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The cancel culture and its comparable historical antecedents

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  • The cancel culture and its comparable historical antecedents

    An interesting piece from the end of last month in The Conversation and written by Christopher Schelin, who is an Assistant Professor of Practical and Political Theologies based at Starr King School for the Ministry.
    https://theconversation.com/cancel-culture-loA oks-a-lot-like-old-fashioned-church-discipline-158685

    I admit the opening paragraph’s references to the NCAA, “March Madness” and a “Sweet 16 matchup” meant little to me but I understood the underlying point and the fact that, as a result of her remarks, a journalist, [Hemal Jhaveri] was cancelled [i.e. dismissed from her job] by USA Today.

    The article references the general perception that this phenomenon of the cancel culture originated on the Left, and that subsequently [at least according to the author of a linked article] it has become something to be attacked by the GOP along with “woke” people as part of the “culture wars”.

    What is interesting is the article's comparison between this present state of affairs around cancel culture and the historically similar behaviour that was to be found among Baptist communities in the USA. [N.B. I would recommend that anyone who is seriously interested sources the entire article and clicks on to the links.]

    "From their origins in the 17th century through the late 19th century, Baptists in America – most especially in the South – vigorously engaged in the practice of church discipline. Believers who had allegedly sinned would be accused, tried and then convicted by their peers – the verdict was decided by democratic vote. While the repentant were restored to fellowship, the obstinate were excommunicated, or to borrow from today’s parlance, “canceled.”

    Baptists prosecuted their own for a panoply of offenses, including alcoholism, social dancing and erroneous beliefs. They disciplined white males for mistreating their wives and slaves, but they also disciplined wives for disobedience to their husbands.

    At its height, the church discipline generated a massive turnover in membership. The historian Gregory Wills, in his book “Democratic Religion,” claims that Baptists in Georgia excommunicated more than 40,000 members in the years preceding the Civil War."

    Schelin continues that while church discipline had relaxed and effectively disappeared by the 1920s some Southern Baptists today are trying to restore it within their congregations “as a bulwark against what they see as “moral relativism. For these Southern Baptists the restoration of church discipline would provide a means by which to address ”what they see as offenses such as homosexuality, sex outside of marriage and false teaching.

    The last section of the article is particularly relevant.

    "At first glance, evangelical disciplinarians and progressive “cancelers” may seem worlds apart. Yet I believe they share certain key features. They both express what can be described as a purity ethic that aims to root out behaviors deemed to be harmful from the body politic. Both struggle with the question of appropriate response. Do the offender’s actions warrant exclusion? Is there an opportunity for rehabilitation and, if so, how is this achieved?"

    Schelin also compares the idea of "sacred canopy" by linking the beliefs of an 1821 a Baptist who “maintained his sacred canopy, the Kingdom of God, in part through upholding church discipline”; with the views of a political activist today who might consider their “sacred canopy" [whether they call it freedom or social justice] is to be achieved by “ calling out opinions they consider too abhorrent to be tolerated in contemporary society.”

    However, he offers a glimmer of hope in his final remark wherein he offers some advice in an attempt to bridge the social and political divide that exists across US society [and elsewhere] today , “The quest for moral accountability finds its greatest successes – and surprises – when rebuke and counterrebuke give way to authentic listening.”





    "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

  • #2
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    An interesting piece from the end of last month in The Conversation and written by Christopher Schelin, who is an Assistant Professor of Practical and Political Theologies based at Starr King School for the Ministry.
    https://theconversation.com/cancel-culture-loA oks-a-lot-like-old-fashioned-church-discipline-158685

    I admit the opening paragraph’s references to the NCAA, “March Madness” and a “Sweet 16 matchup” meant little to me but I understood the underlying point and the fact that, as a result of her remarks, a journalist, [Hemal Jhaveri] was cancelled [i.e. dismissed from her job] by USA Today.

    The article references the general perception that this phenomenon of the cancel culture originated on the Left, and that subsequently [at least according to the author of a linked article] it has become something to be attacked by the GOP along with “woke” people as part of the “culture wars”.

    What is interesting is the article's comparison between this present state of affairs around cancel culture and the historically similar behaviour that was to be found among Baptist communities in the USA. [N.B. I would recommend that anyone who is seriously interested sources the entire article and clicks on to the links.]

    "From their origins in the 17th century through the late 19th century, Baptists in America – most especially in the South – vigorously engaged in the practice of church discipline. Believers who had allegedly sinned would be accused, tried and then convicted by their peers – the verdict was decided by democratic vote. While the repentant were restored to fellowship, the obstinate were excommunicated, or to borrow from today’s parlance, “canceled.”

    Baptists prosecuted their own for a panoply of offenses, including alcoholism, social dancing and erroneous beliefs. They disciplined white males for mistreating their wives and slaves, but they also disciplined wives for disobedience to their husbands.

    At its height, the church discipline generated a massive turnover in membership. The historian Gregory Wills, in his book “Democratic Religion,” claims that Baptists in Georgia excommunicated more than 40,000 members in the years preceding the Civil War."

    Schelin continues that while church discipline had relaxed and effectively disappeared by the 1920s some Southern Baptists today are trying to restore it within their congregations “as a bulwark against what they see as “moral relativism. For these Southern Baptists the restoration of church discipline would provide a means by which to address ”what they see as offenses such as homosexuality, sex outside of marriage and false teaching.

    The last section of the article is particularly relevant.

    "At first glance, evangelical disciplinarians and progressive “cancelers” may seem worlds apart. Yet I believe they share certain key features. They both express what can be described as a purity ethic that aims to root out behaviors deemed to be harmful from the body politic. Both struggle with the question of appropriate response. Do the offender’s actions warrant exclusion? Is there an opportunity for rehabilitation and, if so, how is this achieved?"

    Schelin also compares the idea of "sacred canopy" by linking the beliefs of an 1821 a Baptist who “maintained his sacred canopy, the Kingdom of God, in part through upholding church discipline”; with the views of a political activist today who might consider their “sacred canopy" [whether they call it freedom or social justice] is to be achieved by “ calling out opinions they consider too abhorrent to be tolerated in contemporary society.”

    However, he offers a glimmer of hope in his final remark wherein he offers some advice in an attempt to bridge the social and political divide that exists across US society [and elsewhere] today , “The quest for moral accountability finds its greatest successes – and surprises – when rebuke and counterrebuke give way to authentic listening.”




    Frankly, Fraulein, I don't care where it originated. The right loves canceling as much as the left.

    This idea of economic warfare and societal punishment over perceived offence needs to stop. It is toxic, it is dangerous, and it does nothing to help the state of the country.

    Do you agree?

    Comment


    • #3
      Do you think that since you can go back a couple centuries to find similar behavior on the part of those you disdain that it justifies what we see now?

      I'm always still in trouble again

      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization thatís not the argument." --Tassman

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

        Frankly, Fraulein, I don't care where it originated. The right loves canceling as much as the left.

        This idea of economic warfare and societal punishment over perceived offence needs to stop. It is toxic, it is dangerous, and it does nothing to help the state of the country.

        Do you agree?
        I think in some instances I would broadly agree, although the word "perceived" has an element of subjectivity.. What A , B, & C perceive to be offensive, D, E, & F might not, as demonstrated on another thread by the comments from various correspondents concerning my amended joke..

        However, there are genuine concerns about certain societal behaviours & attitudes and those need to be addressed, albeit not necessarily by "cancelling" the individual who engages in them
        "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

          I think in some instances I would broadly agree, although the word "perceived" has an element of subjectivity.. What A , B, & C perceive to be offensive, D, E, & F might not, as demonstrated on another thread by the comments from various correspondents concerning my amended joke..

          However, there are genuine concerns about certain societal behaviours & attitudes and those need to be addressed, albeit not necessarily by "cancelling" the individual who engages in them
          I chose that word deliberately. Cancel culture is built off of subjective offensiveness.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

            I chose that word deliberately. Cancel culture is built off of subjective offensiveness.
            If that is your contention i.e. "Cancel culture is built off of subjective offensiveness" how do you propose challenging it?
            "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

            Comment


            • #7
              There is no meaningful parallel between a church following Biblical instruction to excommunicate an unrepentant member, and the modern notion of "cancel culture".
              Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
              But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
              Than a fool in the eyes of God


              From "Fools Gold" by Petra

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                If that is your contention i.e. "Cancel culture is built off of subjective offensiveness" how do you propose challenging it?
                There isn't a clean answer. There's a reason it's called "Cancel CULTURE". This idea of economic warfare and societal punishment for perceived wrong has become embedded.

                It takes people fighting against the pressure to cancel, pressure to fire, pressure to boycott, companies standing against the boycotts, etc. It takes people willing to be willing to "be the bad guy" in the eyes of many. And, it takes people willing to look at the behavior and recognize that it's wrong, and be willing to not give in.

                I mean, how do you fight racial prejudice? How do you fight sexism?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                  There isn't a clean answer. There's a reason it's called "Cancel CULTURE". This idea of economic warfare and societal punishment for perceived wrong has become embedded.
                  Embedded in some quarters and to some extent promoted by social media.

                  Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post
                  It takes people fighting against the pressure to cancel, pressure to fire, pressure to boycott, companies standing against the boycotts, etc. It takes people willing to be willing to "be the bad guy" in the eyes of many. And, it takes people willing to look at the behavior and recognize that it's wrong, and be willing to not give in.
                  On both sides presumably? Furthermore who deems which specific "cancellations" to be wrong; and what criteria should be applied to come to that decision?

                  Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post
                  I mean, how do you fight racial prejudice? How do you fight sexism?
                  Ideally through education [in its broadest sense] and also, for the former, integration.

                  "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                    There isn't a clean answer. There's a reason it's called "Cancel CULTURE". This idea of economic warfare and societal punishment for perceived wrong has become embedded.

                    It takes people fighting against the pressure to cancel, pressure to fire, pressure to boycott, companies standing against the boycotts, etc. It takes people willing to be willing to "be the bad guy" in the eyes of many. And, it takes people willing to look at the behavior and recognize that it's wrong, and be willing to not give in.

                    I mean, how do you fight racial prejudice? How do you fight sexism?
                    If a man in a position of authority over others routinely sexually harasses the women in his office and not only does not change his behavior but refuses to see anything wrong in that behavior, what is the proper response? Is it wrong to fire him or demote him to a position where he does not supervise others?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                      Embedded in some quarters and to some extent promoted by social media.

                      On both sides presumably? Furthermore who deems which specific "cancellations" to be wrong; and what criteria should be applied to come to that decision?
                      I'm not playing 20 questions with you. I already said there wasn't a clean answer. Lopsided effort debates are not games I want to play.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kccd View Post

                        If a man in a position of authority over others routinely sexually harasses the women in his office and not only does not change his behavior but refuses to see anything wrong in that behavior, what is the proper response? Is it wrong to fire him or demote him to a position where he does not supervise others?
                        Are you saying that a man is continuously violating the law and company policies?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                          I'm not playing 20 questions with you. I already said there wasn't a clean answer. Lopsided effort debates are not games I want to play.
                          Then it would appear you are [to use a phrase] "micturating in the wind" and the situation cannot ever be resolved. You will just have learn to live with it.
                          "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                            Then it would appear you are [to use a phrase] "micturating in the wind" and the situation cannot ever be resolved. You will just have learn to live with it.
                            I'm setting boundaries. I can watch your pattern of simply reducing long posts to simple questions which require long posts to answer, then getting minor simple questions in return. There's an lopsidedness of effort in that exchange I'm not willing to deal with. It's not a conversation, it's not a debate. So, I'm going to cut you off now, instead of going down this rabbit hole, as was done in your conversation about police unions.

                            If you want to have an ACTUAL conversation, put forth effort and make replies that are more than simply 20-questions.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kccd View Post

                              If a man in a position of authority over others routinely sexually harasses the women in his office and not only does not change his behavior but refuses to see anything wrong in that behavior, what is the proper response? Is it wrong to fire him or demote him to a position where he does not supervise others?
                              So what do you propose we do with Biden and Cuomo?



                              I'm always still in trouble again

                              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization thatís not the argument." --Tassman

                              Comment

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