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Re: A southern Baptist

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  • lady_caritas
    ... Hello, Tony. Yes, the Newsroom at this site is particularly good, . . really scary. :-) Even though not specifically a religious satirical site,
    Message 1 of 10 , Oct 16, 2002
      --- In gnosticism2@y..., AJRoberti@a... wrote:
      > Hello,
      > > http://www.landoverbaptist.org
      > I also recommend an associated site:
      > http://www.whitehouse.org
      > Both scary *and* funny.
      > Tony Roberti

      Hello, Tony. Yes, the "Newsroom" at this site is particularly
      good, . . really "scary." :-) Even though not specifically a
      religious satirical site, there are nonetheless plenty of jabs at
      fundamentalism. This brings home the reality that a modern notion of
      completely separating church and state is a tough one to implement.
      The influence of fundamentalism nowadays is particularly pervasive.

      I'm reminded of Dr. Hoeller's comments, in an article we've discussed
      before, regarding political confusion. It seems that even esoteric
      Gnostics weren't left alone by some moderns, who, obviously confused
      about any ties to historical Gnosticism, liked to blame so-
      called "new Gnostics" for modern totalitarian ideologies.


      From the article:

      "A Political Confusion

      One of the most confusing voices comes from the discipline of
      political science. In his Walgreen Lectures at the University of
      Chicago in 1951, émigré scholar Eric Voegelin rose to the defense of
      what he called the "classic and Christian tradition" against what he
      perceived as the "growth of Gnosticism." This opening salvo was
      followed by such books as The New Science of Politics, the
      multivolume Order and History, and Science, Politics, and Gnosticism.
      Voegelin became a prophet of a new theory of history, in which
      Gnosticism played a most nefarious role. All modern totalitarian
      ideologies were in some way spiritually related to Gnosticism, said
      Voegelin. Marxists, Nazis, and just about everybody else the good
      professor found reprehensible were in reality Gnostics, engaged
      in "immanentizing the eschaton" by reconstituting society into a
      heaven on earth. Since Gnostics did not accept the conventional
      Christian eschaton of heaven and hell, Voegelin concluded that they
      must be engaged in a millenarian revolutionizing of earthly
      existence. At the same time, Voegelin was bound to admit that the
      Gnostics regarded the earthly realm as generally hopeless and
      unredeemable. One wonders how the unredeemable earthly kingdom could
      be turned into the "immanentized eschaton" of an earthly utopia. That
      Voegelin's new Gnostics had no knowledge of or sympathy with
      historical Gnosticism did not bother him either. Gnostics they were,
      and that was that.

      Voegelin's confusion was made worse by a number of conservative
      political thinkers, mainly with Catholic connections. Thomas Molnar,
      Tilo Schabert, and Steven A. McKnight followed Voegelin's theories
      despite their obvious inconsistencies. In Molnar's view, Gnostics
      were not only responsible for all modern utopianism, but also for the
      inordinate attachment of modern people to science and technology. The
      scientific world view, said these folk, is in fact a Gnostic world
      view, and it is responsible for treating humans as machines and for
      making societies into machinelike collectives.

      The politicized view of Gnosticism continues to have its adherents,
      but these are increasingly recruited from the lunatic fringe.
      Gnostics are still represented as dangerous subversives in pulp
      magazines and obscure conspiracy pamphlets "exposing" Freemasons,
      Satanists, and other pests. Meanwhile, respectable conservative
      thinkers have dropped the Gnostic issue. Some, like scholar and
      former U.S. Senator S.I. Hayakawa, have subjected Voegelin and his
      theories to severe criticism and ridicule."
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