Doors- Spinoza’s House Arrest Door

photo by susan sheldon nolen of Spinoza's Door in the HagueWhat a door and what a sad reminder that we do not tolerate free thinking, or freedom of religion as a society in whole. I only need mention the current plight of the Christian Woman, Meriam Yeyha Ibrahim, condemned to 100 lashes as soon as she finishes nursing her new-born child. Her crime? Not giving up her faith and accepting Islam.

We have not learned tolerance as a species. Here we have Spinoza born 1632 in Amsterdam, born to a family of means, a family that had been driven out from Portugal for their faith, finally finding refuge in Holland. He was a great thinker, wether or not you agree with his thoughts.  But when you try to exercise your beliefs and they are not of the common man, then you must either silence yourself, or become a blind follower.

It takes a supreme form of courage to go against religious zealots. Change the group name to whatever time we are in history and it is the same story. Believe what we say, or you will perish. Bullying, quite simply put.

This is the door of house arrest when Spinoza was excommunicated from his community for his “monstrous deeds.” Those can be found in his writings where he denies the immortality of the soul and where he strongly rejects the notion of a providential God.

I always question- if your God ( insert name) cannot withstand questioning from mere mortal man, then how powerful is that being?

You might excuse the intolerance of 1632,  but what excuses our intolerance in 2014, where a woman can suffer a whip’s rip 100 times, and then death by hanging. Her crime? Not accepting the current dominate group’s faith. I applaud Meriam’s tremendous courage to stand true to her beliefs,  just as I admire Spinoza for his determination to remain true to himself.


About susan sheldon nolen

It’s rare to catch me without coffee, a form of camera, or my beloved wire fox terriers. I love the history, the art, and it’s a massive part of my life, as I either paint, write, or get interrupted by my dogs, reminding me of the real world. I hope you enjoy your time here. It’s such a privilege to have readers.
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4 Responses to Doors- Spinoza’s House Arrest Door

  1. y. prior says:

    well said well said! hear! hear! and great door too – but I agree fully – and it was all good – especially this:
    “Bullying, quite simply put.”

  2. Jack Klaber says:

    Weak arguments require harsh consequences. That was true in 1632 and it is still true today, sadly, it will be true also in the future.
    Free, democratic societies can allow themselves great and free thinkers as long as a strong military keeps the enemies at a distance.

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