Sunday, July 20, 2014

"Quit Yourselves Like Men, Be Strong!"

Both William Jay and Benjamin Parham Aydelott were leading opponents of the high Church movement in the episcopal Church. At the same time they were both leaders in the abolitionist movement. An Aydelott quote, referencing the apostle Paul, that makes the connection:

'a spirit which, recognising.. the great attributes of a common human nature, refuses to bow down in abject servility to any'

A symptom of this same divide is the battle for and against the American Bible Society. The focus on the rights of man is equally present in Elias Boudinot's speech to the Cincinnati where he speaks of the rights of women. I also think of the divide between federalist Alexander Hamilton on the one hand and Jefferson / Washington on the other concerning the slave revolt in Haiti.

Salmon P. Chase and Abraham Lincoln's constitutional abolitionism can only be understood in this context. Barnett has written several valuable articles on the constitutional abolitionists.

Exploring this link also helps us in distinguishing federalism and constitutional abolitionism from conservatism as understood by Russell Kirk.  Rowan Strong writes:
'In 1790 Edmund Burke had published his Reflections on the Revolution in France; in which he warned that 'Rage and phrensy will pull down more in half an hour than prudence, deliberation; and foresight can build up in a hundred years.' Pusey agreed and quoted from the book in the second Enquiry. there is a lengthy passage in xhich Burke draws the distinction between the obstinate, who reject all improvement, and the thoughtless, who are tired of everything they own. This distinction Pusey applied to theology'
Isn't it curious that the son of William Wilberforce, Samuel, became a a major figure in the preservation of the Oxford Movement.

I believe this sufficiently establishes that abolitionism wasn't just a moral question, but part of a broader theological debate among protestant Americans since the revolution. Do we see this reflected in the writings of Charles Hodge? It doesn't look like Hodge was a fan of Reverend Pusey:
'In the early Church, however, there were some who held that there is no forgiveness for post-baptismal sins—a doctrine recently reproduced in England by the Rev. Dr. Pusey. The advocates of this doctrine make this passage teach that Christ was set forth as a propitiation for the forgiveness of sins committed before baptism, that is, before conversion or the professed adoption of the gospel. Rückert and Reiche, among the recent German writers, give the same interpretation. This would alter the whole character of the gospel.'

This  1836 quote from Hodge's commentary on the letter to the Romans would link Pusey to Novatianism :
'Novatian declared the lapsi blasphemers of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jerome’s Epistle XLII), an unforgivable sin'
 In Charles Hodge's correspondence Pusey and Puseyism comes up regularly, for example in a december 1855 letter by BISHOP M ILVAIN from Cincinnati who defends himself against Hodge's criticism:
'Apostolical succession is held in my opinion as much in one Church as the other the difference between the so holding and high-churchmanship in both, being when it is not held in such a sense as to exclude by the inferences drawn from it all other ministers than its own from validity and reality, nor other Churches from being real Churches of Christ whatever it may think of their defective conformity to the Apostolic pattern. Such Apostolic succession is vastly removed from that of Romanism and Puseyism, which not only makes a ministry so de- scended, essential to the being of the Church, and essential to the reality of all sacraments, but makes the communication of saving grace essentially dependent on the sacraments of that succession and thus it is the exclusive succession of the gifts of the Spirit as well as of a certain office.'
Along with John Henry Newman, Pusey was one of the most important leaders of the Oxford Movement. The contrast between Samuel Wilberforce's conservative opposition to evolution and Charles Hodge's development appropriation of evolution points to another key difference. Bradley Gundlach, in his book Process and Providence, writes:
'a close look at the course of Princetonian interaction with evolutionary notions reveals aa different pattern. Instead of refusing to think in categories of historical change, they came increasingy to see development over time as a very helpful category indeed: helpful not only in providing new insights into sacred and secular history, but also in furnishing the orthodox with potent arguments against relativizing the teachings of the Bible or revising the confession of faith. In their hands developmentalism supported calvinist orthodoxy and biblical authority.'
In an earlier post I characterized Princeton as the project that attempted to reconcile Edwardses idealism and Witherspoons realism. which in turn reminds us of Bavincks 'grace “restores” and “perfectsnature' 

Paul C. Gutjarh writes in his biography of Hodge:
 'It was the stress on the invisible, universal church that madde Hodge stand so adapmantly against theologies that emphasized the visible church like the catholics, the Oxford Movement and those at Mercersburg with their "Romanizing tendencies'
In 1860 at the General Assembly(the minutes of the GA in Pittsburgh may 1860)  Charles Hodge argued that Thornwell embraced "superlative high churchism". Taking into account the context of the looming civil war, this comment once again suggests a link between the abolitionist battle against slavery and the fight against the oxford movement. The characterization of Southern presbyterianism as 'high churchism' goes to the heart of the debate. This indicates to me that Thornwell's theory of the 'spirituality of the church' was not the central issue of contention to Charles Hodge.Thornwell, just as Episcopal Bishop Hobart opposed volontary organisations (like the American Bible Society ?) Hodge took the opposite view and argued that the larger scriptural principle of preaching the gospel message to every creature took precedent. Note that Thornwell had accused Hodge of supporting a move towards high churchism at the 1843'd general assembly. 
Albert H Freundt writes about this:
'Thornwellian polity, it seems to me, must indeed be recognized as an expression of a kind of High Church Presbyterianism. It was in part the kind of reaction which had its counterparts in other denominations.'
Note that this same controversy pops up at the Gettysburg College after Schmucker and in the discussion between Nevin and Hodge. The high church - low church question was a hotly discussed topic, as attested by Reverend Shimeall's 1852 book 'End of Prelacy: including a demonstration of the Romanism of the system, so called, of evangelical low-churchism' which mentions Aydelott's book The Present Condition and Future Prospects of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United states. Reverend William Meade(Episcopal) of Virginia is mentioned on the cover of the book:
 'the battle of the reformation is again to be fought'.
The claims of Episcopacy refuted by John M Mason is mentioned in Shimeall's book. John M. Mason(who lived between 1770 and 1828) wrote it at the beginning of the 19th century. John M. Mason's views can be learned from this short anecdote during his time as pastor in New York.

The leaders of the high-church faction inside the Episcopal church, Hobart and Onderdonk, also surface concerning black episcopaleans in antebellum New York:
'Qualified black priests faced nearly insurmountable barriers to ordination. Williams' advancement from lay reader to deacon and, finally, to ordained priest, was painfully slow due to the Hobart's paternalism.'
'Though shy and cautious, the newly consecrated leader of St. Philip's tried to balance loyalty to his bishop's High Church traditions with his growing involvement in the early abolition movement and opposition to the American Colonization Society. The result was nearly disastrous. Although Townsend does not discuss any collaboration between Williams and other African-American clergymen, such as Presbyterian ministers Rev. Samuel Cornish and Rev. Theodore Wright, an anti-abolition mob made St. Philip's Church one of its main targets during the riots of 1834. Perhaps more damaging was the response of the new Episcopal bishop, Benjamin Treadwell Onderdonk. He demanded that Williams immediate resign from the American Anti-Slavery Society and renounce all activism not related directly to his church duties'
In 1836 future Supreme Court chief-justice and member of the Episcopalean diocese of Ohio, Salmon P. Chase, was among the forty friends that came to the defense of James Birney when his press was destroyed, once more, during the Cincinnati riots. In 1834 Birney had declared himself an abolitionist. In 1835 James Birney had moved to Cincinnati to protect his anti-slavery paper. Unsurprisingly Aydelott's Ohio diocese uses the Carey affair to pass a resolution in 1843 condemning Onderdonk. So while high-church Onderdonk succeeded in having reverend Peter Williams resign from the American Anti-slavery Society('and renounce all activism not related directly to his church duties'!), his opponents inside the Episcopal diocese of Ohio took note. Peter Williams had been involved in the starting of the first African-American owned and operated newspaper published in the United States, the Freedom's Journal. Michael Hines discusses this same period in his 2013 paper on Learning Freedom: Education, Elevation; And New York's African american middle Class 1827- 1829.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Iraqi Blood and Oil 2014

Antonia Juhasz, author of The Bush Agenda and The Tyranny of Oil
KPFA Weekend News Anchor Anthony Fest: Continuing with our coverage of Iraq, Fortune Magazine recently reported that Iraq is the world's sixth largest oil producer, and that China's four oil companies buy more Iraqi oil than corporations based in any other nation in the world. Some U.S. oil executives, officials and pundits have complained that the US fought the Iraq War but China won the spoils. As the current conflict in Iraq escalated and President Obama deployed hundreds of U.S. Special Forces to Iraq, headlines pointed to China's concern over its Iraqi oil stakes. 
Oil and energy investigator and analyst Antonia Juhasz, however, says that US and British-based oil corporations' determination to gain access to Iraqi oil was decisive in the lead-up to the 2003  invasion of Iraq, but not now, in President Obama's deliberations. KPFA's Ann Garrison spoke to Antonia Juhasz spoke to KPFA's Ann Garrison. 
KPFA/Ann Garrison: In 2009, Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens complained that "we," meaning the people of the United States, had sacrificed 5,000 lives, 65,000 wounded soldiers, and one and a half trillion dollars in Iraq, and that "we," meaning U.S. oil corporations, were therefore entitled to Iraq's oil, but that the oil contracts were all going to China. Oil and energy investigator and analyst Antonia Juhasz said, on the contrary, that the Iraq War served US and UK based oil companies very well. 
Antonia Juhasz: I certainly do not think that they had any reason to complain. American and British oil companies did remarkably well. Prior to the invasion, U.S. oil companies were totally shut out of operating within Iraq, and following the invasion, all of the major American and British oil companies were given incredible access to one of the largest pots of oil remaining in the world.

KPFA: Prior to the Iraq War, Yuhasz said, Iraq's oil fields were neither privatized nor open to foreign investment, but Saddam Hussein was negotiating oil contracts with China, Russia, and France, in hopes of winning their support for lifting the punishing financial and trade embargo that it had imposed on Iraq four days after the 1989 invasion of Kuwait, and then for the next fourteen years.  
Antonia Juhasz: Certainly the Chinese also got contracts, but really it's best to step back a little bit to understand why that is still a victory from the perspective of the U.S. oil companies. If you go back to the period of time when the decision making around the Iraq War was taking place, at the very beginning of the Bush Administration, we know that the Cheney energy task force was meeting and that was the oil guys within the Bush Administration and the oil guys from outside of the Bush Administration holding meetings, right at the very beginning of 2001, and one of the things that they did was look at a series of maps and lists of countries and companies that Saddam Hussein was starting to negotiate oil contracts with, and basically, what they realized was that if the sanctions against Hussein were lifted . . . and at that time there was an incredible amount of organizing going on to try and get those sanctions lifted from a humanitarian perspective, due to the humanitarian costs. . . if the sanctions were lifted, then Saddam Hussein was prepared to sign contracts, oil contracts, for the first time with foreign companies and these were companies that very much did not include American and British oil companies. So this huge oil pile was about to be opened up and American and British oil companies were about to be completely shut out.

Fast forward through the invasion, and following the invasion, and instead what we have is essentially American and British oil companies given the opportunity to move in on those contracts, get contracts of their own, and partner with the Chinese, partner with the Russians, partner with the French, in contracts Saddam Hussein had already signed. So, really, from an American and British oil company perspective, they mooched in on contracts that were already being signed and got their own contracts for Iraqi oil, so I would say they did remarkably well, and from the rest of our perspective, tragically well. Really the outcome of this war was that Iraq has been pitched into incredible suffering and instability, the Iraqis have suffered, obviously, Americans have suffered, the world has suffered tremendously but Western oil companies have really come out on top.  
KPFA: Yuhasz does not think that the Obama Administration's military deployment is motivated by U.S. oil companies dissatisfaction with their share of Iraqi oil, or with China's.
Antonia Juhasz: The current instability in Iraq and the current upheaval in Iraq isn't about the United States or the Europeans trying to get China's oil in Iraq. That is certainly not what's happening. From the perspective of western oil companies, they're doing great in Iraq. That doesn't mean that they wouldn't want more but they're certainly not, I would say, willing to risk further instability in Iraq at this point to try and get more oil. From their perspective, I would say they're doing great with what they got in Iraq.

In the current conflict, however, ISIL, is certainly. . . one of thing things that motivates its activities in Iraq . . . is gaining greater access to Iraqi oil. ISIL took over oil fields in Syria It's one of the things that's fueling, literally fueling, that movement, and they targeted oil fields and refineries and pipelines in Iraq. It's certainly been a focus of what they've been doing. But is a motivator for the Obama Administration sending military into Iraq right now to try and get the Chinese out of Iraq? I would say absolutely not. 
KPFA: And that was Antonia Yuhasz, author of The Bush Agenda and the Tyranny of Oil. For PacificaKPFA Radio, I'm Ann Garrison.