You always know that an atheist has run out of arguments when they start complaining that you’re showing insufficient Christian love by methodically destroying their assertions and conclusions. But what does one party’s failure to lead a perfect Christian life have to do with the strength or weakness of a third party’s intellectual position?
The Right Reverend AtheiStar complains: “The brotherly Christian love you bathed [Sugar] in was spectacular and made me feel warm and fuzzy all over. I’m glad to see that you love your neighbor as you would yourself.”
In the very same email, the Right Reverend also complains that I have not responded to his little sophistry on the definition of faith. Yet, I accused Sugar of nothing except historical ignorance – which he had already demonstrated – and pointed out that his chosen examples indicated that he was more interested in haphazardly attacking Christianity than defending his godlessness. Not only did I grant him the benefit of the doubt with regards to his two best examples, but I even protected his privacy, which the Right Reverend did not bother to do. The truth is that I treated Sugar more gently than I would treat my brother or my friends were they to make a similarly shaky argument, and far more kindly then I ever expect to be treated myself.
Condescension is not love. If you want my intellectual respect, then you’d better be ready to earn it through a ruthless willingness to have your assumptions challenged, questioned and even ridiculed. Can anyone seriously argue that I am not willing to undergo the same treatment myself?