Moral Contradictions

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Dr. Dobson - "fine"

Let's just say I'll be tuning to C-Span when Sen. Arlen Specter and Sen. Chuck Schumer get their wish and have Dr. James Dobson testify during the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on Harriet Miers.

What will he say? How will he respond in a hostile forum versus his own show's friendly faces? How will America respond? How will Christians respond? Will you be able to tell he's a Christian by his actions? Or will you get a profound sense of arrogance? We shall see.

I'm of the belief that significant history is in the making - I feel the best role is to watch, soak it in, interject my personal comments here on this blog, and observe our country becoming more divided over the definition of America.


  • Did you notice that Dobson came out and said what was revealed to him by Rove that Salazar made such a big deal about? It was nothing -- simply facts regarding her church affiliation, which were revealed before he told about his conversation with Rove.

    By Blogger D.R., at Wednesday, October 12, 2005 4:28:00 PM  

  • I actually believe it was Dobson who made the big deal of it by arrogantly stating "I'm privileged and you're not"... I along with many are wholly underwhelmed by his 'revelation' that the information was her church affiliation... how does that jive with "Some of what I know I am not at liberty to talk about."

    Sounds like damage control... I didn't realize church affiliations were that big a secret.

    By Blogger Nathan, at Wednesday, October 12, 2005 9:41:00 PM  

  • 1. I think you are reading arrogance into the statement. He didn't call a press conference -- he was questioned by the NYT. I didn't see anything arrogant in what he said.
    2. While I realize that his revelation about what was said was like a firecracker at a fireworks show, there is no reason to question his integrity because of it. The fact that he didnt want to be the one to expose her past to the press is actually a good thing -- especially since it was revealed to him in a closed-door meeting. To me it shows integrity not to blab everything someone tells you to the media.

    By Blogger D.R., at Thursday, October 13, 2005 8:02:00 AM  

  • D.R. - For what's it worth, why not keep your mouth shut entirely, instead of saying something to the effect of "I know something you don't know"? Whether he meant to be arrogant or not, it inherently came out that way. As Christians I feel we have to watch ourselves, not only in what we say but how we're perceived. I feel that I'm justified in perceiving that statement as arrogant - just as others who read my blog have their own perceptions about me... they may not be correct, but I didn't do anything to dissuade them.

    By Blogger Nathan, at Thursday, October 13, 2005 11:53:00 AM  

  • "For what's it worth, why not keep your mouth shut entirely, instead of saying something to the effect of "I know something you don't know"?"

    He's a lobbyist, and that is what he does -- he lobbyies for votes, even those in the court of public opinion. Thus, part of his job is to know things that we don't. I just don't see how that is arrogant to state the obvious. Literally thousands of lobbying firms would advise their employees to say the same kinds of things.

    And that is fine that you view it like that, but I heartily disagree with your assertion and I think you should reconsider your opinion -- isn't that why we dialogue -- to present our views in a convincing fashion. If we don't "dissuade" one another from taking a position or "persuade" one another to take an alternate one, it wouldn't be much of a dialogue and we wouldn't make each other think very hard, would we?

    By Blogger D.R., at Thursday, October 13, 2005 6:24:00 PM  

  • I respectfully disagree with you, D.R.

    By Blogger Nathan, at Thursday, October 13, 2005 6:47:00 PM  

  • On what point?

    By Blogger D.R., at Thursday, October 13, 2005 7:31:00 PM  

  • D.R.,

    Why should Nathan reconsider his opinion? Seems to me all you want to do is try and convince people you are right and they are wrong. You won't see many conversions with those tactics.

    By Blogger Marty, at Thursday, October 13, 2005 7:51:00 PM  

  • No, I have no dog in this fight. I could care less about Dobson, but uncritical thinking based on speculation and ad hominem I do have a hard time with. And sometimes it seems Nathan is just regurgitating what is being said by Bruce Prescott and taking what Prescott says at face value without reevaluating it (and vice versa). In this case, I believe that everything being said is speculation -- not based on facts or on insightful knowledge. When you speculate your opinion should be held lightly and is subject to criticism. That includes my opinions as well. If you notice my blog, I debate my views vigorously -- I am not scared of being challenged. If I didn't allow criticism and just gave it, then I would be a hypocrite, but I accept all challenges -- that is an openness that does bring about conversion (see the Church Fathers).

    I honestly don't believe people think creatively or deeply anymore. I am not necessarily suggesting that is the case with Nathan, but I push an opinion and I argue it (here as elsewhere). If it is wrong, it won't hold up to scrutiny -- if it is right, then it will. I am simply pushing others like Nathan to do the same. The interaction is necessary to know whether the view is tenable or not. Otherwise we float in a sea of our own self-delusions. I don't want to see that happen to myself or others.

    Finally, critical debate used to be seen as a sign of respect and of appreciation, as well as a welcomed form of interaction as a means of growing greater knowledge. Today, it is seen as threatening, arrogant, and condescending. It is no wonder that our education system is in such disarray and our country is divided along predictable philosophical lines.

    By Blogger D.R., at Thursday, October 13, 2005 9:21:00 PM  

  • "I honestly don't believe people think creatively or deeply anymore."

    I agree with you D.R. That's the reason I like the internet. But when you act like you know it all, and seem to be trying to prove everyone wrong and show your smarts off....well, quite frankly it puts a wall up. I've lived long enough to be proven wrong so many times I've lost count. I have to admit D. R. that like you, even though you frustrate me. I just wish you could see how pompous you sometimes seem. That's all.

    By Blogger Marty, at Thursday, October 13, 2005 10:21:00 PM  

  • D.R., if you have no dog in this fight, then you simply come across as arguing just for the sake of arguing. However, you even say that you are trying to push me into thinking creatively, but it comes across too aggressively because the overriding theme seems to be "I'm right, you're not, and I want you to see that". Hence my sweeping "agree to disagree" comment b/c I'm done. My patience has worn out for trivial debate.

    Critical debate over larger issues is welcome, but A. we're not going to change the world here, B. there's a point where one just needs to give it up, especially since you're arguing minor points that are just that: minor. Thus, my last comment - I gave it up. You're determined to win, and every sentence I write produces a paragraph about how I'm wrong, so I have no chance.

    I appreciate your sentiments in your last paragraph, but I think you're execution of debate is flawed, at best... one of the early lessons I've learned in my years of text conversation is inflection and emotion are easily lost. That being said, you simply come across as rude and superficially argumentative. I know that's not what you intend, and I know you'll even want to debate me on that point, but that's how it is - to me. That's how I see it. Accept it, move on, write about it in your blog, but at the end of the day, the method of your debate has created more negative impressions instead of positive conversation.

    I've read a lot of your comments over the past few months at a couple of blogs - there's a respectful way to debate, and one that isn't so. I was hoping you could aspire to the higher standard when you started reading my blog, yet I've only observed the latter. Your form of critical debate is seen as "threatening, arrogant, and condescending". Some people don't appreciate a patronizing form of debate to awake them from their "self-delusions". Have you stopped to think that maybe those so-called delusions may be backed by facts that you either aren't privy to, don't accept, or don't understand, instead of being opinions you happen to disagree with?

    They don't see your style of debate as appreciation or constructive interaction. There's an inherent lack of respect, a patronizing tone, and an arrogance in your belief that I and others are wrong. Constructive and informative debate only occurs when both sides are willing to listen and consider each other's opinions. I've been willing to listen, because as I said before and I sincerely mean, I appreciate another side and your thoughts - but I have not gotten the sense that you are willing to do the same. If your only goal is to persuade others without opening the door for them to persuade you, how is that respectful? How is that welcomed?

    I would think and hope that things would be different if we discussed these issues in a coffeeshop, but I'm not entirely convinced that would be so.

    I worked very hard to disregard your comments from other blogs and enter this new chapter of my blog with an open mind - a willingness to for informative dialogue that both of us could learn from. Unfortunately, it's been to one-sided and I'm tired of it. I don't mean to attack or be rude, but just lay all the cards out and tell you how I feel. Unfortunately you've already lost your chance to change that.

    Thus, this is my last post for this thread.

    By Blogger Nathan, at Thursday, October 13, 2005 10:22:00 PM  

  • Well I guess you have formed your opinion of me and I have nothing more to contribute to your blog. I truly don't believe you understand me or what I am trying to accomplish in challenging people. I honestly think you are being swayed by people who have put only one side of the argument into your head and that is what you are spitting out. That is why I took the time to write what I did and to spend time developing arguments and crafting answers to your most difficult challenges. To me, that is a sign of respect and of care. At no time have I ever written to you in a condescending tone or even in a sarcastic one (yet you have at times been sarcastic and condescending towards conservatives and their positions). If I have please show it to me and I will retract it and apologize.

    My objective here I had hoped to accomplish was to model for you a different side, a side that showed that conservatives were not idiots who mindlessly, carelessly, and compassionatelessly push a "takeover" agenda. As adults I felt I could seriously challenge your views without either one of us getting too emotional and calling the other one arrogant. You don't think you are wrong and I don't think I am -- that is why debate is so important. As I said before, there was a time when that was celebrated, not looked upon as an arrogant act. People respected men with strong values and hard lines, who did not bend with every turning tide, but who stayed the course. In our postmodern world it appears that those are no longer virutes. One of my heroes in that regard is J. Greshem Machen who wrote, "In the sphere of religion, as in other spheres, the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight" and "Indifferentism about doctrine makes no heroes of the faith". I suppose the latter quote applies to a great many more disciplines than just doctrine (thought that is of superior necessity).

    Since I have apparently lost my audience with you, I will no longer attempt to comment. I hope someone who is more to your liking will challenge you to look past the argumentation and emotionalism of men like Bruce Prescott and seek logical, realistic answers that correspond to the Bible and reality. May God bless you on your journey toward truth, wherever that may lead. You are welcome to visit my blog anytime and comment on any post. I welcome the open exchange.

    By Blogger D.R., at Thursday, October 13, 2005 11:18:00 PM  

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