I wrote these series of articles (see menu sidebar to the left) as a Catholic for Catholics, but I no longer accept Catholic teaching as the authoritative source of truth.I have not attempted to align these articles with my current views.

The title of this article is borrowed from the phrase "Bad Popes." It is common for Protestant anti-Catholicsto list various types of bad behavior by Catholics to discredit the claims of the Catholic Church.

If "bad" Catholics disprove the claims of Catholicism then, equally, "bad" Protestants disprove the claims of Protestantism. You can't have one but not the other.

If you are anti-Catholicand don't like the conclusions in this article, please change your view of Catholics. I merely analyze Protestant history in the same way Protestant anti-Catholicsanalyze Catholic history. But I should mention, this kind of thinking is atrocious and sloppy.

A common argument against Catholicism is that corrupt and unrighteous actions by Catholics prove the Catholic Church is not the true church. Some examples:

The problem is there are plenty of examples of Protestants who do all these same things; I highlight a few of these.


Index

Examples of Protestants who were:

Bad "Popes"

Martin Luther

John Calvin

Zwingli

Corrupt Protestant Rulers

King James I

Queen Elizabeth

William of Orange

Christians Do This?

Huguenots

Slavery

Ireland

Genocide?


Introduction


Foxe's "Book of Martyrs" is an example of a writer collecting together examples of horrible crimes committed by the so-called "false" church (Catholics) against the so-called "true" church (Protestants). Foxe is even so bold as to include the Waldenses and Albigensians in his list of "true" believers!

If we use the same criteria used by such anti-Catholicsto prove their conclusions then we would have to conclude that the churches, communities and denominations having their historical roots in the Protestant Reformation are not expressions of Christ's true church either. In this article to show what happens when we apply the kind of logic and reasoning used by influential anti-Catholicsand direct it against Protestantism. (I am not for a moment suggesting that this kind of reasoning is good reasoning; it is atrocious and sloppy).

I admit to being purposely biased in viewing the facts from a one-sided perspective because that is what these anti-Catholicsdo. Nor do I distinguish between the various roles people might have such as:

In order to match the method used by these critics of Catholicism, the only factors I am considering are:

  1. Is the deed obviously immoral?
  2. Is the deed done by a Protestant?
  3. In the case of Protestant leaders, the deeds of their followers or subjects must of course be applied against them (since that is how these critics of Catholocism do it).

These anti-Catholicshave a very simple method of proving that the Catholicism is false — if a Catholic does something bad, then Catholicism is false.


Martin Luther


Martin Luther was the founder of the Protestant Reformation. We should expect his character to be very saintly but this is not the case.

Many Protestant anti-Catholicsquickly abandon Luther when they are presented with more information about the man, his writings, and his teachings. But how can such an important founder of such an important movement be so easily discarded? After all, it is claimed that he correctly discerned the true biblical interpretation for the various foundational Protestant doctrines.

Some of his views:

In conclusion, if we use the same arguments that these anti-Catholicsuse in accessing prominent Catholic leaders, we must conclude that Protestantism is false because the founder's teaching and character are so obviously at odds with sensibilities, and because he had such obviously untrue beliefs.


John Calvin


John Calvin was the most influential leader of the Protestant Reformation. We should expect his character to be very saintly but this is not the case.

Some of his unrighteous actions:

In conclusion, if we use the same arguments that these anti-Catholicsuse in accessing prominent Catholic leaders, we must conclude that Protestantism is false because a founder's actions are so obviously at odds with sensibilities.


Zwingli


If Zwingli were a pope, Protestant anti-Catholicswould surely use him as an example of a "bad pope":

In conclusion, if we use the same arguments that these anti-Catholicsuse in accessing prominent Catholic leaders, we must conclude that Protestantism is false because a founder's teaching and character are so obviously at odds with sensibilities, and because he had such obviously untrue beliefs.


King James I


This the King James who commission the King James Bible.

Biographical notes:

His dishonorable and unchristian acts (with my comments):

  1. In 1604 he expelled all Catholic priests. (Not a very charitable act).
  2. In 1605 he executed Catholics. Others, including Fawkes, underwent prolonged and brutal torture and were then savagely executed in public. (Foxe would consider an execution such as this as evidence of "bad" religion).
  3. He signed the Negative Confession of 1581. No other Protestant Confession is so fiercely anti-popish. (Guaranteed to create religious conflict, persecution, and abuse of Catholics).
  4. Many Jesuits and other priests had to flee into exile, and some, including the leading English Jesuit Father Garnet, were brutally executed after state show trials.
  5. During his reign, the north of Ireland was settled by English and Scottish Protestants, and many Irish Catholics lost their land. (He allowed Catholics to be victimized).
  6. Some consider him to be homosexual or bisexual.
  7. He enacted even harsher penal laws against Catholics.

In conclusion, using the same arguments as these critics of Catholicism, these acts of a Protestant leader are sufficient to demonstrate that Protestantism is false. We must remember that these anti-Catholicsmake no distinction between church leaders and secular rulers who are members of a particular denomination.


Queen Elizabeth


There is not much that needs to be said about the Protestant Queen Elizabeth's publicly-known persecution of Catholics. A couple of examples of Catholic martyrs who she killed:

In conclusion, using the same arguments as these critics of Catholicism, these acts of a Protestant leader are sufficient to demonstrate that Protestantism is false. We must remember that these anti-Catholicsmake no distinction between church leaders and secular rulers who are members of a particular denomination.


William of Orange


William of Orange was a Protestant leader who did many unrighteous actions.

General historical notes:

He grew up in a cultivated Lutheran environment

In the mind of William, the prince of Orange, the religious issue gradually assumed paramount importance. In a sensational speech in the Council of State, he argued that it was not feasible to enforce religious unity and that it was not right for princes to presume to rule over the consciences of their subjects.

Consequently, the situation became increasingly dangerous. The leadership of the opposition was now taken over by a confederation of lesser nobles and gentlemen, some of them Calvinists, who were more desperate than the magnates and less averse to a violent solution; they and their followers soon came to be called the Gueux (Beggars). The great lords kept aloof, but William and a few others showed sympathy for the movement.

The Duchess did indeed promise a moderation of the antiheretical measures, but it was already too late for minor relaxations to avert trouble. Misery caused by the economic depression contributed to the violent explosions of religious fanaticism that shook the Low Countries in August 1566. Calvinist mobs forcibly entered churches, smashing the images and destroying the furnishings.

Orange seems to have contemplated immediate active resistance but in the end did nothing because the popular hero Lamoral, graf van Egmond, stadholder of Flanders and Artois, would not support him. He allowed the Protestants, now openly rebellious, to hail him as their defender.

Orange was justified in expecting a general rising when he should appear as a liberator. He saw his own fortunes irrevocably bound up with those of the Netherlands, and he no longer hesitated to proceed to military action.

In 1573 he finally joined the Reformed Church (Calvinists).

Orangist propaganda was active, but military operations were mainly confined to the exploits of the Sea Beggars.

His failure to consolidate the newly won unity was primarily due to the excesses of his Calvinist supporters who forcibly introduced popular and intolerant regimes.

History of Protestantism in the Netherlands

In conclusion, using the same arguments as these critics of Catholicism, these acts of a Protestant leader are sufficient to demonstrate that Protestantism is false. We must remember that these anti-Catholicsmake no distinction between church leaders and secular rulers who are members of a particular denomination.


Huguenots


The Calvinistic Huguenots in France are typically represented as peace-loving "true" Christians. But they are not so peace-loving after all:

Some of their unrighteous exploits:

In conclusion, the Huguenots were guilty of the same kinds of deeds that these anti-Catholicsobject to in the historical Catholic Church. Using the same arguments as these critics of Catholicism, these acts of these Protestants are sufficient to demonstrate that Protestantism is false.


Slavery


Certainly slavery is a bad thing. Yet Protestants in America had slaves as the following articles demonstrate:

In conclusion, using the same arguments as these critics of Catholicism, these acts of Southern Protestants denominations are sufficient to demonstrate that Protestantism is false.


Ireland


Ireland provides a good example of Protestants acting unrighteously:

In conclusion, the Protestants in Ireland were guilty of the same kinds of deeds that these anti-Catholicsobject to in the historical Catholic Church. Using the same arguments as these critics of Catholicism, these acts of these Protestants are sufficient to demonstrate that Protestantism is false.


Genocide?


The Protestant nation, America, practiced genocide against the Native Americans they encountered as they settled the vast continent. I'm almost ashamed to be an American except that I wasn't alive then and I didn't do it.

In conclusion, the Protestants in America were guilty of the same kinds of deeds that these anti-Catholicsobject to in the historical Catholic Church. Using the same arguments as these critics of Catholicism, these acts of these Protestants are sufficient to demonstrate that Protestantism is false.