Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Top Ten List of All-Time Favorite Insults Kindly Directed Towards Yours Truly

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I want you and your adherents to know that I am not . . . so faint-hearted as to be disturbed by your insults.
But the fact that you are so disparaging, derogatory, and utterly contemptuous towards my Discussion argues that it is not as contemptible as you make out. If it did not bear down on you, your pen would not have produced such outrageous insults to its author.

[Y]ou are so impudent in your insults . . . so unrestrained in your abuse when you are hemmed in by arguments, that no one, even if he bent over backwards to be fair to you, could find any excuses for your spirit.

(Erasmus responding to Martin Luther, Hyperaspistes [1526], pp. 103, 140 in Vol. 76 in Collected Works [1999] )
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.

--- Matthew 5:11-12 (RSV)
Man, this was tough to narrow down to a mere ten, but I thought I'd have some fun with it. I haven't posted much lighthearted material on the blog lately, and I think this is gut-bustingly hilarious stuff. At bottom, however, it is very serious, since it is sin (see my final remarks).

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10. How is Dave any different from a storefront preacher or a backwoods preacher who “received the call"? Dave set up shop and hung out a shingle.

--- Steve Hays [anti-Catholic Calvinist] (1-15-08; in the comments section)

This is pretty mild stuff, compared with the others, but I like the folksy style and Steve's way with words, and wanted to preserve it.

9. This man is on drugs. Either that, or he's possessed. It's unbelievable that there are "Catholics" defending apostasy and scandal. Does he have any articles defending the child molesting homosexual priests as well?

--- "Traditio" [radtrad Catholic] (7-17-08; comment #2)

I'm very proud of this, especially since Jesus was accused of being demon-possessed, too.

You're a joke. I'm surprised you have an audience. You're also a psychologist, eh? Wow! . . . Again, you're a joke. To think you could pompously proclaim you are better than me is beyond me when you don't know me. It's a defensive mechanism you have with people like me. It's called respecting people as people, and Dave's Christianity does not do that with people who don't agree with him. I'm just tired of pompous asses on the internet who go around claiming they are superior to me in terms of intelligence and faith. Such arrogance makes me vomit. . . . self-assured arrogant idiots out there, like Dave, who prefer to proclaim off of my personal experience that they are better than I.

--- John Loftus [atheist] (10-16-06)

John was rather displeased because I critiqued his "deconversion" story and showed, I think, that his reasons for rejecting Christianity were woefully inadequate and at places downright silly or ignorant.

7. Hi Dave! Seems I'm not the only one who thinks you're a cry-baby who is unable to rightly handle historical primary sources. . . . anyone about to stick a needle in the balloon which is Armstrong's alleged arguments deserves support and kudos.

--- Frank "Centuri0n" Turk [anti-Catholic Baptist] (1-11-04; posted on a comrade's blog; no longer online)

Frank has always been very kind: a sterling example of how a charitable Christian ought to talk.

6. Dave Armstrong is part of that narrow, clustered source of a body of anti-traditional Catholic thought . . . I feel safe enough saying that I think they have a hand in the destruction of the Faith . . . in general terms, I believe that they do immense damage to the Church. I'm not buying Armstrong's declining to enter this lowly forum to debate the traditional Catholic vs. neo-Catholic topics. When one boasts clarity of Catholic knowledge in public circles and then declines to follow through in the particular application of it, as in this forum, it runs counter to their stated claim to fame . . . I do not believe he has the truth on his side.

--- "Emerald" [Catholic "radtrad"] (10-19-03)

I wouldn't be worth my salt as an apologist if some "more Catholic than thou" hypocrite didn't accuse me of destroying the faith!

5. What's my "lack of charity" got to do with DA's lack of honesty? Nothing. . . . that's just what DA does best--he deceives, and he usually accomplishes that by focusing on half-truths (that's the "strategy of deceit" that marks the heretic).

--- Dr. Eric Svendsen [anti-Catholic Protestant]

This is nothing for Eric, who has been known on several occasions to declare that some unfortunate is definitely damned to the fires of hell. But I suppose that if he thinks I am a heretic, I am already consigned to the reprobate in his fertile discerning mind.

4. In short, this isn't real theology. This is just some hack on the Intarweb engaging in silly little ad hoc arguments. And what I mean by all that is that this isn't worth responding to. This is just rhetorical grandstanding, not serious textual analysis. Why should I splash around in every theological kiddie pool on the Internet just because someone dared me to prove I'm not afraid of drowning? Wading in ankle-deep water is not the way to prove your swimming ability.

--- Josh Strodtbeck [quasi-anti-Catholic Lutheran] (8-30-07)

Josh is probably the most colorful slanderer I have encountered: as stylish as Steve Hays but with far more passion and venom. What a pity his talent with a striking phrase isn't put to better use . . .

3. . . . you are a chronic liar . . . shoddy, incompetent,and anachronistic exegetical work. . . . Titus 3 says to reject the factious man. You are the epitome of that man. . . . Further, this isn't about the truth for you Dave, however defined, it's about stroking your own overbloated ego. . . . a person of such obviously low character . . .

--- Gene M. Bridges [anti-Catholic Protestant] (10-25-07)

I'm surprised (and a bit disappointed) that Gene didn't consign me to hell, or at least to the insane asylum . . .

2. DA lacks the ability to engage the text of the Scriptures in a meaningful fashion, and 2) DA will use anything to attack the truth. . . . As to the first, I simply direct anyone to the "exegesis" presented in A Biblical Defense of Catholicism, his 2001 publication. The book is a monument to how to ignore context, avoid grammar, shred syntax, and insert the traditions of Rome willy-nilly into any passage you cite. . . . DA thinks himself a modern Socrates, yet, his writing takes wild leaps from topic to topic, inserts endless (and often gratuitous) irrelevant material that serves only to cover the shallow nature of what is being said, and in the end requires one to possess the skill of nailing jello to a wall to be able to respond to it for its utter lack of substance.

--- The Right Reverend Bishop James White [anti-Catholic Reformed Baptist Apologist, Elder, with a supposed PhD, etc., etc.] (3-28-04)

Ah, what can one say about the masterful Bishop White? He has wasted more ink in lying about me since our first postal debate in 1995, than any man alive. None of it has had the slightest effect, anymore than it had the slightest truth contained in it (not that this would ever stop him from doing it).

1. Obviously those who have more of an interest in personality clashes and public pissing matches cannot stand this approach; ergo the spectacle Dave sought to create last year on a matter he was (and is) profoundly ignorant and not equipped to discuss correctly. And though I have already dealt with this; the recent public attempts to "airbrush" the record of what happened requires that I set the record straight once and for all.

. . . your claim to want to dialogue was a sham exactly as I said it was. You should have had the decency to have admitted to it publicly rather than try to pretend that you wanted to dialogue. Furthermore, if you never intended to interact with my arguments, then you have NO BASIS WHATSOEVER for crying about how soundly I bitchslapped your crap down publicly after 8/28.

. . . he had no interest in an actual dialogue but instead wanted to turn what was a private discussion on a very theologically complex subject matter into a public spectacle complete with Jerry Springer-esque antics and Michael Moore-like uses of photography for propagandistic purposes.

. . . Dave proved if there was any doubt on the matter about his honesty on these matters that he either had none or that he was sloppy and not bothering to read and consider the arguments debunking his sources. . . .

Dave, you may be able to fool those who hang on your every word as if it came from Mt. Sinai on stone tablets, but people capable of critical discernment and who have even an elementary understanding of how to construct a valid argument will recognize your approach here for what it is worth.

In light of the absolute outhouse compost that he threw together, Dave has a lot of gall referring to "skewed factual data" or "mere aversion." He has acted as disgracefully as Benedict Arnold in this whole situation and my tolerance for his blatant misrepresentation of my position on this was used up long ago. I was content to let the issue die but with his latest attempt at grandstanding and public sensationalism (and once again violating the private discussion forum to resurrect this subject publicly), I decided enough was enough.

. . . every assertion Dave makes above is a bald faced lie.

And Dave should be ashamed of himself for attempting to pass off such a heap of dung as he has as some kind of “serious scholarship” when in fact, I wrote better and more convincing papers than this offering in junior high school back in the day.

It is frankly embarrassing to see a person with Dave’s gifts act in this fashion but I am not surprised to see it really. That is what happens with those who have either a provincialist approach to issues or an apologetic "must-debate-anything-however-ignorant-I-am-about-the-subject-to-be-discussed"mentality coupled with a predictable and "one-size-fits-all" approach to these matters. And in Dave's case, it is pretty evident that he has all three of those problems in spades along with perhaps a few others I am not about to go into at the present time.

Now that is fine when you do not have all the facts but I provided them and Dave (if he had any scholastic integrity whatsoever) would recognize this and account for it accordingly.

--- Shawn McElhinney [Catholic with unfortunate remnants of irrational "can't see the forest for the trees" modes of thought from his SSPX days] (1-23-06)

This incredibly hostile display of worthless flatulence (and this is only a twentienth of all of it: if that much) all came about as a result of my taking the position that the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were immoral according to Catholic just war ethics. Shawn didn't like the way I argued. That is his explanation for it. He also contends that ad hominem attacks are justifiable as long as one makes real arguments about the subject matter alongside them; quite curious and dubious ethics, to say the least . . .

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Please pray for all these men, as I do (and am commanded to do in Scripture).
I can only pity persons who have to lie like this about a brother in Christ: even a fellow Catholic, in several cases.
I had fun with this (as Erasmus did with Luther's endless insults; what else can one do with this sort of rotgut?), but at bottom it is a wicked thing and a very serious spiritual problem: to bear false witness against a fellow Christian (or, fellow human being, in the case of the atheists and agnostics). May we all be prevented by the Holy Spirit from ever entering this despicable territory. Thus I end what was originally a humorous post -- poking fun at the stupidity and sheer ludicrosity of such insults -- on a very serious note indeed. Sins may be funny and laughable in their folly and silliness, but they are not at all in their effects on the soul of the person who is committing them and failing to repent.


John McNichol said...

I was zonering for a while why so many of the established apologists like Karl Keating were talking so much about rad-trads. Now, I think I see: I've found myself beaten up a lot more by fellow Catholics than by protestants as of late....

Dave Armstrong said...

What I meant by "radtrad" in 2009 when this was written, I now call "radical Catholic reactionary" and make a strong, stark distinction between that and mainstream "traditionalists" to whom I am close in many ways. See: