Talk:John Calvin

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Removed content[edit]

I removed this content by Lorenbailor due to its tone. If it's factual, it can be edited and added to the article. — Eru·tuon 14:53, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Enter John Calvin the tyrant murderer

Most denominations who follow Calvin’s doctrines do not know of the following accounts and historical facts. The following events were conducted under the direct supervision of John Calvin him self.

February 1545 - Freckles Dunant dies under torture without admitting to the crime of spreading the plague. His body was then dragged to the middle of town and burned.

1545 - Following the incident with Dunant, several more men and women were apprehended including a barber and a hospital supervisor who had "made a pact with the devil."

March 7, 1545 - Two women executed by burning at the stake (presumably for the crime of sorcery, i.e. spreading the plague). CALVIN INTERCEDED apparently to have them executed sooner rather than later after additional time in prison. The Council followed his directive happily and urged the executioner to "be more diligent in cutting off the hands of malefactors."

1545 - more executions, tortures carefully watched to prevent death. Most of the tortured refused to confess. Means of death varied a little to include decapitation. All under the crime of spreading the plague. Some committed suicide in their cells to avoid torture, afterward the rest were handcuffed. One woman then threw herself through a window.

1545 - CALVIN HAD the magistrates seize Belot, an Anabaptist (against infant baptism) for stating that the Old Testament was abolished by the New. Belot was chained and tortured.

May 16, 1545 - The last execution concerning the plague outbreak, bringing the total dead to 7 men and 24 women. A letter from CALVIN attests to 15 of these women being burned at the stake. CALVIN'S only concern was that the plague had not come to his house.

April 1546 - Ami Perrin put on trial for refusing to testify against several friends who were guilty of having danced. She was incarcerated for refusal to testify.

July 1546 - Jacques Gruet was accused of writing a poster against Calvin. He was arrested and tortured until he admitted to the crime. He was then executed."

Interesting to note:

John Calvin went to his grave unrepentant, as the letters he wrote later in his short life were often filled with excuses and reasons for the many people he had tortured and killed.

Discipline and opposition (1546–1553)

Calvin forced the citizens of Geneva to attend church services under a heavy threat of punishment. Since Calvinism falsely teaches that God forces the elect to believe, it is no wonder that Calvin thought he could also force the citizens of Geneva to all become the elect. Not becoming one of the elect was punishable by death or expulsion from Geneva. Calvin exercised forced regeneration on the citizens of Geneva, because that is what his theology teaches.

Michael Servetus, a Spaniard, physician, scientist and Bible scholar, was born in Villanova in 1511. He was credited with the discovery of the pulmonary circulation of the blood from the right chamber of the heart through the lungs and back to the left chamber of the heart. He was Calvin's longtime friend in their earlier resistance against the Roman Catholic Church. Servetus, while living in Vienne (historic city in southeastern France), angered Calvin by returning a copy of Calvin's writings, Institutes, with critical comments in the margins. Servetus was arrested by the Roman Catholic Authorities on April 4 but escaped on April 7, 1553. He traveled to Geneva where he attended Calvin's Sunday preaching service on August 13. Calvin promptly had Servetus arrested and charged with heresy for his disagreement with Calvin's theology. The thirty-eight official charges included rejection of the Trinity and infant baptism. Servetus was correct in challenging Calvin's false teaching about infant baptism for salvation, but he was heretical in his rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity. Servetus pleaded to be beheaded instead of the more brutal method of burning at the stake, but Calvin and the city council refused the quicker death method. Other Protestant churches throughout Switzerland advised Calvin that Servetus be condemned but not executed. Calvin ignored their pleas and Servetus was burned at the stake on October 27, 1553. John Calvin insisted that his men use green wood for the fire because it burned slower. Servetus was screaming as he was literally baked alive from the feet upward and suffered the heat of the flames for 30 minutes before finally succumbing to one of the most painful and brutal death methods possible. Servetus had written a theology book, a copy of which Calvin had strapped to the chest of Servetus. The flames from the burning book rose against Servetus' face as he screamed in agony.

John Calvin celebrated and bragged of his killing of Servetus. Many theological and state leaders criticized Calvin for the unwarranted killing of Servetus, but it fell on deaf ears as Calvin advised others to do the same. Calvin wrote much in following years in a continual attempt to justify his burning of Servetus. Some people claim Calvin favored beheading, but this does not fit charges of heresy for which the punishment, as written by Calvin earlier, was to be burning at the stake. Calvin had made a vow years earlier that Servetus would never leave Geneva alive if he were ever captured, and Calvin held true to his pledge. Truly John Calvin is burning in Hell for his heresy, blasphemy of God and murder of many.

Another victim of Calvin's fiery zeal was Gentile of an Italian sect in Geneva, which also numbered among its adherents Alciati and Gribaldo. More or less Unitarian in their views, they were required to sign a confession drawn up by Calvin in 1558. Gentile signed it reluctantly, but in the upshot he was condemned and imprisoned as a perjurer. He escaped only to be incarcerated twice at Berne where, in 1566, he was beheaded. Calvin also had thirty-four (34) women burned at the stake after accusing them of being witches who caused a plague that had swept through Geneva in 1545. The number of people murdered by John Calvin has been a dispute -- not the fact that he murdered them. Calvinists reject the references describing John Calvin's reign of terror because they worship him. John Calvin's actions were very paganistic like his mentor, Saint Augustine. Jesus and all of the Apostles would have abhorred and condemned these blatant mass murders.

Witches were never (well, hardly ever) accused of spreading the plague. Those who were accused of spreading the plague were "greasers" (engrasseurs), who were employed to remove bodies, fumigate and clean houses after death by disease. This job became quite a money-maker during the plague. Some greasers, during slow times, were suspected of mixing plague germs with grease and smearing it on doorknobs, so as to increase their income.[1] Burns claims that Geneva (1541-1564) had the lowest rate of execution of arrested witches (20%) in Europe, the majority of witches being banned from the city as their punishment.Markewilliams (talk) 18:30, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
The tone is definitely unacceptable and not objective, but this article does need some counterbalance with criticism. There are respected scholars who are very critical of Calvin's behavior as leader of Geneva: A.C. Grayling for example ("After Martin Luther had opened the door to discussion of the fundamentals of faith, Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin slammed it shut, ruthlessly crushing opposition"). This is one of several troubled articles that I've watched for years, and I've seen scholarly criticism added and then removed for the most trumped-up reasons. One citation about the burning of witches was removed because it referenced an old German historical study, the editor claiming that in the English-language version of Wikipedia, German-language references could not be sited! So this page needs attention by a wider audience of responsible editors. DonPMitchell (talk) 17:50, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
  1. ^ Burns, William E. Witch Hunts in Europe and America: An Encyclopedia. 


The article says that Calvinism has spread to South Africa, North America and the world. This is largely as a result of military invasion of these areas. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:35, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Securing the Reformation[edit]

I'd fix this sentence if only I knew what it was supposed to day:

"However, the ministers continued never how that form to protest and as in the case of Servetus, the opinions of the Swiss churches were sought." (talk) 17:58, 13 June 2011 (UTC)Minasbeede without logging in

The title of this section: "Securing the Reformation" is not neutral at all. It sounds triumphant. Many, esp. the Arminians, would say Calvin sidetracked the reformation. I suggest changing the title or combining this section with the previous section.Markewilliams (talk) 14:05, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
It makes sense that it would sound triumphant since if you read the section, it is about how Calvin and his supporters gained power and influence in Geneva. There is no implication that that's a good thing. Combining with the previous section makes an overlong section. Do you have an idea for a more neutral title? --JFHutson (talk) 18:38, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Securing the Reformation implies that Calvin almost singlehandedly guided the entire European Reformation of the church, which is definitely not a true statement according to the other Wikipedia articles on the Reformers. Furthermore, "Securing the Reformation" is a cut and paste from other pro-Calvinist websites, from which this article originated. There is no neutrality in that heading. And, until a heading is found, it should read: No heading found yet that is neutral.Markewilliams (talk) 16:32, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
The sub-heading implies no such thing. Historians universally recognize Calvin as a major figure of the Reformation. Your accusation of cut-and-paste is a serious one, especially given that this is a featured article. Do you have any evidence for it? --JFH (talk) 16:53, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
The subheading and first two sentences are almost exactly the same as here:
Same here:
I understand Calvin is a major figure of the reformation, one of the top two, but to say that he singlehandedly secured the reformation is going too far, and would only be agreed upon by Calvin fans. Markewilliams (talk) 18:59, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
The first book appears to be a known FORK, see Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks/Mno#MobileReference. The blog is also pretty clearly a fork. They left the footnote numbers when they copied it over, as well as the image captions without the images, and you can go back in the article history to before these blog postings to verify that the WP information predates the blog. Also, your examples undermine your point because there is no indication these publications are by "Calvin fans."
The heading doesn't say he single-handedly did anything. It's just telling us what the section is about. --JFH (talk) 19:20, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
I took this off of WP:3O because there are more than one editors involved. If you need to have an external person comment, put it on WP:RFC ReformedArsenal (talk) 16:34, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Sorry about the cut and paste accusation. I was not familiar with "mirrors and forks". The heading definitely says the Reformation was Secured in Geneva, primarily by Calvin, over a period of certain years. Then the body of the section only talks about Calvin and his school and evangelists, ignoring Luther's, Zwingli's, England's and other groups' parts in the Reformation, as if those other groups were tiny and negligible, which to a Calvin-fan is the way it is. Until there is consensus you can't use that triumphant heading. Also at the end of the section is a paragraph about the libertines engaging in a little fistfight over power, and it gets four sentences with explanations. But when someone was burnt at the stake there was almost no detail. Why the difference?Markewilliams (talk) 15:00, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I'll have to think about the sub-heading. I'm not sure what you mean by there being no detail about someone being burned at the stake. There's an entire over-long section on Servetus. The stuff on the libertines is relevant because it explains how they lost power. --JFH (talk) 16:09, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Why isn't the libertines' grabbing of the sceptre merely a statement of facts? Why does it have so much emotive and defensive language? Why are we told that he made a mistake? Why can't we just tell the facts and let the reader decide if it was a mistake or not? Grabbing the sceptre receives two or three explanations as to what it means. One explanation would be sufficient. Most people would understand the incident with no explanation. And why is it told in such detail that we can envision the action taking place, whereas other aspects of Calvin's life that are not so triumphant and positive receive a summary that does not put us into the action in the same way? Whenever something ugly or nasty about Calvin is mentioned, it receives a glib gloss with defenders mentioned (even when they don't actually believe what Calvin believes). Whenever someone does something ugly to Calvin in this article it is dealt with in detail with lots of over explanations and emotive language. This is an article that is not neutral. Markewilliams (talk) 18:18, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I don't see a problem with the heading "Securing the Reformation". It's not talking about "the Reformation" as a whole, of course, but about the Reformation in Geneva. StAnselm (talk) 19:08, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree with St. Anselm on the sub-heading. As for the level of detail for the baton-grabbing incident, the significance doesn't seem so obvious to me. If you want to remove the statement about it being a mistake, I'm OK with that, but I don't see what's "triumphalist" about the language here and I think by removing everything which might help the reader understand the significance of what's going on will be a step backwards.--JFH (talk) 20:34, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
If the heading is only referring to Geneva then it wouldn't be so bad. If you could specify: "Securing the Reformation in Geneva". At the same time it would mean that any competing reformers in Geneva weren't real reformers and that would be something only Calvin-fans would agree with. If Calvin had never set foot in Geneva, reformation would have continued in Geneva without him, just not in a Calvinist direction. When you say "Securing the Reformation" it sounds like you are claiming the word "reformation" as Calvin's particular brand name. You are saying by the heading that only kicking out and killing the competition enabled true "reformation" to occur in Geneva. The Reformation had been going on in various places in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, England before Calvin began studying and writing, and continued after Calvin died. To say that "Reformation" refers to Calvinism whenever it is used is inaccurate. Calvin took over the Reformation in Geneva. But the reformation was secure in Geneva long before Calvin arrived. A more neutral statement that Calvin-fans and not-Calvin-fans would agree on would be that Calvin came to power and his ideas took precedence in the Reformation in Geneva at that time.
The Perrin Libertine/Patriot/Spirituels final incident is typical of a losing faction finally declaring violent war after they have lost the battle (viz. US Civil War when the South declared war on the North about the time they realized they had been overtaken financially and politically by the North.). The Patriots believed Calvin's supporters had imported immigrants/voters so Calvin could take power. They tried to accomplish their political ambitions through the voting polls, and then when they had lost, they declared a mini-war that is laughable. They had a tug-of-war for the sceptre, like trying to grab the gavel at Town Meeting Day in New England. Only grabbing the sceptre got him banished. The last fist fight is not important. The battle had already been lost when the immigrants were granted voting rights. To focus on the last fist fight and to blame their violence for Calvin taking over is a red herring, and not neutral. Yes, tell the story, but don't explain it and detail it unless you are going to supply the same amount of detail all the way through. Also, imagine telling the story from the Patriots' point of view, then see how not-neutral the telling of the story is.Markewilliams (talk) 03:24, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Speculating on what would or would not not have happened is not the task of a Wikipedian. What our job is to do is to repeat what reliable sources have said. It seems that there are multiple sources that use this language, so we also should. The fact is that Calvin DID secure the Reformation (both in Geneva, and broadly) in various ways, we don't know if someone else would have come along and solidify the Reformation or not (Perhaps that person would not have been able to refute Sadaleto as skillfully, or would not have stood up to the Council of Geneva in the same way, we simply do not know what WOULD have happened). Luther ALSO secured the Reformation, as did Zwingli and Knox (in their own ways, both in their region and broadly)... but this article is about Calvin, not about Luther and Zwingli.ReformedArsenal (talk) 16:11, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
So JHutson said the subheading only referred to Geneva, now you say it refers to more than Geneva. The Reformation started in Geneva in 1519, the Roman Catholic Bishop was expelled in 1533, and Geneva was taken over by Calvin and his supporters by importing immigrants/refugees and letting them vote in 1553 or so, and then killing off those who disagreed. So what non-Calvin-fan scholars think that is "securing the Reformation"? Does it mean "securing" in the sense that finally the Reformation was on track? JHutson assured that was not the meaning of the subheading, yet StAnselm says it definitely is the meaning of the subheading. "Securing" means that something was adrift--a non-neutral pov, a Calvin-fan pov. The Libertines/Spirituels/Patriots/Humanists believed that Calvin and his supporters side-tracked the Reformation in Geneva. So they would have written the heading as "Sidetracking the Reformation", a subheading that probably half the theologians in the world today would agree with. The current subheading is saying the Reformation in Europe was primarily Calvinist. I don't think you would find many neutral historians to agree with you. I'm sure you would want other articles to be neutral as well. Some historians/theologians/sociologists believe that most Protestants in the United States today are Zwinglian. What if you saw a subheading in the Zwingli article that says "Securing American Protestantism"? What if there was triumphant language under that subheading? "The Calvinist made the mistake of pushing the doctrine of....resulting in a revolt by the American public such that Zwingli's beliefs finally became ascendant." Would you find that neutral?Markewilliams (talk) 15:12, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
The story of the seizing of the baton is told "in the action", whereas no other story in the article is "in the action". Therefore the pov of the article is that this story is the most important story on the page. It is also labels the rebels "libertines" a pejorative term, coined by Calvin, that the libertines never used. It is like pro-life people calling pro-choice people "abortionists" and pro-choice people calling pro-life people "anti-choice". When my white brother lived in South Africa during apartheid he mentioned "the terrorists" to one of the black men he was traveling with. The black man turned to him and quietly said, "We call them Freedom Fighters."
Phrases that are not neutral: "The libertines plotted to make trouble" "made the mistake of", "a virtual coup d'état", "The insurrection was over as soon as it started".
This paragraph could read: "Because of their continuing loss of power in elections, the libertines/Sprirituels and Patriots blamed the immigrants and refugees the Calvin supporters had welcomed into the city, and given voting rights to, and they decided to burn a house full of French refugees. The syndic Henri Aulbert intervened, carrying with him the baton of office that symbolised his power. Perrin seized the baton. Another syndic appeared and ordered Perrin to go with him to the town hall. Perrin and other leaders were forced to flee the city. With the approval of Calvin, the other plotters who remained in the city were found and executed. The opposition to Calvin's church polity came to an end.[63]"Markewilliams (talk) 15:12, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
I am considering posting this on the NPOV board.Markewilliams (talk) 13:35, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

RfC: "Securing the Reformation" heading[edit]

Not sure this really requires a close, but a request was made at WP:ANRFC, so here goes. Consensus, albeit as of eight months ago, was to keep the current subheading, Securing the Reformation. Recent suggestions by Hobit (and not-so-recent ones by Collect), which I think are worth consideration, did not receive any response. It may be helpful to open a new discussion with one or two of these proposed subheaders, possibly contacting relevant WikiProjects (e.g. WikiProject Religion, WikiProject Christianity) or open up a formal WP:RfC under religion and philosophy to get better participation. This issue doesn't seem to be a source of great contention, and this consensus is quite dated, so I see no problem with encouraging another revisit given the circumstances. I, JethroBT drop me a line 19:15, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should the "Securing the Reformation" section be named something else for neutral POV? Markewilliams (talk) 16:19, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

  • Keep (I think you might want to change the heading here). I don't see a problem with the current heading for reasons given above, but it might be helpful for the requester to give at least one alternative for discussion. --JFH (talk) 20:38, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support change of both the heading of this section for obvious reasons and the "Securing the Reformation" section for NPOV reasons. However, the requester ought to have given an alternative. RedSoxFan2434 (talk) 00:49, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Keep subheading: I googled the phrase and found it in the title of a journal article: "Securing the Reformation through education: the Duke's scholarship system of sixteenth-century Wurttemberg". I note in that context it is used (a) just for a particular city, and (b) in a neutral sense. StAnselm (talk) 00:56, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
The article about Wurttemberg is about securing the reformation from the Roman Catholic Church. That is very different from Securing the Reformation from competing reformation thinkers, which is how it is used in the Calvin article.Markewilliams (talk) 05:36, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Keep I'm not seeing any problem whatsoever, and I don't think that an unbiased reader would read as much into the phrase as the objector is doing. ReformedArsenal (talk) 11:37, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Alternative subheading: Expelling the LibertinesMarkewilliams (talk) 23:12, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Am I correct in saying that all of the Users who describe themselves as Presbyterian or Calvinist on their User pages have voted to keep the subheading and all of those (all two of us) who are not Calvinist want it changed for an NPOV? I am considering posting this on the NPOV board.Markewilliams (talk) 13:37, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
You're on very dangerous ground here. Firstly, I identify myself as a Calvinist on my user page - the other editors are members of the Calvinism WikiProject, but that's not the same thing. (Not all who belong to Wikipedia:WikiProject Pseudoscience identify themselves as pseudoscientists.) Secondly, although I have a bias on this, please don't assume I am pushing my agenda. Thirdly, beware of forum shopping if you don't get the result that you like. StAnselm (talk) 19:23, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
I didn't mean anything mean. All I meant was that I was frustrated by not hearing from people outside of the Presbyterian/Calvinist group. All the users in favor of "keep" (up until today) have identified themselves specifically on their User pages as Calvinist OR have stated specifically that they are Presbyterian on their User pages. (I can provide you with URLs if you would like them.) There's nothing bad about that. I'm sure you can see my point that I want more outside viewpoints of people who are not Calvinist or Presbyterian. Everyone wants disinterested parties to view their disagreements. The reason I asked the question is because this is the first dispute I have been in in my 9 years on Wikipedia, and I thought that I had read the next step was to ask for an NPOV. If that is not the case then please let me know. Markewilliams (talk) 01:30, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough. My jaw dropped at the thought of being on Wikipedi for nine years without a dispute but then I saw that I've done less than 1000 edits in that time. Anyway, it's great to see you editing a bit more. StAnselm (talk) 01:49, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Markewilliams, as I said before, I think it would be just fine to have a heading on the Luther or Zwingli (or Knox, or Farel, or Melenchton, or Beza, or any other reformer) page that used this language. The reason is, as a person who has studied the reformation extensively and holds a degree in Church History, that each in their own way they did secure the reformation. Luther secured it by aligning himself with the German nobility. Zwingli in his own way did the same in his country. The fact that their actions secured the reformation does not take away from the fact that Calvin's did also. And the fact remains that we do not know what would have happened if Calvin had not been in the picture. Isn't is possible that Sadaleto might have convinced the leaders of Geneva to return to Roman practice? What we know is that Calvin's response to Sadaleto and his leadership in Geneva directly resulted in Protestant Christianity remaining the norm in Switzerland. Would someone else have stepped in and secured it if he hadn't? Possibly, but we don't know. ReformedArsenal (talk) 12:08, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Almost everyone agrees with the facts: Calvin took over Geneva, and had a major impact on the Reformation. No-one agrees that he "Secured" the Reformation. Catholics don't agree, most protestants don't agree, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Spiritueles, the Humanists, the Unitarians, the Jesus Only pentecostals, Jewish people, atheists, the Arminians, the Methodists, none of these people would agree that Calvin "secured" the Reformation. In fact, most of them might agree that Calvin "Insecured" the Reformation. The subheading goes beyond facts and introduces two viewpoints that are not neutral. And once a non-Calvinist reading this article sees the subheading he/she realizes the agenda: to promote the fact that Calvin "saved the Reformation", and why other portions of the article are written the way they are--to promote the agenda. (At least 3 people in the talk section [see also "FA status"] have noticed that the article sounds odd, or as if it was written by Calvin fans.) Markewilliams (talk) 15:48, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Most catholics would place the blame for the Reformation on Calvin and Luther equally. In that sense, yes they view Calvin (along with Luther) as the primary cause of the persistence of the Reformation. Keep your head in the sand more if you like, but that's just the way it is. ReformedArsenal (talk) 18:02, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Catholics would agree that Calvin was the #2 Reformer, but Catholics would not say Calvin "secured" the Reformation. Markewilliams (talk) 14:44, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Imagine you are warming yourself at a campfire with a group of Calvin fans, trading stories. I come over to your campfire and invite you to come over to another campfire and tell the story of Calvin. You gladly come over and as you tell the story of Calvin, everyone around the campfire listens closely because Calvin is an important figure to them. They agree with everything that you say until you come to the point where you say Calvin "Secured" the Reformation. They argue with you. You tell them that Calvin won, therefore the Calvinists are the ones who get to sum up the story. They say, no, their party is the correct party and Calvin is an evil figure in their history. You say that Calvin won the battle, and that they cannot hide their heads in the sand any longer. They say they agree that Calvin won at one time, and his teachings became very powerful, but they would never sum up his power as "Securing" anything; destroying, triumphing over the correct truth, yes, but not "securing" anything, as if he made something safe. You are disgusted and you leave. I follow you, and ask you to come tell your story to a third campfire. You hesitate…Markewilliams (talk) 04:16, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
While your little story about the campfires is quaint, I'd still like you to provide a shred of historical evidence that shows that Calvin's work in Geneva didn't secure the Reformation... not that he didn't do it single-handedly, none of us are asserting that... but that his work can not properly be said to have been instrumental in securing the Reformation. ReformedArsenal (talk) 18:19, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Non sequitur? Markewilliams (talk) 01:58, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Keep, absent a viable alternative. It is better than the only other proposed title, Expelling the libertines. Please notify me if another heading is proposed; I will try to watch this but may miss it. KillerChihuahua 19:39, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
    I also suggest someone rewrite the sentence with "The libertines plotted to make trouble and on 16 May they set off to burn down a house" - I'm sorry, but "plotted to make trouble"? Sounds like Mom talking about her kids. "Set off to burn down a house" is simply poor writing. KillerChihuahua 19:43, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
I believe KC is the third editor to object to those two lines. Is that enough consensus to delete them? Markewilliams (talk) 14:34, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
I believe he recommended they be rewritten, not deleted. --JFH (talk) 16:57, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
I suggest two sentences be rewritten to: "On 16 May, having lost the election, the Spiritueles and Patriots were intercepted on their way to burn down a house full of French refugees by the syndic Henri Aulbert, carrying his baton of office." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Markewilliams (talkcontribs) 15:37, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Keep Possibly adding "in Switzerland" to make clear that it was a geographically restricted victory at the time. Seems quite neutral as using common terminology. The "libertine" suggestion is sorta neat - but not really better <g> Collect (talk) 02:43, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Change Sorry for chiming in so late. There was a request to close the discussion and I came here to do so. In this case, the consensus was fairly clear, but in my option, fairly wrong. So rather than close, I thought I'd contribute. The statement does seem both overly broad as nothing in in that paragraph indicates anything about the broader Reformation and is in fact mainly about gaining political control. I'd be okay with "Expelling the Libertines" or "Ending Opposition to Church Polity", or even "Calvin Solidifies Control of Geneva". And while "Securing the Reformation in Geneva" would be an improvement, I feel it's still far to broad (expelling the Libertines didn't secure the Reformation in Geneva, it secured a specific polity, or even more accurately, removed the last significant opposition to Calvin's polity allowing him a freer hand than he'd had before). Further, the heading seems to be in praise of Calvin rather than a neutral heading. Hobit (talk) 09:03, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

NPOV dispute "Securing the Reformation" section[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

(see discussions above to clarify the dispute, and the section below entitled "FA Status?")

1. "Securing the Reformation" is a subheading summarizing how Calvin took over Geneva, threw out competing protestant reformers, set up a school, and sent out missionaries. "Securing" implies a value judgment that the Reformation was insecure before Calvin took over Geneva and established a school. Many would say that the Reformation became insecure once Calvin took it over in Geneva. It needs a neutral heading, such as "Calvin's Victory" or "Expelling the Libertines".

2. I suggest re-writing the last paragraph of "Securing the Reformation" to remove emotive words, take the reader out of the action, and keep the style of the rest of the article: "By the February 1555 elections many of the French refugees had been granted citizenship, and with their support, Calvin's partisans elected the majority of the syndics and the councillors. On 16 May, having lost the election, the Spiritueles and Patriots, on their way to burn down a house full of French refugees, were intercepted by the syndic Henri Aulbert. Perrin and other leaders were forced to flee the city. With the approval of Calvin, the other plotters who remained in the city were found and executed. The opposition to Calvin's church polity came to an end.[63]" Markewilliams (talk) 04:15, 7 February 2013 (UTC) Markewilliams (talk)

Do you think the edit I made a little while back addresses your concerns? --JFH (talk) 02:30, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Not enough. It needs to be neutral, i.e. Catholics, atheists, Arminians, Spiritueles and Calvinists would all agree that the paragraph was written from a neutral point of view. "Libertines" is a pejorative name that Calvin coined to describe people who called themselves "Spiritueles". I don't think any other article on Wikipedia would get away with using pejorative terms for the opposition party. There were also other groups that joined with the Spiritueles, the Patriots, and the Humanists. "The libertines conspired and attempted to burn down a house that was supposedly full of Frenchmen." "Conspired" means they all got together and planned. It is redundant unless you want to inject emotional wording that is not neutral. Of course they got together and planned it. "Supposedly" suggests they hadn't done their research or were drunk. Why "supposedly"? Is the reader to suspect that they didn't know what they were doing? "Perrin seized the baton, thereby signifying that he was taking power, a virtual coup d'état." Why are we privy to this minor incident when we have skipped all of the humiliating things that Calvin did to Perrin, making him walk on his knees through the streets wearing only a shirt, to apologize for his rebelliousness? Why this particular detail, grabbing the baton? Why not the other details? Either give much more detail to everything in the story, or eliminate this detail. Otherwise the story is being told almost exclusively from a Calvinist's viewpoint. Catholics, Spiritueles and Patriots would emphasize other details entirely. All the details are true, but who gets to choose which details to tell? Eliminate all the details and just tell the main points. "A virtual coup d'état" is saying the same thing twice redundantly, and would only please Calvinists to re-emphasize repetitively something that has already been stated previously before. "The insurrection was soon over" is another phrase that is redundant, and only pleases Calvinists. Markewilliams (talk) 16:32, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
"Many would say that the Reformation became insecure once Calvin took it over in Geneva." Really... can you provide a source for that? ReformedArsenal (talk) 16:47, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
The Libertines/Spiritueles were one of the first to object to Calvin's brand of reformation, Servetus was number two, G.K. Chesterton in his book Orthodoxy criticizes Calvin's theology, Tyacke chronicles those who fought against Calvinism in England immediately following Calvin's life. I'm not sure what you're asking. I believe anyone who disagrees with Calvin would also believe that he headed the Reformation in the wrong direction, and the list of theologians who disagree with Calvin is a long one. Markewilliams (talk) 02:19, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Papire Masson: "I will not be lying if I say that he was the ruin and destruction of France. If only he had died in childhood or had never been born. For he brought so much ill to his country that it is legitimate to hate and detest his origins." Vita Ioannis Calvini (Lutetiae, Paris, 1620). Markewilliams (talk) 04:13, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You've found a contemporary Catholic who thought Calvin was evil... Could you now use your impressive research abilities to find me a Republican who thinks that Obama is evil? It's about the same thing. What you need to do to make progress is find a contemporary historian who argues that Calvin's actions and thoughts either did NOTHING in terms of advancing the Reformation, or made it less secure... if it did either of those things then it is by definition "not securing", however... if it did neither of those then it is by definition "securing". ReformedArsenal (talk) 15:48, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

I'm tired of the sarcasm. Just ask for what you want without the sarcasm, please. Yes, I can find people who were contemporaries of Calvin that thought that he was ruining the progress of Christianity, and I can find contemporary historians who do not admire what Calvin did and view the ensuing years of his influence as damaging. That's what I have been saying. The only people who view Calvin as a hero are within the reformed movement. Everyone else viewed and views his influence on the reformation as unhelpful. All contemporary historians who do not admire Calvin would say that he did much for the Reformation that was harmful. Only historians within the reformed tradition say that Calvin secured the reformation. But the real issue that I want to discuss with you is that you want the Wikipedia article to judge as good what Calvin did, and that is not neutral, and is not what a Wikipedia article is for. You can quote a historian who admires Calvin to say that he secured the Reformation. That is fine with me. But for Wikipedia to say he secured the Reformation is not fine. Just say he took over, everyone agrees with that. Don't say he took over and did something good. Leave the judging up to the reader. Markewilliams (talk) 00:32, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── "I can find conteporary historians who do not admire what Calvin did and view the ensurin gyears of his influence as damaging." Then provide one. So far you haven't provided a single modern source. "Only historians within the reformed tradition say that Calvin secured the reformation." That's a pretty generalized statement. "Everyone else viewed and views his influence on the reformation as unhelpful." Historian Margo Todd traces Calvin's influence to show how it was instrumental to the Reformation movements in Britain, which she seems to think is a pretty positive thing. (Margo (2007), "A People's Reformation?", in Matheeson, Peter, People's History of Christianity, 5, Fortress Press, pp. 70–91, ISBN 978-1-4514-1591-9, retrieved 2 March 2013 ) Her teaching post is as the "Walter H Annenberg Professor of British History at the University of Pensylvania, and she doesn't have any particularly Reformed commitments. Kenneth Scott Latourette has an entire chapter in his opum magnus dedicated to the rise of the Reformed churches and there isn't a single word about Calvin somehow jeopardizing the Reformation. What he does say is "Like Luther, through hsi writings Calvin had an influence which extended over much of Western Europe." (Latourette, Kenneth; Winter, Ralph (1975), A History of Christianity: A.D. 1500 - A.D.1975, Prince Press, p. 759, ISBN 978-1-56563-329-2, retrieved 2 March 2013 ). He also is not a Reformed historian. Finally, least Reformed of all, Justo González in his chapter on John Calvin says "Without a doubt, the most important systematizer of Protestant theology in the sixteenth century was John Calvin." (González, Justo (1 January 2001), From Augustine to the Eve of Reformation, 2, Abingdon Press, p. 61, ISBN 978-0-687-17183-5, retrieved 2 March 2013 ) I'm happy to discuss the situation, but you're making unfounded statements, with no sources. That doesn't make for a compelling argument. Oh yeah... just for good measure Roger Olson, author of Against Cavinism, writes of Calvin "John Calvin is the most widely known Protestant reformer" and "his influence on English-spakin Protestants has been incalculable." (Olson, Roger (1975), God in Dispute, Baker, p. 121, ISBN 978-0-8010-3639-2 ) ReformedArsenal (talk) 02:42, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree with all of the statements you quoted. If the heading was one of those statements I would not object. Those are neutral statements about Calvin's influence. None of those statements say his influence was good or bad, just large. Everyone agrees on that. Just alter the heading to reflect one of those neutral statements and I will be happy. Markewilliams (talk) 17:58, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I've reworded the parts of the paragraph that others have complained about. I disagree with your contentions on the rest of it. If no one else chimes in in support of further edits, I think the NPOV tag should be removed. --JFH (talk) 16:58, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
I won't agree with that until there is consensus. Perhaps if you could get the others who criticized the paragraph in the first place to agree that the paragraph now is both well written and neutral I would agree to the notice for #2 above being taken down. That would still leave #1. Markewilliams (talk) 02:19, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
The other criticism was only of the "plotting to make trouble" and "set off to burn down a house" wording, which has been eliminated. Right now you are the only person who has expressed concern about any other issue in the paragraph. --JFH (talk) 03:13, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
If you can get two people out of, KillerChihuahua, RedSoxFan2434, or Collect, who have commented on the section in the past, to agree that the paragraph is both well written and neutral, I will withdraw #2. Markewilliams (talk) 10:14, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Markewilliams, I suggest you familiarise yourself with Wikipedia:Consensus and Wikipedia:Ownership of articles. The fact of whether particular editors identify themselves as Calvinists or not is irrelevant to the establishment of consensus. StAnselm (talk) 11:17, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
We don't have consensus yet. "The libertines allowed the trial to drag on in an attempt to harass Calvin...It's not a subject I'm interested in, landed here by accident, but thought I'd mention it, the general tone seems inappropriate for an FA article. I'll return to science now, bye" Also in the Legacy section it might be appropriate to quote one or two authors who are not pleased with Calvin's influence on Christianity, in an effort to show all sides of Calvin's legacy. Markewilliams (talk) 02:54, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Well, your tag is in the Securing the Reformation section so I'm not sure why we're going into other sections. If you or someone else have no further objections, I'll remove the tag. Then we can talk about other sections or general TONE issues. --JFH (talk) 20:53, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

I still have objections to this section. Please read them above. Markewilliams (talk) 22:54, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Your objections have been discussed, here as well as in other locations on this talk page, and no other editor has found them convincing. --JFH (talk) 23:03, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
I have quoted an editor who was before me, that originally got me thinking that this page was not neutral. I have offered a way for me to withdraw one of my objections. But the rules for NPOV notices that I read, correct me if I am wrong, do not require that more than one editor object to a section's neutrality. Markewilliams (talk) 02:49, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
You're wrong. Wikipedia does not follow minority rules policies. If you have an objection, you bring it up, we discuss it, and we follow what the consensus is (51-99% is a consensus).
Could you please point me to the appropriate policy that I missed? Markewilliams (talk) 00:39, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
WP:BRD and WP:CONS ReformedArsenal (talk) 11:16, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for those references. I'm not seeing where they say 51% is consensus. Markewilliams (talk) 10:45, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
That's the definition of consensus. Where does it say it say something else? ReformedArsenal (talk) 13:54, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
"Consensus on Wikipedia does not mean unanimity (which, although an ideal result, is not always achievable); nor is it the result of a vote… Decision-making involves an effort to incorporate all editors' legitimate concerns, while respecting Wikipedia's norms.The quality of an argument is more important than whether it represents a minority or a majority view. The arguments "I just don't like it" and "I just like it" usually carry no weight whatsoever." By this definition almost none of my arguments have been discussed. My arguments were just dismissed with "I don't agree", and "You can continue to bury your head in the sand but that's just the way it is", "your story is quaint", or "no other editor has found them convincing", but mostly just silence. No, we do not have consensus according to the Wikipedia definition. Markewilliams (talk) 13:16, 23 February 2013 (UTC) ────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I believe I've explained that I think the details of the incident being described is necessary because it is confusing without them. The opponents of Calvin are commonly called "libertines" in RSes, so it only adds unnecessary confusion to use the other terms. Explaining that a coup d'etat was implied is necessary to convey the gravity of the situation. Saying that the house was "supposedly" full of Frenchmen is not implying that the libertines were drunk or buffoons, but apparently either the house was not full of Frenchmen or it is an open historical question. --JFH (talk) 18:44, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

It would match the rest of the article better if the paragraph was deleted entirely and it only stated that the refugee votes put Calvin over the top. To include Perrin's seizing of the baton without including other much more important details throughout Calvin's life, or even the prior humiliation of Perrin and Ameaux by the consistory, seems biased and confusing. For the entire article we are at arm's length from the historical details, but suddenly in the baton seizing story we are in-the-action, for a minor detail about what you believe is a coup d'etat, which lasted all of ten minutes or less. I can't imagine that Perrin thought that grabbing the baton of power would enable him to take back Geneva. It sounds to me like he lost his temper and acted impulsively for a few moments. Michael Mullet in his Historical Dictionary of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation manages to tell the story of John Calvin and his victory over the Perrinites without mentioning Perrin's grab of the baton, nor of a group called the "libertines". I am aware that the opponents of Calvin are commonly called "libertines" in RSes, just as the opponents of McCarthy were commonly called communists, the opponents of apartheid were commonly called terrorists in the newspapers I read in South Africa, Martin Luther King, Jr. was commonly called a communist from the pulpits of America, the Jews were called many things, American Indians were called many things, and the Taliban today is commonly called a terrorist organization, but it is still not permitted on Wikipedia to call a group by a pejorative name chosen by the victors. Markewilliams (talk) 04:13, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────That dictionary article is considerably shorter than this article, and by the way it uses the word "coup." The length of time over which the event occurred or Perrin's intentions are irrelevant. The event seems like an important one in Calvin's life. It states the facts, and helps the reader understand why all of the sudden the libertines are gone. As for the term "libertine;" "Christian," "Lutheran," and "Calvinist" were also originally pejoratives. We can't always use the terms a group prefers for themselves. You've admitted RSes use the term, so we should as well. --JFH (talk) 14:52, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

The article is shorter, I will give you that. I thought it said the expected coup did not happen. Wikipedia insists on not using pejorative terms to describe opponents, because it is not neutral. The reason Calvin's opposition disappeared was because they lost the election, Geneva having offered shelter to religious refugees from all over Europe who voted for Calvin's side. Yes, the street fight and the plan to burn a house down did contribute to their final extermination, but their ultimate loss of power was the election. Markewilliams (talk) 23:12, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I forgot to respond. You're right, it does say the coup didn't happen, but that's presumably in the sense of not being completed. But the term is being used here to say that Perrin's action symbolized that he was initiating a coup (or something like it, hence the word "virtual"). That is what the sources say, and it is something that the average person reading the article won't understand. Please point me to the WP policy or guideline which demands that we not use a pejorative which is commonly used by RSes to describe a group. Many Calvinists prefer other terms than "Calvinist," but that does not mean that we must change the way we refer to them. You're right that the loss of the election is the primary cause for the loss of the libertines' power, and the first few sentences of the paragraph talk about it. I don't see how mentioning the incident which culminated in their expulsion is POV. --JFH (talk) 21:22, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Here is a summary in an intro by Backus and Benedict of the overturn of Geneva [1] The opposition is referred to as Les Enfants de Geneve (The Children of Geneva) on page 8, and Ami Perrin is named as their leader, along with Philibert Berthelier (who was denied communion for several things, one of which was for belching in front of Calvin). The intro gives a few instances of the power of the consistory and the irritation of the people towards its decisions, which helps the reader understand the opposition's irritation. The grabbing of the baton is only summarized as "a riot", and the subsequent trial of 12 leaders, which I prefer as a better way to summarize the final takeover of Geneva for this article. Unless the WP article goes into greater detail throughout Calvin's time in Geneva, it doesn't make sense to me to go into such great detail for the riot only. Markewilliams (talk) 04:41, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

If you are arguing that the article gives a lopsided account by cherry-picking facts, you have much more work to do as it is well-sourced, and based on my knowledge of the literature presents Calvin's life in pretty much the standard way. That last source was a collection of essays, so you're not going to be able to argue that the article is unbalanced based on it. --JFH (talk) 18:35, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
I was using the example to show that historians do not always use Calvin's disparaging term "libertines" when referring to Calvin's opposition. I was also using the example to show that a balanced telling of the take over of Geneva either (1) includes both details of why the opposition didn't like Calvin as well as the riot, OR (2) does not include the detail of grabbing the baton. Yes, I am accusing the current state of the article of cherry picking to make Calvin look better than most histories of Calvin. ~~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:56, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
(Assuming the above IP is Markewilliams). I realize I've taken a long break from this, but I'd like to resolve it. I've made an edit that might resolve some of your concerns. I don't think there's good reason to suppose that Perrin was attempting to initiate a coup, so I made that clear. I also found in a new source that the protest was a drunken riot, so that may explain some of the concerns you had with "supposedely". Let me know if you still think there is an NPOV issue, and if so I will start an RfC. --JFH (talk) 19:42, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Request for comment: PoV section[edit]

Closed per request. It's quite obvious that Markewilliams' position doesn't have consensus here, and there's been enough discussion that a no-consensus close on lack-of-participation grounds would be unwarranted. Mark's position is further weakened by his misreading of policies; nothing says that we have to use a self-appellation in place of a more common term. Nyttend (talk) 01:00, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Timestamp changeMarkewilliams (talk) 00:31, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

There are apparently three issues per this edit summary, also see the discussion above:

  1. The title of the "Securing the Reformation" section (discussed previously here)
  2. The inclusion of "insignificant details", presumably regarding Perrin's grabbing of the baton of office (feel free to clarify, Markewilliams)
  3. Whether the party(s) opposed to Calvin should be called "libertines". JFH (talk) 01:10, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
  • No change, 1 has been resolved with an RfC, and I see nothing new. 2: Perrin's grabbing of the baton is not an insignificant event in Calvin's life, as demonstrated by its mention in three high-quality RSes, as well as the fact that it marks a turning point since it led to Perrin and his followers to be expelled, allowing Calvin to act unopposed. Markewilliams's argument that Perrin was acting impulsively is WP:OR. 3: "Libertines" may not have been the term preferred by this group (neither was "Calvinist" for Calvin's followers) but RSes often use it. --JFH (talk) 01:10, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Change, 1 was never resolved. All but one of those who voted not to change the title identified themselves as Calvinists on their homepages. All but one of the others voted to change the title. The Reformation was not "secured" by John Calvin. It was co-opted, taken over by cutting people's heads off, but not secured. The Reformation was Insecured by John Calvin, and is still recovering. We all agree he took over Geneva. We all agree on the facts. We don't agree on the POV. 2 The section has been carefully written to make Calvin look like he had no choice but to chop people's heads off. There are numerous examples from other encyclopedias that completely leave out the grabbing of the baton. In fact I haven't found any other encyclopedia that includes that incident. 3 Wikipedia specifically forbids calling a political group by a name that they have not chosen themselves, regardless of how many sources use the more disparaging term. They have been called other names in other history books (les enfants de Genève, literally: children of Geneva, Patriots, Spiritueles). Why are these names not being used here? Why only the slur that Calvin slapped on them because he hated them so much? Because this page is not neutral. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Markewilliams (talkcontribs) 03:38, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Comments -
    (1) - Honestly, I can see that changing the section title might not be a bad idea, but I am myself far from sure what alternate title to give it, and, without a clear indication of what to change it to, I think the current title is acceptable. "Securing" can have multiple meanings, and I think in this case it can be seen as acceptable, although, having said that, I would be open to considering certain specific changes.
    (2) It would really help if it were made clear exactly what is being discussed here, although I'm guessing this is about the baton. Personally, I would suggest going through some of the other highly regarded reference works and their biographies of Calvin to see if this detail is mentioned, and, if it isn't mentioned often, I could see it being removed. But we would probably need to see specifically which reference sources don't mention it and which do, and I'm not seeing that information yet.
    (3) At this point, don't see reason to change, but it certainly would be possible, again, to review relevant reference sources which discuss Calvin and Calvinism and length and add information here regarding what if any names or descriptions the "libertines" are given there. But I can't see a change without a clear indication of what to change it to, and I'm not seeing that yet here.
  • So, while I could see some of the changes proposed, I would need to see better indications of what to change (1) and (3) to, and clearer negative evidence regarding exactly who does and does not discuss (2) at length. John Carter (talk) 01:19, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
Hi John Carter, This is the second RfC on this topic. The first one did not receive much comment, and was unresolved. So it languished for a few months until one of the participants in the discussion deleted the POV dispute without reaching consensus. So the POV dispute was re-instituted. If you would read the previous discussion you would find that all of your issues have been addressed at length.
  • 1: Two editors have made it clear that they want the title "Securing the Reformation" to indicate that Calvin and Calvinism saved the entire Reformation, and that the corner was finally turned at this point in Geneva. I would estimate that only 10% of Protestants would agree with that idea that Calvinism saved the Reformation, and certainly Catholics and other would disagree with that POV (none of the people Calvin kicked out of town or had beheaded or burnt at the stake would agree he secured the reformation). Opposition vanquished has been suggested as a possible section title.
  • 2: The baton is the main problem in this section. The article sails along, hitting the high points, until this section, then suddenly we are in the middle of the action, a drunken riot with a tug of war with a baton. Why is this important? Evidently to support the idea that Calvin was justified in having the opposition people's heads chopped off. I cannot find the baton event discussed in any other encyclopedia, so I cannot give you any references. It only occurs in detailed histories of Calvin in Geneva.
  • 3: Calvin nicknamed his opposition the Libertines after a passage in the book of Acts when the apostle Paul was opposed by the synagogue of the Libertines (false teachers in the apostle Paul's view). It was a disparaging name tag that the opposition never accepted for themselves. They called themselves by three names: The Children of Geneva, the Spiritueles, and the Patriots. Wikipedia forbids the use of a disparaging name given to a political party that the party does not accept for itself. This is a clear violation of Wikipedia policy to keep calling the opposition "Libertines" no matter how many other historians use the term Markewilliams (talk) 23:13, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
  • I found this somewhat at random and have no experience in the history of religion, but nonetheless: I agree that the heading "Securing the Reformation" is inaccurate and probably non-neutral to summarize a section that describes various power struggles between Calvin and his opponents. Even if it were the consensus of reliable sources that the result of all this was "securing the reformation", the text in the section should explicitly say so, and source it. As it is, I don't see a connection between the section title and the section's contents.  Sandstein  15:15, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
  • No change - per reasons by Jfhutson (JFH). United States Man (talk) 22:25, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Change
  • 1: "Securing the Reformation" seems a bad title all round. It neither accurately labels the contents of the section, nor represents a neutral POV. "Removing opposition in Geneva" seems more accurate, although the final choice of title depends largely on what the section contains after it's re-written.
  • 2: The whole section needs re-writing, as it is not neutral in tone and there are at least a couple of sentences that do not appear to follow on from previous ones. I don't think the baton is the problem, as it seems to me an important symbolic event. It's the events surrounding the baton that don't appear to be adequately covered. There's no explanation of how we get from Perrin taking the baton to his being forced to flee the city, and there's no indication of Calvin's connection to any of it. The section needs more information and neutral wording.
  • 3: "Libertines" seems to be the Calvanist name for these groups, but it is not a NPOV name. It needs to be replaced with the actual group names throughout the article. The fact that some RSs use it seems to me to be irrelevant. Reliable sources aren't required to be unbiased, but Wikipedia is. Feraess (talk) 10:21, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
It looks like everyone who is going to comment has commented. It looks like 4 votes to 2 votes to change the title and change the name of the Libertines throughout the article. If there is no more discussion, I will make those changes in a week from now.Markewilliams (talk) 19:30, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
No, I think you will need to ask an uninvolved editor to close the discussion, since you are involved. StAnselm (talk) 20:13, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Keep "Securing the Reformation" title per previous RfC. Keep the "libertines" name - once again, this is the most common name in reliable sources. There are a number of groups whose disparaging names have stuck, and we use them here on wikipedia. Most notably, of course, the Antinomians, but also the Pneumatomachi ("Spirit-fighters") of the fourth century. No opinion on the second point. StAnselm (talk) 20:13, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
We've always agreed that "libertines" is the most common name in reliable sources. That is an irrelevant observation, since RSs do not have to abide by WP policies. The fact that other disparaging names have stuck in WP articles is also irrelevant; they should be upgraded to keep WP standards as well. Address the argument: Disparaging names violate WP standards. And there are three other names the group called themselves by that can be used.Markewilliams (talk) 23:56, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Are you seriously saying that the Antinomianism article should change its name? StAnselm (talk) 03:04, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

How many times is this going to get reposted... it's been put up here like 5 or 6 times and every time we vote not to change it. ReformedArsenal (talk) 20:17, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

It has only been up once, and has never come to a consensus. It was taken down, against WP rules, and had to be put back up again. Again we are tied with the votes. So it cannot be taken down. WP is tough that way.Markewilliams (talk) 02:36, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
You keep on using that word. We don't normally count votes on Wikipedia. If you think your arguments are stronger (and I'm sure you do), I suggest you ask someone to close the discussion. StAnselm (talk) 03:04, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Requested Closure from an Administrator as per StAnselm's suggestion.Markewilliams (talk) 21:10, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
  1. ^ "Calvin and His Influence". Book Excerpt. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Name in French[edit]

I edited the name in French because the French common contemporary spell is Jean Calvin (not CaUvin). Original Middle French Cauvin is perhaps best associated with JeHan as a first name. In the current version, however, both are presented as versions in French (no specification), which is historically a little inappropriate. That is simply due to the fact that I could not find adequate templates to:

  1. Separate both spells with or not in Italic (wished)
  2. Make the time distinction clear (with a footnote ?)(wished too).

I leave it as such wishing for an adequate typo but thinking that, perhaps, the mixed spell Jean Cauvin is also acceptable (in Middle French, that is). Best.--Pierre et Condat (talk) 05:21, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

FA status?[edit]

Did the article receive that status in it's current form? Seems written by a Calvin-fan (if there is such a thing) It's hardly a neutral account, as far as I can judge from reading two sections.

  • The libertines continued their opposition, taking opportunities to stir up discontent, to insult the ministers, and to defy the authority of the Consistory.
  • The libertines allowed the trial to drag on in an attempt to harass Calvin.

So what, some people defied the authority of the Taliban. They had laws against dancing too. It's not a subject I'm interested in, landed here by accident, but thought I'd mention it, the general tone seems inappropriate for an FA article. I'll return to science now, bye (talk) 21:31, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

I agree, the article still sounds like it is written by a Calvin-fan, even after the two sentences pointed out above have been removed. Note this heading:

Fringe research[edit]

Regular editors of this article should note that user Balaster32 is inserting information on Michael Servetus that was considered as fringe research by a dispute resolution on this topic. According to Wikipedia policies, fringe research should not be given undue weight in an article which may lead to unwarranted promoting, particularly when they pretend to replace what is considered mainstream. --Jdemarcos (talk) 20:57, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Fringe research can be considered by wikipedia policies, on the new works section and the "identity of Servetus" research, not the Jewish connexion, accepted by the Hebrew University in 1999. The dispute says nothing about it. It was noted the fact of false statements in De Trie, between the third and second letter, but it was not said here that "Servetus" could be a pseudonym, which is indeed another theory, but one we did not refer to.--Balaster32 (talk) 21:22, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Servetus' mother indeed descended from a Jewish converso family. That is not questionable. I wonder why three quotations of three works of the same scholar are needed to confirm this. One citation to relevant peer-reviewed research should be enough. OTOH you quote a Mr. "Lancaster" who is the author of a book published by "Revoeder Hebr.Press". I have been trying to confirm this but the formatting of the reference is defective, and Google provides no clear results, either about the author or about the publishing house. Could you be more specific, and fix the reference for easier confirmation of the secondary sources you are using? This is to confirm that sources are reliable and can be verified. Thank you. --Jdemarcos (talk) 15:13, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Why are Calvin's teachings presented in the present tense?[edit]

Why are Calvin's teachings presented in the present tense? I believe Wiki style is to put everything in the past tense once someone has died. Markewilliams (talk) 08:30, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Present tense is standard in Wikipedia – for example this passage from the article on Martin Luther: "Luther reviews and reaffirms, on the one hand, what has been called ...." Rjensen (talk) 09:18, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes, you can find lots of examples of present tense being used in wikipedia articles, but it is against the manual of style for wikipedia articles, as far as I can tell. Correct me if I am wrong and have missed something int the manual. All of the articles using present tense in this regard should be changed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Markewilliams (talk Markewilliams (talk) 23:36, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Are you talking about the parts about the Institutes? I don't know if there's anything in the MOS, but it is common to use the present tense when describing written work, because the work still says it. So we have "Calvin defined a sacrament as an earthly sign..." in one part, because there is no reference to a written work, and "In the third book, Calvin describes...", because we're talking about what the Institutes still says. The Luther quote also refers to his writings. --JFHutson (talk) 23:06, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
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Markewilliams (talk) 01:51, 3 January 2013 (UTC) Yes, it is common on Wikipedia, but it is against the MOS, and should be changed.Markewilliams (talk) 23:36, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

I mean it is common (and correct) in English. Do you have something from the MOS to the contrary? --JFHutson (talk) 23:58, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

"Biographies of living persons should generally be written in the present tense, and biographies of deceased persons in the past tense."--MOS [1]Markewilliams (talk) 00:08, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

That just means we say he was rather than is, for example, a theologian. It has no applicability to actions (such as writing or teaching), for which we always use the past tense. In this example, however, the subject is not Calvin but the Institutes. I don't think the wiki MOS addresses this but we (as in English-speakers) refer to writings in the present tense. --JFHutson (talk) 00:34, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
Ideas do not die with their creators, they still have an existence in the world of Mankind. Shearonink (talk) 02:38, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
Calvin believed and taught and said, but he no longer says, believes or teaches, he hasn't for a long time. I just want the article to abide by the MOS or for the MOS to be changed. The article about Aristotle is the same, and it is messy because it flipflops back and forth between present and past tense.— Preceding unsigned comment added byMarkewilliams (talkcontribs) 16:17, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
We write that way because scholars write that way. We use past tense when talking about the guy himself, while we use present tense when talking about his writings. It's basically a shorthand for saying "Calvin's writings teach...", "Calvin's writings include a belief in...", "Calvin's writings say...". The point of the MOS bit is that we should say "Calvin was a theologian" and not "Calvin is a theologian". Nyttend (talk) 00:49, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

When I add "citation needed" to this article it is removed[edit]

When I add "citation needed" to this article, it is removed. Citations are needed for the defense of the execution of Servetus, which gives a different version of his death from the Servetus article on Wikipedia. Markewilliams (talk) 15:04, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

I have noticed a lack of Neutral POV in several of the religious articles on Wikipedia. When neutrality is entered into these articles, it is immediately removed. Is there a way to appoint some neutral admins to keep track of the religious articles?Markewilliams (talk) 19:35, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
This paragraph is substantially different from the Servetus article: "Following his return, Calvin introduced new forms of church government and liturgy, despite the opposition of several powerful families in the city who tried to curb his authority. During this time, the trial of Michael Servetus was extended by libertines in an attempt to harass Calvin.[citation needed] However, since Servetus was also condemned and wanted by the Inquisition, outside pressure from all over Europe forced the trial to continue.[citation needed] Following an influx of supportive refugees and new elections to the city council, Calvin's opponents were forced out. Calvin spent his final years promoting the Reformation both in Geneva and throughout Europe." I suggest that it be re-written as such:
"Following his return, Calvin introduced new forms of church government and liturgy, despite the opposition of several powerful families in the city who tried to curb his authority. During this time, Calvin served as expert witness against Michael Servetus who was accused of heresy for publishing books against the doctrine of the trinity and infant baptism. The trial ended in Servetus being burned at the stake. Following an influx of supportive refugees and new elections to the city council, Calvin's opponents were forced out. Calvin spent his final years promoting the Reformation both in Geneva and throughout Europe." It doesn't flow well, but it is more accurate historically, and agrees with the Michael Servetus article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Markewilliams (talkcontribs) 16:17, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
I initially removed your citation needed tag because I think the citations for the information you are contesting are found in the article body, and since the lead section summarizes the article, a repetition of the citations should not be necessary. I've now replaced the text you're contesting with what was in the article when it was promoted to FA, because the statement did seem a little biased.
By the way, when you use tags such as template:citation needed, you should type, for example, {{citation needed}} where you want the tag. See Help:Template for help using templates, or feel free to contact me on my talk page. Also, please remember to sign your talk page comments. --JFHutson (talk) 17:02, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

I find this entry at the best glosses over the atrocities of John Calvin but generally totally ignores then. I tried to add some extracts from Calvin's own writings to show his take on some of these matters and they were rejected saying they were "unconstructive" . This articles does not give a true record of the life and person of John Calvin. Based on the several comments and removals I see menmtioned on this page this article appears to be whitewashing Calvin's image. Yet the content seems to be protected and defended. It appears like censorship which is totally "unwikilike" — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kennbanks (talkcontribs) 05:34, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Did Luther believe in double predestination?[edit]

By far, Calvin's most controversial doctrine was double predestination, and I can see why someone would want to soften that controversy by bringing famous theologians in to agree with him, but Luther is not someone who agreed with predestination the way Calvin did. If someone thinks he did agree with Calvin, they need to provide a citation. Granted this article only says that Luther agreed with Augustine, but the mention of Luther's name is to soften the criticisms of Calvin's double predestination, and leaves the unaware reader with the impression that Luther and Calvin were buds when it came to predestination.Markewilliams (talk) 22:17, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

The issue you bring up is subtle and was not a controversy engaged in between these theologians, nor a particularly prominent part of Calvin's theology. The article has a very short and modest statement in an already bloated theology section. --JFHutson (talk) 23:30, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Definitely not subtle. I don't know any theologians today who believe God predestines people to hell before they are born. Yet Calvin's theory of predestination demands that conclusion. Many people have pointed that out and criticized Calvin and Calvinism for this doctrine, and in defense, someone has inserted into the article that Luther agreed with him. Luther did not agree with him. It needs to be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Markewilliams (talkcontribs) 17:52, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
This quote by Parker shows that almost no-one agreed with Calvin on double predestination: Parker p 243:"LIke Luther, Calvin belongs to the Augustinian tradition, which explains his insistence on the corruption of human nature, the ineffectiveness of works for salvation, and justification sola gratia and sola fide. It is in this context that we must situate his concept of dual predestination. However, Calvin goes much further in this area than the Augustinian tradition, as represented, for example, by Thomas Aquinas, for he holds not only that some are predestined for salvation while others are cast aside (the "outcast") but also that predestination to damnation is a deliberate act of divine sovereignty. Such an idea of God obviously poses a problem, from which have arisen many conflicts in Reformed theology up to and including the recapitulation of the entire question by Barth (KD II/2)…" So any efforts to make Calvin sound like a centrist on predestination by adding Luther's name, needs to be removed, or qualified.Markewilliams (talk) 15:17, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm confused. In which book by Parker are you finding that? --JFH (talk) 16:01, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
For the record, the quote was not from Parker but an Alasdair Heron in an encylopedia. The statement is probably fine, but I'd like to find a better source at some point since this is such an otherwise well-sourced article. --JFH (talk) 16:28, 18 January 2013 (UTC)


According to WP:CAT and WP:DEFINING, Categories are to be based on "defining characteristics," which "reliable sources commonly and consistently define the subject as having." I am not aware of any source defining Calvin as a saint in any denomination. It's trivial and isn't even mentioned in the article for this reason. --JFH (talk) 20:12, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Calvin is listed in the Renewers of the Church and Calendar of saints (Church of England), so I'm sure there must be plenty of sources mentioning these things. I think it ought to be in the article, even if such designations might make Calvin turn in his (unmarked) grave. StAnselm (talk) 21:57, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
I agree, but the person adding it back needs to take the time to research the issue and provide adequate citations, until then I think the categorizations need to stay out. ReformedArsenal (talk) 22:01, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
The question is not whether it is verifiable, but whether it is defining. Per WP:DEFINING, "if the characteristic would not be appropriate to mention in the lead portion of an article, it is probably not defining." Though I do not contest that Calvin is a saint in certain churches, I do not think if I were to describe who he is at a definition level, that I would mention him being a saint. In fact, it's trivial and I don't think the information belongs in the article at all, but that's a separate discussion. --JFH (talk) 22:10, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Who decides what is defining and what is not? ReformedArsenal (talk) 23:03, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Anyway, the reference for the Church of England calendar is here. StAnselm (talk) 23:10, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedians do, based on reliable sources and the guidelines. This one seems like a pretty obvious case. I'd be pretty confident that you will not even find the fact that John Calvin is a saint in any biography of John Calvin. --JFH (talk) 15:00, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, because John Calvin Biographies are about the life of John Calvin. He was made a Saint well after he died. This article is about John Calvin, and is not exclusively biographical. ReformedArsenal (talk) 15:33, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Information beyond a person's life is routinely included in biographies if it is considered relevant to the subject of the person himself. The "Legacy" section includes several ways in which Calvin influenced history, and it is sourced to Calvin biographies. Being a saint, on the other hand, is not considered relevant to the subject of Calvin by any Calvin biographer. If we were talking about, say St. Anselm (the real one), that would be a different story. --JFH (talk) 15:50, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
I guess, by analogy, we might mention Martin Luther King, Jr. There is one sentence in his article: "King is remembered as a martyr by the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (feast day April 4) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (feast day January 15)." See also Charles Wesley#Legacy and Dietrich Bonhoeffer#Theological legacy. StAnselm (talk) 21:26, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Like I said, the question of inclusion of these Protestant beatifications in the article is a separate question (on which I am opposed). For categorization, none of those are in the leads and it would be absurd to say that any of those people are defined by their Episcopal/Lutheran saintliness, and John Calvin even moreso. --JFH (talk) 21:39, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
With all the examples I gave, they are categorized as well. In fact, that's how I found them. StAnselm (talk) 21:45, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Why are you so opposed to this JFH? ReformedArsenal (talk) 22:55, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm not terribly opposed to it, though I think these cats are trivial clutter on one of WP's best articles. It's not that hard to argue on a talk page. Why are you so supportive of having Calvin categorized as an Anglican saint? --JFH (talk) 16:55, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Because he is an Anglican saint... ReformedArsenal (talk) 20:18, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Well, I've explained why that doesn't really matter and haven't gotten a good response, besides that other pages do it. --JFH (talk) 20:43, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
It sounds like we may need an RfC on both these issues (inclusion in the article and categorization). StAnselm (talk) 21:16, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
JHF, can you point to a single person whose life IS defined by the fact that they are an Anglican Saint? If not, then perhaps you should go after the category itself, rather than a single instance of someone being categorized in such a way. ReformedArsenal (talk) 22:39, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
I would think notable Anglicans, especially those who are not terribly notable outside of Anglicanism would be good candidates. Perusing the list at Saints in Anglicanism I found Lancelot Andrewes. --JFH (talk) 22:51, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
But even those people could not be said to be DEFINED by those things during their lives, since one cannot obtain sainthood until after they die. ReformedArsenal (talk) 23:38, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure why that would follow. A person's influence extends beyond their life, including things that rise to the level of definingness. I think St. Anselm or Aquinas are good examples of obvious cases, and I think Andrewes is plausible. --JFH (talk) 00:55, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
So what would be required for someone to be defined by being an Anglican saint. I'm just trying to avoid us arbitrarily deciding that by defining some criteria. ReformedArsenal (talk) 01:54, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Please read WP:DEFINING. Is it common for sources to describe Calvin as an Anglican saint? Would it be appropriate to mention in the lead? --JFH (talk) 04:18, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

RfC: Including Anglican sainthood / Lutheran commemoration[edit]

Closed as yes to both. I happen to disagree with the idea, but people here have made a clear case for the categories being sufficiently defining. I encourage people to go to CFD or some other centralised forum if they want to dispute the existence of these categories. Finally, I'm not familiar enough with this article to know where to put the in-text mention; someone active here should do it. Nyttend (talk) 00:51, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

There are two questions here. (1) Should the categories that are currently in the article (Category:Anglican saints, Category:Renewers of the church) be retained? (2) Should this information be presented in the article (which it currently isn't)? StAnselm (talk) 06:54, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

  • Neither, see section above and WP:DEFINING for categories. As for inclusion in the article, the fact that none of the several high-quality biographies on the subject mention this fact is compelling. Sainthood in these churches does not have nearly the same importance as in Catholicism (I don't believe there is even a formal beatification process), and Calvin is very notable in many other ways. --JFH (talk) 14:33, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Most Certainly Neither, the article is over categorised. See WP:DEFINING and many of the other categories could be dropped. Whiteguru (talk) 06:25, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Both. This is certainly the usual practice on articles of people recognised as such. For a featured article, especially, this would be a glaring omission. StAnselm (talk) 02:19, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Neither as above and as per WP:DEFINING. --Cooper42(Talk)(Contr) 11:25, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Both as those categories currently are defined, he fits both. Else we should highly depopulate both categories. He surely is in the same general area as Martin Luther and John Wesley, and more noted as a religious figure than is Edith Cavell. To redefine categories is not a task for individual articles, but for discussion on the category talk page. Collect (talk) 12:51, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: I have posted a note at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Categories. StAnselm (talk) 19:26, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Both I see no reason not to place this article in the categories unless it is inaccurate to do so. As far as I can tell, John Calvin fits both descriptions, therefore he should be in both categories. ReformedArsenal (talk) 22:29, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Both Per Collect. WP:DEFINING is a load of crap and isn't followed. An RfC should be held to see if we want to attempt to begin recategorizing articles to comply with WP:DEFINING or get rid of it. Ryan Vesey 18:19, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
This is not the only guideline which is routinely ignored. You don't need to have an RfC to comply with existing guidelines. DEFINING has had recent discussions so I would think it represents consensus well. --JFH (talk) 20:37, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Is the fact that he was born in 1509 defining? How about the fact that he was from Noyon? The fact that he is buried at Cimetiere des Rois? None of those things DEFINE him... why are those not on your chopping block? ReformedArsenal (talk) 00:51, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, except for his burial place. A person's birthplace and date are often the first things mentioned about them. --JFH (talk) 04:42, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Interesting... because it's not in the lead... just because a birthplace is one of the first things mentioned, does not mean that it is defining. If you were to ask 100 Calvinists (even well educated ones) where Calvin was born, how many of them do you think would say "Noyon" without looking it up? For something that is defining, it sure seems trivial. ReformedArsenal (talk) 11:20, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment I have raised WP:DEFINING at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 103#Remove WP:DEFININGRyan Vesey 01:01, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Both The question of whether or not these are frivolous categories is not appropriately raised here, but at WP:CFD. As long as these categories, and ones like them exist, it can't really be argued that John Calvin does not fit the requirements for inclusion. Even if this RfC decides to remove them, well-meaning editors are likely to replace them in the future for this reason. The question of whether or not to include this information in the article is a separate issue, and frankly a bit more obvious, as this is infromation that is relevant to the topic, easily verifiable, and clearly notable. siafu (talk) 20:44, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Both - Is it significant that an inividual is commemorated in major religious bodies? Yes. Both the Anglican and Lutheran calendars are those of major religious bodies, and I believe interestingly neither is specifically Calvinist, so these are indication of the high regard non-Calvinist Christian bodies give the subject. If he were also included in the calendars of the Cathllic and Orthodox churches, we might be able to use the main category for Christian saints, but he isn't so we can't. I agree that an RfC on a relevant category talk page would perhaps be a good idea, but I cannot see perhaps somewhat arbitrarily selecting only one article of many to use to raise this question, this one, for such a broader discussion is particularly useful. John Carter (talk) 01:28, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Someone has graffitied the introduction[edit]

Pretty sure Calvin wasn't doing anything in 1930 with Roman Gladiators, and dint preform a musical with Will Ferrel. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:23, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Conflicting "facts" in this article and the Michael Servetus article[edit]

The Michael Servetus article states:

As Servetus was not a citizen of Geneva, and legally could at worst be banished, the government, in an attempt to find some plausible excuse to disregard this legal reality, had consulted with other Swiss Reformed cantons (Zürich, Bern, Basel, Schaffhausen.) They universally favored his condemnation and suppression of his doctrine, but without saying how that should be accomplished.[32] Martin Luther had condemned his writing in strong terms[citation needed]. Servetus and Philip Melanchthon had strongly hostile views of each other. The party called the "Libertines", who were generally opposed to anything and everything John Calvin supported, were in this case strongly in favour of the execution of Servetus at the stake (while Calvin urged that he be beheaded instead). In fact, the council that condemned Servetus was presided over by Perrin (a Libertine) who ultimately on 24 October sentenced Servetus to death by burning for denying the Trinity and infant baptism.[33] When Calvin requested that Servetus be executed by decapitation as a traitor rather than by fire as a heretic, Farel, in a letter of 8 September, chided him for undue lenience.[34] The Geneva Council refused his request. On 27 October 1553 Servetus was burned at the stake just outside Geneva with what was believed to be the last copy of his book chained to his leg. Historians record his last words as: "Jesus, Son of the Eternal God, have mercy on me."[35]

This article states:

The libertines allowed the trial to drag on in an attempt to harass Calvin. The difficulty in using Servetus as a weapon against Calvin was that the heretical reputation of Servetus was widespread and most of the cities in Europe were observing and awaiting the outcome of the trial. This posed a dilemma for the libertines, so on 21 August the council decided to write to other Swiss cities for their opinions, thus mitigating their own responsibility for the final decision.

Clearly at least one of these articles are in error. Either the Libertines were trying to "mitigating their own responsibility", or they were attempting "to find some plausible excuse to disregard" the legal reality, or there are multiple theories and we don't know which is true.

Interesting since the Trinity and infant baptism are pagan ideas. (talk) 05:46, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Calvin to the Marquis P.[edit]

According to material archived in the talk page for Michael Servetus, Calvin's letters to the Marquis de Paet or Poet, though supposed to be originals, are not in Calvin's handwriting nor in that of any of his known amanuenses, are not in Calvin's distinctive literary style, and contain several serious and irreducible anachronisms. I have therefore removed that paragraph. Calvin's responsibility for Servetus' death, illegally contrived, can be established by other means. J S Ayer (talk) 18:18, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:John Calvin/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Fairly short article. Needs a longer introduction and more inline citiations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kaldari (talkcontribs) 15:16, 20 October 2006

Last edited at 20:01, 21 September 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 20:08, 29 April 2016 (UTC)