Stephen Krason writes here on the creepy parallels between the Albigensian heresy and today’s secular value system. The more you study history the more you realize how history repeats itself–or to quote Mark Twain, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it echoes.”
The Albigensians, or Catharists, were neo-Manicheans, regarding material creation as an evil and viewing all of existence as a conflict between evil matter and good spirit—but O’Brien says it was much more. Like all Gnostics, of which Manicheanism was a branch, they believed themselves to be the only “pure” ones and the only ones to have the truth. They were certainly a forerunner of Protestantism and even more specifically of the most ardent of contemporary fundamentalists, with their complete rejection of the Real Presence, transubstantiation, the Eucharist, and the Mass, and their belief that the pope was the Antichrist. Their teaching and practice, however, had enormous implications for marriage, sexual morality, and social and political life.
The parallels to the present are almost uncanny.
Read his excellent analysis here.