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24 April, 2007

christian tolerance

Just read it.

Comments

I do wish people would stop using the label 'Christian' to describe these sorts of cretinous bigots. What's wrong with the good old slur 'Fundie'?

Posted by Tim Hall at April 24, 2007 07:09 PM

Fair point. Reading around the story, I haven't been able to discover the relevance of their particular religion; their objection seemed to be a matter of generic self-righteous morality, not specific dogma. It seems they were christian, but that was incidental.

Posted by NRT at April 24, 2007 08:21 PM

For what it's worth, it seems that they did self-identify as "Christian." Tim's beef might be more appropriately directed at them.

Also, reading the follow-up post, it seems that the people who did this view anyone who is Christian as a member of the "in-group" and anyone who isn't as an "out."

I loved the end of the follow-up post, where the "Christian" is forgiven by the "liberal atheist." Priceless.

Thanks for the link, NRT!

Posted by Jon. at April 24, 2007 09:07 PM

How they self-identify and how they behave are two quite different things.

Trouble is, incidents like this (which probably involves some fruitbat sect or cult not connected to any mainstream churches) will be used by some 'liberal atheist' types as a stick to bash all Christians with. Just like many BNP types use the July 7th bombings as a stick to back all Muslims.

That's basically what my beef is about.

Posted by Tim Hall at April 24, 2007 09:35 PM

"How they self-identify and how they behave are two quite different things."

Sounds a bit like a "no true Scotsman" fallacy. They were Christians (assuming they self-identified honestly) therefore they behaved as (some) Christians behave. Whether they met the standards imposed by that religion is another matter entirely. However, they appear to have been motivated, at least in part, by their religious beliefs, which they identify as Christian.

"Trouble is, incidents like this (which probably involves some fruitbat sect or cult not connected to any mainstream churches) will be used by some 'liberal atheist' types as a stick to bash all Christians with. Just like many BNP types use the July 7th bombings as a stick to back all Muslims.

That's basically what my beef is about."

Well, then your beef is also with the people who do the inappropriate generalizing. However, those who report what happened, using the identifiers chosen by the partcipants, can't really be faulted, IMO.

P.S.: NRT, I hope you don't mind your blog being used as a mini-debate forum. If you do, please feel free to email me and Tim one another's email addresses and I'll be happy to take it private.

Posted by Jon. at April 25, 2007 09:05 PM

There's a followup on Mike Daisey's site here, which puts the whole incident in a completely different context.

Sounds like this wasn't an orchestrated protest at all, but rather a spontanious outburst by an individual with mental health problems (Which probably should not be in a leadership position with any group, religious or otherwise).

Posted by Tim Hall at April 26, 2007 12:59 PM

No, not at all. The water-pouring was the act of an individual (who wasn't a group leader), but the walkout was collective. Sorry, Tim, but I don't see how this changes the context, beyond reinforcing the christian element of the man's self-justification.

I still have doubts about whether the overall protest was the result of generic moral objections (okay, presumably informed by their religion) by a group which just happened to be christian i.e. they didn't seem to be objecting to anything specifically anti-christian or contrary to specific dogma, merely to something they considered indecent/immoral, just as an overprotective group comprising, say, Jews or Muslims might.
However, in that man's own mind it was a christian issue, and his sheer absence of regard for non-christians is a little chilling.

Incidentally, the linked post was the one Jon mentioned two days ago. ;)

Posted by NRT at April 26, 2007 02:19 PM
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