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A few thoughts on Catholic projectionism, partly Reformation connected

I'm using the word "projectionism" in its normal everyday psychological sense, made more popular perhaps by Freud but existing as an intellectual concept long before him.

As I noted before, Catholics don't seem to miss a dollar with church bulletin ads.

Nor, per my most recent post before this, do they miss a dollar with tchotchkes related to the Sacred Heart of Jesus cult.

And, even though Chimayó is not a wealthy place, the squabble between the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and other folks, plus the fact that it doesn't work even though it has swag for sale and takes donations, show that no dollar is missed there either.

And, the early modern Catholics who developed the Cult of the Sacred Heart (while condemning Aztecs for something, arguably in a symbolic sense no more grotesque) were lusting for gold in the New World.

And, on the reality side of legend vs reality on Martin Luther, the medieval indulgences system was a money-grubbing gold mine, and lots of Germans' beliefs about a ravenous Curia were true.

So, the projection?

First starting around, oh, 1095 CE and the First Crusade, then articulated by kings and emperors (often with Church-blessed titles) who didn't want to pay off bank loans, seems to me that about 1,000 years ago, and moving on from there, talked about "money-grubbing Jews."


And, the bloodiness of the Sacred Heart, at least symbolically? The ancestors of the priests at Chimayo, the Franciscan missionaries who flagellated themselves (Puebloan society and moiety leaders also did)? The re-sacrifice of the Mass, which comes off not as metaphorical or symbolic, but, yes, as the church proclaims, a re-creation, a re-enactment, and which I also don't get as atheist or ex-Lutheran?

Versus those bloody pagan Aztecs, or other bloody pagans?


I'm sure Tim O'Neill, cultural Catholic (maybe actual Catholic and not total atheist) proprietor of the deblogrolled History for Atheists will object.

Not that Protestants might not have some projectionism of their own on "pagans." Nor, given British then American capitalism and the so-called Protestant work ethic, that there's not Protestant projectionism on money-grubbing Jews.

But, I'd argue that, once we get past the early Baroque and into the Age of Enlightenment, Protestant monetary projectionism onto Jews was lower than Catholicism's. And, that lacking a cultus of sacrifice, that even if Luther himself held on to elements of the Sacred Heart myth, there still wasn't the same projectionism onto "savages" in this way.

This post first appeared on The Philosophy Of The Socratic Gadfly, please read the originial post: here

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A few thoughts on Catholic projectionism, partly Reformation connected


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