Protestantism, more correctly Lutheranism could never agree on being one like Roman Catholicism. It did not fall short of persecuting and suppressing those that were not pleased where the reformers were taking their followers. Luther had no place in his reform for Zwingli the founder of the Reformed and Presbyterian Churches, for Erasmus the humanist and leader of the common man, for Carlstadt, Hubmaier and Munzer that leaned on additional spirit led revelations. Zwingli denied the Anabaptists their right to practice believer’s baptism. He had three hundred put in bags and drowned. Calvin, a Zwingli disciple was just as intolerant with his dogma on predenation in Holland and Switzerland and so was Knox the founder of the Presbyterians in Scotland. In England King Henry VIII took over religion, after the Pope had refused his request for divorcing his queen. He remained intolerant towards all the Protestant infusions and added the Catholics to his list. The King appointed an Archbishop and allowed the clergy to marry. The King’s Anglicans too would experience reform but it would come back from the Americas. It will not come from the Pilgrims but from Moravians, Methodists and Quakers. After the Anglicans took over England and grudgingly let in the Presbyterians in Scotland, Europe had closed the door on anyone with a different conviction or conscience. Who were these people that were driven from their homes by Anglicans, Lutherans, Reformed Churches (Holland, Scotland and Switzerland) and Roman Catholics? And where did they move?
The Reformation was just as much secular as it was religious. Scholastics, Humanists, Lutherans, Zwinglians, Radicals and Pietists contributed to the Reformation. Johan Gutenberg (1398-1468), inventor of printing with moveable type spread their messages. The Pope and his dogma were in the way of economic, social and scientific progress. He did not endorse Columbus, Copernicus or Galileo. He denied a person’s individual right to grace and faith. He enhanced his coffers by selling offices and titles to the highest bidders and he granted lands and castles to his relatives and friends. The sale of indulgence kept the human soul in need of forgiveness and absolution in priest’s hands. The pope controlled the cradle, the bedroom, the job, purgatory and Paradise. The inquisition carried out his excommunication and persecution to the letter. To punish the Albigenses and Waldenses, Gregory IX made heresy a capital offense. The Waldenses were the forerunners of the Hussites and the Bohemian Brethren. When Boniface VIII put his curse on England and France for refusing to pay taxes to Rome, the French deposed the Pope and elected their own and kept him in Avignon for seventy years. At one time there were three and four popes and two were in Office for forty years at the same time. This was called the Babylonian Captivity of the Church (1305-1376). The French also were testing Dan’s “De Monarchia,” the claim that God instituted the crown and not the church. The Church or religion had no control over the economic, social or political life of a nation. It was a trend to free the state from religion and even lift it above the status of the Church. This shifted the power from the Pope to a secular authority. Now the Pope had to gain the support of the monarchs to carry out his policies. The Saxon Prince had stumbled on a second jawbone of Peter and he did not hand over Luther to the Inquisition. He no longer trusted Rome.