A Sad Sign Of Our Times

Once again I am left virtually speechless but the sheer blind rage in this election. The moral leaders of the Church in the Valley in Leakey, Texas felt that it was appropriate to post this sign reading: “Vote for the Mormon, not the Muslim! The capitalist, not the communist!” Putting aside the violation of its tax-exempt status, church leaders thought nothing of the lesson given their children in making such false and prejudicial statements. It shows the dangerously thin line that separates the faithful from the hateful in our society.


Of course, in addition to repeating the false statement about President Obama’s religion, the sign adds the common and equally ridiculous mantra about his being a communist. A term that, when pressed, seems beyond definition for some of these protesters.

The Church in the Valley headed by Pastor Ray Miller (who came up with the idea of the sign) sees nothing wrong is defining people primarily by their alleged faith — whether it is falsely Obama as a Muslim or Romney as a Mormon.

Equally disgusting is the response of a least one local businessman who insist that the controversy will be good for business. Damon White is quoted as saying “I love it. Even if it’s bad attention, bring it on. Come to town, see what it’s about.” Well, Mr. White, we certainly now know what you are about. It does not matter if it is unfair, prejudicial, and disrespectful, it is good for business. Now there is a lesson for the children of Leakey, Texas.

Notably, on its website, the Church proclaims “We believe our faith should be visible in concrete forms and models of personal and social behavior.” That model appears to include insulting and prejudicial statements about people with whom you disagree as well as use of false claims to achieve your political ends. I don’t recall the passage where Jesus Christ led the smear campaign against Pontius Pilatus. Indeed, I seem to recall something out “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Perhaps but it does not sum up Paster Miller or the good people of the Church of the Valley.

Source: KENS as first seen on Reddit.

286 thoughts on “A Sad Sign Of Our Times

  1. Hi, Gene H.,

    I’ll start with an answer to this “Unless you’re actually an Eskimo and you can tell me in specifics why the term is offensive for some reason other than it is imprecise?”. First, you know my heritage, I gave it to you and it is more robust than yours, so you know I’m not Inuit (you skimmed, didn’t you?. Come on admit it, you were too busy formulating your response to actually pay attention.) Imprecision is a weasel word, after all a Basque is a Frenchman or a Spaniard, determined by a mountain range. You’re only being imprecise, of course, and this imprecision means nothing to a Basque, after all he must acknowledge your right to name him and tell him he’s PC if he disagrees. Really, you can’t give others their identity except that which you choose for them? There is no strawman here.

    “Maybe you should get a clue I don’t think you know what you are talking about. On about any given subject. So more of your nattering isn’t going to help that fact. I also don’t care where or when you picked up that bad habit of political correctness.” Now this is just you saying “I’m smart, you’re stupid, or ignorant”, though I like your use of connotation with denotation. Neglecting the adolescent argument, the “bad habit” argument is intriguing. I give weight to the issue of PC, you could call it perspective, I see no weight to calling a people by the name they wish. None, in fact I call it respect. I do give weight to PC, that anathema to free speech you claimed for respect, that attempts to label, and thus dismiss, what you say or write. Those labels fall into what most of us would recognize: Racist, Sexist, Ageist, Specieist, etc., and if you could actually “listen” you could likely come up with more. Those are the PC issues we need to deal with, not what a particular group wants to be called because it’s actually their name, their traditional name. I’m sure the Roma enjoy Gypsy, and not calling them the latter would infringe your free speech.

    “That you have it and wear your hypersensitivity to non-issues (and the use of “Eskimo” is entirely irrelevant to the argument which contained the word) on your sleeve is pretty apparent, Ms.” You should talk to my wife, I use all sorts of non-hypersensitive words. I consider hypersensitivity a tyranny, and have taught my children accordingly. I still use the term cripple, my uncle was a cripple, and he could break me in two with his arms; a good business friend was a cripple, my daughter has one name after her, and she was a shrewd opponent. You jump to conclusions, then wrap those conclusions around you as a truth you can gain warmth. Human beings are not as simple as you need them to be to maintain your ego. (If you missed the wife reference, I’m male; I like motorcycles, and Ariel was a respected marque in the heyday of British motorcycling (that period of which you are not well-read).

    “You have just about as much luck coming at me from the rightwing extreme and be telling me what you think God says I should and shouldn’t vis a vis word choice as if that’s relevant.” Now this gave me a chortle, if not a guffaw, so for emphasis I’ll use caps: I HAVE BEEN A DECLARED ATHEIST FOR 48 YEARS, I DON’T BELIEVE IN GODS. Was that plain enough for you, and I went through all the family issues that would arise in the 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s, and into the 90’s when it started to get better. You do understand that atheists don’t think alike. You think I’m left-wing because you and I disagree over what’s actually PC? Talk about the fallacy of the extremes. No right-winger can respect what others want to be called? Discordance isn’t just about sound. Cognitive dissonance is however a human condition. It makes you say silly things.

    “Also . . . “those who argue most vehemently that they are right are often the most wrong.” Spoken like someone who mistakes an emotional state for an argument and given your lil’ display above, I’m guessing you do that quite frequently.” . You haven’t in your post actually given me anything other than an emotional argument. I’m trying to respond rationally, but you give me so little to work with, just look at your words and their emotional freight. This is nothing but emotional “PC language is just as childish and irrational and it plays in to empowering the very words you twits get all in atwitter about”. You’ve never established a rational basis for what is PC, other than what you don’t like, and you express it with emotional words. I do like the alliteration, but that’s the only worth to what you wrote.

    “Thank you again for another totally meaningless and semi-lucid defense.” I could be just as dismissive, and have been, but where are your arguments? A fallacy Nazi, to own up to the grammar Nazis, needs to explicitly give where the argument is false by quote and refutation. You do nothing but claim, nothing but declarative statements.

    “I simply don’t care what you think, Ariel. ” Yet you spent so much time, so much emotion, and so little reason on my words. If you didn’t care, why would you engage me so much, or at all? Why would you spend so much time? Your words belie your words.

    Going back to me being “anti-science, anti-evolutionary, and pro-religious”, thank you because you gave me a great insight to how you think. Why? Well, one reason is that I have fundamentalist friends who would say the exact opposite because they know me (I’m not a hater, except for the four totalitarian movements of the early 20th Century, yet even there I only truly hate a few of them; I do hate Jim Crow with a passion, the greater stain on our Republic). The next reason: you didn’t try to comprehend; you made some really wild-ass conclusions based solely on your own biases; and you’ve stuck to them no matter what I’ve written (I’ve said before I’m not female and I am an atheist, you should pay attention if only to make good conversation ). We are all irrational, thus the quote of “vehemence'”, as well rational but we have to recognize when we are and when we aren’t. How you doing on that? Still a challenge?

    You have a law degree, I assume by previous reading, you may correct me. Me, I have a BSChe. I’ve spent 18 years in sales to corporations. Your degree, if it is law, beats mine and my experience hands down, especially when you know that engineers aren’t trained to be rational and sales has nothing to do with rational argument in a corporate setting.

    Finally, If you don’t care about my words; if I’m so stupid I’m beneath you; if my arguments to your declaratives are not worth your time; then please don’t engage me. You only give me pleasure when I see that what you think is rational is actually a mix of reason and emotion and you can’t realize it. Trust me, it’s schadenfreude but you don’t have the sense to be miserable.

    You haven’t given me a worthy argument yet, no meat, so I have to go line by line. It’s really tedious. Should we both hang our hats on the word “imprecise”?

  2. Ariel,

    imprecise \ˌim-pri-ˈsīs\, adj.
    : not precise : inexact, vague

    Nothing weaselly about it, however, you were the one who brought up a lack of precision as the reason the word Eskimo is offensive – which is utter nonsense. But the choice in hat hooks? Is entirely yours. A term being imprecise is not the equivalent of a term being offensive yet ultimately that was your rationale. That’s faulty logic, a false equivalence to be precise. Repeating yourself does not make the argument more sound or the logic less faulty. As to your ability to judge whether it is offensive for another legitimate reason as definable by the class in question, that’s simply common sense. You aren’t an Eskimo. You have yet to offer a rational explanation of why the term is offensive on its face, instead offering nothing but raw emotionalism and that the word is imprecise. There is an argument lacking substance here, but it isn’t mine.

    As to your judgement of my argument? I am indifferent. You have yet to demonstrate you can make a cogent argument so that hardly puts you in a position to judge the coherence of another’s argument. What I have said stands as it is and nothing you have said counters it whether you think so or not.

    So far all you’ve shown is that you don’t know what you are talking about and that you argue poorly and from emotion (a sure fire why not to win an argument).

    Please do provide a rebuttal when and if you can find a legitimate rational reason why the term Eskimo is prime facie offensive other than it being imprecise.

  3. No I didn’t bring up “a lack of precision”, that was your pivot then spin that then became your truth. I said it wasn’t their name, about as close I could come to saying wrong (deviating from truth or fact; erroneous). It isn’t. I consider “imprecise” a weasel word because it was a spin to diminish my point by reframing it then disproving it. Subtle, yet you know the term applicable. Most of your first paragraph, with a few word changes is just you looking in the mirror.

    “You have yet to demonstrate you can make a cogent argument so that hardly puts you in a position to judge the coherence of another’s argument.” A very subtle ad hominem if you look at it. Notice I quote you and refute you by line (OK, we’ll argue that point given the quote, but I am applying this to earlier comments also). You don’t quote, you don’t even address the argument directly, but you do make a lot of declarative statements that address nothing other than your own reference (that was one too, I can indulge myself also).

    We have both established our lineage. Neither applies, and leaves neither of us a footing for our arguments. Its not germane.

    It is prime facie (ooh, Latin erudition, “at first face” or “on it’s face” would have been so Anglo-Saxon) offensive if the people called it deem it so. I’ve given you my own personal experience, as well regarding in Canada as to the Inuit feelings about eskimo (there it isn’t imprecise, it’s wrong, I’ll wait for the PC and free speech argument, another reframing less subtle more lame). None of which you actually heard or likely read (I get the feeling you’re looking for rebuttal points). The only emotional argument I made was perhaps regarding “respect”, but I don’t think of that as emotional but fundamental to being human

    “Please do provide a rebuttal when and if you can find a legitimate rational reason why the term Eskimo is prime facie offensive other than it being imprecise.” There is a term for this kind or statement, but escapes me at the moment. Given that you determine whether it rational or legitimate, that you will continue to cling to your spin of “imprecise” as justification, there is no way to present any argument for you to budge except a concensus of all Inuit that it is offensive. Even then I think you’d pivot and spin something new. You are after all the arbiter of all that is rational.

    “I am indifferent” in your context is what I would choose to ignore. You have a hard time doing that don’t you? If I thought your words were without meaning, a strong summation of your assessment of me, I would ignore you. Why would I do otherwise, why do you? Obsession in light of assessment isn’t rational (try to tie it together with all before in this paragraph).

    Now, going back to an earlier comment of yours with “Maybe you should get a clue I don’t think you know what you are talking about”, perhaps you should get a clue that I don’t consider you rational. A rational person doesn’t clothe themselves in rationality, they know their genitals are showing at the least (there are about three layers of subtext allusion there, presume male and good luck). Rational people know they’re irrational and don’t clothe themselves in the mantle. Rational people don’t reframe to win, they deal with the argument they’re handed. Rational people have humility, knowing that they are also irrational, the latter often showing itself. (You’ll have a good run with this, enjoy waxing philosophically, or sophistic, or definitionally, whatever gives you that “winning” sense).

    Bigot, without all the connotation, the emotional freight, is a really good word. You might look it up. And, really, please don’t come back with the emotional freight on the word using faux outrage. Look at the denotation, solely the denotation. Nothing more.

    You’re initial comment to me, the one with all the fallacy nazi arguments but more pointedly, even more still poignantly, was the “anti-evolutionary, anti-science, pro-religious”. It was a salient moment of “this guy is irrational” (not endowed with reason or understanding, I placed the emphasis on the latter by charity). You drew such a sweeping conclusion from so little, and so very erroneous. I do understand that that was drawn from “consciousness screws with evolution”, and you responded emotionally, you responded by ego. I have two children that have Type I Juvenile Diabetes, which does have most certainly a genetic component, and without “consciousness” they would have died without passing on their genes (puberty onset). So I know first-hand that “consciousness screws with evolution”; you’re bacteria argument was not only lacking in insight about the human condition, but lame, because it lacked insight.

    To give you something more, my personality type is an outlier: I’m introverted (you may know the meaning in context, maybe not); strongly introspective; and strongly a generalist. The first is why I only come back after so many days; the second is why I see humor, irony, and always reach for self-deprecation, while deprecating those that take themselves too seriously; the last, I don’t get lost in the forest. I will enjoy your response, unless you live up to your words, which I will enjoy more.

    Finally, and it’s about time for God’s sake (was I pro-religious or just mining the richness of our language, only you would know, only you can determine), I’m not rambling but discursive. Generalists have that tendency. You won’t get pass the first definition, if you do, you won’t understand past the first.

  4. Oh, one last thing, I left the pronunciation of “wrong” out so you wouldn’t read out loud as I didn’t read “imprecise” out loud. Pronunciation is not important unless spoken, pedantry be damned.There are studies showing that it actually decreases comprehension so I eschewed it. As for the other words, I thought you should look them up as an exercise. That has been shown to increase comprehension by enervating numerous senses. Otherwise, this is pure snark, unless it did help you to understand, then it isn’t because snark isn’t there to help. Only you would know, unless you reveal it…

  5. “I consider ‘imprecise’ a weasel word because it was a spin to diminish my point by reframing it then disproving it. ”

    Interesting, but “imprecise” is an accurate term that leaves no room for you to wiggle out of the fact that you really have no complaint about the word “Eskimo” other than in you fit of PC language you’ve personally taken offense at a term that 1) does not apply to you as a non-Eskimo and 2) is not offensive other than it is “imprecise” – which is the summary of your earlier argument. The key word there in your is “disproving”. You really should have stopped there. Disproving the opposing party’s argument is what argumentation is about.

    You still have yet to provide a reason why the term Eskimo is offensive. Your “point” diminished itself by you never making one that was cogent. If you are troubled that I disproved you by turning your words against you? Then you simply don’t understand argumentation.

    If you can’t handle losing an argument, you should learn not to argue from emotion. I am starting to see this is an impossible task for you. That you seem to value your irrationality is your cross to bear, but don’t commit the fallacy of composition and assume that everyone argues from irrationality because humans as a species have a varied tendency to be irrational about one thing or another.

    To be clear, you are apparently angry over not being to answer the question “If you can explain why the term is considered insulting, I’d like to know.” You failed to meet your burden of proof and instead offered opinion and anecdotal personal experience that in no way answered the question.

    That is all.

    Carry on in your “righteous indignation” over a term you cannot provide a reasonable cogent argument for being offensive on its face.

    Political correctness is simply stupid and irrational no matter how well intentioned it may be.

    Thanks for red herring and the example of why PC language is ridiculous.

  6. Hi, Gene H.,

    Thanks for your reply, it fell neatly into my prediction “that you will continue to cling to your spin of “imprecise” as justification”.

    Following that: “the fact that you really have no complaint about the word “Eskimo” other than in you (sic) fit of PC language you’ve personally taken offense”, except I gave you the First Nation Canadian take, as well my training within the USCG 35 years ago which trust me wasn’t my personal take, yet you ignore and continue to pound with your argument that excludes any argument differing from yours. If anyone of the two of us is taking it personal, you are. Boy, are you.

    Really, look it up. This isn’t personal, I’m not an Inuit (I thought we had established that). What definition of cogent do you miss? In Canada, it is an insult on the Eastern Coast, I was told I should use Inuit on the Western Coast 35 years ago. How in any way rational do you maintain this is personal? Or PC (thanks though for justifying my prescience, I knew you’d fall back on that)? Prove by cogent, rational, and detailed argument that calling a people by their actual name is PC. Prove it, quit throwing the term out. Prove it. This is only your own intransigence, ignoring anything other than your own arguments and your own proofs.

    “1) does not apply to you as a non-Eskimo and 2) is not offensive other than it is “imprecise” – which is the summary of your earlier argument.” It’s like we start anew with each of your comments. It’s not germane that I’m not Eskimo, as well you. Using your argument, the use of Inuit doesn’t apply to you either, yet you resist it with vehemance, a vehemence that leads to sophistry as well inattention. Me, I’m just saying your wrong, and that is the actual crux or you wouldn’t keep replying to someone who is so unworthy (do I need to sum up all the different ways you’ve said that?). Really, if I know nothing, you can stop. No one would think less of you except you.

    I call the “Papago Indians”… google it and…the Tohono O’odham because that’s their name, not Papago, they don’t like Papago because it isn’t their name. I respect that, you obviously can’t, at least about Inuit, and probably the Tohono O’odham. Really, your imprecise argument applies to them also. How dare they go PC and force the rest of into an anathema of free speech. Their cheek is offensive to us “imprecise” rational people, well, not us, just you. I exaggerated, it’s my emotionalism, certainly not my assessment that someone is becoming a train wreck.

    How frigging simple do I need to make it to get through your so very dear imprecision defense? My argument was never “imprecise”, that was your spin, and now it is a clear strawman that you hug. My argument was that “Eskimo” is wrong, not imprecise, never imprecise, but wrong. You spun it to imprecise. And you’ll go on and on hugging that which keeps you warm (kind of a metaphor, writing that trying to keep you from literalism).

    “If you can’t handle losing an argument, you should learn not to argue from emotion. I am starting to see this is an impossible task for you. That you seem to value your irrationality is your cross to bear, but don’t commit the fallacy of composition and assume that everyone argues from irrationality because humans as a species have a varied tendency to be irrational about one thing or another.” Actually, this is just you doing the same thing over and over again. “I declare myself the winner, therefore I am”, kind of a Descartes thing, don’t you think. I’m not in an argument, I’m in your monologue. It starts anew, yet so repetitious, with each of your comments. Really, try quoting exact statements I’ve made, then rebut them without forgetting context (remember you thought the Nazis’ cherry-picking Nietzche was Okay, because he did write those words). It would be refreshing.

    “but don’t commit the fallacy of composition and assume that everyone argues from irrationality because humans as a species have a varied tendency to be irrational about one thing or another.” Never wrote that either, in fact, my point was that those that clothe themselves in rationality often show their genitals (I knew you’d be lost in the subtext, thanks for skipping it, it warms me). However, that statement is exposing your genitals and I thank you for that.

    (to be continued)

  7. Carrying on and quoting, something you’re wont to do, “but don’t commit the fallacy of composition and assume that everyone argues from irrationality because humans as a species have a varied tendency to be irrational about one thing or another.”

    My words however were different “A rational person doesn’t clothe themselves in rationality, they know their genitals are showing at the least (there are about three layers of subtext allusion there, presume male and good luck). Rational people know they’re irrational and don’t clothe themselves in the mantle. Rational people don’t reframe to win, they deal with the argument they’re handed. Rational people have humility, knowing that they are also irrational, the latter often showing itself. (You’ll have a good run with this, enjoy waxing philosophically, or sophistic, or definitionally, whatever gives you that “winning” sense).

    I didn’t say “everyone argues from irrationality”, far from it, I said (well, actually I wrote) that “Rational people know they’re irrational and don’t clothe themselves in the mantle (of rationality). Rational people don’t reframe to win, they deal with the argument they’re handed. Rational people have humility, knowing that they are also irrational, the latter often showing itself.” In all of that you should have gotten: “1) rational people can be irrational ;2) people are not always irrational; 3) but rational people can be irrational, recognize it, and don’t clothe themselves like you do.” Instead you got “everyone argues from irrationality”. I put my words in quotes just so you can’t reframe it later to suit your purpose. I said one thing then you reframed it into another, erroneous meaning to suit your purpose. You even threw in an inappropriate fallacy, given you didn’t understand what I wrote. You did wax sophistic, as the sophists thought any spin on an argument was justifiable to win the argument. Bravo.

    The rest you wrote has the same worth as your reframing. None.

    Try quoting people exactly. don’t cherry-pick, especially when your cherry-picking isn’t remotely what they said. You have so much in common with Creationists in terms of argumentation. Have you being doing this all the time you’ve been on this blog?

    Couldn’t address the subtext could you? Reframing it to suit you does so obliterate any meaning of the original author. You do realize you are one long, godawful strawman. Yet, you can say “winning” without a hint of irony or self awareness.

    Btw, you’ve failed to meet your burden. Leave it to you to think it was mine.

    Oh, further BTW, given all your words to say that “I’m not worthy”, I can sum you up in two “intellectual dishonesty”. You reek of it, yet can’t smell yourself.

    Again, why do you address me? You’ve yet to answer. If I had thought the same of you, prior to my last, this would be a much shorter thread. After my last, whatever you post here I will reply “word”. It amuses me.

  8. Three comments in a row, I’m going into your territory of monologue, Gene H., though mine have to be in a row while yours doesn’t. Thank you so very much for not responding yet.

    You lived up to my predictions, based on being predictable (if you actually argued in a back-and-forth rather than repeating over and over, you wouldn’t be), because damn if you didn’t end with that real zinger “Political correctness is simply stupid and irrational no matter how well intentioned it may be. Thanks for red herring and the example of why PC language is ridiculous.” You gave me the PC and even a fallacy, a hanging one.

    Was the red herring this “you’re bacteria argument was not only lacking in insight about the human condition, but lame, because it lacked insight” or was it “Otherwise, this is pure snark, unless it did help you to understand, then it isn’t because snark isn’t there to help. Only you would know, unless you reveal it…”, or even ““You have yet to demonstrate you can make a cogent argument so that hardly puts you in a position to judge the coherence of another’s argument.” Really, throwing out fallacy without showing the fallacy is just cheap, and obscure. Only you know the fallacy in your mind, and it may only be there. Without concise explanation, who’d know other than you? But that would be uncomfortable for you, better to just throw those terms out, so you can proclaim “Winning”.

    I spent 18 years in sales; my areas being FAA, electroplating, pcb, semiconductor, and wafer fab. All this is just funny, as well fun, to me, especially when you use “cogent”, “emotional”, or “repeat”. It leaves me smelling an omelette.

    Done.

    Word will follow. I promise.

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