Tuesday, 23 January 2007
Stuff to check out
I miss Brian Knowles' column in The Journal. I was reminded of that when the latest issue arrived on January 22nd, dated October 31. I know Dixon has a reason for the lag, but it's a bit irritating when the mailing label area reads "Time-sensitive material"!
Which in turn reminds me that I need to mail in a cheque for the renewal. A year without The Journal would be difficult for someone who writes about the COGs. The Journal has advantages this blog doesn't. Dixon is close to the beating heart of COGism in East Texas, manages to stay onside with almost everybody, and has the ability to treat topics in-depth. Some of the stories they've run have been outstanding (which is just as well considering some of the brain-dead advertising features.)
It's too bad Brian Knowles' latest article won't get the added exposure The Journal could provide. There it sits over at Ken Westby's site, and is well worth a click through. Brian's conservatism runs counter to my views on a whole range of issues, but he is still one of the most perceptive voices in the COG community. What he has to say about the priorities of the old WCG ministry and the anti-Semitic spirit in the church in those days is well worth repeating (but I won't, read the whole thing in context.)
It's also good to see XCG back in 2007. There's an interesting BI-related thread here, a discussion initiated by Doug Ward (now there's a guy who'd make a great Journal columnist), and Gary Scott is back from holiday with a new post on the Packatollah's need for numbers.
In the "whatever happened to" department, there's a chance to catch up with the fortunes of ex-minister George Geis over at Felix Taylor's blog.
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I was puzzled by Knowles' assertion that there is anti-Semitism widely in the COGs. I have found it to be very much the opposite. It seemed to me that everybody and his brother was claiming to have some Jewish ancestry. Both HWA and GTA claimed Jewish descent.
The anti-Semites were a small extremist group located at Ambassador College, Big Sandy. They figured the whole history of the world out, right down to Stanley Rader, based on the actions of the nefarious Jews. They were not much diffent from many White Supremacist groups.
Knowles is probably referring to the typical, traditional American Protestant anti-Jewish bias that was and still is pretty prevalent in the WCG.
I am curious to know if Knowles still believes in the "efficacy" of the Seventh Day Sabbath.
I personally feel "talked down to" by Knowles articles. Here is a guy who has been out of circulation for 28 years, doesnt regularly fellowship with any COG group, yet passes general judgements to the "COG POD" as he likes to call it.
Now certainly, some of his pontifications have merit, but I feel he is out of touch with many of the progressive, enlightened and bright happenings, especially in some of the "independent" COG groups.
You cant lead the troops unless your eating the same food that they are eating. Extrapolating your bias and perspectives from your pre-1978 perspective aint good enough.
Bill, I'd agree with you to a certain point on whether pre-1978 experience is valid. Unfortunately many of the splinters are doing their best to restore the conditions which existed during some of the earlier periods of Amstrongism. Wise counsel, based on past experience, might help them to avoid the pitfalls of the past.
Having said that, I am also sure that there are progressive splinters and independents who do want to move past all of the cultic behavior of the past. In that sense, Brian might be preaching to the choir.
BTW, IIRC, prior to the ascent of Rader, HWA and others did make occasional desparaging remarks about Jews. At one point in his Autobiography, HWA stated that he had never known a "converted" Jew. By the time I got to AC ('66), the Jews were being idolized, and every student was indeed searching for a Jew in his personal woodpile.
I took a class from Brian in Pasadena, shortly before the time of his departure from WCG. He seemed burdened, but his wry Canadian/British sense of humor never abandoned him. His most memorable quip: a reference to the Moody Monthly as the magazine for women everywhere. (This was in pre-PC days, so a thousand pardons to all the ladies.)
I remember back in 1980 at the FOT site in Rapid City South Dakota. There was another function of something like the Ice capades. They did a Jewish musical dance routine for the Church and it was a real cold reception as very little applause. This always bothered me over the years as i constantly wondered about that. Then i met a family in Colorado that were of Jewish heritage. They did not last long in WCG. They felt anti-semitism was far and wide in WCG.
I was from the sticks and pretty much isolated from some of that.
By the way all the other dance and music routines were met with lots of applause.
Interesting. When racism has been brought up before, Armstrongist defenders have cited the customs and cultures of the area surrounding. As, in certain parts of the South, it was the custom to have separate seating for blacks and whites.
It would be difficult to blame anti-semitism, such as the incident in Rapid City, on local customs. But, I bet the Armstrongites will come up with another novel defense. It's mind boggling that a group of people who believe that they are spiritual Jews would be anti-semitic. Oops, forgot! They believe that somehow the Israelites (superior to the Jews?) have aquired Nordic or Aryan features over the generations that they have been lost!
"It's mind boggling that a group of people who believe that they are spiritual Jews would be anti-semitic."
The small group of extremists, mostly Southerners, at AC Big Sandy who advocated anti-Semitism redefined the Jewish people. They claimed that the Ashkenazic Jews were really Gentiles, descended from Ashkenaz, and not Jews at all. Hence, they could be prejudiced towards these people without classifying themselves as anti-Semites.
People with all kinds of strange ideas tended to find what they wanted within the ranks of the pre-1995 WCG.
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