Revocation and Revolution

Mabry observed in his work De l’étude de l’histoire that because we disdain history by ignorance, by laziness, or by the presumption to profit from the experience of past centuries, each century brings back the spectacle of the same errors and the same calamities. The connection is clear between the Catholic Church’s persecution of Protestant Huguenots following Louis XIV’s Edict of Revocation in 1685 (which revoked the 1598 Edict of Toleration of Henry IV), and the State terror of 1793 against the Catholic Church. Both the State and the Church were intolerant and resorted to violence to coerce conformity. Both were engaged in the same battle against freedom of belief and expression. Both inaugurated a façade of unity. The victors of the Revocation became the victims of the Revolution. How can we not see parallels today where any religion, State, or political entity exercises power to control or to coerce belief or unbelief, or seeks to bring about a forced and artificial uniformity.

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