January 2008


*twitch*

*twitch*

In the last 72 hours, we’ve had the following.

Mysogynist criticism of Shillary for “crying.”

Sexist response from Edwards.

Sexist followup from Obama’s camp.

Racist comebacks from the Clinton campaign.

And as icing, a race denying masterpiece from Gloria Steinem.

A pox on all houses, everywhere….for America has successfully made g!n*ack*m@rism it’s official public policy.

Excuse me all, while i go to my happy place.

-sly

Okay.

There’s a whole lot, lot, lot, going on. Go read it all.

And if you absolutly need to pick on the last detail, come back here.

Done?

Hugo doesn’t know Christian history. Or at least, he doesn’t so far as I can tell from reading his work.

they quarreled over whether the kosher purity laws were still in effect. Every time, the popularizers — those who wanted to make Christianity more accessible — won. Every time the “purists” grumbled. They are still grumbling now.

That just ain’t true. The popularizers have lost. Major battles. Universalists of every stripe went down, literally, in flames during the reformation. Synchretists have been shoved out, and many of us read aloud a political document every week…the Nicene Creed which memorializes political clout on Christianity and the exclusion of certain doctrinal viewpoints as legitimate. There is such a thing as a heretic, and for the vast majority of Christian history, being such a person has only been a good idea if you have a lot of men in tin suits with sharp pointy sticks, ready to defend your right to be theologically queer.

Back to his argument for the moment. Maybe he means in America, in the last 200 years. He cites the contrast between Warren and some calvinists, like that was the fight. No major contender in American Protestantism is Calvinist. A few say they are. But a real, honest to goodness double predestination damned for the glory of God Calvinist? They kind of went carrier pigeon some time back, at least as far as the prime time goes. Yes, they exist. But that this is the fight Hugo presents is indictative of bad faith. He doesn’t point to a live contraversy…he points to a very, very dead one. America went Arminian before the Civil War. We’re rehashing this now, why? To show just how out of it BFP and company are?

No. No. No.

Secondly, it’s just not even true. The popularizers got set back many times. After years of social gospel preaching, the evangelical world retreated inwards with Darbyism and pre-millenial dispensationalism. (This is the kind of thinking you know today as the Left Behind series). From changing the world to awaiting the end…the momentum of the evangelical protestant world turned on a dime.

And remember Jesus people?

Was Jerry Falwell a popularizer? Just because he used mass media, and was folksy about wanting to enforce a very specific kind of racial/gender politic?

Or how about the women who preached in the First Great Awakening, only to be silenced by the time of the revolution?

This is not to say these movements didn’t have lasting impact. But the story of American Christianities is one of push and pull. The clear line of progress Hugo wants to paint simply isn’t there.

they quarreled over whether the kosher purity laws were still in effect. Every time, the popularizers — those who wanted to make Christianity more accessible — won. Every time the “purists” grumbled. They are still grumbling now.

But you know what else is lurking around in here?

You guessed.

Antisemitism.

I owe it to everyone to be really careful about that charge, so listen carefully to what i do and don’t mean. Hugo isn’t making overtly hateful statements about Jews.

He is trading on a really old idea about Christianity and Judiasm that has contributed greatly to historical antisemitism.

And that’s a problem. He’s making BFP, BA, M, and the folks who are raising objections into rhetorical Jews here, just to point out how wrong they are. Against a bold progressive universal spirit Liberal Feminist/Christian, stands the particular, clannish, nit-picking, WoC/Jew.

Gawd.

This is one of those object lessons where you quickly realize the problem of living in the house…the rhetorical frames, the backgrounded ideas, the assumptions of your worldview…

…are compltely toxic.

It’s historically wrong. It’s rhetorically irresponsible.

It’s Hugo, out for a day at the park.

Kyrie eleison.

-sly