At the first religious service I've been to in about six years -- a funeral service for "Hank", a religious friend, the minister asked the attendees to say "Amen" 100 times each day. (That six-year-ago one was a funeral service too.)
His words surprised me so much that, right there in the chapel, I reached into my bookbag and took out my ereader. In both of its Oxford dictionaries -- the New American and the English -- I looked up the word. Yep, it means "So be it" and consent.
The guy wanted me to self-train for passive obedience!
Hell, I haven't said "Amen" since about 1957 when I quit Catholicism.
I heard another elder -- I'm 82 -- say it about two years ago after a meeting had opened with the Pledge of Allegiance!
Okay, some elders revert to childhood. That elder said it loud and clear. A month later at the next meeting, another elder said it very faintly. I haven't heard it since.
Were you brought up in a religion? Do you remember attempts to make you passively obedient?
The Catholic schools my dad sent his kids to tried. They really tried. I first rebelled in fifth grade when out of about 15 boys, I was the only one who refused to enter training to become an altar boy.
I next rebelled when, I don't remember the grade, Sister X admonished the class to turn the other cheek. I sat there telling myself, "I have only two cheeks!" I repeated my protest several times; I wanted it to sink in.
In eleventh grade where I first studied science -- chemistry, Sister Y cautioned the class that to doubt is to commit a sin. "Hey!" I asked myself, "doesn't all learning begin with doubt?" I replied "Yes!"
More happened, but now it's your turn. Do you recall any attempts to make you passively obedient? What were they? If they took hold, how did you free yourself?
(BTW, before my dad died he knew that all five of his kids had quit Catholicism. Our revenge.)
Mass. The entire she-bang. The kneeling, standing, sitting, kneeling again ritual--why? none of it made sense. The group chanting, done so monotonously, so soullessly. The priest acting to interpret scripture, keeping the majority of lay-people from thinking critically--from even cracking open the bible outside of church.
All I remember from the religious course in catholic school is how bored I was and that it was a very quiet affair--students did not actively participate because there was no questioning The Church.
Most other attempts at cultivating passive obedience took place in public school.
I am surrounded by Mormons. Any QUESTIONING of the Church teachings or doctrine is "rebellion" against that passive obedience.
I've always being passively obedient as a believer; when i first lost my faith and was in the path of knowing myself i had no issue rebelling against anyone no matter how small the issue was. Now, i just consider myself to lazy to actually go with it. When i do, there is always someone willing to shut me up.
The passive obedience bit is so pervasive in our society. I have never been good at it. During my exploration of Christianity, I asked questions like, "Why do you think God is a male? Why couldn't it be a female? How does an ethereal being even have testicles? Are you kidding me about the Ark? What would have stopped the polar bears from eating the giraffes?"
I can't help it. I've got a brain. When, in response to questions like these, people said I just needed to not question, or they gave me ridiculous answers, they lost me.
I come by this honestly. My mother said she lost her faith when, while in church watching people sing, she realized they looked like cows to her. Obedient, docile cows.
Diane, my older sister had a brain too.
In the Catholic girls high school our dad sent her to, she asked questions the nuns were unable to answer. They told her to wait for Wednesday, when the priest came, and to ask him.
She was the first of our parents' five kids to quit Catholicism.
I see a lot of passive obedience. Grow people with poor self-esteem (religion helps), tell them again and again of "our Democracy", and most, burdened with families, settle for crumbs.
Four years in hardball politics persuaded me to either quit politics or educate people.
Saying Om Namah Sivaya or Om Namo Narayanaya 108 times is auspicious. It cleanses the mind.
Amen doesn't mean so be it, that is just a convenient answer to give enquiring minds. It is derived from the sanskrit primordial sound-structure "OM"
What happens if you say it 109 times?