Monday, May 12, 2008

On sources of information

photo © Lee for CC:Attribution-ShareAlike

It's a funny thing I've noticed lately. I've been in contact with a number of women who oppose the Patriocentric teachings. I've followed their blogs, listened to their podcasts, conversed with them over e-mail. Now, I'm a Catholic, which means I don't believe in Sola Scriptura, and while I believe that one can't earn their way into heaven, I also believe that faith without active work in the world is dead, or perhaps not there at all. These are point on which we can, and do I belive, agree to disagree.

What bothers me is when these women talk intelligently and sincerely about how the Patriocentric leaders use mind control techniques to control people, and how they reject them, and yet when another leader/teacher tells them something they still seem to accept it with no further examination. I'm not saying all teachers are wrong, or all teachers are right, but when you use a word in a way that only has meaning to an in group, that's a thought-stopping cliche regardless of the source. Or, as Cindy Kunsman, one of the very wise women I've found on my wanderings puts it:
"Patriarchy and the Family Integrated Church crowd often use connotation and neologism to communicate a concept without all the negative connotation, but they get their ideas across. How do they do that? This is a response that I posted elsewhere online in response to a comment of the use of the term "non-normative" as a term that is understood to be "sin." Likewise, in a positive sense, the word "Biblical" is also used to connotate anything that is unquestionably good. Here is the response that I gave, basically as a demonstration of how Cialdini's "weapons of influence" can be used against us in religious or worship settings and how neologism and connotation play into this subtle form of manipulation."

- Found on the Under Much Grace blog

So, as I understand it, they use the term "non-normative", usually in terms of behavior or ideas, to mean something bad or sinful. That way they can say "Well, I never said it was a sin, as the Bible defines sin, now, did I" We hear "non-normative" and think "not normal = bad". Same thing with "biblical". Biblical usually equalls good, the right thing to do, right? Everyone wants to be good and do the right thing, right? So they can say, "I never said that was the only way to be, I never said something else was wrong, now, did I"? It's as if "Biblical" and "Non-Normative" are inside catch phrases, they mean one thing to the in-crowd, officially, but are key words for "right" and "wrong" to the rest of us. Ask them what they mean, and they'll give you their definition, but it doesn't match the rest of the world. The idea, as I understand it, is they they are doing this deliberately, as a means of control.

My opinion, more than likely from growing up in the center of a triangle composed of three military bases and three language and intelligence school, and having once followed a religion where words and definitions mattered in a huge way, if someone is snowing you with the definitions, odds are they're manipulating the data as well, to try to influence your decision making. If someone starts pulling the "X really means Y, but instead of saying Y we're going to say X and say it means Z when pressed, just to mess with control you." stop trusting anything that comes out of their mouth. Double check every fact against a non-affiliated source. If it's a political party, find a neutral source. If it's a university, find a different one. If it's a church, find a non-church related source.

Yes, a non-church source. The way they all share data and information from the same writers these days you have to go outside the Protestant/Evangelical/Fundamentalist faith. The only way to double check is to go to another faith or a secular source.

Now, let me address a term I've heard bandied about quite often. "Romanist". It's bandied about certain religious circles, usually opposing the word Protestant. When pressed for the definition of Romanist, at one point I got this definition:
the Romanist concept holds that salvation must be kept or earned or merited through works of some type
Now, from everything I've read, that's a pretty good summation of what the term Romanist is supposed to mean. As opposed to the Protestant concept which holds that:

"Those whom God effectually calls, he also freely justifies: not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God"

Which is from the Westminister Confession, and near as I can figure means that you get salvation simply as a gift from God, nothing you do influences it, you need only ask and believe.

I have no clue which is right, none of us will know until after we die. I'm not writing this to push one view over the other. I'm writing this to say that these people are using the term "Romanist" as a thought-stopping cliche.

To the rest of the world, "Romanist" is a pejorative:

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online

Main Entry: Ro·man·ist Listen to the pronunciation of Romanist
Pronunciation: \-nist\
Function: noun
Date: 1523

1often offensive : roman catholic
: a specialist in the language, culture, or law of ancient Rome
Romanist or Ro·man·is·tic Listen to the pronunciation of Romanistic \ˌrō-mə-ˈnis-tik\ adjective

From the Free Online Dictionary

Ro·man·ist (rm-nst)
1. Offensive One who professes Roman Catholicism.
2. A student of or authority on ancient Roman law, culture, and institutions.

From Wikipedia


(Redirected from Romanist)

The words Romanism and Romanist are used in three different contexts.


Roman Catholicism

Romanism was a word used as a derogatory term for Roman Catholicism in the past when anti-Catholicism was more common in the United States and the United Kingdom. It is still used, though rarely, by anti-Catholics.

See also

But, but, Romanist just means believing in salvation through works, instead of salvation through faith alone, it's not something bad. Yes, and Non-Normative just means doing aganist the norm, instead of in the normal manner. It's not something bad.

I contend that "Romanist" is being used as a thought-stopping cliche, meant to mean something bad. And that is a source is using a thought-stopping cliche, you need to start double checking their facts, because you can no longer trust them not to spin them to manipulate your decisions. Period. Even if you spent a lot of money on that class.

Now why am I ranting about this now?

Because this crossed one of my all-time favorite blogs:
This is probably veering off topic, but someone here mentioned the Artemis Cult (I think) in an earlier comment and it sparked me to study it. The funny thing about the Artemis Cult (which was huge in Ephesus during 1+2 Timothy and Acts 19) is that it was very focused not only on sex, but on fertility, with the God Artemis or to the Romans, Diana, and the pagans worshipped her for her blessing of fertility. She also would arbitrarily kill a women in childbirth or the child, so there was a culture of fear with the pagans.
I didn't say that, but I'm not attributing the quote because I think the person who made it is honestly mistaken, and I don't want to send any mess her way.

Now, I've studied a lot of various religions in my time. For a number of years I made a special study of the Aretmis Cult. I've never found that, anywhere. It was focused on sex and on fertility, yes, but I never, ever read anywhere that they sacrificed children, or babied from the womb. I've been looking all night and I can't find a single non-I hope the source of that quote shares her sources, I do. I could be wrong, but it wouldn't surprise me to find that it came from the same Protestant/Evangelical/Fundamentalist source as the people who use the term "Romanist". And that they made it up as propaganda, as a form of control.

People who will used one form of thought manipulation will use others. Double check them before you put your faith in them. Double check them with sources that have nothing to gain from your allegiance, be it money or labor or even the energy that comes from having followers. God gave you a brain, use it.