Skip to comments.Dewey, Darwin and Deafness
Posted on 06/25/2005 4:33:50 PM PDT by sionnsar
The enlightened leaders of ECUSA dont listen, as we have discovered from recent events at Nottingham. They have locked on their enlightened position and will not budge. Their behavior reinforces the image of the ugly American, for it is so American to insist that others should listen to you without making any effort to listen to others.
I am reminded of a remark Bishop Stacy Sauls made to me when I expressed my disagreement with him over the consecration of V. Gene Robinson. He said, Alice, you of all people, being an educator, should understand why this is the right thing to do.
How very American to assume that progressive education should have instilled in me the capability to adjust (Deweys term) to a changing environment.
Dewey developed a system of education that socializes students through exploration of ways to solve problems. The problem, as the revisionist leaders of ECUSA see it, is that homosexuals are maligned by homophobic people and made to feel unwelcome in the church. The solution: Educate people to see that this behavior is wrong and to explore ways to fix the problem. John Dewey (1859-1952) would be amazed to have left such a legacy.
Now couple this train of thought with the neo-Darwinian idea that people are evolving toward a higher consciousness, and you find the cause of their deafness. They are trying to be patient with those of us who have yet to rise to their level of enlightenment. They think of us as slightly above morons and rank the leaders of the Global South even lower.
Let us return to what Dewey wrote, for it is especially appropriate to our present situation. In an address published in 1937 in School and Society, he wrote:
Social arrangements which involve fixed subordination are maintained by coercion perhaps economic, certainly psychological and moral. The very fact of exclusion from participation is a subtle form of suppression This form of coercion and suppression is more subtle and more effective than is overt intimidation and restraint. When it is habitual and embodied in social institutions, it seems the normal and natural state of affairs. The mass usually become unaware that they have a claim to a development of their own powers The individuals of the submerged mass may not be very wise. But there is one thing they are wiser about than anybody else can be, and that is where the shoe pinches.
The shoe has been pinching for a good while, and now the orthodox are going to fix it.
Dewey wasnt especially concerned about morality. He was a pragmatist. He was writing here about the relationship between progressive education and democracy. He has been quoted to support the revisionist position, i.e. adjust and accomodate to fix the problem, but his words stand as criticism of revisionist bishops who coerce and threaten clergy and laypersons who dont agree with them. Thats the shoe that pinches!
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