Sunday, November 26, 2006

Congratulations, Mr./Ms. Anonymous!

You've just posted the one millionth slur from someone with an anti-Bellevue mindset! Unfortunately, since you were anonymous, I can't award you your huge prize package--although I have a way of commemorating the event. For the record, here's the soon-to-be-famous brickbat:

Anonymous said...
mike since you support the 25k gift to a church thats supports that abortion .that makes you a supporter of abortion,thats a label you can live with

8:03 PM, November 25, 2006


And it serves so perfectly as an example of why such a mindset is undesirable!

Does it attack a person rather than discuss a position? Yes.

Does it attempt to confront, rather than debate? Yes.

Does it demonstrate hate? Yes.

Does it say things from the luxury of anonymity that the poster would, for a variety of reasons, never say in person? Yes.

It did all these things so well, it made me reconsider the fact that I've allowed total anonymity in comments since the inception of TBR. (Cool acronym, hmm?) Well, you totally-anonymous folks will have to step up to pseudonyms, because the hit-and-run anonymous post is a thing of the past. Enough of you have abused the privilege so that it has to go away.

And speaking of the one millionth slur, let me post something our friend Mrs. Wilmoth sent me regarding it, thusly and like so:

Faulty logic. That's like saying if I voted for Bush, I'm in favor of our soldiers dying in Iraq. The issues of the donation to First Methodist and being in favor of abortion are not mutually exclusive. There are those of us who see it from a totally different perspective than others. Why must there be judgment, "labels," and "dead babies in the offering plate" when that was NO ONE'S intent in sending the donation?

Don't tell me what I believe. I settled the issue of abortion in my heart and mind a long time ago, and I have not changed my opinion one whit. However, I do NOT see the donation to First Methodist as a mistake. And that does NOT make me a supporter of abortion.

At the risk of being accused of "demonizing," I will repeat what has been said by others in so many other venues (and perhaps more delicately): There are plenty of churches in this city where one can worship. If I couldn't live with the decisions made by the leaders and shepherds over me, I would not continue to worship under their leadership. I would find a church that matched my expectations and "shake the dust" off as I left one that did not. And I hope and pray I would not attempt (either explicitly or implicitly) to destroy any church or its members in the process.

All in my opinion, of course.


Now it's my turn.

The one millionth post was both gutless and clueless--what that says about the author, I'll leave to you people to decide. The anonymous author either doesn't know me or doesn't care that I'm probably more pro-life in word and deed than he/she is on his/her best day--which isn't a bragging point, but a statement of fact. I understand that you and yours label people in lieu of discussing ideas and points of view, but please understand that such personal attacks benefit no one, and only do further damage to you and yours.

And speaking of "labels," let me caution you and yours about something: The only label worth having is the label of Christian. Any other label--including the label of "pro-life"--that takes precedence over the one of Christian is an idol, purely and simply. There are people in this world who are 100% "pro-life," working tirelessly against the evil of abortion-on-demand, who are as lost as proverbial geese. If people worry that showing kindness to an individual or a group might damage their pro-life credentials, those people should re-examine their priorities.

When groups such as the coalition attacking the pastor, staff, and lay leadership continue to try to tar and feather individuals, rather than debate positions, they guarantee the persistence of the perception they're more about rousing the rabble than reforming the church.


--Mike

9 comments:

headoutofthesand said...

Anonymous said...
mike since you support the 25k gift to a church thats supports that abortion .that makes you a supporter of abortion,thats a label you can live with


And I quote Mike thusly:

And it serves so perfectly as an example of why such a mindset is undesirable!

Does it attack a person rather than discuss a position? Yes.

Does it attempt to confront, rather than debate? Yes.

Does it demonstrate hate? Yes.

Does it say things from the luxury of anonymity that the poster would, for a variety of reasons, never say in person? Yes.


Wow, where to begin? For a minute there, I thought I was reading a Democratic campaign ad--full of emotion and hyperbole but really short on substance.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

And it serves so perfectly as an example of why such a mindset is undesirable!

Well, since you get to define the terms, this one is pretty easy. Your definition of 'Anti-Bellevue mindset' is anyone who disagrees with anything Bellevue has done and voices it publicly? Not accurate? Then, please enlighten us on your definition. Would you call someone who criticizes the hot, humid weather in Memphis 'anti-Memphis'? Or maybe just 'anti-Weather'? Or someone who criticizes the government for providing Federal funds for abortion 'anti-Government'?

Let's take a real definition of mindset and see what we come up with, shall we? From American Heritage: n. 1. A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations.

Pretty telling, isn't it? You can claim an 'anti-Bellevue' mindset or "fixed mental attitude" by a single anonymous quote. I'll bet mindreading isn't too far down on your list of talents, either, is it?

Moving on...

Does it attack a person rather than discuss a position? Yes.

Straight out of the Democratic playbook? Check.

If someone disagrees with you, you simply claim they are attacking you. I've seen that one so many times in my lifetime, it borders on pathetic. That way, it detracts from what was actually said and turns it into something personal.

So, if a person draws a conclusion (that you are a supporter of abortion) based on your statements supporting the gift to FUMC, that's an attack? Surely, you can do better than that, Mike. Sure, their conclusion was certainly erroneous, mis-guided, unsupported, etc., but it is not out of the realm of possibility that a person can be wrong and not be attacking you personally. They could honestly believe that because you support the gift, you support abortion.

Next...

Does it attempt to confront, rather than debate? Yes.

See the previous point. Really nothing more to say here. A person draws an erroneous conclusion based on a difference of philosophy about the gift, and it's a confrontation. You chose not to make it a debate; otherwise, you would point out why the person was incorrect in their assumptions and hope to convince them otherwise.

By the way, if I were a close friend of yours and knew you were cheating on your wife, for example, would it be wrong for me to confront you about it? Of course not. So, if someone else has a perspective on the gift that makes them believe it is sinful--whether they are wrong or right--confronting you or anyone else about it is not wrong.

Then, my personal favorite...

Does it demonstrate hate? Yes.

Wow! Now, that sounds like someone running for the chair of the Democratic National Committee. When someone disagrees with you, claim hate! If you can pull hate out of that single post (well, since you can determine a mindset, I guess anything is possible...), you are either really sensitive (which I doubt) or really desparate for writing material (more likely).

Back to our friend, the dictionary. From Webster: demonstrate: 1 : to show clearly; 2 a : to prove or make clear by reasoning or evidence b : to illustrate and explain especially with many examples

Hmm...clearly, evidence, many examples. Nope. Can't say I see any of that from your big "slur". Oh, you might want to look that word up, too.

And, finally...

Does it say things from the luxury of anonymity that the poster would, for a variety of reasons, never say in person? Yes.

Objection, your honor! Calls for a conclusion not supported by the facts!

How in the world could you possibly know whether or not the poster--anonymous or not--would or would not say that to your face? Oh, I forget...that mind-reading thing again. Sorry about that.

Honestly, Mike, do you have any intellectual integrity whatsoever? Do you honestly not see that your snide, belligerent, insulting communication style (those are descriptions and observations, not attacks, so please don't bother) are the reason you get comments like that in the first place? Do you not see the difference in the way you interact with the people on this and other blogs compared to some like, say, Deacon Calcotte? People may disagree with him 100%, but try and find someone who doesn't respect him.

Do you really think you accomplish anything by engaging this debate on your blog, save for the 3 or 4 people who constantly post here to pat you on the back? Apparently, you do.

Mike Bratton said...

Honestly, Mike, do you have any intellectual integrity whatsoever?

Perfect.

Simply perfect.

You quoted a number of questions I asked, gave no straight answers to them, avoided a glowing example of hate speech from your cadre, and then suggest I'm the one with an integrity problem?

Quintessentially perfect.

Do you honestly not see that your snide, belligerent, insulting communication style (those are descriptions and observations, not attacks, so please don't bother) are the reason you get comments like that in the first place?

That's typical--blame others for one's own poor behavior. Sort of like the tail end of the mission statement at savingbellevue.com, blaming the church's leadership for your own out-of-bounds actions.

Do you not see the difference in the way you interact with the people on this and other blogs compared to some like, say, Deacon Calcotte? People may disagree with him 100%, but try and find someone who doesn't respect him.

I don't have the time right now for quote-mining, but you and yours have shown boatloads of disrespect to my friend Derrick--but I have a feeling you might know that.

Do you really think you accomplish anything by engaging this debate on your blog, save for the 3 or 4 people who constantly post here to pat you on the back? Apparently, you do.

Talking to oneself is really not as unhealthy as many people make it out to be... don't feel bad. (A little humor, there!)

--Mike

headoutofthesand said...

Typical.

Absolutely typical.

Ignore everything I write except the last two paragraphs where you are described exactly how dozens of others have described you--I guess we're all wrong and you're right, as usual. That is how you consistently display your lack of intellectual integrity. You see something one way and that is the only possible right answer.

Why don't you respond to my first 20 sentences instead of just jumping to the end.

Funny how you use the words "confront instead of debate" (my paraphrase) but you won't respond to my "debate" on your post.

By the way, "you and yours" is me and me alone. Every post challenging you is met with the same, tired, "right-wing-conspiracy-esque" reference to a collective group that would make Hillary proud. If you can find a post where I have been disrespectful to Mr. Calcotte, I would be happy to apologize to him; however, I refuse to take responsibility for the rest of my "group" any more than you would take responsibility for everything said by everyone who supports The Gift.

I realize it is more convenient to treat everyone who disagrees with you as a collective rather than address each person individually--that way you can demonize an individual by association instead of by facts.

Justthefacts said...

Headoutofthesand said "I realize it is more convenient to treat everyone who disagrees with you as a collective rather than address each person individually--that way you can demonize an individual by association instead of by facts."

I hear you man. I tried to engage Mike over the question of what the definition of a Christian was, completely off topic of the whole BBC thing, and he suddenly started associating me with the "anti-Bellevue" "mindset" crowd. And he never would address the substance of what I said, just constantly attack how I said it. All the while insulting me with "satire" and "sarcasm" and defending it as a legitimate way to communicate. I just gave up trying to have an honest debate with him. I would urge you to leave him alone as well. He trumpets that it's "not about me", and then attempts to personalize every attempt to debate him on any subject. Wouldn't matter if it were the weather.

headoutofthesand said...

By the way, still waiting on your response to my offer to debate your "statements" on this post.

I'll turn blue holding my breath...

Mike Bratton said...

headoutofthesand said...
By the way, still waiting on your response to my offer to debate your "statements" on this post.

I'll turn blue holding my breath...


Fortunatly, the human brain has as one of many involuntary reflexes the God-given instinct to gasp for air, an instinct which prevents people from refusing to breathe to the point of damaging themselves.

--Mike

headoutofthesand said...

Still waiting...yawn.

Although you did earn some brownie points by addressing our "here today and gone tomorrow" pastor-lurker over on the dark side blog. Now, if you could just figure out where to redeem those blasted things...

headoutofthesand said...

Still waiting...

...

Oh, guess you're too busy publishing the choir conflicts for all the world to see.

...

Awfully quiet in here, isn't it?

Mike Bratton said...

headoutofthesand said...
Still waiting...

...


And you can keep on waiting. I prefer to have discussions of substance with actual people, not pseudonyms. Obviously there's an actual person behind the pseudonym, but since you prefer to hide, you don't have to take responsibility for anything you write. Therefore, any debate would be out-of-kilter; folks such as yourself have demonstrated a penchant for throwing verbal Molotovs, and I'm not in the least interested in having a discussion or debate under those circumstances.

Oh, guess you're too busy publishing the choir conflicts for all the world to see.

...


What double-secret information have I revealed to the general public? And were any of the things found "personally offensive" attributed to specific individuals?

Awfully quiet in here, isn't it?

Actually, it surprises me how busy this little corner of the Internet stays.

Keep in mind, whoever you are, that blog responses don't equate to site traffic.

--Mike