Tilly, thank you so much for giving a level-headed reply to this nonsense. I was evidently too emotional to do so. The only things I would add to your summary are that a) the exact number of deaths and the exact extent of torture is pretty irrelevant to the climate of fear that the inquisition created. If the government and church announce that they are setting up tribunals to find heretics and kill even one person a year, people who are born into heresy (by being Jews or Muslims or women of any ethnicity) are going to live in fear. If you then start confiscating their property, burning effigies, etc. that fear will increase regardless of the relative cruelty of the tribunals. b) The excuse "that's how people thought back then" does not apply since there had been some six hundred years of mutual Jewish-Muslim-Christian tolerance in Spain prior to the inquisition.
Personally, I don't really care if there is a PM level named "Grand Inquisitor", it just makes me think of Mel Brooks' "History of the World". It's different though when someone seriously claims they would be proud to be an Inquisitor. Sheesh, well, the job is still open, though these days you only get to persecute Muslims. Apply at the Department of Homeland Security.
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