Friday, August 30, 2013

Are you a diehard, loyal (Republican/Democrat) and a Christian? Then you're a fool.

One of the reasons I made the previous post is because of the following: I recognize that sincere, believing Christians can vote for, or favor, one or another political party, or favor various political solutions or non-solutions to problems. Believe in universal single-payer health care, believe in a mandatory minimum income for all people, believe in libertarian near-anarchy - really, I don't doubt you can come to such conclusions for one reason or another. I do not doubt your *motivations*, not necessarily your intellect, just for favoring these things, voting for one party over another, etc. Even if it's fairly extreme.

There's some exceptions to this. If you believe in the legality of abortion, very much unrestricted, after the second trimester? If you support punishing people with fines for refusing to partake in or express approval of gay marriage or same-sex relationships? If you support bombing a country into a state of de-islamification and democracy? If you support unrestricted illegal immigration? Then you've gone too far afield for me, Christian or not. I think the number of sincere Christians who accept any one of these things are thankfully low in number, however, so it's rare that actual political views are going to remove common ground between myself and someone of a different political persuasion.

There's one exception. If you're a Proud and Loyal Democrat? If you think it's a bragging point that you've voted Republican in practically every election you've taken part in? The moment I pick up that you have extreme party loyalty going on - not merely a pragmatic decision, but a full belief that yours is the party filled with good people and the other party must be filled with monsters and people deluded by monsters? That's the moment I realize I'm dealing with a political idiot who's going to be largely immune to reason when it comes to anything that has any obvious political ramifications. When your political party loyalty defines a good part of who you are, you have - willingly or not - decided at some point that calm, reflective thought is a dangerous thing, and is best holstered when it comes to anything related to society or politics. Which, nowadays, is pretty well everything.

I can count on the following from a party loyalist:

* Whether bombing a nation that has neither attacked us and has no capability to attack us will be justified almost entirely based on the political party leader ordering the bombing.

* Whether a case of sexual harassment is a terrible thing that one must immediately resign over, or an incident of some lying bitch trying to make a name for herself, or a simple mistake that one should apologize and be allowed to move on from, will be determined by the party of the perpetrator.

* In the case of the diehard Democrat Christian, the legality of abortion until and quite possibly moments after birth is just the law of the land and will never, ever change, and trying to change it is a waste of time, so you should just get used to it, even if you're pro-life and pay lip service to the claim that life begins at conception. In the case of a diehard Republican Christian, tax breaks on the wealthy are practically sacrosanct. There is no such thing as too large of a tax break, tax breaks always lead to more tax revenue, and even if they don't taxes are always too high as they now stand and should be vastly lower.

* Christians in the other party are, as a rule - and without exception - either monsters, or complete dupes. It is impossible for them to have a different opinion, to have different but reasonable priorities, or to want to solve the same problem a different way. Either they are heartless monsters, or they are incredibly stupid to disagree with Your Party. The idea that this is even potentially a terrible attitude to take will sound mystifying. After all, if one disagrees with another, one automatically thinks the other is wrong - they have made a mistake. And if they made a mistake knowingly, they're a monster. Unknowingly, and they're stupid. That's what stupid means, after all - being the person who is wrong, or who disagrees with what is right.

This isn't every person who votes primarily Republican or Democrat. You can do that, you can believe one party is largely better than the other, without stooping to this level. But once you're at this level - once the world divides into the categories of 'People on my party's side - good.', 'People opposing my party - evil or fooled.' and 'People who don't support either party yet - potential converts', you've stopped being someone who anyone can have a reasonable conversation with, and become a person who only responds to the most brute carrots and sticks.

What's particularly sad about people like this is that they've elevated their party over their religion. Instead of having common ground first and foremost with fellow Christians, they only have common ground with other people of their party. The Cult of Gnu atheist who wants all religion stamped out and quite possibly push to place belief in God on the DSM? Hey, you both vote Democrat - he's an ally at the end of the day, you guys just don't see eye to eye on some things. But oh, the pro-life believer in God and the resurrection of Christ who votes Republican? Idiot or devil-monster. Try to change this person's mind, maybe - primarily by telling them how horrible their beliefs are - but be careful, because they may say their party is right on a particular issue, and you'll have to be ready to fight such heresy the moment it leaves their sinning lips.

I think people like these pose a problem to American Christianity, and probably Christianity in general. I would like to believe this is a divide that can be crossed over - not with every person, but with many, even most. Some days, unfortunately, I believe this more than others.

32 comments:

darrenl said...

Caesar will be Caesar. Derpie-derp ;P

Don't get too agitated over this Crude. This is what Christianity has become in America, specifically in the 20th century..and it's a fad. You'll note that it is this fad that the Gnu's are attacking, and rightly so. While they're attacking the paper tiger of Christianity that America has created, the real deal will walk up and punch them in the gut. Wait for it.

Christianity is not a political movement, and never was.

Chad Handley said...

Crude:

If you support punishing people with fines for refusing to partake in or express approval of gay marriage or same-sex relationships?

I'm going to try one more time to clarify my position, even though I think it will fall on deaf ears, because you've always struck me as exactly the type of person you decry in this posting (the kind who thinks people can't really be Christians if they're liberals - at least, that's how you have always treated me).

Let's recall how the conversation started: you and others on Feser's blogs claimed that the state recognition of marriage resulted in an increase in tyranny in that it allowed a photographer to be sued over refusing to photograph a gay wedding.

I replied that I didn't see it as an increase in tyranny since we were (at the time) talking about civil suits, and the only alternative would be some type of law uniquely removing from gay couples the right to sue people who refuse to recognize their (state-recognized) marriage.

You then agreed that gay couples should have the right to sue when they feel their marriage is being discriminated against, you just said you believe such couples should always lose such suits.

I then asked (and you never answered) whether they should always lose because some law prohibits their ever winning or whether they should always lose because all potential jury members come to believe homosexual marriages should not be recognized. If the former, then you don't really believe that gays should have the same right to sue that everyone else has (since no one else is guaranteed to lose), and if the latter, you can't really blame government tyranny for the fact that this is not yet the case.

So, I again came to the point that the only way we could avoid having people sued for refusing to recognize gay marriages was to take away the right of the gay couple to sue, which would be depriving them of a right as fundamental as the photographer's right to refuse to photograph them. There's no available option that couldn't be spun as "government tyranny" by whichever side lost; people just don't tend to call it "tyranny" when the government uses force to enforce laws they favor.

(continued)

Chad Handley said...

Now, at the end of that discussion, I said that the Christians who exhaust their legal options and come out on the losing side should pay their fines, not because they deserve punishment, but because by belligerently refusing to do so they, IMO, hurt the public image of Christianity.

My opinion was never that those who refuse to recognize gay marriage *deserve* punishment. It's that Christians who engage in civil disobedience should be prepared to graciously and lovingly accept the consequences.

(This should have been obvious in that I used MLK as the paradigm case. I obviously don't think MLK *deserved* punishment for participating in a sit-in. I merely think the way in which you accept punishment is important to your Christian witness.)

Now, even after I said that, I said (though it was never acknowledged that I said) that I could see refusing to pay the fine as a legitimate extension of the protest, so long as the refusal was carried out graciously. But my point was, if a Christian loses in court, he will face some kind of punishment from the state eventually. That's what it means to lose. And when the time comes that he can't avoid that punishment, he should accept it with grace and love, explaining that he was willingly paying the price out of love for his opponent.

My ultimate problem with Christian Conservatives is that they tend to view their enemies as irredeemable. This is the biggest difference, IMO, between the Civil Rights Movement and the Modern Conservative Movement. The Civil Rights Movement had as its goal not the defeat, but the redemption of its opponents. So, they showed their opponents they were willing to suffer if necessary in order to redeem them. The Conservative Movement, from my perspective, has a tendency to view people on the other side as degenerates who are beyond persuasion, and thus it has no strategic notion of "winning hearts and minds." It thus resorts to trying to win elections and court cases, not realizing that winning such can (and has, and always will) backfire in a democracy if you aren't even trying to win hearts and minds. (Granted, the Civil Rights Movement also tried hard to change laws, but always as part of a larger and essentially spiritual struggle to redeem their opponents.)

When Movement Christian Conservatives lose in court, it seems never to occur to them to present this loss to their opponents in a gracious way. They very rarely look their opponents in the eye and say "This is the price I'm willing to pay rather than help you destroy your soul." No, they go on Conservative radio or retreat to their insular blogs and indulge each others' grievances over the liberal media and the gay mafia and government tyranny. It never seems to occur to you that your opponents can be won over by your actions, rather than the results of an election, court case, or referendum. And this in my opinion is because many Christian Conservatives have a tendency to view liberals as lost causes from the outset.

Crude said...

You'll note that it is this fad that the Gnu's are attacking, and rightly so.

No. A million times, no.

I've seen this argument before, the whole 'Thank God for the Gnus, they are going after the FAKE Christians. Not the real ones!' And it's a complete, utter load. It's a little like saying that Stalin only wanted to starve the red-headed Ukrainians, since hey, look at all the red-headed Ukrainians he starved. You know, along with all the other Ukrainians.

Christianity is not a political movement, and never was.

Unfortunately, in a modern sense, it always was. It is a religious belief with sociopolitical ramifications - major ones. Even if you claim to stay out of politics altogether, the beliefs of Christians are necessarily tied to acts that people will politically support and oppose - and the entanglement of Christianity with government, *whether they wanted this entanglement or not*, has been present since the Bible itself.

I am not decrying Christians for being political, either left or right. I am decrying them for being beholden to any *party*. What's more, being beholden to a party to the point where they lash out and doubt people who are not part of their party, and find no common ground with them.

darrenl said...

" 'Thank God for the Gnus, they are going after the FAKE Christians. Not the real ones!'"

That's not the argument, and I think you know that. I encourage you to read what I wrote a bit more carefully. My argument is that the Gnu's are attacking American Christianity, not "Fake Christians". Those two are not equivalent.

"Unfortunately, in a modern sense, it always was."

I think we agree then. This is a 20th century interpretation of Christianity which is far from what the Church Fathers ever imagined.

Certainly, Christians are permitted to participating in the political process. I think we both agree that giving up ground on Christian principles is a problem.

Crude said...

Chad,

Let's take a look at things from my perspective.

You walk into Feser's thread talking about how 'we' Christians have clearly lost on gay marriage and they should give up even trying to convince people it's wrong. Instead, we should avoid the topic altogether and just do charity and such, and hope that eventually Christians will change their mind.

With pressing, you end up admitting that actually you 'don't really care' whether gay marriage is legal.

When I start citing nations where gay marriage is both outlawed and unpopular, you immediately start speculating that perhaps it's outlawed because everyone there is just a bigot, and you absolutely don't support outlawing gay marriage owing to bigotry. I ask you to define bigotry, and you really start hemming and hawing. I bring up media bias, and you start going off on 'conservatives' who dislike dem 'libruls'.

You then start talking about how Christians should not only be able to be sued for failing to support gay marriage, but how they should shut up and pay those fines - again whining about how 'conservatives' never want to be punished for their actions (I suppose, as opposed to those liberals who love being punished for their actions?) and expressing absolutely zero concern about the actual validity and justice of the New Mexico photographer case. You scoff at the idea that judgments against people for opposing gay marriage ultimately amounts to the use of armed force, talking about how no one with guns will show up to relieve you of your property if you refuse to hand it over - a response that still amazes me.

On top of all this, you utterly rule out any possibility that the change in the fortunes of gay marriage opponents is something that is correctable, or something that came down to method of presentation and argumentation. Nope, nope, the fight's totally lost, can't be repaired, give up now and maybe - in decades - we can possibly talk about it again. Maybe. Probably more like centuries. I ask you about your opposition to gay marriage and same-sex acts and exactly how you justify your opposition to it 'within the church', and frankly, getting you to talk about it is like pulling teeth. You duck questions, get increasingly irritated that I'm even asking, and ultimately I get a response amounting to 'I'm against same-sex sexual acts because I think sex should be restricted to people who are married. I'm against gay marriage, but... only in the church. For scriptural reasons I won't cite.'

I am willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I am not committed to being goddamn blind. When you take the positions you do, one by one in the course of a discussion, the whole 'I'm against gay marriage, but...' thing comes across as a complete sham. As does 'I'm giving this advice out of the concern for souls, not because I support gay marriage or anything!' And when the conversation is insincere, really - what's the point?

Crude said...

That's not the argument, and I think you know that. I encourage you to read what I wrote a bit more carefully. My argument is that the Gnu's are attacking American Christianity, not "Fake Christians". Those two are not equivalent.

The qualification doesn't help. They are opposing Christianity, period. In Europe, in Australia - everywhere where, frankly, western whites exist in adequate numbers. And if you think they're A-Ok with Christianity anywhere else, then you haven't been reading their writings.

They even expressly oppose *liberal* Christians. Dawkins has been clear about this, and it's because they see liberal Christians as enabling and justifying other Christians.

You're going to find that the Cult of Gnu opposition to Christianity is quite total.

I think we agree then. This is a 20th century interpretation of Christianity which is far from what the Church Fathers ever imagined.

I'm afraid you misunderstand. It's the 20th century interpretation of *politics*. Yes, there are Christians who tie their faith to their political party. But even for Christians who do not, the scope and extent of modern politics is tremendous. There is no disentangling from it short of becoming Amish.

Christians have their faults, but the Gnus are not motivated against 'fake' Christians or even 'American' Christians. They are motivated against Christians, period. And not for very good reasons at all. In fact, for pretty insane ones.

darrenl said...

"They are motivated against Christians, period."

This implies that Gnu's know Christianity, and I can say without a doubt that they do not after reading their books. So, one must ask the question: "What are they fighting against?". My answer is a Western brand of Protestantism that merges all sorts of crap together into an unrecognizable mess. I think the center of it all is the misunderstanding of what freedom really is.

Gnu's know a straw man of Christianity, and nothing more. None of them touch Church Fathers except in the most superficial and dismissive of ways. I would even put this charge against some Christians, but not all.

"And not for very good reasons at all. In fact, for pretty insane ones."

Agreed

I see a smaller and stronger Church coming out of this, Crude...and that is for the best. Myself, I was reconverted to the Catholic faith after getting bonked on the head by Aquinas. I suspect I'm not alone.

Crude said...

This implies that Gnu's know Christianity, and I can say without a doubt that they do not after reading their books.

They don't. But it also doesn't matter. They rail against each and every argument or idea that points towards or implies God, period. Anthony Flew stoked a lot of outrage among the Cult, even though he was expressly a deist - because any support that can be construed as even indirect support for Christianity (and any support for bare theism can be construed as such) sets them off.

No, they are not reacting to some narrow, specific kind of Christianity as opposed to an authentic Christianity. Their opposition is quite broad.

I see a smaller and stronger Church coming out of this, Crude.

I don't think the Cult is having much effect, frankly. If anything, Gnus have helped establish that atheists are entirely capable of being as belligerent, intolerant and simple-minded as the worst caricatures of Christianity - they're a bit of a joke.

The threats facing Christianity in the west largely have to do with more diverse problems, and yes, politicized Christianity (both in the form of a Pat Robertson style alliance with the Republicans, or a Jesse Jackson alliance with the Democrats) and various other problems can be laid at the feet of Christians themselves, at least in part. That much I agree with.

Chad Handley said...

Crude:

You walk into Feser's thread talking about how 'we' Christians have clearly lost on gay marriage and they should give up even trying to convince people it's wrong.

Again, I'll note that your putting the "we" in quotation marks shows that you are exactly the kind of person your post is supposed to be directed against - the kind who responds to political disagreements by declaring the other side non-Christian.

Every time I've engaged with you in a political debate, your first line of response is to interrogate me in an attempt to prove I'm not really a Christian.

When I start citing nations where gay marriage is both outlawed and unpopular, you immediately start speculating that perhaps it's outlawed because everyone there is just a bigot, and you absolutely don't support outlawing gay marriage owing to bigotry.

You cited one nation where gay marriage is outlawed and unpopular, and in the article you linked to demonstrating that, I noticed that 22-40% of the participants in the poll demonstrating the unpopularity of homosexual marriages expressed shockingly bigoted views towards homosexuals.

On the basis of that data alone I declined to agree with your comment that "Russia is doing something right" on gay marriage because of its unpopularity there.

It's the height of intellectual dishonesty for you to continue you to continue to claim that I think Russians are bigoted merely because they disapprove of gay marriage, when I repeatedly said the reason I suspected bigotry was because as many as 40% of them believe gays should be quarantined, subject to mandatory re-education, or euthanized.

I don't think you're a bigot even though I know you don't support gay marriage. I don't think Feser is a bigot and I don't think anyone who posts at his blog is a bigot. I am fully capable of recognizing that not all people who oppose gay marriage are bigots. The only group I cited for bigotry was a group who gave extreme evidence of bigotry.

And again, my suspicions were confirmed by a native Russian poster who said that, in his experience, the main motivation for laws against gay marriage in Russia was bigotry and nothing more.

I ask you to define bigotry, and you really start hemming and hawing.

I did nothing of the sort.

You asked me why I thought the Russians were bigoted. I said because 22-40% of them want gays quarantined, re-educated, or euthanized.

You then asked me to define bigotry, and I defined it as an irrational hatred that could lead people to express the above opinions about gays to a polster.

This is absurd, Crude, and you cannot maintain even a pretence of intellectual honesty until you come clean about certain facts:

1. I have said, repeatedly, that you can be against gay marriage and not be a bigot.

2. I have said, repeatedly, that neither you nor anyone else in the argument was a bigot.

3. I have said, repeatedly, that natural law theory makes a cogent, secular, philosophical case against gay marriage (even if I don't completely buy it myself, I consider those who do to be rationally justified.)

4. I only referenced one group that could be motivated by bigotry, and only because of evidence provided by that group.

5. A member of that group (A Russian) came by to confirm that my suspicions were, in his experience, entirely accurate.

And you are trying to spin facts 1-5 to state "Chad Handley thinks everyone who is against gay marriage is a bigot!"

(continued)

Chad Handley said...

And you have the audacity to claim that you are giving me the benefit of the doubt? No, you are ignoring all the evidence in my favor because of your entire conviction that anyone who disagrees with you on gay marriage is not a real "sincere" Christian, full stop.

No one with a shred of intellectual honesty can look at our exchange on Feser's blog and deny that 1-5 is accurate.

And no one with a shred of intellectual honesty can look at 1-5 and conclude that the person who holds those beliefs is insincere when he *repeatedly* says not all gay marriage opponents are bigots.

So the only question left is whether you'll recant that claim and recover any remaining shreds of intellectual honesty you still possess.

You duck questions, get increasingly irritated that I'm even asking, and ultimately I get a response amounting to 'I'm against same-sex sexual acts because I think sex should be restricted to people who are married. I'm against gay marriage, but... only in the church. For scriptural reasons I won't cite.'

You're absolutely right, whenever anyone starts trying to interrogate me to try to establish whether I'm really a Christian, I absolutely get irritated by it. Because it's an insulting, uncharitable, unChristian thing to do. I tend to think Conservatives like you get everything exactly wrong in terms of how Christians are supposed to behave in the public square, but I would never doubt the sincerity of your commitment to Christ over it. I would never accuse you of being insincere, even though I find your political beliefs wildly out of step with most of what Jesus said. I just think you're mistaken about what Jesus asks of you; I don't think you're a sham Christian, which is what you're always accusing me of, for no better reason than that I politically disagree with you.

Which is why I figure this blog post must be some advanced form of satire, because as far as my experiences with you go, you are the paradigm example of a person who puts their political affiliation before the spiritual ones. You never seek common ground with me; you only seek to show that by not believing that DOMA should be the law of the land, I reveal myself to not be a "sincere Christian."

Crude said...

Again, I'll note that your putting the "we" in quotation marks shows that you are exactly the kind of person your post is supposed to be directed against - the kind who responds to political disagreements by declaring the other side non-Christian.

That's nice. Please quote me to this effect.

I have never - not once - accused you of not being Christian. I *have* suggested that, contrary to what you've claimed, you're in favor of gay marriage. And I'm standing by that, because frankly, it'd be stupid for me to believe otherwise in light of the evidence.

You cited one nation where gay marriage is outlawed and unpopular, and in the article you linked to demonstrating that, I noticed that 22-40% of the participants in the poll demonstrating the unpopularity of homosexual marriages expressed shockingly bigoted views towards homosexuals.

No, they didn't. They expressed some appalling attitudes towards homosexuals. 'Bigoted'? Again, you seem to think 'bigoted' just means 'bad'. It doesn't.

I don't think you're a bigot even though I know you don't support gay marriage.

Funny, the first time we talked about this subject you deployed your 'bigot' gun against me rather fast. You only walked it back after pressure, so let's not paper over that.

I did nothing of the sort.

No. I asked you to define bigotry, and you defined it snarkily in terms of supporting the three answers in that russian poll. I pressed further, you gave no real definition. 'Irrational hatred'? Define *that*.

And you are trying to spin facts 1-5 to state "Chad Handley thinks everyone who is against gay marriage is a bigot!"

Nope, I'm saying that Chad Handley immediately wrote off the nearly 90% opposition to gay marriage in Russia as probably being due to bigotry. I'm saying Chad Handley opposes 'bigotry', but won't clearly define it - which allows it to hover about as a perpetual tool to call on.

5. A member of that group (A Russian) came by to confirm that my suspicions were, in his experience, entirely accurate.

Oh, you mean the Russian guy who expressly said: "While I myself may sympathize with the natural law, I do not condone homophobia. And let's face it, if you are against same-sex marriage, you won't escape being labeled a "homophob.""? Unbiased attestation there, clearly.

And no one with a shred of intellectual honesty can look at 1-5 and conclude that the person who holds those beliefs is insincere when he *repeatedly* says not all gay marriage opponents are bigots.

I never charged you with believing that 'all gay marriage opponents are bigots'. Nor have I charged you with 'not really being a Christian'. I have charged you with being in favor of gay marriage - of wanting it to be legal and celebrated - despite lukewarmly saying you think it's wrong. I have charged you with hastily writing off sustained opposition to gay marriage in Russia as 'probably being due to bigotry' and thus not even being worth studying to understand how to advance this issue.

No, you are ignoring all the evidence in my favor because of your entire conviction that anyone who disagrees with you on gay marriage is not a real "sincere" Christian, full stop.

Once again - I never questioned your Christianity, nor did I claim you thought all opponents to gay marriage were bigots. You're swinging and missing here.

So the only question left is whether you'll recant that claim and recover any remaining shreds of intellectual honesty you still possess.

I didn't make the claims you're insisting I am, so I have nothing to recant. As for the claim that your opposition to gay marriage is insincere, I'm sticking to it. And I think anyone reading that thread is going to come to the conclusion that yours is a mighty strange opposition.

Crude said...

You're absolutely right, whenever anyone starts trying to interrogate me to try to establish whether I'm really a Christian, I absolutely get irritated by it.

Again, never happened. Every single one of my questions at you were my probing your views about gay marriage, period. Did I ask you whether you pray? Whether you believe in the resurrection? Whether you go to Church each week? If you tithe? Sure didn't. Because I wasn't questioning your faith.

I tend to think Conservatives like you get everything exactly wrong in terms of how Christians are supposed to behave in the public square

Considering the inordinate amount of time I spend fighting with social conservatives, pointing out their role in the collapse of the opposition to gay marriage, and the absolute need for them to change their message, I'm going to say you don't know a thing about what I believe and are running on the fumes of knee-jerk reactions and caricatures.

I would never accuse you of being insincere, even though I find your political beliefs wildly out of step with most of what Jesus said.

Oh really? What are my political views? This should be a riot.

I don't think you're a sham Christian

Once again: never happened once.

You never seek common ground with me; you only seek to show that by not believing that DOMA should be the law of the land

I never brought up DOMA, nor would I regard opposition to it as problematic in and of itself.

To reiterate: yep, I think your stated opposition to gay marriage is insincere. I think you, in fact, support gay marriage and would very much like Christians to get on board with that. I haven't questioned your Christianity once, nor have I accused you of saying that 'all opposition to gay marriage is bigoted'. Most of your responses here die on the vine, as they're misdirected.

You also keep swinging against 'conservatives' (I suppose I could say, your views of them sure seem bigoted at this point, by your own standards), and clearly are categorizing me with some dreaded monolithic 'Conservative' template. Good luck with that - I have a whole archive of posts marked with places where I locked horns with 'conservatives' on everything from war, to social policy, to welfare, to trade, to nationalism, and more.

So no, I think my intellectual honesty is in quite fine shape. My criticisms are on target and justified, my responses have been measured and consistent. Insofar as you've tried to insult my intellectual honesty, you have taken aim at a demonstrable caricature that is wildly off-base.

Chad Handley said...

Crude:

I have never - not once - accused you of not being Christian.

When you are attempting so speak from my perspective, and you put the "we" in "we Christians" in quotes, you are insinuating that I am not a Christian.

When you name a belief I hold, and then claim, as you did in the OP, that very few "sincere Christians" hold this position, you are saying that the fact that I hold that position puts my Christianity in doubt.

You were asking me about my opinions about which Scripture I base my opposition to gay marriage on, as if my inability to produce the correct chapter and verse would prove my claims weren't really Biblicaly-based.

You most certainly have been questioning my faith. And you have every time I've debated you on a political issue. You take it as granted that certain political positions make a person unlikely to be a Christian. Again - "I think the number of sincere Christians who accept any one of these things are thankfully low in number..." your words, and words that establish that, in your mind, holding one of those views is sufficient to doubt the sincerity of one's commitment to Christ.

I *have* suggested that, contrary to what you've claimed, you're in favor of gay marriage.

This is preposterous, as I have never been unclear about where I stand on the issue.

I have said, repeatedly, in both our most recent argument on the issue and the previous one, that I support gay marriage being legal. I've never said otherwise.

I've said, repeatedly, that because there are no compelling political and legal reasons for denying gay marriage, it ought to be legal, regardless of the fact that, as a Christian, I don't agree with gay marriage and can't support it religiously or morally.

So, I don't understand where the charges of insincerity come from, or the charges of me being somehow cagey about my beliefs.

I believe, and have never denied believing, all of the following:

1. Gay marriages should not be prohibited in the United States, there being no compelling constitutional reason for doing so.

2. Gay marriage should be prohibited within the Church, because there is ample Scriptural evidence against it.

I have never "celebrated" gay marriage (whatever that means), I have never advocated for it, I don't think it is, spiritually or religiously, equal to traditional marriage.

So, what's left for me to be insincere about but my faith, being I've been very upfront about my beliefs on this issue?

(continued)

Chad Handley said...

You again seem incapable of realizing that a perso
n can simultaneously disapprove of an action and not wish that that action be forbidden by the government. You think any person who sincerely believes that homosexual marriage is wrong cannot also sincerely believe that it should not be illegal. And that therefore, anyone who thinks it should not be illegal must be secretly wholeheartedly in favor of it and celebrating it. But that's your hang up; none of that follows from my position at all.

Funny, the first time we talked about this subject you deployed your 'bigot' gun against me rather fast

I seriously doubt it, unless you said something extremely bigoted.

Nope, I'm saying that Chad Handley immediately wrote off the nearly 90% opposition to gay marriage in Russia as probably being due to bigotry.

No, Chad most certainly didn't, as anyone who could read and wasn't interested in grinding an ax could see.

Chad merely refrained from agreeing with you that "Russia was doing something right" due to substantial evidence of bigotry.

But I'd really like to know what you think Russia is doing right, since, as you know, opposition to gay marriage outstrips religious commitment and commitment to natural law theory.

So, what exactly is motivating a Russian who doesn't believe in God or natural law to oppose gay marriage?

What is the "something right" that you think they're doing, that neither involves Christianity nor natural law?

I have charged you with being in favor of gay marriage - of wanting it to be legal and celebrated - despite lukewarmly saying you think it's wrong

I've admitted that I think gay marriage should be legal. So, why are you charging me with being insincere for not admitting something I've admitted to. A lot.

I don't understand what is so vexing and confusing to you about the stance: "I don't agree with gay marriage religiously but I don't think it should be illegal."

Why is it that you think a person can't sincerely hold that stance?

I have charged you with hastily writing off sustained opposition to gay marriage in Russia as 'probably being due to bigotry' and thus not even being worth studying to understand how to advance this issue.

I never said it wasn't worth studying. Study away.

I simply refrained from co-signing your statement that they're "doing something right" given the evidence of bigotry.

It's impossible that you don't understand that by now.

Chad Handley said...

Again, never happened. Every single one of my questions at you were my probing your views about gay marriage, period. Did I ask you whether you pray? Whether you believe in the resurrection? Whether you go to Church each week? If you tithe? Sure didn't. Because I wasn't questioning your faith.

When you quote the "we" in "We Christians" you're questioning my faith. When you say that few "sincere Christians" hold the beliefs I hold, you're questioning my faith. When you interrogate me about the scriptural basis for my beliefs, as if you doubt I could provide them, and thus aren't sincerely basing my beliefs on them, you're questioning my faith.

Considering the inordinate amount of time I spend fighting with social conservatives, pointing out their role in the collapse of the opposition to gay marriage, and the absolute need for them to change their message, I'm going to say you don't know a thing about what I believe and are running on the fumes of knee-jerk reactions and caricatures.

I'm just going by what I know to be your positions on health care and welfare issues, I think you (and most conservatives) get the question of a Christian's social responsibility almost entirely wrong. That's neither here nor there, as it was merely to illustrate that, unlike you, I don't question a person's sincerity.

Your problem, Crude, is that you argue in bad faith. You think you can look behind what your opponent's stated position is and divine their motivation. You think you are, in the words of Joyce Meyer, "Holy Ghost Jr", and that your job in a debate is not to respond to your opponents case but to try to peer beyond the veil into their character. It's insulting, it's morally and intellectually bankrupt, and it's unChristian. And even if it weren't all that, you still shouldn't do it because you're really bad at it, as all the conclusions you've drawn in my specific case are dead wrong.

I think you, in fact, support gay marriage and would very much like Christians to get on board with that.

I support the legality of gay marriage and have never denied that.

You are trying to peer into my heart in the hopes of finding out I don't just support its legality I support it morally and enthusiastically and I wish I could see a super gay wedding every week at my church.

And that whole exercise on your part is pathetic and stupid, and also completely wrong.

I sincerely believe gay marriage is contrary to Christian belief, I sincerely oppose it in the Church, I sincerely believe it is not God's perfect will for anyone.

I also sincerely believe there should not be civil laws prohibiting it.

Where are you seeing all this insincerity and inconsistency?

Crude said...

When you are attempting so speak from my perspective, and you put the "we" in "we Christians" in quotes, you are insinuating that I am not a Christian.

No, I'm not. I'm insinuating that the 'we' in 'we who oppose same-sex marriage' is baloney, because you don't oppose it. You support it.

I asked you to provide quotes of me questioning your Christian faith. You're coming up short. Time to apologize and say you were wrong.

When you name a belief I hold, and then claim, as you did in the OP, that very few "sincere Christians" hold this position,

Nope. I'm saying that the number of sincere questions who hold that view are low in number, and that "you've gone too far afield for me, Christian or not." And you have.

Again, you're going to have to eat crow on this one and walk it back. I didn't say what you're accusing me of saying. You made a bad move.

You most certainly have been questioning my faith.

Which doesn't explain your complete inability to quote me doing so. You are engaged in some pretty desperate tea-leaf reading and mangling of words to try and prove this point - and in the very post you cite, I grant that someone can be a sincere Christian and hold these views. What I question is how numerous you are.

And to be totally honest? Even among Christians who support gay marriage, your position is fringe. The support for people to legally turn down jobs related to gay marriage is tremendous, even in a country close to evenly split on the topic. For now, your position IS one of quite a minority among Christians.

I have said, repeatedly, in both our most recent argument on the issue and the previous one, that I support gay marriage being legal. I've never said otherwise.

Horseshit.

"Thus, it seems to me, in the short term, this is an unwinnable war. And fighting the war will make a generation of people come to view the Church in a negative light, making them more reluctant to give natural law arguments a hearing. So that leaves us in a situation where:"

You presented yourself as a pragmatic Christian who was against gay marriage, but who - darn it - just thought this was an unwinnable war, and we should call it off. Hence my skepticism of the 'we' and the 'us' when you talk about how 'we' should conduct ourselves with regards to gay marriage. After I asked - way after all this talk of how 'we' can educate people to be against gay marriage - your direct views on this matter, I got:

'Full disclosure, I don't have much of a problem with gay marriage at all outside the church.'

And I think since then, we've moved from 'don't have much of a problem' to 'demand that it be legal' and 'support punishing people who refuse to go against their consciences and assist in celebrating it.'

Frankly? I question your sincerity about having a problem with gay marriage in the church. Call it related to your insincerity in your feigned opposition to it elsewhere.

Crude said...

I have never "celebrated" gay marriage (whatever that means), I have never advocated for it, I don't think it is, spiritually or religiously, equal to traditional marriage.

So, what's left for me to be insincere about but my faith, being I've been very upfront about my beliefs on this issue?


You don't seem to understand. At this point? I am regarding these statements of yours as insincere. I'm not asking you to come out and say you oppose gay marriage and think it immoral or wrong. I'm not asking you to tell me that you oppose gay marriage 'in the church'.

I am saying, in light of your statements where you seem positively giddy at the idea that photographers who refuse to cover a gay wedding will be punished by law - take that, you ****in' conservatives!, basically - and your rush to use the 'bigot' bludgeon, that when you then say 'But I'm against it in the church! I think it's immoral!' I roll my eyes. I'm doubting you.

Granted, I'm not a mindreader. But I am a word-reader, and your words indicate some tremendous insincerity on this subject. I don't feel like pretending otherwise. It's a waste of my time.

When you tell me 'I have never advocated for it', hot on the heels of some pretty straight up support for it, and not only support of gay marriage but support for punishing people who simply don't want to cooperate with a gay 'wedding'? Yeah, not exactly doing wonders for my estimation of your sincerity on this issue.

Crude said...

You again seem incapable of realizing that a person can simultaneously disapprove of an action and not wish that that action be forbidden by the government. You think any person who sincerely believes that homosexual marriage is wrong cannot also sincerely believe that it should not be illegal.

Nope. I'm completely capable of realizing that. You went waaaaay beyond that shit, my friend. When you're telling me that Christians who simply *do not want to take part in a gay wedding* with their business should be fined and sued, and if the judgement goes against them, suck it up and pay it because, really, you think it's a good thing when Christians are punished for refusing to sacrifice their principles? Yeah, that's when I start to think that no, you don't really seem like someone who disapproves of it at all.

It's a little like telling me that you're pro-life. But the sort of pro-life person who not only believes that all abortions should be legal, but who thinks that a proposed law mandating Catholic surgeons to perform abortions if requested is fine and dandy, and that they should pay the thousands of dollars of fines without complaint because 'don't be a pussy, if you're going to refuse to obey the law you should expect to be punished and not make waves'? Yeah, no, you're not 'pro-life', kindly stop bullshitting me, thank you.

I seriously doubt it, unless you said something extremely bigoted.

Me: I'd question the claim that, unless a gay man is receiving regular bouts of anal sex, that he's going to be unhappy.

You: I think that's about as accurate as saying that your relationship with your wife can be reduced to regular bouts of vaginal sex.

But you clearly demonstrate that just because bigotry isn't necessary for opposing gay marriage, that doesn't mean you can't still be a bigot.


Later: Reducing gay marriage, as Crude did, to "regular bouts of anal sex" absolutely is bigotry.

Extremely bigoted, my ass. Pardon the pun.

No, Chad most certainly didn't, as anyone who could read and wasn't interested in grinding an ax could see.

"The only case where I suspected bigotry was in the case of the Russian poll data, but I had evidence for that conclusion and a native Russian later confirmed it."

But I'd really like to know what you think Russia is doing right, since, as you know, opposition to gay marriage outstrips religious commitment and commitment to natural law theory.

I didn't even say Russia was doing anything right. I said it was in principle possible they were and that, given that opposition to gay marriage there far outstrips religious commitment, there may be something we can learn from them. You will search in vain for a statement by me saying that the Russians were absolutely doing something right and unproblematic. I said it could regarded as something to look into.

And frankly, you need neither religious commitment, nor commitment to natural law theory, nor 'bigotry', to be opposed to gay marriage and what passes for LGBT pop culture.

Crude said...

I'm just going by what I know to be your positions on health care and welfare issues, I think you (and most conservatives) get the question of a Christian's social responsibility almost entirely wrong.

Wonderful. What are my positions on health care and welfare issues?

Your problem, Crude, is that you argue in bad faith. You think you can look behind what your opponent's stated position is and divine their motivation.

Nope. What I think I can do, and in fact must do, is look at what someone says and make a judgment about them in various ways. I have to judge their level of expertise, their understanding, their experience, their honesty, their sincerity. I can make mistakes, I can make poor judgments. What I am not bound to do is take everyone at their word, no matter how many obviously problematic statements they make, or what contortions they go through in the course of a conversation.

It's insulting, it's morally and intellectually bankrupt, and it's unChristian.

Oh, cut the drama queen antics. Estimating someone's sincerity and honesty by paying attention to what they're saying is none of those things - it's the heart of reasonableness. Let me guess: everyone should take Anthony Weiner at his word too, right? Or any other politician?

As for my being bad at it: could be. Or maybe you're rotten at fakery. I'm leaning towards the second.

Where are you seeing all this insincerity and inconsistency?

In the grand sum of your positions on the issue, in your behavior when discussing it, in your insincere presentation of your views on this, and more.

Also? I doubt the sincerity of Nancy Pelosi when she says she's pro-life and that she thinks her abortion positions are consistent with church teaching. I doubt the sincerity of John McCain when he says that it's totally 100% clear that bombing Syria is the right thing to do. I doubted the sincerity of Obama when he said he was against gay marriage.

I know, I know. What gall I have, questioning the words of people based on their actions and attitudes. How dare I. Etc, etc.

Chad Handley said...

No, I'm not. I'm insinuating that the 'we' in 'we who oppose same-sex marriage' is baloney, because you don't oppose it. You support it.

You didn't say "'we' Christians who oppose same-sex marriage"

You said "'we' Christians."

So, it was clearly a jab aimed at my Christianity, not my opposition to the legality of gay marriage which I never claimed to have.

Never. Not once. Ever.

The support for people to legally turn down jobs related to gay marriage is tremendous, even in a country close to evenly split on the topic.

Good grief. What part of I support the ability of people to legally turn down the job don't you understand?

I simply do not support your belief that people who turn down such jobs should be immune from being successfully sued civilly over it.

You turn this simple belief of mine that gay couples should not be disallowed from suing for discrimination into "giddy support for punishing them."

Your intellectual dishonesty is crystal clear now. How many times will you accuse me of holding beliefs I expressly deny?

You presented yourself as a pragmatic Christian who was against gay marriage, but who - darn it - just thought this was an unwinnable war, and we should call it off.

1. Nowhere in the post you quote did I come anywhere close to insinuating that I oppose the legality of same-sex marriage.

2. I expressly said that I support the legality of same sex marriage in the ensuing conversation half a dozen times!. I had a long debate with you beforehand on that same forum over DOMA which spanned hundreds of posts which was all about my position that gay marriage should be legal!

So are you seriously accusing me of being misleading because you read something into my first post, something I went on to expressly deny some 7-8 times in the course of the conversation, something I expressly admitted to you DOZENS OF TIMES in a previous conversation?

I'm at a loss as to what your point could even be at this juncture.

I admit to supporting the legality of gay marriage; I've never denied it, hidden it, or been coy about it.

So what exactly do you think I'm being insincere about?

Yes, in addition to believing that gay marriage should be legal, I am strategically opposed to Christians wasting resources and political capital on the issue. Those views aren't inconsistent and I haven't lied or been the slightest bit misleading about my commitment to either of them.

This is why I find debate with you tedious, because you are obsessed with divining your opponents motivations and utterly uninterested in what they actually have to say.

And I think since then, we've moved from 'don't have much of a problem' to 'demand that it be legal' and 'support punishing people who refuse to go against their consciences and assist in celebrating it.'

I never "demanded" that it be legal. You're just lying there.

I've already explained my position about the punishment of the Christians who disobey the law - only someone as completely uninterested in the truth of what their opponents' actual position is as you constantly demonstrate yourself to be would still be pushing the same mistaken interpretation.

In terms of Christians who refuse to recognize gay marriage, I am neither happy, nor giddy, nor in support of, nor think they morally deserve or merit, any kind of punishment. I think punishments such Christians face is and always will be unjust.

I am merely against Christians harming the witness of Christ by refusing to obey the law of the land once their legal options have been exhausted.

(continued)

Chad Handley said...

This is now at least the sixth time I've explained this to you, and yet while holding yourself up as a paragon of intellectual honesty, you've continually just ignored my explanations over interpretations of my inner thoughts and motivations you find more convenient. You can't find anything actually logically, morally, or legally inconsistent with my views, but you don't like them, so you accuse them of being "insincere." It's just a joke at this point.

Frankly? I question your sincerity about having a problem with gay marriage in the church

Well, of course you do. The sole arrow in your intellectual quiver is to question your opponents' motivations. I'm not surprised at the frequency with which you fire it.

Call it related to your insincerity in your feigned opposition to it elsewhere.

Take your time. Take a day. A week. A month. Do a thorough google search of every comment I've ever made.

Find me one unambiguous example of me ever feigning opposition to the legality of gay marriage in America.

I am saying, in light of your statements where you seem positively giddy at the idea that photographers who refuse to cover a gay wedding will be punished by law - take that, you ****in' conservatives!, basically

LOL!

Where are you getting this?

From your fevered, absurdest, persecution-complex, which is located deep within the recesses of your rear end, and from nowhere else.

You can't make your case without absurd, ridiculous, over-the-top, completely unjustified caricatures of my position. From "I don't think Christians should flaunt the law" you get me "giddily" saying "take that effin conservatives!"

But again, I can't blame you, since without the hyperbole and the bad faith, you have no case to make against me at all. And you're way too prideful and stubborn to admit that, so it's deeper down the hyperbole and bad faith hole you go. To wit:

and your rush to use the 'bigot' bludgeon

If I'm in a rush to use it, why haven't I used it against you?

Or Feser? Or The Deuce? Or DNW? Or BenYachov? Or Scott?

Why have I said that opposition to gay marriage is not even evidence or a slight indication of bigotry?

Why have I restricted my suspicions of bigotry to one group, based on evidence, if I'm in such a rush to use it?

This is another charge that cannot be sustained without hyperbole and bad faith. It's certainly not based on anything I've said, and indeed can only be maintained if one completely ignores everything I've said.

When you tell me 'I have never advocated for it', hot on the heels of some pretty straight up support for it

Advocate in the political context has a pretty clear meaning to me. I've never engaged in any sort of activism for gay marriage (nor any other political goal, unless you count voting) in my entire life. My personal, private opinion is that gay marriage should be legal, and I've publicly argued about it on forums like this and in my private life, but that's as far as it goes. I am not a gay marriage advocate; I don't go around trying to convince people to support it, even in the limited, legal sense I support it.

(continued)

Chad Handley said...

but support for punishing people who simply don't want to cooperate with a gay 'wedding'?

Now, everybody reading this should be able to know my position, so everybody reading this should realize how intellectually dishonest you are the next time you attribute this to me without correction.

I DO NOT SUPPORT, CALL FOR, THINK IS MERITED OR DESERVED, PUNISHMENT FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T COOPERATE WITH A GAY WEDDING. I MERELY BELIEVE THAT, ONCE THEY'VE EXHAUSTED THEIR LEGAL OPTIONS, CHRISTIANS SHOULD ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR CIVIL DISOBEDIANCE WITH LOVE AND GRACE.

This is now about the fifth time I've made this specific correction. I call on people observing this conversation (poor buggers) to notice when Crude ignores this explanation of my beliefs and repeats his accusation unaltered again in his very next post. Feel free to set your watch by it because it's absolutely going to happen.

Chad Handley said...

Nope. I'm completely capable of realizing that. You went waaaaay beyond that shit, my friend. When you're telling me that Christians who simply *do not want to take part in a gay wedding* with their business should be fined and sued...

I refuse to explain my position on this again, because you're just going to ignore it and keep putting words in my mouth, because it's the only way you can maintain the absurd position you've invested your entire bloated ego into.

Extremely bigoted, my ass. Pardon the pun.

Well, yeah, when you reduce gay relationships to "regular bouts of anal sex", you said something pretty bigoted.

I'm not opposed to calling a spade a spade.

Estimating someone's sincerity and honesty by paying attention to what they're saying is none of those things

Except that's not what you're doing. You're alternately ignoring what I'm saying, putting words in my mouth, ascribing bad faith motivations to me without any evidence, and refusing to alter your position based on my clarifications.

As for my being bad at it: could be.

Is.

Or maybe you're rotten at fakery.

What am I meant to be faking? The opposition to gay marriage I expressly deny ever having?

I doubt the sincerity of Nancy Pelosi when she says she's pro-life and that she thinks her abortion positions are consistent with church teaching. I doubt the sincerity of John McCain when he says that it's totally 100% clear that bombing Syria is the right thing to do. I doubted the sincerity of Obama when he said he was against gay marriage.

Well, if we're judging people by their actions, we're going to have to presume you don't actually have any commitment to intellectual honesty, aren't we? At least when it comes to accurately representing your opponents views.




Crude said...

You didn't say "'we' Christians who oppose same-sex marriage"

You said "'we' Christians."


Again: horseshit. But you know what? That's more than fine.

You are coming at me for questioning your stated views on gay marriage in light of your support of lawsuits and judgments against people who turn down business opportunities related to gay marriage, and your statements about bigotry, and your gradual single-thread shift from 'we have to give up this fight against gay marriage, we've lost' to 'actually gay marriage is no big deal to me' to 'I support gay marriage being legal' to 'I support gay marriage being legal and these crybabies who get punished and sued for opposing it need to suck it up'. You accuse me of mind-reading.

But then you turn around and engage in some pretty creative exegesis to insist that my use of 'we' was meant to insinuate you're not a Christian - even though the entirety of my line of questioning towards you, and my criticisms of you, have explicitly revolved around your views on gay marriage.

So I get a helping of complete hypocrisy from you on the one hand, and on the other, extraordinarily weak reasoning. Like I said, this stuff? Not helping your case.

Good grief. What part of I support the ability of people to legally turn down the job don't you understand?

The part where you support their being fined and sued successfully for turning it down. Is this an extension of the bit where you argue that no government is capable of forcing its citizens to violate their consciences, and all they can do is punish you for acting on it? By your logic, I suppose I'm fully pro-choice. I think a woman should be allowed to attempt to procure a third trimester abortion for any reason. Now, I may think she should be jailed and kept from doing so the moment authorities catch wind of her attempting to procure this, but hey, I'm still giving her the choice, so I'm pro-choice now.

After all, if we're going to engage in mental gymnastics here, let's go for the gold, right?

You turn this simple belief of mine that gay couples should not be disallowed from suing for discrimination into "giddy support for punishing them."

"Christians who refuse to recognize gay marriages in states where it's legal should be willing to suffer the consequences."

You're trying to either walk back or obfuscate your past words to this noncommital 'right to sue for discrimination generally' from support for the idea that Christians who don't want to take part in a gay marriage ceremony should be punished and fined, and that they should pay those fines gladly. Yes, you were pretty belligerent with the whole snarky talk about how 'conservatives' want to be able to stick to their consciences without punishment.

I mean, really. What gall those 'conservatives' have. They think they have a right to not only refuse to take part in a gay wedding, but also *not be fined or have a judgment against them for thousands and thousands of dollars*? How obnoxious.

Nowhere in the post you quote did I come anywhere close to insinuating that I oppose the legality of same-sex marriage.

I'd say the already pasted comments by you talking about how 'we' and 'us' should give up the fight against gay marriage for now qualifies as insinuation and then some. The 'I don't have a problem with gay marriage outside the church' claim itself isn't even 'full disclosure' as you said, since there's quite a gap between 'no problem with it' and 'I demand it'.

Crude said...

I admit to supporting the legality of gay marriage; I've never denied it, hidden it, or been coy about it.

So what exactly do you think I'm being insincere about?


You certainly have been coy about it. You were insincere about your position regarding it, you've been insincere about your words, and at this point I'm questioning your sincerity about even regarding it as immoral within the church.

This is why I find debate with you tedious, because you are obsessed with divining your opponents motivations and utterly uninterested in what they actually have to say.

The moment I decided that you were insincere, the conversation was *over*. I walked away from it with you, and I continued the conversation with others. I don't bother with conversations with people who are insincere, or with whom I share no common ground - in such situations, there is only talking-at, not talking-with. I have a long, looooong track record of reasonable discussion with people who disagree with me, sans motive questioning, sans insults, so long as they holster their insults and don't give me tremendous reason to question their motives.

You've come to me to continue this conversation expressly. Considering I've had a conversation with you a total of two times, I'm not going to take your evaluations of my argumentative track record seriously. I disagree with every single person I talk with on various issues - including Ed Feser. I have people on my blogroll who espouse ideas I flat out disagree with. In other words, I'll hold my track record up against your claims gladly.

In terms of Christians who refuse to recognize gay marriage, I am neither happy, nor giddy, nor in support of, nor think they morally deserve or merit, any kind of punishment. I think punishments such Christians face is and always will be unjust.

Again, horseshit.

"This is something every other persecuted group understands, but that Conservative Christians don't seem to get. If you engage in activism for an unpopular cause, you have to lose a lot before you can win, and you have to accept your losses not just graciously but willingly."

"For Pete's sake, I agree the guy should have the right to turn down the job. I just don't believe he should be immune from being sued over turning it down, or that the laws should be written guaranteeing that he'll always win if he is sued."

Yeah, you think it's unjust. It just happens to be the sort of injustice you think should be legal, and that they shouldn't resist, and also the people who think photographers should be protected from lawsuits and fines if they turn down a job for covering a gay wedding are whiny conservatives, because they have it in their heads that they should be legally protected from unjust lawsuits.

If you were spinning any faster here you'd be a centrifuge.

I am merely against Christians harming the witness of Christ by refusing to obey the law of the land once their legal options have been exhausted.

Oh Christ almighty.

Yeah. I bet you thought the civil disobedience of the past - which expressly involved disobeying laws of the land - was rotten stuff. How dare those troublesome blacks not obey the law of the land! How dare those gay activists in Russia try to march even though it's against the law!

Wait, wait, let me guess. Only *Christians* are expected to obey the laws of the land. Other groups not only can, but should disobey the law if the law is unjust. Also, you 'harm the witness of Christ' by not obeying the law of the land. Who ever heard of advancing the witness of Christ by defying an unjust law?

Now, I'm busy. I'll post whatever else you're writing up later, and respond to it. But really, I don't know what you thought you were going to get by coming here and trying to bullshit me. I hope it was 'digging the hole deeper' and 'reinforcing Crude's judgment on the matter', because that's pretty much all you're accomplishing.

Crude said...

This is now at least the sixth time I've explained this to you, and yet while holding yourself up as a paragon of intellectual honesty,

When did I hold myself up as 'a paragon of intellectual honesty'? If by that you mean I defended my views and my claims, and laughed off your melodramatics about how I dare to not take your statements at face value when I have ample evidence to the contrary, well, you have an interesting idea of what passes for holding oneself up as a 'paragon of intellectual honesty'.

you've continually just ignored my explanations over interpretations of my inner thoughts and motivations you find more convenient. You can't find anything actually logically, morally, or legally inconsistent with my views,

I find your explanations desperate, deceptive, and at this point 'all over the place' - I haven't ignored them, I've found them unpersuasive. I find plenty inconsistent and suspect with your views, and have pointed out as much. The only response you really have to me is perpetual freaking out, grandstanding, and repeating your highly convoluted system-of-justification that's meant to exonerate you. I don't find it compelling.

Find me one unambiguous example of me ever feigning opposition to the legality of gay marriage in America.

Already supplied, but you'll go to your grave claiming it was just ambiguous enough. Hey, next time? Don't talk about how 'we' and 'us' should give up a fight that you aren't fighting, and in fact are opposed to. Don't talk about how legalizing gay marriage isn't a big deal to you one way or the other, when you're actually very much in favor of it. Don't talk about support for laws which punish Christians for refusing to professionally take part in a gay 'wedding'. Don't talk about how they should suck it up and just deal with the fines and government pressure against them.

You know what would have helped convince me of your sincerity? A single, solitary criticism of an LGBT movement that has done much to deserve criticisms. I waited and waited - it never came. You were more interested in beating up on 'conservatives', telling Christians that they should all give up the fight against gay marriage and accept it, to not even think of merely trying to get the message and logic of their opposition across better, and how frankly if anything the media is just too kind to Christians, who deserve a lot worse treatment than they already get.

From your fevered, absurdest, persecution-complex, which is located deep within the recesses of your rear end, and from nowhere else.

Chad. Buddy. Pal.

Who ARE you? *You* don't persecute me. In fact, I personally don't feel much persecution at all. Now, those photographers in NM? That's another story - but you did nothing there. You're just another guy on the internet as far as I'm concerned. One who said things like:

"But Conservative Christians somehow feel it's their birth right to never have to suffer, even slightly, for what they believe."

...In response to conservatives arguing that the NM law was unjust, and should be fought.

But, so long as we're psychoanalyzing - clearly if I won't turn a blind eye to your nonsense and accept your statements on gay marriage as honest and true, then I *must* think you're a supremely powerful monster who threatens me. You can't just be, you know... a mere intellectually dishonest person, whose views I rejected on a single issue. Either angel or devil, I suppose.

You're neither, as far as I'm concerned. You're just another guy who's too clever by half on a subject. Nothing more, nothing less. I suppose I'll add 'excessively whiny' to the list, but I'm afraid that's not going to make things more grand.

Crude said...

If I'm in a rush to use it, why haven't I used it against you?

Are you not following the thread? *You have*.

and I've publicly argued about it on forums like this and in my private life, but that's as far as it goes. I am not a gay marriage advocate; I don't go around trying to convince people to support it,

"Arguing for it in forums" makes you a gay marriage advocate, yes. Are you under the impression you need to be on a payroll or a billboard to be an advocate?

Crude said...

This is now about the fifth time I've made this specific correction. I call on people observing this conversation (poor buggers) to notice when Crude ignores this explanation of my beliefs and repeats his accusation unaltered again in his very next post. Feel free to set your watch by it because it's absolutely going to happen.

I call on anyone who has bothered to read through Chad's posts to do the following: since clearly you are capable of digging through extraordinary amounts of verbiage, start here. Read Chad's comments. Let me pull out a few gems:

In response to Scott asking: "Actually the photography studio in the New Mexico case argued (I think correctly) that it wasn't picking and choosing on the basis of sexual orientation. It didn't refuse to photograph gay people; it refused to photograph same-sex weddings, because the owner was morally opposed to them."

What if he refused to photograph interracial weddings, because he was morally opposed to them? Same thing?

Drawing a line between 'refusing to cover a gay wedding' and 'refusing to photograph an interracial wedding'. Really stating his opposition to punishing people for refusing to cover gay weddings, isn't he.

You guys write as if federal judges are sending out the militia to force photographers to cover gay weddings at gunpoint.

But I think what we're actually talking about is juries of our peers in civil courts potentially awarding damages to aggrieved parties.

A photographer can still decline to photograph gay weddings if he's willing to risk being sued and losing in court.

But the larger point here is that you guys act as if you weren't aware that freedom is sometimes a zero sum game. It's not really possible in civil society for everyone to have unrestricted liberty, and sometimes, when freedoms are pitched against each other, society has to choose which freedom is more in the public interest. We long ago decided that the freedom of individuals to eat at lunch counters and ride on buses is more important than the freedom of the business owner to decline to serve classes of people he doesn't like.


Nope, no implied support for laws and suits punishing people for refusing to cover or take part in gay weddings there, no sir. He supports the freedom of individuals to follow their consciences. See, Chad's idea of 'following your conscience' is 'you try to do what you think is right, and then you get sued for possibly thousands and thousands of dollars'.

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Crude said...

It's not a big difference; it's a distinction without a difference. A straight interracial couple can sue a photographer for refusing to cover their marriage, so why can't a gay couple sue a photographer for refusing to cover their marriage?

[...]

But besides that, yes, the world being the world, and freedom being a zero sum game, it's always possible you're going to have to pay for having convictions that are on the losing side. You shouldn't have to pay with your life or your livelihood, IMO, which is why I'd be in favor of some tort reform. But if the law of the land breaks against your freedom when it's pitted against another freedom, you might have to pay some slight cost to exercise that freedom.

And here's the thing: in a democracy, when freedoms conflict with each other, somebody's going to have to pay. Either you're going to have to pay for your conscience or the gay couple is going to have to pay for theirs. The question for the courts is, what's better for society: if we make the gay couples pay (by allowing them to be legally discriminated against) or if we make the businessman pay (damages)? Having businesses free to hang "we don't service homosexual marriages" on their doors, or having homosexual couples free to sue for discrimination?


Gosh, how in the world would anyone take this as support for Christians to be punished for not covering gay marriages? It's a mystery!

Let me add some emphasis to this next one.

However, should the Christian photographer feel it is his Christian duty to refuse to cover the wedding, I think he should absolutely follow his convictions and refuse to do it.

But I also think the gay couple should have the right to sue him, and that if the gay couple wins, the Christian should pay the damages the court awards.

This is something every other persecuted group understands, but that Conservative Christians don't seem to get. If you engage in activism for an unpopular cause, you have to lose a lot before you can win, and you have to accept your losses not just graciously but willingly.


How in the world did I ever get the idea that Chad thinks it should be legal, and that it is just, for Christians to be fined and punished if they fail to take part in a gay wedding?

The next one should make it clear:

For Pete's sake, I agree the guy should have the right to turn down the job. I just don't believe he should be immune from being sued over turning it down, or that the laws should be written guaranteeing that he'll always win if he is sued.

Chad believes a Christian totally has the right to refuse to be involved with a gay wedding. He just happens to think that suing them and being awarded large sums of money is okay too. Also, the government totally allows you to protest outside of a federal building. Now, you may get your ass arrested, but you're still allowed to go there and do the thing you'll be immediately arrested for.

So, if the Christian doesn't want to work the wedding, he might have to pay a fine, and he might have to be sued and pay damages. I don't think that's some great tyranny.

Oops, that clears up the 'fine' part.

There's actually more than this in the thread. But let's cap this one off with the quote I was responding to, complete with the bold:

I DO NOT SUPPORT, CALL FOR, THINK IS MERITED OR DESERVED, PUNISHMENT FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T COOPERATE WITH A GAY WEDDING. I MERELY BELIEVE THAT, ONCE THEY'VE EXHAUSTED THEIR LEGAL OPTIONS, CHRISTIANS SHOULD ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR CIVIL DISOBEDIANCE WITH LOVE AND GRACE.

Indeed. No implied or express support for fines and punishments for those people at all. No siree.

Crude said...

I refuse to explain my position on this again, because you're just going to ignore it and keep putting words in my mouth, because it's the only way you can maintain the absurd position you've invested your entire bloated ego into.

See, what I love about people on the internet is how the sins of their opponents keep piling up.

I call you intellectually dishonest on the subject of gay marriage. I don't question your Christian belief. I don't question your intelligence. I don't question your morals. I do laugh at some of your melodrama, but I keep things on-topic.

But in the course of disagreeing, the longer that disagreement stays, the bigger my list of sins get. I've got a bloated ego. I'm a liar. The only way I ever argue is by questioning someone's motives. Etc, etc.

Really, it's fascinating. Can I get a 'probably a closeted homosexual' accusation next? I mean, that usually makes a showing at some point too when this topic is within reach of the subject.

Well, yeah, when you reduce gay relationships to "regular bouts of anal sex", you said something pretty bigoted.

Full quote context:

You: "Why do these gay men have an obligation to live personally unhappy lives because of how blind, clumsy, inefficient nature has made them, if there are choices before them that can make them happy?"

Me: "I'd question the claim that, unless a gay man is receiving regular bouts of anal sex, that he's going to be unhappy. You make it sound like if people with same-sex attraction don't get some weekly dose of sodomy they're going to shrivel up and die.

That's really key here. The issue isn't friendship, or having relationships broadly, or much else. Your line of argument here hinges heavily on what amounts to 'anal sex is a prerequisite for happiness for the gay male' - that's not going to be an easy thing to defend. And if it IS a prerequisite, then the next question is, 'Is this person mentally healthy?' Which will be a pretty interesting question to explore."

I invite anyone who cares to to read the thread for themselves and see if Chad's estimation is anything within the realm of 'fair'. Especially since I expressly said that 'gay relationships', period, have a lot more to them than anal sex, and you couldn't reasonably consider me to be saying otherwise in context. The sex and sexual attraction just happens to be the objectionable parts.

Crude said...

Except that's not what you're doing. You're alternately ignoring what I'm saying, putting words in my mouth, ascribing bad faith motivations to me without any evidence, and refusing to alter your position based on my clarifications.

I don't ignore what you say, I simply respond to it. I put no words in your mouth - you've put plenty there. I've got plenty of evidence for the view I have, and I find your clarifications insincere.

I appreciate you went through the trouble to make your latest statement bold and in all caps, but it was pretty trivial to answer it using your own quotes.

What am I meant to be faking? The opposition to gay marriage I expressly deny ever having?

Already answered, ad nauseum.

Well, if we're judging people by their actions, we're going to have to presume you don't actually have any commitment to intellectual honesty, aren't we?

I've supplied ample, even excessive evidence for the view I have. You've been unintentionally giving me even -more- evidence that when it comes to this issue, something gets unhinged in you and you start playing very, very loose with reasoning and consistency.

Meanwhile, I notice questions have fallen by the wayside. You never answered just what my views are on welfare and health care, for example - what makes my position so superficially foul. I notice you've dropped the accusation that I was questioning your Christian faith, since I nowhere said I was, and your reasoning that I 'implied' it came from a post on this blog where I conceded that someone could be a Christian yet also support gay marriage and punishing people for opposing gay marriage, but regarded them as being too small in number to really concern myself with. At the same time, you regard your long, long list of quotes expressing support for gays suing Christians who don't cooperate with them in a gay wedding (because freedom is a zero sum game, and someone has to give up their rights) as in no way showing that you support lawsuits against and fines on said couples.

Keep it up if you want, but as I said before: you aren't exactly disproving my claims here.