Believe on me: WTF?

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Sat Sep 1 02:39:50 UTC 2007

><The teacher replied that all Christians (read: "Catholics and, perhaps,
>the Orthodox") are assumed
>to be personal friends of God and you don't speak formally to your buds.>
>What??  Protestants weren't included?!?  The KJV was sponsored by the
>Protestant Anglicans, remember!

Yeah, but that was then. This is now. Among those groups of
Christians that still use the "thou" with God, the idea that one can
treat God as a familiar is often presented as a great novel insight
-- or an offense.

Incidentally, not all Anglicans will agree with you that Anglicans
are Protestants. Some are quite adamant that the Anglicans, while not
Catholics, are also not Protestants; they broke with Rome in their
own movement and decision and were not part of the Continental
Protestant movement. I have a friend who is quite unwavering on that
point. "No," she would say, primly and firmly, brooking no debate at
all, "Anglicans are not Protestants." But of course many Anglicans
will quite readily say Anglicans _are_ Protestants.

Mind you, I grew up knowing many people who insisted that Christians
-- _real_ Christians -- weren't religious, either, and Christianity
wasn't a religion. It wasn't a set of empty rituals and compulsory
obeisances! It was the Truth, Salvation, and when we went to Church
it was because we really believed and wanted to praise God!
"Religion" is just what people who didn't really have a personal
relationship with God did.

Yep, there's really just about no limit to the linguistic onanism
available in religion -- and politics and other forms of ideology.

WRT Quakers, I'm not surprised if you can't find a consensus on
whether they're Christian or not. The calling of the individual
spirit is paramount among Quakers, and each local group (meeting)
will come to its own positions on things through group consensus.
There is no dictate from above. So, for instance, some Quaker groups
were openly in favour of gay marriage already in the late 1960s,
while some today are still opposed to it. There is no fixed theology,
just an approach, which is something they have in common with the
Unitarian Universalists (not the approach itself, just the fact of
being focused on the approach rather than a dogma). So any given
Quaker may say yea or nay on whether they're Christians, although in
founding and still for many they are Christocentric. A nice, clear
set of info on the subject is available at .

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society -

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