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January 08, 2013

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dsquared

I kind of see it more like "Bigot Swap" - take any two of your characters (or indeed, move all of them one space to the left) and see how they get on in each other's social and political milieu. My guess is surprisingly well.

ajay

Evidence supporting dsquared: Ian Paisley, I remember reading in the Guardian several years ago, is very popular in west Africa. There are a few Orange Order lodges over in Ghana. (Given that Ghana's main export industry is cocoa, it's a shame that none of them have got some sort of sponsorship going as the Official Loyal Order of Chocolate Orangemen.)

Richard J

i Ian Paisley, I remember reading in the Guardian several years ago, is very popular in west Africa

Likewise, c.f. the support for Israel among the Unionist community, or, Godwining the discussion immediately, the way the favourite European nationality of most GIs was Germany ("Why, yes, certain folk among us have to use separate benches too...")

JamesP

There's black Orangemen in Northern Ireland, too; I've seen 'em in videos of marches. Let's hope one of them has a friend called Terry.

Fundamentalist/evangelical Protestantism has a multi-ethnic streak more often that you'd think, because of the emphasis on missionary work: Schaefer's CRAZY FOR GOD has some discussion of this, and several of the Australian female evangelicals I know married Asian or African men in the 1970s.

ajay

c.f. the support for Israel among the Unionist community

Though I think that was just a brainstem reflex after the Republicans started doing the "two people one struggle" thing and putting Palestinian flags everywhere. If the Army Council had declared Pepsi the Official Fizzy Drink of Militant Republicanism, the Unionists would all have started drinking Coke.

Richard J

If the Army Council had declared Pepsi the Official Fizzy Drink of Militant Republicanism, the Unionists would all have started drinking Coke.

It's also pretty much, if you look at the matter closely, why religion is so entrenched on both sides as a way of distinguishing yourself from them in nested heirarchies all the way down (i.e. we're Catholic because of the bastard apostate Brits, which means that any true Irishman must be catholic, which means you Scottish buggers are interlopers, which means that we are under threat from those heathen idolators &c. &c.)

john malpas

Without people of strong beliefs where would you all be now?
Probably enslaved.

dsquared

Though I think that was just a brainstem reflex after the Republicans started doing the "two people one struggle" thing and putting Palestinian flags everywhere

A pretty strong brainstem reflex though - population inserted into their current location within historical memory but no real alternative home anywhere else, minority religion surrounded by economically disadvantaged majority, genuine fear of being pushed into the sea - it's not difficult to work out who's analogous to who here (cf also the relationship between State of Israel and Republic of South Africa).

Paisley also has strong personal theological views about Judaism and Israel; I can make a reasonably persuasive (to me) case that it's via his relationship with Bob Jones[1] that Israeli transferred-nationalism made its way into the Republican Party.

[1] Although "Dr" Ian's doctorate is an honarary one from BJU, it's not a total sinecure - Bob Jones University is the world centre for that particular kind of Protestant theology and Ian Paisley is an intellectual guru there.

johnf

There's nothing new about evangelical protestants being zionists.

Orde Wingate.

Barbara Tuchman wrote a book about it: "The Bible and the Sword."

Phil

There was (and possibly still is) a fair amount of pro-Serbian sentiment on the Israeli Right, for very similar reasons. The fact that the people both groups feel threatened by have the same religion is a bonus.

johnf

Tuchman argues, from memory, that while Catholics tend to the New Testament, which culminates in the Jews killing Christ, Protestants identify themselves far more with the Old Testament, with the small kingdom of Israel battling for survival.

Protestant Britain, especially, finally emerged having spent years fighting off stronger Catholic nations (except the Dutch, when it was never really personal). Handel wrote patriotic music to celebrate our triumphs, picking as themes subjects like Judas Maccabeus, Solomon, Israel in Egypt and Saul.

Strategist

There are a few Orange Order lodges over in Ghana.

...and in Togo, Catholics can join!

dsquared

Yes, Paisley didn't invent protestant Zionism, any more than Frank Schaffer invented protestant anti-abortionism. But both of them are really quite recent appearances as central articles of faith of the religious right in the USA, and Bob Jones gave Paisley his doctorate in 1966 which was the year of the big confrontation with Billy Graham and the point that I'd mark as the beginning of the politicisation of fundamentalism.

Frex, Jones was corresponding with Dr Ian during a really critical stage in the development of fundamentalism - the great big bust-up over "separatism" and schism in the Southern Baptists. The separatists were massively weakened by this in the short term - they lost a load of support by taking a stance against Billy Graham - but they made it back and more and were clearly gaining ground by the mid 1970s. This was the point at which there was a reconciliation and, in my view not coincidentally, it was the period during which the SBC got really onside with Israel. There was a really fundamental theological disagreement here - Billy Graham was all about sending missionaries to Israel, which was precisely the wrong thing to do if you were a millenniarist like Bob Jones - and it all got papered over, with the political position of pro-Zionism as the compromise outcome.

Richard J

Having been listening to The Weavers Live At Carnegie Hall a lot recently [1] is a handy reminder of how pro-Zionism used to be the progressive position.

[1] Singing along to Pay Me My Money Down will reliably make my daughter laugh like a loon on long car journeys, alright?

Phil

"The Weavers had some unusual religious beliefs, close to the Christian Identity movement." Who'd have thought it?*

1950 was quite a long time before 1967. It is an attractive strain of idealism, although all the jolly stuff about working hard all day reclaiming the desert and then dancing with a nice soldier looks a bit different now. Even so, for a long time I was a fellow traveller of the what about the socialist Zionists? awkward squad on the Left - also fond of asking what about the socialist Irish Republicans?, what about the democratic Iraqi resistance?, what about the secular Iranians? and so on. The response of the world in general was "well, what about them?" - and I've come to the conclusion that response was, if not right exactly, at least massively predictable. Also, scientists have shown that if you keep this kind of act up long enough you run a statistically significant risk of turning into Nick Cohen.

*No, not those Weavers.

ajay

I was a fellow traveller of the what about the socialist Zionists? awkward squad on the Left

Was this a particular issue? Kibbutzim and so on were all fairly socialist.

Richard J

1950 was quite a long time before 1967

True - you'd have thought alarm bells might have started to ring in the aftermath of 1956 though...

dsquared

I preferred their fundamentalist offshoot, the Houghton Weavers.

Richard J

Apposite recent Northern Irish case involving a dissident republican caught with a pipebomb. Fairly banal case, except for the background of the person concerned...

http://www.bailii.org/nie/cases/NICA/2012/54.html

dsquared

and indeed, there is also a "Carnegie Hall" in Westhoughton, Lancs, apparently The Weavers Live At The Carnegie Hall

Alex

What on earth do you mean, Richard? Mr Wong is a Celtic fan and therefore perfectly appropriate as an IRA member.

Phil

Sometimes I'm reminded of why I spent so many years avoiding folk music. Just now, for example. There are two good songs in that lot, but I bet they screw them up. I'm a friend of a friend of an Oldham Tinker, OTOH, and he's sound.

ajay - that was kind of the point: denounce imperialism and the dispossession of the Palestinians all you like, but let's not forget and so on. These days I think it's probably better to let anyone who feels like it get on with denouncing imperialism and the dispossession of the Palestinians.


jamie

@Richard. Blimey. William Wong at that.

des von bladet

Protestant Britain, especially, finally emerged having spent years fighting off stronger Catholic nations (except the Dutch, when it was never really personal).

The Dutch explanation for pretty much everything is that they're Calvinist. (Including the Catholics south of the rivers.) Hence, up to at least a point, Belgium.

askod

This reminds me of The Authoritarians by Bob Altemeyer.

Amazon blurb:

Altemeyer's 'The Authoritarians' is a compilation of years of research he's done on a personality type he identified and labeled "Right Wing Authoritarian." This label does not imply that all authoritarians are right wing. There can be left wing authoritarians but we simply don't see them in the US and Canada for his research was mostly done.

Though the webpage has some political diatribe it is mostly absent from the book which explores the various beliefs of RWAs. RWAs include very few in their 'in' group and villify their 'out' group. They have many hypocrisy's which they don't notice due to their highly compartmentalized thinking. They respect might over reason and are willing to do terrible things under the direction of a proper authority, especially if the person on the receiving end is some sort of outsider. Their fear of the world and change fuels their aggression. Worst of all, they control a large portion of our government.

The pdf is available for free. Really interesting if one wants to dig into why those guys are so similar.

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