A lamppost? Yes, but not any lamppost. This lamppost was put in Valencia after the last martyr of the Spanish Inquisition in 1826. It replaced the gallows that were there - made of stone because they were used so often - that hung Cayetano Ripoll. The church wanted to burn him, but at that point things were a little too messy for burning (the secular authorities doing the church’s dirty work wouldn’t do it) so they hung him in the city square and put his body in a barrel with painted flames around it instead. Nice.
Why? Details are a little hard to find but Cayetano Ripoll had converted from a Catholic theist to a deist. Which might sound like a big deal but, in essence, means, as our tour guide put it: he was a teacher who told his students that God existed everywhere - not just inside the church.
So if you’re down today remember to be thankful you live in 2019, a time when the church judges its own in a more subtle fashion and only figuratively hangs its “heretics” instead of literally, in a town square, like poor Cayetano Ripoll.
Because that means today’s heretics get to keep talking... and we get to keep learning from them.