I often hear Catholic defenders mocking Jan Hus for his political naivete in allowing himself to be executed for his novel teaching — as if he deserved his fate; it served him right! What is the message here? that you have to be politically savvy to enjoy your religious freedom?
Several serious problems with this kind of attitude:
- Today the Catholic Church accepts people having the same beliefs Jan Hus taught as brothers and sisters in the faith, as separated brethren.Make up your mind — was he a heretic or a fellow believer?
- Burning someone at the stake for their religious beliefs is just plain immoral— it is now, and it was then. That the Catholics back then felt justified, even obligated, to do such a thing illustrates Christendom's failure as an institutional experiment. There never should have been a Christendomin the first place.
- The deceit of those who promised safe passage to Jan Hus is unconscionable. Sure they could do this on a legal technicality but the laws were obviously immoral and should have been ignored and repealed.
- Attitudes by Catholics about Jan Hus and similar shocking breaches of the moral law ultimately caused me to reject Catholic claims.
- Jan Hus was a great man of God who was martyred for his faith by those claiming to be the "true church." We should honor his faith. We should ridicule those who think his murder was justified.