The Blood of Religious Liberty Enabled Freedom of Speech

Around the turn of the 2nd century, St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, was condemned by a Roman tribunal to be torn apart and eaten by lions in the Coliseum.  What was his crime?  Ignatius was condemned because his speech was subversive to the Roman social order.  Having a public audience worsened his exercise of free speech; speaking freely in front of an assembled mob was the real crime. Speaking and teaching the Gospels, according to the Apostles, of whom John was Ignatius' mentor, was the content of Ignatius' speech.  Moreover, Ignatius is credited with asserting the notion of the Church as universal and catholic, from the Greek katholikos. But Ignatius's death sentence didn't chill his free speech.  He managed to preach in dozens of venues along the route of a condemned man from Syria to Rome.  There are at least seven letters from Ignatius, written during his death march, considered to be authentic, and perhaps another half dozen attributed but of...(Read Full Article)

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