Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More on the Mental Burqa

Richard of By His Grace, For His Glory has come up with a different graphic that is now displayed on the White Washed Feminists website sidebar, but I would like to make note here that it was Jeanette of Taliban Rising who officially coined the phrase.

Jeanette contacted me after finding the patriarchy video on YouTube (from the workshop I gave as an invited lecturer at an unnamed apologetics organization at an unnamed Baptist seminary in March). She wanted to talk to me because there is a similar patriocentric movement in the Roman Catholic Church, and the parallels are very striking, if not disturbing. This Roman Catholic analog to the so-called "Biblical patriarchy" movement in Protestant churches also focuses on homeschooling, and according to Jeanette, has connections to the neo-nazi groups in Europe. Also interwoven more directly is the concept of "Perennialism," which the Chambers Initiative notes thusly as it pertains to patriocentrism:

Those who adhere to these “faiths” can, through specific ascetic processes, arrive at the knowledge of the “perennial wisdom” and a state of enlightened consciousness. This state is for the “initiated”, hence the term “Gnosticism” is often used to define Perennialism.

Perennialism was a reaction against the rational, materialist spirit of the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution. Its founders rejected modern Western Civilization because of its departure from the traditional paths that led to “wisdom and enlightenment.” Thus, the central focus of Perennialism is a fierce adherence to natural, human traditions and a bitter rejection of “modernity,” all the Perennialists perceive to flow from the “modern spirit.”

Patriocentricity in America, on the Protestant side approaches very many of the same concepts, theories and goals of Perennialism through their strong connections to the agrarian movements and neo-Confederate ideology. The fathers of the foundations of the modern patriocentricity follow ideals of the very gnostic higher life and Keswick movements, believing that holy living can produce greater sanctification, following after the "Christian perfection" doctrines of John Wesley. This is comingled with devotion to Confederate Presbyterians like Robert Lewis Dabney and Benjamin Morgan Palmer along with many of the sentiments of modern Southern secessionist movements. This Luddite mentality also pervades many pockets within patriarchy, and also corresponds to sentiments that arose from early 20th century revivalism that viewed wholesome living as God's most powerful agency in the Christian life.

What is interesting is that I understand that notable figures in US Evangelical Christianity and evangelists for the complementarian message turn up in association with some of the Pereniallist groups affiliated with this similar movement in the Roman Catholic Church. Jeanette was shocked (as was I) to recognize these names as we discussed the similarities of each of these movements on the phone. I hope that more writings emerge in the future comparing and contrasting these different groups (the Protestant patriocentrists and the Perennialists largely affiliated with Roman Catholicism's own patriocentricity). [It's not traditional patriarchy, to be certain!] I was also shocked but pleased to see that my site is listed as a resource and "Site of Interest" at the Chambers Initiative site (along with Jeanette's new and hopefully burgeon blog).

So with that interesting tidbit set to simmer on the back burners of your brain, here's some more thoughtful insight from Jeanette, SHE who officially coined the term "Fight the Mental Burqa!" as the subtitle to her blog, named Taliban Rising. I look forward to more good posts here.

More On Fighting The Mental Burqa!

Another section from "In Defense of My Mind":

A woman is imprisoned by a Mental, Burqa if her entire formation, or her present indoctrination by those claiming to speak in God's name, does not inform or enable her to choose the other good means that God allows her in the pursuit of her final end.

A girl is living under the Mental Burqa if she is told that she is “resisting God’s Biblical plan for her” by pursuing a higher education or by exercising a legitimate profession, before settling down to marry, should she believe that is God's will for her.

She is oppressed by the Mental Burqa if she is trained to believe she is not fit to choose whom she will marry. Patriocentrism treats women as interchangeable, and castigates as “modern sentimentality” a woman’s loathing to be “given in marriage” to a man she finds repulsive, one with whom she has neither affinity of character nor compatibility of intellect.

So, yes, I am for the woman's right to live as a human being with a rational nature. I am for her right to know she has a God-given choice between the legitimate means to reach Him. I am for her right to the education that will equip her to embrace any state of life. I am for her right to determine, if she decides to marry, which man she thinks will make a good husband for herself and father for her children.

I am for the woman's right not to be extinguished by the neo-fascist philosophy of a group of men who know that their own agenda is best served by women who have been denied or who have abdicated their duty to act as rational, responsible human beings.

We have a face and a mind.
Fight the Mental Burqa.

If you haven't already, read the full post HERE.