Monday, April 7, 2014

More "Progressive" Tolerance on display

Now this is truly a first.

I somehow stumbled onto another one of James McGrath's latest blog entries, partly due to his pleading wide-eyed ignorance of what I meant by his waging a hate campaign. You know, based on my previous experience with him where he openly drew comparison between people who didn't want to bake cakes for gay weddings and flat out nazis. I showed up to remind James exactly on what grounds I accused him of waging a hate campaign... but that's not the interesting thing.

It seems one Stuart32 decided to come to James' defense. We got to talking about Intelligent Design, he got cocky, I corrected him and tweaked him... and he immediately upped the ante. This is actually a first for me - I've never had someone play the game of "I have your RL details, and maybe your employer would like to know what you get up to online" with me before. Granted, Stuart32 - aka, Skippy, my own nickname for him - is apparently a mix of moron and paranoiac, since he keeps insisting my name is "Ed" and, it seems, believing I'm employed in some kind of academic capacity. Which is pretty quaint given my on-record disdain for academia, and the fact that I'm not named 'Ed' or anything close to it.

But the point here is, it's a great and living example of what I'm talking about. Take a look at the conversation in question that I linked if you care to. Notice how very quickly this guy escalated things, when he thought he had information on me, to 'Maybe I'll just let your employers know what you get up to'. And notice how no one - as of this writing, not even James McGrath - called him out on it. In fact, he's getting upvotes for making the move.

Oh, and when I started pointing out, loudly, the threats he was making? He tried to walk it back to how he's not going to do anything against me right now, and "It's enough that you know that I know." Again, this is pretty damn funny given that his aim is mistaken here - but it's dangerously instructive.

This is the new norm for the "progressives". If you speak out of turn, they'll try to have you fired. Speak anonymously, and they'll either bluff or try to find out who you are to try and hurt you for daring to speak against them. And they can get away with it, because they have both a media machine and quite the army of sympathetic little footsoldiers behind them.

Now, with this in mind, let me ask you a serious question - you few people who read this blog.

Given what you're seeing - given the fact that it is a widespread accepted thing by "progressives" to have you fired for your views, to harass you RL, to attack you, degrade you, have you pushed to the margins of society if at all possible... is there any significant form of 'common ground' to have with them? Can you call one a real, sincere friend? Or will they be the kind of 'friend' you have to perpetually have your back to the wall with, a friend you keep your mouth shut around - a little like living in a Soviet society and being friends with a known KGB informant?

This is where we are at now. All that talk years ago - when "progressives" were in a less prominent state - about tolerance and open-mindedness and agreeing to disagree and being able to work alongside each other even while disagreeing... it was all quite the load of shit, wasn't it?

13 comments:

ccmnxc said...

I admittedly do not have your experience in interacting with those who call themselves progressives. However, it seems like a lot of what we see might be attributed to some internet phenomena. For example, New Atheists tend to seem much more present online than they do in the real world. They also tend to be a lot more vocal. Do you think that we're dealing with a New Atheist style progressivism insofar as they might be very vocal and present on the internet but tend not to have a large presence outside of it? Or have you experienced the same things offline as well?

lotharlorraine said...


Hello Crude, thanks for having linked this "conversation".

It is true that at some occasions, this "Stuart" has acted like a true ashhole.


"Sorry, Ed. If you were going to bluff it out you needed to be quicker off the mark. Do your employers know about your double life of spouting nonsense on the internet?"

This was really petty and incredibly heinous .
I completely sympathize with you there. You know I also have to use a fake identity while defending the tongue of my ancestors in France because it would have a detrimental effect on my professional chances otherwise.

But as far as I know, Stuart is not a Christian of any kind.

You wrote:

"Part of your problem, James, is that you seem pathologically incapable of coping with serious disagreement when it's with those of us outside of your political and social circle."

I fear it is true of Conservatives as well.
It seems to be a general regretable human tendency which ought to be overcome.

There are strong psychological reasons for the self-righteous hatred found on both sides of the culture war.


Finally, I think it would be great if you were from now on to refrain from OVERgeneralizing about progressive Christians.
Randal Rauser is a progressive Evangelical theological, but he certainly doesn't resort to such techniques, does he?
He always tries to be fair towards every one and profoundly respects conservative people.

As soon as I find the time, I'm going to write a post calling progressive believers to oppose politically motivated firings of people.


Best wishes.

lotharlorraine said...

Jesus constantly called us to realize that the very darkness we see in others is all too often present in our own hearts.

Thomas said...

I read your blog all the time and that was seriously jacked up. No one needs those sorts of threats or tactics in debate. I don't this speaks for the Progressive Christian crowd but that guy needs some help.

Crude said...

ccmnxc,

Do you think that we're dealing with a New Atheist style progressivism insofar as they might be very vocal and present on the internet but tend not to have a large presence outside of it? Or have you experienced the same things offline as well?

This is a complicated question, because I can take it in a number of ways.

Are you asking me if "progressives" are smaller in number than they appear to be online? Probably.

Are you asking if I think that they ultimately aren't very powerful because they're supposedly small in number? Then I disagree, and can point to the number of scalps they've both picked up and attempted to pick up recently as evidence.

See, the problem is the word 'presence'. If "progressives" have a small numerical population, but are able to pull crowds, put on pressure, and general do these things and rather reliably get away with them, then their "presence" outstrips their size.

As for me - yes, I've experienced some of this offline. I'm not exactly a big target online or off, though, nor an obvious one. Note that I'm not talking merely about people who lean somewhat liberal in their politics or the like, but the "progressive". To give a comparison: I think Victor Reppert is a liberal, but James McGrath is a "progressive".

Crude said...

Thomas,

Well, as I said, I'm practically glad it happened. I don't know who the heck that guy thinks he's intimidating, but it's not me - so the only concern I have is 'I don't want some other guy I don't even know getting screwed with because of what *I* say'.

But otherwise? It's a great example of some of what I've been talking about recently. If Skippy there is going to get criticized by anyone, it'll likely be not because he threatened me, but because he did it so obviously, so openly, and I didn't let it slide.

Crude said...

Lothar,

But as far as I know, Stuart is not a Christian of any kind.

Yep, I have no idea of Stuart's religious identification. On the other hand, we all know James'.

Finally, I think it would be great if you were from now on to refrain from OVERgeneralizing about progressive Christians.
Randal Rauser is a progressive Evangelical theological, but he certainly doesn't resort to such techniques, does he?


I like Randal to a degree, but I gotta say - when it comes to things like the gay marriage topic, he's right there alongside the people who say that you should be fined and penalized by the state if you so much as refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding. And that is over the line in my view.

Part of the problem, Lothar, is... you know, I have to write more about this. It deserves its own post after McGrath's antics die down, which they will soon because I am completely sick of him.

Acatus Bensley said...

Civil war soon? How about it? They don't have guns. On a serious note if they keep doing this half of America is gonna deal with them. At this point they're too deluded to consider alternative views. They obviously want the government and general public to police you.

Crude said...

My own view has for a while been - specifically on the LGBT issue - that the sort of animated, frenzied, emotional hysteria surrounding their movement cannot be indefinitely sustained, and routinely leads to callous and monstrous behavior that will put people off of it. I wonder if the Mozilla situation isn't creating a kind of backlash, but we'll see.

But yeah, no, civil war talk I regard as silly. I think the country would sooner - and even this is somewhat outlandish - fragment in a more distant way. I think if ever the US goes tits-up economically (and this may in fact be a kind of inevitability, a loan default) we're going to see a kind of regional turning-inward. But then, I don't like to pretend to read the future with anything more than a 'this is completely speculative' attitude.

Acatus Bensley said...

Regional turning inward.? Explain

Crude said...

I think if the US, at the federal level, goes into the hole - you're going to see far more people who think of politics not in terms of 'How America should be run' or 'What America should do' but 'How Georgia should be run' and 'How Atlanta should be run' and 'How Smallburg should be run'.

The supremely important politics becoming more local rather than forever a federal fight.

Acatus Bensley said...

In your opinion if this happens do you think the Conservative states will be more fiscally responsible and actually pay the the bills? I honestly don't think any liberal states would prosper.

Crude said...

Acatus,

I wouldn't know. I mean we're talking about an event which, if it happens, is going to be probably calamitous on a worldwide level, and even what I'm referencing would necessarily be a more gradual and unplanned social/cultural procedure. And that's before the usual curveballs are thrown where technological advances can turn everything on their ear.

At that point 'paying the bills' probably would mean something different too. It certainly would mean a major blow to perpetually expanding government.