May 7, 2017

Why do the French vote on Sunday?

Is this an aspect of French secularism? Does Sunday voting date back to the French Revolution? (I haven't found the answer myself and would like to know.)

ADDED: Many countries have chosen Sunday as election day. It's the most common day for voting, by far. I thought it was odd, because of the ancient idea of keeping the Sabbath holy, but apparently, government has seized on the day as being one that's convenient, with more free time available. People cleared the day for the Lord, and government saw an opportunity to horn in.

I guess a better question then is why does the United States vote on Tuesday? In 1845, Congress set a uniform date for the nationwide selection of presidential electors:
In 1845, the United States was largely an agrarian society. Farmers often needed a full day to travel by horse-drawn vehicles to the county seat to vote. Tuesday was established as election day because it did not interfere with the Biblical Sabbath or with market day, which was on Wednesday in many towns.
ALSO: The French Revolution actively obliterated Sunday:
As an added measure against the church, an atheistic belief was established in France in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. It became a doctrine of the official government policy in 1792 when the First French Republic was declared and was called the Cult of Reason.... Although not specifically instituted by the cult, France adopted a new calendar that was based purely on the decimal system. Year 1 of the new calendar corresponded to 1792. The year consisted of 12 months that were divided into three 10 day weeks. One purpose of this calendar was to erase any possibility of people remembering when to go to mass on Sunday, a day not defined in the new calendar. All references to the Sabbath, Saints' days or any reference to the Church were outlawed. The new calendar was in use for 12 years.
The 10-day periods were called décades, and the days of the décade had boringly/rationally numerical names: Primidi, Duodi, Tridi, Quartidi, Quintidi, Sextidi, Septidi, Octidi, Nonidi, Decadi.

75 comments:

AReasonableMan said...

Why do we still vote on a week day? It suppresses the vote of many working people with inflexible hours/schedules and is an anachronism.

Viking In Winter said...

How 'bout this: The polling places were all in Catholic churches, locking out the Huganauts who were Protestants. On Sunday all the Catholics would be in the church for mass. Tyranny of the majority.

MisterBuddwing said...

Don't many countries vote on a Sunday? (Maybe they think they'll get more voters to the polls that way.)

traditionalguy said...

The Revolution was mad at The Church. Very extra mad for hundreds of years of abuse and organized murders of heretics whose stuff the Priests could steal...for God, of course.

Ann Althouse said...

I'd like to see a reputable historical source on this subject. Was Sunday appropriated as a day to do a government-related activity out of hostility to religion? Out of disregard of religion?

Michael K said...

Government is the new religion in most, especially left wing, countries. Vote instead of pray.

Maybe we could arrange a compromise. If Democrats would give up "Motor Voter" and other mechanisms of cheating, plus allow voter ID with enforcement, we could vote on Saturday.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

Disregard for religion takes a large dose of hostility when that Religious Hierarchy being ignored had literally ruled everyone by threat of murder for the last thousand years.

buwaya said...

Philippines still votes on a weekday.
Traditionally like US, the second Tuesday of November, but on odd years. They changed it to Mondays in May.
Less likely to rain in May I guess.
Sunday is for cockfighting and political campaigning.

Lewis Wetzel said...

The French Revolution actively obliterated Sunday
In the 1920s and 1930s the Soviets tried to destroy the practice of religion by staggering work schedules so husbands and wives could not attend church together. They also made communist youth meetings on Sunday mornings, and if you wanted a decent career, you had to be a member of communist youth.
The Soviets originated the totalitarian practice of destroying every social institution that competed with the state. Not just the Church, but families. They made a cult hero of a boy who informed on his parents for counter revolutionary activities.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger traditionalguy said...
Disregard for religion takes a large dose of hostility when that Religious Hierarchy being ignored had literally ruled everyone by threat of murder for the last thousand years.

5/7/17, 8:17 AM

Absolutely. It took until modern times before governments had the means to threaten to kill every person on the planet.

JAORE said...

I have no issue with voting on Sunday, though many may.

But, isn't it odd that, despite the difficulties of getting to vote a couple of hundred years ago a single day was sufficient. Indeed it was mandated.

Today, with all the modern forms of communication and transportation we allow (some actively seek) skyrocketing absentee voting, motor voters and other ways of swelling the ranks of voters - without reasonable means of assuring identity.

As noted above. Make sure the voters are legitimate and swap the day.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I am the Lord thy Government. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.

narciso said...

Update re turnout (historically)

https://mobile.twitter.com/tiniskwerl/status/861174340552867841

CWJ said...

"...and government saw an opportunity to horn in."

Lewis Wetzel said...

There is something very odd about a political party that believes that more votes means better government, while it tries to move all significant government policy formation away from the elected branches and into the bureaucracies and the courts.

Marc Puckett said...

Ignorance of the holocausts of the French Revolution is a good marker indicating at least passive acceptance of the leftist/progressive/Gramscian program. Our contemporaries are worse even than the revolutionaries, in a sense, however, in that they no longer deify even Reason: they deify their own Power and its use.

Angel-Dyne said...

tradguy matacatólicos: The Revolution was mad at The Church. Very extra mad for hundreds of years of abuse and organized murders of heretics whose stuff the Priests could steal...for God, of course.
.....
Disregard for religion takes a large dose of hostility when that Religious Hierarchy being ignored had literally ruled everyone by threat of murder for the last thousand years.


Good point. As humans I guess we can be grateful that no other temporal power, religious or secular, except the RCC ever bullied the recalcitrant, whacked dissidents, or pinched property when it got power.

buwaya said...

The Church was absolutely right about those #%$%%#@%#% heretics. Nothing but trouble ever since.

Angel-Dyne said...

Lewis Wetzel: There is something very odd about a political party that believes that more votes means better government, while it tries to move all significant government policy formation away from the elected branches and into the bureaucracies and the courts.

Not at all. It is characteristic of sociopathic power that it desires not only to control everything and everyone, but to have the approval of, nay, the love, of the objects of its wise and benevolent rule. Expressing that approval is what voting is really for. (And you'll keep on voting, until you get it right.)

Sonar said...

I've understood and believe (Hangover) Monday is to sober up then Tuesday we vote.

Also, the original ten months included Pentimus, Sextimus, September, October, November, and December (five, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten). The month when Julius Caesar was born he renamed July, the month when Augustus Caesar was born he renamed August. Each changed his month to a thirty one day month and stole a day from February.
I don't know when they noticed the seasons shifting around the year and added two more months. I'm also curious why they added them inside the year instead of at the end.

tcrosse said...

FYI French revolutionary months, each of which was a description of Paris weather at the time.

1 Vendémiaire 7 Germinal
2 Brumaire 8 Floréal
3 Frimaire 9 Prairial
4 Nivôse 10 Messidor
5 Pluviôse 11 Thermidor
6 Ventôse 12 Fructidor

traditionalguy said...

The northern tier of United States is fairly tolerant of all religions. The original free men were Pilgrim Covenanters, joined later by their Puritan cousins in Boston. These were tolerant of most since they needed allies, and then the Quakers blew it open to all comers. Even Catholics were tolerated unless French Armies were actively paying savage Indian tribes to slaughter English Protestants for a decade.

Michael K said...

I'm not sure how much voting was done by the people in France before the Revolution.

First, before the Revolution about 75% of the people did not speak French. They spoke the regional dialect, like Breton or Norman.

Before the 1832 and 1835 Reform Act, I'm not sure how much voting there was in England.

We know about elections in Athens but only citizens could vote and they did so in person in the agora.

Elections are pretty much an American development. A lot of the tradition, like school summer vacation, is rooted in traditional American life.

Marc Puckett said...

As of 5:00 pm in France, 65.3% of the voters have cast ballots-- at this point in 2012, 72.1% had. 'Lower' at Le Monde, 'Much lower' at Le Figaro.

rcocean said...

Actually, voting on Sunday seems to be the established practice in almost all of Europe and Latin America.

NOT voting on Sunday appears to be an Anglo-Saxon thing, with Ireland, UK, Canada, USA, Australia, NZ, and SA all voting Monday-Saturday.

rcocean said...

As stated above, the Soviets deliberately introduced 5 and 6 day workweeks in order to help "eliminate religious observance".

BTW, the "workers paradise" only had 5 national holidays - all related to Communism or the Revolution of 1917. No Christmas of course.

Our liberals would love to see the same thing here. Eliminate Christmas and substitute "we hate racism" day.

Daniel Jackson said...

Sunday (and in many places, Monday as well) is the day the French do not work. Given France's history of election manipulation, as suffrage (men) was expanded in the 19th century, political parties wanted to ensure that workers and peasants would be free to vote since employers were known to prevent people leaving their work stations to vote.

Since church attendance has been historically low in France (for a very long time), reasoning that governments were acting against church traditions does not match the record. Rather, all parties wanted not just wider voter eligibility, the a greater chance that people would have a chance to vote at all.

It is reasonable to think that Sunday was selected BECAUSE it was sacrosanct to many French even when they claim to be laic. People could eat a croissant, drink a coffee, and stroll on down to the voting place (usually townhall) and get home in time for Sunday Dinner.

Voila

Marc Puckett said...

58.77% have voed in the Paris region, compared to 64.04% in 2012. No telling at this point if those are Sarkozy &c people staying home, unable to vote for Mme Le Pen, or Socialists miffed at that fake messiah Macron.

John said...

At the risk of being pedantic, Sunday is not the "Biblical Sabbath"

Saturday, the last day of the week, is still the Sabbath. It is the day God rested, it is the day God commands us to rest.

Sunday, the first day of the week is "The Lord's Day". It is the day of resurrection, of new beginnings, a new week, a new life.

"The Lord's Day in Christianity is generally Sunday, the principal day of communal worship. It is observed by most Christians as the weekly memorial of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is said in the canonical Gospels to have been witnessed alive from the dead early on the first day of the week. The phrase appears in Rev. 1:10."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord%27s_Day

John Henry

John said...

I would be in favor of Sunday elections in the US provided that they were real elections. You have to physically go to the polls and vote in person.

None of this absentee ballot, early voting bullshit. (With some limited exceptions, of course)

And a govt issued voter ID card for sure.

John Henry

cyrus83 said...

Using boring numerical numbers wouldn't have been out of keeping in the times, in Church Latin the weekdays have the simple designations of Secunda, Tertia, Quarta, Quinta, and Sexta. Saturday and Sunday were the two specially named days, Sabbato and Dominica.

Marc Puckett said...

At Le Figaro, Macron is ten thousand votes ahead of Mme Le Pen, according to someone's count of people on Twitter, 53% to 47%. Absolutely meaningless of course: but any indication that the race may be closer than anticipated is bound to be making the media people and the other bien-pensants, nervous, much to my delight. "Analysts have said a spectacularly low turnout could in principle boost Le Pen’s score," warns the Guardian's live blogger, after taking taking great care to reassure us that there is no 'spectacular' downturn of turnout.

Robert Cook said...

"At the risk of being pedantic, Sunday is not the 'Biblical Sabbath'.

"Saturday, the last day of the week, is still the Sabbath. It is the day God rested, it is the day God commands us to rest."


I'm glad someone finally pointed out that Sunday is the first day of the week and Saturday, being the last day of the week, is actually the Sabbath.

Saint Croix said...

Saturday, the last day of the week, is still the Sabbath.

I always think of Sunday as Sabbath.

But now I figured out why we have a weekend of two days off!

It's a blessing from the Lord.

Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) plus Sunday the day of resurrection and new life.

cf said...

In Recent years, I have been appreciating the idea of setting aside every seventh day as a day of devotion. How radical in real-world terms. How much personal organizing of effort in order to make that hapoen.

Compare that to other systems, the Hopi calendar for instance, long periods of undistinguished days broken up by chunks of days set aside as holy days of celebration.

From my perspective, the weekly set-aside surely has a wonderfully civilizing aspect. Households and communities are caused to plan ahead and organize their routines so that they are prepared to "be still and know" -- each and every week.

Even for those many who do not practice the faith, the assumption of that seventh day of rest is a wonderful, restorative rhythm, and it is hard to imagine our world without that assumed relief.

As Instapundit sometimes says, we will miss civility when it is gone.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I find it intriguing that you missed the most obvious reason: It's one day that people, no matter how hard they work, are more likely to have off.

With voting rates being as low as they are in the U.S., with work demands being as unforgiving as they are, and with Republican efforts to restrict the vote as numerous and unrelenting as we've seen, I think this is the one reason you might have picked up on.

Do you think it's important for a democracy and its media (like blogs) to account for the needs of the working class?

Kassaar said...

Why do Americans vote on Tuesdays? (YouTube video)
https://youtu.be/9WvoGlQ7zH8

buwaya said...

The Filipino working class, much poorer, far more imposed upon, and with much worse transport options (incredible traffic too), plus the traditional guns, goons, and gold, AND the strict requirement for pre-registration AND for a voters ID AND same day voting, somehow managed 81.5% turnout on a weekday, 5/9/2016.

The US working class can't manage that - why?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The US working class can't manage that - why?

I don't know. But I'm sure you will conclude from that that clearly they've not been imposed upon enough.

Republicans have admitted that they seek to suppress voter turn-out. It's no secret that they perform better the lower the turn-out. Their consultants know this and to pretend that their policies haven't accounted for this as responses is illogical.

Polls are notoriously ill-staffed in certain districts to not handle the load, and the lines. But I guess we can always aspire to be more like a country with 1/6th our per capita GDP.

John said...


Blogger Saint Croix said...

Saturday, the last day of the week, is still the Sabbath.

I always think of Sunday as Sabbath.

But now I figured out why we have a weekend of two days off!

It's a blessing from the Lord.

Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) plus Sunday the day of resurrection and new life.


It is also, according to Thomas Sowell in one of his books, why there was such a high concentration of Jews working in the garment industry back in the late 18th and early 20th century.

A 6 day week was the norm with Sunday off. Jews could not work Saturdays and the garment industry worked a Sunday-Friday week. Christians could nto work Sundays, so tended not to work in other, Monday-Saturday industries.

John Henry

Sammy Finkelman said...

I though elections are held on Tuesdays because no religion holds it holy. Maybe some religion cold come along and hold Monday holy, but Tuesday is fairly safe.

I think I once heard a reason is that Tuesday gave farmers one day to travel to the polling place.

John said...

Or like Puerto Rico USA, Squeamish Revolutionary.

We vote on Tuedays. Very few absentee ballots and no early voting. Other than same day early voting for police and poll workers.

Polls are open for 4 hours. 10-2

Mandatory Govt voter ID card

Inked fingers

High turnout

We have a status referendum next month. It will be Sunday but otherwise the above apply. Expect statehood to get a small plurality

John Henry

Zach said...

The Revolutionary calendar wasn't used for very long, but it has survived in the names of significant events, like the 9th of Thermidor (fall of Robespierre) or the coup of 18th Brumaire (Napoleon's rise to power).

Except for the 4th or July or Pearl Harbor Day, it's hard to think of many events in American history that are so strongly associated with the name of the day they took place.

John said...

OOPS!

Christians tended to work in Monday-Saturday industries in my note above.

John Henry

buwaya said...

R&B,
You can learn from anyone.
Lay aside false pride.

The difference, to put it bluntly, is that the Filipinos WANT to vote, and the Americans dont. And this desire crosses the whole of society. The current voting system was created by a confluence of a technocratic bureaucracy dedicated to efficient elections, plus an elite-dominated election process watchdog organization, plus the whole of the people. On this matter, like on few other things, there was unity.

And the localities where you want people to turn out more, and where there are potential crowding problems at the polls, are governed by Democrats (like where I live, and have seen the poorly implemented election process and infrastructure); any failure of resources and efficiency is mainly on the part of the Democrats. And compared to the Philippines nowhere in the US is there a real lack of resources.

YoungHegelian said...

The 10-day periods were called décades, and the days of the décade had boringly/rationally numerical names: Primidi, Duodi, Tridi, Quartidi, Quintidi, Sextidi, Septidi, Octidi, Nonidi, Decadi.

Ah, yes, the halcyon days of the Revolutionary calendar! One runs across the terms in 19th C lefty stuff, e.g. The Thermidorian Reaction or Marx's 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.

Believe it or not, the modern revolutionary movement that took this Jacobin "year zero" bullshit the most to heart was the Khmer Rouge. Their ideology was an unsorted blend of Jacobinism & Maoism. The ruling clique of the Khmer Rouge picked up all this booyah at the Sorbonne, of course. Mommas, this is why you don't let your babies grow up to study at the Sorbonne.

YoungHegelian said...

@Zach,

Sorry for the cross post!

Great minds thinking alike, yadda-yadda-yadda......

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

You can learn from anyone.
Lay aside false pride.


Declining the "advice" of a third-world dictatorship is not "false pride" or even "pride". It's doing what keeps a free, prosperous country free and prosperous. No lessons on running the Philippines government or even voting system are applicable to America. So you can keep being offensive and pretending that the problems American politicians admit to wanting to perpetuate aren't the real problem, but it's probably false pride in the Philippines that causes you to do that.

Take pride in what they've done over there, if you must. America's problems result from a whole different kettle of fish.

buwaya said...

I have seen many countries R&B, and had to do with publuc affairs.

I, unlike many here, can see with perspective on this matter.
I have served in election monitoring and reform organizations. International comparisons and standards exist, and most countries, if they are even moderately honest, aspire to these international norms. The US has no excuse to claim exceptions.

What you think is important, in global terms, is not, and what you think is not, is.

What the US needs, plainly speaking, is patriotism and a sense of community responsibility. This is sorely missing across many parts of the US. There is, besides a lack of responsibility, a strange tolerance of political fraud.

mockturtle said...

Well said, buwaya!

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

America has enough patriotism, which cannot be measured and cannot be demanded - except when fascists and dictators claim that their "version" of it has come up short in the country.

What it plainly doesn't need, is to turn this into THIS, a quasi-hellhole replete with extrajudicial killings.

Confucian "values" of piety, subservience, and obedience to authority have no place in the U.S. system of government and anyone who doesn't think so has no understanding of American, Western or world history.

Kindly keep your $8,900 per capita annual GDP and disregard for due process or civil liberties to yourself, if you don't mind. Anyone else who wants things to go that way can go be a part of a country that maintains them. Clearly America is not for them.

buwaya said...

And I note, on the matter of elections, it is mainly the US that created the norms, the procedures, the audit systems that its consultants introduced around the world, through official and unofficial NGOs (such as the semi-official Asia Foundation). This medicine was deemed good for everyone from Albania to Zimbabwe.

The Philippines NAMFREL for instance was well connected to the Asia Foundation.

But somehow this global prescription is unsuitable for its makers?
What hypocrisy.

And your last response, as so often, is ad hominem, except in this case against an entire country.

buwaya said...

And the Philippines is not a Confucian country.

You can look to, say, South Korea or Taiwan, as they are actually Confucian. And they too do elections in a more proper way than the US.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Wikipedia's agrarian society explanation is suspiciously like blaming farmers for daylight savings time, and likely just as false. Wouldn't the farmers already be in town for church on Sunday?

buwaya said...

As for patriotism, it is patchy.
In San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland it is a bad word.
Especially in certain communities that are organized in political machines Boss Tweed would admire.

In SoCal ditto, and more so.

Marc Puckett said...

Pft. I love France but the French are a different matter. They will live with that Macron fellow for seven years, perhaps, the majority of them regretting every major decision of his administration, and between thirty and forty percent of them detesting him personally.

Michael K said...

The difference, to put it bluntly, is that the Filipinos WANT to vote, and the Americans dont.

I think one reason why voting turnout is low here is that most people are fairly satisfied with their lives and don't look to government to better them. Most Americans would like to be let alone.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Monitoring elections is not the same as voter restriction efforts that took place after those norms were created.

The interesting thing about mangling the definition of "ad hominem" to apply to an entire country is that anyone could now equally accuse you of "ad hominem" attacks against the U.S. But why not mangle that definition? You are defending the norms of a country with a despicable strongman in charge who (as all strongman dictators do) confuses himself with the country itself.

One thing I did get wrong - the GDP. It's actually... what? $2,900 per capita?

Yep. I'm sure they've got much to teach us. Duterte takes examples from Hitler (or so he thinks) and murders drug addicts. Good to know how well things are going over there. Myself, I wonder every day how I can get more of my fellow citizens killed and reduce my income to one 25th (4%) of its current value. I can't believe more Americans aren't clamoring for such a remarkable and superior way of doing things.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The difference, to put it bluntly, is that the Filipinos WANT to vote, and the Americans dont.

Especially Mike Turzai. He wants to make sure as few Americans as possible vote. So nice of him and his party to protect as many Americans as possible from any opportunity to vote. I'm glad they're looking out for others this way, the way Filipinos are murdering their own citizens.

Pity that Colin Powell didn't agree with him or the rest of his party on that. Including that sexual harasser up on the screen.

exiledonmainstreet said...

trad guy, the NE Puritians certainly had their virtues, but religious toleration was not one of them. They were not particularly tolerant of other Protestants, never mind RCs. The fine book "Albions Seed" has the particulars.

the four founding British cultures in North America - The NE Puritans, the Virigina Anglicans,the Pennsylvania Quakers, and the back country Presbyterians - by and large detested each other and those regional rifts are still reflected in American life.

buwaya said...

R&B,

It is indeed ad hominem, as it is unrelated to the issue at hand. If I cited South Korean elections standards you would dismiss them, no doubt, on the grounds that they smell of Kimchi.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Albion's Seed is a really cool book. I should get around to finishing it some day.

Interesting that the NE Puritans were eventually replaced by the RCs - who were, incidentally, (possibly?) slightly more tolerant than the people they replaced. But nothing like the Quakers. William Penn was unusual in establishing a "Holy Experiment" of religious toleration in his colony - replicated in a very few other states but not at all the norm for the time. Eventually the idea caught on, though, and became normative. But gradually, over the centuries. Some people could still credibly argue that we're not quite there as a country.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

It is indeed ad hominem, as it is unrelated to the issue at hand.

That's not the definition of "ad hominem." It's important to learn the meanings of the words in the language in which one converses, if one expects to be understood.

If I cited South Korean elections standards you would dismiss them, no doubt, on the grounds that they smell of Kimchi.

Kimchi is a fine pickled cabbage. Probably just a bit better than sauerkraut, even.

Regardless, I have no reason to criticize them on the things that matter most. But they probably appreciate their freedom because they saw what happens to their co-nationals to the north when it's forsaken.

Never criticize Kim Jong Un's patriotism, BTW. I heard he believes he's a really patriotic guy. Demands it, at gunpoint, of his subjects, even. They really are a very tight-knit community that way. Heck, he even murders family members that get out of line on the loyalty front.

I'm sure they have much they can teach our chaotic and decadent country though, right?

buwaya said...

Indeed R&B, ad hominem requires irrelevance.

If I were arguing against a business proposition of a known swindler, citing evidence of his character would not be ad hominem.
But it would be ad hominem if we were, say, discussing the applicability of Augustines refutation of the Donatist heresy.

In any case, you are not dealing honestly here.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Indeed R&B, ad hominem requires irrelevance.

Nope. Wrong.

In any case, you are not dealing honestly here.

You're trying to draw me into a "vortex" of personal attacks. (What you just said was, actually, an example of "ad hominem"). And I won't fall for it. Deal with the facts. (If you can). None of what I stated was directly refuted or shown wrong - except for the thing about Confucianism, or whatever philosophy the Philippines as with Asia generally found normative prior to their colonizations. (by Musilms, Catholics, Buddhists, etc., whatever).

buwaya said...

Search for "ad hominem fallacy wiki"
Fourth paragraph.

exiledonmainstreet said...

TTR, the Quakers were certainly more tolerant of other faiths than the other groups were and there is much to admire about William Penn. Their weirdness manifested itself in a distaste for sex - even sex within marriage- that makes the Irish Catholics look like worldly hedonists. The Puritans got a rather unfair rap for being anti sex, but they weren't, really, given the constraints of their time. they're the ones who came up with bundling courting couples in the same bed (with a board separating them, so they could have a bit of intimacy without getting too intimate). And they cranked out babies like crazy. the reason there are so many Mayflower descendants is because families of 15 kids were not unusual in colonial Boston.

The Quakers thought sex, even within marriage, was sort of icky and sinful and their lower birth rates reflected their attitude . the entirely sexless Shakers, who apparently directed their sexual energy into making nice chairs and tables, were an offshoot of the Quakers.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I've got a bit of afternoon business/leisure to attend to but will read your comment in further detail as I can, Ms mainstreet. I'm sure no founder of any American tradition, movement or city or colony was perfect, but the virtue of Penn (and even his eventual antagonists/rebels) was that the authority was granted at the beginning for a dynamic that would make a previously unheard of social experiment take root and become an American and global norm. I'm trying to find more documentaries but this one was a good start as I continue with the rest of the series.

I have no doubt that pacifism and sexual aversion become insanely self-defeating ultimately.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

What you say is true. There is a soft-spoken but undeniable Quaker influence and even presence that remains in Philadelphia, which is remarkable given how quickly one might have expected/assumed them to have died out almost as completely and thoroughly as the Puritans did. (Although perhaps it might be said that some Puritanism lives on in some form in Evangelicalism). It's a good thing they didn't, though.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Well, you will disagree but I would say that the Puritanism has been redirected into PC zealotry and radical feminism. Evangelicalism is very much in the Scots Irish tradition.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

If so then that must be a very broken line, given a lack of link to any scripture and roots in a doctrine of equality that had already been radically secularized beyond any measure that the Puritans would have recognized.

However, when I think of Jimmy Swaggart bawling uncontrollably on national tv about his sexual sinfulness, it's not hard to hearken back to The Scarlett Letter. He might have been leading a more "charismatic" cult, but definitely the communal guilt/lashings and sexual issues are throwbacks to pretty much that sort of thing, it would seem to me.

exiledonmainstreet said...

The Toothless Revolutionary said...
If so then that must be a very broken line, given a lack of link to any scripture and roots in a doctrine of equality that had already been radically secularized beyond any measure that the Puritans would have recognized."

What I mean is that the zealotry and intolerance exhibited by the Puritans has been redirected into secular causes. The idiot who dragged her mattress around Columbia University to protest a rape that never happened is a modern day Hester Prynne - except in the modern vision Hester is the feted heroine and it's her male lover who gets branded with the Scarlet R.

The emotionalism and histrionics of Evangelicalism (which is not to my taste) has been an Evangelical tradition since the First and Second Great Awakenings. And ironically, Romanticism helped fuel the second one:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Great_Awakening

If you remember, Hester Prynne didn't bawl and wail about her sinfulness. She took her punishment like a stoic. I don't think the Puritans of chilly Boston went in big for weepy displays of emotion.

Zach said...

@Zach,

Sorry for the cross post!


Great minds, indeed! The French Revolution is endlessly interesting. And also endlessly complicated.

Char Char Binks said...

To elect a president.