Wednesday, February 26, 2014

McGrath is quite certain gay marriage opponents aren't acting out of religious conviction

Another swing and a miss from James. He's now falling back to the move of 'I bet these Christians aren't even motivated by religious belief. They probably just don't want to serve gays, but they're more than happy to serve divorcees and polygamists!'

I pointed out the problems with James' reasoning. First off, there is some kind of amazing irony in the fact that the self-described "progressive" Christian, who throws out large parts of the New Testament he dislikes or finds 'outdated', wants to enforce a religious litmus test to determine whether or not someone's religious beliefs are sincere. Keep in mind: James isn't offering to analyze the religious beliefs of the baker or photographer in question and see if their actions are consistent and sincere. Instead, James wants to use what *he* thinks Christians should believe if they're not "progressive" (he'd have to, since otherwise James himself would be marked as an insincere Christian immediately based on his own stances), and if they deviate from that, he'll judge them as insincere.

Beyond that, James' claims that a dislike of gays, rather than any sincere religious motivation, was behind their decisions not to provide a service for a gay wedding is subject to a much easier test: see if the service will be provided to gays individually, or for two heterosexual men marrying each other. This alone is enough to blow out of the water the suggestion that 'dislike of homosexuals' was operative in the service refusal - but this standard won't be adhered to precisely because it's realized that the service providers thus far in question, and likely quite many of them besides, would pass muster. And the goal here is not 'find a reasonable standard' but 'find a standard that results in people who disagree with gay marriage being bullied in every possible venue'.

Will having any of this pointed out to McGrath matter? Not insofar as his reasoning goes - because, as I've said in the past, reasoning and intellectual force of argument doesn't mean a whit here. What matters is McGrath feels a certain way, and "progressives" are chanting with a unified voice, and that's really enough to settle the matter. Point out flaws in their arguments and their reasoning, and you haven't provided a good argument - you're just a sneaky, hateful person who is using tricks like 'consistency' and 'discussion' to try and advance your wicked cause.

Progressivism sure seems a whole lot like tribalism for wannabe cultural elites.


Acatus Bensley said...

This is exactly the type of mentality I'm talking about. This is what happens when liberalism taints Christianity. They're not all like this but Lord knows.... Speaking of freedom to refuse service to gay couples because of religious obligations, I do believe anyone has the right to refuse business to anybody for any reasons because business are private not government run. This is the land of the free. Not free with a few exceptions. How could ones constitutional rights end where some thin skinned persons emotions begin? This James character also seems to not be aware that gays aren't coincidentally requesting service from religious establishments, but are deliberately seeking these establishments in order to further this liberal agenda of theirs. These gay couples know what they're doing.

Crude said...

I've brought that up in my exchange with him. Everyone always looks right past that.

Crude said...

I've brought that up in my exchange with him. Everyone always looks right past that.

Acatus Bensley said...

I'm genuinely fascinated when liberal Christians will defend a minority that is obviously attempting to remove any hint of Christianity out of the public sphere. This is the type of behavior that causes crusades. America has traded in integrity for politically correctness. Sorry for ranting on your blog.

Crude said...

Not a problem, Acatus. Really, that's the exact thing I'm talking about myself.

As I said, I know multiple liberal Christians who I can hold a conversation with, who I even respect. But when I start to see these 'progressives' who largely hold their tongues when it comes to the New Atheists, and meanwhile happily demonize and misrepresent anything deemed a 'conservative' Christian regularly, it's hard not to start coming to some tentative conclusions about why it's the case.

Acatus Bensley said...

It's amazing how it's predicted word for word in the bible. Kind of depressing as well. "Realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God..." (2 Timothy 3:1-4)

The Fez said...

I just finished reading the extents of your second exchange with Super Interlocutor James P.F. McGruff.

My favorite part is where he makes a historical claim about what the real Jesus would have done and then immediately falls back on the tried and true "Well, those New Testament books are really old and stuff and we don't know if all of the accounts are accurate" whenever Jesus does or says something that doesn't square with his political ideology.

His insistence, too, upon drawing historical parallels between the systematic extermination of the Jews and the "first steps" of discrimination toward homosexuals is starting to become embarrassing as well.

It must be asked. If homosexuals are currently facing legitimate forms of discrimination from contemporary Christians in the same category as blacks in the Deep South during the 1960's, why are they not staging, say, quiet sit-ins at churches and the like?

Where's the quiet dignity?

They can't do sit-ins at churches because it would only take about 8.2 seconds before some blue-haired little-old-lady (the archon of hatred) started passing out Werthers to a large number of suddenly self-concious LGBT supporters.

It's telling that the worst form of "discrimination" they can manufacture has to do with baked goods.

Crude said...

It's been an interesting exchange, and yeah, I wasn't terribly impressed with the attempted exegesis.

Luckily, that didn't matter. He's the one who rallied Christ's sayings about divorce as evidence, and that's more than enough for me to make the points I was attempting to make. And at this point he's broken ranks with his fellow 'progressives' and is copping to the right of Christians to refuse servicing an event they're opposed to, though that requires pressure on my part for him to bring up.

But the patterns are typical.