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April 26, 2004

Comments

annika

Yet another great post Hugo!

Hugo

Thank you, my dear!

Rhesa

Good post. =)

John

Indeed. ;-)

The Angry Clam

And you were worried you wouldn't fit in with the "highminded" Cliopatria...

Great job again.

Ralph Luker

As far as we are concerned, Hugo makes Cliopatria "highminded."

John Sloas

I'm not liberal or conservative. I find myself not fitting into any nice little boxes. Peace to you.

Lawrence Krubner

Slightly off-topic, but this line jumped out at me:

"This is why I can't merely allow myself to hunt and peck through Scripture, finding passages that support my already-in-place suppositions about justice. (Many liberal and conservative Christians alike do this; it's an understandable habit, but a bad one)."

Christopher Hill, in his book The World Turned Upside Down: Radical ideas during the English Revolution, mentions how the rank and file of the new religious movements were often hostile to professional or well trained preachers, at least in part because the preachers could quote disagreeable parts of the Bible. The rank and file of the new movements liked to pick out the parts of the Bible that justified their own beliefs, and they did not like being reminded of those portions of the Bible that held ideas contrary to their own.

Some historians have suggested the Reformation was the natural consequence of the invention of the printing press - that once people were able to own and read their own copy of the Bible, it was natural that they should begin to have their own opinions about it. I've no idea if this is true of the Reformation, but it does seem to have been a fact of the English Revolution - more and more people were getting their own exposure to the Bible, and forming their own opinions of it, some quite wild.

http://www.krubner.com/index.php?pageId=2343

Hugo

I've heard much the same sort of thing, Lawrence -- and it has bedeviled Protestantism ever since. That's why Mennonites have an almost Catholic reverence for the role of the community in exegetical work; otherwise, we all "proof-text" away.

Tyler Watson

Hugo, thank you for posting this. I find myself in a similar state of limbo concerning the American political scene. I heard Jim Wallis of Sojourners giving an interview on talk-radio and the host - who happened to be conservative - did not know what to do with him. Wallis did not fit into her boxes. Because he was against the war and actively fighting poverty she assumed that he was Pro-Choice and against Judeo-Christian ethics. But when he said he was for faith-based initiatives and quoted the Bible as the source of his ethical stances, she was even more confused. Though I could only hear the voices, I had a vivid image of the host's face scrunched up in confusion. The interview and your post are helpful reminders that I am not alone and that Jesus' words are still revolutionary.

Jonathan Dresner

Just a thought on the problem of categorization. If your political beliefs stem entirely from your faith, why use the categories of "right" and "left" which carry such secular baggage and which is a terribly simplistic rubric to begin with.

Hugo

Fair enough, Jonathan -- I use them because they have so infected our discourse that it is almost impossible NOT to use them. They can be useful labels, but ultimately constraining ones.

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