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BARF BoardRoom/Soapbox Archive
Taking extreme language from leaders at face value
By Mike Doughney



Time: Fri, 01-Oct-1999 23:48:03 GMT     
IP: 207.239.111.82

:My problem with the majority of your arguments
:is that you base your viewpoints on Christianity
:on the behaviour of only a very few Christians.

You keep repeating this, I already heard you.
You have still failed to address the fact that
these people I have named are influential leaders
running huge organizations and are well connected
with groups with which you participate.

:You slam the Promise Keepers because of a a few
:misguided people

These are not a "few misguided people," they are
either Promise Keeper leaders or are very closely
connected with those leaders.

:and fail to see the inherent beauty of the
:message.

There is no beauty in hate, regardless of the
source.

:Can we judge people solely on the behviour of
:only a few?

We can judge people who join organizations and
don't care to pay any attention to what the
leaders of those organizations actually
say. There is no excuse for wanton ignorance, for
desperately holding one's eyes closed when faced
with evidence that what they're involved in isn't
exactly savory.

:I hope I don't seem like I'm trying to attack
:anyone.  I just feel as though things I believe
:in strongly are under assault by people that have
:absolutely no understanding of what they are all
:about.

Nick, I've got a huge collection of evidence to
back up every word I say here.  It's not a
question of "understanding" when I can sit here
and quote extremist and hateful language coming
from the leader of a group that shares speakers
and leadership with the Promise Keepers.  It's
obvious that these leaders think that teaching
teenagers and their youth leaders these things is
what they should be doing.

:I do believe that you have no desire to temper
:your views based on the average truth rather than
:the bizarre extremes.

Define "bizarre extremes."  I've already gone
over for you how these people are connected.
When a speaker who's appeared in front of
hundreds of thousands of Promise Keepers is
endorsing a person who does and says things that
you call "bizarre extremes," what does that mean?
Perhaps it means that the leadership doesn't have
a problem with those "bizarre extremes." Where
does that leave you?

The "average truth" about these leaders is that
they are bizarre, and extreme, and they have come
to dominate evangelical Christiantiy through
organizations like the Promise Keepers and many
others.

:It bothers me that you want to eliminate the
:vast good that Christianity does so you can
:eliminate any chance you might encounter just one
:person that claims to be but doesn't act as, a
:Christian.

Again, not just one person, but an influential
leader tied in with a whole network of
influential leaders of the part of Christianity
that you identify with.

There is no "vast good" here, just army-building
for a revolutionary war of some kind.  I have
seen absolutely no redeeming qualities or values
from this movement at any time.  I don't have a
personal experience in my head that I can use for
an excuse like others do.

:My life has been profoundly influenced by my
:spritual relationship with God.  I appreciate
:that not everyone has that.

And your personal experiences, and how you have
personally interpreted Christianity into your
life, have very little connection with what these
leaders are doing for reasons that have nothing
to do with YOU and everything to do with THEM and
their agenda.

:I appreciate that not everyone wants that.  I
:may not understand why someone wouldn't but I
:appreciate their right to ignore it.

Then perhaps you can appreciate that when an
influential leader goes and says something
extreme and hateful, and he's part of a huge
movement, I'm going to take what they say at face
value and I'm going to rightfully accuse people
in that movement of supporting people who say
extreme and hateful things.  What fantasies may
run in their minds that allow them to rationalize
their support of people who say these things as
not being representative of what they believe are
really not my problem. It will be their problem
when their movement goes horribly wrong and it
becomes time to place the blame.

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