Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The transcendentalists as the first ‘me generation’
From Charley. P.J. O’Rourke agreed calling Thoreau a phoney, living in the equivalent of the ’burbs (by the golf course) and going to parties in town, a lazy ‘sanctimonious beatnik’.

The mainstream press doesn’t get religion:
The Unitarians were liberal Christians who stood opposed to the more orthodox Protestants.

They obviously grew out of Congregational Protestantism (Archbishop Robert Morse says the brittle Calvinist system inevitably shatters into this, the logical conclusion of private judgement; the United Church of Christ’s liberalism seems to confirm that) but then as now some members were Christians in their beliefs — I think the ex-Anglican King’s Chapel in Boston (both the city’s first Anglican and then first Unitarian church) fits that with its AFAIK still orthodox old-fashioned Book of Common Prayer-based liturgy — but the whole group is honestly not only non-credal like some Christians but not a Christian church. (Its literature is clear on that to its credit.)

Because they’re obviously from the same culture as Protestant churches most people don’t know that!

(That was the idea: back when everybody was expected to go to a house of worship the New England deists, agnostics and atheists had a place to hide out; Virginians like Washington and Jefferson were expected to be nominal Anglicans so they were among the first Broad Churchmen.)

Transcendentalism as described here seems another dead end of private judgement.

Of course the same period brought Burkean conservatism and classical liberalism grounded in objective truth (taught by the Greeks, the Schoolmen and classical Anglicans) about man’s worth and rights so ‘individualism’ (not the Ayn Randy selfishness that libertarianism’s detractors accuse the whole movement of) is not a dirty word as Frank Chodorov would have agreed.

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