[*] The Big Blow

I have raised the Cat-5 flag for this post because, well, you better board up the windows and evacuate before you start reading. It’s a long, hard blow, and the foolhardy ones who stay behind do so at their own peril.

I have also considered opening a blog and making Armstrong a "Team Member" to reduce the amount of confusion and link-jumping you poor readers have to endure, but designing a new TMP for a blog in order to interact with Armstrong is like buying a skybox in the Superdome for the 2005 season. You fill in the punchline.
centuri0n said: It’s an essay that, to this day, Armstrong overlooks. He does not address a single point made here,

I've addressed such points or similar ones times without number.

centuri0n said: and relies on a single quote from Hunter, out of context, to simply whistle in the dark past this issue.

I do not rely on one quote from Hunter, but upon widespread use of the term anti-Catholic among thousands of Protestant scholars. I've documented 55 of these. If I am using it as simply a synonym for "bigot" or "hateful person who wants to bodily harm Catholics," then so are they.
There are 5 examples on your last salvo, Armstrong, and it’s very strange that these are the 5 you would pick – because none of them actually say what you say below. Shall we review them? Gosh, if only the original sources were cited! But yes, that would be a good idea:
Mark Noll (evangelical historian): "Protestant anti-Romanism was a staple of the American theological world . . ."
I would suggest to you that "anti-Romanism" is a different word than "anti-Catholic". Saying they are synonyms is on-par with saying "anti-welfare" is a synonym with "racist".
David O. Moberg (evangelical sociologist): "the tensions have a continuing social, psychological, and ideological basis which must not be overlooked."
The question is not whether the "tensions" (and we can only assume that Moberg is here talking about the political oppression that Hunter is talking about; context of the statement would be helpful) have as one source the ideological differences between Catholic and Protestant: the question is whether the theology of Protestantism is itself rightly called "anti-Catholic". It is interesting to note that Moberg does not use the word.
Martin Marty (Protestant Church historian): ". . . the editor of the Protestant Home Missionary picked up the cry for the West, where was to be fought a great battle 'between truth and error, between law and anarchy -- between Christianity . . . and the combined forces of Infidelity and Popery.' "
That's an interesting quote from Dr. Marty, but I have another which actually uses the word we are worrying about here:
The May 17 Sightings ("Catholic Elections") commented on how the Vatican and American bishops in 1960 assured U.S. citizens that bishops' (fatefully futile) intrusion in Puerto Rican politics (declaring it sinful for any Catholic to vote for the pro-birth control PPD) would never find a counterpart here. That first intervention under an American flag reflected only the "practical and special condition of the island," they said. It can't happen here. But it did in 2004. Many flip-flopped. Had the old anti-Catholic Protestants been rightfully wary back when they warned about Catholic power in American politics?
Clearly, there are two premises to Dr. Marty's statement: (1) Protestantism does not equal anti-Catholicism, and (2) anti-Catholicism does equal political paranoia about Catholic models of authority. So when Dr. Marty implies that one periodical in one case demonstrates the equation of Catholicism and anarchy (that is: is demonstrates a political aversion to Catholicism, not merely a theological aversion), he is not at all saying that anti-Catholicism is synonymous with the confessional statements which denounce the Pope.
David Montgomery (Presbyterian pastor): ". . . definition is crucial here. By anti-catholic, I do not mean a rejection of Roman Catholic theological positions. By that definition everyone outside, (and not a few inside), the Roman communion would be deemed anti-catholic! . . . Theological disagreement need not involve suspicion or hostility.

"Some Evangelicals will choose to discuss the issues as they arise in the context of friendship and dialogue, while others will view the Catholic church as the enemy and will see the public renunciation of Roman dogma as an integral part of promoting the evangelical faith. It is this confrontational methodology which I see as the fourth characteristic of anti-Catholicism. Not, let me stress, because doctrine is unimportant, but because such a methodology attributes to Roman Catholicism a status it does not merit . . . "
The emphasis is mine – but what on earth is Armstrong using this citation for?! Pastor Montgomery is saying exactly the same thing I am!In what way does this quote even leave prospect for the idea Armstrong has proposed – that it is justified to call any assertion which rejects Catholicism as Christian "anti-Catholic"?

Let's be as clear as possible about something: Montgomery is a person who advocates that the label "Evangelical Catholic" is not an oxymoron – but he does so on the basis that the "Evangelical Catholic" affirms the following 4 doctrines: the supreme authority of Scripture (not co-equal with the Magisterium), missionary activity, the centrality of the cross, and the new birth (not baptismal regeneration). (Montgomery furnishes that distinction here) Also important to this discussion, for whatever it is worth, would be the other 3 characteristics Montgomery has listed to form the definition of "anti-Catholic" (from the same link): irrational hatred akin to racism, irrational fear of Catholic political motives, and defamation through invention of urban legends that claim moral disgraces on the part of the Catholic church.

Lastly, before we move on, it is critical to stare into the black hole of the ellipsis Armstrong propped up his citation of Montgomery with. The italic text, below, is what Armstrong bleeped out:
By anti-Catholic, I do not mean rejection of Roman Catholic theological positions. By that definition everyone outside (and not a few inside) the Roman communion would be deemed anti-Catholic! No, it is an undeniable feature of both Reformation and historical evangelical theology that sub-Biblical and extra-Biblical doctrines such as the Infallibility of the Papacy, Transubstantiation, and the decrees of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary must be rejected. All of the Reformers and major evangelical leaders have been utterly opposed theologically to Roman Catholicism in these areas, many of them saying (according to the spirit of their time) extremely harsh things about the Papacy in particular. Does that mean they were anti-Catholic? Not necessarily. Theological disagreement need not involve suspicion of hostility.
The entire tenor of the affirmation Montgomery makes here is changed by what Armstrong somehow overlooked.
centuri0n said: This topic has a particular interest for me because I have myself been branded, at various times over the last 5 years, an "anti-catholic".

You don't consider Catholicism a form of Christianity, so the title is quite apt.
I don’t consider Soviet Socialism a historical form of democracy, either, Armstrong, because even though elections are held they are meaningless. Would that make me an anti-Soviet?
centuri0n said: I have been told that the term originates in a work entitled Culture Wars by James Davison Hunter,

By whom? Certainly not I; I would never assert such a ridiculously false thing. The term was in common usage for many decades before Hunter was born,
[div style="snark: none; text-style: exposition;"] Back when Dave Armstrong was still a user in good standing at CARM, he contributed a word to the dialog there that has since become a common word in Catholic apologetic circles: anti-Catholic. I cannot give you a date for this incident because all records of Armstrong’s interaction on CARM were anathemaciously expunged when his posting privileges were taken away. I can tell you that it was prior to May 2004 because it was the conversation around the events that got Armstrong banned at CARM that lead me to buy Hunter’s book.

Now why did I select Hunter’s book? Is it a best-seller? No. I bought it because when I took umbrage at Armstrong’s use of the word, he directed me to Hunter’s work as the basis for his use of the word. When I read Hunter’s book [and you have to read the whole thing because a book has one thesis which is developed and expounded over the course of all the chapters. A book is not (usually) like a blog: a book is a coherent thesis; a blog is periodic and (to be charitable) episodic], I was shocked: it appeared to me that Armstrong had misused Hunter’s words and his meaning to suit the purpose of his own arguments. Thus. I wrote the very brief essay you say here at the blog in order to curtail the use of the word. [/div]

Now the new readers of the blog are thinking, "cent, how can we trust your version of these events? How do we know you are not, like a pig in an Orwell novel, revising history?" That’s an interesting question. Here is my basis for substantiating this version of the events. Part of the fall-out of Armstrong’s banishment from CARM was the attempts I made to apologize to him was the courtesy I asked of him to simply not mention me, and I would not mention him.

Let’s be clear that the reason the events stand out in my mind was that I violated that courtesy – I mentioned Armstrong by implication in the original draft of that essay on Hunter’s book. For the sake of reducing the number of debates we are having here, I’ll confess to being the one who didn’t "keep his word" who also made the following request to Diane S at CARM in an e-mail dated 5/27/04:
Diane -- you're getting a copy of this message. Please edit my posts from "The proclaimer of this interesting term told me that he got the term from a work entitled ..." to "I have been told that this term originates in a work entitled ...".

Please edit "There was one somewhat well-known Catholic apologist who routinely tossed that term around here at CARM until he was called on it and lost his temper; there are now at least 4 major Catholic apologists who are using that term to ..." to say "There are at least 4 major Catholic apologists who are using that term to ..."

Please edit "The word entered the dialog here at CARM when a now-gone advocate came here and started slapping it on anyone who wanted to call him on his lousy theological dissertations without pretending that he was an academically-sound source of information..." to "The word entered the dialog at CARM about 2 years ago, and it has now come into common use among Catholics here ..."

and if Mr. Armstrong can find any other offensive references by me to him on CARM, I offer him the opportunity to provide them and I will offer edits to them.

I have posted an apology today for calling Catholics "mindless" -- because Mr. Armstrong is right in that it ultimately is an inflammatory statement. You may circulate this thread of e-mails as you see fit to those who will get a good laugh out of them.

Thank you, Jiminy Cricket, for being such a faithful conscience.
Now let's think about this for a second: if the statement which offended the agreement was actually an offense to the agreement, then it had to be Armstrong who was the one who introduced the term, yes?

But let's not take my word for it.
Date:Wed, 26 May 2004 18:21:20 -0400
To:[Diane S] [centuri0n]
From: "Dave Armstrong"
Subject: Keeping one's word

Dear Frank and Diane,

I thought the agreement I made with you (Frank) was that I would stop critiquing you on my blog and you would stop doing the same to me? I quickly and gladly agreed. But now you turn around and discuss me in veiled terms, thinking you are pulling a fast one simply because you don't mention my actual name? Anyone who followed the earlier discussion knows exactly who is being discussed
[Emph added]
The full text of that e-mail can be found here. So please do not accept my word for the events. Please use Armstrong's response back in '04 to decide if he was the one who provided me with that information, and please compare his original response to his response this week, and draw your own conclusions.
centuri0n said: and that Hunter’s work outlines a particular brand of hatred on the part of Protestants against Catholics which is unsubstantiated and irrational.

Sure, but that has no bearing on how I am using the term (which has nothing to do with hatred, etc.).
Let's see: Armstrong was the one who started the use of "anti-Catholic" at CARM about 3 years ago, Armstrong cited Hunter's work as the source of his use of that term, but Hunter's usage has no bearing on Armstrong's usage? Let the reader decide.
centuri0n said: Notice that Hunter defines it in an environment of mutual disregard: it is not a matter of the poor victimized Catholics being treated badly by the damned insolent or ignorant (or both) Protestants: it is a matter of a foundational dispute between the two. The dispute is inherently theological,

Exactly; therefore it is perfectly proper to use the term with sole reference to its theological components, not its wider range of meaning, which includes violence, hatred, bigotry, discrimination, disenfranchisement, etc. How can it not be so, if indeed theology is "inherent" to the word in question?
Half of answering that question lies in allowing the sentence to be completed before interjecting editorial remarks. Cutting off a reply – whether in person by talking over the other person, or in a text conversation like this – is, in the best case, ill-conceived.
centuri0n said: And in that, Hunter describes the tension to spill over into political and social conflict:

See, again; the very fact that you acknowledge an initial tension that can "spill over" into "political and social conflict" shows that there was already the theological tension; thus the term can be properly applied to such conflicts antecedent to their potential "spilling over" into something even more heinous, and socially, as well as theologically and ecumenically destructive.
What we "see again" is a failure to grasp the point of what is being said – in part, or entirely, because the critic fails to consider the entire argument including all the evidence presented by Hunter himself. If Armstrong would simply glance at the part he has omitted, he would find that his "see again" would be untenable: "even after the age of religious wars had formally come to an end, the political tensions between these religious and cultural traditions continued to effect the cultural fabric of Western life. Prejudice, discrimination, and even physical violence were commonplace". Hunter's enumeration of the tensions subsequent to the theological disagreement equal what he then calls "anti-catholic" in American society. Hunter is expressly saying that anti-Catholicism is a political and/or sociological event, not merely a dismissal of the orthodoxy of a theological position. While Armstrong might personally like to "apply" the term "to such conflicts antecedent to their potential 'spilling over'" is original and interesting: it is something that Hunter avoids with circumspect caution. Doing what Armstrong does here is like calling the late republic in Rome "Imperial Rome" because the conflicts antecedent to the rise of the Caesars were present in the late Republic. It doesn't follow.

And let's keep something in mind: this revision of his position is Armstrong's new way of justifying using this term in spite of its disrepute. He won't consider this, but you, the reader, should: if I use the term "anti-semitic" to describe someone who does not agree with American foreign policy toward Israel, am I invoking a morally-charged term to denigrate without argument, or am I simply saying, "They are opposed to support of the Jewish state in the same way they might be opposed to the support of the Cuban state on ideological grounds; they are not racists or bigots"? There may be a third choice, but again: induceat lector – let the reader decide.
centuri0n said: So the phenomenon Hunter is describing here is not a matter of one-sided insular Protestant bigotry: it is a matter of mutual disregard which, after a century of overt war, turned to the quiet warfare of personal relationships.

Absolutely. As I have stated many times, often the term is used to describe such phenomena, which also includes anti-Protestantism: which I have repeatedly condemned also. But it is not confined to social and political troubles.
The problem, of course, is that on pp. 35-36 of his book, Hunter (a sociologist) refuses to call the events that caused the political outcomes by this name. Hunter! Armstrong's source!
centuri0n said: It is in this context that Hunter uses the term "anti-Catholicism".

The term was already in use. It didn't have to be defined by the context of his book because it was already known, for heaven's sake.
Yes – but it was the source Armstrong cited – and in every other source where the term is used, it denotes a political agenda to obstruct the advance of Catholicism through fear-mongering and myth-making. He cannot find a source which uses this word to mean merely "Protestant" or even "argumentative Protestant".
centuri0n said: There is no doubt that Hunter either coins or simply applies the term "Anti-Catholicism" in his work,

You seriously consider the possibility that Hunter "coined" the term? Wow, this is getting surreal, even for you. You are that ignorant about the term, yet you want to lecture me that I supposedly don't know anything about it, and use it as a dishonest cover for calling people bigots?
If this statement by Armstrong requires some kind of exegesis, someone please e-mail me. I said "coins or simply applies" – but, since Armstrong can apply an ellipsis anywhere he wants to make any text say whatever he requires, there's not reason to try to correct him here.
centuri0n said: but the question is: what is Hunter describing? Is he describing the inherently-Protestant theological view that Catholics are heretics,

In part yes, as I documented: ". . . it took expression primarily as a religious hostility - as a quarrel over religious doctrine, practice, and authority. . ." (p. 71; Hunter's italics)

centuri0n said: or is he describing the political and social upheaval that resulted when the dispute over theology turned, in popular hands, into a reason to discriminate against a man for an honest education or the right to gain employment for a wage?

Yes, he does that, too. So what? I've always acknowledged that. Just because you are blinded to that fact, for some odd reason, doesn't mean I don't know about it.
It is again interesting to note that Armstrong grabs the citation from pg 71 but ignores the citation which defines Hunter's use of the word from pp. 35-36. I am sure it was an honest mistake.
centuri0n said: Clearly, Hunter thinks the dispute over theology is the root cause –

Exactly; so again, that's why it is perfectly proper to use the term in a strictly theological way.

centuri0n said: but it is a two-sided cause.

Often it is, but not necessarily, as I have stressed till I am blue in the face. For some reason, anti-Catholics hate to be called that. It's like liberal disdain of the word "liberal," I guess. Yet they have no qualms about using the terms "anti-Protestant," "anti-evangelical," "anti-Calvinist" (I've documented many examples of James White and Eric Svendsen using those terms). That's fine, so let me ask you, Turk: why do you not condemn them for being (as you claim) equally arbitrary and irrational, and hate-mongering, for using the equivalent terms the other way around?
It's funny, but you cannot find someone using "anti-evangelical" or "anti-Calvinist" who ever means it to say, "Catholics who are seeking to repress the civil rights of Protestants". And a quick Google of AOMin.org finds that the only person Dr. White has ever called "anti-Protestant" is … Dr. Art Sippo, the Jack Chick of Catholic apologetics!

So if you want to stick up for Dr. Sippo's black-tongued abuse of anyone who questions him or his beliefs, you are welcome to do so. Just do it someplace else.
But of course, you have denied that Protestants ever use such language. You being unacquainted with the facts of a matter under dispute is, sadly, no unusual thing for you. You don't even know that your own heroes and champions are using these terms. I do, because I got sick and tired of these charges you reiterate and thus sought to show that those who make the charge are often guilty of gross hypocrisy. I am not, because I have used the term consistently in one fashion, not inconsistently, as White and Svendsen do: using their own "anti-" terminology but always accusing Catholics of something unsavory when they merely do the same thing.
Poor Armstrong! Such an abused person! I weep for him!
centuri0n said: If he were writing a history of southern Europe, one has to wonder how he would have positioned the circumstances of Protestants given his brief description already cited.

Obviously not. His specialty is American religion, in any event.
Is it obvious that Hunter would not say that anti-Protestant bias fueled political violence against Protestants in southern Europe? It is clear that in his presentation of the European events which fueled New-World prejudices, the Catholics were not any better in their treatment of Protestants. You simply skipped that part of my citation of Hunter, but again: the ellipsis is mightier than the fact.
centuri0n said: He does call the editorial policies of the Chicago Tribune and the substance of the "great school wars" "anti-Catholicism", but does he qualify all Protestant theology as anti-Catholic?

Of course not; anyone with half a brain cell knows that. Note the remote insinuation that somehow I am doing this: one of your more ludicrous and absolutely asinine charges about me. For heaven's sake, I used to be a Protestant who was not an anti-Catholic, so how in the world could I turn around and deny that such a thing exists? I would have to lie about my own past history.
Protestant theology (as opposed to Evangelical theology, which is a distinction Montgomery makes if you have actually read his article that you cited) rejects the errors of Catholicism as wholly-incompatible with the Bible. If you never made that confession – and that's the confession you call "anti-Catholic" – then don't break your arm patting yourself on the back. You weren't much of a Protestant even by Montgomery's definition.
You have to lob one of your outrageous lies about me when (as recently) you claimed that I classify all Protestants as "anti-Catholic." Yet you want so badly to dialogue with me. Why in the world would I want to do so with a person who has continually lied about my positions; even bald facts, and refuses to be corrected on any of them?
I want to dialog with Armstrong? Let's check my blog, shall we? It seems that Armstrong's original complaint was that I am intransigent and refuse to dialog with him out of raw hatred. Since when do I want to dialog with Armstrong? Anyone reading the comments in his blog ought to see plainly that I am ignoring him there to converse with the far-more-reasonable contributors to his meta.

I want to dialog with Armstrong about as much as I want to camp on the beach in Galveston tonight. Can I say it any more clearly? If it was not clear when I started this blog entry, let me make it crystal clear right now that the only reason for this blog entry is to underscore the continued flawed methodology of Dave Armstrong for the sake of warning others against dealing with him.
I'm only here now, hoping that some rational, fair-minded Christian soul who reads your blog will see this and correct and rebuke you in love, before you make a fool of yourself to an even greater extent than you already have. Lying about others is a sin. Even if I am all these things that you and Phil Johnson and Steve Hays and Svendsen and White and all my other critics think of me, it's still a sin to lie and bear false witness, if it is proven that such has taken place. This is just one instance among many. But you refuse to deal with them. Instead it's all mockery and further misrepresentation.
I am sure the fair-minded will enjoy your create use of other people's writings and your obviously high degree of self-awareness. I welcome the fair-minded to read this blog entry and use it as the basis for coming back here for a return visit.
centuri0n said: Even as Hunter develops his thesis that Protestant biases inhabited the political system, he makes this clear concession:

"At a more profound level, however, biblical theism gave Protestants, Catholics, and Jews many of the common ideals of public life."

Amen! Am I to take this as some small degree of ecumenism on your part? Praise God.

centuri0n said: It is the acceptance of the Bible as the unitive heritage of men who fear God that resolves their differences. That hardly sounds like a Catholic perspective: it sounds significantly Protestant.

It's Catholic, too, of course. We rejoice that we share the biblical heritage in common.
Do you want to cite the Catechism (or perhaps Canon Law) on that statement, or will you amend it before I can tell you that the CCC says explicitly that the Word is useful to believers only (cf. P79)?
centuri0n said: The doctrine of sola Scriptura – that Scripture alone has the authority to correct all other forms of authority, and that it alone in the normative standard – is not Catholic but Protestant, and it is this ideal of Scripture conforming the minds of men to which Hunter ascribes the basis and the ground of whatever resolution has occurred over time between the parties.

No. He merely referred to "biblical theism" and included Jews in the equation also. Obviously, Jews don't believe in sola Scriptura, either; it is strictly a Protestant thing. We have this in common (the Bible). We don't have sola Scriptura in common.
Yes, that is my point, Armstrong. The application of sola Scriptura is that men resolve their conflicts by conforming themselves to God's word, aka the Bible. That's what Hunter says happened: the Bible was the basis for a common resolution of grievances.
centuri0n said: Let’s keep that in mind the next time someone wants to throw out the term "anti-Catholic".

Yeah, let's. And let's also keep all this in mind when White or Svendsen hypocritically use terms like "anti-evangelical" or "anti-Reformed" or "anti-Calvinist." No one has addressed that phenomenon, to my knowledge, except yours truly.
And an effect address it has been, no doubt.
centuri0n said: I take a wholly-Protestant view of Catholic theology, but even I do no call for the disenfranchisement of Catholics.

Good for you! "Even" you don't do that, huh? What, have you been tempted to do so or something? Why even state such a silly thing? It's like the old thing about a man saying out of the blue, "I don't beat my wife."

centuri0n said: I don’t think you should go out and beat Catholics, nor rob them of their possessions, nor that you should slander them for things they have never done.

What progress! Frank Turk is not in favor of beating and robbing Catholics. Great. He does not, however, have any compunctions about lying repeatedly about one of them; namely, Dave Armstrong. That's one of the Ten Commandments, too, last time I checked. Yet you repeatedly slander me by attributing to me notions and beliefs that I do not now hold; nor have I ever held them. And don't ask me to list them, as that is what I have already done in the paper you chose to deliberately ignore (for very good reason).
Except as we have seen you do, above.

Look: I'd love to spend the rest of the weekend going over Armstrong's verbal gymnastics here, but I have already spent most of Friday on him and I'd like to go and do something useful instead. If anyone wants me to finish this excruciating exercise, I'll do it next week. If we don't get any votes to finish Armstrong's comments up, I'm going to find something more enjoyable to talk about – like a detailed description of pulling ticks off of stray domestic animals.