It turns out the very first medieval persons of Europe to be burned alive as Heretics were a group of 11th century priests who, after a trial in which they apparently ultimately confessed (I still have to search for details on the trial methods), were herded into a shack that was then set ablaze.
The details of their heretical doctrines are scant, and it’s entirely possible the rift was only about political affiliations: who controlled the archbishopric of Orléans, with all the power and silver that went along with that.
History is a calming subject to study, I find. I get so worked up reading www.apnews.com. It feels sometimes like humanity has already jumped off the cliff and is now furiously flapping its arms in the wrong direction, trying to get its skull against that ground as fast as possible. (Key Doctor Who quote: “You’re middle aged. Middle aged people always think the world is coming to an end.”)
History, I find, reminds me that people have always been dishonest, cruel, and self-serving. And that, if occasionally we go through a couple hundred years of burning each other alive over minor disagreements, led on by people who delight in corrupting the uneducated for their own immediate pecuniary interests to the detriment of the entire race, on the whole we survive and pull through. That gives me hope for my daughter. For her future survival. Hope I nearly lost this afternoon when she rolled her eyes at me after I asked her to help me clean her room. She will live on, in defiance of petty and irrational rages.