Saturday, 8 March 2008
Confronting Racist Hooey
Attempting to engage Dr Hoeh in meaningful dialog could be a challenge. Dr Hoeh was, as Ron Kelly observes, well... Dr Hoeh.
Hoeh was the brainiac behind much of what passed for theology in the HWA years. His doctorate was, like Meredith's, a joke, but he carried the bearing of an absent-minded scholar nevertheless. (I've been told that in later years he tried to drop the doctor title, painfully aware that it was an unearned pretension.) According to some accounts, it was Hoeh who flattered Armstrong into the role of "apostle": a rush of blood to the head that turned a dimwitted speculation into vicious dogma.
But Hoeh, who could at times appear a generous and tolerant soul, is also credited with systematizing the arcane nonsense of British-Israelism into a rigid system that injected virulent racism into the church. An arrogant intellectual confection for dotty Englishmen became - at least for some WCG ministers and members - the key distinctive of their faith. The identification was so close that government officials in New Zealand counted anyone who responded "British-Israel" as their religion on census night as Worldwide Church of God!
But, wonder of wonders, in his dotage Herman Hoeh appeared to convert to a form of "evangelical" Christianity, and added his imprimatur to the reformist agenda of the Tkach cabal.
So where did that leave such semi-canonical tomes as A Compendium of World History?
Correspondence between a Native American member, trying to make some sense of the tortuous path away from discrimination, and the architect of classic Armstrong doctrine, Herman L. Hoeh, is newly uploaded to Greg Doudna's site.
On a different tangent, David Wise, a member of LCG, is having a hard time with his employer, the Firestone tyre company, which has dug its heels in over holy days. Details here.
For what its worth, any good employer, IMHO, should be more than willing to accommodate the religious sensibilities of any good employee.