DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, Excerpts
The Catholic Inquisition published the book that arguably could be called the most blood-soaked publication in human history. Mallleus Maleficarum – or The Witche’s Hammer – indoctrinated the world to “the dangers of freethinking women’ and instructed the clergy how to locate, torture, and destroy them. Those deemed “witches” by the Church included all female scholars, priestesses, gypsies, mystics, nature lovers, herb gatherers, and any women “suspiciously attuned to the natural world.” Midwives also were killed for their heretical practice of using medical knowledge to ease the pain of childbirth – a suffering, the Church claimed, that was God’s rightful punishment for Eve’s partaking of the Apple of Knowledge, thus giving birth to the idea of Original Sin. During three hundred years of witch hunts, the Church burned at the stake an astounding five million women.
Women, once celebrated as an essential half of spiritual enlightenment, have been banished from the temples of the world. There are no female Orthodox rabbis, Catholic priests, nor Islamic clerics. Holy men who had once required sexual union with their female counterparts to commune with God have feared their natural sexual urges as the work of the devil, collaborating with his favorite accomplice … woman.
Not even the feminine association with the left-hand side could escape the Church’s defamation. In France and Italy, the words for “left” gauche and sinistra – came to have deeply negative overtones, while their right-hand counterparts rang of righteousness, dexterity, and correctness. To this day, radical thought was considered left wing; irrational thought was left brain, and anything evil, sinister.