Thursday, January 28, 2010

Et tu, Dan?

It may be that we've now lost Dan Trabue. Hard to say with him. He may only have bailed on that specific discussion. The thing is, it always comes up again, both here and elsewhere, including his own blog. But just as recent posts have suggested, he has bailed in the typical manner. I guess that's just the way it is with those on the left.

Some may say it's good riddance. That may be true for them at their blogs and I have no problem with how others choose to maintain their own. Me, I like the back and forth, even if it seems futile, non-productive and when it gets boring even for me to continue (because that passes and I get back into it).

But I won't apologize for my style of engagement. Charges that I'm stubborn, hateful, mean-spirited and the like are rank bullshit. I'm a great guy. I'm a regular fuzzy puppy. Soft and cuddly (especially since I haven't worked out in months). But I am intolerant. Oh, I tolerate people who are different, that is, those who don't articulate well, those that misspell words, those who need a few explanations in order to get it.

But I don't, not "won't", "DON'T" tolerate stupid, silly or wacky opinions. I don't tolerate opposing opinions. Sure, all have the right to express them. But I don't have to respect those opinions, and I don't show respect by pretending there's validity in every opinion presented. I expect those opposing opinions to be defended until they can no longer be. I find it far more respectful of others to show them the error of their ways. And I'm respectful in hearing out those opinions when they are presented respectfully. But if it's weak, it's weak. If it's crap, it's crap. It's best you find out as quickly as possible without any tap dancing. I'll explain why I think so. I hope my opponents will do as much for me. Don't bore me with accusations about my character just because you can't make your case. I don't think that's too much to ask.


Bubba said...

That's a dangerous thing to do, Marshall, to call out crap arguments. It forces people either to examine their arguments more closely or entrench their poorly reasoned beliefs from behind walls of deception and distraction.

It's not very nice, if you define the term as meaning that you're not willing to say anything that would offend.

But anyone who would criticize you or me for not mincing words should check their own behavior: Dan Trabue accused "W and his spawn" of deicide, he routinely accuses inerrantists of idolatry, and in the last thread he called me "a pharisaical, arrogant, ignorant egomaniac who thinks he's a 'god,'" so he has little room to complain.

The record shows that I've tried a few times to just drop things altogether with Dan -- unsuccessfully, because the same flagrant deceit that so infuriates me also often urges a response rooted in logic and in the actual text of the Bible.

I should make and will make no promises, but I know I have better things to do.

As I'm in the midst of a close and careful study of Mark's gospel, I think there's much we can learn from what Christ taught in Mark 7:9-13, in criticizing the scribes and Pharisees.

"You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.' But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, 'Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban' (that is, an offering to God) -— then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on."

We should give the highest priority to God's revealed word -- here, Christ implicitly affirms the authority of the written word -- and not let mere human tradition trump divine revelation.

There's numerous applications for the theological radicals who implausibly claim to be Bible-loving Christians.

For instance, the Bible is clear about the central importance of Christ's death and that His death is responsible for our forgiveness and justification; to replace those teachings with extra- and anti-biblical alternatives is dangerous.

But there's a lesson to be learned for myself, too. The Bible is clear about my responsibilities -- my responsibilities to my family, my church, and my personal devotion to God.

I don't have a lasting responsibility to correct every ignorant and deceitful claim that Dan makes, and I MUST NOT allow my efforts to correct the record interfere with my more obvious biblical responsibilities.

To my shame, I've been letting that happen, far more and far longer than I would like to admit in any detail.

For my own sake, I will try my best not to let that happen any more.

I'll be around, though hopefully not nearly as frequently.

Maybe David Malki is right... :)

Dan Trabue said...

I have left, at least for now, pals. I'd ask that you cease talking about me. You can't do so without getting my positions wrong.

Besides, Gossip is wrong and a bit petty. The Bible tells us so.

Let it go.


Bubba said...

I think it's clear that we understand Dan's positions quite clearly, despite the lack of a consistent effort at clarity on his part.

We understand what he believes, we just find that those beliefs often deviate significantly from the Bible's clear teachings, and so we are (to say the least) less than convinced about his claim to revere the text.

He objects to the conclusions we draw from his positions, but it seems that our understanding of his positions are fundamentally sound.

I find the charge of gossip arguably inconsistent in light of this thread from September, where Dan quoted a commenter from Stan's blog -- originally without linking to the blog or providing ANY information that would let people judge the quotes in comments -- all so he could raise the spectre of idolatry because of David's stated belief in the Bible's inerrancy.

In the same thread, Dan wrote to me, "quit commenting about me, I would add - I don't find it appropriate to talk about someone without letting them defend themselves."

I saw no indication that Dan told David that his comments were being quoted out of context so that Dan could wonder aloud about whether his comments "suggest a deification of the Bible."

Here, it's not the case that we're commenting about Dan and anyone else "without letting them defend themselves." It doesn't appear that Marshall has banned Dan: Dan has just chosen not to take the opportunity to defend himself.

Gossip is talking about someone behind his back. Dan knows this conversation is going on; it's entirely up to him whether he replies or even keeps an eye on it.

To ask us not to continue to discuss his writing is a reasonable request. To accuse us of gossip if we don't honor that request is asinine -- particularly because the writing we're discussing isn't from his personal journal, but from his entirely public blog and his comments to us here and elsewhere.

Mark said...

For most people, I'd respect ones request that I don't discuss him, but since Dan has no respect for me, I won't.

As I mentioned in the last thread, I once had a discussion with my Doctor nephew about Christians who support abortion. After many exchanges between me, him, and others including Neil Simpson in which we explained our differing views on the subject, my nephew appeared to acquiesce. Although he never really admitted agreement, he at least responded he would think about and pray about the things we said.

In my opinion, he showed a better Christian attitude than Dan ever has.

Stan said...

The Bible clearly condemns gossip. No question. According to the dictionary, "gossip" is defined as "idle talk or rumor, esp. about the personal or private affairs of others". "Behind their back" is certainly implied, but the concept of gossip is that we spread publicly what was intended privately and likely without the knowledge of the one who whom is being discussed.

There is a problem, then. If the discussion is about public information, it can't be gossip. Further, if the person knows about the discussion and is even present to participate, it can't be gossip. In other words, discussions in a public media like this about statements made in a public media like this with the full knowledge of the person who made the statements that the statements are being discussed cannot be classified as gossip. And if there is a point, a valid reason for such a discussion, it cannot be classified as "idle". The simple objection "it's my private viewpoint" is nonsense if the private viewpoint was expressed in public. Someone who discusses others without calling it to their attention would be a gossip, but what is going on here cannot be classified thus.

Now, calling someone a gossip who is not committing that "crime" would likely be slander and false witness ... but those are different charges, aren't they?

Neil said...

Dan leaves literally hundreds of comments on a public forum and then says it is gossip to address them?!

Re. deicide -- it is possible that someone "killed" Dan's god, which is most certainly not the one revealed in the Bible.