I put together a list for a response on a blog post of Calvin's actions. I figured it might be worth keeping a running list here. Before I do a comment is warranted. Calvin did not invent the state church, that existed before him and was common in Europe. Calvin supported very high standards for church membership and the population by overwhelming numbers supported a strong tie between church membership and citizenship. So it was Calvin's defective theology on the matter of church and state which led to Calvin creating the civil rights nightmare. Quite simply a liberal church can act as a state church and be relatively harmless, a strict church cannot.
Additionally, economically and administratively Calvin was quite masterly and Geneva prospered under his reign.
Use of dictator like strategies
- Criticism of the ministers and especially Calvin was outlawed.
- He attacked the rich prominent families of Geneva as the most likely source of political opposition.
- Nobody could say anything good about the pope.
- He made frequent use of foreign loyalists against his own population.
- A network of spies was established and maintained, to report on matters of conduct and behavior between individuals.
- All inhabitants had to renounce the Roman faith on penalty of expulsion from the city.
- Nobody could possess: images, crucifixes other articles associated with the Roman worship.
- Fasting was prohibited,
- Vows were prohibited
- Pilgrimages prohibited
- It was illegal to pray for the dead
- It was illegal to pray in Latin.
- Attendance at sermons was compulsory. In addition, one had to arrive on time, remain, and pay attention.
- He executed heretics
Regulation of society
- Charges of sexual immorality was frequently filed and people often punished for this.
- It was forbidden to give non-Biblical names to children.
- There were domiciliary visits, which were put on a regular semiannual basis. The homes of the citizens were visited in order to ascertain the state of the family's morals.
- Dramatic performances were suppressed, except for plays given by schoolboys.
- Cards and dice were forbidden.
- Public dancing was outlawed
- Secular, indecent, songs were banned
- There were to be no private taverns; instead, places were provided for eating and drinking, in which pious behavior would be encouraged. A Bible in French was to be displayed, religious conversation encouraged, They were to close at nine in the evening. (this one failed since the religious taverns went out of business)