reins of authority from one generation to the next that Islam’s political ideology is one that promotes instability.  Isn’t that the root cause—the Left’s Holy Grail for every social phenomenon—for Shia-Sunni sectarianism?

    • #48
  19. Pilgrim Coolidge
    Pilgrim
    @Pilgrim

    muckfire:

    Pilgrim:Guns in private hands only would be useful for protection in a mass civil disorder, i.e. rampaging mobs but not against organized military or police.

    I don’t follow this line of reasoning at all-we have loads of very recent historical evidence of insurgencies armed with mainly small arms flumoxing great powers.

    And further, the right to armed self defense isn’t a guarantee of success in the endeavor, it is a guarantee of a fighting chance. If the state sends men with guns to take you and your family away for the crime of existing, a free man with a gun at least has the option of trying to make it bloody for them. The existence of that potential outcome is the best deterrent of the state going down that road.

    An insurgency against a foreign invader would be possible, if the foreign invader didn’t grab the gun registration records and membership rolls of the NRA by hacking or a quisling.  All the successful insurgencies that come to mind resolved when the great power decides that the cost of the 3rd world open latrine is just not worth it and is not willing to make the sand (jungle) glow. We should be so lucky to have such civilized enemies.  That is all a far-fetched scenario.

    Most of the 2nd Amend discussion centers around resistance to our own government.  I don’t believe that 2% of the “from my cold dead hand” crowd would resist Australian-type gun control with violence.  When the certified letters go out to to the registered addresses of all gun owners, bring your gun in with 10 days, $1000 a day fine thereafter, Wayne La Pierre will be first in line.

    • #49
  20. Belt Inactive
    Belt
    @Belt

    Nice article.  I grew up in a town that celebrates its Dutch heritage, and my church/denomination traces its line back through the Netherlands Reformed Church to John Calvin.  I learned in catechism class the history of Dutch resistance to the tyranny of the Catholic Spanish king.  I’m totally sympathetic to the Huguenots.

    When I was getting my BA in religion at our local college, I took a class on ‘Calvin and Calvinism.’  I did my final paper on ‘Calvin and the Sword.’  Basically, Calvin dedicated his Institutes to the French king because he was trying to get a compromise (and maybe the convert the king to true religion!).  He was trying to say, “Hey, here’s a description of true, reformed religion that promotes social harmony and is theologically sound, an expression of God’s will.  We Protestants aren’t a threat, and we want a properly ordered society.”  Towards the end of his life, it had become clear that the persecution of protestants in France had become state policy.  He had started out advocating a general policy of non-violence, because he wanted a peaceful reconciliation and reform of France.  But over the years, he came to believe that sometimes armed resistance against tyranny was necessary.  I believe he actually starting running guns to the french Protestants.

    • #50
  21. Locke On Member
    Locke On
    @LockeOn

    I have one Huguenot ancestral line (Garrigues).  Two generations of that family fought in the Revolution.

    That said, between the times of Cromwell and the Glorious Revolution, the English got a full taste of firearms confiscation and registration, inflicted on the Catholics or Protestants and/or non-conformists, depending on who was in power.  There were a lot more colonist refugees from the English civil wars than from France.

    • #51
  22. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    The period before this is also noteworthy.  German and French Protestants formed a league of defense against the Catholic Lords that mostly consisted of the Electors and Free Cities of the Holy Roman Empire, but would expand to include Denmark, England, and briefly Francis himself at it’s height.  Anything that opposed the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V appealed to Francis.

    But the French wanted to be French and the Germans wanted to be Germans, so the cross-border alliances fell apart.  In France, Admiral Gaspard de Coligny spent decades trying to prove the loyalty of the French Protestants to the crown.  He funded the wars against Germany and planned colonization efforts to block the Empire in the New World.  He was one of the ones who suggested and supported the marriage of a Protestant lord to the daughter of the king.

    In Germany, Luther and Melanchthon preached against the radicals (most notably Andres Karlsdadt) and argued that it was a Christian duty to support the Emperor against the Ottomans and their French allies.  Protestant lords funded the wars against France, and Protestant soldiers fought in them.  Luther and Meanchthon even supported the Council of Trent as a means of reconciling themselves with the Emperor.

    In return, the temporal lords killed them all -or tried to.

    I’m trying not to draw the obvious lesson.

    • #52
  23. Matthew Gilley Inactive
    Matthew Gilley
    @MatthewGilley

    One of my ancestral lines traces back to French Huguenots who came to the colonies and eventually fought with a unit of North Carolina regulars during the Revolutionary Wars. Now I know why I own guns and why all of my paper targets are fleur de lis.

    • #53
  24. muckfire Inactive
    muckfire
    @muckfire

    Pilgrim: Most of the 2nd Amend discussion centers around resistance to our own government. I don’t believe that 2% of the “from my cold dead hand” crowd would resist Australian-type gun control with violence. When the certified letters go out to to the registered addresses of all gun owners, bring your gun in with 10 days, $1000 a day fine thereafter, Wayne La Pierre will be first in line.

    Just wondering, do you feel that whatever percent do wind up choosing to resist would be morally/constitutionally justified? That is the key perecentage- those who see the morality and right of the resistance and could support or be persuaded to join the small percent of brave and perhaps foolhardy who started it.

    • #54
  25. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:Now, historians differ about the number of dead in the French wars of religion and even its exact dates. But they now estimate that between 1562 and 1598, the war claimed between two and four million lives, and could well be described, in modern vocabulary, as a Huguenot genocide.

    I am, and will remain, skeptical of assessments of mass killings in an age without transportation and the best available weapon, assuming many even had them, was a clumsy old flintlock rifle.    Put me in a duel with a guy with one of those and I’ll beat him with a knife.  I don’t have to stop and hold my weapon between my legs to reload it.

    Millions of dead?  You know how long and hard you’d have to work to kill even 10 guys without modern weapons?

    On June 27, 1551, he issued the Edict of Châteaubriand: Protestants would no longer be allowed to worship, assemble, nor even speak of religion.

    I still support this.

    The repression only hastened the onset of the civil war. By 1560, violent religious extremists were destroying images and statues in Catholic churches.

    That’s some delicious sugarcoating right there.  A one liner is the best that can be mustered?  The Huguenot terrorists were destroying churches, blaspheming by using Catholic relics in burlesque and killing people.

    In any event, Catherine de Medici — the king’s mother, an Italian, a Catholic, and a member of the family for whom Machiavelli wrote The Prince — is widely believed to have instigated the 1572 St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.

    That’s putting Catherine in a false light by omission.  As Paul Harvey would say, it’s time for the rest of the story.

    Catherine did more than anyone to satisfy the rebellious hordes of un-Patriotic heretics.    She brought the sides together at the Colloquy of Poissy, and there granted the Huguenots the right to practice and preach.    But that wasn’t enough for the rabble protestants, and they started a war.  Catherine ended it with the Peace of Longjumeau, where she re-affirmed the Huguenot’s right to their religion of protest.  They again started a war.  She ended it with the Edict of St. Germain, which AGAIN gave Huguenots formal recognition in the Catholic church.

    As for the wedding assassination, that was the work of the Duke of Guise, who was avenging his father’s murder by the Huguenots.

    • #55
  26. Matthew Gilley Inactive
    Matthew Gilley
    @MatthewGilley

    I guess now is a bad time to tell Tommy I’m Baptist….

    • #56
  27. Pilgrim Coolidge
    Pilgrim
    @Pilgrim

    My ownership of firearms doesn’t give any additional weight to my view of morality or constitutionality that overrules that of my fellow Americans.

    I assume that a Clinton Restoration, a Democrat-controlled Senate, and one SCOTUS appointment will change the interpretation of the militia clause to strip the individual right from the 2nd Amend.  That wouldn’t be my decision but it would be under color of law and democratically sanctioned.

    • #57
  28. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Anyway, conservatives should start organizing so that state constitutions are changed to include clauses for the enactment of the militia clause. Organize state militias in GOP states on the broadest practicable basis!

    • #58
  29. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” – Benjamin Franklin

    • #59
  30. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    “Good? Bad? I’m the guy with the gun.” – Ash Williams

    • #60
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