And how it continues to harm us
You accurately describe the blush of religiousity in 19th century America. For that matter you could throw in the Mormons as another product of the same ferment. The Civil War itself drove a lot of those movements as people on both sides were shocked at the mass brutality and worked to deal with it after the war. I have a 2Xgreatgrandfather who survived 4 years of war as a confederate, and after the war became a circuit-riding Baptist preacher in SW Virginia as his reaction to what he'd seen. It's all still with us today, megachurch Evangelicals a new kind of spectacle attracting the lost and confused. My prejudice is to see American churches requiring the checking of your brain at the door if you want to join them. They generally work to make people resistant to how the modern world is changing, with a wide range of groups now accorded rights that offend religious conservatives. That's always been with us in the US, now they can egg each other on with the internets. "Positive Thought" is just a peculiar thread that seemingly will never go away.
Thank you for this article! I have been greatly troubled by the prosperity gospel movement. Not surprised though since as you note, it is a very beguiling philosophy.
I have only one quibble, you wrote: “also insinuate that our problems are of our own making”. I don’t think it “insinuates”, I think that is quite explicit in these belief systems.
Bobby didn’t get better? Or you didn’t get that job? We’ll, you didn’t pray hard enough or the ‘right way’. Or even more pernicious, ‘I think it’s because you haven’t been tithing.’
Thanks for the good food for thought. It seems to me like what we're faced with as a species right now, is developing and honing tools to combat the rampant mental viruses that our physical bodies haven't had time to evolve the equivalent of white blood cells. And as a carpenter in ACA, i both tend towards kitchen renovation analogies for our systemic issues, and scaling up concepts like hitting bottom to our macro-societal dysfunction. We're in a pickle, and it nice to see some voices gain traction like you have over the years with the tweets. As true as i can tell, god is change. Keep up the good thinking. ✊🏻🔥❤️
Your article is very well written. Thanks for explaining how these thought processes became prevalent in protestantism.
What struck me was that positive thought brings the creature-human to godlike status. Self powering with no need for God. Scriptural history is replete with this and the chaos that ensues.
I find it ironic that protestantism has woven positive thought with Jesus. They are diametrically opposed.
I wanted to add something to your narrative about the spread of this ideology. There's a faction within the Catholic church which is called Charismatic Renewal, which originated from Pentecostal integration. It's a fringe element but has gained traction recently.
I am very interested to see where this line of thought leads. Today's essay touches on some themes that yesterday's posting brought forward for me. The co-development of modern religious thought and scientific thought certainly highlights the pitfalls of both.
I challenge you to think negative about yourself eveyday for the next 6 months and constantly think about all the things that will go wrong with your life. Then write an article on how this exercise affected your life. Positive and negative thoughts do affect you.. LOA is just one subset of a bigger law called the Law of Vibration which is one of the laws of nature.
I was interested to come across your blog and appreciate your aim to engage readers “at a different pace, and with a whole lot less vitriol” than is often found in conversation today, especially online. You are tackling some thoughtful subjects as with this particular post.
It may interest you to note that in contrast to Quimby’s reliance on the human mind for healing, Eddy explains in a number of places that the human mind is not a factor in the healing of oneself or others, but that it is the action of God’s grace. In fact, the religion she founded is rooted in primitive Christianity and not personal ability.
Christian Scientists endeavor to follow Christ Jesus’ words and works which involves seeking and following the will of God in every situation and recognizing God as the source of good for all. Contrary to a church dictate or dogma, members are free to make health care choices that they feel are best for themselves. Personally, I’ve turned to Christian Science because I’ve found it to be effective.
LOLOLOL. "capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy"
This is so original.
Blame others. Be cynical. Don't work hard. Demand handouts. Be as lazy as possible. You miserable sack of feces.
Thanks so much, great read!
I've spotted a couple typos that made me have to stop and reread, I'm copying them here hoping it helps:
"while saying these abilities ~do not~ stem from Christ, not the human mind"
"we have a lot of collectivism to build both ideologically and materially out in the world ~to do~ in order to overcome this ideology."
Keep it up!