Re: A southern Baptist
- --- In gnosticism2@y..., AJRoberti@a... wrote:
> Hello,Hello, Tony. Yes, the "Newsroom" at this site is particularly
> > http://www.landoverbaptist.org
> I also recommend an associated site:
> Both scary *and* funny.
> Tony Roberti
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."