A distinction

Published December 5th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

A distinction:

I appreciate what you’re saying, and I think it’s important to hear. In writing with such wry and caustic humour, you’re able to really effectively reveal the absurdity of what’s happened. There is a difference, however, between parody and ridicule. At points your sarcasm (“one third time for logical conjecture,” etc.) becomes quite harsh and implies that the religious view denies logic and reasoning wholesale.

You’re dealing with something that, more than being a “precious belief” per se, is an important part of many people’s identity. Many define themselves, not just peripherally, but primarily as “Christians.” Attacking that belief system without at least giving it some hint of respect or sensitivity is akin to mocking a person’s chosen lifestyle, personality, or preferences as not just different but illogical and wrong. You can’t in one section write ironically about the deductive demerits of believing in written scripture as a priori truth and then claim to avoid attacking the very heart of a person’s belief system and philosophical identity. You have literally brought the very basis of not only Christian teaching but religious belief in general into question, and in a fairly patronising and uncompromising way.

I’m not asking you to “present both sides” or any equally bullshit measure. But I am asking you to be empathetic. When criticising the core of a person’s self-identity (what they believe in), it’s important to be a little more humane.


112 Responses to “A distinction”

  1. Pluto says:

    I get the distinct feeling that the bible belt will just be serrated from the rest of the civilised world. Pity that liberals will be forced to leave their homes. But it’s quite clear from the links posted that they will have to flee, not only persecution, but also death.
    But at least we will get all the academics and the good doctors.

  2. Mike Meier says:

    That doesn’t prevent states from applying a religious test. South Carolina did it until recently.

  3. My own first mate (weren't you?) says:

    “Like your underwear, it’s private.”

    It wasn’t until I moved to the south (of the US) that I really came face to face with fundies. We moved here 2 years ago and within 5 minutes the first person I met asked me,” So what is your church home.” I’m sorry, but I was brought up to believe that, as you stated, religion is something you don’t talk about in polite conversation. You especially don’t base all of your social and business interaction on it. This is ground in the bone dogma here. There are people who won’t deal with a plumber/carpenter/landscaper/ect. unless they have a jesus fish on their business card! It’s unfortunate that there are so many Americans that have been brought up this way and will do/believe anything they hear from the pulpit on Sundays. A new leader in Washington is going to be a good start, but we have a long way to go before these people will in any way even entertain the idea that other people’s opinions might be valid, much less that we might deserve equal time.


  4. kyra says:

    once again, all we’re protesting against is that christian religious views are taught in schools.

  5. billy-bob-joe-bob says:

    why do people keep saying the SAME THING?

  6. Captain Ron says:

    1. has one never heard of juvenalian satire? Johnathan Swift’s Modest Proposal?
    2. We are not a satirical shenanigan mocking the discovery institute, we are a true Faith, finally allowed to come out from the shadows.
    Praise to his holy Noodles and Sauce, and blessings to Ragu,


  7. Pluto says:

    This was in todays news.
    The thing that got me was that “Mr Murray did not have a criminal record but “hated Christians”, one unnamed law enforcement official told the Associated Press news agency.” Yet apparently “He is said to come from a deeply Christian family.” and “…who failed to complete a missionary training course at one of the sites, in a suburb of the city.” So I wonder if his Christian religion had anything to do with his actions? Any one with a knowledge of psychology want to take a guess?

  8. neal says:

    @Pluto. Isn’t it disturbing that these Christian megachurches have their own armed security forces. Apparantly, they expect trouble . This particular church had as its former poster Closet homosexual and gay baiter, Ted Haggerd. They apparantly expect armed confrontation and have armed themselves to prepare for it. If a democrat wins, and we get a few centrist justices appointed, it would not be unreasonable to expect some of these evangelicals to attempt an assasination of either the president or of those justices. Beware. Something tells me these people will be unbelievably sore losers.

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