Saturday, March 12, 2011

Piece of Advice #91: Know when to walk away (from the targeted criticism)

Reader Anna asks:
"OT here - so I managed to get in a feminist flame war (on a Christian site no less!) for having anti-feminist views. The flamers were old boomer Christians of a denomination that is egalitarian. Rather than dig through the previous 90 pieces of advice, do you have any posts on this phenomenon? It is a tactic of self-preservation, how not to get in a flame war with feminist Christians."
My advice is 1) you have to say what you have to say and then move on, resisting any and all urges to defend your arguments (which they never really listen to anyway) and yourself (whom they don't know) and 2) blow it all off.

If you are a woman, the first advice is going to be much easier to take than the second because every group of women has a functioning tool of reinforcement of the groupthink (herd mentality).  It's called: you agree, you're in (provided you meet their other requirements as well); you disagree, you're out.  Very, very powerful, this tool is.  Most women will silence themselves rather than disagree outright and be shamed or ridiculed.  I did.  For years I participated in communities filled with women who expressed opinions I vociferously disagreed with and remained mostly pretty quiet - because I wanted to be a part of these groups.  And in my personal life I am much more discreet with my opinions than I am on this blog because I have roles to play that involve other people who need me to play those roles.  And I know what women can and will do to women who rock the boat too much, mouthing off against the "truths" we have so recently established as truth-y.  (IRL I actually know a number of nice women with whom I have had productive conversations about the kinds of things I discuss here; I'm talking more about a group dynamic, which has a life of its own.)

I think it's of value to get other opinions out there and express them plainly and logically, but on the kinds of boards Anna mentions, you have to know you're screaming in the wind.  People don't want to hear, they don't want to listen to stuff they dislike, and they will shout you down and attack both your opinion and you personally.  Sometimes you don't even have to go to these boards and they will still talk about you (search around on this board and you'll see other female bloggers - Terry, Laura Grace Robins, Hestia, Laura Wood - they also eviscerate for sport.  Fun times.).

Personally, I've been taken apart on Twitter and discussed repeatedly, even psychoanalyzed on other blogs.  The comments are mostly of this type:
Somebodies got stuck in the 50’s and didn’t want to leave.
… the scary part is that people with the mentality of those posters are VERY loud in the USA...
It seems the gene pool needs a little cleaning again….
Wow. It’s hard to believe people like this still exist.
I find it hard to believe that we’re even having this discussion in 2010.
An astonishing demonstration of internalized misogyny.
...infuriating whatthefuckery.
I know octogenerians who are more in tune with the times that she appears to be.
Sometimes I wish we could make a stupid bomb that would only kill stupid people, like my husband jokingly
...she should have known better than to spew what she spewed on a public blog…
...comments made that tore open some very ugly, very deep wounds.
She seems to be a rogue agent, much like La Palin. But I wouldn’t want to see her fired. It’s much better to pick up a rock and expose what’s underneath to the light than to pretend there’s nothing there.
There are some seriously scary people over there pontificating on how the world should be in their small minds and refusing to accept the opinions of others.
Nong ("It’s Aussie for nitwit, dipstick, dill, silly person – generally someone not to be taken seriously.")
Complete nutters
intolerant and hateful
incredibly ignorant
...behaves like a tool.
a bad apple
I will admit that when I first started blogging, and during a particularly intense period last year, these comments really stung.  I felt the full force of the shaming.  I felt - briefly - ashamed.  Not for my opinions, but for the bad taste I'd shown in stating them.  I had to stay away from my keyboard.  I knew that any defense I offered would only be happily received as more fodder for the mockery.  So I never commented on any of the blogs addressing me personally.  That was a good decision.

And, ceased to matter to me what these people thought about me.  None of them knew me.  Not really.  Not personally.  No one was going to bring over a casserole and let me cry on her shoulder if I found a lump.  The internet is full of people we don't really know, even after countless conversations.  Commenters come, commenters go.  They may be enraged at your opinions and hate "you" for awhile, but I found it helpful to remember that, unlike nearly all women, I am an INTJ, and, really, we don't care that much about what people think of us.

Flame wars feel really intense when they are happening, but ultimately they're entertainment for all the other people who get to watch someone get taken apart.  They are remembered, but less and less clearly as time passes, and then not at all.  Engage in them only when you simply must vent some spleen and then only when you feel you have nothing to lose.  Otherwise, state your points, follow up once or twice, and then move on.  Anything else you give will be cannon fodder.  Did you notice the thinly veiled violence in the comments I quoted above.  An interesting sort of "civility," huh?

Besides, mainstream Christianity is a dead man walking.  You are talking to people who will leave no legacy because their beliefs are so shallow, unvetted, PC, and passionless that no subsequent generations will be able to assemble enough energy to take them up.


  1. Typo: "their beliefs", instead of "they're beliefs". 3rd line from the end.

  2. Great post! I so admire your resolve to blog your real convictions and not worry about the naysayers. So happy to have found your blog; I'm working through the archives when I can and thoroughly enjoying them.


  3. I'm currently suffering quite a bit because of feminism. Last week one of my seminary classes was covering feminists of the 19th century and there was the big deal about the 100th anniversary of the International Day For Women. I went and visited another church as well last Sunday because of the very feminist sermon that was scheduled for the church I'm a member of.

    I am sick and tired of being told that I should feel guilty and ashamed because I'm a straight white male. Isn't it punishment enough that there is nobody I can turn to because people like me don't deserve any help or support.

  4. I believe that Jesus phrased it as "not casting your pearls before swine."

  5. Anon - Thanks. Fixed.

    Great and Powerful Oz - I'm over the white guilt. The civil rights movement was fully accomplished before I was even born. I'm not taking the credit or the blame for stuff I didn't do. And as a straight person - ditto. I've never hurt a gay person or encouraged the hurting of gay people. Maybe it's turning 40, but I've just gotten to this point very lately where I simply refused to accept the guilt other people want to dish out. They want to feel like a victim? Fine. I am not an aggressor. Those are their feelings, end of story. And feelings, IMHO, are not actually that reliable as data.

  6. Hi Grerp.

    One teensy comment. Mainstream Christianity is not dead. The Catholic, Presbyterian, Anglican etc churches are very much alive and growing. But it is happening in two places -- the conservative wing and the developing world. (Or where people beleive, and are not poisoned by liberalism).

    I agree with you that liberal Christianity or "World Council of Churches" Christianity is dead.

    On the main issue: we are to be wise in what we say. Like you, I've had to work with people from all religions and political persuasions.

    Besides, if someone calls you a nong, and you reply that they are just a spinner, you are heading for a fight :-)

  7. Great post. One thing that is nice about being a guy is that we seem to naturally care much, much less for group approval than women. What guys crave most of all in a group is respect - which is a different thing than approval. Guys will not "approve" of another guy who challenges them and maybe even fights it out on a point of contention but they will respect him.

  8. "Besides, mainstream Christianity is a dead man walking. You are talking to people who will leave no legacy because their beliefs are so shallow, unvetted, PC, and passionless that no subsequent generations will be able to assemble enough energy to take them up."

    More to the point, you're talking about people who will be out bred by the same people they despise. Their own choices will doom their ideology thanks to the magic of demographics.

    And if they don't want you in their group, we're happy to have you in ours.

  9. Oh, I'm going to catch it for this one.

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

    Anti-Feminist women, I have bad bad news for you: Feminism your fault. It's ALL your fault.

    We men hardly had a chance to stop it, nor do we now. What were we to say? That you had no right to political self-defense? That you shouldn't have the protection of the greatest power men have been able to create: the law?

    And now you characterize doing the right thing as venting your spleen? Coward. You think you're being discreet? You're earning the rape of your grand-daughters.

    You're crying, but all I see are crocodile tears.

    Get off your rear and fight. Rejoice in your opponent's bile, not whine about it. It's a *fight*, remember?

    There is a time for war. (Ecc 3:8)

    If you think I'm mean, wait until you meet your grand-daughters' rapist(s).

  10. grerp, this is excellent advice. I recall when you went offline for a bit, and reading those comments about you I can understand why! In my own battles with feminists, I'm always surprised at how quickly they turn to the personal attack. I don't sanction no-strings sex, therefore I'm an old hag whose husband wants to bang young sluts.

    Having a Google alert on my own name, I regularly find snippets of conversation on other blogs that tear me down. I've developed a thick skin though - I never take the bait and respond.

  11. LOL stay away from any type Christianity that has feminists. You really have to ignore parts of the Bible to share Christianity with such an ideology. Nevertheless I've found some mainstream liberal Protestant churches are filled with hippie hags who espouse noxious feminist views. Luckily, most of these churches are dying from low attendance and infertility. Don't have anything to do with them.

    If you are lucky you can find a traditionalist Anglican or Catholic church. There are also some old-school Protestants out there. I really like Eastern Orthodoxy- very uncompromising and full of ancient wisdom. There is no kow-towing to modernism there.

  12. Ecclesiastes: Flame wars accomplish nothing but letting off steam. Do you think we can halt a the progression of hedonistic entropy with words?

    I'm not crying here. I'm simply not enjoying the decline.

  13. grerp,

    You're wrong about flame wars accomplishing nothing. When your opponents drop to personal attacks, they're hurt. As they claim victory, there is a place in them that keeps track of the pain and their failure to convince *you*. They know their 'reason' failed. They weren't smarter, just louder.

    Make them hurt.

    Don't do it to 'let off steam'. They won't roll over and die for you in the midst of a flame war, but they will think twice about getting in the next one - just like you are doing now. When they change their minds, it will be alone, in the security of their homes, where no one will be so rude as to note that they did.

    As a matter of fact I do believe that hedonistic entropy can be halted with words. History shows it to be true. Even you have said so. Tell me about your target audience again.

    What it 'is' is hard, but it was hard for Feminists to bring society to here too.

    You don't want to believe because you don't want to fight, just complain. You don't want to make a difference. You just want to tip the delivery guy.

    That's wonderful. When a man is ready to stand up, it's currently typical that he would have someone like you to support him.


  14. I'm not crying here. I'm simply not enjoying the decline.

    Well put.

  15. Testing. Blogger seems to be eating comments.

  16. Elusive Wapiti said:

    "Hi Grerp, great advice as usual.

    "mainstream Christianity is a dead man walking"

    I agree completely, but it is important that we refine who/what we are talking about here.

    "Mainstream Christianity" is usually used to refer to the more liberal Protestant denominations, like Espiscopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians (PCUSA flavor). Some so-called "evangelical" denominations fall into this bucket too.

    Some individual dioceses in the RCC carry substantial water for Liberalism too, although they are not usually captured by the "mainstream Christianity" reference.

    The more rigid or fundie a denomination is, the more likely it is to be gaining acolytes in these liberal times.

    @ Ecclesiastes,

    Your style is a bit rough around the edges, but on the whole I think I agree.

    I've argued consistently that, while men transmit civilization to the next generation, it is women who are a civilization's center of gravity. The culture (and therefore the civilization) goes where they go.

    Thus I think that me and my fellow MRAs can pontificate all day long about how things are broken, how to fix them, and make persuasive rational cases for the same. But until women decide that they've had enough of the social experiment they and alpha men have inflicted upon the rest of us, there's no changing course.

    In other words, there's no turning this battleship around until conservative women grab some rhetorical brick-bats and get to work undoing the machinations of their sisters.

    Unfortunately (and this comment is not directed at the owner of this blog or necessarily anyone commenting here), far too often, I see putative Christian women snack on the fruits of feminism, while claiming to oppose it."

  17. mdavid said:

    "Anna, Weird, I am also an INTJ.

    Me too. As a man, I particularly enjoy reading female INTJs (with at least reasonable IQ and morals) and they are very rare - I think INTJ men make up about 2-4% of the population while women about 1/4 of that, or less than 1% of women (this rarity is probably Darwinian to prevent their kids from starving :-) whilst they ponder the world...).

    It's interesting to watch the emotional and cultural concerns of women receive INTJ-style analysis. For example:

    ...every group of women has a functioning tool of reinforcement of the groupthink (herd mentality). It's called: you agree, you're in (provided you meet their other requirements as well); you disagree, you're out. Very, very powerful, this tool is.

    Powerful for women, but usually boring to men...I've always been mildly amused by this reality, and never given it much thought except to note that if the average woman agrees with me on anything to panic, since there is obviously something going wrong with my thinking. To paraphrase Galbraith, “Regarding cultural issues, the majority (of American women) are always wrong."

  18. Great work as usual, grerp. However, you should know that the impending danger is the feminists' efforts to outlaw anonymous blogs and commenting. Big Sister is watching, and if she doesn't back off, will have to be dispatched by any means necessary.

  19. Mainstream Christianity is dead. It has been infected with liberalism and most of them aren't even Christian yet consider themselves such while allowing entrance to Mormons, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and believers of other faiths into their midst.

    A completely wrapped up unChristian or post-Christian philosophy (denial of truth, right and wrong, etc), theology and practice (sexual immorality, bad behaviour, etc) they tend to hold. Check this website to see a gallery of their heresies ---

    While on these forums with liberal Christians either ignore them or travel to another forum. Don't feed the beast. If you are in charge of the forum do what Lawrence Auster and the ThinkingHousewife do which is restrict the comments and answer the people opposite to you once or twice and that's it (or ignore them too).

    If things gets out of control filter them and their comments through a "Rants" section or ban them from your forum or website.

    Don't listen to their tired and repeated tactics such as when they start screaming Beck, Palin, FOX, Limbaugh, Tea Party and others whom they deem to be "ultra-conservatives" when in reality these "far-right wingers" they love to go on and on are right-liberals (neoconservatives, libertarians, classical liberals, capitalists).

  20. Chris said:

    "Grerp, As another introvert (believe it or not, I test either INTJ or INTP depending on the day) you need to consciously remind yourself that if they attack you you are winning...

    I recommend your site to women who are having difficulty. I regret that Hestia has closed her blog. I understand that this is difficult -- women generally find it more difficult to be accused of being cross patched, unfashionable and ornery. However, the popular have forgotten that it is the ant, not that grasshopper, that survives winter. Ecclesiastes may be useful for setting flames (but Mate, mate, please respect that this is grerps place and she is a Lady. With a killfile) and attacking the strongholds. Most of us respect your quiet wisdom.

    Keep on posting and Kia Kaha (be strong, be courageous.


  21. Aragorn said:

    "Avoid liberal Bible translations created by liberal denominations.

    "I've argued consistently that, while men transmit civilization to the next generation, it is women who are a civilization's center of gravity. The culture (and therefore the civilization) goes where they go."

    Liberalism has infected both men and women. If one of them goes to one direction surely the other will follow. Things are going the way they are because both men and women approve of it or are indoctrinated into accepting it.

    "But until women decide that they've had enough of the social experiment they and alpha men have inflicted upon the rest of us, there's no changing course."

    The only way to change course is by creating our own segregated non-liberal communities, changed lives reflecting a traditional conservative and reactionary perspective, political campgain against liberalism, political campgain for conservatism, many traditional conservatives and reactionaries possessing influence in many professions and sectors, debate and discussions on the philosophy and worldview of liberalism and conservatism, see what happened in the past that we did wrong and what we did right, study the enemy and overall this continuing on and on for generations (liberalism started somewhere around the Enlightment and it took us 200-300 years to get our present state).

    We have to remember that history always repeats itself, generalizations are sometimes useful and that there is nothing new under the sun (societies go on in cycles where there is renewal, growth, stability, rebellion, decay, decline, the fall and back again to renewal).

    Concerning women and their "alphas" I suggest the following:

    #1 - After the fall of the West (and that is happening rapidly since the Western world is in decline) we regroup.
    #2 - Create a different society (a form of secession or division) where a traditional conservative and reactionary system rules or is put in place and another one with liberalism.
    #3 - Create immigration visas for people who want to move in or out of these societies (liberal to conservative or conservative to liberal mainly) besides standard immigration documents."

  22. Anna - As mdavid said, INTJ is more or less a male thought pattern, which explains why female INTJ's often better relate to men's, rather than women's ways of thinking.

    If I had to guess, I'd say that most of the women in this area of the web are 1, maybe 2, letters away from that Myers-Briggs combination.

    It looks like both Hestia and Terry have shuttered their blogs which makes me sad.

  23. Chris and sestamibi - Thanks for the support. I appreciate it.

    Oh, and a point of clarification - yes, I am talking about liberal denominations that are rewriting Christianity as they go along to mesh with their political consciences when I say "mainstream Christianity." The branches of Christianity that seem to have a future tend to 1) not quibble with every piece of scripture looking for the socio-historical context in which to understand it, 2) advance and promote the leadership of men within their ranks, and 3) have a strong ethnic/cultural component.

  24. "I've argued consistently that, while men transmit civilization to the next generation, it is women who are a civilization's center of gravity. The culture (and therefore the civilization) goes where they go."

    ..the following is said to be a Cheyenne Indian saying:

    "A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground. Then it is finished no matter how brave its warriors or how strong their weapons"

  25. "every group of women has a functioning tool of reinforcement of the groupthink (herd mentality)"

    This is very true. I'm an INFJ, and I tend to be most comfortable doing things alone, but it doesn't mean I don't enjoy being in groups. However, I can say without a doubt that there really are women who come and think in groups. That if you are one who doesn't agree with their happy little herd, you're out.

    Two of the women in a group of friends I have have deleted me from their list in Facebook. They were the sort of girls who have this "be happy and positive all the time!" motto, that when I express myself in a different and cynical way, they were not amused by it. And I guess they didn't like me, so they deleted me from their list.

    In a way, it was kind of a relief, because they really were just too talkative and attention-grabbing, and I don't want to deal with girls like that---who want to be in the limelight always and who would always get the attention of the men.

  26. Dear grerp,
    I am jealous of your husband.


  27. It is worth while to speak or write the truth for two, no, three reasons.

    First, it is the right thing to do.
    Second, there are always lurkers, bystanders, onlookers to whom this truth is a new thing.
    Third, there are cases where wrong thinking people are gradually converted away from error. I have seen it, although sometimes it takes years.

    This is not to say that staying in an unending flamefest is worth it. All of them die down eventually, but it can take a long time. Cutting and running is not good either. Stating the truth, for the reasons above, and getting on with life is often a good choice.

    Remember: there are always witnesses, lurkers, bystanders. Always.

  28. I don't believe in being mean, so I always try to temper my posts with reason, but have been blasted on this blog just for offering another perspective. Goes with the territory of having a viewpoint contrary to almost everyone else posting. But one cannot profess to be an expert on something, while holding some very controversial positions, and not expect to generate controversy.

    Everyone with a public blog professes to have The Answer to something, usually without anything backing it up except personal experience. If the blog is truly meant to be a public service to help others, and not just a personal soapbox, one would think contrary opinions and viewpoints would be welcome to flesh out the whole issue.

    And you might not care what others think about you, but as a self-proclaimed Christian, I would expect a little more compassion toward others not similarly situated than you seem to project. Not everyone can be a SAHM, with one child, who is in school most of the day, with loads of time on their hands. (Although before everyone jumps on me, I too am lucky enough to be a SAHM).

    I think one problem that those others you cited to have with you (and I don't condone their name-calling) is that you talk the talk without having walked the walk. If your blog was about adoption in the US or living conditions in Russia, your opinions would have more merit because you have actually experienced them first hand.

    I took the time to post here because I think you are a good writer and I agree with some of the things you have said. But you do seem to be extremely angry and unhappy, and that comes across as more emotional than logical thinking which only serves to give the "haters" more ammunition.


  29. I hardly think it is a symptom of "groupthink" or a "herd mentality" that a lot of women get angry when someone posits that they should be subordinated to men. It seems natural to me that most self-respecting people WOULD object to a suggestion that the class they belong to should be treated like second-class citizens (which is generally what anti-feminism boils down to).

    I also hardly think that feminists are more likely than conservatives or male-dominated groups to react with anger or ad hominem attacks. Try commenting as a feminist on an MRA site sometime!

    That said, venting anger in a flame war always seems boring to me. I am always fascinated by how the opposing view thinks so I would rather engage politely than yell at the opposition. Why be angry or offended by what some random stranger says on a blog? It is much more interesting to figure out why the person thinks the way she does.

    I will admit that one practice I have engaged in on-line is armchair psychoanalyzing of my anti-feminist opponents, especially the women. This speculation isn't intended to be an argument. It is just that I am fascinated by how some women, especially seemingly bright women, reconcile themselves to arguing some of the things I have seen on anti-feminist blogs. My own theory is that women like Grerp and the Thinking Housewife like the idea of being EXCEPTIONS to the rule, special women who "get it" and are brighter than what they view as the average dumb female.

    Of course, anti-feminists LOVE to psychoanalyze career women, feminists, women who like to sleep around, etc. etc. So what's good for the goose, I suppose is good for the gander.

    That said, I recognize that insults, anger, and speculation about the inner workings of someone's mind are not an argument. But it doesn't follow that someone who engages in those things is necessarily wrong, nor does it follow that person who provokes such a response is onto something. These things are simply irrelevant one way or the other as to whether one should support feminism or patriarchy.

  30. Elinor - I could, of course, discuss here a number of other things I feel passionately about: buying and eating locally, raising your own food, composting, adopting shelter dogs, or swiftly terminating parental rights on proven abusive/neglectful parents. I could post about other things I experience, like how funny I think my son is when he tries to do the zombie dance from Thriller, or how vocal my coonhound is, how sexy Etta James singing "At Last" is, how much genius Connie Willis put into writing Doomsday Book, or how hard it is to scrape latex off of oil paint (trust me - never paint latex on oil in a room with high humidity; you will spend hours and hours and hours and hours on top of a ladder scraping it off). I could talk about how surprising a hit my rice noodle stir fry was last Friday, esp. considering my first attempt with rice noodles ended with a curdled mess on the bottom of a pot. I could write about the Lenten banner I am sewing for my front door, and how pretty the lavender on purple pattern is and how I inadvertently chose the wrong embroidery floss for it as I am now running out which is a shame since I had more of the other assorted purple flosses. I could talk about how I've been without a car for 20 days as my husband was in an accident with his truck (&, thank God, is fine) and how easy it is to develop cabin fever when you can't really go anywhere (but, on the plus side, I've lost 2 pounds!). I could talk about how terrible what is happening in Japan is, and how I feel for the people there who have lost everything. I could worry over my mother's health - which has never been that great - and bring up how I hope to have many more years with her. I could talk about what a sweet and giving person my sister is and how my nephew is such a nice, caring young man. I hope middle and high school isn't too hard on him.

    All of these things would make me sound more female and less angry and unhappy. But no one cares about these aspects of me. I had an old blog where I talked about exactly this stuff and it got almost no traffic and no one ever commented on it. I basically wrote it for my mom who wants to know what's going on and lives on the other side of town. (I like to write more than I like to talk on the phone.)

    Besides, my latest embroidery project affects the greater world not at all. What I want to talk about is (at its root) why people are so unhappy and dysfunctional now when it seems like that wasn't always the case and, ultimately, what can be done about this.

  31. Robert - You are too kind. :)

  32. Of course that was not at all what I was suggesting you do (only write nicey-nice stuff). I was merely suggesting that you probably generate hateful remarks on your blog and elsewhere because you make controversial claims, not backed up by data, and that you shouldn't act all hurt and surprised (a decidedly female trait, according to some) when you do. You're not looking for a healthy debate to find The Answer. You believe you, and only you, have The Answer (i.e., women are eeeevil) and that anyone who disagrees with you is not as knowledgeable as you. Some people find that offensive. Mean talk follows.


  33. You're not looking for a healthy debate to find The Answer. You believe you, and only you, have The Answer (i.e., women are eeeevil) and that anyone who disagrees with you is not as knowledgeable as you.

    Absolutely not true. My beliefs are formed out of my Roman Catholic faith, which has approximately 1.1 billion adherents in the world. Outside of the American and European Catholics, my beliefs are considered utterly standard, and I would also say that the vast majority of women two generations prior would have agreed too. I'm not making stuff up. I never said I was arguing it from Science. I have moral beliefs stemming from my religious faith which I try my best to remain in accordance with in my personal life. I also believe that government should be limited and kept within manageable size and that redistribution of wealth is counterproductive in terms of output and keeping the general peace between the various groups of the governed. That's it.

    Look, Elinor, I have your IP address and your real name. I had it when you were posting at AAR as Lee and tried over and over, in the thread that lead to me leaving, to browbeat me in agreeing with you about fraternities, alcohol, women and rape. I read the opinions of me you posted on various other sites too. I don't know why you keep coming back - maybe because you believe that by "reasoning" with me/insulting me enough, I will finally come around. I'm not coming around. And I'm done hearing your point of view here. I get it: you don't like me, and I'm hateful and hate women. I've given you enough opportunity to say that here. No more.

  34. I didn't know full names were required, Grerp, er Rachel. And I would be very careful about flinging around the info that you have been following someone around the internet, using her IP address that you took from another site.


  35. Full names are not required, er, Elinor. I was an owner and the technical editor of that site. I downloaded and installed the blog (both blogs) on their server, got them operational, set up usernames and passwords, and trained other people in how to use it. I managed anything requiring technical know-how and, as technical editor, I monitored all discussions, esp. discussions that devolved or threatened to devolve into flames. So I knew who the players were and I knew when the discussion moved to other sites.

    You followed me here and posted using a different name for anonymity. I haven't followed you anywhere.

  36. Elinor,

    You demand that Christians limit their thoughts to what is "compassionate". This is an error -- if you look at the lectionary you will find poems of joy, lust, permanences, remorse, despair and rapture. You will find blunt condemnation as well as tenderness.

    One of my rules of survival is to never offend the BOFH who knows your IP address. For he can publish your name. It is as idiotic as annoying the personal assistant of someone who need sponsorship from.

    Grerp and I disagree theologically. But (as Schaeffer pointed out when I was in nappies) we agree on many things. Grerp controls this blog: if she says no more, so be it.

  37. Typo in last comment -- delete perminances, replace with penetance.

    My internal spellchecker (a) has faults (b) defaults to Commonwealth English. My apologies.

  38. @Susan:
    >>>"I don't sanction no-strings sex, therefore I'm an old hag whose husband wants to bang young sluts."
    Oh crap, I guess I'm in your club then. How did I get to be an "old hag" before 30?!

    A quote from an old political science book I once read was basically "don't give your opponent's argument credibility by addressing it."

    I applaud you for your writing--a dissenting opinion is never an easy one to advocate. But it's more important to express your beliefs than to be silenced because of the backlash. More people should have the gumption to say what they believe, even if they're unpopular for doing so. (Unless you're just being a jerk, of course, for shock value).

    It's a shame that so many churches seem to think that being PC and generating mass appeal is more important than sticking by their core beliefs. Yes, some churches don't accept people of certain religions, lifestyles, etc., and that is their choice. So long as they're not actively hurting anyone, who's to say that's "wrong" or "un-Christian"?

    More importantly, why does everyone have to get along all the time? Is that what we want our kids to grow up believing--that everyone's going to be nice to them, and the world is all sunshine and smiles? They won't survive if they can't navigate past others' criticism or disparaging viewpoints.

  39. @Susan: I don't sanction no-strings sex, therefore I'm an old hag whose husband wants to bang young sluts.

    Okay, I just can't follow this at all...

    Are they saying the only reason you don't sanction no strings sex is you're afraid you're husband will have sex with young sluts if you did?

  40. grerp,

    Yes, I am quite rough and being more than a clumsy delivering a Southern Gentleman's Challenge.

    You did well with it, better than most.

    Most Christians have been so cowed by modern culture's damning of 'judgment' that they can't effectively engage in debate any more. Juvenile reproaches that I wouldn't tolerate from my pre-teen children now silence full adults, and I feared you to be amongst them.

  41. Generally the advice is to not feed the trolls.

    I only go after them when they make a proveably untrue claim about me. If it's all just opinion, then it's all just advertising for me. So naturally I thank them. :-)

  42. Hey grerp, just wanted to say that I like your blog.

  43. Ecclesiastes - I am not a very proficient debater. I like to think things through long and hard and then get my ideas down. Another factor for me is that, when challenged, I do actually reexamine my thoughts and words and see if I think the criticism is valid or not. This takes a lot of time. I'm just not a great arguer, esp. in the moment.

    But I will stand by my statements and beliefs pretty stubbornly once I've got them down in my head and in my conscience.

  44. Hey Grerp. I just wanted to say that I enjoyed this post.

    See ya next month! I will be back. Hope you're having a lovely Lenten Season.

  45. This a great post. Bookmarking it.

  46. "My advice is 1) you have to say what you have to say and then move on, resisting any and all urges to defend your arguments (which they never really listen to anyway) and yourself (whom they don't know) and 2) blow it all off"

    I've had to do this with so many men and women online, it ain't funny!!

    At least these bad beliefs, feminist or no, are dying with the people who hold them.

    Gosh Oz, I'm sorry you went through that. It seems hard to find a church sometimes that doesn't freeze out one sex or the other.