OK, I'll try it again with revisions.
While I suggested I might focus on WaldorfAnswers.com next, a fairly new Waldorf support website has caught my attention:http://www.americans4waldorf.org/
Since it links extensively to WaldofrAnswers.com, by reviewing this website we will uncover problems with WaldorfAnswers.com as well.
From this site:
"Our purpose is to provide the facts in a fair, balanced and truthful presentation. Our underlying philosophy is to provide information on Waldorf education in a positive light and which is honestly and fairly presented."
OK, let's test that, shall we? They also say:
"We also feel that Waldorf education is sometimes portrayed in the media and on the Internet in a distorted and misinformed way. Waldorf schools and Waldorf teachers deserve to be supported with a fair and truthful presentation, as most schools and teachers do not have the resources to respond to allegations that are sometimes made."
This site is basically here to strongly support Waldorf and to call everything that shows Waldorf in a different light "distorted and misinformed". At least now we know. It's good that they have forewarned us.
I'm going to jump around this website and since it is rather extensive and my time fairly limited, I'll pick a page or two at a time to discuss. The first page that grabbed my attention is about Waldorf and Religion - and not completely unexpectedly, it diverts us to the WaldorfAnswers website - http://www.waldorfanswers.org/NotReligion1.htm
On this, Jean Yeager, Administrative Director of the Anthroposophical Society writes:
"Anthroposopohy Compared with Religion:
1. Anthroposophy has no dogma or creed - the Statutes of the Anthroposophical Society specifically forbid dogma."
So we already know we are going to be in for a rough ride. Anthroposophy, the religious philosophy, and the Anthroposophical Society, an organization, are going to be used interchangably as the writer sees fit. It would be like saying because something is not done a certain way in the Catholic church, this represents all of Christianity. Waldorf teachers don't train according to the Statutes of the Anthroposophical Society, they train according to Anthropospophy.
"2. The Anthroposophical Society does not offer or prescribe any religious practices or sacraments."
Same thing here. And here we see the deception forming. Because the Anthroposophical doesn't prescribe religious practices or sacraments, they cannot exist in Anthroposophical circles. So, for example, according to this statement, the Christian Community churches, which are Anthroposophical churches don't have religious practices or sacraments. This makes me a little uncomfortable because one of my children was baptised in the Christian Community Churche.
"3. Anthroposophy does not claim to lead to salvation. Anthroposophy is concerned with understanding relationship of the human being to the spiritual world."
I think this claim is completely misleading. Anthroposophy IS claiming to lead to salvation, but has redefined what salvation is as the understanding of the relationship of the human being to the spiritual world.
"4. There is no one spiritual guide, teacher or master within the Anthroposophical Society whose statements are beyond questioning."
Here we go again. We've slipped in "Anthroposophical Society" where it's convenient. Because if we are talking about Anthroposophy, and not the Anthroposophical Society, they, yes, of course, there is one spiritual guide, teacher and master whose statements are beyond questioning - namely Rudolf Steiner.
"5. Anthroposophy is not a system of beliefs. Anthroposophy is a path to knowledge based on a spiritual understanding of humanity and our relationship to the spiritual world."
Um... well, that's one way of looking at it. But to be on that path to knowledge, you have to accept a system of beliefs among them reincarnation and karma, spiritual hierarchies, influences of Lucifer and Ahriman, the Archangel Michael, and a complete undermining and revision of the Gospels/Bible.
6. The Anthroposophical Society is not organized as a church. It is a free association of individuals and independent study groups some of whom have sought to be formally recognized by the Anthroposophical Society. This formal recognition is not a requirement for a study group to be publicized by the Society.
There you go. But why is the topic "Anthroposophy Compared with Religion"? I suspect the comparison here was intended to be more about the Anthroposophical Society's role and not Anthroposophy's role as a religion. That's way Jean Yeager produced it - to clarify the Anthroposophical Society's position with regard to religion, not Anthroposophy's position. These statements are being provided here in hopes that nobody will notice the difference.
"7. There are no priests, pastors, ministers or other religious functionaries. Anthroposophy supports religion without interfering with religious practice. Many members of the Society engage in the practice of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Shinto, Buddhism and other faiths. Others are not connected to a particular religious faith."
But again, I wonder who it was that baptised my child. And let's not forget the missionary work that Waldorf schools do - to bring children to an Anthroposophical world view. And while it is comforthing that members of the Anthropsophical Society come from many faiths, it isn't clear in this means these are Anthroposophists or simply people who have taken membership in the society. Certainly, there are many people who enter Waldorf schools, for example, without knowing that they are based in esoteric Christianity/Anthroposophy. I can see people joining the Anthroposophical society without knowing much about Anthroposophy. In fact the only requirement is an affirmation that the Goetheanum should in fact exist. It doesn't surprize me at all that the Anthroposophical Society has members from all faiths. The Anthroposophical Society is not the religion, Anthroposophy is the religion.
"For the view of Rudolf Steiner on this question, see here."
And the "here" is a link to a doctored (...) lecture by Steiner.
It is clear here that some people think that by twisting words, people will not understand what they are reading. It is plain to see how difficult it must be to put a good face on the idea that Anthroposophy is not a religion or at least a religious doctrine.
More from this site in a future post.