in Vive la résistance!

A Response to Craig Carter

[Craig Carter wrote a response to the recent events at Tyndale that ended up resulting in the apparent cancellation of a fund-raiser involving George W. Bush.  It’s pretty much on par with every other post on his blog (check it out and draw your own conclusions about that).  In the past, I have found Craig to be impossible to engage in dialogue because of his refusal to engage with the substance of what people say and his preference for simply repeating what was already said or writing in response to something that was not said.  However, I decided to write a comment in reply to him and thought I would cross-post it here, in case he decided to delete what I said.  I did not include links to our website on his post because he said that he did not want to link to our site but I have added them here.]
For the sake of others who read this post, it may be worth correcting a few of the more blatant errors in Craig’s post.
(1) You state that we hate “George Bush because he is not a socialist. That is the fundamental reason they attack him.” First, of all, I don’t “hate” Bush, nor do I know others involved in this campaign who “hate” him (more on that later). Secondly, this is an absurd statement. I am not a socialist, nor do I know anybody else involved in this process who is. Why, then, would we want Bush to be a socialist?
In actuality, the reasons why we oppose Bush are very clearly stated on our website (cf. the post on the practices of Bush vs. the values of Tyndale). You ignore this altogether.
(2) Nobody on our website has said anything to praise Obama. In fact, in a note in one of my posts, I suggest that he is just as bad or worse than Bush. However, Obama is not discussed because he was not the one invited to speak. Had he been, I would have opposed him coming just as strongly (would you still be talking about “the noble Western tradition of free speech and open debate” if that were the case?)
(3) There has been no forgetting that Bush is a human being and a human being who should be loved. However, as I address in my post about love, this does not mean we refuse to hold Bush accountable. Instead of just trotting out lines that contradict the evidence on our website, you could try writing a substantial refutation of my argument about why what we are doing is a way of loving Bush. As my post makes clear, I am very NOT turning Bush into “the devil incarnate.”
Ya know, Craig, you say “let’s have a debate” but I posted more than one substantial post (take the one on Bush’s practices vs. Tyndale’s values or the one on love within the context of oppression) and you are pretending they don’t exist.
(4) As for your remarks about Bush’s assistance in relation to AIDS in Africa, well, you may want to balance the picture:
Refusing to provide funding for condoms or those who distributed condoms actually made the crisis worse.
(5) You write that “[y]ou can believe the president of Tyndale did not handle this well but we all should remember that we lack knowledge that might put his actions in a different light” but it is worth remembering that the only reason why we lack this knowledge is because the President, or any other official representative or authority, have steadfastly refused to respond to any queries or questions about this matter (as you state earlier in your post).
Anyway, Craig, you’re been around the academy for awhile. If you want to debate (as you say you do) then engage the substance of what was written. Don’t just make things up or pretend nothing was said. That other faculty members, Masson and Davis — folks who also should be able to engage things in an academic manner — have affirmed this post makes me wonder what in the world passes as academic endeavours at Tyndale these days.

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  1. Hey DanO, great post and l agree with those that praise your perseverance and patient wisdom (alas, I have little confidence that such reasonable discourse will have much affect on folks like Carter). I have asserted elsewhere the notion that people rarely change their life based on ‘facts’ or the rationality of propositions (the exception being the latter Wittgenstein denouncing the earlier for example, though some few are always likely to embrace even the most unreasonable, even fanciful ideas, like the sermon on the mount!). God bless you for your enthusiasm DanO. When my older brother left the military after Vietnam, unlike many vets who returned and became super patriots, he became quite the agnostic, leftist radical, and in a recent discussion over the republican debates he said something like: ‘it’s pointless talking to these people anymore you just have to beat them down again and again…or just kill them!–(sort of half jokingly?). I pathetically mumbled something about Jesus, and cheek turning and enemy loving, and he sort of just patted me on the head like I was his naive and imbecilic kid brother and that I shouldn’t worry cause when “the shit comes down” he and his kind will make a safe place for all of the childish, utopian, pussies like me (you know, kinda like how Carter writes about folks he disagrees with). Now my big brother is a great guy, smart, kind, generous, he’s just had it with all the right-wing bullshit, especially from the God talkers. When I popped over from your blog and started reading Carter’s blog the first post I looked at was the one on all the marvels and wonders of capitalism and since I know your a Cormac McCarthy fan, you know that part in “No Country for Old Men,” where Carla Jean says to Chigurh, “I knowed you was crazy the minute I seen you sittin there?” well, that’s how I felt about Carter after reading 3 mins of his blog (LOL, just kidding, I mean were Catholic brothers for Christ’s sake and I’m as much capable of self-delusion as he is, I just ain’t as good at articulating it!). Take this line for example: “Capitalism implicitly recognizes the truth of two major Christian doctrines….” Over and again he personifies capitalism as if it was like just another form of the Holy Spirit, like a ‘dove,’ or a ‘ghost,’ it’s really creepy. These mergers of Falangist Catholicism with the super nationalistic evangelicalism of Bush/Perry/Bachman (or their Canadian equivalents) is a harbinger of bad times a-coming brother and I don’t think a rainforest of folded peace cranes is gunna get er done (the Kingdom of God that is). Guys like Carter function for the mannequins of corporate, commodity, capitalism like Konstantin Pobedonostev did for monarchy and Tsar Nicholas, providing religious ideology and tutoring for all the little Tsaristas coming up and articulating talking points for Fox ‘News.‘ Pobedonostev wrote poetically about the ‘mystical union between the Tsar, as God’s chosen vessel’ (though not with the same orgasmic ecstasy as Carter does when he is swooning over “free enterprise”). Not since Andrew Jackson delivered his famous victory speech in praise of peace, after winning the war of 1812, while standing on a mountain of Native American corpses, have I read something so oblivious to counter-factual perspectives. One wonders WTF took Jesus so long about getting around to the ‘really really good news?‘ of late modern capitalism? So where does that leave me (and maybe you DanO?) when ‘the shit comes down?’ (as if it ain’t already raining turds on most folks on the planet already!), well they had a name for all those middle countries (like Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, etc.) caught between Soviet Russia and Germany in WWII, they were called “The Bloodlands.” That’s where most of the killing, the dying and the suffering happened, including those few cheek-turning pussies Stalin hadn’t already starved to death or Hitler hadn’t shot. Of course there were some other survival options, take Franco for example (or Tito for the commies). Sort of a Murderous Catholic, dictator “lite!” If we’re lucky here in the USA maybe Bachman or Santorum will turn out like one of those, rather than like the more overtly death-dealing Rick Perry and his minions of death-penalty cheer-squad, God-talkers (do they just cheer ‘capital punishment’ because it has the word ‘capital‘ in it?). Well, I have no idea what to do about all this, I’m glad you all kept Bush out of Canada though, his practice of ignorance and depraved indifference murder would have awed Pope Pius XII. Do whatever seems best, I trust you, pray God will forgive me for my complicity, hypocrisy, and gluttony, and that the blessed Virgin will pray with you, blessings and obliged, Daniel.

  2. …and hey, I am taking a hell of a beating over there @ Carter’s blog for you (until he removes my post). Well, really it’s my own fault for ranting and scatting and cussing without good grammer and bad punkchiashun and all, still, it’s the last time i am following your sorry a#% over to another blog. I don’t really mind being called your ‘crazy, deranged, foot kissing sycophant’ so much as their assumption that I don’t know what a paragraph is! obliged.

    • Dan!
      As always, your writing is the best thing going these days… and I would say that even if you were writing against me (although if that was the case, I may be too busy repenting in dust and ashes to let you know… best to let you know in advance as that could very well happen at some point down the road).
      Thanks for all you do. Wish I had been able to see you before I left. Maybe you can make it to Vancouver next summer while I’m there teaching. That would be delightful. I promise that I will only take you out with non-Christians. You will find them to be wonderful, breathtaking, and full of the Spirit of the God of life (something I’m sure you already know, but this particular crew is something else, let me tell you).

  3. Hey DanO definitely next year, unless you want to pop down to Manhattan in January or Feb., I may be there visiting friends and then the Catholic Worker. Either that or Alabama, Mississippi, and Fla. panhandle (the ‘Christ soaked south’). Although I was just funnin with the folks over at Tyndale (no point in any other kind of exchange) I think my last post over there is making some headway!? And I ain’t so sure that a “gospel repentance tour” down to Texas and then to the whitehouse is really such a bad idea when you think about, i think some folks might pay attention! You could stop at all the little towns on the way down and preach and have a web site etc., think about it. In the meantime remember ‘true believers battle over the slightest shade of doctrine, the doubter battles only with himself.’ I pray all is well, obliged.

  4. Dan, A late observation no doubt. What has been absent as far as I can tell from the debate surrounding the Bush speaking event at Tyndale was a reckoning with what the Iraq war has done to Christians in the middle east. Especially — but not limited too — those in Iraq. Over 1,000 Christians have died in Iraq since 2003 and a majority of the rest of the population has migrated elsewhere. Peace. Tyler