"First Stone" (cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward)
This is my response to Matt Walsh's response
to my critique of his blog
First of all I want to thank Walsh for complimenting my picture as "pretty", even though it's likely he said this sarcastically. Hey! I'm into sarcasm. Just like he called me "some guy" instead of by my name. I think that says something.
Also, I want to say that I'm sorry he's receiving such nasty emails and comments. He lives in a land of freedom of speech. He's allowed to think and say whatever he wants. Hate attracts hate, but no one deserves insults to their person or death threats. I don't know about the laws where you live, but uttering death threats here is a chargeable offense. He is right to report them. My wife has worried about the stuff my blog stirs up out there. Even yesterday a friend expressed concern to her about some crazies wanting to harm me for the things I say. So I know what Walsh and his family are experiencing. It's not nice. But I would like him to know that these insults and threats do not represent all liberals, left-wingers, or progressives. We are not a homogenous mass, just like conservatives aren't. I know conservatives who can articulate their views in a non-condescending manner.
My main criticism of Walsh is that he is condescending and judgmental, and these find expression in his ideas that are discriminatory and divisive. His response is that:
Here's my response:
- it is leftwing, liberal progressives who are hateful (proven from correspondence¬†he says he receives);
- he hates no one but truly loves everyone, including his enemies (he doesn't say he loves them but implies it);
- he expresses this love and concern by telling the absolute truth, even when it hurts.
I did not say Walsh is the "equivalent of the Taliban". I said he is the "Christian equivalent of the Taliban". This inclusion is an important distinction because "Taliban" alone conjures up crazy male terrorists. I purposefully wrote the word "Christian" to firmly plant the comparison in a religious context. I do not think he is a violent terrorist like the ones we read about in the news that shoot women who read, cut off the heads of religious delinquents or blow things up they disdain. But he does hold an extremist, right-wing ideology that, if rendered into actual policy, would change where he lives into a fundamentalist state.
I also did not say he "plans to blow up the world". The pretty picture and post communicate that he IS blowing up the world, not with bombs, but with discriminatory and divisive ideas and words. Walsh doesn't understand that hatred, discrimination, condescension, superiority, or thinking that you are the sayer of absolute truth‚ whatever you want to call it‚ is the root of violence. To murder is to establish a permanent separation between you and your antagonist and remove them from your life forever. Now, I would rather be murdered ideologically than physically. But we need to understand that discriminatory ideology is the sharp knife's edge to segregation.
It doesn't matter¬†if Walsh loves everybody and hates no one. Love without works is dead. Hate without works is dead. Without expression they are just feelings or ideas. I don't claim to know what Walsh is feeling. But I can read what he's saying. I suggest that his ideology, if it was rendered into policy, would turn where he lives into a fundamentalist state. His discriminatory ideas and language persecute those who don't agree with him. Now, before someone claims I'm persecuting Walsh, please be clear what persecution is. It is not challenging an idea or expressing a disagreement. It is a persistent hostility toward and ill-treatment of people of a different race, religion, sexuality, gender, politics, etcetera. Some of Walsh's fans responded to me saying that Walsh is young, lacks some maturity, and writes in an inflammatory manner to get and hold our attention. I disagree. I think Walsh is intentionally shaping a discriminatory ideology that can only be expressed through hostility towards those who are different than he is. It is too fine a line to say that even though his ideas and words hate, he doesn't.
Walsh's ideas articulate¬†bigotry. He might not like the name, but the definition is "intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself"
. He might be comfortable with that.
At the end of my post, I wrote "I believe Walsh and I are one"
. He and I are on the same diverse spectrum of ideas, as we all are. My concern is that we work together to form theories that help to make manifest the unity of the human race, shape ideas that unify, and mold actions that are in turn compassionate and provide equality for all.