When bigotry thinks it is tolerant

berlin book burning

It’s probably time to return to the policy for this site and then come to a recent issue arising from that.

The policy here, as Chuckles stated [and I paraphrase], is that comment on any topic and from any point of view on that topic is encouraged, as long as:

1. it’s on topic;
2. it doesn’t go ad hominem;
3. it doesn’t breach copyright;
4. it doesn’t stray into libel;
5. statistically, it doesn’t swamp the other issues.

It would also help if:

5. it was intelligent and showed understanding [but that’s not de rigeur].

The aim of this blog is to debunk humbug and that which is factually wrong.   It particularly specializes in shibboleths and sacred cows and goes for the jugular on the PC narrative.

At the same time, it tries to present a range of other topics of interest, particularly if someone knows something about them, e.g. Wiggia on wines and bicycles.   The blog pursues no religious policy, has no party affiliation and is not in thrall to any group.   It attacks anyone and everyone equally.

Its more conservative or libertarian slant is because that’s what the writers write, not from any stated policy.

That’s pretty well the stated or unstated policy of most political blogs but what I’ve discovered in the past year is that there are some topics on which posts are not appreciated.   Now call me naive but I thought we were supposed to debunk untruths and humbug and support what could be argued with data?

1.  It began some time back when a couple of so-called “rationalist bloggers” said they didn’t accept facts on WTC7 or on the CFR, Tavistock and others, their all-in-one rationale being, “Aw, I don’t do conspiracy theories, do I eh?’   The idea that everyone on the planet colludes in some way and combines to pursue a common interest, the idea that one follows evidence and not preconceived and prebelieved a priori – they have no part in the outlook of a closed mind.

My one criterion is simple – is there evidence for it or is it connecting dots?  Now even if that draws me down paths which run counter to the way I set out, then I’m duty bound to present it.   Thus I began supporting man made climate change but now am not so sure – there’s too much counter-evidence.

2.  A second example of narrowmindedness began at OoL with the most extraordinary statement recently that I was trying to proselytize for my religion and lead that site down a theocratic path.   In fact, on the strength of that utter piece of guff, one person chose to depart because the points of view he was prepared to tolerate did not include that.

Let me go back to my About page and quote:

I’m a private Christian, detesting fundamentalist bigotry and anything else which brings Christianity into disrepute.  It’s not a theme at this blog but I will burst into print when rubbish is spoken or written about the Christian message, just as I would if anything else is misrepresented.

The key words there are “but I will burst into print when rubbish is spoken or written about the Christian message”.   Not only that, but if people are trying to coerce me to desist from debunking them, then I’m only going to do it even more.   Now that is a completely different thing to someone “proselytizing”.    Proselytizing is when someone comes to you and says: “Believe this.”   In other words, attempting to set your agenda for you.

Macheath, who was away during recent events, has written: “Though I don’t share your religious beliefs, I can see that etc. etc.”.   Fine by me but I sincerely hope she understands I’m not remotely interested in her subscribing to my beliefs unless she:

1. is interested enough to pursue it;
2. comes to her own conclusions.

This is not a religious site but it is political.

However, there have been some posts of late on Christmas, dating of the gospels and orthodox Christmas.   Well yes and there are three reasons:

1.  Certain people, particularly at OoL, have been talking bollox on the topic so I’ve been countering their disinformation.

2.  It annoys those who have asked me not to post on it [in other words not to debunk them] and I respond to that in the same way as feminists telling me not to write on feminism and Muslims asking me not to write on Islam.

3.  This is the season where there’s a lot of it about.  I’m well aware people are getting weary of it and today’s is the last festival until Easter.   But come Easter, there are going to be posts on it, then on All Hallow’s and then next Christmas.

Why?   Because it’s part of our nation’s heritage and I believe in our nation’s heritage.   In the same way, on Shakespeare’s birthday, I’ll put up some Shakespearean insults.   And the more someone tries to suppress it, the more I’m going to do it.   Call that immature but there it is.

There is one more reason and this is why the music at 18:00 will be two pieces by Bach:

4.  I’ve missed a lot of fine music and art in the past, precisely because I was not religious.   I always shied away from it, truth be told but now I’ve been goaded into doing the diametric opposite of what the bigots want, I’ve actually discovered some pretty amazing works and they deserve to be posted, if only to help keep this rich heritage from fading into oblivion.

In a similar way, Dearieme is currently presenting music of a bygone era. I, for one, am glad he is.

5 comments for “When bigotry thinks it is tolerant

  1. January 7, 2013 at 16:28

    Me as well.

  2. January 7, 2013 at 17:24

    I clearly missed something here; far from accusing you of proselytizing, I only wanted to establish the perspective from which I was (with a certain presumption) commenting on the emotional impact of a Christian festival.

    Any belief I may ever had in a deity ended by my teens, but I had a Catholic education that equipped me to study and appreciate European art, music and literature, something for which I am profoundly grateful, given the nature of the cultural heritage you describe.

    (Sincere apologies for unwittingly opening the worm-can – if I do it again, please feel free to delete.)

  3. January 7, 2013 at 18:15

    Macheath – it’s not you at all, it’s the reverse. I’d hate for you to think I was trying that on. You didn’t open anything and even if you did, so what?

    No, it was a reference to other things but it flitted through the mind, that was all and I thought I’d best clarify for readers.

  4. January 7, 2013 at 18:56

    I think these debates are healthy. One of our biggest national problems is not so much the lying, but debate avoidance by promoting one and only one narrative.

  5. January 8, 2013 at 00:37

    I’ve missed a lot of fine music and art in the past, precisely because I was not religious

    It is pleasing (to me) to hear you are not Religious and it makes me smile that you are now beginning to appreciate the fine arts 🙂

    Some of those fine arts deserve to be explored more. There is so much more to them than is seen from an initial glance.

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