OK, so, treating you, the RNL reader, as though we are all part of a family, I am calling a family meeting. The issue is the on-going feud between Kells and I. In the interest of full disclosure, there is an off-line history here. I am telling you now that I allowed myself to get caught up in a conversation with her in which I said some things I should have NEVER said – PERIOD! EVER! I was wrong. I was entirely out of line. And, if it became common knowledge, it would probably hurt people I care about. But I wasn’t the only one in this conversation, Kells was, too. However, we seem to have handled it very differently.
All I can tell you is I am willing to take full responsibility for what was said. I don’t care about blame, I should have known better, so I accept it. At the same time, even though it wasn’t something that will cause the end of the world, I will tell you that I am very, VERY sorry for what I said. I was wrong; I didn’t mean it and I said it without giving it a lick of thought. I wish I could go back in time and change things. If I could, I would. I have certainly tried to apologize – many times. Still, it has taught me a lesson about thinking before I speak because it is being used to threaten me.
In the comment section on one of the posts about Lovegrove, Kells posted an open threat where she told me “she knows things about me” and was ready to post them if I didn’t shut up. Well, I’ve had enough of the threats. When it gets to the point where one RNL reader is using a threat to censor another simply because they do not like what is being said, then things have gone too far. So, Kells, if you want to post what was said between us for the whole world to see, GO FOR IT! If you think you are that innocent, if you are more concerned with controlling what I say that you would harm people you care about and people you don’t even know, then do what you feel you have to do. Just make sure you post the ENTIRE record – from the first invite to have our chat to the very end. If you do not, I WILL. Otherwise, put it behind you and forget it – and stop trying to use it to control what I say and how I say it.
Now, if you follow the RNL, you have seen that I go through cycles with Kells. She will start some line of questioning in which she claims not to understand something. If I treat her as though she can think things through and I do NOT provide an exhaustive explanation of everything being discussed, she often misses my point. If I point out that she missed my point and suggest she isn’t thinking things through, I am accused of being arrogant. HOWEVER, if I DO provide a point-by-point explanation of what I am trying to say, I am then accused of treating her as though she is stupid.
Regrettably, this almost always leads to a public dispute between Kells and I, and I absolutely hate this. I am a guest on Utah’s blog, a blog that is starting to gain national attention. I would like to behave as a respectful guest and to do whatever small part I can to help him grow the readership. So, experience having taught me that further exchanges with Kells will seldom be fruitful, I have tried to simply ignore her. But every time I have done this, Kells has seen it as an opportunity to attack me – feeling secure that I will not reply. Among other things, she has used these periods where I try to ignore her to make personal attacks, even going so far as to call me a coward. I’m not the type to tolerate personal attacks like that, not for long anyway. Nor am I prone to allow people who treat me in such manner to then claim they are victims when I defend myself.
Admittedly, Kells is not the only one who seems to have these issues with me. There are readers here who openly state they do not read my posts, yet they feel they can then comment on them with relevance. I’m sorry, but this is getting ridiculous. I know I am not the most personable person in the world – especially on a computer. I have a background that taught me to write in a manner that – if the reader doesn’t grant me the benefit of the doubt – it can easily be misconstrued as arrogant, even abusive. I accept this, though those who know me personally will generally tell you that this is not who I am. Still, the writer is responsible for making himself understood, and if I convey the impression that I am arrogant, then this is usually going to be my fault. But what I do not understand is this: if I am that disagreeable, why do people keep reading and commenting on my posts? If you do not like me, or you disagree with my positions this much, then do yourself and the RNL a favor and STOP READING MY POSTS! Please, please, p-l-e-a-s-e, just don’t read what I write (if you doubt me, this is as sincere a plea as I know how to make or feel, so if you reject my sincerity, this time, it’s on you).
Now, let me try to provide an example by addressing the rest of this post directly to Kells:
Kells, you have posted this comment in another post:
Oh, brother! Here you go again! Let’s take this step by step.
A) If it is a fallacy to quote what you actually wrote, well, then, sue me! You’re the one who is so particular about the written word.
B) My example was an honest reply to that of which I know, therefore NOT a fallacy. I was simply trying to get you to explain how Progressivism has infiltrated the church. I’ve been to other churches and did not see politics on display. So once again, I was not trying to speak for all denominations, I was just stating what I have witnessed.
C) You, sir, no nothing of my faith. But you may go ahead and make your assumptions. Just remember you’re making an ass out of you and umtion.
I find it incredibly amazing that someone who “thinks” differently than you should not be taken seriously. Perhaps you’ll open your mind up and view a person’s train of thought in a different light. But I, like you, am not holding my breath.
First, why say “Here you go again?” Why do you excuse your own involvement in our misunderstandings/disputes? Didn’t you recently say it takes two to tango? And how is it you can defend Lovegrove when he comes to the RNL and blatantly uses profanity for no purpose but to antagonize Utah in the very thread in which Utah was asking the RNL reader not to do so, yet you will throw me under the bus for simply trying to explain what I was saying in a post/comment? How is it you even believe you have no part in our disputes?
A) Next, it is not a fallacy to quote me, but that is not what you have done. However, it is a fallacy to put words in another person’s mouth. It’s called straw man. So, unless you are absolutely sure you understand what I mean, don’t make a claim on my behalf or using my words. If you do have doubts, ask. When was the last time you saw me refuse to answer a question or to respond rudely to an honest question? In this case, you have made many assumptions about what I am saying and why. I have no idea why you do this, but I do believe it would help if you actually read my original post and considered what I said there – NOT what I said in reply to an off-topic comment.
B) Your reply may have been an honest reply to what you know, but it is still a fallacy to argue from one specific example to the general whole. It is called composition. That you seem to think my objection to your comment about your church and pastor was a personal attack is a clear example of the difference between us. It is not an insult or an attack to point out that someone is using a fallacy. In fact, unless I give you some indication that I am intentionally being insulting, pointing out a fallacy in your reasoning is nothing more than a clinical critique of what you are saying (i.e. your argument/position).
As for the rest, how is it you have read so many of my posts but you still have no idea how politics can infiltrate a church? Do you read what I write? Do you remember it? Have you ever followed up on anything I have suggested people read? See, here is where I am treating you like you have done your homework, have a solid understanding of the issue and are capable of making the connections. So what am I to do now? If I take your hand and walk you through it, you will turn and accuse me of being condescending (I know, because you have done so in the past). But if I don’t do so, you will start making all sorts of wild accusations in my name and thoroughly muddle the issue because you do not understand the problem because you have not done your homework. And no matter what I do, you will play the victim and put it all on me. Still, I have tried to answer you, and to treat you with respect in the process. Have you missed every time I have suggested (not told) you read something, especially scripture? What do you think that was if not an attempt to answer your question while trusting you are smart enough to connect things for yourself? And how could I possibly treat you with more respect than to assume you are my equal in this regard?
C) Oh, on the contrary, I know quite a bit about your faith – I know by the way you act. I have repeatedly admitted I am a flawed person, but I have also said I do my best to worry about the forest in my own eye. Do I fail at this? YES! All the time. But I have yet to see you demonstrate through actions that you even see a speck in your own eye. Now, you may disagree, but my reading of the plain words and meaning of Scripture tells me I will be known by my works, and the fruit of my tree. I also know what Scripture tells me about the role we are all supposed to play in society, and about certain personal behaviors. I admit, I struggle with trying to live according to what Scripture tells me in a world that has become so Godless that it now sees my attempts to do so as “intolerant.” I have also noted your acceptance of the world’s position, right down to you accusing me of being chauvinist. So my impression of your faith is formed by accepting you at your word and noting how you treat others. I mean, when was the last time I called you an “ass?”
As for me not accepting the opinion or logic of others: you might want to ask Melfamy and others on the old PCNHRefugee forum whether or not I reject their opinions and arguments. I have managed to find a great deal of common ground with people with whom I have had bitter, public disputes. So you’ll have to excuse me if I do not accept your “opinion” of me, or your conclusion that this makes me “close-minded.” In fact – were I you – I would take your implication that I have to accept your opinions to be considered “open-minded” as self-condeming. That you don’t seem to understand this not explains how progressivism has infiltrated every aspect of our society – including religion. It also speaks to your willingness to try living your faith. But, for the record, I have never made the case that a person is not entitled to their opinion, but neither do I accept an opinion as “fact” or “sound” unless and until a rational case to do so has been made. Do that and you will find me an entirely different person (but then, if you find me different just because I agree with you, that starts us at the top of my commentary all over again – as would having to explain to you why this is true).