Comments: FCA: two more items

Although I am unfriendly to 'conservatism' as to all other blanket ideologies, it should be said that Jonathan Bartley makes a clear error in not conceding the obvious point that it is perfectly possible for a group or an individual to be conservative in one way and not in another. It is not possible to be radical in activism and ongoing reform/renewal while also sticking by the best of the thought, action and ethos of the last 2000 years? After all, it is (logically) only rarely that we in our day will make an advance on the best of the last 2000 years. So, yes: please conserve it.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Wednesday, 8 July 2009 at 12:57pm BST

"It is not possible to be radical in activism and ongoing reform/renewal while also sticking by the best of the thought, action and ethos of the last 2000 years?"

I think you'll find that most "liberals" believe they are doing exactly that. What's funny is the people who also claim to be doing exactly that while they actually reject much of the "best thought, action, and ethos" that preceeded Luther's little "You're not the boss of me" antics.

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 8 July 2009 at 5:29pm BST

".. the obvious point that it is perfectly possible for a group or an individual to be conservative in one way and not in another."

This is what the Swedish sociologist Sigvard Rubenowitz calls "compartimentalisation" of the authoritarian mind, eg. "all my best friends are Jews".

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 8 July 2009 at 6:07pm BST

"that preceeded Luther's little "You're not the boss of me" antics."

Is that dismissive level of conversation really necessary? Can we not disagree with someone without denigrating them or their motives?
I'm getting so so tired of it!

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 9 July 2009 at 9:18am BST

Hi Ford-
That many be true, but your comments would be more appositely directed to a hot prot than to an ecumenist.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Thursday, 9 July 2009 at 12:12pm BST

Hi Goran-
Your remark does not make sense. It is better to be radically activist than apathetic. That is a sensible default position. It is also better to treasure and digest the thinking that has preceded our own age rather than think our own age and culture is the only one there has ever been or will be. That is a necesary default position. One of these default positions is radical, the other is conservative.

One day people will wake up to the fact that the world is not divided into so-called rightwingers and leftwingers. Such as Tom Wright have been emphasising this for years, but tribalism is very strong and can cause deafness and unreason.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Thursday, 9 July 2009 at 12:16pm BST

"Is that dismissive level of conversation really necessary?"

Hyperbolic humour to make a point is not dismissive of others, it's just hyperbolic humour to make a point. Being a Protestant myself, I can't exactly be dismissive of the whole Protestant movement, leery though I might be of the extremities it went to, and of some of it's ideas. I can be, and often am, just as hyperbolically humourous of "my side", so to speak. Self deprecatory humour should be a part of this attitude, after all. Have you seen the website for Frankly Unfriendly Catholics? Something I laugh at regularly. While some might find it insulting and dismissive of Anglocatholics, it's still funny, even if it laughs at "my side", since there is a kernel of truth to what is being said. If I can't use the same language and attitude at myself as I do at others, THAT would be dismissive, but I can and do. I do characterize Anglicanism as Catholicism for English eccentrics who have problems with authority, and that we only exist as a separate entity because Henry VIII was a politically insecure son of a usurper and more than a little bit randy. I'd even go so far to say that we owe our religious independence to Henry's middle age crisis. There's also the joke I've referenced before about Pius XII blessing Anglicans with the Blessing over Incense: May you be blessed by Him in honour of whom you will be burned. I, and most Anglo-catholics I know, find that hilarious, despite it being more than a little dismissive of us. Strangely, the most vehement reaction to it comes from Romans, who fail to see the humour. If I have to explain it, they just won't get it. You find the same thing in the humour of other smaller cultures, and I find it is only those who come from dominant cultures, who are acutely aware of the way dominant cultures run roughshod over the smaller ones, who just don't get this. Look at Jewish humour, for instance, or African American humour, or even gay humour. It's better, and healthier, to laugh than to yell. Poking fun at other religious groups here, where we have had similar religious problems to Ulster, is usual. It can be a wierd kind of bonding, actually, kind of like I can laugh at you and you at me, and that's better than shooting each other. If a Lutheran were to come back at me in response to what I just said in the same kind of tone, I'd laugh, and wouldn't think for a minute I was being dismissed.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 9 July 2009 at 4:44pm BST

Apologies, Ford, I didn't have you down as a Lutheran Protestant.

Posted by Erika Baker at Friday, 10 July 2009 at 10:01am BST

"Apologies, Ford, I didn't have you down as a Lutheran Protestant."

Well, I am a member of a Church that took as one of its driving forces the Protestant movement started by Luther. I doubt if Henry would have had such an easy time of it if there were not some acceptance of Luther's ideas in England. And certainly, the Marian exile and other events brought Protestant (or perhaps we ought to say reformed) ideas into the English, and I accept a good many of them, especially justification by faith. So, scornful dismissal of Luther is a bit silly. But he's no God, and can be made fun of like the rest of us. And it is a wise for us to remember that all humans are fallible. And it's not wrong in an absolute sense to use wry huomourous exaggeration to make a pint, to provoke, or to give someone a "touche" moment.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 10 July 2009 at 7:34pm BST

Leaving aside the question whether the humour was obvious - and to me it really wasnt - you are a member of the church that is not reformed. It contains at least 3 different strands, liberal, anglo-catholic and evangelical, and the anglo-catholics are much close to Rome in their understanding of everything about faith than they are to the protestants in the reformed churches, of which the Lutheran Protestant church is one.

I was brought up a Lutheran Protestant, and I never heard half of the theology and ways of thinking that you have taught me over the past couple of years on Thinking Anglicans.

And as I perceive your personal love to lie with early Christianity before it became "contaminated", I really really did not see that you were identifying even in the slightest with Luther.
Apologies if I misread you.

Posted by Erika Baker at Friday, 10 July 2009 at 10:09pm BST

"Apologies if I misread you."

Erika, you and I misread each other often. It comes from being passionate. And, while I do think that this kind of sarcastic humour is not necessarily dismissive, I do see how it reads, and how someone not all that familiar with my sense of humour would naturally see that. So, don't sweat it. I at least have as much responsibility to ask myself how something will read before I push the "post" button. I don't always live up to that.As to "reformed", well, we ACs like to think of ourselves as "reformed Catholics", at least some of us do. That means accepting some Reformation ideas. The aim of the Reformation was a good one: to rid the Church of medieval excesses and return Her to Her original state. I think they mostly went too far, even the English, and I think they didn't always have good evidence of what the "original Church" actually was. And we in Canada are in communion with the Lutherans, as are the Anglicans who are covered by Porvoo. While not being all that informed as to Lutheranism, I do feel a kind of kinship. They went further than us Anglicans, all the same. But, I still think the English Reformation is evidence of how God doesn't need saints to do His will. Henry was much the same as David, a fallible, sometimes quite sinful, human being, but God still worked His purpose out through him. But I can get quite salty in my descriptions of Henry too, enough to make my comment on Luther look like praise!

Posted by Ford Elms at Saturday, 11 July 2009 at 5:35pm BST
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