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placton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-05 01:13 PM
Original message
Martin Luther Would Be Rolling Over
if he observed the current state of Protestantism displayed by the RW religious crazies.

As I understand it, Luther split from the Roman Catholic Church because he believed each person should read the Bible, and then interpret it for her/him self. That's really the reason why I, after 30 or so years as a Catholic (and time studying for the priesthood) because a Protestant.

Luther felt that the Church hierarchy was interpreting the Bible for the faithful, often in ways that did not reflect Biblical teachings. Instead, they reflected what the bishops, cardinals, and local royalty wanted to be taught. Primarily, that was unthinking loyalty to the established order. Can you say "Divine Right of Kings"? That way, the Church got to make post toasties of "heretics," and the nobles got serfs, the right to bed virgins before their husbands on their wedding nights, and the entire profit of everyone else's labor - with lots going to those same prelates who were torching those who criticized them.

Now, we are right back where the Reformation started: a small group of prelates interpreting the Bible for the rubes, and the nobles amassing all the wealth while the aforementioned rubes live in their hovels, and work for the man. Before the Reformation, and the current counter-reformation (yeah, I know there was ANOTHER counter-Reformation a few hundred years ago), the rubes could brew/distill their own booze and beer, and stay pleasantly stoned during their short and brutish lives of toil and devotion to the rich Church-Meister's (no women allowed, except for sex and cleaning up after the guys).

Maybe we need to start reminding our fundie brethren where they came from, and how Falwell and Robertson would have been named Borgia hundreds of years ago - like the Borgia Pope who nicely combined temporal and spiritual power in his own person.

Tune in later for an extended screed about John Calvin, the real religious hero of the Bush Christian.
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tjdee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-05 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. Ugh, John Calvin.
I am with you on that one.
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placton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-05 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. THE PURPOSE FILLED LIFE
which everyone is raving about is written by a Calvin devotee - although a really nice one. Predestination and the whole 9 yards - just like Jesus taught.
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-05 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Interesting
Ive been wondering what the purpose driven life was about, but I havent had the stomach to find a copy to read.

Is it essentially calvinistic? Or is that just one componant? Does anyone know if it is worth reading for the sake of understanding these people?
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placton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-05 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. to start with, Go to Amazon
and read the reviews there. The author is pastor of one of those huge fundie non-denominatioal churches. The book has some good things to say, but is a Trojan Horse for Calvinistic theories. My liberal minister based a recent devotional on this, and did not realize the real tone of the writer.

There are some truly good things in the book, which basically teaches that one should have a great over-riding purpose in life; the author of course suggests that be God - or his version of God.
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tubbacheez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-05 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. Maybe this it a cyclical process. Maybe biblical interpretation needs...
... a good housecleaning every couple centuries.


Maybe Christianity itself (and perhaps other religions as well) has a built-in tendency to establish this saw-tooth wave pattern.

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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-05 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. I see it more as this.
Edited on Thu Mar-31-05 01:35 PM by K-W
As long as we have an authoritarian social structure, relgion, as well as almost everything else attempted by society will become warped and corrupted by it. Resetting simply wont hack it.
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placton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-05 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Again, the genius of the Founders
was to bar religion from politics. Despite their slaveholding, monied interest backgrounds, those dudes had some great ideas.
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tubbacheez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-05 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. It's possible both our points are aspects of the same phenomenon.
Politics is rather insidious.

Wherever people gravitate toward something positive, sooner or later some individuals show up and try to organize it for greater effect.

Then organizations grow and merge until authority, power, and money start to become quite substantial.

Then once these things are recognized as influential and therefore politically powerful entities, they start playing the same political games with the governmental entities.



All during this process, sure, virtuous individuals can stave off these authoritarian forces and counter the corruption of the original positive thing. Similarly, the involvement of other individuals may accelerate this process.


And when the system gets so obviously messed up that the original positive thing is totally at odds with its would-be organization, some bright rebel comes along and makes a clean break.

And the process is poised to begin anew.

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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-05 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
4. Luther both intepreted and redacted
sorry.
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-05 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
5. And dont forget the role empire plays in this.
One of Luther's biggest problems with the church was the economy of it. He complained of money streaming out of Germany to Rome. The Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire were running an imperial racket.

Luther didnt like protestantism during his time. He didnt intend for christianity to become a personal religion or a religion of sects. He wanted a centralized church, he just wanted a more democratic church based on a bible.

But it really depends on which Martin Luther was around, if we got crazy stuck in a tower Martin Luther, who knows what hed think.
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-05 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. Speaking of Martin Luther, have you ever seen this?
It came out in 2003, but I don't remember it being in the theaters.


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0309820 /

We rented it recently and it was pretty good. It covered a lot of the issues you mention in your post. It's a fairly sympathetic portrayal. Decent script, and a couple of outstanding performances (Fiennes as Luther and Ustinov as Frederick were particularly good). Really great period atmosphere, sets, cinematography, etc...
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-05 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. No, I havent, perhaps I will check it out, thanks. EOM
Edited on Thu Mar-31-05 01:48 PM by K-W
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-05 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
6. There always were
certain sects everyone wanted to wipe out. America protects them here but imagination and gratitude are not among their virtues.

It is more a Cathari situation when a cult of nobility with various secret agendas together with their thugs and power run roughshod over the majority. The Albigensian Crusade wiped them out. However strange those times might seem to us the present madness beggars the ability to describe it. The safe boundaries of American diversities and rights makes an ill-suited playground for fanatics, but there they are and there is the institutional media putting them center ring for blatant political benefit against the wishes of the majority.
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