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View Diary: The Salvation Army's anti-LGBT offensive (46 comments)

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  •  Thomas Huxley... (4+ / 0-)

    ...truly despised them.  Since he is one of my personal icons, I take a certain pleasure in sharing his disdain, albeit for reasons removed by a century and a continent.  From one of his acerbic letters to the Times of London:

    The leading propositions which are peculiar to Mr. Booth I take to be these:–

     (1) That the only adequate means to such reformation of the individual man is the adoption of that form of somewhat corybantic Christianity of which the soldiers of the Salvation Army are the militant missionaries. This implies the belief that the excitement of the religious emotions (largely by processes described by their employers as "rousing" and "convivial") is a desirable and trustworthy method of permanently amending the conduct of mankind.

    I demur to these propositions. I am of opinion that the testimony of history, no less than the cool observation of that which lies within the personal experience of many of us, is wholly adverse to it.

    (2) That the appropriate instrument for the propagation and maintenance of this peculiar sacramental enthusiasm is the Salvation Army–a body of devotees, drilled and disciplined as a military organization, and provided with a numerous hierarchy of officers, every one of whom is pledged to blind and unhesitating obedience to the "General," who frankly tells us that the first condition of the service is "implicit, unquestioning obedience." "A telegram from me will send any of them to the uttermost parts of the earth"; every one "has taken service on the express condition that he or she will obey, without questioning, or gainsaying, the orders from headquarters" ("Darkest England," p. 243).

    This proposition seems to me to be indisputable. History confirms it. Francis of Assisi and Ignatius Loyola made their great experiments on the same principle. Nothing is more certain than that a body of religious enthusiasts (perhaps we may even say fanatics) pledged to blind obedience to their chief, is one of the most efficient instruments for effecting any purpose that the wit of man has yet succeeded in devising. And I can but admire the insight into human nature which has led Mr. Booth to leave his unquestioning and unhesitating instruments unbound by vows.

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 01:43:25 PM PDT

    •  Fascinating stuff (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jessical, Horace Boothroyd III

      A whole series of letters,
      http://aleph0.clarku.edu/...
      including one or two where he gets into it with WT Stead, and brief references to the Eliza Armstrong case.

      Stead was thus appointed editor and over the next seven years developed what Matthew Arnold described as 'New Journalism'. From being a relatively quiet chronicle of the day's events the Gazette was transformed into an innovative and daring organ, the initiator and supporter of numerous political and social movements.
      Controversy surrounded Stead in 1885 when he published The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon. His text exposed criminal vice and specifically child prostitution. An an almost immediate consequence of his revelations was the ressurection of the dormant Criminal Law Amendment Act which raised the age of consent to sixteen. However, Stead had failed to secure evidence to protect him from prosecution and, as a result of a civil indictment, he was jailed for three months.
      http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/...

      In the "Maiden Tribute" story he, (with some assistance from The Salvation Army), "purchased" a thirteen year old girl from her mother, to prove that child prostitution was openly occuring in London.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 03:11:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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