The Catholic Church
What I am about to say may be very controversial, and I should probably have waited to calm down a bit. But I've got to say, I can't stand the Catholic Church. More specifically, its role throughout history. I have no qualms with Catholics or the good things the church has done as a whole. But dear God- and when I say dear God, I mean from myself, not THROUGH a group of MEN- what the Church did during the Inquisition, and through various times throughout history is appalling. Watching Goya's Ghost and I'm guessing it's fairly accurate. Torturing innocent people. Only so a group of MEN could stay in power. Brilliant. The birth of communism? Horrendous. Or even before that, charging people to rid themselves of sin. Please. Even now, the Vatican is extremely wealthy and is the keeper of a variety of secrets, parts of history, and worldly goods but whether or not they were obtained in a godly manner is of question.
Through researching my family, I have learned, incidentally, that I'm a Protestant through and through- and as far back as the late 1700's. As far as I know, not a Catholic bone in my body. I have respect for the teachings of the religion itself, but NOT for those who have abused its power. I come from a line of Norwegian Lutherans, Swiss/French Huguenots and Russian/Polish/Hungarian Jews.
Okay, I think I got most of that out. It's tough looking back at history. As much as we think that our world is a violent place, it doesn't compare to times when making the slightest wrong move could send you to the guillotine by your own people. Of course, unfortunately the most terrible violence occurring today is by groups of people hurting other groups- whether its genocide in Africa or war in Iraq. Wow.. Hopefully we'll eventually evolve and learn right? But seriously. There lies the question. Will we? Ever? Is it human nature? What if women ruled the world? Would we have as much violence? Is violence a necessary part of life?