Thursday, August 09, 2007

Self Definition and Semantic Cowardice

Why does everyone tell me everything? Seriously, some things are great secret material.

Recently, after picking a fight, a bunch of nice people started sending emails all over creation in defense of me. Well guys-- I actually DID pick the fight. I wanted the result I got, so s'all good.

What's interesting is how quickly people start hiding behind language when caught doing something naughty, or-- even more likely-- stupid. I, too, am often amazed at how quick things spread in the cybersphere. Sometimes I think there is an organic something out there driving it. There's no way people can get word around that fast... and yet they do. When I was a teacher I noticed a similar phenomenon. Something whispered in the staff room at 9:00 am would be repeated in a loud voice outside my classroom before the bell rang for last period. The clueless masses will dismiss this and claim kids always get gossip wrong. I can tell you from experience they are incredibly accurate. They only get it wrong when they are trying to be mean.

So imagine my chagrin at learning I am being called a "fluffy bunny" and a "proselytiser" in emails, on some forums, and in PMs to which I am not privy. The only problem is every time somebody says something like that I get 75 emails. I swear I am grateful to be the most clued-in person on earth, but sometimes the burden is heavy. (That was sarcasm. I point it out since comprehension seems to be in retrograde lately.)

I wrote an article two years ago about conversion, and how it is really an abomination of religious practice. Inspiring others to belief is the job of the Divine, whatever name you give the Divine. Telling others what name to call Divinity, how to adore that which is Creation, and what rules are the only legitimate rules-- to me, that is stepping on the toes of whatever wonderful force created us and everything we have. In other words, if you preach to another person you are pretty much telling your god you know better than him or her, and intend to usurp that right.

As for the term "fluffy bunny" it may be unfamiliar to some because it is a conventional construct invented by people to whom it most likely, in a stunningly cool bit of irony, refers. No hereditary/generational/linear I have ever known will use it unless they do so to make fun of those who employ it. It's a bit like a bigot using the words "politically correct" to excuse ignorance, cruelty, intolerance, and stupidity. While the first people to use the term were trying to battle ridiculous trends on college campuses, it was hijacked by dirtbags who loved being able to hide behind it. "I am about to say something inappropriate and ill informed. Don't be politically correct on me and point out my moronishness." Don't you just love it? People who use the term "fluffy bunny" are trying to be dismissive of others who don't believe the way they do.
They very often identify "fluffy bunnies" as people who convert to new-agey versions of paganism in order to seem cool, piss off their parents, or identify themselves as intriguingly different.

Trouble is, it's almost always a kid in a black goth getup with a face full of piercings who went to Our Lady of the Immaculate Assumptions of Cluelessness and Light saying it. But he or she is a rebel, and it's really about those OTHER people, donchaknow.

I don't defend my own beliefs since they need no defense. While many have heard me defend the practices of just-about-everyone my religious practices are personal, and you won't see me sharing them with strangers as a general rule. If I'm discussing religion or spirituality in public it is usually from a cultural standpoint. What I'm getting at is this: nobody currently making stupid statements about what I believe knows what I believe. They would never be included among the people I would share that with. And they will always get it wrong because I would defend anyone, no matter how stupid what they believed appeared to be. Everyone gets to decide for themselves.

But you will find plenty of people accusing me of rabid liberalism. I will say, right here in public, that I generally vote republican, though I prefer socially liberal policies on things like gay marriage and free expression. You will certainly hear me called a Christian fanatic when I defend Christians. I like Jesus and Mary and the New Testament Posse. Defending some of those ideals and people who practice them doesn't make me the next Jerry Falwell... and the notion is pretty hysterical to anyone who really does know me.

You'll even hear that I'm a fluffy bunny, which may be the ultimate irony. Nobody knows where my roots end. Nobody can squint far enough to see where the branches tickle the sky. But five will get you ten somebody who looked just like me shook Patrick's hand and told him "no thanks, but stop by for dinner" on a green hill a very long time ago.

If only they'd had email then. We'd all be able to read the transcript!

4 comments ]:[ Add your comment:

Mysti C said...

Seemed odd to me that in one place the person kept saying it wasn't a Christian section then in emails it was something about trolls in the christian section then in another place it was something else, too.

I never understood any of it but so many things got deleted I asssmed it was them making stuff up. People don't delete what you say unless they are hiding something, true?

srry if all the emails caused trouble, btw.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes posts are deleted to keep inflammatory rhetoric from harming the community. Nevertheless, all of the posts have been undeleted so everyone can decide for themselves

--Roger Carlson
AW Christian Board Moderator

Chrissy said...

Nobody was allowed to decide for themselves. That was the point, Roger. And your defense of your actions don't really have anything to do with my blog post.

Since I am totally done with AW it might do the community more good to actually shut up. The constant emails defending the actions are only perpetuating it. I picked a fight. I SAID I picked a fight. I did it so people would take notice.

Trying to hide by repeating things not said, making accusations, re-spinning, and saying really tacky things in emails and PMs is the only thing keeping it alive, other than curiosity.

Every word I have said was public. I actually never wanted anyone forwarding emails like crazy. In my community we don't keep dirty secrets any more than we would ever tell someone who they were, what they were, or how they communicated with Divnity.

But I like smart people. Which is why I no longer rub elbows with bigots at AW.

And the thing is, I was cool about keeping it on the board. I didn't start the discussion; didn'call somebody else's religion "dangerous" for children (okay, until I was being sarcastic in response); nor did I ever tell anyone what they believed. I simply asked others to consider how stupid it was to tell another person what they did/thought/believed. Though lots of people brought the topic up again after I agreed to drop it, you only bitch-slapped one person.

Ironically, if you and Mac had simply banned me and shut up it would have gone away quickly. I know bigots can't take the call-out. Which is why I always call them out. Now the damned thing is everywhere, on several loops, and has circulated the entire WPW community via emails that I had nothing to do with. Tres Coolios!

Best of luck to you. I hope Christ forgives you. I do hope you, at some point, can reflect on where you may have actually been wrong.

Doubt it, but hope is a wonderful thing.

Ahmed J El A said...

Roger--

I don't recall ever seeing anyone backpedal and eat crap that fast in my life. Maybe when John Kerry voted FOR the war, but then voted AGAINST the war...

Keep it up, bud, that's entertaining stuff!

--Ahmed
Non-fluffy
Dry Clean Only

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