By Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong (1-26-12)
The following sustained rant constitutes Bob's "answer" to the second paper (his pathetic attempt at reductio ad absurdum was his "answer" to the first); conveyed through his surrogate James Phillips in a combox on my blog for the second paper, in four installments. I have selected (for the convenience of readers) the more entertaining and revealing highlights. All of the words below are Bob's except for interjections of mine (blue and bracketed) and one quotation of my words from Bob (in green).
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. . . Well, as I feared, Dave’s ego got the better of him . . .
Dave, first of all, you don’t engage in “public criticism.” You engage in slander, name-calling and bullying. You haven’t engaged in constructive criticism since you began your website. Your website is all about Dave Armstrong and how great you think you are. Anyone who challenges that puffed up notion gets your wrath. We all see it, Dave. It’s about time you admitted it.
Perhaps we should call you a Washington Warmonger, just like the rest of the US Neo-Cons. You like US imperialism that spends trillions of our tax-payer dollars and kills innocent civilians all for purpose of spreading Masonic “democracy.”
As for “not taking kindly to criticism,” don’t make me laugh. You’re the king of that category. Go read your own website.
All of us who read the books and actually do the research into 9-11 and other such issues are just not good patriots, right?
Dave, your hypocrisy reeks. I advertise one secular DVD in the 19 years I’ve had a website, but you have a whole website droning on and on about your teenage years and showing your devotion to the scum bags like Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Doors, Cream, The Rolling Stones,
[this shows once again that Bob's goofy failed attempt at humor, in critiquing my articles about music (I've been a devoted musician and music collector for 45 years and play about ten instruments) had a dead-serious intent. He despises this; yet, as I argued in my second paper, he has no rationally consistent case against me, unless he listens to no music at all: rock or classical. It remains self-evident that art is not intrinsically a saintly exercise. But it could never do for Bob to actually offer us a rational reply to the solid counter-arguments I made. No, instead we get these sorts of insipid, vacuous insults. It's vastly different to say, on the one hand, that you advocate and promote (right on top of your website!) a film by an anti-Christian Gnostic wingnut, as offering profound truth, and on the other, to simply acknowledge that good music is good, wholly apart from the morals of the ones who created it. With art, the bottom line is not truth, but rather aesthetic beauty, which is almost purely subjective and a matter of taste. Long discussion, but there is no analogy whatever here, and Bob foolishly thought that there was . . .]
. . . and yet you have the nerve to call me a “kooky conspiratorial theorist”!
[I searched the two papers and their comboxes and never found any such description of Bob (quotation marks normally suggest a direct citation). I have called the fake moon landing views and suchlike "kooky" -- along with various nutty views of Weidler (several times), but not Bob himself. It's a very important distinction that I always try very hard to observe: along the lines of "separate the sin from the sinner"; likewise, we shouldn't equate kooky ideas with the one who espouses them. I grant, though, that sometimes it is a very fine line . . .]
You are all emotion and prejudice.
And don't let Bob pretend that he doesn't severely criticize others in the apologetics world. He has savaged Karl Keating, Scott Hahn, Mark Shea, Jimmy Akin, myself, and others (not even to mention Blessed Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI). And it is far worse than anything I have ever done.
No, Dave. The only one out of that group that I would consider “savaging” is you, because you are proving yourself to be such a putz. They neither bore us to tears with their past life, nor gossip like an old lady about inane issues, nor do they have a giant ego, like you do. I respect them, although we may disagree from time to time.
[This is simply untrue. Bob has gone after Karl Keating in particular, implying that Catholic answers was a fundamentally compromised, money-grubbing institution in a past paper. I can also remember very pointed attacks on Mark Shea. The problem is that Bob routinely deletes past outrageous statements, so as to eliminate a paper trail of his absurd and calumnious remarks about others. At one time I had documented what he wrote about Keating, but removed it as a charitable act (not to hide anything, as Bob does). I can find it if I have to, in Internet Archive. I have a very good memory, and I remember this distinctly. I don't make reference to imaginary meetings or quotations or posts, like Bob does.
How fascinating, e.g., to look at what Bob wrote in his "Q&A January 2005: Question 3 - Response to Dave Armstrong on Catholic Apologetics" [now safely deleted, of course, but I retrieved it at Internet Archive] Remember that Bob said above: "You engage in slander, name-calling and bullying. You haven’t engaged in constructive criticism since you began your website." Right. In January 2005 he was saying something quite different about me, over against Mark Shea: whom he is now denying ever having savaged:
First of all, Dave, I didn't include you in the quote about the "darker side," because to my knowledge you haven't posted anything which makes slanderous accusations against geocentrists, least of all anything that makes someone who holds the view look like a derelict who walks around with an aluminum hat. Conversely, Mirus, Shea and a few other have done so to varying degrees, and Shea with his usual sardonic venom. The fact is that most of these "critics" haven't studied the issue, and won't even open up their mind to discuss it, yet elicit their pompous remarks as if an angel from heaven just came down and whispered the truth in their ear. When I see this kind of calculated, slanderous and deliberate obstinance, then I can only assume it is not of angels but of devils. If you want to believe there is some in-between realm of influence, that is your prerogative, but I tend not to. On the other hand, Hoge has been a gentlemen, and I respect him for it. . . . As for Scott Hahn, although I have critiqued him (as many other people have done), our QA board shows that I place him far above people like Mark Shea and Shawn McElhinney. [bolding added presently]
So we see that seven years ago, Mark Shea was on the "darker side" and I was commended for not having posted "slanderous accusations against geocentrists." We have it right from Bob. Now he revises history and completely reverses it: I supposedly have done nothing but slander and puff up myself since I began my website (February 1997), and I am a "kook" and other choice descriptions, while he "respects" Mark Shea. Ironically, Mark Shea put up a post just yesterday (1-26-12), linking to my first one about Bob's views, describing him in a far worse fashion than I ever have: "Bob Sungenis’ complete transformation into an anti-semitic conspiracy theorist kook". How ironic that Bob seems to think I called him this ("kooky conspiratorialist") and uses false quotation marks, but I didn't; Mark Shea: the one he tried to distinguish against me, as respectable, did (yesterday).
Bob has trashed Blessed Pope John Paul II (one / two) and Pope Benedict XVI (one / two) and both together. Fortunately, I documented all that in five papers (from his materials written in May 2011: a particularly vitriolic period, probably because of John Paul the Great's beatification on May 1), because I checked the links to Bob's hit-pieces and in every case they were removed. His opinion hasn't changed; he's simply covering his tracks. Hence he is currently hosting a guest article / hit-piece on the Holy Father (from 11 November 2011) that consistently calls him "Joseph Ratzinger" and opines: "Ratzinger, now pope, as a type of Manchurian Candidate, is a symbol of America’s occupation of the Catholic Church."]
But you’re such a company man, Dave, a real patriot. You’ll find a way to excuse all of these doctrinal anomalies and make everyone believe that you’re a good Catholic apologist in the process; and that people like me who point out these errors are just “kooky conspiratorialists.” The reality is, you’re the kook, and you’re in a conspiracy of your own making.
[This is now the second time Bob used a fake quotation in these rants (the two slightly different), as if I used a description of him that I never used. I guess that is a companion to his two other bogus quotations of my alleged words, that I documented in my second paper above (both written by others). It ain't there, folks! In fact, I did a search on my blog and neither phrase ever appears, anywhere in my writing: not even once. But you see now, that he has just called me, straight out, a "kook" and even alludes (irony of ironies) that I am a conspiratorialist. Thus he falsely accuses me of the thing that he hypocritically proceeds to do himself.]
You pride yourself on being able to discern the most minute and esoteric theological subjects (God’s omniscience); difficult political and engineering issues (9-11) and complex science issues (cosmology) . . .
You’re not really in it for the truth. You just want to be one of the boys in the club. You won’t allow anyone to burst that Catholic “everything is rosy” bubble you’ve created around your head. The truth will set you free, Dave. Try it sometime.
Stop your gossiping and start actually doing the research into the things that you think you already know.
David Armstrong, listen up. Cut the crap about the promotion of Gnosticism. Weidner's DVD was promoted for one reason and one reason only -- to bring ostriches like you out of the ground to wake up to what your country is doing to you, not to promote Gnosticism. Your attempt to smear Kubrick's DVD by digging up dirt on Weidner is typical of your demagoguery and character assassination style of argument. You should be so wary of undesirables in your choice of which music to listen to and promote on your website. Led Zeppelin comes right out of the pit of hell yet you promote them as if they were choir music. Your double-standard reeks of hypocrisy.
[Like I said, obviously I "hit a nerve" -- this sort of drama queen histrionics and filthy, slimy mud thrown my way is strong proof of that . . . Unfortunately, it's all part of the game of apologetics. It doesn't bother me personally at all. Good heavens, no (yawn . . .zzzzz)! But what does bother me a great deal are error and tomfoolery and conspiracy theories passing themselves off as legitimate Catholic apologetics (or rational analysis). It gives the Church and Catholic theology and the apologetic enterprise a bad name, and I am duty-bound to speak out against it. You see what (predictably) happened when I did that. Please pray and do penance for Bob.]