Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What Obama Got Right


What Obama got right (quoted from his final State of the Union speech)...

"We live in a time of extraordinary change -- change that’s reshaping the way we live, the way we work, our planet, our place in the world. It’s change that promises amazing medical breakthroughs, but also economic disruptions that strain working families. It promises education for girls in the most remote villages, but also connects terrorists plotting an ocean away. It’s change that can broaden opportunity, or widen inequality. And whether we like it or not, the pace of this change will only accelerate.

America has been through big changes before -- wars and depression, the influx of new immigrants, workers fighting for a fair deal, movements to expand civil rights. Each time, there have been those who told us to fear the future; who claimed we could slam the brakes on change; who promised to restore past glory if we just got some group or idea that was threatening America under control. And each time, we overcame those fears. We did not, in the words of Lincoln, adhere to the “dogmas of the quiet past.” Instead we thought anew, and acted anew. We made change work for us, always extending America’s promise outward, to the next frontier, to more people. And because we did -- because we saw opportunity where others saw only peril -- we emerged stronger and better than before.

What was true then can be true now. Our unique strengths as a nation -- our optimism and work ethic, our spirit of discovery, our diversity, our commitment to rule of law -- these things give us everything we need to ensure prosperity and security for generations to come.

In fact, it’s that spirit that made the progress of these past seven years possible. It’s how we recovered from the worst economic crisis in generations. It’s how we reformed our health care system, and reinvented our energy sector; how we delivered more care and benefits to our troops and veterans, and how we secured the freedom in every state to marry the person we love.

But such progress is not inevitable. It’s the result of choices we make together. And we face such choices right now. Will we respond to the changes of our time with fear, turning inward as a nation, turning against each other as a people? Or will we face the future with confidence in who we are, in what we stand for, in the incredible things that we can do together?"

======

We need to choose to unite, not divide. Disagree with grace, not bitterness. If we engage in rants and spouting off (and this is human, it happens, it's okay to a degree), let us acknowledge the difference between blowing off steam and making actual false claims and not backing down from false claims.
"Obama is trying to destroy our military! Liberals hate the US! Conservatives are Nazis!" these are rants. As a rant, as blowing off steam, that's fine if overly harsh. But to make these as a claim, well, they are false claims and we need to choose to abandon false witness and slander.

While I disagreed strongly with Reagan on a large number of his policies, he was a positive man who projected a promising future and noted that our strengths lie in our ideals, just as Obama was pushing last night. Let us abandon fear and divisiveness and live in the strength and comfort of our better ideals... ideals about human liberty, religious freedom (ie, the freedom to make your own choices of moral conscience, not the "freedom" to impose those beliefs on others) for all.

Our dear conservative family and neighbors are not the enemy. Our beloved liberal family and neighbors are not the enemy. Our Baptist, pagan, Muslim, Jewish, gay, lesbian, transgender, Catholic neighbors are not the enemy. We will disagree on implementation of our ideals, but that disagreement does not make them the enemy. Let us choose to work on the great progress we have made in our nation and do so together, as neighbors.

63 comments:

Craig said...

"We need to choose to unite, not divide. Disagree with grace, not bitterness."

Could it be assumed that referring to a sitting U.S. President as "Scum" is uniting and graceful? (Through These Woods 7/7/2007)

Or "Clowns" (TTW May 29, 2007)

or "Madman" (TTW Dec 30, 2006)

I'd also guess that "...my usual ang"WE need to choose to unite, not divide. Disagree with grace, not bitterness."ry screeding..." would be included in this as well, right?

Or "...repeat that lie...", are those the words of uniting? or grace? (June 30, 2005 TTW)

Or

" A time for anger...
For W and his spawn



Shame on your god

Your arm-breaker

Your life-taker

Your freemarket witch

Your sonofabitch

god

Damn your god!

Who preaches war

That corporate whore

That distorts scripture

So the rich can get richer

On the backs of the poor

Taking more and more and more...



Shame on your god

Your upside down

Vulgar, hideous clown

Your backwards, inside-out

Bloodthirsty boyscout

god

And shame on you



We had a perfectly good God

Prince of Peace

Making a feast

For ALL God's children

Black, white, straight, gay

Preparing the Way

Good God! We had a Good God



And you killed him



You religious,

You white washed tombs,

You serpents,

You blind guides,

You gnat-straining, camel-swallowing, hellspawn-making

Blind Fools



Shame on you

And shame on your god. " (TTW 1/21/2005)

Or this grace filled comment "Bush's policies have been monstrous and I am not speaking hyperbolically when I say that it may well lead to our world's destruction." (TTW 2/17/2005)

Again your love of grace and unity shines through. "From his illogical and immoral tenet of “preemptive invasion” and his subsequent war in Iraq, to his assault on civil liberties, to his war on the environment, to his doomsday energy policy, to his corporate whoring of the White House, Bush's presidency has been a disaster on multiple levels." (TTW 2/17/2005)

So, thank you for your sterling example of how to "unite" and "not divide", especially for your frequent demonstrations of disagreeing without "bitterness" and with "grace".

Your example shames us all and given us much to aspire to.

Dan Trabue said...

As my post indicated clearly...

"If we engage in rants and spouting off (and this is human, it happens, it's okay to a degree), let us acknowledge the difference between blowing off steam and making actual false claims"

...that is, I'm not saying we can't blow off steam and vent about a politician whose policies we think are monstrous. Ranting is human and okay. Ranting does not mean that we aren't gracious.

Given that, I have one simple line of questions, Craig:

Did you read and understand that caveat I made quite clearly?

Do you see, then, that there is nothing inconsistent with my rants and what I have said?

Do you disagree... that is, do you think it is wrong or lacking in grace to even rant/blow off steam about a politician who has policies with whom you disagree?

If not, then what exactly is your point, since I have been consistent and, from my point of view (and apparently yours, since I don't think I am doing anything different than you are doing), anyway, gracious and honest to a fault?

You can answer these questions directly or move on, please, if you are not wanting to engage in rational, civil, respectful and gracious dialog. Thank you.

Dan Trabue said...

I will note that my rants were all in response to what seems to many of us to have been illegal wars causing harm and death in the hundreds of thousands of innocent people, so you will perhaps understand why a rant about so deadly a policy seems appropriate.

And looking at just one of your citations of my words...

Again your love of grace and unity shines through. "From his illogical and immoral tenet of “preemptive invasion” and his subsequent war in Iraq, to his assault on civil liberties, to his war on the environment, to his doomsday energy policy, to his corporate whoring of the White House, Bush's presidency has been a disaster on multiple levels."

What is lacking in grace in this? I am criticizing a policy that was criticized by millions of people across the world - in numbers unprecedented, the world united in calling this invasion immoral. We were not attacked by the Iranians, it was unprovoked, there were no grounds for going to war. I pointed out that going to war unprovoked and killing tens of thousands of innocents is immoral.

Do you think that is lacking in grace? Really? Same for the other policies... I was attacking bad policy. Do you really think that criticizing bad policies (bad as in deadly, harmful, etc) equals being ungracious? I rather doubt you do, so perhaps you better back up your criticism as I believe your hypocrisy is showing.

Craig said...

"Did you read and understand that caveat I made quite clearly?"

Yes, I did.

"Do you see, then, that there is nothing inconsistent with my rants and what I have said?"

I see that in your opinion that you find nothing inconsistent in anything you have said. The problem is that your opinion seems to presume that your "ranting" is both "uniting" and full of "grace" and not full of "bitterness". Or it seems to suggest that "grace" and "bitterness" and "divide" ing, are determined by you opinion of peoples writings, not by any sort of objective standard. I merely pointed out some instances where you have made statements that are not full of "grace" but instead full of "bitterness", statements that do not "unite" but "divide". Clearly, on certain occasions you appear to have made "decided" that it is appropriate for you to "choose" "bitterness" over "grace" and to "divide" instead of "unite". While I am quite sure that you can and will make multiple attempts to justify your words, the words you "choose" to employ speak for themselves.

"Do you disagree... that is, do you think it is wrong or lacking in grace to even rant/blow off steam about a politician who has policies with whom you disagree?"

I agree that it is fine to "rant" about people with whom we disagree. Does that mean it is appropriate to refer to them as "scum"? Do you even know that meaning of the term? In what way is does it demonstrate grace to refer to someone as "scum"?. It is certainly possible to express oneself in ways that disagree without "bitterness" and in ways that express some degree of grace. My point is not that it can't be done, it's that you have on occasion chosen not to. Even as you criticize others for doing what you have done.

"If not, then what exactly is your point, since I have been consistent and, from my point of view (and apparently yours, since I don't think I am doing anything different than you are doing), anyway, gracious and honest to a fault?"

My point is that you have chosen to use references to politicians that express "bitterness" and not "grace" words that do not "unite" but "divide". It seems reasonable that if one is going to call for others to "...choose to unite, not divide. Disagree with grace, not bitterness.", that the one who makes the call should live up to their own standard.

"You can answer these questions directly or move on, please,..."

Which I have done. You see, it's not that hard.

Craig said...

"I will note that my rants were all in response to what seems to many of us to have been illegal wars causing harm and death in the hundreds of thousands of innocent people, so you will perhaps understand why a rant about so deadly a policy seems appropriate."

I'm not saying whether it was or was not appropriate for you to rant, I am pointing out that you have come up with a standard, ""We need to choose to unite, not divide. Disagree with grace, not bitterness.", with which you do not abide.

"Do you disagree... that is, do you think it is wrong or lacking in grace to even rant/blow off steam about a politician who has policies with whom you disagree?"

I agree that it is possible to do so. Unfortunately you decided to "choose" not to. Unless you are contradicting the standard you proposed earlier and suggesting that it is appropriate to "rant/blow off steam" in a way that is full of "bitterness" and lacks "grace" and in a way which "divide"(s), and does not "unite".

"What is lacking in grace in this?"

"...illogical and immoral..."
"...assault on civil liberties..."
"...war on the environment..."
"...doomsday energy policy..."
"...corporate whoring..."

These quotes don't seem to embody any sort of expression of "grace", in fact that seem full of "bitterness", yet you quite clearly say "Disagree with grace, not bitterness.". I see absolutely no "grace" in the words you choose. Further, those words do not seem calculated to "unite", they seem more calculated to "divide". One wonders how those choices reflect that imperative ""We need to choose to unite, not divide.". Clearly it would seem that "we" would include everyone including you, and that "need" would indicate an imperative. Yet, your own words demonstrate otherwise.

"Do you think that is lacking in grace? Really?"

Given the fact that you made a decision to "choose" the terms you did, then yes it does lack grace. Really, I think that calling someone "immoral" and "illogical" does not demonstrate anything I recognize as "grace".

"Do you really think that criticizing bad policies (bad as in deadly, harmful, etc) equals being ungracious?"

No, and I've never suggested that it is. I have pointed out that you have engaged in attacks that show a lack of "grace" and an excess of "bitterness", attacks that seem to "divide" and not to "unite". Quite the contrary it is perfectly reasonable and possible to disagree without being ungracious. Unfortunately, it appears that you have not chosen to do so.

"I rather doubt you do, so perhaps you better back up your criticism as I believe your hypocrisy is showing."

I see no reason to "back up" a "criticism" that I have not made. It is by definition not hypocrisy to fail to "back up" a "criticism" that one has not actually made.

"You can answer these questions directly or move on, please,..."

Given that fact that I have been scrupulous about answering all of your questions in numerous recent threads, while you have been less so, perhaps it is not accurate to imply that I would not answer your questions can be put aside once and for all.

Craig said...

One last thought.

"I will note that my rants were all in response to what seems to many of us to have been illegal wars..."

The use of "what seems to", as a reason to rant, or blow off steam, or jump to false conclusions or as a means of justifying anything appears to carry some difficulty within the phrase itself.

Specifically, just because something "seems" to be something to one person, does not necessarily mean that that thing is in reality what it "seems" to be.

For example. As things stand right now, Hilary Clinton "seems" to have violated federal law in her handling of classified documents. This view is buttressed by the e mail she sent instructing her underlings to remove the security classification from documents and to send them to an unsecured e mail server.

Furthermore, it "seems" as if she has contradicted herself and it "seems" as if she has lied about this situation.

Now, the reality may or may not verify what "seems" to be, or it may. The problem with "rants" based on "seems" is that they might be "rants" not based on reality.

Craig said...

I very intentionally refrained from asking you an inordinate amount of questions so as not to place an undue burden on your time. If you feel that you have the time to answer the few questions I would greatly appreciate it. If not, I know how busy you are and respect that your time for answering questions is limited.

Dan Trabue said...

I agree that it is possible to do so. Unfortunately you decided to "choose" not to. Unless you are contradicting the standard you proposed earlier and suggesting that it is appropriate to "rant/blow off steam" in a way that is full of "bitterness" and lacks "grace" and in a way which "divide"(s), and does not "unite".

I don't know what you're trying to get at. I think we agree that blowing off steam - even in less than gracious ways - is not inappropriate. Think of the imprecatory psalms ("Dash their heads against the rocks..." THAT is some serious ranting... doesn't mean that to actually do so or to actually advocate that is gracious).

The distinction I make is whether or not one treats a rant like an actual claim. If someone says, "Obama is a socialist and a God-hating Muslim! He should be kicked out of office..." and I ask them, "Are you seriously suggesting he is a socialist and a Muslim..." and they respond, "No, I'm just ranting because I think his policies are so bad..." I don't find that necessarily wrong. It's the ability to distinguish between a rant and a fact claim where I draw the line.

Are you suggesting that people should not use harsh words even as part of a rant?

I don't think you are, since it happens biblically quite often and it happens on your side and I believe even by you, so I don't think you have a problem with ranting, so I am not sure of what you are criticizing in what I have said.

The problem is that your opinion seems to presume that your "ranting" is both "uniting" and full of "grace" and not full of "bitterness"

Yes, ranting is full of bitterness. Hence, "Rant." "God damn your warring god..." "Dash their heads against the rocks...," "We should nuke them all and let God sort them out..." ranting is bitter. I don't have a problem with that, in and of itself. Sometimes, when you think oppressive, harmful behavior is happening, you rant against the injustice of it all. Are you suggesting that ranting should be sweet and agreeable?

Again, I'm not sure of your point.

Your questions:

Does that mean it is appropriate to refer to them as "scum"? Do you even know that meaning of the term? In what way is does it demonstrate grace to refer to someone as "scum"?

I have been quite clear, repeatedly, that I think there is a time for ranting. So, yes, if you think that someone's policies are causing harm and death, calling them scum is not unreasonable. I have been quite clear that ranting is, itself, not especially grace-full. It is bitter and harsh. In the Bible when it happens. In the GOP circles when it happens. In my own life when it happens. I don't have a problem with ranting, nor do I see it as inconsistent with also being gracious, in general.

Do you?

If so, will you be consistent and condemn all ranting, even when it happens from the mouth of the Psalmist? From the mouth of Jesus? From the mouth of fellow conservatives? Or are you only condemning it when it comes from liberals?

Again, the line for me is being able to distinguish between a harsh rant and actual truth and grace.

Do I have a problem with the Psalmist saying in a prayer that the oppressive enemy's babies should have their heads dashed against rocks? I understand the grief and pain that the Psalmist is experiencing and the place where that harsh language is coming from. It is a reasonable rant. BUT, if we move from acknowledging that harsh feeling to actually advocating dashing babies heads against rocks, we have moved from understandable ranting to horrible, graceless policy.

The grace is in understanding and being able to distinguish between rant and fact or policy.

How do you draw the line?

Dan Trabue said...

I think that calling someone "immoral" and "illogical" does not demonstrate anything I recognize as "grace".

I did not call Bush immoral and illogical. I called some specific policies illogical and immoral. Do you think that if one thinks (with some good reason) that Policy A is immoral and illogical that it is lacking in grace to make that claim?

I don't think you do. If that is the case, then we don't disagree and you are complaining about me holding the same position that you do.

Dan Trabue said...

I don't see any other questions other than the ones that I addressed and the ones raised by your own comments. If I missed something you're wondering, let me know.

Craig said...

"Are you suggesting that people should not use harsh words even as part of a rant?"

No, I'm suggesting that if one claims that we "We NEED to choose to unite, not divide. Disagree with grace, not bitterness." (emphasis added), should live up to what one claims that "we' "need' to do.


"Sometimes, when you think oppressive, harmful behavior is happening, you rant against the injustice of it all. Are you suggesting that ranting should be sweet and agreeable?"

No, I am suggesting that since you have claimed that "We need to choose to unite, not divide. Disagree with grace, not bitterness.", then you should actually do what you say "we NEED" (emphasis added) to do. I have pointed out a number of instances where you have not chosen to do what you claim "we NEED" to do, but have done the opposite of what you claim "we NEED" to do. I am suggesting that if you are going to make claims about what "we need" to do, then I would hope that you would do what you expect of others.

"Do you?"

I guess I can answer this again. I have not problem with ranting of one feels the need. What i have a problem with is your unwillingness to live up to the standard you say "we need' to live up to.

"If so, will you be consistent and condemn all ranting, even when it happens from the mouth of the Psalmist?"

Since I haven't condemned any ranting, I see no reason why I should respond any further.


"From the mouth of Jesus?"

Again, I haven't condemned ranting, so I don't understand your question.

"From the mouth of fellow conservatives?"

Again, I haven't condemned ranting from anyone. I have pointed out to people who have crossed what I believe to be a line of appropriate behavior who are conservatives.

"Or are you only condemning it when it comes from liberals?"

I'm not condemning it when it comes from anyone as a general rule. I don't understand why you would make a false assumption, then base questions on your false assumption. I also don't understand why you would ask me a question, not give me a change to answer it before you ask follow up questions based on what you presume my answer would have been, instead of giving me a chance to actually answer you.

"

Craig said...

"Do I have a problem with the Psalmist saying in a prayer that the oppressive enemy's babies should have their heads dashed against rocks?"

I assume that you do not. Especially as you consider that a "revenge" fantasy.

"How do you draw the line?"

I have no idea what line you are speaking of. I have not suggested that any lines be drawn. Nor have a even suggested the drawing of lines. If you can point out where I have suggested drawing lines I will be happy to answer that. I would suggest that if one does "draw' a line, or suggest that "we NEED" (emphasis added in case you are confused) to do something, that simple consistency would indicate that one should live up to what one says others "need" to do.

"I called some specific policies illogical and immoral."

If you look at your actual quote, you did not use those terms in relation to his policies, you used it in relation to "tenets".

"Do you think that if one thinks (with some good reason) that Policy A is immoral and illogical that it is lacking in grace to make that claim?"

If one can demonstrate ones claims, then sure. If you are suggesting that "rants" not be held up to factual scrutiny then no.

I note that you ignored the multiple other examples of your graceless language. I've noticed this tendency recently. That you respond to things when you think you can justify yourself, while ignoring those instances where you can't. It seems as though by only dealing with one of the many examples you are tacitly admitting that the others lack grace.


I specifically and deliberately only asked you three questions, You only answered one (I suspect that you believe your self serving response eliminates the need to actually answer the questions asked). So, despite your claim of 95+% of questions answered, you are currently at 33%.

Craig said...

You seem to be making that claim that there are statements by both the Psalmist and Jesus that would be accurately and correctly categorized as "rants", is this a distinction you personally have drawn, or is it a category commonly used by Biblical scholars?

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, so in summation:

I. We agree that ranting is okay.

II. I sometimes rant. You have no problem with that presumably [see I.]

My question to you, then:

You think, then, what? That I shouldn't say we should unite and not be divisive because I believe in ranting?

You asked...

is it a category commonly used by Biblical scholars?

There are some Psalms called "deprecatory psalms" that are essentially rants. A pouring out of the bitterness one feels in the midst of oppression, generally. I assume that you are familiar with these Psalms? I presume you agree that they are not models for policy (ie, that we shouldn't REALLY bash in babies brains), but that they are more a way of blowing off steam and saying to God things that are, well, rather rant-y.

Do you disagree with saying that these are an apt analogy for rants (ie, the Psalmist whose people were being oppressed calling for bashing babies brains is way more bitter and ungracious than my calling Bush's policies "monstrous..." or even ranting against Bush himself (again, because of these policies)? If so, we disagree, then.

As to your false charge that I have left questions unanswered. I find three questions you asked. I answered two of them and one of them I thought was rhetorical (do you know the meaning of "scum?").

Again, your three questions and my answers:

Does that mean it is appropriate to refer to them as "scum"?

So, yes, if you think that someone's policies are causing harm and death, calling them scum is not unreasonable.

Do you even know that meaning of the term?

I assumed this rather obvious question was rhetorical, but to answer it, Yes.

In what way is does it demonstrate grace to refer to someone as "scum"?

I responded that, AS YOU AGREE, there is a time and place for ranting. Thus, if someone is killing innocent people, calling those policies or even that person "scum" is not uncalled for. I will expand to say that, when someone is causing harm to innocents, the grace is in defending the innocents, even if one is harsh towards the one causing the harm. I rather thought that was obvious, but if it wasn't, now I have spelled it out. Further, since it is in the category of "rant" and not "claim," clearly, I am not saying that Bush's policies are a gross froth growing in brackish waters literally. Nor am I saying that Bush is a monster literally. I'm condemning harmful policies, policies that physically and in reality were causing harm to innocent people.

So, your questions have been directly and clearly answered. Sorry if any were less than clear.

Craig said...

"You think, then, what? That I shouldn't say we should unite and not be divisive because I believe in ranting?"

No, I think that if you are going to assert that "we NEED" (*emphasis added) to do something, that you should be willing to actually do what you claim "we NEED"* to do. It's a simple matter of being willing to live by the standards you demand of others.

"There are some Psalms called "deprecatory psalms" that are essentially rants."

OK, but that doesn't answer the actual question I asked, will you do so?

"A pouring out of the bitterness one feels in the midst of oppression, generally. I assume that you are familiar with these Psalms?"


Yes, but I've never heard them referred to as "rant" by any actual Biblical scholar.

"I presume you agree that they are not models for policy (ie, that we shouldn't REALLY bash in babies brains), but that they are more a way of blowing off steam and saying to God things that are, well, rather rant-y."

Perhaps you shouldn't base things on what you presume, it seems to cause you comprehension problems.

"Do you disagree with saying that these are an apt analogy for rants (ie, the Psalmist whose people were being oppressed calling for bashing babies brains is way more bitter and ungracious than my calling Bush's policies "monstrous..." or even ranting against Bush himself (again, because of these policies)?"

I've never seen anyone but you refer to these as rants, so I guess one could make the stretch. But I've never seen anyone but you do so, and you're not really a Biblical scholar whose example I'm inclined to follow. Again, I'd suggest that the language you used (in the absence of any evidence otherwise) does not meet the standard you say "we NEED"* to follow. But if your comfortable with your double standard who am I to argue.

"I thought was rhetorical..."

Once again we see the problem with responding to how things "seem" or based on what you "thought". But, that's just an excuse for not answering.

I'm sorry it was so difficult to get you to answer that onerous load of questions.

I guess that I can't see and circumstance where calling someone "low, vile, or worthless person" could be construed as an expression of grace in any shape or form. Having said that I've been on the receiving end of similar expressions of your somewhat skewed concept of "grace" so I guess it makes sense to you that calling someone "vile", "worthless", "foul", "evil", "A despicable person" and/or "semen" is an expression of "grace".

It only took several tries to get you to answer three whole questions, so maybe one or two more.

How many questions have I answered in this thread?
How many questions have I not answered in this thread?


Dan Trabue said...

I think that if you are going to assert that "we NEED" (*emphasis added) to do something, that you should be willing to actually do what you claim "we NEED"* to do.

I, for one, believe we can both be gracious and rant. That there is a time for both. As I have been saying all along. And it appears you agree.

Do you agree? Are we saying the same thing here, that there is a time for being gracious and a time for ranting?

If so, well then, we agree. So what are you complaining about?

Dan Trabue said...

Once again we see the problem with responding to how things "seem" or based on what you "thought". But, that's just an excuse for not answering.

Are you truly being serious here? You SERIOUSLY wondered if I knew the definition of the word "scum..."?

It's a grade school word, Craig, you don't need to be a genius to know what "scum" means. I assumed you knew this and I assumed you were smart enough to know that every adult knows what scum means, thus, it is reasonable to assume it was a rhetorical question. It was not an excuse for not answering. If you truly did not know this, then I will have to resort to assuming you are pretty slow, developmentally and talk to you like I would a four year old. I was giving you the benefit of the doubt.

And I still do. I still assume you are smart enough to know that all adults know what scum is. So, that leaves us with you striving to be a jerk, but I'm also trying to give you the benefit of the doubt there.

So, what would you have me do with you? Presume you are intentionally being a jerk, that you are not as smart as a four year old or some other alternative? You're not leaving me with much here, it appears you just want to kick against grace, not argue for it.

Craig said...

"Do you agree?"

I agree that it is theoretically possible to be gracious and rant. My problem is that I believe that you have (on occasion) chosen to be ungracious in your ranting, and that find calling for "grace" and "unity" while engaging in "bitterness" and 'divisiveness" to be somewhat contradictory. It also seems that you would prefer to be able to label the comments you make that demonstrate "bitterness' or lack "grace" as a "rant" which you seem to be suggesting allows you the excuse to say things that would otherwise lack "grace".

"Are we saying the same thing here, that there is a time for being gracious and a time for ranting?"

I don't know originally you said "We NEED* to choose to unite, not divide. Disagree with grace, not bitterness.". But now you appear to be saying that while "we' (whoever we means) "NEED"* to do these things that there is an exception to doing what we "NEED"* to do if one refers to something as a "rant". So, given the contradiction between your claim that I initially addressed and your current claims I honestly don't know what you are saying at this point. I guess I can be sure that you are not simply obfuscating in order to cover the seeming contradictions in your assertions.

"So what are you complaining about?"

I'm not complaining. I'm pointing out that if (as you assert) "we NEED"* to refrain from "bitterness' and "divide"(ing) and instead engage in "grace" and "unity", then it see,s as though you would follow your own imperative. I pointed out numerous occasions where you have not followed your own imperative. I would hope that it is important to you that you be consistent, and I am trying to help you by pointing out the inconsistency you are demonstrating.

"Are you truly being serious here? You SERIOUSLY wondered if I knew the definition of the word "scum..."?"

Yes. I'm sorry if being asked a yes or no question offends you and causes you such hardship. If you were truly interested in answering questions, why not show some grace and just answer it?

"If you truly did not know this, then I will have to resort to assuming you are pretty slow, developmentally and talk to you like I would a four year old. I was giving you the benefit of the doubt."

The issue is not what I know or don't know, it is what you know or don't know. Again, it seems that the response with "grace' would have been to simply answer the question with the word yes and move on. You chose to make assumptions. Not my fault.

Craig said...

"So, that leaves us with you striving to be a jerk, but I'm also trying to give you the benefit of the doubt there."

So now you can discern my motivation, impressive. I've been respectful, answered every single question you've asked (some more than once) and all you have is name calling?


"So, what would you have me do with you?"

I'd suggest that a good place to start would be to treat me the same way you expect to be treated.

"Presume you are intentionally being a jerk, that you are not as smart as a four year old or some other alternative?"

If you feel the need to operate on negative presumptions I can't help that but it does undercut your constant demands for respectful conversation. Perhaps you could assume that I might actually have a reason for asking the questions I ask and simply answer them. Perhaps simply avoiding basing your response on "seems" or "presuming" or anything other than the respect you demand from others but are so loath to offer others. Perhaps, being adult enough to admit that it's possible that you've made a mistake, or contradicted yourself, or been less than clear would be a good place to start. How about simply some humility and grace.

"You're not leaving me with much here, it appears you just want to kick against grace, not argue for it."

Once again you choose to respond based on "appears" rather than is. I'm sorry but I just don't know how to help you break that habit.

To be clear, you are the one arguing that calling someone "scum" demonstrates "grace" not me.

So, two questions. Zero answers.

Dan Trabue said...

To be clear, you are the one arguing that calling someone "scum" demonstrates "grace" not me.

To be clear: You do not understand the words I have written.

For instance...

"Do you agree?"

I agree that it is theoretically possible to be gracious and rant.


Your answer is not an answer to my question, it is an answer to a different question. I guess you just don't understand and aren't able to answer directly. So be it.

And to summarize:

I am okay with rants, harsh complaints against a person and their harmful policies. YOU are, too.

I generally believe we need to be more gracious in disagreeing with one another. Presumably you agree, too.

There is no disagreement or inconsistency in what I have said or what you believe. Or, conversely, if there is (in your opinion), then we both are being inconsistent, as you believe what I believe.

That is the best I can get out of your words.

Dan Trabue said...

To deal with some of your questions...

Yes, but I've never heard them referred to as "rant" by any actual Biblical scholar.

Okay, I think rant is a fair term to describe vicious verbal attacks that aren't actually advocated policies such as we find in Psalms. You disagree, I guess. So be it. It's a matter of opinion, I don't mind if you disagree. Regardless, the question was answered.

I'm sorry if being asked a yes or no question offends you and causes you such hardship. If you were truly interested in answering questions, why not show some grace and just answer it?

It has been answered. I'm just pointing out that I presumed it was so obtuse as to have been surely a rhetorical question and I was giving you the benefit of the doubt. As to the "scum" thing, I really can't believe that you thought I might not know the definition of the word. Are you serious?

I mean, do you understand how that strains credulity? Craig, do you know the meaning of the words onerous, imperative or obfuscating? You used those words and they are just normal, common English words, why would I ask you if you know the meaning of the word if not either rhetorically or abusively?

But don't bother answering. I'm just trying to point out the problem with your claim that you honestly didn't think I knew the meaning of the word.

Your questions have been answered. I can point to the answers. You can't point to the place where I didn't answer them. I can (and have) pointed out how they are clear and direct answers to your questions.

You don't disagree with my suggestion that we should be gracious as a rule or that we can rant, on occasion. You appear to be only complaining that I'm doing what you agree with for the sake of complaining.

So, if you have nothing else on topic to say (other than maybe agreeing with me some more), thanks for your comments. Have a good new year.

Craig said...

"It has been answered."

Only after pointing out that you hadn't answered it and after you decided that you had some strange insight into the reason why I asked. All you needed was a simple yes the first time, but you chose to operate on "seems" rather than "is" or "grace".

"Are you serious?"

I'm serious that I asked the question and sincerely wanted your honest answer.

"I mean, do you understand how that strains credulity?"

So, asking a simple question strains your credulity. Maybe if you spent less time imputing motives and making assumptions things would go better for you.

"Craig, do you know the meaning of the words onerous, imperative or obfuscating?"

Yes.

"You used those words and they are just normal, common English words, why would I ask you if you know the meaning of the word if not either rhetorically or abusively?"

I have no idea why you do anything, I can't imagine being able to explain why you do anything. One thing to keep in mind, I am not you. I do not do things that way you do them. So it seems like it would demonstrate grace to not make negative assumptions about other peoples motives based on your own behavior.

"But don't bother answering. I'm just trying to point out the problem with your claim that you honestly didn't think I knew the meaning of the word."

You do realize that you claim in the above quote is based on your assumptions about my motives and not in the reality of why I asked the question, don't you? You do realize that dealing with reality is much more productive that dealing with assumptions, don;t you?

"Your questions have been answered. I can point to the answers. You can't point to the place where I didn't answer them. I can (and have) pointed out how they are clear and direct answers to your questions."

Not all of them. I can provide actual, factual, data to back up this claim. Unfortunately, you can't back yours up in the same way.

"You don't disagree with my suggestion that we should be gracious as a rule..."

I don't but as I've pointed out, you apparently do.

",,,or that we can rant, on occasion."

Rant away, I fully understand that this is just your excuse for when you don;t choose to be gracious.

"So, if you have nothing else on topic to say..."

Since when is answering every single question you asked not "on topic"?

I guess that pointing out your inconsistency using your own words is, in your would of "seems' and assumptions "off topic".

Please, by all means don't bother to respond to the unanswered questions and continue to avoid responding to what I actually said rather than your opinion of what your assume it seems like I said. I know it's easier for you.


Craig said...

"To be clear: You do not understand the words I have written."

If the words you actually wrote are written using normal standard English grammar, syntax, and definitions then I understand exactly that yo are trying to justify your use of terms like "scum" as being consistent with your demand that "we NEED" to demonstrate more "grace". I have not tried to justify my use of terms that lack "grace", you have.

"Your answer is not an answer to my question, it is an answer to a different question. I guess you just don't understand and aren't able to answer directly. So be it."

No, your question was "Do you agree.". My answer was a simple direct answer to your question. The reason why I worded it the way I did is that while I agree that it is possible to "rant" with "grace", I have yet to see you actually do so. Nor have you demonstrated any examples of "graceful ranting", so in the absence of real world evidence, I can only agree in a theoretical sense.

"So, what would you have me do with you?"

Demonstrate the "grace" you demand of others.

Dan Trabue said...

If the words you actually wrote are written using normal standard English grammar, syntax, and definitions then I understand exactly that yo are trying to justify your use of terms like "scum" as being consistent with your demand that "we NEED" to demonstrate more "grace".

Let me walk you through so you can see where you made your error in understanding my words. You said...

To be clear, you are the one arguing that calling someone "scum" demonstrates "grace" not me.

I have not ever said that calling someone "scum" demonstrates grace. I never once said that (look at my words) because I do not believe that. You read the words that I did write (words that distinguished between the norm of being gracious and the exception of ranting) and note that never ONE TIME did I argue at all that calling someone "scum" demonstrates grace.

You read that into my words apparently, but it is not something that I said.

And so I repeat...

To be clear: You do not understand the words I have written.

Do you see now where you made your error?

Craig said...

Alright, let's look at the actual words you chose to type and see what you actually said.


"I have been quite clear, repeatedly, that I think there is a time for ranting. So, yes, if you think that someone's policies are causing harm and death, calling them scum is not unreasonable. I have been quite clear that ranting is, itself, not especially grace-full. It is bitter and harsh. In the Bible when it happens. In the GOP circles when it happens. In my own life when it happens. I don't have a problem with ranting, nor do I see it as inconsistent with also being gracious, in general.


Two phrases stand out that support my contention.

"...calling them scum is not unreasonable."

"...nor do I see it as inconsistent with also being gracious,..."

It appears that you think that it is reasonable to call someone scum in the course of a rant, which you claim can be gracious.

So, it is completely reasonable to take from your words that you believe that it is (or at least can be) gracious to call someone scum.

I'm sorry that your earlier words seem to contradict your later words.

"You read that into my words apparently, but it is not something that I said."

I guess I'm a little mystified that this is such a concern to you given your demonstrated history of reading into my comments whatever you please and responding to what "seem"s to be there rather than what is. (before you ask for proof, look up the comment thread I've already pointed this out)

This seems like one more of those log/speck moments.

"Do you see now where you made your error?"

I see that if one looks at the actual words you chose to use that my conclusion is completely reasonable based on what you actually wrote. It's possible that you meant something other than what you wrote down, in which case I'm not able to read your mind as well as you seem to think you can read mine.

"To be clear: You do not understand the words I have written."

This is tricky for me, because I understand the words you wrote earlier in the thread that led me to a reasonable conclusion based on the actual words used. But, now I understand that you have different words that don't seem to mesh with the earlier words. So, I do understand your words, I just can't reconcile them.

I guess I'll just give up hope that you'll actually answer the two questions I've asked that you've ignored. I realize that it's just too much to expect you to take multiple hours and answer dozens of questions....oh sorry, that's what I've done in this thread. You can't be bothered to answer the last two.

Dan Trabue said...

It appears that you think that it is reasonable to call someone scum in the course of a rant, which you claim can be gracious.

Craig, do you see why this is tiring working with you, when dealing with just dealing with ONE point requires this back and forth to keep correcting your bad understanding?

Look at what you did there, it "appears" (ie, to you) that when you lift out of context my words

"...calling them scum is not unreasonable."

and...

"...nor do I see it as inconsistent with also being gracious,..."

And I say "lift out of context" because right in between those phrases were several OTHER words. For instance, these lines:

I have been quite clear that

ranting is, itself, NOT ESPECIALLY GRACE-FULL.

It is BITTER and HARSH.
[emphasis mine, so you won't miss it this time - and here again, so you can't miss it: "NOT... GRACEFUL"]

So, yes, I CAN see how you would reach a faulty conclusion about my position IF you lift my words out of context and ignore other clear words in context.

If, on the other hand, you look to what I actually said (again, "NOT... GRACE-FULL"), no I don't see how you can get "Dan thinks that rants are gracious" from "NOT GRACE-FULL..."

Which is fine, I get that people make mistakes. They read too fast or are tired or otherwise just slip and miss the obvious and are able to even take a person's actual words and get the opposite meaning out of it. Mistakes happen. It's just that they happen so often with you that it becomes tedious to keep correcting the false/mistaken understandings.

Do you see now the words that you missed that would have tipped you off to my actual position? Do you understand now that you did NOT, in fact, understand my words I had written? And that it had nothing to do with my actual words, but your mistaken reading? That it was not "completely reasonable" as it was the complete and polar opposite of my actual words?

Craig said...

Thank you for finally acknowledge the dichotomy between your imperative, ""We need to choose to unite, not divide. Disagree with grace, not bitterness.", and your "rant" exception to your imperative, "ranting is, itself, NOT ESPECIALLY GRACE-FULL.It is BITTER and HARSH.".

So how does one reconcile these two things that are in opposition? If, as you state, "we NEED" to avoid "bitterness" and demonstrate "grace" when we disagree, then how can you justify a "rant" full of "bitterness" and lacking in "grace"?

This gets back the the single point of my participation in this thread, a point that has been made over and over and not addressed in any coherent manner.

How can one abide by your imperative "we NEED..." while engaging in behavior which is the complete opposite of what "we NEED" to be doing?

Either your imperative is correct, rants which violate your imperative are correct, or your imperative needs to be modified to include the "rant" exception.

"Craig, do you see why this is tiring working with you, when dealing with just dealing with ONE point requires this back and forth to keep correcting your bad understanding?"

Thank you again for pointing out this fundamental difference between us. I do believe that sometimes it is necessary to spend some time, to answer some questions, to give some grace, to tolerate some inconvenience to figure things out. I believe that it is worth putting forth some effort to understand, rather than just repeating the same thing over and over as if repetition makes it fact. So, yeah, I do believe that getting one point right is important. If you did also, you wouldn't spend so much time complaining about it.

In the context of this thread, I've only made one point. So, if I've only made one point, then it seems worthwhile to make sure it's gotten right. Again, in this context, my point that you have advocated 2 positions that contradict one another as proposed has not been addressed. I've chosen to respectfully answer all of your questions, deal with your distractions, and invest the time all in hopes of getting you to acknowledge that one point. So far, you haven't so I can either give up and allow you to reinforce your perception that you can create your own reality where contradictions don't matter. I choose to put forth the effort and not complain. you choose otherwise.

I have to note that in your last comment, you have chosen to take things out of context as well.

As I pointed out I am contrasting your imperative "we NEED..." with your advocating "rants".

finally, if think you can make "NOT ESPECIALLY GRACE-FULL." and "...nor do I see it as inconsistent with also being gracious,..." not be contradictory, be my guest.

I guess this means that those 2 unanswered questions were just to onerous and would involve too much time and effort to answer.

Dan Trabue said...

Perhaps it will help if I modify my original idea then, to make it clear to you what I think is clear. Here is my entire original point, summed up in my first paragraph...

We need to choose to unite, not divide.
Disagree with grace, not bitterness.

IF WE ENGAGE IN RANTS AND SPOUTING OFF
(and this is human, it happens, it's okay to a degree),
let us acknowledge the difference between blowing off steam and making actual false claims and not backing down from false claims.


So, let me modify that line of reasoning, which seems to have completely baffled your ability to understand, to try to make it more clear:

We need to choose to unite, not divide.
Disagree with grace, not bitterness.
WHICH IS NOT TO SAY THAT THERE IS NO ROOM FOR RANTING, FOR SPOUTING OFF, FOR BITTERNESS, WHICH, ITSELF, MAY NOT BE FULL OF GRACE... We may still do that some times (hopefully reserved for policies that are oppressive/deadly/seriously, harmfully wrong). BUT, when we do, let us be prepared to make clear that this is a rant/blowing off steam... this is not policy or strict fact.

Does that help make it more clear to you what I am saying?

Or, to readdress the questions more directly:

how does one reconcile these two things that are in opposition? If, as you state, "we NEED" to avoid "bitterness" and demonstrate "grace" when we disagree, then how can you justify a "rant" full of "bitterness" and lacking in "grace"?

There is a time for everything under the sun. As a general rule, we need to be grace-full in our comments. Sometimes, though - for instance, in the presence of deadly, oppressive policies, it is reasonable and human to rant, to complain bitterly about a policy or even a person behind a policy. To say, "ARRRGH! He's killing people! I wish he were dead!" That is not gracious. It is a rant. It is human and normal and I do not believe we need to stifle that great anger inside us. Express it if you feel you must. Just be prepared to distinguish between a rant (or if you prefer, an imprecatory prayer) and an actual policy you are advocating.

We reconcile it, then, because there is a time for everything. A time to curse and a time to bless. A time to laugh and a time to cry.

There is a time and room for both, I believe.

I believe you have already agreed with me on this point, but just to be clear, now that I have clarified: Do you disagree? Or is it the case that you and I are in agreement on this and if so, why do you kick against the goads?

Now, a question for you: Since you agree with me that ranting is okay, what do you consider ranting?

As to your questions, they have all been answered so far as I see. If you still think they are unanswered, feel free to ask them again, perhaps in another way. So far as I can see, all your questions have been answered. Clearly. To that end, when you say that two questions are unanswered, I honestly don't know what two questions you think that is. The only way I can know, then, what questions you think are unanswered is if you offer them up again.

Dan Trabue said...

As to this...

hank you again for pointing out this fundamental difference between us. I do believe that sometimes it is necessary to spend some time, to answer some questions, to give some grace, to tolerate some inconvenience

Of course, I believe this, too. That is evidenced, in part, by the last 15 years where I have spent a great number of hours continually correcting misunderstandings, explaining my actual position, etc. Of course, I believe in this.

At the same time, my time to explain things is not unlimited. If it took me 2+ hours (just a guess) of my time to explain/clarify/clear up just two questions you had of my position (and at this point, I'm still not sure if you understand) and then you added literally dozens of more questions, I simply do not have time in the day to dedicate hundreds of hours to answering one set of questions when I have already explained myself pretty well if my words were just taken for what they said.

Do you have hundreds of hours to dedicate to just one post, Craig? If so, good for you. If not, then you can agree with me that you, too, would not have that sort of time to dedicate to one particular post. I beg your understanding and grace on that point and, if you can't understand, then your forgiveness.

Peace.

Craig said...

"Perhaps it will help if I modify my original idea then, to make it clear to you what I think is clear."

Of course clarity is always helpful, perhaps had you been more clear at the outset and not adopted this "we NEED..." stance, it would have been helpful.

"So, let me modify that line of reasoning, which seems to have completely baffled your ability to understand, to try to make it more clear:"

Please do. The problem is the inherent contradiction between your imperative ('We NEED") and your later exception for "rants".

:I believe you have already agreed with me on this point, but just to be clear, now that I have clarified: Do you disagree?"

No, I have a problem with the inherent contradiction between "We NEED..." and "Unless it's a rant in which case anything goes. My problem, as i pointed out many comments ago, is not with your theories but with the inconsistency you exhibit.

"Or is it the case that you and I are in agreement on this and if so, why do you kick against the goads?"

I guess you just interpret my partial agreement as "Dan is always right." and ignore the evident contradictions. One other question you've never answered. What to you think is accomplished by using Biblical terms like "Kick against the goads"? Does it make you feel somehow superior? Like your more Biblical than others? Are you trying to conflate yourself with Paul perhaps? Whatever your reason, sounds petty and vain.

"Now, a question for you: Since you agree with me that ranting is okay, what do you consider ranting?"

This is the single most intelligent, worthwhile question you have asked out of the dozens I've spent hours answering. Because of that, I'm going to give it a more detailed deserving answer that I have time for right now. I will either post it as a separate comment or give it it's own post at my blog, OK? Or will you use this to bolster the "I don't ever answer your questions" fiction?

Craig said...

"As to your questions, they have all been answered so far as I see."

No they haven't. Why do you expect me to do your work for you? Are you too busy to look? Is it just too onerous for you to spent the minutes to scroll through this short thread? Seriously, there are only two and they are just sitting right out there in the open. It's possible I missed your answers,but I've looked pretty closely multiple times, so if they are there give me a reference and I'll apologize.

Obviously I do not include any questions asked after your comment that the quote came from.

"The only way I can know, then, what questions you think are unanswered is if you offer them up again."

Really? The only possible way for you to know what questions I asked earlier is for me to ask again? Really? It's not possible for you to look for them? It's not possible for you to scroll up? There is really only ONE possible solution? Really?

I think you are selling yourself short, but if you really aren't capable of any possible way to find them on your own, let let me know you can't and maybe I can help.

"That is evidenced, in part, by the last 15 years where I have spent a great number of hours continually correcting misunderstandings, explaining my actual position, etc. Of course, I believe in this."

This claim is interesting for a couple of reasons.

1. Your blog is only 10 years old.
2. I came to blogging even later than that so you can't be referring specifically to our interactions.
3. This is just one more claim that you make, offer no "data" to "support" it, yet expect it to be believed.

Since there is no proof offered, it is possible that your claim is true, but I certainly have a hard time simply accepting your unsupported claim. Again, I could be wrong and you could actually support your claim, but so far I'll stay skeptical.


Craig said...

"Do you have hundreds of hours to dedicate to just one post, Craig?"

No. That is why I am selective and specific about choosing where and when I engage with someone in this type of forum. I feel that if I am unable to invest a significant amount of time in a conversation then it is a display of bad faith on my part to get involved. I always assume a sort of unspoken contract in these discussion that says that if I engage then I am obligating myself to spend whatever amount of time is necessary to allow the conversation to go where it goes. I realize that there does come a point where further conversation is difficult or impossible and when I get to that point I try to respectfully explain why and under what circumstances I can continue on a more limited basis. For me, it's a matter of respect. If I'm going to get in, that respect dictates that I meet the implied commitment. I am coming to despise people who (Honestly I've done it too) who come into a thread, make a bunch of unsupported statements or claims them just disappear when pressed for support or when the questions get uncomfortable. That is a waste of everyone's time. My problem is that I approach each thread willing to seriously and respectfully follow it to some reasonable end, but oftentimes my sincere attempt at engagement is met by disappearance and I have no way to know going in what the outcome will be.

My bottom line is that is that I am willing to continue a conversation in order to get things right for as long as is necessary. I've put up with a fair amount of crap and disrespect from a number of people in an attempt to get things right, and I'm sure I will continue to do so in the future.

Craig said...

So, as I have been scrupulous about doing over these past months, I will continue to answer every single question I am asked. I will even answer the same question several times if necessary. This is how I will choose to conduct myself going forward. All I can do is control how I behave. I can't control anyone else. That doesn't mean I won't point things out, it just means that from here on out I will have zero expectations. If I have no expectations, then any time I get any sort of response it will be a positive and I will try very hard to respond appropriately.

So, you do what you want. If you want to get into a conversation you aren't willing to invest in, that's fine. If you think about it, maybe you can just warn me of your limits so can respond appropriately.

Dan Trabue said...

The problem is the inherent contradiction between your imperative ('We NEED") and your later exception for "rants".

Do you disagree, then, with the notion that there is a time for everything. That sometimes/most of the time, is a time for Grace, but sometimes, there is room for rant/curse?

I do not think it is a contradiction at all, or if it is, it's a reasonable one.

We DO need grace in how we handle things. Absolutely.

We WILL sometimes rant and that is not wrong in and of itself.

There is a time for everything.

Do you disagree?

Craig said...

"Do you disagree, then, with the notion that there is a time for everything. That sometimes/most of the time, is a time for Grace, but sometimes, there is room for rant/curse?"

I agree that there may be times for a rant, but that doesn't deal with the contradiction inherent in your original statement.

The concept of a "reasonable contradiction" is novel I grant you. the problem is that you set up the original imperative as an imperative, now you want to modify it to exclude rants from the imperative. So, if you are comfortable contradicting yourself I guess that's your problem, not mine.

"Do you disagree?"

I'd respond to this with a series of questions, but I doubt you'd answer them either. So, I'll just say no, and know that in real life you disagree with yourself on this one too.

Dan Trabue said...

the problem is that you set up the original imperative as an imperative, now you want to modify it to exclude rants from the imperative.

From my side, the problem appears to be that you read, "We need to be graceful" and you interpret that to mean "Dan thinks that we should ONLY be graceful and anything that is not graceful, Dan is advocating against. Dan, by saying 'we need' means that he does not think there is a time for non-graceful behavior..." Is that what you are reading into "We need..." that those words indicate only one exclusive imperative, as in "We need X AND ONLY X..."? And that it could not mean "We need, generally, to be gracious..."?

I think we see this in more fundamentalist readings of the Bible - that they interpret words to mean one thing and one thing only and any other options are not an option and anyone who reads something else into it than what they have read into it is lying or stupid. Is that is what's happening here?

I would just say, if so, "We need" is not a demand for one thing and one thing only. That is, standard English does not demand that out of "we need..."

Craig said...

ok,if that's how you want to interpret it that's fine with me. I guess it never occurred to you to make these clarifications earlier in the conversation.just curious, are you still claiming that there is a time for everything?

Craig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Trabue said...

No, it never occurred to me that you were interpreting "We need" in a non-standard English way. How would I have known you were meaning it that way?

Dan Trabue said...

Perhaps now you can understand my confusion as to why you seemed to be saying you agree with me and then complaining about my position.

Dan Trabue said...

Do I still think that, philosophically, it's reasonable to think there is a time for everything? Yes. Within reason. There is not a time for abusing children, for instance. But generally speaking, yes, I think there is a time for everything.

Dan Trabue said...

You will note that, as before, the "time for everything" is not a literal and exact demand. It is a general and poetically phrased philosophy. To say "I think that there is a time for everything" and "I don't think there is a time for abusing children" is not a conflict, as it should be clear that "there is a time for everything" is a poetic, general philosophy, not a hard-line, spelled out rule.

Just to hopefully preempt another misunderstanding.

Craig said...

Ok, so you don't mean need in the way it is usually used and when you say everything you don't act mean everything and when you say you've answered all my questions you don't mean all.

It all makes sense now, just don't take your words literally and it's all good.

I note you need to blame me while not even entertaining the possibility that you could have expressed your self with more accuracy and clarity.

Typical.

Craig said...

your attempt to suggest that I was using a non standard definition of need at the very same time you justify using a non standard definition of everything is kind of cute.

Dan Trabue said...

You asked " I guess it never occurred to you to make these clarifications earlier in the conversation.just curious, are you still claiming that there is a time for everything?"

I answered, no, why would I have guessed you were using "need" in a non-standard manner. Is there anything unreasonable about that? It seems pretty straightforward to me. I had no way of knowing by "need" that you were assuming I was using the word as exclusively one answer (ie, saying, "We really need to work for clean air" is not to say that we can't be working for other things, as well, or to suggest that we can't do anything that contributes to dirty air... "need" does not indicate exclusivity in and of itself).

On the other hand, the saying (biblical, as I'm sure you know) "there is a time for everything" is, I believe, clearly poetic and generally philosophical in nature to most people. I don't read the Bible and hear "there is a time for everything" and assume that the author meant that literally, there is a time to abuse children. It is a given, to a reader, that such phrasing is poetic/philosophical/general, not explicit.

Again, is there anything irrational in this? Is this not "justified..."? It seems clear enough to me, my apologies if it wasn't to you.

Dan Trabue said...

I quoted your wrong comment in the last comment. I meant to quote

"your attempt to suggest that I was using a non standard definition of need at the very same time you justify using a non standard definition of everything is kind of cute."

Craig said...

So, when I use "need" to mean "need" that is somehow a nonstandard use of the term. Interesting.

I guess that I should realize that when you use the term "answer" you are also using it in a non standard way, and that you really mean "answer...or not, it just depends.

Craig said...

This is the definition of need I was using. Need: 1.a requirement, necessary duty, or obligation:

I don't see how the first listed definition can be defined as non standard usage.

Dan Trabue said...

Again, I think when you are saying "need," you are thinking an exclusivity that is not part of the definition of "need." That is, "We need osygen to live" does not mean that we don't also need food or shelter or other gases besides oxygen. In the phrase, "We need oxygen to live" the word "need" does not exclude the possibility of needing/finding desirable other things.

Likewise, when I say we need to live grace-fully with each other does not mean that I must think that any and all instances of less grace-full times are themselves, precluded. But I've explained that before.

Sorry if it wasn't clear to begin with. I hope it is now.

Dan Trabue said...

Put another way, the definition...

Need: 1.a requirement, necessary duty, or obligation

does not indicate 1. an exclusive requirement, free of other alternate options or that the obligation is all-encompassing.

Okay, done.

Craig said...

I am using the term need in exactly the way it is primarily defined. In no way is using a word as it is primarily defined using a non standard definition.

Perhaps part of the problem is that you are assuming that my use of the word in the way you believe I am using it rather that as I was actually using it.

So, it's still impossible for to find and answer two whole questions? Just too onerous to answer two little questions,is it? Maybe you are using the term "answer questions " in a non standard way,

Dan Trabue said...

Fair enough. You think you are using the term as it is defined, I disagree. So be it. The point is, since I didn't see your use of the term as you think it is defined, there is no way I would have known to clarify what I thought was already clear, given English as I understand it. I'm just answering your question.

Dan Trabue said...

on your question about the two questions, as I said already, I have looked maybe 3 or 4 times for missing questions. I did not see any.

I don't know what does you want me to do other than look. would you like me to look three more times? 10 more times? Would you like me to dedicate one hour to looking for your questions that you think are unanswered? 3 hours? Be reasonable. If you have a question that you think is unanswered simply repeat the question.

Craig said...

" The point is, since I didn't see your use of the term as YOU THINK IT IS DEFINED (emphasis mine),..."

Actually, in point of fact, I was using the term exactly as it is defined in the primary definition. I did not "think" up some random definition and randomly apply it, I used/interpreted it exactly as the dictionary does. Maybe in your world is using the primary dictionary a "non-standard' usage, but in the real world its just the definition. Nice try though, I never thought I see you try to marginalize the dictionary definition just to try to preserve your position. Unless, of course, you place your understanding of English above the dictionary definition.

"on your question about the two questions, as I said already, I have looked maybe 3 or 4 times for missing questions. I did not see any."

maybe you're right, and you are incapable of finding them as you said earlier. I have to admit (especially after your disparaging 4th grade remarks) that you are by your own admission incapable of finding two unanswered questions. I really gave you more credit than that.

"I don't know what does you want me to do other than look. would you like me to look three more times?"

I just don't know, If you are incapable of finding things I guess that's it. Perhaps, this is just one more excuse not to answer. I just don't know.

"10 more times? Would you like me to dedicate one hour to looking for your questions that you think are unanswered? 3 hours?"

I'm even more disappointed. You really think you would need 3 hours (or 10) to search a thread this short? Really, you're that incapable, or unwilling?

"Be reasonable."

What's unreasonable in thinking that you are capable of finding and identifying 2 little questions? Earlier, (multiple times) you've made quite a big deal about not wanting to do me work for me, yet now you want me to do your work for you. Is it really reasonable for you to adopt this double standard?

"If you have a question that you think is unanswered simply repeat the question"

That's two (plus all the ones after those that I don't expect you to answer, while maintaining your facade that you answer questions) questions, and it's really not that hard.

Craig said...

I'll give you a hint. Jan 16. It took me about 45 seconds to find them. I can't believe you can't do it in less than 3 hours.

Dan Trabue said...

sigh.

Starting on Jan 16, we find a total of three lines from you with question marks in them. First one:

1. You seem to be making that claim that there are statements by both the Psalmist and Jesus that would be accurately and correctly categorized as "rants", is this a distinction you personally have drawn, or is it a category commonly used by Biblical scholars?

I had answered and responded again to this question from you...

is it a category commonly used by Biblical scholars?

My response was as follows, also on Jan 16:

There are some Psalms called "deprecatory psalms" that are essentially rants. A pouring out of the bitterness one feels in the midst of oppression, generally. I assume that you are familiar with these Psalms? I presume you agree that they are not models for policy (ie, that we shouldn't REALLY bash in babies brains), but that they are more a way of blowing off steam and saying to God things that are, well, rather rant-y.

Two things that I see that perhaps are not clear to you, so I will further clarify:

A. I said that they are "essentially rants." That is my term, I do not know if any biblical scholars would classify them as such or not. But you went on to give the definition of rant for us ("complain in a way that is unreasonable") and I pointed out that at least some of the verses I am speaking about ("our enemies suck, bash their childrens' heads against rocks!") fits that definition. So, I can not speak as to whether or not any biblical scholars have called it ranting, but it fits the definition. That is, I can not speak Yes or NO to your question because I do not know what all biblical scholars have said about these type of curses in the Bible, just as I suspect that you are not able to answer the question yes or no.

QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

Is that correct? Is it a fact that you do not know whether or not any biblical scholars have called these type verses rants?

Do you actually disagree with me? Do you think that "dash their babies' heads against rocks" is actually a reasonable complaint? Or do you think at least that verse fits the definition of "rant..."?


more...

Dan Trabue said...

B. The second part of the question that you might find unanswered is where you asked about "the Psalmist AND Jesus" claim of mine. Do I find any words of Jesus that fit the "rant" definition and, more directly, do I know of any scholars who have called Jesus' words "rants." (ie, "is it a category commonly used by Biblical scholars?")

To that question, the very clear and direct answer is: I do not know. I have insufficient data to know if it is a category "commonly used" by scholars when it comes to Jesus' curses. I rather doubt if you know, either.

Beyond that, let's step back to what I actually said. The first time I referred to Jesus in this thread is this question to you:

If so, will you be consistent and condemn all ranting, even when it happens from the mouth of the Psalmist? From the mouth of Jesus?

Note, that is not saying that Jesus did or didn't rant. It was a question that when there were rants (or what might be called rants) in Jesus' words, would you call that wrong?

I suppose I was primarily thinking of the imprecatory Psalms but I think one could make the case that some of Jesus' harsh words might be called rants, too. That is, they might fit the very definition of the word "rant." One of those definitions, you will recall, is "to talk loudly and in a way that shows anger"

ANOTHER QUESTION FOR YOU:

DO YOU THINK THAT SOME OF JESUS' WORDS DO NOT FIT THAT DEFINITION?


Clearly, some of Jesus' words DO appear to have been spoken loudly and in anger. Thus, it fits the definition. Are there scholars that have said this? I don't know, but the point is moot. It doesn't matter if scholars have or have not said, for instance, that Jesus was Jewish, because he was, in the text. An appeal to scholars when the answer to the question is already demonstrated is rather ridiculous.

I'm sorry if none of this was clear to you and if my answer was not clear enough to an obvious reality, but hopefully that answers that question.

Dan Trabue said...

The next two questions you ask on Jan 16 are:

How many questions have I answered in this thread?
How many questions have I not answered in this thread?


The answers to both of these questions are: I do not know, I'm not counting as I don't really care. That is, I'm simply not interested enough to go back and count your questions and evaluate your responses to see if you have answered them. I lack the time in the day to do so.

Is that clear enough?

The next question you asked:

If you were truly interested in answering questions, why not show some grace and just answer it?

That question has also already been answered. Here, I addressed it again:

It has been answered. I'm just pointing out that I presumed it was so obtuse as to have been surely a rhetorical question and I was giving you the benefit of the doubt. As to the "scum" thing, I really can't believe that you thought I might not know the definition of the word. Are you serious?

That is (in case you still don't understand the answer) IF someone asks a question whose answer is so obvious as to be impossible to believe it is serious, one would not answer the question because it seems, on the face of it, rhetorical. THAT is why. How would I know you weren't asking that rhetorically? How would I know to even ask you if it was rhetorical, when it seems so blindingly obvious?

That question has been answered.

Dan Trabue said...

The next Jan 16 question is:

now you can discern my motivation, impressive. I've been respectful, answered every single question you've asked (some more than once) and all you have is name calling?

I guess I have not answered this one, my apologies.

When I point out that someone is behaving in an obnoxious, divisive manner, I am making an observation of behaviors. Observations of behaviors is not "name-calling." "YOU ARE A JERK!" That is name calling.

As a point of fact, I deliberately did NOT call you a name. Again, my actual words/explanation:

So, what would you have me do with you? Presume you are intentionally being a jerk, that you are not as smart as a four year old or some other alternative? You're not leaving me with much here, it appears you just want to kick against grace, not argue for it.

That is, I can't believe you would intentionally act in a jerky manner, so that can't be it. And I can't believe you are not as intelligent as a four year old, so that can't be it (and again: "THAT CAN'T BE IT," meaning, "No, he's not trying to be a jerk and he's not stupid...") and then I went on to ask the question: So how do I explain this hard to explain behavior?

So, very literally, I did NOT call you a name, I literally and factually gave you the benefit of the doubt, but I did ask a reasonable question: If someone is asking an insultingly obvious question, what is their motive?

Question answered and re-answered.

Dan Trabue said...

And that is EVERY comment from Jan 16 from you with a question mark behind it. All answered. All re-answered.

Now, I'm done. But just to summarize:

1. We both believe that "ranting" is not wrong, in and of itself;
2. Jesus, when he rebuked the Pharisees sometimes, "talked loudly and in a way that showed anger" - that is, literally the definition of ranting;
3. Presumably, neither you nor I think Jesus was "wrong" to rant;
4. Neither, presumably, do we think Jesus was a person who did not generally believe in grace;
5. My point all along has been that, as a rule, we should speak and disagree with grace and respect - a point with which you agree and Jesus' example reflects... AND my further point is that this does not mean that there are not times when "ranting" is not an unreasonable reaction;
6. It is not inconsistent to say that the norm should be disagree in grace AND at the same time, to think that rants are acceptable at times;
7. Thus, I am advocating for behavior that is exactly consistent with Jesus' example and presumably which you don't disagree with (but by all means, tell me if you do);

And so, all these days and many words later, I still don't know what it is you are kicking up against. Other than it appears that YOU think that when someone says "we need to be graceful" that they can't believe it AND also think that there is a time to rant, even though you appear to think just that.

Hopefully, you have had a chance to think this through now and see that we are not really speaking about anything other than just the obvious and that we agree on the point and thus, you really aren't complaining about anything significant.

Peace.

Craig said...

"Is that correct? Is it a fact that you do not know whether or not any biblical scholars have called these type verses rants?"

I've been quite clear about this multiple times, I just don't have the information or desire to categorize these Psalms as rants. I have no reason or desire to try to legitimize my defense of rants by arbitrarily classifying Biblical passages just to try to support my hunch.

"Do you actually disagree with me? Do you think that "dash their babies' heads against rocks" is actually a reasonable complaint? Or do you think at least that verse fits the definition of "rant..."?"

Again, I'm hesitant to define that as a "complaint" and given the lack of context I hesitate to define it as anything but something you've ripped out of context to try to support your need to legitimize graceless ranting.

"If so, will you be consistent and condemn all ranting, even when it happens from the mouth of the Psalmist? From the mouth of Jesus?"

Again, in the absence of context, proof, or support I see no reason to respond to such a pointless hypothetical.

"DO YOU THINK THAT SOME OF JESUS' WORDS DO NOT FIT THAT DEFINITION?"

Perhaps, but they lack the unreasonable elements that seem integral to the entire spectrum of the definition of rant.

"Is that clear enough?"

At least it's finally an answer. It also, thank you, demolishes your contention that I never answer your questions, while you answer 95% of mine. If you don't even bother to pay attention to the answers, why ask the questions. The correct answers are, of course, all of them and none of them. But I guess you just aren't quite adult enough to admit that.

"As to the "scum" thing, I really can't believe that you thought I might not know the definition of the word. Are you serious?"

This is a great example of you making an assumption about my motives and placing your assumptions above the reality of the situation. Maybe if you chose not to base things on assumptions but rather on reality you might not have so much of a problem communicating. Obviously, you would have other problems, but at least communication would be more productive.

"How would I know you weren't asking that rhetorically?"

Ask for clarification.

"How would I know to even ask you if it was rhetorical, when it seems so blindingly obvious?"

Stop basing things on "seems" and assumptions and ask for clarification.

"I still don't know what it is you are kicking up against."

Then you haven't been paying attention.

"Other than it appears that YOU think that when someone says "we need to be graceful" that they can't believe it AND also think that there is a time to rant,..."

Wrong again. It's more that this is just one more indication of your lack of consistency.

"Hopefully, you have had a chance to think this through now and see that we are not really speaking about anything other than just the obvious and that we agree on the point and thus, you really aren't complaining about anything significant."

If it makes you happy to wrap things up so that everyone agrees with you in the imaginary world you seem to inhabit, then enjoy. Just one more example of you responding to how you assume things are or how things seem to you rather than to what people actually are saying.

But in your world that's just reasonable and I'm a 4th grader.

Bizarre.

I'm going to note, since you admittedly ignore things like this, that all of your questions have been answered. Answered with no bitching, whining, complaining, or assuming, just answered.

Although, after much kicking and complaining, you actually did step up. Too bad you can't just answer things the first time. It's also refreshing to see that you chose to stick with this as opposed to so many threads.

Craig said...

"And if you take my answer for what I actually said, you can agree that if one often does not get direct answers to questions, firmly asking for answers to questions is not unreasonable. Can we agree on that philosophical point?"

Yes, I can agree that when one chooses not to answer questions that it is appropriate for the questioner to firmly request that the questions be answered. Unfortunately, you see to have a significant degree of difficulty applying the standard you espouse above to yourself when you are on the receiving end of questions. Unfortunately for you, your recent history does not support your increasingly nonsensical claims.



The above quote is a question you asked in one of the several threads at my blog that you started conversations in and ran away from. It points out a couple of things.
1. Your questions are getting answered.
2. Your standards about answering questions are inconsistent to say the least.

Marshall Art said...

Just decided to look this whole discussion over and one things stands out like nuke over Hiroshima: "Grace" is required for everyone else, not necessarily Dan if he chooses to rant in a less than gracious manner. Indeed, I've never seen him encourage anyone to so much as "let it out, dude". It's always "grace" his opponents must practice.


So yeah, there is a great disconnect between the message of his post and his actual behavior. He could have saved lots of time by at least, from the very start, admit he is as poor as practicing graciousness and uniting as anyone else. Instead, he chose to rationalize his history of not practicing what he preaches.