Mailvox: boys don’t cry

CB wonders about the behavior of my critics:

I have been reading your columns and blogs for years. It is encouraging for me to read someone who has a Christian faith, but possesses the intellect to formidably debate all comers…. Which brings me to “Your idiot enemies”…. The critics of your blog are the real subject of this email. Whenever I read of someone talking about what you have said, all I see is “Women hater”,”Nazi sympathizer”, as well as countless other broad, stupid statements. It has been an education to me how all forms of media have taken little quotes from your writing, totally out of context because I have read those articles, and used them to form some cartoonish, nutcase, evil version of who you are. Incredible.

They have either not read what you write, or choose not to intellectually challenge your thought. I guess it is the typical “shout them down” strategy. It is typical of most of the blogs I read because I never have found a good challenge to what you write. It is always some personal attack on you or members of your family. Why are these people such intellectual wimps? Can’t they come up with anything good? This must be some form of what Christian persecution must be like. First, they have to demonize you, then discredit you. They must know most people have very emotional, knee-jerk reaction to things and thus, will not give something a two-side, deep analysis. Some people cannot handle the truth, period.

Although there are many similarities between their behaviors, it’s important to understand that there are two very different kinds of critics. Most of them who behave in this manner simply don’t have the intellectual ability to even comprehend what I’ve written, much less the capacity to construct a relevant critique of it. They resort to name-calling because they simply don’t have any other way of expressing their distaste for my opinion; this doesn’t bother me any more than a dog growling at me offends me. It is merely their inarticulate way of saying that they don’t wish to have their beliefs challenged and they really wish I would stop.

The second type of critic is far more contemptible, because he understands precisely what I am saying but intentionally chooses to misrepresent it in order to attack it. (I was recently accused of doing just this in the recent past, but I should shortly be able to offer definitive proof, direct from the source, that I was doing no such thing.) Michael Medved is only the most notorious of this sort of critic, who isn’t ashamed to misrepresent, dissemble and outright lie in order to attack what they know perfectly well to be a substantive and well-reasoned argument.

They do so, for the most part, because after reading what I have written, they know they are in over their heads and that they are otherwise incapable of even attempting to refute my arguments with any reasonable expectation of success. You’ll note that when a critic is more confident of his position, like Scott Hatfield in his defense of the theory of evolution, he feels no need to engage in such baseless calumny.

There’s nothing wrong with the occasional cheap shot, done right it can be an enjoyable art form. But if that’s all you’ve got, well, then you’ve got nothing.