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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0886604392

From: "Robert T. Hilliard" <>
Subject: RE: Fight Nice
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 09:59:52 -0500

Boy I was really getting worried there for a while. This whole list was starting
to sound like a mutual admiration society. Everyone was politely thanking
everyone else, telling them what good and useful work they were doing,
complimenting their knowledge and research. We were even exchanging
recipes, for Pete's sake!
Thank goodness (and John and Edward) for a return to the norm. I was on
the verge of unsubbing due to all of this harmony. EEEECH!

From: John Giacoletti
Sent: Monday, February 02, 1998 10:29 PM
To: Scotch-Irish
Subject: Fight Nice

In Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1950, there appeared a publication entitled

I made clear that I was quoting from this text when I wrote:

>>>>Some notes of cultural and historical interest:

>>>>Fm. "Highland and Traditional Scottish Dances:"

One of the list participants seems to take issue with the content of one or
two of the sentences that were directly quoted:

"As is generally known, the Calvinists were making their influence felt at
Mary Queen of Scots' Court and throughout the country, denouncing dancing
and music as sinful."

The participant then confuses the message with the messanger by writing:

"Unfortunately it is because of inaccurate statements like those of
John that people have got a completely wrong idea of the early
Reformation in Scotland...."

>From this mixup in the overall point of view in which the content of the
post has been inaccurately attributed to me and not to the source that was
cited, the critic then argues:

"It is not "generally known that "the Calvinists were .... denouncing
dancing and music as sinful"."
It is one of the repeated statements often made by those whose
knowledge of the subject is virtually nil."

Oooh! The insulting verbal thrust. And aaah! the resultant exposure is
followed by a counter attack, the key to martial arts being "he who strikes
first loses."

Just to check on what is "generally known," I checked out the Encarta
Encylopedia article on "The Reformation," as a representative sample of
general knowledge. The Encarta article states:

"To enforce discipline of morals, Calvin instituted a rigid inspection of
household conduct and organized a consistory, composed of pastors and lay
persons, with wide powers of compulsion over the community. The dress and
personal behavior of citizens were prescribed to the minutest detail;
dancing, card playing, dicing, and other recreations were forbidden."

I believe that many of those on the list will agree with the above general
statement as being a most significant aspect of their inherited culture.

Our critic then uses the rhetorical trick of stating that he has found no

" No where have I been able to find any documentary evidence that dancing,
per se, was
objected to during the time of what we will call Knox's reformation."

Well, I have found such documentary evidence. On August 19th, 1574, Janet
Cadye was brought before the Presbytery of Edinburgh for dancing ...." No
doubt one could find many other charges, in these and other times, against
various people.

How soon is soon enough to have had an influence on our ancestor's lives?
The participant states:

"The earliest enactment of the General Assembly against dancing, which
I can find, was in July 1649, against "Promiscuous Dancing"."

I think that's proof enought to support the general point of view that my
source stated regarding the opinion of Calvanists toward dancing! Agreed?

John Giacoletti

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