History 104A, December 2: Like It or Not, We are All Protestant!


               What I decide to do, since I got involved with the video tape on


          Wednesday, was to do the group meeting first for about 25 minutes.


          Come back in between 25 after and 11:30 so we can finish it up.  You


          have to take a role in the renaissance.  You are reborn and decide


          where you were reborn or what you were reborn into -- see I have the


          Medici family in there I suppose -- and discuss your life at the time.


          And then I'll talk about it for a couple minutes to find out who you


          were and what you were born into.  And then we'll go on and talk about


          your anal retentive habits and how we are Protestant even if we're


          Catholic or Muslim or Jewish or Hindu if you were born in this


          country.  In any case, let's break into groups.  The papers are up




                                       (group work)


               Let's call our meeting back to order.  The group meetings haven't


          been the greatest success this semester.  Sometimes they work and


          sometimes they don't.  This is one of the semesters they have not


          worked extremely well, so it goes.  At least it gives you a chance to


          get to know a few people.


          A    I think they worked.


               THE PROFESSOR:  They're fun to get together.  I'm not sure if


          we're getting a lot of material out of them.


          A    I think it varies from group to group.


               THE PROFESSOR:  In any case, Sara reminded me of something while


          we were talking, about the names during the medieval period.  How many



          of -- and I guess I really went into it -- how many of the names today


          stem from the later medieval period or actually high middle ages


          before the black plague when the population really increased?  They


          took the names from the guilds and from the occupation.  In northern


          Europe it was Erickson, son of Eric.  Throughout much of the west, you


          had the name Cooper which was an occupation.  Did I deal with this at


          all?  What is a cooper?


          A    Barrel maker.


               THE PROFESSOR:  Shoemaker would be the name -- cobbler, Smith,


          blacksmith, goldsmith, silversmith, but Smith, Clerk, Clark.  Name a


          common name in many parts of England -- Clarks who were clerks.  What


          others?  I found out Kirshner, I thought since kirsch was a cherry in


          German, I thought that Kirshner meant cherry picker which sort of


          sounded interesting, being Jewish in origin.  Kirshner stands for


          furrier.  There's a big furrier firm in Georgia in the south.  I only


          know that because of a woman that was working at Radio Shack, so we


          learn the backgrounds of our names, anyone?


          A    My last name is Christian.


               THE PROFESSOR:  I know you went to a Christian family reunion in


          year --


          A    I would guess that my ancestors were Christian.


               THE PROFESSOR:  Either that or somebody took the name trying to


          prove that they were.


          A    Thanks.


               THE PROFESSOR:  That's all right.  I think it's interesting how



          names differ.  In Mexico there are a lot of Jesuses which you don't


          see.  I don't know anybody in this country who names their kid Jesus.


          A    I've known a few.


               THE PROFESSOR:  That were not South American origin?


          A    Uh-hum.


               THE PROFESSOR:  Yeah, well, I haven't.  Most of the time they're


          either South America or Spanish origin.


               Well, the occupations that some of you took, we had merchants,


          kings, and one Pope.  Was there more than one Pope?  He didn't respond


          to my question.  I asked him how the women were as Pope.  And he said


          he didn't know, which of course wasn't necessarily always the case.


               All right.  I want to talk about a change that took place.  We


          sort of introduced it with the reformation and tie it to, as I


          indicated, the American personality, which by the way, is changing and


          has been changing since the 1960s.  There is quote/unquote an American


          culture.  Obviously a lot of it was based on recent immigration, and


          then of course other changes have occurred.  The earlier immigration


          to this country really formulated or formed the basic personality of


          America.  Now again, there were two basic zones of immigration.  We


          had the south which was mainly settled by Anglican, the church that


          Henry the VIII founded, which was really, in many ways, an English


          Catholic church.  And then in this country, what is the Anglican


          church?  What is it known as in this country?  The episcopalian.  On


          the East Coast there are two groups that are very very large as far as


          Christian groups are concerned besides Catholics, and that was



          Episcopalian and the Congregationalists.  The Congressionalists church


          stems from the Puritan/pilgrim settlement in New England.  You see


          it's really different out here.  You're all pagans.


          A    Yep.


               THE PROFESSOR:  However, going back, the first settlements of


          course, Jamestown, 1607, and then of course later in the New England


          area with the pilgrims and the Mayflower around starting in 1620 and


          then with the Massachusetts Bay colony.  Now, when I say that our


          personality as a nation has been formed to a large extent, despite the


          earlier settlement in the south, the formation of that nation came


          about because of the settlement in New England.  By pilgrims and


          Puritans, which is the difference?  Well, basically the pilgrims, the


          first settlers there, a small group were not just dissenters but


          separatists.  They wanted to create their own separate church within


          and break away from the Anglican Church.  The second group, the


          Puritans, were reformers within the Anglican Church.  They wanted to


          get rid of all papists, Pope doctrine, and make it a truly separate


          church and more Protestant background.  The Puritans wanted to stay


          within the Anglican Church but reform it.  The doctrine between the


          pilgrims and the Puritans were very similar.  They were Protestant


          groups breaking away from my papist or Catholic doctrine.  Now, we


          know that in 1517, October 31st -- we've seen it in the DVD's, et


          cetera, Martin Luther posted on the gate door at Wittenberg 95


          arguments, theses, in opposition to what he believed to be the


          Catholic doctrine.  And again, from the videos, you picked up that it



          wasn't brand new to him.  It had started in the fourth century with a


          man called Wycliffe and continued at the beginning of the 15th


          century, 1400s, with John Hus in Czechoslovakia or Bohemia, if you




               The same concepts came about, but in 1400, in the late 1300s


          there was no printing press.  What had happened was that the church


          had begun to print on the printing press these indulgences that you


          heard of.  The indulgence was a piece of paper that I mentioned


          previously that simply said you have contributed goodwill and grace by


          giving money to the church, and this will give you grace.  Salivation


          came about through doing good works and good deeds.  I think I may


          have alluded to before, the arch bishop of Mines wanted to obtain more


          territory.  And the Pope at the time, in 1500, was building St.


          Peter's cathedral, obviously an expensive project.  Did you visit


          Saint Peters when you were there in Rome, the Vatican?


          A    We were there when the Pope passed away thorough.


               THE PROFESSOR:  You were there?  They've done two shows on the


          Pope last night.  In any case, one of the things that struck me more


          than anything else was walking in and the immensity of the place.  And


          the guide we had said, well, see where that fire alarm is.  I feel


          like I could probably go over there and touch it.  There were some


          birds on the wall.  And he said, why don't you go over and try and


          touch it.  They were at least 30 feet above my head, even though they


          looked like you could touch it.  It was an immense work in


          architecture in that renaissance spending money.  This was the wealth



          of the church that Martin Luther began to protest.  The arch bishop


          borrowed money from the German bank house, the fuggers.  And they got


          permission to tend this guy Tetzel like pretzel around preaching, as I


          think I indicated, buy some more indulgences, and then you can safely


          pay now save later.  And then at a certain point you got all the grace


          you need to buy yourself out of purgatory, now get all of your


          relatives out of purgatory.  Martin Luther advised that they not allow


          Tetzel into Germany.  And then he did go across the river where people


          flocked to pay their snake oil medicine, their immediate salivation


          from him.


               Luther, as you noted, went forth and issued his objections.  And


          then, when challenged, was swept away and protected by the north


          German princes.  Now, what have we got?  We've got a philosophy known


          as justification by faith, faith alone will save you.  And the way you


          obtain faith was through reading the Bible.  And when you read the


          Bible, you found Christ and you would do good works and good deeds,


          which is the basis of a revolution, men can do all things if you will.


          You no longer need intermediaries through priests and saints.  You


          would have a minister who was an educator, a teacher, and he would


          minister to your needs.  He would direct you and aid you in finding


          things in the Bible.  And as it indicated, Luther translated the Bible


          into the vernacular German.


               Perhaps one of the more interesting books the best known book


          about Martin Luther is called Here I Stand that talks about his


          philosophy.  A German psychologist/sociologist by the name of Eric



          Erickson wrote a book called The Junk Man Luther in which he studied


          Luther's early life and decided that Luther's life was very


          quote/unquote Freudian in the sense that he was anal retentive,


          uptight, humorless, constipated -- constipated people tend to be very


          serious and then they finally let it all out, they explode.  It's like


          taking ex-lax, I guess.  And so that personality tends to maintain and


          keep itself tight.  Max Weber argued that Protestantism came out of


          Lutherism -- meaning that capitalism came out of Protestantism because


          of this uptightness, this willing to hold it all in.  And that meant


          holding onto your money and investing it, making more money, not


          showing it off.  It was now allowed to profit from Protestantism.  It


          broke with the Catholic sense that you only charged a fair price.  And


          with that, northern Europe changed into a capitalist world.


               Of course when we get into this, which came first the chicken or


          the egg, the question is that, is it that north European society a


          distant society?  Do they tend to be more uptight and closed because


          of the cold weather, because of the snow?  Is it that Martin Luther is


          just an extreme, proud of this, or did the development of


          Protestantism not only lead to the development of capitalism, but did


          it lead to a basically humorless world of uptight people, control


          people?  Well, it was expanded in a sense the Protestant ethic with a


          man called John Calvin.  For months the cartoon Calvin and Hobbs is


          reappearing in the newspaper.  And of course Calvin reflects the


          Calvinistic philosophy and Hobbs named after the English philosopher


          who said life is short, brutal, and nasty.  John Calvin basically



          became a Protestant minister and took over Geneva, Switzerland and


          became part of the theological political mode of Geneva, Switzerland.


          He found something in Luther's writings which Luther did write about


          in the Bible.  He stated that God or Jesus knew before you were born


          that you were either going to be a saint or a sinner.  You were either


          saved or dammed, and there was nothing you could do about it.  And he


          proceeded to control people in Geneva, Switzerland.  If they sinned a


          little even, they were punished in the stockades, flogged, hung.


               Now, the Puritans and pilgrims were, in a sense, descendants from


          this Protestant descendant Geneva, not free will Christians but free


          destined.  Those of you who are Christians, have predestination


          Christianity and free will Christianity.  The Puritans came to America


          and set up, in New England, area the king, the City of God on Earth,


          where of course they not only used the stockades, they used the


          scarlet A to control people for adultery, the scarlet letter of the


          Hawthorne book.  The pilgrims created, in this world that they


          created, an educational system.  The first university in the Americas


          was Harvard founded in 15 -- I'm sorry, 1636, but a few years after


          the Puritans arrived.  The Puritans arrived in 1620s.  The pilgrims in


          1620s.  Obviously reading, education became important.  It became


          important because you had to read the Bible.  You had to read the King


          James version which was produced only a few years earlier so that you


          could find Christ.  That educational system, with the founding of


          Harvard and then Yale, and then King College which became Columbia in


          New York.  All of that became the foundation of the institutions of



          education.  They were originally established to train ministers to


          have people go out, like the Matther family in Boston, to educate


          people on the Bible.  And with that, they went out throughout the


          country.  They became the professors, the teachers, the educators, the


          writers of American society.  The first university founded in the


          south was almost 100 years after Harvard, even though the southern


          colonies had been settled earlier.  And most southerners -- the upper


          class did not send their children to William and Mary.  They sent them


          to Europe to get an education.  The south was out of that thrust


          somewhat, but many of the professors from Harvard, Yale, et cetera,


          began to move into William and Mary and the university of Virginia and


          other southern schools.  And they brought with them this Puritan


          sense, the sense of predestination that also created what we call the


          Puritan work ethic.  What it also created was the need to have white


          picket fences and green grass grow in the desert causing a whole new


          settlement in Las Vegas with good, green golf courses costing a lot of




               There was in the sense of predestination, the sense of the


          Protestant work ethics, the concept as well that families began to be


          born into it.  Certain families were born good and certain families


          were born evil.  This was known as the halfway doctrine.  So if you


          were born in the upper class elite like the Bushes, you would


          obviously be rewarded by God throughout your life.  And it created --


          part of this uptightness was because if you sinned a little, that


          would mean you were going to hell.  There was no way to get over it.



          In the Catholic faith, you could go confess your sins and the priest


          who tell you to go burn a few candles, say a few hail Mary's and then


          God might forgive you.  In other words, you felt redemption.  You


          showed your penance.  You asked for forgiveness even if you were a


          Maffia chieftain.  With that, people were afraid to sin because they


          didn't want to wind up in hell because if they sinned in the littlest,


          they would be dammed forever.  They held it in creating a greater


          element of uptightness.


               The American society was free.  It didn't need external control.


          If a Catholic woman, up until a few years back, went out on a date


          with a Catholic man or any man but usually Catholic, they had a


          chaperone.  The chaperone made sure that nothing could occur because


          there was sin of the flesh, not acceptable but almost understandable,


          so you controlled it by having somebody being there to be sure nothing


          happened.  In Protestant America, you went out on dates and you didn't


          need a chaperone because you took care of yourself.  You didn't want


          to sin.  In fact, in Protestant New England, there was a system called


          bundling.  And they had a bundling board in a bed that when a boy and


          a girl courted -- because it was cold during the winter -- they put


          the covers over them and of course they watched TV from there.  Now,


          the boys never hopped over the board.  They never took advantage of


          knotholes in the board, nothing.


          A    For real.


               THE PROFESSOR:  For real, self-control.  Interestingly when the


          English Anglican troops came into New England right before the



          Revolutionary War, they didn't respect the tradition because they were


          basically Catholic.  They hopped over the board and caused a lot of


          problems.  Bundling ceased to exist.  By the way, that's why so many


          guys are much more willing to go out with Catholic girls than


          Protestant girls.  Just thought I'd pass that on.


               That whole sense of the anal retentive personality has not only


          come down to us through the picket fences, the green lawns, the


          closest of course we see some of that is with the Amish and the


          Mennonites in the Amish country in Pennsylvania.  How many of you have


          visited that area?


          A    My brother went there and he took a picture of like deers


          crossing but they have one of carriage crossing like be careful.


               THE PROFESSOR:  What's strange about it is with all of their lack


          of wanting to use technology, they all walk around with cell phones


          now.  I guess that's somehow legitimate.  The whole point was to


          invest the money, not to show it off, not to show wealth, not to


          mammon excessive wealth.  And this is reflective in a sense in our


          society.  We are, in a sense, anal, the culture is anal.  Perhaps the


          most decorated room in our houses is the bathroom.  There's no other


          society where you can walk into a bathroom and see wall to wall


          carpeting, fancy shower setups, toilet paper that are smelly because


          of the perfume, jokes on it because you have to laugh somehow in the


          toilet, little soap balls like little cups, furry toilet seats -- I


          never could understand that -- sheets you sink into, showers with


          radios in them and clocks.  Bathtubs you can't fit in because you have



          to get into that shower and work shard.  If you get in the shower, you


          get out fast and you get to work.  If you soak in a bathtub, you're


          wasting time.  A stitch in time saves nine.  All of those Puritan


          terms that you -- adages that they used to have on the classrooms.  A


          bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, not a George Bush.  A


          stitch in time saves nine.  How do they go?  All of that sense -- it's


          so different.  You go to some other countries -- southern European


          countries or France and guys urinate anywhere.


          A    Yeah.


               THE PROFESSOR:  They have these walls.  The restrooms are outside


          and people walk by and a guy is behind the wall.  In this country, men


          are uptight.  We go into a restroom and we've got little stalls.  And


          if somebody is standing next to us, we get -- we can't tickle.  But


          you have to pay to use the bathroom there, so maybe that's why.  At


          the time I went, they had these little old ladies.  You go in a


          restroom and there was a little old lady who asked you for money.  The


          strangest thing is a bidet.  I didn't know.