John D has continued to write me. If he applied this zeal to something like linguistics, he would become an expert and teach at Harvard. He wrote a good piece today in a tone of more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger, quite restrained for John (I think it is Vox who sets him off--she knows how to hit all his buttons) that I thought well done. He has chosen as his main opponent Vox; I am just the referee. They are out there somewhere right now on the moors of invective doing battle with tree-stump name-calling clubs and rusty verbal knives.
I have been reading the history of seventeenth-century religious upheavel. This was Cromwell's time when he and the Roundheads took over the army (Cromwell was a military genius) and dominated the Parliament, tried and beheaded Charles I, and made way for dissenting religions. John rather reminds me of Cromwell. They are both tenacious and self-righteous.
Historians have written more books about Cromwell than about any single English king, so elusive is his history and his character and so scant the solid historical data. He was not particulary smart, by the way. He was God-driven, invoking the deity if he sneezed. His big positive for me is that he wanted religious freedom for everyone.
The dissenting religions arose from the common people, many of whom were so poor that they took up residence in the forests. They begged the nobles not to enclose the common lands so that they, the poor, could farm that land and stave off starvation.
Of course, the nobles ignored them and kept on enclosing common lands to keep the peasants out, indifferent to their dying of starvation. One sect of protesting religious peasants called themselves "the diggers" because their leader went into a closed piece of land and began digging. Others joined him. Hence a sect was born.
There were the Levelers, Anabaptists, the Ranters, the Familists, and a whole bunch of other sects with names usually drawn from their critics. Their common theme was that the land came from God and should be shared, not hoarded by the king and the royals; and that people were equal because they all came from the democratic creation of God. Rush Limbaugh and the Republicans would call them all Communists.
These religious changelings often lumped God with the oppressors and gave Him bad press. The leaders of these groups were intrepid guys who put out pamphlets that condemned the king, the royals, and the Church of England clergy for perpetuating the situation that caused so much pain and poverty to the poor.
The dissenters were tried and executed if they got caught. Many survived the noose by recanting at their trial and then, set free, going right back to doing what they had done before. These were resourceful rascals with keen intellects, dramatic and verbal talents, and vast resources for duplicity. They worked the melange all together into a religious cosmology that suited thier psyches. I greatly admire them and marvel at their courage, intelligence, and talents.
The acuity and toughness of these thinkers and their common-folk followers are astonishing. They defanged sin, saying it was just a maneuver by the power people to keep the common people down. They called into question the Bible's authenticity by labeling it a fable (Milton does that too in Paradise Lost--he lived and wrote at this time); they decided that if God really carried out the predestination plan that he was a no-good-nik S.O.B. They came to all the startling conclusions that you hear today in radical circles which say that religion is a racket.
One is startled that this kind of antipathy to organzed religion had such power and impact at that early time.
What came from this period was an extension of the Reformation that Luther had started the century before on the continent.
After Cromwell died, the royalists wormed their way back into power. Charles I's brother Charles II ascended the throne. But never again did monarchs have the divine-right-of-kings power that it had before Cromwell and the poor religious rebels against the king, nobility, and organized religion--those with their colorful names and the intrepid pursuit of the truths that they saw lyng behind the Bible, God, and His tenets promulgated by the state church to prop up the invidious social system that made a few fabulously rich and the majority poor and hungry.
From this stock and Luther's efforts in the sixteenth century came the people who migrated to our country seeking religious freedom. lee
From: John__D [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2009 6:32 AM
Subject: [Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch] New comment on Lock and Load: Time to Mosey on Down to the OK Sch....
John__D has left a new comment on your post "Lock and Load: Time to Mosey on Down to the OK Sch...":
Lee, you had better advise Vox to lay the [insert truncated profanity here] off. If she isn't going to address me directly but in third person, I am still going to respond to her.
It's not my anonymous comment. This is ironic. My original question was about anonymity. I hope that someone from the school board alleges that your "anonymous" poster about homeless people was actually you.
>He has no first amendment rights here.<>I am not the subject here, nor is John. The subject is the corruption of the school board and improving the world in general for all of us.< href="http://www.blogger.com/comment-moderate-confirm.g?blogID=28089922&postID=7286070157728312716&publish=true">Publish this comment.
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