Category Archives: Religion

UPDATED: It’s All So Emotional: The Origins Of Our Degenerate, Therapeutic Culture

Christianity, Culture, Pop-Culture, Pop-Psychology, Pseudo-intellectualism, Pseudoscience, Psychiatry, Religion

The media scrum had framed the Trump impeachment circus round II as an “emotional” affair.

Over and over again did the word “emotion” inform reporting, appear on the lips of legislators,  and culminate in an “emotional” catharsis in the Chamber, where the “affected” representatives told a captured audience how they suffered.

Where did this sick therapeutic culture originate? Where else but in America.

I recalled reviewing a book, in 2005, when London’s Jewish Chronicle was a serious magazine. What a relief it was, then, to learn that Jewish thinkers didn’t herald the therapeutic age, a fact that emerges from Andrew Heinze’s outstanding Jews and the American Soul.

In his examination of “why [between 1890 and 1945] psychology became a booming cultural industry, outstripping theology and philosophy as a guide for a literate mass audience seeking advice on how to live”, Andrew Heinze, a scholar, established that “America’s Protestant heritage yielded a powerful American interest in personal development and a massive audience for popular psychology”.

The rationality of the Enlightenment had come under fire from movements espousing mysticism, romanticism, and the occult. The ascendancy of “the psychological interpretive mode” between the 1880s and the 1920s was compatible with Christianity.

The new psychotherapies “had the drama of faith-healing”; the new psychotherapists, true to their Protestant heritage, spread the faith with evangelical zeal.

What do you know? In searching for an image to accompany this blog post, I came across what looks like a work of scholarship that affirms the Anglo-American origins of these leanings as well as the coercive, manipulative nature of the “therapeutic imperative”:

Therapy Culture explores the powerful influence of therapeutic imperative in Anglo-American societies. In recent decades virtually every sphere of life has become subject to a new emotional culture. Professor Furedi suggests that the recent cultural turn toward the realm of the emotions coincides with a radical redefinition of personhood. Increasingly vulnerability is presented as the defining feature of people’s psychology. Terms like people ‘at risk’, ‘scarred for life’ or ’emotional damage’ evoke a unique sense of powerlessness. Furedi questions the widely accepted thesis that the therapeutic turn represents an enlightened shift towards emotions. He claims that therapeutic culture is primarily about imposing a new conformity through the management of people’s emotions. Through framing the problem of everyday life through the prism of emotions, therapeutic culture incites people to feel powerless and ill. Drawing on developments in popular culture, political and social life, Furedi provides a path-breaking analysis of the therapeutic turn.

UPDATED: A fair point is made by our reader in the Comments Section. I am, however, making a philosophical, or theological, point about Judaism as opposed Christianity. Judaism is more legalistic. The supernatural, mysticism, romanticism, and the occult are more compatible with Christianity than with the rationalist morality of Judaism.

 

Christianity And White Guilt

Christianity, English, History, Race, Religion, The West

White guilt is a Christian affliction. Not for nothing did Edward Gibbon saddle Christianity with the downfall of the Roman Empire.

Gibbon is the genius who wrote the 12 volumes that make up “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” [1776].  ( I read the 1943 version, which was “condensed for modern reading.”)

Gibbon brought upon himself the wrath of “bishops, deans and dons”—not to mention that of Dr. Johnson’s biographer, James Boswell. Boswell called Gibbon an “infidel wasp” for “the chapter in which he showed that the fall of Rome was hastened by the rise of Christianity.”

And indeed, Gibbon seems to point toward Christianity’s self-immolating, progressive nature, remarking on the courting by early Christians of criminals and women.

Willson Whitman—he wrote the 1943 Foreword to the abridged version—remarks on how “Gibbon outraged the Christians of his era by suggesting the ‘human’ reasons for the success of Christianity … Among these reason [Gibbon] noted that Christianity … attracted to its ‘common tables’ slaves, women, reformed criminals, and other persons of small importance [his words]—in short that Christianity was a ‘people’s movement of low social origin, rising as the people rose.”

I wonder: If to go by Gibbon, can Christianity be called the Social Justice movement of its day? Gibbon seemed to suggest so.

 

 

UPDATED (1/9/019): Muslim Power In US

Barack Obama, IMMIGRATION, Islam, Judaism & Jews, Left-Liberalism, Multiculturalism, Religion

If you can believe it, “the Census Bureau has not asked questions about religion since the 1950s, so it is hard to know for sure” how many Muslims have made the US their home.

“America has 3.5m Muslims, around 1% of the population. Some say the number is closer to 5m and rising,” surmises The Economist.

Only about 100 Muslims filed papers this year to run for office. These few attract a disproportionate amount of attention, largely because of America’s views of their faith. Polling by the Pew Research Centre in April 2017 found that 44% of eligible voters think there is a “natural conflict” between Islam and democracy. …

… Muslim-Americans overwhelmingly backed Barack Obama. This was a big change for a religious minority that tended to have conservative views: traditionalist Muslims and LBGT advocates are strange bedfellows. Donald Trump’s election, though, has brought a clutch of progressive Muslims into politics. Some are now heading to Congress.

Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American lawyer, narrowly emerged from a crowded field in the Democratic primary in Michigan’s 13th congressional district, which covers Detroit

She ran unopposed “in the mid-term elections for the seat John Conyers occupied for more than half a century (until he resigned, following allegations of sexual harassment), … to become the first Muslim woman to sit in Congress.”

She was “joined there by Ilhan Omar, a Somali immigrant who won a primary in Minnesota to fill the congressional seat of Keith Ellison, one of two Muslim men in Congress (the other is Indiana’s André Carson).”

Predictably, the women are progressive.

MORE: “Muslim Politicians”.

UPDATE (1/9/019):

American Rabbis Practice Pop Judaism, For The Most

Christianity, Etiquette, Judaism & Jews, Pop-Culture, Religion

America’s rabbis are mostly dumb, eschatologically and generally. I wouldn’t take seriously anything they say about President Donald Trump.

Not unlike their Christian compatriots in the ministry and the priesthood—rabbis are generally an unscholarly lot, more inclined to pop-religion and social justice.

Like their Christian friends, rabbis aim to bring religion in line with self-help literature and common leftist spiritual and political hobbyhorses and quests.

Thus, you have this silly “‘Rabbi,” who, “At a Mike Pence Rally, Thinks Jews Who Deny Christ Go To Hell.”

It’s simply untrue, from the perspective of Judaism. Judaism considers Yehoshua, aka Yeshu, aka Jesus Christ, a prophet, not part of a Godhead (which we don’t have). Thus, there is no punishment of hell for giving the cold shoulder to a prophet.

On the other hand, other Jewish leaders acted ungraciously, even disgracefully, in snubbing President Trump, on his visit to grieving Pittsburgh on Tuesday afternoon:

Shameful. You don’t reject a show of mercy and compassion.

A mourning family doesn’t want to meet him. Leaders of his own party declined to join him. The mayor has explicitly asked him not to come. Protesters have mobilized. And yet President Trump visited this grief-stricken city Tuesday, amid accusations that he and his administration continue to fuel the anti-Semitism that inspired Saturday’s massacre inside a synagogue. …


SEE: “Shooting victim’s family shuns President Trump in Pittsburgh as top officials decline to join him.”