Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Response to Ray Comfort's "Hornet's Nest"

Ray Comfort wrote:

We have decided to drop a cartoon of a hornet’s nest now and then with some of
my blogs. These seem to stir the buzz. Take for instance my saying that if
someone had been in a good lightning storm and didn’t come out of it fearing
God, they were either blind or mentally challenged.

Okay, Ray, re-read your comment, because you pretty much start off by saying that that's what you said.

Ray goes on to say:

That stirred some stinging responses. Atheists felt that I was saying that they
were mentally challenged
Now read your first quote, and then the second. Use some logic, here. If you say "people who don't fear god after watching a thunderstorm are either blind or mentally challenged", why are you so surprised and dismayed that we thought you meant that people who don't fear god after watching a thunderstorm are blind or mentally challenged? What else should we have thought you meant?

Ray goes on:

when the truth is that they fit into the “blind” category, as we once did (see 2
Corinthians 4:1-2).

Oh, that makes what you said so much better. Because I do not cower in my boots at the scary
lightning, which (to you) is obviously a display of God's power, and instead use my evil science to appreciate what thunderstorms really are, and look at them with a non-cowering sense of wonder, I'm somehow blind. Yes, I went to school, and learned about meteorology, and how static electricity works, and had many myths about lightning disspelled, so I now know that it's nothing to really be afraid of, and somehow this makes me blind. So what are you suggesting, Ray -- should we really should forget everything we know, and just fear everything big and loud?

Then Ray says:

Another angry response flew at me from an atheist who spent some time saying
that pigs were not unclean animals, and how they made great pets (don’t forget
bacon). Then he went into a delirious frenzy because the Bible said that people
who go back to their sin were likened to pigs. Why was he so upset, when he
believed that pigs were the best thing since sliced bread?

First of all, I have to ask -- what makes you assume that I was angry? Did I use a lot of exclamation points of type things in all-caps? Did I shout invectives? Did I hurl insults and slander your way? I don't think so.

Ray, there is a gigantic difference between simply disagreeing with you, and being angry at you. There is a gigantic difference between being critical of your post, and being angry. I am disagreeing with you and being critical of you. This is not the same as being angry. Criticism and disagreement is not anger. However, if you are annoyed, or angry, then you need to learn how to deal with it without playing the victim game.

Secondly, I think I stated perfectly clearly why I objected to your constant comparisons of atheists to various animals. Do I have to repeat myself? Your post makes it look like you're in denial of what I was writing, and you're spinning it like a politician, which I find to be quite disingenuous (what, Ray Comfort disingenuous? That's impossible! or is it?)

By comparing groups of people to animals, especially to negative stereotypes of animals (and you've been pretty clear when you explain your analogies, so it's not like I'm misinterpreting them), it is a form of dehumanizing these groups of people. Again, I have to ask, what if I compared Christians to pigs, dogs, and rats -- would you assume I was flattering you?

Ray, I don't know if you are honestly in denial, or if you are trying to spin your way out of legitimate criticism. It doesn't help you. I've been nothing but straightforward and honest, and polite with you so far, and I have not been insulting or used invectives. I think that you need to re-read what you've been writing and see if my criticism makes sense. After all, you said that you want to reach out to Atheists, and that you seek understanding as to why you get so many negative responses. In My criticism, I am telling you exactly what it is you are doing that is generating the unfavorable results you are getting. You should use this information to help you change how you communicate, because as far as I can see, that is the issue -- your way of conveying your thoughts in writing is in need of some improvement. You need to develop better writing skills.

If you want to reach out to someone, because you feel they need your help, or they need god, you do not accomplish this goal very well if you constantly condescend them, and refer to them as dogs and pigs.

I believe you need to find some humility, Ray.

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