Would He Have Gone To The Stake?

Some people regarded Bishop Ernest Barnes of Birmingham as a potty heretic. Here is how he was described by a fellow cleric:

“Tall, pallid with much study, with stooping shoulders, and a voice at once challenging and melancholy, he commands attention as well by his manner as by his opinions, which are almost insolently oppugnant to the general mind. He is a good man, but clearly a fanatic, and in a more disciplined age, could not possibly have avoided the stake”: H. H. Henson, Retrospect of an Unimportant LifeĀ (Oxford, 1943) II, p.272.

Bishop Barnes on Primitive Health Cults: Still With Us?

Bishop Barnes talked much of “primitive health cults”,magic and superstition which were dangers not only to religion but to medicine and reason generally in society. He said: “The temper of superstition involves dislike of scientific method… The obscurity which surrounds the influence of the mind upon the body gives many opportunities to irrational belief. If the doctor fails, thinly-veiled magic may succeed: and when once the idea gains sway that the Universe is non-rational for human thought, scientific progress is doomed”. (Should Such A Faith Offend? 1927, p.233).

Don’t we see this today with cults such as the anti-vaccinationists with their dangerous nonsense being peddled in the social media to the gullible or misguided?