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More proof that Faith-Based = Grants-Grabbing (even if it means letting go of the Gospel)…NW Marriage Institute

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Christians are flooding into the counseling field.  Like evangelization through adoption (see Haiti), it’s an area ripe for the pickings evangelization.

I actually found this organization (website plus would-be author?), the Northwest Marriage Institute, while showing someone else one way to look up a grant series (by typing in only part of the grant# on the HHS database).   Doing this produces several to scan probably in the same grant series, as the numbering series is also similar.

In this field, the word “institute” is ALMOST as meaningless as the word “faith-based” (which is actually a made-up word to accommodate GWB’s version of a Family of prayer warriors and world-changers, or whatever else that idea was in 2001)

I was curious about what was the “institute” in the Northwest Marriage Institute, did a quick look-up (producing the typical not registered as state nonprofit // now inactive but somehow still getting HHS grants, like over $700K in 2011) indicator that this NOT faith-based operations are actually  faith-based in even the loosest sense of the term.  They are in the sense that — (this incidence) — it appears to be yet another case of the US simply paying pastors or church boards, almost directly.  But it’s not in that when someone (for once) protested religious use of federal funds, the institute simply switched tactics:  “We’ll take the “salt” out of our message, keep the grants a-coming!”  Seriously — that’s why I posted here.  Unbelievable….

We know there is sometimes medicare Fraud, in which either SS#s are re-used, or services proclaimed which never happened, or over-billing, etc.  That’s in the nature of what FRAUD is.

In the case of this group having been declared “inactive” in the year 2010 — yet its 2011 HHS grant nearly tripled (From about $250K to almost $750K) — plus the tax returns show — well, people incapable of correctly even reading a tax return), and I am starting to really believe that the purpose of the marriage/fatherhood grantees is to enable whoever is distributing and administering the grants to wash funds through the system without accounting for them.

In other words, theft of public funds on an unbelievably large scale IS no doubt occurring through this particular means.  I believe that so much of this is under the table (even the US Government GAO agrees that lots of it is just plain LOST), that perhaps the original purpose of the whole operation (Faith-based, I mean) was to set up a series of easy to start, easy to close up shop and hop to the next state, operations such that the IRS could not ever keep up — let alone taxpayers or normal people.

My first clue was the pond-(actually, continent-) skipping incorporation habits of a very boastful organization, California Healthy Marriages Coalition, which turns out to have hooked up with an HHS “Marriage” employee, Bill Coffin, for getting mutual back-patting in grants-getting.

But the truly comic relief is a little rare in the field (other than the reasoning behind the whole things is “comical” — in other words, it’s not reason, its the irrational personified.  Today, I have some:

By , About.com Guide   March 29, 2007

How FAST did it drop the religion?  Well, this article is 2007, and the group received its first grant summer/fall 2005!

A federal court recently dismissed a challenge made against a faith-based marriage counseling scheme, but the religious organization only seems to have won because they got smart: after the lawsuit was filed, they dropped all the explicitly religious aspects of their marriage counseling. The Christian Right is crowing about this as a “win” for them, but it’s a pyrrhic victory at best — they “won” by giving up what they were fighting for.

The Christianson v. Leavitt ruling concluded that the Institute’s mission had originally been to provide Bible-based premarital and marriage counseling, but that its founder, Dr. Robert Whiddon Jr., had decided to provide secular counseling in order to qualify for federal funding. The Washington State-based Institute received money through the “Compassion Capital Fund” and the “Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grant” program. 

SOMEONE SUED THEM IN FEDERAL COURT!

. . . .

Observed the judge, “According to the deposition testimony of Dr. Whiddon, beginning in April 2005 and culminating in the formal change of its mission statement in October 2006, The Marriage Institute shifted its mission from providing Bible-based marriage workshops and counseling to providing marriage workshops without religious references. This change was prompted by a desire to qualify for operational funding from the federal government.”

Burgess reaffirmed fundamental principles of church-state law. The judge noted, “An absolute in Establishment Clause jurisprudence is the prohibition against government-financed or government-sponsored indoctrination into the beliefs of a particular religious faith.”

Source: Americans United (via The Carpetbagger Report)

 …It’s own founder, Bob Whiddon, is a former Church of Christ ministerwho asserted that “If it is not founded on the Bible it will not work.” and “I use the Bible as my counseling manual.” What justification can there be for the government to fund marriage counseling that teaches the Bible in this way?

Whiddon is of course perfectly free to run such a marriage counseling program — but only on his own and with private funding. He cannot run such a program using public funds and Burgess’ ruling seems to be unequivocal on that point. It seems likely that this is why Whiddon made major changes to the program’s mission statement and practices (I can’t imagine what else motivated him). I don’t see any way to interpret the series of events except to agree with Barry Lynn: the Northwest Marriage Institute traded 30 pieces of silver to give up their religious witness.

Here’s a nice book he’s selling (with link to the institute):

There’s a lot more than marriage that is fogged up in this case.   I just put it in for comic relief — although it’s in a series of 90FK Grants to promote Marriage and Fatherhood, an idea which is itself all fogged up in my opinion.

I have shown plenty of examples — there shouldn’t be doubt in readers’ minds (that is, if anyone actually reads through my posts!).  I had to laugh — except it just wasn’t funny, given the scope of this behavior — at yet another “marriage/fatherhood” grantee I happened upon, which instinct told might be another one of these, and “sho ’nuff” it was:  Northwest Marriage Institute.  I chose definitely a MINOR player in this field to exhibit after running into an article on atheist.com showing that, when push came to shove, it got grants as a faith-based group, got challenged in taking federal funds to push Biblical counseling — bet that doesn’t happen too often, but this was the American Northwest, Seattle area….

Poor thing, it was only incorporated in 2005, and when presented with a very HIGH Conflict, (and forgetting the record of the Faithful in Hebrews 11) — like a child with a handful of cookies in the jar, in order to extract itself something had to go.  Either the federal grants — or the gospel.  Grants or Gospel, Grants or Gospel, let’s see which one?

THE GRANTS:

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
NWMarriageInstitute  Vancouver WA 98682-2328 CLARK 182103684 $ 2,139,009

Click on the Institute Name (which — in typical HHS fashion — is not the actual group’s name — why initials, why no spaces between the nouns?) to see that there are 8 awards in fairly typical fashion:   a Compassion Building Grant ($50K in 2005), the next year, grants practically quintupled ($246K) to begin the “Healthy Marriage Demonstration” series (90FK0041) which plugs along happily for a while, increasing to $275K after which it becomes “Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood” which must be worth more to our Administration because it then (new grant same series, 90FK0051) TRIPLES to about $750K.  Does this look like some group that incorporated just to get the faith-based grants and didn’t exist before on its own?  You betcha!   Faithfully, they received grants too, increasing 25-fold.  As the Bible says, it just takes a little faith, as a mustard seed, to move mountains.  Here, this little grant, only $50K (enough to feed and house how many needy?) was well-planted, and bore fruit.    2005-06-07-08-09-10 & 2011, it got grants, like clockwork.  Notice how many different forms the principal investigator name takes and that although some are Fatherhood/some Marriage, both are called CFA 93086. Same Diff:

Fiscal Year Program Office Recovery Act Indicator Award Number Award Code Budget Year Action Issue Date CFDA Number Award Class Award Activity Type Award Action Type Principal Investigator Sum of Actions
2012 OFA NON 90FK0051 01 1 12/01/2011 93086 DISCRETIONARY DEMONSTRATION ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPLEMENT ( + OR – ) (DISCRETIONARY OR BLOCK AWARDS) ROBERT ROBERT $ 0
2011 OFA NON 90FK0051 00 1 09/26/2011 93086 DISCRETIONARY DEMONSTRATION NEW ROBERT ROBERT $ 747,281
2010 OFA NON 90FE0041 00 5 09/24/2010 93086 DISCRETIONARY DEMONSTRATION NON-COMPETING CONTINUATION ROBERT WHIDDON $ 275,000
2009 OFA NON 90FE0041 0 4 09/17/2009 93086 DISCRETIONARY DEMONSTRATION NON-COMPETING CONTINUATION DR ROBERT E WHIDDON $ 275,000
2008 ACF 90FE0041 0 3 09/25/2008 93086 DISCRETIONARY DEMONSTRATION NON-COMPETING CONTINUATION DR ROBERT E WHIDDON $ 275,000
2007 ACF 90FE0041 0 2 09/21/2007 93086 DISCRETIONARY DEMONSTRATION NON-COMPETING CONTINUATION DR ROBERT E WHIDDON $ 270,000
2006 OFA 90FE0041 0 1 09/25/2006 93086 DISCRETIONARY DEMONSTRATION NEW DR ROBERT E WHIDDON $ 246,728
2005 OCS 90IJ0216 0 1 09/17/2005 93009 DISCRETIONARY DEMONSTRATION NEW ROBERT E WHIDDON $ 50,000

Just to be clear what source this about $2 million is coming from, my search at USAspending.gov (which doesn’t show all of the above grants and reports less income), using the DUNS#, I see that this is coming from TANF#.  Search here (or select Prime Award, Advanced Search) key in DUNS# ONLY, hit Search).  The first award is categorized as coming from the “Immediate Office of the Secretary of HHS” and as CFDA 93647 (social services research and demo, and NOT as “Compassion Capital (93009 as HHS shows)  Unless this is two different grants (note date difference, too):

Federal Funding Amount
 $50,000
Non-Federal Funding Amount
 $2,630
Total Funding Amount
 $52,630
Obligation / Action Date
 07/01/2005

Moreover, as often happens between these two databases, USASpending shows a grant or two less than HHS; in this case no 2006 action was uploaded to USASpending.gov — which was the FIRST action (that’s unusual, eh?) Also, the graph under “timeline” shows all bars the same size, however we see that in 2011, it was triple the previous size, apprxoimately.

BUT — let’s get at least one thing straight.  With the exception of the $52,360 to help set up this “NW Marriage Institute” within 5 months of it having incorporated (and without it apparently having registered with Washington State) — all grants thereafter were from this funding source:

75-1552:Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Washington can get cold.  Let’s see what this group has to offer that is more important than food, clothing, housing and possibly transportation to/from child care or school, for families in the area, probably single-parent households:

Here is our “Principal Investigator” Dr. R.E. Whiddon, Jr. I’m inspired to confidence just looking at him:

Dr. Whiddon has earned a Ph.D. in Biblical Counseling, Trinity Theological Seminary,*** Indiana, 1996, and a D.Min. in Pastoral Ministry, Northwest Graduate School,* Seattle, 2001. He is a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor, Certified Temperament Counselor,** Licensed Minister of Pastoral Counseling and has over thirty-three years of experience in ministry and counseling.

(Now, what’s the difference between “Licensed CLINICAL Pastoral Counselor” and “Licensed Minister of Pastoral Counseling” or are we stretching he credentials a little here?)

***Trinity Theological Seminary’s “About Us” shows a conglomerate theology which includes the Divinity of Christ and the Depravity of man.  Actually, it’s a conglomerate, missing major pieces, and inherently-contradictory set of confessions none of which call Jesus “Lord” (which the Bible consistently does).  Expect similar behaviors + evangelism (confusion loves company) to show up in handling of marriages and/or finances, “he that is faithful in that which is least,” (Jesus) and “It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful” (Paul).  Trinity, in accordance with its name, believes:

Articles of Faith:
Trinity is an evangelical Christian institution that affirms the articles of faith found in three historic creeds of the early Church: The Apostles’ CreedThe Nicene Creed, and The Athanasian Creed. In particular we affirm:

  • The Inspiration and Authority of the Scriptures;
  • The Existence of One God in Three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;(1)
  • The Creation of the Human Race in the Image of God;
  • The Fall and Resultant Human Depravity;
  • The Deity of Christ, His Incarnation, Atoning Death, and Resurrection;
  • Salvation by the Grace of God Through Faith by the Power of the Holy Spirit;
  • One Holy Christian Church, the Body of Christ;
  • The Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the Consummation of All Things.
  • The Gift of Everlasting Life in Heaven, With Christ, for all Who Have Trusted in Him for Salvation.
  • [AND THOSE WHO DON’T? . . . . . . . . . . .]
Little Lecture on The Side Effects of Imbibing This Doctrine:  (see 4th century A.D. — enforced by the sword upon heretics).
This is where he got a Ph.D.?   And yet all three creeds have at least verbs and something of a story line regarding Jesus Christ, they start “I believe,” “We believe” and the Athanasian one (named after a bishop of Alexandria, and specifically to counter “Arianism”) which is basically to counteract and describe impalpable things in complex, definite detail starts apparently like this:

“Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance.

For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. But the godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.”

Good grief — their articles of faith don’t contain the word “Believe” — or any other verb, and barely mention Jesus Christ– and this is Christianity?  The word “Lord” doesn’t occur.   See Acts 2, or any Pauline Epistle, in fact almost any portion of the New Testament, pick any chapter (or even nine sentences in a row) that do not even mention the word “Lord,” the cross (“Atoning Death”), the resurrection, giving testimony — and also noticeably absent — anything about faith (it rates a passing mention above), or ETHICS in this life.  The articles have no “plot line” and read like a hodgepodge of suspended noun phrases.   The statement of ideas has “drunk the Kool-aid” and doesn’t appear to match any of the above creeds, either, which at least had enough eloquence to help glue together some rituals over the centuries.
APPLICATION:
Similarly, these “scriptures” referred to say, pretty clearly:  “Hear O Israel, the Lord thy God is one God” (i.e., it’s a Monotheistic religion).  
Is He or is He not?  Give or take about just a FEW centuries, perhaps, and suddenly, this is no longer even under discussion — of course they are all one, but in precisely which fashion do they differ?  This may seem irrelevant — but atheists, agnostics, in fact anyone else but mainstream Catholic AND mainstream Protestant denominations (including evangelicals) for the most part are in agreement — anyone who doesn’t agree with us is a cult, and we should fight them or excommunicate them:  Our tribe is the biggest and the best, isn’t it?  (Yes – see Crusades, Inquisition, Holocaust, etc.)
Why this matters to understand who you are dealing with — and even if President Obama isn’t of this opinion, he will still have to deal with rabid, cornered evangelical faction in this country.  I would like to explain from the DMZ zone, why there IS no DMZ zone for groups like this.  There is no genuine allegiance to Oaths of Office possible if one’s eternal salvation (and everyone else’s) is hostage to obedience to Rome — or the local alternate Bishop.
From “religionfacts” (I just searched for a basic summary of beliefs site), here’s about how it goes:

Doctrine of the Trinity

Christians regards their religion as monotheistic, since Christianity teaches the existence of one God – Yahweh, the God of the Jews. It shares this belief with two other major world religions, Judaism and Islam.

However, Christian monotheism is a unique kind of monotheism. It holds that God is One, but that three distinct “persons” constitute the one God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This unique threefold God of Christian belief is referred to as the Trinity (from Latin trinitas, “three”).

Fast Facts on the Trinity

  • The word “Trinity” does not appear in the Bible
  • The word “Trinity” was first used by Tertullian (c.155-230)[A.D. or C.E.]
  • The doctrine of the Trinity is commonly expressed as: “One God, three Persons”
  • The doctrine is formally defined in the Nicene Creed, which declares Jesus to be: “God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father.”
  • Past and present Christian faiths who do not believe in the Trinity include:
    • Arianism (4th century)
    • Some Radical Reformers (16th century), such as Michael Servetus  (Below, I’ll paste a brief bio from a Unitarian Universalist site, he contributed to the advancement of medicine, but was still martyred)
  • Reasons given for rejecting the doctrine of the Trinity include:
    • It is not mentioned in the Bible
    • It does not make philosophical sense
    • It is not compatible with monotheism
    • It is not necessary in order to explain the “specialness” of Jesus
  • Reasons given for believing in the Trinity include:
    • It is taught indirectly in various statements in the Bible
    • It explains the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit while affirming monotheism
    • It would not be expected that the nature of God would make sense to human minds
    • The early ecumenical councils (primarily Nicea) are authoritative
Let’s remember that at this time, the printing press was still rather new:

Michael Servetus (ca. 1510 – 1533; martyr, advanced medical knowledge)

Michael Servetus (1509 or 1511-October 27, 1553), a Spaniard martyred in the Reformation for his criticism of the doctrine of the trinity and his opposition to infant baptism, has often been considered an early unitarian. Sharply critical though he was of the orthodox formulation of the trinity, Servetus is better described as a highly unorthodox trinitarian. Still, aspects of his theology—for example, his rejection of the doctrine of original sin—did influence those who later founded unitarian churches in Poland and Transylvania. Public criticism of those responsible for his execution, the Reform Protestants in Geneva and their pastor, John Calvin, moreover, inspired unitarians and other groups on the radical left-wing of the Reformation to develop and institutionalize their own heretical views.
Widespread aversion to Servetus’ death has been taken as signaling the birth in Europe of religious tolerance, a principle now more important to modern Unitarian Universalists than antitrinitarianism. Servetus is also celebrated as a pioneering physician. He was the first to publish a description of the blood’s circulation through the lungs. 
People who can think straight on scripture, if that’s their thing, can also think straight on other matters.  THE CONVERSE IS TRUE, APPARENTLY…
I can’t but help also think of Joseph Priestley, discoverer of oxygen, whose laboratory was destroyed for holding similar viewpoints.  He fled to the US — Pennsylvania, as it happens.  So now, we have a Pennsylvanian Catholic (the militant version) running for President of the United States (see last post).   Should Christians of rational and enquiring minds seek asylum elsewhere now?
See “Joseph Priestley for Just For Kids” (Font color blue, below, represents passages on Priestley; this is a quote within a quote about the life of Michael Servetus, of early 1500s).

When Joseph was nine, he went to live with his Aunt Sarah. Sarah sent him to different schools, where he learned religion, math, Latin, Hebrew, and grammar.

{making him tri-lingual, literate, and he could count too.  This puts him far ahead of the Trinitarians, who can’t or at least for sake of communion with their groups, don’t…. and a lot of US youngsters who can barely read & write English} 

Joseph became very interested in experimenting. When Joseph was eleven, he did his first experiment to find out how long spiders would live in bottles without fresh air. When he was nineteen years old, he went to Daventry Academy to study the ministry. When Joseph was twenty-two years old, he taught religion and science and continued to teach throughout his life.

 Joseph Priestley’s LaboratoryWhile Joseph lived in England, he met many important people and made many friends. One of his friends was the American scientist, Benjamin Franklin. They both enjoyed experimenting with electricity. With Franklin’s help, Priestley wrote a book about electricity.

Joseph loved science, and he enjoyed experimenting with air and gasses. In 1767, Joseph invented carbonated water, which later led to the invention of soda pop. In 1774, Joseph discovered his most famous gas – Oxygen.

Although Joseph had many friends, there were many Englishmen who did not like him because of his ideas about religion and politics. On July 14, 1791, a group of angry Englishmen destroyed Joseph’s laboratory, his house, and his church. After this riot, Joseph and Mary were left with nothing, so they decided to leave England. . . .

Another one of Priestley’s American friends was Thomas Jefferson. Priestley and Jefferson worked together to plan students’ classes at the University of Virginia.

While Joseph lived in Northumberland, he did many exciting things. He still enjoyed science, and he continued to do experiments. He was called the “Father of Modern Chemistry.” In 1799, Joseph discovered the poisonous gas Carbon Monoxide. Joseph also wrote many different books about history, science, and religion, and he collected over 1,600 books in his library. Above all things, Priestley loved and studied religion. He was the first Unitarian minister in America, and he held many church services in his home. He also taught school for boys in his house because he enjoyed teaching.

Joseph Priestley lived in his Northumberland home for only six years, but he achieved many things while living there.

Probably really appreciated the freedom from persecution.  Notice the times he lived in.  See what a society can do when it’s not tangled up with Religious Wars (or “Culture Wars”)?  Look at Pennsylvania now! There is a bill attempting to establish an Office of Faith-Based Privileges on the books, presently.  Joseph Priestley not only lived through the War for Independence, he probably was a factor in the Declaration of Independence.
(from same site) a few quotations from his autobiography show the extent (and manner) of learning, putting most of us to shame, today:
“From the time I discovered any fondness for books, my aunt entertained hopes of my being a minister, and I readily entered into her views. But my ill health obliged me to turn my thoughts another way, and, with a view to trade, I learned the modern languages, French, Italian, and High Dutch, without a master; and in the first and last of them I translated and wrote letters, for an uncle of mine who was a merchant, and who intended to put me into a counting-house in Lisbon. A house was actually engaged to receive me there, and everything was nearly ready for my undertaking the voyage. But getting better health, my former destination for the ministry was resumed…”
-Autobiography

“I read the whole of the Greek Testament, and the Hebrew bible as far as the first Book of Samuel: also Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Buchanan’s poems, Erasmus’ Dialogues, also Peter Pindar’s poems, &c…and to amuse myself I tried the heat of the water at different depths, and made other observations, which suggest various experiments, which I shall prosecute whenever I get my apparatus at liberty.”
(1794)

He seemed industrious, insatiably curious, and was reading not from catechism, but from probably as close to original sources as available in his times.  Another source (I was looking for his connection to John Locke) after characterizing the times, comments on Priestley’s views towards education.  Note especially that his concerns about educating the poor were about a national, state education system!  (with good reason, judging by current times!).
This can-count-straight “father of modern chemistry” also was less archaic than contemporaries on educating women:

Who should be educated?

The implications of Priestley’s educational philosophy seemed to be that all people should receive the same careful, wide education, and that parents and teachers especially should both fully understand the law of association and be well-educated themselves. Thus Priestley advocated a far higher level of education for females than was usual. Firstly, since development depended completely on education, women were not, as many people assumed, inferior in mental capacity. Secondly, since women had the same moral duties and passions as men and since morality and virtue were improved by intellectual culture, women had as much right to the latter as men. Thirdly, women needed to be well-educated to be respected wives and good mothers. Women who were well-educated intellectually and morally would be well-fitted to educate and influence others and to obtain an independent living if the need presented itself (Priestley, 1790b, p. 419; 1780, pp. 171, 137-38).

Similarly, the logical extension of Priestley’s principles ought to have been that people of all classes in society should receive the same education. Despite the fact, however, that contemporaries saw him as the arch-leveller and regularly burnt him in effigy (Lincoln, 1971, p. 179), Priestley was ambivalent about the education of the poor. He was concerned about their welfare and desirous of their literacy, but his deep fear of State control over education and thus of uniformity of thought and belief, instead of variety and freedom, prevented him from advocating a national system. His educational writings were directed towards the middle-classes and for others he held the reservations typical of his class and period (Priestley, 1771, pp. 43-47)

Source:

The following [preceding] text was originally published in

Prospects: the quarterly review of comparative education

(Paris, UNESCO: International Bureau of Education), vol. XXIV, no. 1/2, 1994, p. 343-53. ©UNESCO: International Bureau of Education, 1999

This document may be reproduced free of charge as long as acknowledgement is made of the source.

JOSEPH PRIESTLEY (1733-1804)1

Ruth Watts (I note that Ms. or Dr. Watts is from Birmingham, the city that destroyed Priestley family home and his laboratory long ago).

Back a century or so to Servetus, who had his life — not just a laboratory and home — destroyed, in his prime of life….

Miguel Serveto grew up in Villanueva, Aragon, sixty miles north of Zaragossa. At age 14 he entered the service of Juan Quintana, a scholarly Franciscan monk. Even in his youth Servetus was struck by the fact that the doctrine of the trinity was a serious obtstacle to evangelization of the Moors and Jews. {{understandably so!}} While studying law at the University of Toulouse in France, he read the Bible, which the invention of the printing press had made newly and dangerously available. He was surprised to find the trinity nowhere explicitly mentioned, much less defined, in the sacred text. 
New technology will always tend to change government, and society.  This printing press and distribution of the Bible helped increase literacy in England, and eventually helped support (not that it didn’t originate with the King) a challenge to the Catholic church.  However, as we read on — and see yesterday’s post which spoke of Hitler’s Christianity and anti-Semitism (no apparent contradiction, to him)  — Luther wasn’t a 100% challenge to Catholicism of the time; there were things he retained.     Today, the Internet is doing this, faster than most can keep up with.
After two years at the University, Servetus was recalled, in late 1529, to the service of Quintana, who had been appointed confessor to Emperor Charles V. He was to accompany Quintana as he traveled with the imperial party to the coronation of the Emperor in Bologna, Italy. In Italy Servetus was horrified by riches of the church, the adoration accorded the Pope, and the worldliness of the priesthood. Some time in 1530 Servetus dropped out of the emperor’s entourage and made his way to the Swiss city of Basel to join the Protestants. He stayed for months in the household of Oecolampadius, the local pastor and Reform leader.
Something in him rejected the glory, the riches, and the basic greed.  Not so with a lot of faith-based groups (and churches) these days! This tells us character (and calling).  Would you reject an invitation to a White House Inauguration Ball or similar event?
Having worn out his welcome there with constant theological dispute, {{I can just imagine}} Servetus moved to more tolerant Strasburg. There, in 1531, he published De Trinitatis Erroribus (On the Errors of the Trinity).
Pause to note that date of death is just 1533.   This coincides approximately with the time of Tyndale, who was also martyred, for translating the Bible into English.  Tyndale, in his translation work, or earlier, had come to the same point of view on the Trinity.*
If Servetus hoped his book would persuade the new Protestant establishment to re-think orthodox trinitarian doctrine, as traditionally interpreted from the fourth century Council of Nicaea through the late mediaeval Scholastics, and replace it with his own formulation, he was quickly disappointed. Though Protestants admired some aspects of Servetus’ thought, they deplored many others. Moreover, they were especially defensive concerning their trinitarian orthodoxy, having no desire to call upon themselves still more Roman Catholic denunciation. The Lutheran reformer Melanchthon, commenting on De Trinitatis Erroribus, lamented, “As for the Trinity you know I have always feared this would break out some day. Good God, what tragedies this question will excite among those who come after us!”
for “tragedies” read, persecutions.   Notice, their objection to questioning trinitarian orthodoxy was not based on reason, or from the scriptures, but on fear of further retaliation from the reigning religious power.
I’ve posted about Tyndale on here before; it’s relevant to NOW.  Facebook has a photo with this brief caption, for a reminder:

(TYNDALE) (1494-1536) was an English Reformer (known as ‘the Apostle of England in the time of the Reformation’) and the translator of the first English New Testament from the Greek (1526). Tyndale was martyred for his translation work and his writings in the defense of Biblical Christianity. Tyndale was hunted as a heretic, taken and imprisoned under the laws of the Church; after being condemned for heresy, he was formally stripped of his priesthood, strangled and then burned at the stake. Tyndale’s English Translation is read yet today as the greater part of the King James Bible, first published in 1611.

 It is reported that, in the course of a dispute with a promminent clergyman who disparaged this proposal, he said, “If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scriptures than thou dost.” The remainder of his life was devoted to keeping that vow, or boast. Finding that the King, Henry VIII, was firmly set against any English version of the Scriptures, he fled to Germany (visiting Martin Luther in 1525), and there travelled from city to city, in exile, poverty, persecution, and constant danger. Tyndale understood the commonly received doctrine — the popular theology — of his time to imply that men earn their salvation by good behavior and by penance. He wrote eloquently in favor of the view that salvation is a gift of God, freely bestowed, and not a response to any good act on the part of the receiver. . .
He completed his translation of the New Testament in 1525, and it was printed at Worms and smuggled into England.
How does this level of commitment, passion, and perseverance for a cause compare to Dr. Whiddon’s group, above, which changed its tune for about 30 pieces of silver from HHS? And having gotten that silver, being apparently dyed-in-the-wool Trinitarian bread, cannot seems to understand the difference between expenses and income on a tax form, so under-reporting by about 66%, on one of them I saw?   Few people are in the same class with some of these reformers and leaders, but even so, the power-based (not reason- or scripture-based) “discuss + threaten + take charge of finances” brand of Christianity  — is not even in the same arena.  Not even close — in fact, it’s closer to at-home in the Vatican, which is essentially a monarchy.
Of 18,000 copies, only two survive. {{they were banned and burned!}} In 1534, he produced a revised version, and began work on the Old Testament. In the next two years he completed and published the Pentateuch and Jonah, and translated the books from Joshua through Second Chronicles, but then he was captured (betrayed by one he had befriended), tried for heresy, and put to death. He was burned at the stake, but, as was often done, the officer strangled him before lighting the fire. His last words were, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes
Let’s see to what extent the hunters were serious about taking control — he had been translating on the fly, from Belgium, I think!  Had someone not betrayed him, he’d have probably finished the work.  For his work, he gave his life.  In those days they sometimes, to make a point, dug up dead bodies, and destroyed (or in the case of a Pope) tried them again.
A 2002 Japanese professor and Bible scholar thought it was “unforgiveable” that people who cited (the King James Bible version, which was largely Tyndale’s work) didn’t know much about the translator.  So he got to work.  See next paragraphs from “Tyndale and the English Bible:  The martyred genius who brought the word to the people.

Tai Kawabata
June 2002

History sometimes fails to recognize the brilliance of a true pioneer and instead glorifies those who profit from his innovation. William Tyndale (1494?-1536), who first translated the Bible into English from the original Greek and Hebrew texts, is one such forgotten pioneer. In fact, large portions of the renowned King James Version of 1611 are actually Tyndale’s own sentences. His contribution, however, goes unrecognized by most readers.

photo of Prof. Tagawa

It is not surprising that in non-English-speaking countries like Japan, Tyndale is a relatively unknown historical figure. In 1997, Kenzo Tagawa, one of Japan’s leading Bible scholars, published ‘Shomotsu to shite no Shinyaku Seisho’ (The New Testament as a Book), which devoted many pages to Tyndale. The book dealt with such topics as the canonical selection process of the New Testament, the language situation in the first century Mediterranean world including Palestine and Hellenistic cities, history of the textual criticism of the New Testament and history and assessment of Bible translations.

The 800-page scholarly book sold more than 10,000 copies within a short period of time. But Tagawa was astounded to find that very few readers knew about Tyndale. He therefore decided to translate David Daniell’s book William Tyndale (Yale University Press, 1994) to help Japanese readers learn about him – a task that took him three years to complete. The 788-page-long translation, entitled ‘Uiriamu Tindaru’ (William Tyndale) and subtitled ‘Aru Seisho Honyaku-sha no Shogai’ (The Life of a Bible Translator), was published in January 2001 by Keiso Shobo Publishing Co. in Tokyo.

‘Tyndale is one of the few truly important people in history,’ says Tagawa. ‘The vernacular Bible became a dynamo for social transformation. It showed people that all human beings were created equal before God and that people owed each other nothing but love. The members of King James I’s committee had no intention of producing a new translation of the Bible. Instead, they intended to make a revision of existing translations. This is basic knowledge shared by all biblical scholars. My sense of justice told me that it was unforgivable that a version based on literary borrowing had become more famous than the original. That was my motivation for translating Daniell’s book.’ Tagawa added to the value of Daniell’s book by appending a chronology, some 140 translator’s notes, many of them on biblical text concerned from the viewpoint of a biblical scholar, and a 50-page epilogue.

Not only did it spread a resource to counter religious propaganda, and no doubt increase the general popular level of literacy, it also helped establish English as a language!  Read on:
In fact, please read carefully; if a Japanese multi-lingual scholar believes it’s important for his countrymen to know in order to better understand the English, period, perhaps it’s worth the time:

Tagawa states that a ‘decisive’ thing happened when Tyndale translated the Bible into English. ‘Through Tyndale’s work, written English became English- like English,’ he says, referring to the fact that Tyndale’s writing conformed more closely to the syntax of English than to that of Latin. ‘More’s English is Latin written in English. Tyndale’s English is English written in English. It is a surprising accomplishment that he wrote English that is so clear and so easy to understand.’

‘The situation in which Tyndale found himself is comparable in one sense to the last third of the 19th century in Japanese history when the people were struggling to create modern written Japanese appropriate for modern society,’ Tagawa points out. ‘In the years when Tyndale was translating the Bible, English had not yet been established as a written language. He had two tasks: to establish the written language and to select English words appropriate for Bible translation.’

Answering the question of why Professor David Daniell’s book has any appeal for Japanese readers, Tagawa is of the opinion that the appeal is Tyndale himself. ‘Tyndale has been virtually unknown among the Japanese public. Scholars of English language and history in Japan should not be blamed for this. Japan’s situation is a reflection of the fact that Tyndale has not received due appreciation in England itself. But the historical facts must be conveyed accurately and the Japanese need to know much about Tyndale because they are influenced by the English language and cultures of the English-speaking world. Daniell’s book helps readers sufficiently recognize the greatness of Tyndale’s achievements, opens the eyes of many people who are studying English in Japan and rouses their interest in historical surroundings of Tyndale.’

. . . (And just a bit more)
Why this relates to who’s our next President, Fascist-“Christianity”-forces in the US (see Weyrich, Coors, Free Congress Foundation literature, etc.):

In the book, (a different book, Tagawa’s “A Man Called Jesus”) , Tagawa puts Jesus back into the political, social and economic environment of ancient Palestine and depicts him not as an expounder of religious beliefs but as a person who rebelled in his daily life against the harsh conditions imposed on people by the Roman Empire’s colonial rule and the religious and political authorities of Jerusalem.

Tagawa regards many of Jesus’s sayings as paradoxical statements used as rhetorical weapons against the powers that be. He also sees behind Jesus’s miracles the wretched situation in which people in Palestine found themselves. As in the case of the historical Jesus, Tagawa pays attention to the social situation surrounding Tyndale. In order to understand why Tyndale had to be killed, one has to understand the impact vernacular Bibles had on society in general. He explains that by reading the Bible in their own language, people found that it contained no theoretical justification for social and economic rule by the Roman Catholic Church.

‘The impact of the vernacular Bibles was all the greater because at the time Christianity permeated all aspects of society and people thought in Christian language and created and ran social institutions in accordance with Christian doctrines,’ Tagawa explains. A look at the Peasants’ War in Germany (1524-25) provides a concrete example of the effect the vernacular Bibles had. By reading the Bible, the people learned, for example, that rivers were created and given to all humanity by God. In letters addressed to territorial princes, German peasants asked them to show exactly what part of the Bible said that rivers should belong to the princes as their private property. This way, ordinary people gained strong confidence in themselves. But Tyndale shared the same fear as Martin Luther – that the spread of vernacular Bibles would lead people to revolt, not only against holy authority, but also against secular authority. That is why Tyndale wrote The Obedience of a Christian Man. As this shows, his thinking was Lutheran.

Despite Tyndale’s conservative approach to the existing social order, Tagawa believes that the principle he established for interpretation of the Bible – that the meaning of its texts must be taken ‘literally’ – is still relevant today. Tyndale’s principle put an end to allegorical interpretation of biblical texts, whereby the Roman Catholic Church read its own doctrinal ideas into the texts.

Likewise, the doctrine of marriage & fatherhood promotion is a reading-into the text (when delivered from pulpits and by other religiosu groups) — from yours truly, meaning:  USA-HHS, Clinton, Bush, Obama, and whoever’s next; unless we turn the gushing fire hydrant of political favors to faith-based (and other) cronies O-F-F! — is STRAIGHT out of the same mentality. The mentality of, above all — maintain the status quo, let sleeping dogs lie, and don’t raise the wrath of the king.  Or, oligarchy.

Ironic? or coincidental — the “don’t provoke the boss” mentality is no way to get free from domestic terrorism either, I mean, in the home.   There is something in the personality that is addicted to power over the other, and a submissive “other” simply isn’t satisfying enough, nor is it ever going to be quite LOW enough.     Hence, radical women who protest abuse in the famiy also seem to threaten the status quo of not just local faith communities — but (we are told) the nation.  It’s tearing at the fabric of society, etc.

Today, the importance of this principle must be upheld all the more. With the spread of structuralism {?}, many students in various academic domains have started reading their own, often just cheap and banal, ideology into literary and historical texts under the name of ‘interpretation’. By doing so, they are deviating from or bending the original meaning of the text.

People that will do this with the Bible — to which they allegedly (see all the “We believe” assertions on websites) — have already probably done it in their hearts with the US Constitution, or will in the future.   Same chronic dishonesty — or, following leaders for the sake of company — compliance and tolerance with abuse of common sense (and, did I mention, minors, and women?).  It’s OK to protest — but don’t split the ranks, because the outsiders are a worse force.
Hence we have a whole platform and network of mainstream Christian groups who feel threatend by and tend to galvanize followers around the topics of abortion and homosexuality.   And the Bible is clear on not condoning homosexuality — old testament or new.  Nor for that matter does it condone adultery, but plenty of pastoral leaders practice both.  And they also read into it that ministry by women (in too many factions, not all) is forbidden.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US — for WOMEN?

Well — search for your own meaning (See Viktor Frankl, “Man’s Search for Meaning” if you’re clueless that life requires meaning).
Would you rather be a Priestley (lose it all, but live a few years out in safety), or a Tyndale/Wycliffe/Severetus?  How about for your kids?
It means that if you don’t fight back now, you may not have much to fight back with, and whatever it is you are preserving by NOT speaking out against this (even if you’re not pro-LGBT or anti-abortion) will be going away sooner without the front-lines — who you won’t back up — here anymore. 
It also means that these men, above, shed their blood in vain, and changed society away from superstition, myth, and superstition and myth used to deceive and innocculate people against considering themselves on the same human plane as their rulers.  Do I really need to explain this much further, or did you not read that post (the last one) on young women and men who escaped the Opus Dei slavery, at great cost and often after many years.
I do believe that the pen (or in this case, “net”) is mightier than the sword, and that words count.  Most military groups know this, why doesn’t the public?  Most good teachers also know it — it’s the language, standards, and vision set which build a momentum, IF they speak to something inside the students.
AFCC knows it, and set out to transform language, not just law, and practices.  They have (to date) successfully transformed and standardized (with cooperation from law enforcement, representing criminal prosecution backup) the idea that assault and battery of a woman or child isn’t REALLY a crime, nor is threatening her, stalking her, injuring her, kidnapping her children and keeping them in violation of existing court orders and without cause, or stealing the profits of her wages while married, and of her life, after marriage and through nonstop custody litigation backed by federal funding for fatherhood-custody “outcomes.”  etc.
Anyone who’s been through enough abuse and trauma WILL be more alert to changes in the trend of language and behavior with their particular abuser (it’s called surviving!), but will be still hauled in front of people whose lives are NOT at ongoing or immediate risk from the same people, and told they’re imagining, exaggerating, crazy — or alienating.
Then when person or persons — lots of them, over time — is (are) actually killed, before, during, or without “batterers intervention classes” (which I gather serve to further irritate the clients, as well as for profit) — the policies do NOT change to talk about this, nor take any responsibility for having set up the situation for the kill.  You too, can read, and will not find this discussion in almost any AFCC material available (free) on-line.
Read a modern-day conservative Catholic scolding Catholic Schools for not being Catholic enough:  I found it the other day in Pennsylvania:
(written earlier).
Hence we can expect, where faith has been based on “take it on faith– or take THIS!” a similar approach will be given towards government.  “File taxes” is the law — “but not really” is the practice, etc.   Book “AD 381” discusses how in part it was the fighting factions of Christians that helped lead a lesser (than Constantine) and less liberal Roman emperor “Theodosius” to glue his empire together by choosing a particular version of the 3-in-1 doctrine and clamping down on discussion.   The inability to discuss, reason, read straight (even their own cited creeds) DOES follow through in inability to report straight on taxes or file straight as a corporation or nonprofit.  Lord knows how they could counsel straight — but then again, half the marriage curriculum is pre-fab as instructor-proof, just about, “out-of-the-box” just provide a classroom.
End little lecture:

*This school was hard to find — possibly because it’s (or similar one) is now called “Bakke Graduate University.”  Founded by two brothers in 1990 (per Wiki, what else?), another profile (possibly diff’t institution) shows 164 students (95% white, Gender–not shown; perhaps it goes without saying, all men?), and categorizes it as a specialized 4-year university in Redmond, WA.  Or perhaps his degree was from none of the above.

Does he have a wife & family?  What qualifies this person to be running marriage institutes at the expense of needy families?

**this certification apparently costs about $1,665 (see link) and possibly was available on-line (for example)

For a sample of his writing, we see a title “The current status of the practice of church discipline in the churches of Christ in America”   on file at Amridge University (affiliated with Churches of Christ) categorized as “controversial literature” which it should be (see related titles), particularly from the viewpoint of wife.  This appears to be his honors thesis from Trinity (see portions on affirmation of the depravity of man, etc.) It is an on-line university primarily, since 1969, in a rural (population 9,000) town.

THE PUBLIC FACE (WEBSITE):  Predictable graphics & Logo:

THE NORTHWEST (not “NW” as TAGGS has it) MARRIAGE INSTITUTE WEBSITE declares it’s a nonprofit, and has a typical website banner & verbiage, with pretty outrageous claims, see center motto:

The Northwest Marriage Institute is a non-profit organization in the State of Washington and recognized as a public charity according to Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. We subsist on tax-deductible donations and grant funding. The Institute provides marriage and fatherhood workshops, to residents of the Vancouver/Portland metro area.

My First question when any group claims to be a Nonprofit (in this field) is, naturally — IS it?  So, show me the money.   Washington State shows me that it did exist as a corporation from 2/1/2005 (just in time to get that grant!) however on 6/28/2010 it became “inactive” (was to have filed by 2/28/2010 and didn’t apparently). Washington State Corporations must file annually, or biennially.  You can look too:  I just typed in “Northwest Marriage” which pulled up 3 results.  Is it registered in Washington State as a Charity?  You can look: (apparently not….).  Did it ever file its 990s with the IRS?

Yes, with interesting results — what happened to the $250,000 grant in 2009 (as it appears not to have acknowledged the $750K grant in 2011….)

ORGANIZATION NAME

STATE

YEAR

TOTAL ASSETS

FORM

PAGES

EIN

Northwest Marriage Institute WA 2010 $0 990EZ 6 81-0652178
Northwest Marriage Institute WA 2009 $5,928 990EZ 8 81-0652178
Northwest Marriage Institute WA 2009 $0 990ER 1 81-0652178
Northwest Marriage Institute WA 2008 $9,051 990EZ 8 81-0652178
Northwest Marriage Institute WA 2007 $10,318.85 990 16 81-0652178
Northwest Marriage Institute WA 2006 $19,611.09 990 16 81-0652178
Northwest Marriage Institute WA 2005 $3,896.63 990EZ 10 81-0652178

Ah well, I’ve had enough of this for now.  Perhaps the essay, on “The Dorothy Option” will speak to the situation.  The image below is picked from the main page of where the article was posted. Basically, except I do not share the “Occupy” sentiment, I agree.  Good questions — and I ask them for single mothers who are figuring out which state to live in where their children have to grow up intact and out of the range of foster care, child protective services, and the high-conflict crowd, which are ravenous beasts, and never satiated with enough lives:

http://voxnova2.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/hungry.jpg

Catholic Citizenship and the “Dorothy Option”

by Mark Gordon

My first “guest post” at the Catholic group blog, Vox Nova, appeared on June 17, 2011.

Last Monday’s Republican debate at St. Anselm’s College in New Hampshire was billed by CNN as the first major event of the 2012 presidential campaign. The choice of a Benedictine institution was weirdly appropriate because the debate also kicked off our quadrennial Catholic scrap over electoral politics. A year from now, the battle will be fully engaged. The two camps will have emerged from their respective quarters to savage each other on the deck of the ship of state, contending for control of the rudder, seeking to define each other down the plank and into the Davy Jones Locker of American Church history.

“Conservatives” and Republicans will come armed with abortion, ESCR, and gay marriage. They’ll hurl accusations of indifference to the unborn and the sanctity of marriage. They’ll intone “SOCIALISM” at every turn, and warn darkly of hidden agendas aimed at remaking the Church in the image of MoveOn.org. “Liberals” and Democrats will come armed with war and torture, capital punishment, and market idolatry. They’ll hurl accusations of indifference to the poor, the sick, and the marginalized. They’ll intone “CORPORATIONS” at every turn, and warn darkly of hidden agendas aimed at remaking the Church in the image of the Tea Party.  Both sides will engage in hand-to-hand combat over the meaning and application of terms like “intrinsic evil,” “remote cooperation,” and “prudential judgment,” all the while accusing their opponents of distortion, dishonesty, or simple ignorance. Then, on Election Day + 1, winners will celebrate the return or arrival of truth and justice, while the vanquished will foretell dire calamities soon to be visited on the land.

The deeper I drove into the authentic teaching of the Church {{for me, this would read, “Bible”}} and its implications for living as both citizen and Christian, the less satisfied I became with limitations of a binary political system defined by Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative. In fact, over time I came to see that the system isn’t binary at all, but unitary, with two distinct but ultimately complimentary and mutually supporting modes of expression. Moreover, I came to the conviction that neither mode is adequate to channel the radical demands imposed upon us by the Gospel.

The Democratic and Republican parties are two dead ends in the same blind alley; but the essential problem isn’t the parties themselves at all. At the heart of the issue is what the Servant of God Dorothy Day called “this filthy, rotten system” itself.

And so, I recommend the “Dorothy Option.” Eschew both parties. Refuse to participate in their rigged game of electoral politics. Refuse to fight their wars. Pack a lifeboat with as many people as you can and row away from the ship of state and the staged battle being waged on its deck. The ship is going down anyway, and it will take all the partisans and courtiers from both parties with it

. . .
etc.

(Dorothy was a role model, I guess).

Whatever– for women in any country, it is an uphill battle.  Given its material wealth and reputation (now tarnishing) for freedom and an amazing set of founding documents — I feel the US is going to either give it up, or go down.  It pushes a slave-based economy (always, a caste system is needed, and war is also needed, for the global economy, or freedom might break loose on another continent).  The method of control is economy (threat of starvation) backed by force (faster death for nonconformity) is a real one, and some of us are already experienced dealing with those threats, long-term, and “in your face.”  Some of us did NOT come out of such situations to be told, “Get thee behind me, Woman,” and “Go back for some more, or we take your kids!”

What, precisely, do you think this child support system is in place for to start with?  Without some means of extortion, half the stuff wouldn’t be going on that I’ve blogged in.  The world truly would be a better place, at this point.

Truth is at a premium, always, and finding it is THE most important endeavor in life.    HOW many languages did those Bible translators speak?  And then we get garbled up versions of one of those languages, on-line, half-baked sound bytes? ???

Why is it so often easier to have a sensible conversation (as a person “of faith”) with an atheist than a church-attendee?  Possibly because the atheist takes Sunday mornings for exercise, and the free time weeknights, or weekends, perhaps, for exposure to some of the great ideas of mankind in grappling with the meaning of existence, or reads history (etc.), and what’s more, pays taxes — but not all the tithes to have a dumb-down version of a pittance of scripture explained to them, in the politically correct interpretation of the day.    They then go back to work with a clear conscience, perhaps.

It was the beauty and literature of the Bible that got my attention, originally, as well as its way of speaking to the current issues of life.  I missed the indoctrination and rebellion phases as a young person simply because no one was forcing it on me.  When I ran across some trinitarians who wanted to argue, I settled the question by reading through the gospels.  And a lot more.  End of story.  Not to mention this:  A MEDIATOR has to be in the middle, as in:

1First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the mana Christ Jesus6who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 7For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

I think most people want to live a peaceful life — like apparently Joseph Priestley did after emigrating far from the people that destroyed his science lab because it was the wrong theology!  Well, it’s either fight, or leave.  Fight logically, fight without compromise, and fight for the right things, this means, you put your foot down on turning the US into a sharia-type nightmare, even if you think this requires a little sacrifice now for better situation later!

People need to understand the grants systems to understand where their taxes go.  They also need to understand the custody courts to understand why social services are being cut, but taxes are still high, as are commodities.  Not enough people do.

MEDIATORS must be neutral, and they are to represent not just one side of the equation.  They are not to take bribes.  In the wilderness, it’s said, Jesus Christ WAS tempted to take a bribe (the bribe being all the kingdoms of the world, and the tempter, the devil) — and didn’t.  He then qualified.

FAMILY COURT MEDIATORS are often court-appointed, which means county-paid.  They are not neutral in any sense of the word.  IN addition, they are supported by a grant series (Access/visitation) which says — on its face — it is interested in increased noncustodial parenting time.  Their purpose is to produce that time.  Ergo, their purpose is to affect the outcome of a custody hearing in a particular direction, and somehow justify this to others as “justice” when it’s not– it’s service.  They are serving their employers, who pay their salary most directly.

One God, and one mediator between Man & God.  How many in that phrase?

3 entitites.  Not 3-in-1, but three separate, and ONE in the middle.

Galatians (which Paul claimed to have by revelation, but I see plenty of rational argument based on its suppositions in here!):

Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator20Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

The mediator referred to surely was Moses.  Was Moses divine?  Was he God?  NO!  He delivered the law, and spoke for God because (according to the record in OT) the people didn’t want to — too frightening.  THey said — YOU speak for us!  (remembering — 400 years of slavery preceded this moment, they were used to taking orders, unfamiliar with freedom yet, and unused to making their own decisions about their own destiny; hence the slavery mindset — YOU’re the expert, YOU translate from God to us.)

Thereafter (you can look it up on-line), a wonderful prophecy of Jesus Christ (so Christians will say, and I do) is right there in Deuteronomy 18:15 and referenced in Acts 3 also:

The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; 16According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. 17And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. 18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee (Moses), and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

He was qualified up one way and down the other as a mediator, and did not take bribes (which pervert judgment) and moreover, put his life on the line for the reconciliation.

And I think it really does matter whether or not this is understood — in the same chapter (describing the mediator) in Galatians, it goes on to say, which is the point anyhow (not all this sectarianism we see nowadays!):

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Some people don’t like that terminology, and so simply toss it in practice.  For which, I see:

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Seems like as good a place as any to end this — I have attempted to illustrate two types of individuals and groups of people that both call themselves “Christians.”  One part is prone to hunting down, banning books, killing dissidents and discouraging literacy on even the articles of the faith.  This kind cannot look at a single sentence without dividing it into 3 invisible and mysteriously interlinked parts, and (see Rick Santorum Speech writer, the other day, on “family”) grammatically pay attention for even a single sentence (switching from third to second person).  In a theology where they’re all the same anyhow — what difference does it make, hey?

This is called “blurred vision” and “blurred boundaries”   Where the Bible says “all one in Christ Jesus,” men, certain men (and their women, standing by them) say — no, men take the upper seat, and you women sit down at the other end of the table.  Better yet, go serve us, and then we’ll settle things and let you know the results.  That was their culture, and that is THIS culture too.  Every slavery culture needs a caste system, and in this system, women are below almost all men (religiously speaking) if they come with head, hearts, and minds engaged.

Now let’s apply this in reverse.  The Bible states above clearly — there is one God, and He had a disagreement with Man.  Inbetween comes a “prophet, like unto me” (Moses — and Moses led the people out of captivity and was a prophet, a spokesperson in front of Pharaoh, also being acquainted with Pharaoh’s household, but REJECTING IT for justice, instead affirming his real parentage (not his adopted household), and standing with it.  (Contrast the US with its burgeoning foster care system….)

The people (in the writings) show as of a different character, and God, of a third.  1, 2, 3.

  • SIMILARLY — the US Government DID at one time have 3 separate branches:  Executive, Legislative and Judicial.  1, 2, 3.  And the FIRST Bill of Rights states that Congress is not to legislate a religion.
  • Where the Bible says 3, some say 1.  Where it says 1 — they say 3.

Now do we really want this mentality in charge of a unified federal government and its budget?  AND with an Office of Faith-Based Privilege and Pooh-Bahs who can’t account for what they already spent, can’t stay incorporated for long because they are not themselves subject to the same laws, while making new ones, and a new language (“parent coordination” “fatherhood.gov” etc.) for the rest of us?

I don’t think so.  Get the voting over with, and then get out your FOIAs (and calculators) and start asking uncomfortable questions of legislators on why they have authorized this baloney!

I forgot to finish the account on this Servetus, of the century 1500s.  Here’s a portion showing John Calvin’s reaction, and his eventual death, twice (once, in effigy) for probably being one danged nuisance to the status quo.  Do we appreciate how brave some of these people were?   Here, Servetus had to take on an alternate identity:

 http://www25.uua.org/uuhs/duub/articles/michaelservetus.html

His books were confiscated, and he was warned out of several Protestant towns. Meanwhile, in 1532, the Supreme Council of the Inquisition in Spain began proceedings to summon him, or to apprehend him if he would not appear before the tribunal. His brother, Juan, a priest, was sent to persuade him to return to Spain for questioning. He was terrified. He later wrote of this period, “I was sought up and down to be snatched to my death.” He fled to Paris and surfaced there with a new name, Michel de Villeneuve.

. . .During his twelve-year residence in Vienne, living as the inoffensive Doctor of Medicine, Michel de Villeneuve, Servetus was busy in his spare time preparing his major theological treatise, Christianismi Restitutio (The Restoration of Christianity). He also began, in 1546, a fateful secret correspondence with his old acquaintance, John Calvin.** By this time Calvin, author of Institutio Christianae Religionis (Institutions of Christian Religion), 1536, and pastor and chief reformer of Geneva, was the most prestigious figure in the Reform branch of Protestantism.

Parallel — people fleeing retaliatory abuse are often wishing to speak with friends, or deal with someone who actually knows them. I imagine Servetus wanted to discuss theology with someone who understood it.  This turned out to be a fatal mistake.

How important it is we know the true strength of various pillars that support us.  I’m talking institutions, associations, etc.

John Calvin

Calvin’s theology had included little mention of the trinitarian nature of the godhead until, in 1537, another reformer, Pierre Caroli, accused him of being an Arian.  Although cleared by a synod at Lausanne, Calvin was afterwards on his guard and determined to deal severely with deviations in this area of orthodoxy.

Can we see how the fear factor here quenched debate on the merits? . . . . . . .

The subject, associated with unpleasant memories, was distasteful to him. Servetus, surely aware of Calvin’s previous lack of clarity on the subject, bombarded him with letters insisting on unorthodox conceptions more radical than those he had presented a decade and more ago. Calvin replied with increasing impatience and asperity. Servetus sent Calvin a manuscript of his yet unpublished Restitutio. Calvin reciprocated by sending a copy of the Institutio. Servetus returned it with abusive annotations. On the day Calvin broke off the correspondence, he wrote to his colleague, Guillaume Farel, that should Servetus ever come to Geneva, “if my authority is of any avail I will not suffer him to get out alive.

Servetus’ aggressive stance and “refusing to shut up” caused fear of retribution in his hearer.  It is hard to think clearly when there’s the fear factor (remember the times:  Inquisition . . . .. )

When Servetus published the Restitutio in early 1553 he sent an advance copy to Geneva. The printed text included thirty of his letters to Calvin. Soon afterward, at Calvin’s behest, the identity of “Villeneuve” was betrayed to the Catholic Inquisition in Vienne. After his arrest and interrogation Servetus managed to escape from the prison. On his way, perhaps, to northern Italy where, he believed, there were people receptive to his writings, he made his way across the border to Geneva. Recognized at a Geneva church service, he was arrested and tried for heresy by Protestant authorities.

His friend in Geneva was not really his friend.

The secular officials were unable to establish that Servetus was an immoral disturber of the public peace. Nevertheless, he made damaging theological statements in the course of a written debate with Calvin. The Council of Geneva, after receiving the advice of churches in four other Swiss cities, convicted Servetus of antitrinitarianism and opposition to child baptism. Calvin asked that Servetus be mercifully beheaded. The Council insisted he should be burned at the stake.

Spectators were impressed by the tenacity of Servetus’ faith. Perishing in the flames, he is said to have cried out, “O Jesus, Son of the Eternal God, have pity on me!” Farel, who witnessed the execution, observed that Servetus, defiant to the last, might have been saved had he but called upon “Jesus, the Eternal Son.” A few months later Servetus was again executed, this time in effigy, by the Catholic Inquisition in France

This source (which is pointing out – John Calvin was a murderer, and some of his motives for this were to maintain power over “theocratic Geneva” describes how green wood was used to prolong the time (30 minutes), and a barrage of verbal abuse on the way to execution.  Talk about heartless!

from:  www.evangelicaloutreach.org/michaelservetus.htm

Let it be noted that the Calvinists of Geneva put half-green wood around the feet of Michael Servetus and a wreath strewn with sulfur on his head. It took over thirty minutes to render him lifeless in such a fire, while the people of Geneva stood around to watch Michael Servetus suffer and slowly die!

Perhaps this history gives us the general idea of how “mainstream” Christianity became “mainstream;” in part by killing off dissidents for an example (and confiscating their property too, burning books, threats, betrayal, etc.).   Through my personal experience, abuse + Bible + “it’s a family matter,” I have come to understand that “birds of a feather flock together”  and not to fly with this crowd.  The air is clearer outside.

However, as someone not from a traditional background (was raised a strange breed of church-attending atheists, and so not subject to much indoctrination), and shocked at how pervasive the mistreatment of women — “justified” by Bible (and being well-read enough in it to realize how little water the argument holds) — I do often need to speak to others a warning not to just brush this faction off.  It has deep historical roots, and despite all the very many truly nice, smart, and intelligent, productive, creative (etc.) people to be found — in the Catholic church, in particular — if it came to saving a neighbor’s life, or stopping child abuse by a colleague — would they really provide a safe haven and show outrage at the system that allowed it?   Will they, for the duration, subject themselves as potential targets for your sake, or the child’s sake?

I’m not of a stature to stand and judge (or a prophet!) but my sense is that in an(y) organization where submission, loyalty and tradition are valued, as well as community — who is really ready to be an outcast for the genuine faith, in the US, I mean?  I’m ont talking of the solitary monks or priests — I mean, on critical issues — such as the overt religious grants recipients in the fatherhood & marriage movement, for example?

  • We are not to judge by allegiances and alliances, but does not mean, go to sleep spiritually, psychologically, historically or politically.  And under spiritually — one has to talk linguistically.  These are not mere matters of words — to those involved!  Who gives a hoot whether it’s Unitarian or Trinitarian?  Whether 3 in 1, or 1 divided into 3 equal consubstantial and co-eternal parts?
  • With all due respect, plus some, to a many of my personal acquaintances, and (former) colleagues — it does make a difference when we have government by executive order and faith-based initiatives from a Prayer-Breakfast “Family” oriented Bush with connections to a worldwide moneylaundering cult who may — or may not — have stolen an election. A US Presidential election.
  • If we had all parties who agreed that the Constitution counts MOST, so there’s a little peace in the land — or the potential for it, if the same people could DEAL with the need to make more slaves and profits —  it would not matter.  But that is not the current landscape.    That’s not even the current Supreme Court!

Suppose it was your child?  Many things matter that may seem unimportant at the time.

A little scientific contributions, inbetween arguing with Calvin, breaking out of prison and attempting to find a safe haven, from our 15th century Spaniard.  He is the same person who at least first published (whether or not he discovered) that the blood circulates through the lungs; there is a pulmonary function to them!  In this matter he was also a “dissident.”  Guess it’s habit-forming.

Servetus soon came to differ from Galen in the matter of pulmonary circulation. Galen had supposed aeration of the blood took place in the heart and assigned the lungs a fairly minor function. Servetus, by examining the wall of the heart and noting the size of the pulmonary artery, concluded that transformation of the blood, accomplished by the release of waste gases and the infusion of air, occurred in the lungs. It is not clear whether Servetus or a contemporary, unknown to Servetus, first made this discovery. Servetus was the first to publish. Although he only expressed the new knowledge as a lengthy metaphorical aside in his theological writing, he was the first person to record a modern understanding of pulmonary respiration.

What people who are well-exposed to this scripture can do in their spare time, before execution….

(Thanks to the “Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography” for the segments on Servetus when I needed a short enough narrative to illustrate the point)

Vocabulary quiz:

RE-LIGION — to Tie Back & Define (to the past).  Burdens populace, fear-motivation (for them, and sometimes, leaders) plus greed.  Slave/master relationship.

SPIRITUALITY — the word is related to the breath:  Inhale/exhale, inhale/exhale; IN with fresh, OUT with stale.  That’s how life is sustained.

Here’s another summary, its viewpoint is clear enough — and a longish excerpt relating to “Socinians” heresy to Servetus, above.  Notice how in the 1600s, it was less fashionable to burn them in public, rather, let them rot in prison was preferred:

English Dissenters — Socinians

Summary

Anti-Trinitarianism was practiced in sixteenth century Europe and was part of the Radical Reformation. It is a heresy of the Church which denies the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, three coequal Persons of One Nature. A number of heretical [i.e. non-official views] of the Trinity have appeared since the early Church.

One such form of anti-Trinitarianism theology was prominent in Sixteenth and Seventeenth century Europe was known as Socinianism. Socinianism is based of the works of Faustus Socinus.

Faustus Socinus (1539-1604) (or Fausto Paolo Sozzini)of Siena (Italy) preached a moderated form of the writings of Michael Servetus (1511-1553), an anti-Trinitarianism theologian, a prominent scientist and physician.

Socinus maintained that there was only God the Father, a single divine being. The Holy Ghost was not a person but a divine force, not God and not coequal to the Father. Jesus Christ was an exceptional man without sin, but not divine. Salvation required a holy life after the example of the man, Jesus Christ. The Scriptures were the only source of truth.

From 1578-79, Socinus attempted to moderate the radical theology of Ferenc David (1510-79) the Unitarian Bishop of Transylvania (Hungary). Upon moving to Krakow, Poland in 1579, Socinus soon found converts to his moderate form of Unitarian theology. He soon took charge of the Polish Brethren, or the Minor Reformed Church that had Anabaptist leanings. Socinus was forced to flee Cracow in 1598 . . .

Summary of the situation:

Anti-Trinitarianism was one of the few heresies that were pursued consistently and vigorously from King Henry VIII to Charles I. There were a number of individuals who suffered death as heretics for their divergent views of the Trinity and of Christ in the eyes of the English Church.

It was under King James I (1603-1625) that public burning of heretics was ended, rather that they would just rot in prison in private. James I had many heretical books burned including a Latin edition of the Racovian catechisme in 1614, a major Unitarian text.

Or The “Biddlerians:” (same source)

John Biddle (1615-1662) and the Biddlians

One of the most prominent figures in the development of English Socinianism in Stuart England was John Biddle (1615-1662) (or Bidle). Biddle is often referred to as the father of English Unitarianism.

Biddle came from a working background. He received some early financial support from Lord Berkeley. Biddle graduated from Magdalen College (Oxford), a B.A. in 1638, and received a M.A. in 1641. He was known for his independence of mind, and scholarship in Greek. Biddle was offered the mastership of the Crypt Free Grammar School at Gloucester in May 1641.

John Biddle was known as a biblical scholar, and became well known for his translations of the Scriptures. In the course of his own scholarly research he became interested in early Church dogma and textual criticism. These studies would led Biddle to reevaluate the current Church theology against his own research based on the earlier Greek and Latin texts of the Scriptures.

Unfortunately for Biddle, he was not discrete about his own research, or his own personal views. In 1644, he was questioned by the local authorities at Gloucester to answer charges brought against him for anti-Trinitarianism views, but he was released on bail. . . .

Biddle than wrote a manuscript entitled: XII Arguments drawn out of the Scriptures (1644) based on his own textual research. Copies of this manuscript fell into the wrong hands and it was traced back to Biddle. These were seized and burned. In 1645, he found himself in jail again, and probably out of a job. Biddle would find himself in and out of prison for most of the rest of his life.

The real crime was independence of thought and challenging authority.  Remember:  Printing press hadn’t been around THAT long . . . .

Parliament had proposed and passed legislation directed at Anti-Trinitarianism heresy punishable by death. The legislation was directed against the growing interest in Socinianism including John Best and John Biddle in particular. Fortunately for Biddle the enforcement of the new legislation lacked any teeth and it soon took a back-seat to the larger political considerations of 1649.

Biddle found solace from 1649-52 in Strattfordshire with friends away from London. Biddle’s translation of The Racovian catechisme (1652) was promptly seized and burned. Biddle was back in prison again.

Many religious prisoners were released under the Act of Oblivion (1651/52) which was passed by Oliver Cromwell. The new legislation provided John Biddle, his friends and others with a new found sense of religious freedom.

These two need balance, but when spirituality is institutionalized, you get religion, which leads back to bondage, and eventually one or another form of murder + martyrs.   I believe that Catholicism and Protestantism need to learn from each other, but have observed, that when they unite, it’s usually against a common enemy, and not with things actually in common.  This keeps the spotlight off their own hypcrisy and, at times, crimes.   And there is definite political motivation in going for the Jesus as God versus a more rational reading of the scriptures.    The excesses of both protestantism and catholicism (whatever those be) in England in the 1500s and 1600s, led to a very fruitful EXODUS.  I’m going to make a difficult point here.

Where did Oliver Cromwell (credited with starting the Irish slave trade and attempted extermination of the population) stand on this theological issue, if he did take theological stances?  Here’s one page of JSTOR on the matter; Here’s a glowing (too “glowing”) account from a “reformation” source..

For a change of pace, a “National Humanities” source, again, very brief summary of the situation:

The Puritans were a varied group of religious reformers who emerged within the Church of England during the middle of the sixteenth century. They shared a common Calvinist theology and common criticisms of the Anglican Church and English society and government. Their numbers and influence grew steadily, culminating in the English Civil War of the 1640s and the rule of Oliver Cromwell in the 1650s. With the restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660, Puritanism went into eclipse in England, largely because the movement was identified with the upheaval and radicalism of the Civil War and Cromwell’s tyrannical government, a virtual military dictatorship.

Can you imagine – civil war 1640s, Cromwell’s dictatorship 1650s, and it’s said he needed a guard to process to his funeral, and back to monarchy in the 1660s.  I’m sitting here setting some of the background of the Declaration of Independence, as history stands to repeat itself, this time with new technology available and in the country of the largest per capital jailor in the world, the USA.

But it persisted for much longer as a vital force in those parts of British North America colonized by two groups of Puritans who gradually cut their ties to the Church of England and formed separate denominations. One group, the Congregationalists, settled Plymouth in the 1620s and then Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, and Rhode Island in the 1630s. Another group, the Presbyterians, who quickly came to dominate the religious life of Scotland and later migrated in large numbers to northern Ireland, also settled many communities in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania during the late seventeenth century and throughout the eighteenth century.

Puritans in both Britain and British North America sought to cleanse the culture of what they regarded as corrupt, sinful practices.

{{cf.  Institute for American Values?? and it’s having secret meetings in Kansas recently, to push marriage as the antidote — and not the cause — of poverty, etc.}}

They believed that the civil government should strictly enforce public morality by prohibiting vices like drunkenness, gambling, ostentatious dress, swearing, and Sabbath-breaking. They also wished to purge churches of every vestige of Roman Catholic ritual and practice—the ruling hierarchies of bishops and cardinals, the elaborate ceremonies in which the clergy wore ornate vestments and repeated prayers from a prescribed liturgy. Accordingly, New England’s Congregational churches were self-governing bodies, answerable to no higher authority; mid-Atlantic Presbyterian churches enjoyed somewhat less autonomy because a hierarchy of “presbyteries” and “synods” made up of leading laymen and clergymen set policy for individual congregations. But both Congregationalist and Presbyterian worship services were simple, even austere, and dominated by long, learned sermons in which their clergy expounded passages from the Bible. Perhaps most important, membership in both churches was limited to the “visibly godly,” meaning those men and women who lead sober and upright lives. New England Congregationalists adopted even stricter standards for admission to their churches—the requirement that each person applying for membership testify publicly to his or her experience of “conversion.”

The key word being “membership.”  Good grief….

http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/eighteen/ekeyinfo/puritan.htm

Puritanism and Predestination

Christine Leigh Heyrman Department of History, University of Delaware

©National Humanities Center

 Here we go on the influence of Calvin, from (a socialist website?).  I’m including because Calvin’s influence of John Knox, who hated the rule of a woman seems appropriate here.  Again, I’m not trying to be scholarly (most of these articles certainly aren’t) but just to shed a little light on just Who and Where some of the current culture wars ideas came from, sorry for those this is repeat information to.  But I have seen so many of these theologies in operation, they each have a different flavor and definitely have different behaviors.  Which in part has affected why we have some of the welfare reform and other legislation:

Why we should know John Calvin

by Lewis Loflin

The influence of John Calvin (1509 – 1564) and his brand of Protestantism can be seen to this day. Calvinism had many profound social implications such as thrift, industry, and hard work are forms of moral virtue and that business (material) success is evidence of God’s grace. These views created a climate favorable to commerce and in the establishment of modern capitalism.

alvin agreed with Luther’s criticisms of the Roman church, and with most of Luther’s fundamental religious ideas, such as justification by faith alone and not by works. (Augustinianism) Calvin also followed Sola Scriptura, the idea that all Christian teachings should be based only he New Testament alone. (I emphasize alone for a good reason.) Calvin along with the invention of the printing press promoted mass literacy. Protestantism in general opened a theological “Pandora’s Box” not just against the Catholic Church, but Protestantism as well.

Both the Lutheran and Anglican (English) Churches became national churches often tied in closely with the governments of various German states and England. Lutheranism would dominate Germany and Scandinavia, but spread little outside those regions while Calvinism had little influence there. Only in the Netherlands and Switzerland would Calvinism dominate. Geneva became the “Rome” of Calvinism where “reformers” would go to learn the faith and spread it all across Europe. Calvin established a theocracy in Genva, a government controlled by religious leaders. One of Calvin’s most inspired students would be the Scotsman John Knox.(1514-1572)

Scotland of the time was still heavily Catholic and had a Catholic queen. (Mary, Queen of Scots, etc.) His conflicts with Protestant Elizabeth I (Knox hated any idea of a woman ruler and wrote Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women in 1558) meant Elizabeth banned him from England, he went to Scotland. It was easy for Knox to gather followers because anti-French (thus anti-Catholic) sentiment was running high. He established Presbyterianism in Scotland. But the conflict between Calvinists (called Puritans in England) and the Church of England and the English throne was just beginning.

To quote: Calvinists refused to recognize the subordination of church to state, or the right of any government—king, parliament, or civic magistracy—to lay down laws for religion. On the contrary, they insisted that true Christians, the elect or godly, should Christianize the state. They wished to remake society itself into the image of a religious community. The bitter struggle within English Protestantism would carry over to America.

Is this starting to sound familiar yet?  (See Iowa Caucuses…)

The Calvinist’ idea of democracy would spread in America minus the Calvinism. They had to end religious strife so the 13 Colonies could ban[d] together to fight the English Throne. At this time the Episcopal (Anglican) and Calvinist’ Churches were by far the largest while all others including the Baptists and Methodists were very small. (They would explode and dominate later on the American frontier.) . . .

The conflict between secular extremism and the so-called Religious Right (culture wars) versus the intentions of American Founders can only be understood by understanding Calvin and his influence. Neither extreme side today be they secular extremists nor Religious Right represent America of 1776. The American Revolution was based indirectly on both Calvinism and a reaction to it.

Understanding Calvin is to understand the absurdities that have plagued Christianity for the last 150 years. While Christian fundamentalists today reject most Calvinist theology, they demand what I’d call social Calvinism. While most reject Calvin’s “TULIP” they desire his theocracy. They see themselves as the elect chosen by God to rule over all others. Oddly the Calvinist style theological democracy is best illustrated today by the Islamic Republic of Iran, a police state.

What I’ve been pointing out here — that while these groups are great at hating those who differ, one common theme is the desire to DOMINATE.  I am flat-out telling you that this is the Trinitarian way; it cannot accept a human, crucified Jesus hero, who was a rebel and critic of the regimes — how could it?  It also is very intolerant of perceived heresy, to the point of murder.  

he most notorious episode in relation to Calvin was the Servetus murder. Calvin would oversee Dr. Servetus’ death for heresy.

the Servetus Murder

In the end Servetus got the last laugh in theology. The Socinians would greatly influence Unitarians, Deists, and John Locke. All would reject the Trinity and the negative, self-loathing theology of Augustinian Original Sin. It was very easy for man by force of will and choice (with guidance from, not fear of, God) could obtain salvation. Calvin’s theocratic democracy would be stripped of Augustine’s theology. Influenced by John Locke and the European Enlightenment, it would produce the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States.

 Well, it’s soon “back to the drawing board” and we are definitely in a “use it or lose it” situation right now.  This same site has a link — only 10 years ago — quoting a Kansas State Senator (female) who said, if she’d been around, she wouldn’t have supported suffrage (women voting):

Senator: Women should not vote

Bristol Herald Courier 9/29/01

The Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan. – A female state senator says if women’s suffrage were being voted on today she would not support it, because the 19th Amendment was the start of a decades-long erosion of family values.

What circular reasoning!  “Family values” means women don’t vote and don’t really work outside the home, ergo letting them do this is eroding “family values” ???

“I’m an old-fashioned woman, Senator. Kay O’Connor told The Kansas City Star. “Men should take care of women, and if men were taking care of women (today) “we wouldn’t have to vote.”

Delores F[u]rtado, co-president of the Johnson County League of Women Voters, had asked the 59 year-old Republican to the league’s “Celebrate the Right to Vote” luncheon, and O’Connor responded: “You probably wouldn’t want me there because of what I would have to say.”

Furtado said she was shocked by O’Connor’s view. As a state senator, Furtado said, “she is the beneficiary of a system she doesn’t support.”

Sounds Republican if not Christian to me….

O’Connor said she does vote. But she said she believes that if men had been protecting the best interests of women, then women would not be forced to cast ballots and serve in the Legislature. Instead, they could stay home, raise families and tend to domestic duties, she said.

The 19th amendment giving all U.S. women the right to vote was ratified in 1920. O’Connor said the amendment began a societal shift that eventually, encouraged women to trade homemaker roles for careers.

Let’s not mention men’s habit of starting wars, like World Wars, creating a need for women to help supply them with weapons, ships, etc. on the home front, and then inbetween wars, re-tool their personality switch to “domestic” again!

As to Cromwell (tolerance is asked for posting pieces and parts — I mean to flag the controversy and relate it to religious intolerance, with or without a monarch).  This is what he did to the Irish  From Conservaopaedia.com (pretty lengthy description of his life, seems more even in tone)

Drogheda

When Drogheda fell to the siege in September 1649, Cromwell’s troops massacred nearly 3,500 people.

Reminds me of 9/11.  Sorry . . . . The number of people who died….

Although this figure comprised around 2,700 royalist soldiers and all the men in the town bearing arms, a concerted propaganda campaign followed which ensured Cromwell was seen as a bloodthirsty tyrant in the national consciousness of Ireland. As recently as the 20th century Irish novelist James Joyce wrote in his novel Ulysses: “What about sanctimonious Cromwell and his ironsides that put the women and children of Drogheda to the sword with the bible text “God is love” pasted round the mouth of his cannon?“.

On September 10-11 his army stormed the town, and killed most of the surviving garrison, which had refused to surrender. Cromwell said that the killing at Drogheda had the goal of encouraging other garrisons to surrender and not fight to the death; indeed it induced some other Irish garrisons to surrender, such as Trim, Ross and Dundalk. In October the garrison at Wexford repulsed Cromwell’s army but was overcome; here again no quarter was given once the garrison refused to surrender, and this time the town was plundered. By the end of the year most of the eastern coast of Ireland was in Cromwell’s hands. Early in 1650 he marched his army inland, ravaging the land and slaughtering the populace regardless of age or sex.

Destroying the power of the Irish Catholics

In 1651 Cromwell’s government adopted a policy of destroying the power of those Irish Catholics who did not become Protestants; they were seen as less than human – dangerous barbarians and potential allies of the Royalists. All Irish landholdings (except in Connacht, which was deemed to be too “barren”) were confiscated, and most of the populace was driven into the wilds of Connacht to die of starvation and pestilence. The proportion of land owned by Catholics fell from 59% in 1641 to 20% in the span of two decades. The goal was to resettle the island with, in his view, more “Godly” Protestants, who were given the best lands, and given near complete control over the remaining Catholics. As a result, the Irish Catholics have hated Cromwell with a passion that continues to this day.

I believe I have posted before on the irish slave trade at this time, from HERE and HERE

Some of which may overlap, but here’s another recounting.  Today, there are different kinds of trafficking going on, and the situation of a woman being freed but her children not sure reminds me of what it’s like attempting to vacate a terrorist marriage, also based (in my case) on religion, and thereafter cause for much deliberation on how supposedly secular sources (like our government, family courts) can produce pretty much the same results, and for profit, too!  You tell me if you have an answer!

A few months later, in 1650, 25,000 Irish were sold to planters in St. Kitt. During the 1650s decade of Cromwell’s Reign of Terror, over 100,000 Irish children, generally from 10 to 14 years old, were taken from Catholic parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In fact, more Irish were sold as slaves to the American colonies and plantations from 1651 to 1660 than the total existing “free” population of the Americas!

But all did not go smoothly with Cromwell’s extermination plan, as Irish slaves revolted in Barbados in 1649. They were hanged, drawn and quartered and their heads were put on pikes, prominently displayed around Bridgetown as a warning to others. Cromwell then fought two quick wars against the Dutch in 1651, and thereafter monopolized the slave trade. Four years later he seized Jamaica from Spain, which then became the center of the English slave trade in the Caribbean.

On 14 August 1652, Cromwell began his Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland, ordering that the Irish were to be transported overseas, starting with 12,000 Irish prisoners sold to Barbados. The infamous “Connaught or Hell” proclamation was issued on 1 May 1654, where all Irish were ordered to be removed from their lands and relocated west of the Shannon or be transported to the West Indies. Those who have been to County Clare, a land of barren rock will understand what an impossible position such an order placed the Irish.

In memory of all those who have died and suffered

as a result of Slavery and the loss of liberty, wherever they came from, may they rest in peace

Let’s not vote for, or settle for, things that accommodate slavery based on religious views, OK?  Let’s consider letting JUST a few (like up to 50-51%) of women hit the seats of Congress, and how not to require a person to be some sort of millionaire to get there.  Let’s consider the ERA (really!), and then see if for every independent woman, there wouldn’t be another bitter or abandoned woman ready to play #2 and do the dirty work towards biological mother for him (it happens!) Let’s establish some peace around here, and have a little more time for literacy among the rest of the population that isn’t planning the next global perfection (remind me to stop by the San Francisco Praesidio and see “Futures Without Violence” close up….), instead of trying to shove indoctrination down our throats and at our expense about what to believe about men & women.

OK?

And please read this, about the history of Carlism, with which I believe Opus Dei is associated.  I picked up that part of the Bourbon monarchy was opposition to female rulers (see above, John Knox, etc.)

http://opentabernacle.wordpress.com/2010/01/16/carlism-and-the-catholic-right-2/

Carlism is a political philosophy originally developed to help reestablish the Bourbon monarchy in Spain. First emerging as political force in the 1830s, it was primarily a reaction to the increasingly progressive rules of Charles III (1759-1788) and Charles IV (1788-1808), notably the latter’s pressure on the Church to sell its property for government revenue. Similar events continued to created tension between the monarchy and the Church.

As Spain became less theocratic forces such as the Carlists, among others, engaged sometime violent struggles to impose a Bourbon monarchy that would bind the church and state as one. Between the 1830s and the Spanish Civil, five separate Carlists made claims to the Spanish throne (the Carlist label is derived from followers of Don Carlos, son of Carlos IV who initially challenged the non-salic** ascendancy of Isabella II to the Spanish throne in 1833). Its efforts cumulated in the fascist-instigated Civil War lasting from 1936 through 1939.

While there are variations of this political philosophy two of its common hallmarks should stand out to those who are concerned about theocratic trends in the world. First, it sees ultra-orthodox Catholicism as the cornerstone of the state. Secondly, sovereignty is vested not with the people, but with a monarch, who in turn is answerable only to the Catholic Church.  Whether it be full-blown Carlists or those whose political vision is only influenced by it, these are the two commonly held themes that appear in their various pronouncements.

I found the part about “salic law” (new to me — to you?) interesting.  Among other things, it represents opposition to female inheritance or ascendancy to rulership.  Think about King Henry VIII, England, who was somehow not getting those Y chromosomes in place to produce a male heir, and the Anglican church in that context, huh?  It has immense significance.

Wikipedia on this:

Salic law (English pronunciation: /ˈsælɨk/ or /ˈseɪlɨk/; Latin: Lex Salica) or Salian Law was the major body of Frankish law in force governing all the Franks of Frankia under the rule of its kings during the Old Frankish Period, approximately equal to the early Middle Ages. The laws were maintained in written form in the Latin language by a committee empowered by the monarch. Dozens of manuscripts dated from the 8th century of a putative original recension in the 6th century and three surviving emendations as late as the 9th century have survived. Many more did not survive.[1]

The best known tenet of Salic law is agnatic succession, the rule excluding females from the inheritance of a throne or fief. Indeed, “Salic law” has often been used simply as a synonym for agnatic succession. But the importance of Salic law extends beyond the rules of inheritance, as it is a direct ancestor of the systems of law in many parts of Europe today. . . .

In its use by hereditary monarchies since the 15th century, aiming at agnatic succession, the Salic law is regarded as excluding all females from the succession as well as prohibiting succession rights to transfer through any woman. At least two systems of hereditary succession are direct and full applications of the Salic Law: agnatic seniority and agnatic primogeniture.

 …From the Middle Ages, we have one practical system of succession in cognatic male primogeniture, which actually fulfills apparent stipulations of original Salic law: succession is allowed also through female lines, but excludes the females themselves in favour of their sons. For example, a grandfather, without sons, is succeeded by his grandson, a son of his daughter, when the daughter in question is still alive. Or an uncle, without his own children, is succeeded by his nephew, a son of his sister, when the sister in question is still alive.Strictly seen, this fulfills the Salic condition of “no land comes to a woman, but the land comes to the male sex”.

– – WOW.  I don’t know how to express this, but it seems to have been operational procedure in my own family line (who are not religious).  I did not expect this belief system to come from either a nonreligious or a supposedly well-educated sector of my own family line; i.e., marital status pre-empts character, performance, and other laws — operationally at least.   Listen:

General law

The law of Charlemagne was based on Salic Law, an influence as great as that of Greece and Rome. Through that connection, Salic law has had a formative influence on the tradition of statute law that has extended since then to modern times in Central Europe, especially in the German states, France,Belgium, the Netherlands, parts of Italy, Austria and Hungary, Romania, and the Balkans.

The Salic Law codified inheritance, crime, and murder. In a kingdom with many ethnic groups, each expected to be governed under its own law. The detailed laws established damages to be paid and fines levied in recompense of injuries to persons and damage to goods, e.g., slaves, theft, and unprovoked insults. One-third of the fine paid court costs. Judicial interpretation was by a jury of peers. These laws and their interpretations grant insight to Frankish society; Salic Law establishes that an individual person is legally unprotected by law if he or she does not belong to a family.

Practically speaking this is about how US law is operation, particularly in the family custody realm.  HOWEVER, technically speaking, in THEORY, we have INDIVIDUAL rights in this country (ha, ha, ha!)

The most formative (geo-)political aspect of Salic inheritance law for Europe’s history was its equal division of land amongst all living male children in opposition to primogeniture. This caused not only the break-up of the Carolingian Empire amongst Charlemagne’s grandsons (under the Treaty of Verdun), but many kingdoms during the medieval period

It seems to have degnerated into application whenever there was a need to rule out a certain monarch from taking the throne; accordingly salic law (no women) was in, out, or more rigidly interpreted (this is all still Wikipedia):

In 1328, at latest, the Salic Law needed a further interpretation to forbid not only inheritance by a woman, but inheritance through a female line, in order to bar the male Edward III of England, descendant of French kings through his mother Isabel of France, from the succession. When the Direct Capetian line ended, the law was contested by England, providing a putative motive for the Hundred Years’ War.

 Translation:  women need to be eliminated from inheritance to suit the plans of competing monarchs, thereby resulting in wars…..  Here we are coming 9not that I care about all these competing monarchs from the past) closer to Talk2Action’s (I think progressive Catholic?) writer who is concerned about Opus Dei and ultra-orthodox movements within Catholicism TODAY:  See quote, above.

A number of military conflicts in European history have stemmed from the application of, or disregard for, Salic law. The Carlist Wars occurred in Spain over the question of whether the heir to the throne should be a female or a male relative. The War of the Austrian Succession was triggered by the Pragmatic Sanction in which Charles VI of Austria, who himself had inherited the Austrian patrimony over his nieces as a result of Salic law, attempted to ensure the inheritance directly to his own daughter Maria Theresa of Austria, this being an example of an operation of the Semi-Salic law.

 It looks like Salic Law kind of settled in the Netherlands:  “As a remnant of Salic law, the office of the reigning monarch of the Netherlands is always formally known as ‘King’ even though her title may be ‘Queen’. ”  But I believe it influences us today.
From Talk2Action// Open Tabernacle (wordpress blog)’s talk about Carlists // Opus Dei connections:

Are There American Carlists? Carlism has had varying influence on different members of the Catholic Right. Its truest adherents are found in groups such as Tradition, Family and Property and individuals such as Dr. Alexandra Wilhelmsen. Although not full-blown Carlists or even identifying themselves with the Carlist name, its influence is clearly present in the elitist writings of theoconservatives such as John Neuhaus, Robert H. Bork and to a lesser extent, George Weigel.

Carlism’s influence is also found in varying degrees among Opus Dei members and cooperators It’s founder, Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer was openly Carlist

The first component of the Carlist maxim, “God,” implied an acceptance of the traditional sacral view of society inherited from the Middle Ages and still quite prevalent in Spain throughout the nineteenth century. Carlists advocated a renewed commitment by all branches of the government to Christian beliefs and ethics. The “Dios” of their motto, stemming from a strong Catholic tradition strengthened during the struggle against Islam, carried four main themes: confessionality of the State, religious unity of the nation, close collaboration between Church and State, and independence of the Church.(ii)

These common attitudes of “struggle,” “religious unity” and “church independence”–something more progressive Catholics view as a lack of accountability–are infused into much of the leadership of the more extreme elements of the Catholic Right. They were clearly apparent forty years ago when L. Brent Bozzell roared, “The Catholic Church in America must forthrightly acknowledge that a state of war exists between herself and the American political order” or when Institute on Religion and Democracy Board member John Neuhaus openly questions the legitimacy of American government because of its pluralism and when Robert H. Bork in his book Slouching Towards Gomorrah bemoans Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence. Esoterically, what today’s Carlists or neo-Carlists are saying is that they want a society where even non-Catholics are bound by their subjective, but ultra-orthodox interpretations of Thomistic morality.

. . . The world is hostile to the Church,” he wrote in 1968, “because the world is secularist and the Church must sacramentalize the whole of existence. A sacral world is one with the Faith’s perpetual rejection of Manicheanism and of any dualism that sharpely(sic) divorces the sacred from the profane.” (iv) (emphasis added) Dr. Alexandra Wilhelmsen’s quote is telling for several reasons. First and foremost is her description of Franco’s Nationalist forces, with its Nazi and Fascist benefactors, as “liberators.” But it also illustrates the inconsistency in Carlist-inspired orthodoxy. For example, many in this school, from Donald D’Elia to Romano Guardini to Robert H. Bork–much like their more secular Straussian brethren–warn of Nazi-styled nihilism pervading modern society. Yet in idealizing Franco’s Spain they fail to recognize how both Hitler and Mussolini played vital roles in establishing a Falangist regime on the Iberian penninsula.

 

CLOSING PARAGRAPHS from The FreeRepublic site:

For those who would have Americans bow before monarchs, only the obvious need be stated: we abrogated such loyalties at Yorktown more than two hundred years ago. Similarly, for those who would make us subject to “benign” tyrants, history has demonstrated that there is no such thing. Tyrants by their very nature are far from benign. It is why we stood up to the likes of Kaiser Wilhelm, Hitler and Stalin.

But we must once again return to admonition of Jesuit priest Wilfred Parsons: “‘The great tragedy of Spain was that in the nineteenth century the working masses apostatized from the Church, as Pope Plus X once remarked. And, it is well to remember, it was poverty, destitution and injustice which made them apostatize. They got to hate the Church because they hated the friends of the Church, who exploited them and whom the Church did nothing to rebuke or correct.”

Among those hated “friends of the Church” described by Parsons were the Carlists and other pompous plutocrats who place their exalted position on Earth well above the common good. And while many on the Catholic Right are not calling for a return to monarchy, they are influenced by the Carlism’s core notion: a nation answers not to the will of a pluralistic people, but to the will of Vatican law. It is at the heart of George Weigel’s recent declaration, “Europe’s crisis of civilizational morale teaches us that, while there are many lenses through which history can be read, theological lenses help us to see deeper, farther, and more truly.” (vi) When Weigel speaks of “consent” he is more concerned with religious authority than with vox populi.

Unfortunately, Carlism’s American heirs–George Weigel, Thomas Monaghan and John Neuhaus–all believe in a society not built upon the meritocracy of the common citizen, but of one that unjustly gives deference to birthright and privilege. If they were ever to succeed it would end the noble experiment of American democracy as generations have known it. Then the last best hope for mankind would take a giant step back into the Dark Ages.

And that is just what the Carlists want.

(phew — now this post is done!  FYI, they take sometimes a full day to pull together.  I don’t like just requoting the obvious; obviously, I like to report on what have found, and supplement by finding some more at the same time.  Current goal is 24 posts in 24 days (for January) and after that, another form of communication — or another form of life which isn’t all “advocacy” focused.

Written by Let's Get Honest

January 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm

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  1. Some of my dates are wrong on Servetus, or the article I quoted had it wrong, implying he was executed (burned) in 1533:

    “He also began, in 1546, a fateful secret correspondence with his old acquaintance, John Calvin.”

    I leave it to interested readers to straighten this out easily enough.

    familycourtmatters

    January 5, 2012 at 10:17 am

  2. I’ve quoted from a Talk2Action article by “Frank Cocozelli” on Opus Dei.

    http://www.talk2action.org/story/2006/8/12/102839/012
    Notice it is written in 2006. Basically, the call to sanctify all of life — versus set apart rituals and times to act sanctified, and also professional priests, etc. — is true of the Christian call. The big difference is that while the gospel message is to appeal to the heart, “The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance” and to the individual — the religious (inappropriate) MISuse of the message is to become obsessed with converting others by force, i.e., sword. As such, this is no different than any other kind of terrorism, expansionism, imperialism, etc. — whenever did these not have some “god” at the head to unify the troops?

    Here’s a large clip of the section by Mr. Cocozelli, and I thank him for his research:
    Also note that a prominent Opus Dei Bishop, “Father Finn” has made news for covering up of molestation by another priest. In this link, there is a link to letters concerned parents wrote about this priest’s behavior to the principal of the school. Father Finn apparently cut a deal with the prosecutors to cut short criminal prosecuting of himself for nonreporting (as a mandatory reporter) and doing nothing to stop this abuse & molestation of youngsters.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Although Jesuits from Connecticut and Colorado are under fire for their role in supporting The Haiti Fund (to run institutions with a culture of molestation of boys under their charge), remember (recent post) how a young man recruited into Opus Dei in the Philippines stated that the Jesuits were considered dangerously liberal by this group! Also, recall they were not above censoring reading material for their members, and in general, teaching group leaders to monitor and control members.

    I first ran across the term “Opus Dei” myself while looking on-line to find a “Cease and Desist” letter for a VERY troublesome situation; the sample letter given was addressed to Opus Dei members attempting to recruit; it may have been from the Boston situation, I DNR.

    So here we go, on the role of this group in Fascism & re: World War II.
    Talk2Action — like “CourthouseNews.com” — is a site to watch.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    The Catholic Right, Part Two: An Introduction To The Role Of Opus Dei
    Frank Cocozzelli (Tue May 16, 2006)

    This series began with a quote from the Jesuit priest Wilfrid Parsons. Using nineteenth century Spain as an example, he explained how it is often the powerful friends of the Catholic Church who are the primary cause of apostasy. It is those who exploit the less powerful by using the cloak of religion to disguise their pursuit of unjustifiable, disproportionate power and pecuniary gain who cause the working class and the intellectual to despise the Church.

    In order to fully understand the heart of Catholic theological conservatism, one must understand an organization that exists within the Catholic Church, Opus Dei. When its core beliefs and strategies are fully examined, then the goals of ultra-conservative Catholicism can be better understood. Hopefully this installment will provide the reader with an introduction to this very secret society while refuting some the inaccuracies surrounding its workings, much of which is due to the publicity over Dan Brown’s book, The DaVinci Code.

    Note: Since this subject of the Catholic Right is more complex than I had originally imagined, I’ve decided to expand the series beyond the originally intended four parts. Therefore, until I believe that all the major points of interest are covered, the series will continue.

    Opus Dei, literally meaning “The Work of God” was founded in Spain 1928 by the priest Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer. He based its mission upon the idea that lay Catholics could achieve holiness without entering a religious order. Instead it could be extended to their everyday work, attaining it through a combination of prayer, principle and unquestioned adherence to Catholic teachings on all social issues–including those frowning upon religious dissent. Over the last twenty years its influence has grown significantly in the United States. National Catholic Reporter correspondent John L. Allen has identified Bishop Robert Finn of the Kansas City and St. Joseph, Bishop Nicholas DeMarzio of Brooklyn and Queens, Archbishop John Myers of Newark, and Archbishop José Gomez of San Antonio as having strong links to Opus Dei.
    It is no accident that Opus Dei coalesced in Franco’s Spain. Even today rumors and stories persist about its involvement with Francisco Franco’s forces from 1936 through 1939. This should be no surprise since Iberian Catholicism has constantly flirted with extremism. It was fanatical enough to produce the Spanish Inquisition whereby all dissent was brutally stifled. It built and controlled a global empire that lasted until 1898. The Spanish monarchy had applied its particular brand of Catholicism with continued zealous fervor in its New World colonies. Native Americans who refused to accept conversion were often maimed and brutally murdered

    From the time of the expulsion of the Moors until the rise of the Republican government in the 1930s, a monarchy, often Carlist in nature ruled (as later installments of this series will explain, how Carlist influences, with its opposition to modernism, figures prominently in the mindset of much of the extremer elements of the American Catholic Right). The Moorish occupation left many Spaniards, especially the monarchy, with an almost fanatical brand of Catholicism that favored the wealthy while mostly ignoring the impoverished. These were the “nefarious friends of the Church” Reverend Parsons warned about. When Spanish democracy finally did emerge in the early twentieth century, it was plagued by communists trying to take power from the inside and fascists exerting pressure from the outside It had no real chance to survive its growing pains: Franco, with help from Hitler and Mussolini, saw to that. On a parallel plane, Opus Dei’s ultra-conservatism and pro-monarchy views put it squarely in the Republicans’ line of fire. The group survived the war (mostly exiled in Rome) and was able to then grow unmolested under Franco’s fascist regime.

    The danger that a politically active Opus Dei membership currently represents to liberal democracy is not from assassinations by imaginary albino monks (for the record, there are no Opus Dei monks), but in its very Plutocratic attitude in abhorring dissent. And just as it is with other Church friends that have caused apostasy, Opus Dei is openly more concerned with the economic self-interest of “friends” who already have superfluous wealth and power, often at the expense of the economically less powerful. They are not ashamed of the organization’s wealth, but are actually conspicuous about it as evidenced by its new seventeen-story 243 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York headquarters. When it opened in 2001 The New York Daily News pegged its value at $42 million. It is the antitheses of the Catholic Worker beliefs of Dorothy Day as well as the liberal economics of distributive justice advocate Monsignor John A, Ryan.

    familycourtmatters

    January 5, 2012 at 10:33 am


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martinplaut

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