"Two Examples of the Technology of Yesteryear & the Church's Input"
#1 JUST SAY NO!..... TO STREET LIGHTS
In those days one didn't have to be too bright to be all for the newfangled luminescent monomania that was sweeping the land. For far too long the nighttime had belonged thugs and thieves, murderers, and scalawags - but the gas streetlight promised to change things once and for all... But that's when the Roman Catholic Church weighed in on the matter and confused everything.
In an impressive display of grandiose buffoonery nearly unrivaled in the history of the papacy, Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846) issued a proclamation banning gas lighting in Papal states.
And what was Pope Gregory's XVI's reason for holding such a dim view of gaslit streets? His reasoning was twofold: 1) The Pope felt that since God had clearly established the delineation between night and day it was an act of rebellion to put up lights after sundown. 2) The Pope also opposed gas lights because he feared that extra hours of visibility would give men and women extended opportunity to plot against the Roman church and perhaps topple it altogether. No surprise there - popes have often sought to insure their power by keeping people in the dark.
#2 The Shocking Lies About Lightning Rods
We're all familiar with this stuff right?
Here's the problem... none of it actually happened.
The popular notion that Christians refused to use lightning rods is a myth first put into print by Andrew Dickson White, the author of an obviously unbiased book (wink, wink) entitled, "A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom" (1896). And what evidence did White offer to support his claim of Christianity's anti-lightning rod bigotry? White's entire claim was based upon a fragment of a sermon preached by an obscure Massachusetts pastor. In this sermon the pastor dared to question whether lightning rods were a good idea or not. And so was born the persistent but baseless myth about Christianity's superstitious rejection of lightning rods... but the real history is far more ironical.
Did you know that the lightning rod was NOT invented in colonial America by Ben Franklin. It was invented in Bohemia by Prokop Divis, a Christian theologian, pastor and scientist.
The truth is shocking sometimes isn't it?