Archive for the ‘Slander’ Category

Anthony Esolen’s Hatred of Nature and of Sex

Terre Thaemlitz

Terre Thaemlitz

Shortly following the publication of Anthony Esolen’s article “Hatred of Nature, Hatred of Sex” on Crisis Magazine, Gil Bailie posts a link to the article with this short introduction:

This Anthony Esolen satire is essential reading. It is Chestertonian, and that is high praise indeed.

Comments:

Preetha Valentine:

Outstanding article! Identity crisis

Caroline Gissler:

Emperor Norton was ahead of his time.

Timothy Brock:

Esolen’s cruel and tasteless “satire” does nothing to address the problems that transgendered individuals face. I cannot imagine Jesus showing such callous indifference toward them.

How about some constructive suggestions instead of just more of the same poisonous ridicule? Esolen’s article perfectly exemplifies the attitudes that transgenders have to face daily. That it could have been published on a Catholic website is absolutely appalling.

Caroline Gissler:

It’s the rest of us who look at our bodies and know what we are by the evidence in front of our eyes who are being ridiculed when we are in essence told that it is all in our heads.

The Cornerstone Forum:

Esolen is not mocking people suffering from confusion about their sexual identity. He’s mocking the ideologues who think they are doing those people a favor by abandoning reality. The long term damage will be to the very people who think they are being helped.

Timothy Brock:

Two days ago, I was at the hospital with the family of a man who had just had open-heart surgery. We were in the surgery waiting room when the surgeon came in to report to us how the operation had gone. He conducted us into a small private room, where he described the patient’s condition and advised all of us about what to expect and how to help in the recovery.

We listened to the surgeon with total reverence and respect for his skills and his knowledge. Not one of the eight of us ever raised a hand to object that something he had instructed us to do didn’t seem “common-sensical.” We were in the presence of scientific knowledge on which the man’s life absolutely depended at every single moment for the next five days.

Which one of you thinks you have the authority or the expertise to insist, contrary to all available scientific evidence, that gender is what’s between your legs and not what’s between your ears? To me, it is simply appalling (1) that you do not already know this and (2) that you presume to question pediatricians and psychologists who do.
For the sake of our friend’s recovery, we listened with rapt attention to every instruction the surgeon gave us. Our friend’s life depends on it.

For the sake of our children, we must start listening to those who actually have a scientific understanding of gender identity. Let’s set aside folk wisdom and pre-scientific ideas for their sakes, please. Let’s listen to the doctors.

Gordon Savage:

“Which one of you thinks you have the authority or the expertise to insist, contrary to all available scientific evidence, that gender is what’s between your legs and not what’s between your ears?”

Timothy: Putting aside for a moment your Ad verecundiam argument to simply shut up and submit to authority, what exactly do you mean by “between the ears”? The “social constructs” that Esolen critiques are between the ears in one sense, the interplay of brain and hormones is between the ears in another. And this seems to me a perfect example of the our Postmodern culture confusing its reverence for the plasticity of social constructs with the very concrete needs bio-social needs of children.

Real scientists who care equally about getting this right are divided over what to do. Ruth Padawar wrote this in the New York Times in August 8, 2012: “Transgender activists have also pressed for changes in the psychiatric establishment, which still officially considers children’s distress over gender identity a mental illness. Now the American Psychiatric Association is reviewing the diagnosis of ‘Gender Identity Disorder in Children’ for the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Critics, though, condemn the association’s choice of Dr. Kenneth Zucker to lead the inquiry. Zucker is the head of a well-known gender-identity clinic in Toronto and the most prominent defender of traditional interventions for gender nonconformity. He urges parents to steer their children toward gender-typical toys, clothes and playmates and advises them to prohibit behaviors associated with the other sex. Zucker’s academic articles assert that while biology may predispose some children to gender nonconformity, other factors — like trauma and emotional disorders — often play a role. Other contributing causes he cites include overprotective mothers, emotionally absent fathers or mothers who are hostile toward men.” I recommend the article.

I’m no fan of the DSM system, but it doesn’t sound like one of the those slam-dunk, “the science is settled so shut-up,” situations.

Timothy Brock:

Gordon, I have a question for you, but it will have to wait, as I am spending lots of time at the hospital with my friend who had heart surgery on Thursday. Watch this space.

Timothy Brock:

Gordon, after dismissing my appeal to the authority of medical professionals, you buttressed your own view by citing the authority of a medical professional.

There’s nothing wrong with deferring to authority when that deference is warranted, as it was in my hospital experience last week (see my earlier comment). But when a non-scientific institution presumes expertise about a scientific question, there is no such warrant.

Psychologists are indeed divided about whether to include transgenderism in the DSM, and I never said they weren’t. On both sides of the issue are people who understand transgenderism quite well.

I know that many transgenders do not want the stigma that comes with classification of transgenderism as a “gender identity disorder.” However, some (not all) transgenders want hormone treatment and medical interventions. These are not covered by insurance unless they are prescribed for a specific disorder. So that is a strong argument for classifying transgenderism as a disorder.

What I said earlier about gender is completely supported by the American Psychological Association (as well as the other medical associations): Sex is assigned at birth. It is a biological status. Gender refers to socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that a society considers appropriate for boys, girls, men, and women.

I was surprised that Caroline and others did not know this and that they thought that you could simply “look between your legs” to establish your gender identity. Well, I’m afraid it’s not that simple.

The place to start in understanding transgenderism is NOT in the writings or opinions of a single psychologist. Go to the American Psychological Association’s Q and A:http://www.apa.org/topics/sexuality/transgender.aspx?item=1

Read the sections on discrimination and how to be supportive.

If you’re going to discuss these matters, it’s simply inexcusable not to be informed about them … for the sake of transgendered individuals who suffer daily as a result of your ignorance and indifference.

Gordon Savage:

All this time I was expecting a question.

Authority? Ad verecundiam means “appeal to reverence;” it is not a “dismissal of [your] appeal to the authority of medical professionals,” but a reference to your tactic of shutting down discussion by suggesting those who disagree with you embrace “folk wisdom and pre-scientific ideas” (bogus authority) over science (virtuous authority). And it’s not just about science but brave doctors who save lives in open heart surgery. Give me a break! Ad verecundiam is a way of diverting people from the judicious weighing of the conflicting arguments of equally authoritative sources. Hence my reference to competing authorities in the New York Times article.

But the real mistake was initial your reading of Esolen, that it was “tasteless ridicule” of those who suffer the consequences of gender confusion. The article wasn’t about transgendered children, it was about adults who consider gender wholly a social construct separate from biology. You wouldn’t think of suggesting that social identity is completely separate from biology — hence a man who thinks he’s a horse or Napoleon needs counseling — but you imagine it’s unproblematic to separate entirely social sexual constructs from bodily sexuality (BTW, if you were right, why shouldn’t a parent have the right to steer their minor child toward what they consider the “best social constructs” much like they try to get them in the best school?).

Are those who disagree with you always “ignorant” and “indifferent” or is it just me?

Timothy Brock:

Gordon, first of all, I did not “mis-read” Esolen. He’s a clever but very transparent writer. His article is clearly about California’s directives regarding transgender children in the schools. The photo at the top makes that explicit. The lengthy analogies with race and class are only intended to set us up for the “the real offense against nature,” which is even “crazier,” he says, than the objects of his ridicule (the Prince of Pasadena and the Queen of San Quentin). Can you not see that he is comparing transgender children to these delusional individuals, and then ridiculing the whole lot of them and the legislators who allow them to self-identify? Do you imagine that when Esolen writes about the “trans-blacks,” he is not analogizing with transgenders? All are delusional, in his view. All arel crazy. So, apparently, are the two APAs.

He writes, “…if I say that a boy may be a girl or a girl may be a boy, I do in fact reject the healthy and the normal.” And the legislators are “mad” for going along with such “delusions.” They “hate reality.” So, apparently, do the two APAs.

Esolen does not understand that there is a difference between a “transman” and his hypothetical “trans-black” because he is not interested in understanding. He writes regularly for Crisis Magazine, an ultra-conservative Catholic publication. He’s an ideologue who starts with conclusions and distorts facts to fit them. He knows nothing about transgenderism. Some of his statements are absolutely bizarre from the perspective of scientific understanding. He writes that “sex is not a social construct,” as if anyone had claimed that it is. Gender is partly social construct and partly a result of genetic influences, prenatal hormone levels, early experiences, and experiences later in adolescence. But it all comes through biology. Even the experiences are processed by the body-brain. Gender is not the same as sex. Esolen appears to think it is “insane” to believe that one is a female when one has male genitals, or vice versa. He has not, and could not have read scientific literature or given any serious thought to what he has written. I’ve blogged with Esolen many times, and this is completely typical of him.

So why does he called his article, “Hatred of Nature, Hatred of Sex?” Is he suggesting that transgenders and those who try to help them, such as the medical establishment, hate nature and sex? Don’t you find that a bit bizarre? Personally, I think it’s very hateful.

Timothy Brock:

Gordon, I have no interest in “shutting down discussion,” but I believe it is morally wrong to slander groups of people out of sheer ignorance. I am not a moral relativist or a post-modernist, and ignorance is not a social construct. It is an absence of knowledge and understanding. Rather than stop a discussion, I would like to stop slanders and encourage people to take responsibility for the damaging things they write about other people, especially entire groups such as transgenders. It’s one thing to praise another person or group out of ignorance, but it’s quite another to disparage them or to suggest that they are “crazy,” “unnatural,” and “unhealthy” when they are not. The psychologists and psychiatrists at the APAs are not “insane.” (These are all Esolen’s words.)

Esolen throws around expletives like “objectively disordered” when he is himself objectively ignorant of what he writes about. He is ideologically opposed to all the letters of LGBT, and arrogant in his presumption of expertise.

By all means, judiciously weigh the conflicting arguments of various sources, but don’t make the mistake of thinking they are all “equally authoritative.” There is a big difference between an authority and a shill. Look for consensus opinions of medical professionals on topics like these. They may not be perfectly reliable, but they are the best we’ve got.

Gordon Savage:

Timothy, Perhaps, as you say, you’re not a “moral relativist or post-modernist,” but you are a slanderer for continually dismissing all of those who differ with you as ignorant. I’m done with this.

Timothy Brock:

Gordon: In fact, I do not dismiss all those who differ with me as “ignorant” of the matters under discussion. As I indicated earlier, I am very respectful of people who have genuine expertise, especially if they represent or express a consensus view in the sciences. Although I know that modern medical professionals can occasionally be wrong, their training and certification tells me that they are far more trustworthy on medical matters than people without such backgrounds.

We have not been talking theology here. Transgenderism is a condition that is best approached through scientific inquiry.

If there’s any area where ignorance and knowledge are sharply differentiated, it is science, where one opinion is not just as good as another.

This is why I am offended when Esolen ridicules transgenders and their advocates. Esolen is not a scientist and he apparently has little respect for scientific inquiry. His is not a trivial offense, in my view. It fuels the scapegoating of transgenders and its end result is more wounding. Transgenders need genuine understanding, not ridicule.

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Gil Bailie’s Critics Take Him to Task (The Saga Continues)

Chestertown Tea Party Festival

Chestertown Tea Party Festival

This is a continuation of the “purge” account begun in our previous two posts. As the story unfolds, Gil Bailie of The Cornerstone Forum Facebook page has jettisoned several of his critics for objecting to his calumnies against poll workers and President Obama. One of these critics, Timothy Brock, evaded his captors and has now returned to give Gil a piece of his mind about the purges and to repost Sophie Sommers’ link to this site, which Gil had deleted. Gil’s stalwart supporter, Gordon Savage, attacks this site for “crude Photoshops,” ad hominems, etc., and Timothy responds with what may be his dying breath on Gil’s site.

Timothy Brock:

Gil, you forgot to throw me overboard along with Sophie, Ben, and Jim S. As you know, my son is about to be married to his partner, so I naturally take exception to some of the ideas in your post. [re: TCF’s post of 6/23/13 on equality and the redefinition of marriage]. However, you seem to have taken all the flak you’re going to take for now, so I won’t waste my time responding at length. For those who are interested, TCF’s shadow site is here, and discussions that are not allowed here are apparently welcomed there.

In your “friends” box at the top of this page, you’ve got one “friend,” Ben Boyce. You might want to take that down now that you’ve cast him off.

Farewell.

Gordon Savage:

Timothy, It’s a stretch to call what goes on at Doughlas Remy’s mirror to Gil’s FB “discussion.” There is ridicule, ad hominem attack, stereotyping, crude photoshop images, and, most of all, a bizarre obsession with Gill [sic] that illustrates Girardian theory about scandal and mimetic obsession without comprehending it. But “discussion”? Hardly.

Timothy Brock:

On the contrary, Gordon. I found lots of discussion on the site. In fact, the two most recent posts are simply transcripts (without commentary) of two discussions that took place here during the past week. Remy managed to capture them before they were hatcheted here.

As for ridicule and ad hominems, I don’t see anything egregious, and certainly nothing worse than Gil’s recent slanders of poll workers and the president. What I do see is a free discussion, and free discussions do get messy at times. Why don’t you leave a comment there and see what kind of reception you get? Don’t be afraid.

Crude Photoshop image
Crude Photoshop image

Crude Photoshop images? Huh? Your standards must be much higher than mine. I thought they were very tasteful.

A bizarre obsession with Gil? Maybe it’s just an obsession with the truth. And what about Gil’s bizarre obsessions with homosexuality, abortion, and Obama? Why is it that anyone who disagrees with Gil is said to have “bizarre obsessions” about him? Let’s be fair.

Don’t flatter yourself that you are the gatekeeper for Girard’s mimetic theory. I know from what these people have written that they are all familiar with Girard and his theory, as I am, and that is precisely what brought them to Gil’s site, hoping for an open exchange of views. Furthermore, they had all read Gil’s book. Unfortunately, Gil attached the condition that one must be hard-line neo-con Catholic in order to talk about mimetic theory, and so they were thrown out of the game.

Gil’s three stipulations–(1) fidelity to the magisterium’s brand of Catholicism, (2) fidelty to his own interpretation of Girard, and (3) fidelity to his own view of reality–are fatal to any sort of productive discussion. If you want “bizarre,” you’ve got it here in spades: A purely ideological and propagandistic Facebook page that invites people to step in and comment, but then throws them out on their ear when they dare to have any views that are divergent from the host’s own. So far, upward of ten Girardians have been expelled in just the last year, and please don’t tell me they were wild-eyed radicals. Most of them were Gil’s fellow Catholics, though he would probably deem them to be “unfaithful” to traditional Christianity. Most or all of them came here in the belief that Gil was an intellectual who could enter into an honest, give-and-take discussion with them—or, at the very least—tolerate such a discussion between his guests. Instead, Gil has discussed nothing. He has just laid down ultimatums. He has been a most inhospitable host and has revealed himself as an intellectual fraud.

BTW, why are you frowning in your photo?

Gordon Savage

If I’m a gatekeeper it’s of the painfully obvious: running a parallel site that finds in the “other” a source of almost daily scandal is at the very least ironic from a Girardian perspective? You do see that? Girardian “theory” is first about untying the knots of mimetic obsession. Get out of the vortex of obsession with what others think about you — even more what you imagine they think. Doughlas’s site reminds me of that old cartoon in which a man sitting at his computer all night says to his angry wife: “I can’t come to bed, somebody on the internet disagrees with me!” 

“A bizarre obsession with Gil? Maybe it’s just an obsession with the truth. And what about Gil’s bizarre obsession with homosexuality, abortion, and Obama?”

Since he’s working on a book about the cultural crisis these topics reveal, his focus on abortion and homosexuality might qualify as research. If he was truly obsessed with Obama, on the other hand, he should set up a website dedicated to mirroring everything Obama does, photo-shopping his head on pictures of babies (sound familiar?), coming up with your own truth squad to call him out for every breath he takes — I can even recommend a website as a model for this.

Gordon Savage

Gordon Savage

Anyway, since you make it sound so inviting I’ll come by Doughlas’s website sometime. Otherwise I’ll look forward to carrying on this conversation somewhere in God’s heaven.

And who is frowning?

Timothy Brock:

Gordon, the fact that you see “othering” at TCFS but not at TCF is truly amazing and ironic from a Girardian perspective. Gil’s treatment of homosexuals is “othering” at its most vicious. You needn’t dignify it as “research.” And not only is it “othering,” but it is also scapegoating in its starkest and most repugnant form. René Girard wrote a magisterial work on scapegoating. Are you blind to what it was about, to how it might apply to what is going on in the current cultural scene, or to how Gil himself has mastered its techniques? The recent flap about the Bill O’Reilly slanders or any number of Gil’s posts about gay issues should have alerted you to this. Do you want to discuss this? I would be happy to, but apparently that discussion won’t happen here, because Gil cannot stand to hear it and I am shortly to be thrown off like the others.

So I should get out of the vortex of obsession with what others think of me? But I am not the one who squelches any whisper of dissent from my own views. Do you think Doughlas Remy does? Try him out. Go ahead, post a comment on his site and see if he throws you off for not towing his line. It seems to me that Gil is extraordinarily thin-skinned and insecure, extraordinarily concerned with his reputation and his credibility, and extraordinarily fearful. People who feel secure in their worldview do not create a “public forum” and then censor those who accept their invitation to join it. Remy was right-on in describing it as a Venus fly trap. And it does a monumental disservice not only to Girard but to Catholicism.

Gil doesn’t need to start a separate website on Obama. He’s got this one, and he is clearly obsessed with Obama as “the other.” Nothing that our president does is ever right in Gil’s view. Surely, any human being must occasionally do something right. But this is just another discussion that we’ll never have, because I’m about to disappear.

Who has photoshopped Obama’s head on pictures of babies? What are you talking about? 

To answer your last question: You are. Try smiling.

The Cornerstone Forum (Gil Bailie):

Who’s obsessed with whom? I haven’t been showing up on your timeline or Page to carp at your opinions. One can “unlike” or “unfriend” this Page with the click of a mouse, thereby relieving oneself of the experience of being offended. I cannot imagine going to a Facebook timeline or Page or website or blog just in order to carp at the opinions expressed there, opinions which—in our case—are not intended for just everyone, much less as a starting point for an endless and useless Facebook debate, but are rather offered—for what they might be worth—to those who share our perspective, and who might find them worthwhile.

Jim Daly:

Carping

Carping

Gil, “carping” really doesn’t seem like a very kind or accurate way to describe how people have gently taken you to task for some of the more questionable things you’ve posted, such as the lies you reposted from the Bill O’Reilly site. And, in any case, even when I’m in agreement with you, which is often, I still find it useful to hear dissenting views. Nobody can be right all the time. We need others to help us identify our own biases and errors and to remind us that there may be valid perspectives other than our own. 

I looked at this TCFS site and read the posts that allegedly got people banned from this page. For the most part, they seemed to have expressed their ideas and criticisms in a courteous and thoughtful manner. If it’s true (and I hope it’s not) that this was all it took to get them banished from this forum, it really does make you look bad. Were there other infractions that the TCFS site isn’t reporting?

Tim Brock (not quite dead yet):

Mr. Bailie, when you misrepresent the truth about other people in order to put them in a bad light, and then you refuse to either apologize or retract what you’ve written, then you are guilty of slander. That’s not just your private concern. Slander is not an innocent past-time. It harms people unjustly, and your own faith tells you it is a moral failing that requires redress and repentance.

SpeakeasyYou write that your opinions “are not intended for just anyone.” Who are your slanders intended for? Those who will agree to channel them or at least not challenge them? You’re on the Internet, and on Facebook, no less. If you want a private, select audience, then you’ve absolutely come to the wrong place. Even if Facebook allows you to “unfriend” people at the click of a mouse, it does not allow you the option of screening all those who view your page,  A restricted website might be the answer, and you could limit access to those personal friends who will swear an oath of fidelity to your view of Catholicism, your view of mimetic theory, and your view of reality. Better yet, make the site unidirectional, with no input allowed from visitors.

You would describe our objections as “carping.” How would you describe your own objections to everything that emanates from the Obama administration? And the Supreme Court’s recent DOMA and Prop 8 decisions? Not carping, just principled disagreement? I think carping is in the eye of the beholder.

Critics Take Gil Bailie to Task (Part 1)

SlanderThe following is a transcription of a discussion that occurred beginning 6/16/13 on Gil Bailie’s The Cornerstone Forum Facebook Page:

The Cornerstone Forum (Gil Bailie)

A friend alerted me to this. It apparently comes from Bill O’Reilly’s message board. It’s about the last presidential election, and the figures appear to be accurate.

As each state reported their final election details, the evidence of voter fraud is astounding. Massive voter fraud has been reported in areas of OH and FL, with PA, WI and VA, all are deploying personnel to investigate election results.

Here are just a few examples of what has surfaced with much more to come.

  • In 59 voting districts in the Philadelphia region, Obama received 100% of the votes with not even a single vote recorded for Romney. (A mathematical and statistical impossibility).
  • In 21 districts in Wood County Ohio, Obama received 100% of the votes where GOP inspectors were illegally removed from their polling locations – and not one single vote was recorded for Romney. (Another statistical impossibility).
  • In Wood County Ohio, 106,258 voted in a county with only 98,213 eligible voters.
  • In St. Lucie County, FL, there were 175,574 registered eligible voters but 247,713 votes were cast.
  • The National SEAL Museum, a polling location in St. Lucie County, FL had a 158% voter turnout.
  • Palm Beach County, FL had a 141% voter turnout.
  • In Ohio County, Obama won by 108% of the total number of eligible voters.

NOTE: Obama won in every state that did not require a Photo ID and lost in every state that did require a Photo ID in order to vote.

Jim Daly responds:

I love and respect you, Gil, but it really makes you look bad when you post scurrilous rumors. It tends to discredit the many other true and helpful things you post. I have no idea why you say that the figures are accurate. In fact, just a little fact checking shows them to be false. Here is a link to the snopes.com page that refutes these claims.

The Cornerstone Forum: 

statue1Jim, thanks for passing this along. Everyone is welcome to take a look and come to a decision. If I had more confidence in this administration, I would have been less
credulous. I remain skeptical. But, everyone is welcome to take a look and come to his or her on conclusion.

Sophie Sommers:

Gil, one way to avoid propagating scurrilous rumors is to do some careful fact checking before you post anything of this sort. Stories like the one above do unjustified damage to people’s reputations, and that is wrong by any moral standard. Your distrust of Obama and your faith in people like Bill O’Reilly could lead you down some dangerous paths. Please give everyone the benefit of the doubt and speak no evil of anyone without really solid evidence of wrongdoing. You know as well as I do that the Internet is full of false reporting about everything that’s going on in government and society. There are a number of fact-checking resources. Jim Daly mentioned Snopes.com. There are others, all mostly reliable. (Just avoid the ones that are funded by groups with ideological agendas.)

Jim Daly:

Trust meGil, when you say that you remain “skeptical,” do you mean that you doubt Snopes.com’s debunking of these ludicrous claims? Could you explain why? Is it simply because your dislike of so many of the Obama administration’s policies inclines you to believe the worst about the President? That’s understandable. But recognizing your biases should give you the incentive to be extra diligent about verifying the things you post, so you don’t end up committing the sin of slandering your neighbor and discrediting the many true and helpful things you post.

The Cornerstone Forum:

My skepticism of the present administration and the Chicago politics it represents is such that I find stories like the one my friend highlighted believable. Whatever the validity of the article in question, my skepticism remains.

Jim Swenson:

scandal2There are clearly a lot of people in this country who will believe anything about Obama and his policies as long as it is bad. This is very unhealthy for our democracy, because we are seeing unprecedented infusions of misinformation into the media to satisfy these people’s need for scandal. Willfully passing along false and libelous information is, according to the Catholic catechism, a very serious sin for which penance is required. It’s so serious, in fact, that it is mentioned in the Ten Commandments.

To make responsible decisions, citizens need accurate information. Responsible citizens will do their part to ensure that the media don’t contaminate and distort the political process. When we put up Facebook pages and blog sites, the “Media ‘R’ Us.” Let’s keep it clean!

Jim Daly:

TruthPerhaps you found it “believable,” in the sense of being at least plausible, but that doesn’t make it true. And since we as Christians have an overriding responsibility to the truth, especially when what’s at stake is the reputation of our neighbors who may be innocent of the accusations brought against them, don’t we have a responsibility to check our facts before we post something that turns out to be a scurrilous fabrication? You’ve rightly complained about the decline of journalistic integrity, as journalists sacrifice their traditional commitment to the truth and allow themselves to be used as mouthpieces to promote an ideological agenda. But your credibility on this and many other points vanishes if you do the very same thing you complain about when it’s done by others. That’s what your concerned friends on this thread are trying to help you see.

The Cornerstone Forum:

For what it’s worth, I find Bill O’Reilly to be insufferable. The things I quoted from his message board seemed to me plausible, for reasons that most people might recognize. I’m done with this post. Carry on if it seems worth your while.

Ben Boyce:

So that proves it! Not only is Obama not a citizen, but five million votes were manufactured to install the Anti-Christ as president. (That’s the problem with the right-wing Republicans; they not only have their own opinions but they make their own facts). It has come to this. It must be hard to breathe in that bubble, what with all the noxious fumes being emitted.

Jim Daly:

Shame2I do understand why you found the figures to be plausible, despite their untrustworthy source. But plausible doesn’t mean true and, when what’s at stake is the possibility of unjustly sullying the reputations of so many dedicated poll workers, it’s morally imperative to verify your claims to avoid promulgating the sort of falsehoods found in your post. Earlier today, you posted a beautiful sentiment about how heavenly it would be to have the opportunity to seek forgiveness from all those whom we have wronged. But, of course, before we can seek forgiveness, there must first be an admission of wrongdoing. That may actually be the hardest part, because our desire to get right with God and our neighbor meets all kinds of resistance from that proud part of ourselves that is loath to admit our mistakes. That’s why the person who can admit error is so deserving of our respect. It would be wonderful if you could stop hiding behind the excuse that it’s alright to spread calumny as long as it strikes our biased ears as initially “plausible.” There is no shame in admitting a mistake. To the contrary! The shame lies in refusing to do so.