Occasionally the threads on LP take on a fervor that’s almost religious in nature.
All those dark forebodings about what winners do with their money, should do with it, all the sage pronouncements about whether there’s anyone in all Christendom who’d be wiser taking annuity rather than lump sum cash. Pronouncements about whether a hypothetical person spends too much on lottery tickets, or whether anyone should buy anything but a quick pick, or whether anyone should buy a quick pick.
Religious fervor. A certainty that a particular opinion is penultimate in wisdom for no better reason than the fact that the person doing the posting espouses that view.
Got me thinking about zealotry in general, and that got me thinking about the Inquisition. Not the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions with which we’re all familiar with their torture chambers and human sacrifices of mainly Jews and Gypsies, but the earlier one.
In 1095, his Holiness Pope Urban declared a Crusade against Carcassonne, and Beziers, in France as part of an overall war against heresy. The particular targets of this early Inquisition movement were the Cathars, the Good Men, as they called themselves. They’d drifted somewhat away from the doctrine of the true Church a few centuries before Martin Luther.
The citizens of Beziers already knew a bit about Crusaders. When this army arrived they closed the gates and refused them entry. The pope excommunicated the city en masse, and the siege began.
When the Crusaders took the town the Bishop Renaud de Montperoux and the Abbot of Citeaux were asked how they were to distinguish which were the heretics among the captives. They replied, “God will find his own.” They ordered every person in the city to be slain. 20,000 people were put to the sword.
That was the origin for the popular US Special Forces tattoo during the Vietnam War. “Kill ‘em all and let God sort them out!”
Anyway, I’m thinking that’s the most appropriate solution to this endless debate about whether people ought to take lump sum cash, or annuity. We need to somehow get the opposing side to have a convention in some medium sized town, bottle them up there and put them to the sword.
End this thing once and for all without taking any prisoners.