Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Meanwhile, over at the Constructive Curmudgeon...

The controversy about Obama's address to the nation has yet to reach its climax (it will start happening tomorrow, after Republicans ad their corporate and Christocrat allies have figured out just how to spin it).

Meanwhile, over at the Constructive Curmudgeon, would you believe it that Groothuis has just killed the controversy over President Obama's speech to school children by writing the last word about it? But first, a few highlights from what BJ The Tornado, Groothuis's most vocal remaining opponent on some subjects. I quote extensively here because, on occasion, Groothuis has been known to throw a hissy fit and delete entire posts. I believe that at least some the Tornado's points should be preserved for posterity.

Quite reasonably, the Tornado writes:

"I read the Titus article. It is entirely based on speculation as to the President's motives." Indeed, the Tornado is 100% correct. Not only that, it is based on the worst possible speculation about the president's imagined motives, so the Tornado continues in his entirely correct argument:

Sure, if you assume the absolute worst motives for your political opponents, then just about everything follows and anything you point to will count as “evidence” for your position.

That's the tricky thing about such bad reasoning and conspiracy theories: even when you AGREE with what someone is doing on the face of it, you point to even it as evidence that they are actually just trying to trick us.
OF COURSE, he'd say that, you argue -- he wants us to believe that... but he really doesn't.

This is insane.

Undeniably insane. But not only it is insane, it is--as evidenced by Groothuis's continued uncharitable attacks on Obama--fraudulent.

The highlight from the Tornado's long post follows:

Your position seems to be boiling down to this: If President Obama is in favor of X, and I agree with it, then he's actually lying. If, on the other hand, President Obama is in favor of Y, and I think that is wrong, it is further evidence that he is evil.

What an interesting position you've set up. To wit: Anything Obama does, he's wrong.

... This is a very dangerous road to go down.
Once you assume, across the board, the absolute worst in the motives of your political opponents, there is no longer any rational discourse or engagement. I pray you turn back.

I emphasized the last sentence because it is something that Groothuis, the self-important Christian teacher, could learn from one of his students (I believe BJ the Tornado was a student of Dr. Groothuis, I will accept corrections on this). Specifically, the lesson is: You can disagree with someone, but you do not have to demonize them or hate them, as Groothuis with the president; you can, and as a Christian probably should, pray for them. Never in Groothuis' writings on the Curmudgeon do I remember reading something so simple, and yet so poignant. It is a sad reflection of how bitter Groothuis is as a person and of how poor he can be as a teacher that he has to be reminded how a Christian might act by one of his students.

And then the Tornado addresses Groothuis directly in his closing:

You wrote: "These are not paranoid concerns, but very real. We should be warned and take action."

Dr. G, I love you and respect you and so I am sorry to have to be the person to tell you this so frankly, but, YES, they ARE paranoid concerns. When you take the President talking to children about staying in school and then draw a line from that to German/Italian Fascism (as you did), well, sorry, but that is a paranoid concern.

The President encourages kids to stay in school… he must actually be trying to brainwash the kids to be socialists… therefore, Mussolini/Hitler.

I shake my head in disbelief.

I tell you this because I respect you so highly...

Well said, Tornado. True to your name you have flattened Groothuis's fraudulent attack with logic. I would simply say this: I don't know where you got the idea that Groothuis deserves any respect. Perhaps he did at one point, but he has not earned it in his dealings with me, nor has he earned it with the great majority of his vitriolic, unsubstantiated, irrational, and nakedly partisan ideas that he posts on his blog on his political opponents. Maybe it is just a matter of time for you, as it has been for me, until you lose the respect you still hold for the man.

Groothuis did write the last word on the subject, another chilling example of hatred, lack of reason, and lack of Christian charity:

Your harsh language is inexcusable, BJ. I may be wrong, but my convictions come out of my knowledge of Obama's beliefs and strategy (Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals"). He is a bad and dangerous man. Following his campaign should have told you that. You judge a man by his ideas and friends. For Obama, both are abysmal. He cannot be trusted, given the evidence of his life.

If Groothuis considers BJ's language harsh and inexcusable, then I am not surprised that I have been banned from his blog. It is symptomatic of his attitude to Obama that he calls him "bad and dangerous." As BJ said in his response, "if you assume the absolute worst motives for your political opponents, then just about everything follows and anything you point to will count as 'evidence' for your position."

Of particular interest is Groothuis's affirmation that "you judge a man by his ideas and his friends". Surely you should judge a man by his ideas, preferably fairly, but as far as friends go I prefer Joseph Conrad's quote: "You shall judge a man by his foes as well as by his friends."

Between Obama's friends and his sworn enemies my preference comes down squarely on the side of the president.


Tom said...

I'd like to disagree with you, SirFab, but in good conscience I can't. I don't know what is going on over at the CC but if you want reasoned, fair-minded discourse, well, you'll have to look elsewhere. And, frankly, it saddens me to say that.

John Stockwell said...

Groothuis always uses the excuse that people are being uncivil when they are merely showing him the error of his ways. He will delete posts with perfectly valid arguments, and ban people from posting if they don't agree with him, while claiming "incivility".

His blog started out pretty well, but somewhere along the line, he lost it and has become a mere parrot of propaganda, and suppressor of dissent.

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