Sunday, June 13, 2010

One Last Word . . .

My recent obsession with right-wingers is drawing to a close. Yet, I could not offer an opportunity, not taken, for Neil Simpson to give his views without also responding, in a meta- kind of way, to his rather heated verbiage.
And another critic is one of those wimpy, gutless, spineless, passive-aggressive, postmodern girlie men who think they are right but pretend to deny the correspondence view of truth. As despicable as Chuck Currie’s antics are he is still a notch above the philosophical food chain compared to this guy. There are more of course, but you get the idea. So of course I don’t worry about what Chuck and my other theologically liberal critics think.

In declining to comment on my website, he wrote the following.
I also don’t waste time with people who are incapable of or, more likely, unwilling to properly characterize my arguments. Just one example: Your silly ad hom / straw man about me “hating on gays.” Pathetic.(emphasis added)

I have left one final response which I will now reprint in full.
OK, Neil, let’s see. You banned a person from your other website because you said he was “stalking” you. Yet, here is an entire website dedicated almost wholly to a single individual! Oh, you throw in a mention of Jim Wallis and even now, it seems, Bishop Spong. The vast majority of your posts, however, deal with Chuck Currie. I have seen your comments at his website as well, and was both surprised at how similar they are in pattern to so many of our previous discussions, and nodded with a bit of recognition at the sheer welter of comments.

You say I have “made up lies” about you. OK, such as? In the course of our interaction over the years – if anyone looks carefully at the record, I think it’s easy enough to see that I instigated it in a naive but faithful desire to exchange views without rancor – I have been up front with you, I have never once, to my recollection said anything on Eternity Matters, What’s Left In The Church, Erudite Redneck, or anyplace else where we have interacted that is not easily supported by anyone investigating the facts of the matter. Indeed, precisely because the internet happens to be so transparent, lying would be ridiculous.

If you mean, however, as you have indicated, my saying that you “hate on gays” is untruthful, well let’s investigate that, shall we. You state, factually, that there is no Biblical support for same-sex marriage, or even for same-sex romantic love. OK. Yet, you have indicated, time and again, that this means they should be denied equal rights with straight couples in our secular law, that gays are a threat to children, the usual. Anyone, even those who “follow” you, would agree that this is so. Is this “hating” on gays? Perhaps that is a debatable point. Yet, it that adjective that is the heart of the matter. With you there is no debate. No discussion. No interaction. This is your schtick, and I’ll leave you to it. Like with Rev. Currie, however, your accusation is, quite simply put, not supported by any evidence. Remember, it is not up to me, or Rev. Currie, or anyone else to disprove what you claim. It is up to you to prove your claim.

I have a log with over 2700 posts. I offer that as evidence to any interested, or disinterested reader. I also offer comments made at Eternity Matters and any other website where we have interacted over the years. Rather than a summary made by either one of us, I think the whole thing should be presented for anyone to read.

The thing is, Neil, I have never – EVER – been afraid of dealing with you. I contacted you, and continued our previous on-again, off-again discussions because I thought (again, naively) that we could learn from one another. I discovered pretty quickly that you have no interest in learning anything. About anything. Again, that’s fine, too. That’s your internet schtick, and it seems to work for you.

If your accusation of cowardice is directed at my refusal, over the past couple years, to interact with you, well, that’s not so much cowardice as it is plain, old-fashioned common sense. Our interactions did nothing for either one of us, certainly not me. Rather than submit myself to the kind of rhetorical onslaught you seem to revel in, I withdrew. I have discovered a vast array of people that continue to enlighten me, feed my spirit, and with whom I can interact without feeling my blood-pressure skyrocket. Far better.

I wish you well with this website. You certainly have the formula and buzzwords down pat. Your rhetorical strategy is also intact, only your sights, it seems, are trained on far larger targets than little old me. Again, good luck with that. You should remember, however, that stuff on the internet lasts forever. Even stuff that’s been deleted can be recovered. I do what I do without fear, and when I’m wrong – really wrong – why, I’m the first to admit it, and correct my errors. Transparency is at the heart of online interaction. At some point, amidst all the accusations and ad hominem attacks, you might want to keep that in mind.

With that, I consider the matter, and our recent interactions, at a close. What with the move, and far more interesting things on the internet to keep me occupied, I will allow Neil his space to do his thing to whomever finds it worthwhile.

Virtual Tin Cup

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