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The Hipsters, who Distance from the Fundies, Review Ken Ham through their Lens of Christianity

5 Feb

The Hipsters, who Distance from the Fundies, Review Ken Ham through their Lens of Christianity

Disclaimer: not all young Christians are hipsters and not all hipster Christians spend their time acting like they would like to hide the fundamentalist folks in Christianity in a broom closet, along with their hardworking old grandmother who makes them feel ashamed in front of their friends by her terminal lack of coolness.

But there are enough young hipsters like that in Christianity to be ironic.

Ironic because they denounce fundamentalists for hating them and trying to make them go away.

They denounce us while using these same tactics against us.

Enough already. Mom here! I don’t care who started it. Let’s just stop it. We are all part of the same Christian camp.

The above post doesn’t address many things theologically.

If you want to be a hipster Christian and defend marriage as being other than Christ defined it (one man, one woman, for life), then show me where the moral authority comes from to do that.

If you want to believe in theistic evolution, explain to me theologically how death came along before Adam and Eve fell.

If you want to reconcile a world that is millions of years old with a Saviour who was born of a virgin, explain to me how a God who wasn’t capable of creating an old universe in the Old Testament (with starlight already in progress, since stars that we can see are millions of light years from earth) suddenly became capable of creating a virgin birth in the New Testament.

There are lots of things that need to be addressed theologically by the above post. They were not even attempted. The writer merely did some terminally cool posturing. I throw a flag on his play.

And just sneering at fundamentalists does not count as a logical argument. In fact, that is called an ad hominem argument, for anyone who is truly looking to learn the fair rules of debate.

Just sayin’

The First Gay Legislator to Vote Against Gay Marriage

13 Nov

Jo Jordan explains her no vote on gay marriage in Hawaii.

Interestingly, it was important to her that people listen to each other on this issue and one side consistently shut down dialogue with her. They had an attitude that they already knew they were right on every aspect of the legislation so she should just vote yes, with no questioning.

The same side that usually says fundamentalist Christians always believe they are right in every situation and won’t listen to anyone else . . .

Maybe they have learned from us, after all.

Nobody but God is always right!


The Joy of Slander (Not!)

20 May

The Joy of Slander (Not!)

Have you ever noticed that when someone is intent on secretly slandering a person, they can always dig up someone from that person’s past who will call him a dirtbag?

I don’t care where someone has lived or what his job has been, if you want to shake the trees badly enough to find his enemies, you can always do it.

I have heard people say, “Oh, yeah, I know a chief who used to serve with him in the military and you should hear what that chief says about him . . .” or “I know someone who used to minister with him at his former ministry position and, wow, your head will explode if you hear what he has to say . . .”

Only, let’s be fair.

Does anyone who is active at all ever get through life without making a few enemies?

And, that said, why do people always dig into someone’s past looking for his enemies? Why not look for his friends?

Oh, yeah, ‘cuz then it wouldn’t be slander, would it?

Let’s admit it. The human race loves the juicy, negative stuff.

But let’s also admit that that part of us must die. It is the part Christ came to save us from!

Controversial Tuesday: Pathologizing Conflict

9 Oct

Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:  who can know it?”

I have become fascinated with logic, as used in formal debates.  Blame the election year and the presidential debates!  Actually, I am always a bit this way, so it is not Romney’s and Obama’s fault (smile!).

I am especially interested in learning to see, from a mile away, when a logical fallacy is inserted into a debate.  Yesterday, I spoke of the strawman argument.  I will come back to that one again, I am sure.

Today I want to address the “ad hominem attack.”  This is the most common feature of our debates today, especially when they are presidential debates.  This is when we attack the man (or woman) instead of the argument.  It is, in effect, saying, “You are too dumb or uneducated or uncouth or unimportant for me to even pay attention to you.  I don’t care what you have to say because it all must be incorrect, just based on who you are.”

I want to hit one particular facet of ad hominem attacks, though, and that is our tendency nowadays to do what I call “pathologizing conflict.”  That is when we actually form our ad hominem attack into an accusation that the other person is somehow mentally unstable for saying what he or she is saying.  I hear this sort of ad hominem attack a lot nowadays.  I even heard it used against me yesterday.

Since we have, as a society, largely moved from a concept of sin to a concept of mental illness to explain every aberration of the human heart, we no longer accuse people of being wicked in their arguments.  We just accuse them of being mentally ill.  Nice!

Problem is, as the above verse says, we all have deceitful hearts.  Some of us are just more aware of that fact than others.

So, you can go either one way or the other.  Either you can assume that you are both equal opponents in a debate because you are equally handicapped by living in a sinful, fallen world or you can assume that you are both equal opponents in a debate because you are both able to choose Christ as the remedy for living in a sinful, fallen world.

All other things being equal, debates should not concern themselves with character after that has been settled.  Just look at the issues.  See which side you agree with, based on the issues alone.

My example from yesterday was at the intersection of the animal rights movement with the right of humans to be treated with dignity and respect.

I spoke up in my “naval officer voice” (it was on-line, but you know what I mean).  I don’t often use that voice (forceful).  I am so much more a person who tries to gently build consensus.  But some things are just wrong.

A friend had been questioned for taking her children to the circus.  Knowing that this particular friend, a military wife, had just moved cross-country with three children and is one of the hardest working mamas I know, raising and teaching her little ones, I knew that the trip to the circus was a much-needed respite for her and the kids.

She didn’t ask to be second-guessed about the circus.  She let people know she was going in a Facebook post.  She immediately got pushback from two people who turned out to be her aunt and cousin (mother and daughter).

I pointed out the inconsistency of honoring animals by dishonoring humans.  I didn’t go into the theology of the issue there, but God clearly gave the human race a mandate in Genesis to steward His creation, including the animals.  This means that He holds us responsible to do that correctly.

I understand that some circuses have mistreated some animals historically.  I also understand that some people disagree with animals being in captivity for any reason.  However, the fact remains that God created man as the crown of His creation and there is never a reason to treat man with disrespect (publicly questioning the choice of going to the circus) in order to respect the animals.  Man comes first.  Respect animals all you want, but never at the cost of human dignity.

That position was lost on the cousin, who privately (at least that part was good) suggested that my passionate stance on all of this meant that I “had issues.”

I just kept insisting that she didn’t need to disrespect her cousin by calling her out publicly.  When she asked me why I then answered her publicly, I told her that she had already made it a public issue that needed to be answered publicly.  She didn’t get that part either.

Ah, well, it is probably good to be rolled into an ad hominem attack every now and again.  Keeps us from getting cocky, doesn’t it?

Because our hearts are deceitful, too.

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