Warning: Long read!
It all started with an excellent post by InsanityBytes, here. It’s a sweet, graceful post by a Christian responding to a sneering post, mocking Christians. More to the point, it’s a typically graceful Christian response to a graceless, witless, mocking post by an atheist.
First of all, I encourage you to read IB’s excellent post. In it IB says that she understands why atheists mock. The real reason: lack of any other substantive response.
IB’s post launched an exchange that covered an awful lot of ground, between a Finnish guy, with excellent, but not flawless, English, named “rautakyy” and me. I think he’s a guy, but don’t know for sure. He and I studiously refrained — mostly — from putting personal details in our posts.
Rautakyy is an atheist and a socialist. I’m a Christian and a capitalist. I tried to keep the level of my language to the straightforward, but rautakyy’s English is so good that I frequently forgot myself and used imagery. He usually understood, but sometimes it was plain that he hadn’t, and I needed to explain.
Rautakyy frequently engaged in many of the usual tactics of the left: telling me what I’m thinking — reading my mind — suggesting what I know and don’t, telling me what my sources of information were and, of course, the usual tired accusation: You watch FOX News, don’t you? (I do… as well as consuming hundreds of others).
Our very long exchange ranged from socialism to capitalism to Christianity to atheism; from Adolf Hitler to Stalin to homosexuality to evolution to the scientific method to faith to education and more.
He was, as the left always is, unable to prevent himself from being, tiresomely condescending, hyper-snobbish, hoity-toity. However, I don’t mind… in fact I expect nothing less. The point is that they actually build in the seeds of their own debate undoing. If you call them on it, and you deprive them of the ability to use the nonsense techniques, they are reduced to flailing and sputtering.
With that said, rautakyy was less ugly than the vast majority. It might have been because I was usually very cheerful, making sure to lard my posts with compliments and recognition of rautakyy’s superb English. It was easy; his English is superb. Leftists are, however, unfailingly suckers for fawning compliments. I fawned enough so that rautakyy kept his tone relatively civil.
I was struck, if not surprised, by the sheer superficiality, triteness and attempts at hyperbolic shock value that riddled rautakyy’s “arguments.” You can predict what I encountered, I’m sure: Christianity and capitalism and genocide, superstition, indoctrination, exploitation and oppression. He went through all the talking points, thoughts and arguments that wouldn’t have passed muster in either a third-grade civics class, or a third-grade Sunday School class. You know the points: If there is a God, how can He allow the suffering that is all about on the planet. And on and on.
However, I discovered some important things during this lengthy exchange:
- When people reproach capitalism, it’s for all those socialistic elements that people are constantly trying to inject into it. You know, to “round out the sharp edges,” to “level the playing field,” and to “take some of the ‘cut-throat’ out of the free market.”
- When people reproach Christianity, it’s because of when Christians act like atheists. Like when they abuse, or harm… or kill other people.
- When the right does something that violates their convictions, the left then gleefully and operatically condemns it… then does the same thing — times 10. The left routinely uses the wrong thing the right did to justify their doing it promiscuously.
- When Christians do not-Christian things, atheists — generally, but not always, on the left, — have nothing but scorn for them, blame Christianity itself, and use the failing as a justification to engage in the awful behavior themselves — times 10.
That all seems simple, but it’s really vitally important.
There are two states of mind that have caused more violent death than any other factor in human history except time and disease: Those states of mind are socialism and atheism. Estimates range as high as 140 million murdered by atheist socialists in the last century alone. No one suggests that the death toll is lower than 120 million murdered.
Rautakyy and I went back and forth and back and forth and back and forth again. There were others who jumped in, but they tended to have little staying power. No discredit to them… one doesn’t expect novella-length exchanges in blog posts, but that’s exactly what we did. I’m including these over here, because they did capture those two vitally important truths that I found. For the understanding that this exchange gave me, I’m very grateful to rautakyy.
Rautakyy and I did agree about a few things, and they’re in the lengthy exchange below. For example, George W. Bush spent way, way too much. Many of our so-called “capitalists” are really socialists, and he called them on it. I agreed, which, I think took him aback. It was an example of his saying that huge government was okay because those who ostensibly disagree with huge government often contradict themselves. That is the damage we Conservatives do when we fail to act like Conservatives.
I’m not sure that the exchange is even over between rautakyy and me, but I thought I’d bring our posts here, so that (1) we’re not writing a book over at IB’s blog. I’m sure she doesn’t mind, but she’s many, many great posts past, the one that started all this. She’s an excellent writer, and a clear, lucid, insightful, no-nonsense thinker, with a great sense of humor. That combination makes for a great blog, and I’m a regular reader and admirer. Also, I’ve removed the contributions of everyone but rautakyy and me, so if you want to see what the other contributors wrote, please visit the link above and peruse.
Without further ado, here’s the exchange between rautakyy and me: