One of the rules for Patriactionaries here is this: no refighting the Reformation. We are remarkably ecumenical when it comes to certain base principles, seeing Orthodox Jews and Muslims as having quite a few correct ideas about patriarchy as necessary to the ordered function of society.
So it is a forbidden fruit treat to read a takedown of another religion. Unreformed Catholic E. Michael Jones does just such a thing in attempting to explain the roots of anti-Catholic policies by the housing authority in Philadelphia in his book The Slaughter of Cities: Urban Renewal as Ethnic Cleansing. (We last heard from Jones when discussing what we called the genocide of American Catholics in large urban cities in the USA in the 1950s and 1960s.) To set the scene: city planner and Quaker Ed Bacon has proposed a 10-lane road that would isolate Center City from Italian Catholic South Philly. Residents there challenge Bacon: it would be unsafe.
Ingersoll persisted: “How could an old lady ever cross that street before the light would change. It’s not possible.” Bacon insisted that it was, and when pressed for his explanation of how it was possible, responded, “Because I have said it is.”
This is the sort of know-it-all, trust-me-I’m-from-the-government-and-I-know-better attitude we have come to expect from the Cathedral. Where does it arise? Jones continues: (pp 177-178)
Ed Bacon was having another Quaker moment. Maitin characterized Bacon as an
arrogant mendacious man … What Maitin failed to see is that arrogance and mendacity are not so much personal as ethnic characteristics which derived ultimately from the Quaker religion, whose belief in the “inner light” confers personal infallibility on its members.
If you wanted to picture me reading this, one of whose heroes is great Catholic debater Edmund Campion, imagine me as Flounder in Animal House saying “Oh, Boy, this is great!” Jones proceeds with his takedown of Quakerism.
Quakerism is a sect which has neither dogma nor doctrine, whose liturgy is nothing more than long silences interrupted by personal testimony. Since they have no religious principles, Quakers are raised in a profoundly anti-intellectual atmosphere and are, as a result, not skilled at argumentation. “Anyone who has lived among Proper Philadelphians for any length of time,” Digby Baltzell noted in his book comparing Quaker Philadelphia and Puritan Boston, “would have observed their lack of the kind of seriousness and deep concern exhibited by Proper Bostonians.” Baltzell quite rightly traces Philadelphia’s lack of seriousness and their (sic) lack of intellectual accomplishment when compared to Boston to the Quaker sect whose religious beliefs were incapable of sustaining serious intellectual discourse.
OW. It’s expected for Papists to target Prots on dogma, but when another Prot calls your doctrine unserious (especially the man who coined the acronym WASP), it’s gotta hurt. But a lot of people believe silly things; is that so harmful? Jones continues:
(T)he irrationality of those principles when it came to maintaining the social order quickly earned the sect a reputation for mendacity and hypocrisy, one that stretched all the way back to its founder. Ben Franklin tells the story of how William Penn and his co-religionists while on their voyage to America were threatened by an approaching ship which they feared was going to attack them. All of the Quakers but one retreated below deck. The one remaining was given a weapon to help defend the ship. When the attack proved to be a false alarm, the Quaker joined his co-religionists only to find himself upbraided by Penn for taking up arms, something which struck the man as hypocritical. “I being thy servant, why did thee not order me to come down? But thee was willing enough that I should stay and help to fight the ship when thee thought there was danger.”
What were the consequences of this mendacity and hypocrisy?
Since Quakers wanted to control the lands of Pennsylvania in spite of their pacifism, they quickly became adept at war by proxy. … Franklin noted with disdain that Quakers in the state assembly would not appropriate money for gunpowder for the colony’s defense, but they would appropriate money for the purchase of “bread, flour, wheat, or other grain,” knowing full well that by “other grain” everyone knew they meant gunpowder. Similarly, their religious principles would not allow them to buy a cannon, but they would allow them to purchase a “fire engine,” their word for the same thing.
Hmmm. Sounds like our own crony-capitalist, rich Neocons, getting the USA to start wars that the children of the poor and middle class will get their limbs blown off fighting. But worse than physical war is the war of the mind.
Since their religious principles demanded this sort of logic chopping and equivocation, the Quakers quickly became adept in what later generations would call “spin control” and “public relations,” something which naturally lent itself to the practice of psychological warfare as a substitute for the conventional warfare their religious principles condemned. Since their religion prohibited the use of force in defense of community, the Quakers had to resort to more sophisticated means to maintain social order, means that were completely consistent with the methods of cultural warfare and social control which got implemented in the mid-20th century. They early on became adept at the psychological manipulation of peer pressure known as “friendly persuasion,” something which would later become “sensitivity training,” when 17th-century Pietism got weaponized by Kurt Lewin working for the Office of Naval Research. … The Quakers had no need to get the idea from the psychological-warfare establishment, because the military got the idea of psychological warfare from them.
The Catholic Church, grounded in the theology of Thomas Aquinas that helped give rise to science, was unprepared to counter such a belief system that ignored rationality, and focused on feelings as the source of revelation. Patriactionaries, too, have felt the frustration of the slippery, multi-cult approach to life, where “everything is relative.” To finish with what Jones writes:
Quakers took their model for discourse on things like the Crosstown Expressway from their experience of liturgy at the Quaker meeting house. Discourse for Quakers like Ed Bacon meant giving personal testimony, which was to be accepted as one would accept this sort of thing at a Quaker meeting. Any attempt to reason with this testimony was perceived at community meetings as it would be if it occurred at their religious services, which is to say, as an act of impiety, and quite rightly (at least from the Quaker point of view) shouted down with angry denial. (emphasis added)
If you want to understand why “feelings” are so prominent with feminists and other Cultural Marxists, you’ll find the Quaker approach to life prominent. Recall that Quakers, violating the Bible, were one of the first groups to allow women as preachers, and Samuel Johnson’s comment on that: “Sir, a woman’s preaching is like a dog walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.” The list of Quaker feminists is long; here are two: Lucretia Mott organized the Seneca Falls convention, which we covered here. Susan B. Anthony fought for women’s suffrage (and we’ve been suffering since.)
Irrationality, annoyance at challenge, emphasis on feelings and inner light in Progressive/feminist argumentation styles: it’s a feature, not a bug.