The Christian Terrorist Redux
John Cole at Balloon Juice doesn't get why the uproar over a scenario depicting the assassination of the Democratic Senators and five Supreme Court Justices. What he has to say is of some interest, but the reactions of his readers is telling. Some of them don't seem to be convinced by his defense of Mark Byron either.
My previous post on this topic elicited a reply from Peter Sean Bradley again. He continues to obfuscate and confuse in an attempt to score his points.
OK, Mr. Bradley. We'll go around one more time.
Readers: In the comments, where Mr. Bradley can see them, I would like you to respond in your comments to the following questions: Is this topic of any interest to you? Should I continue to pursue this issue with Mr. Bradley?
Any other comments are certainly welcome.
Well, yes, certainly be civil. If the forces of leftist purity control are to visit me at my blog, I will insist that my guests act with courtesy. Humour is allowed, as is irony. But courtesy is required.
As the powerful forces of leftist purity control would have it.
In the interest of dialogue, I am going to try to clear up some of your misconceptions. I understand that these facts may tend to detract from the joy of polemics, but I will try.
Polemicise away. Just appraise those pearls before you cast them to us swine. Maybe the insurance will cover them once their gone. After all, it would be a shame to lose out totally should I misconstrue your offerings of wisdom, wouldn't it?
First, I've read Byron for over a year. He is thoughtful and reasonable.
And I first read Lord Byron's poems in high school. "Thoughtful and reasonable" happens to be your opinion. As I don't know you, or know from examination that your opinion is to be trusted, this testimonial of yours thus means little. My mail box is filled daily with similar quality testimonials, especially from Nigeria. As I don't know Byron, and already have some serious doubts about his words, then you have a long way to go to convince me of the validity of your opinion. You are welcome to try if you wish. I will read your comments with an open mind.
You've read me how long? And you have already decided that I have misconceptions? You have based this decision of yours upon the same thing I have based mine - the words used. I have just as easily decided that you have misconceptions as well. Does this make me any more or less correct than you?
If you had checked out my post on the subject, you would have seen that Byron condemned Eric Rudolph in June of 2003. Rudolph was, of course, the rightist abortion doctor murderer. Byron, therefore, has proven that he recognizes terrorism and evil and has condemned it notwithstanding his opposition to abortion.
Changing the topic of our discussion again? You made no allusion to this link to your column in your post to me. Am I to research the entire history of the written word to know of which you speak, and when and where it was posted?? If you had linked to the item you cite, then I would have had a different response on this. This rejection of Rudolph and his actions still does not absolve Byron of poor judgement in the choice of his, to be generous.
In my world, Mr. Bradley, we have a saying "Assume makes ASS of U and ME". I'm willing to risk making errors, but I do try to validate my positions with links for explanation. I don't always succeed, but I do try. Chalk it up to good intentions.
Second, the phrase is "no enemy to the left." The "to" in the phrase "To the left" means the convention of political "direction," not the attitude of support or hostility. It reflects a historic tropism of the left to never attack anyone further to the left.
Am I to assume this is what you meant by your this phrase when you first wrote it? It didn't read that way to me. I responded as it appeared to me at the time, so I will accept now that I had a misconception then about your meaning.
Remember, Mr. Bradley, we've not been formally introduced by someone we both know and trust. We therefore have to follow the only words that your Hero Ronald Reagan ever uttered that I accept as valid: "Trust, but verify."
You make assumptions that I know exactly of which you speak. If you aren't going to say what you mean at the time you say it, only to explain what you meant later when I don't get your meaning, then you failed to express yourself clearly. That is NOT my problem.
We don't usually get such subtlety in discussion in my world. We're too busy arguing the bad calls in yesterday's football games. Call me plebian, but there's no ivy on the walls where I live and work.
You only demonstrate to me by this statement that your words are not to be trusted, for your meaning may not be clear to anyone but yourself and those familiar with your modes of expression. The rest of us have to go by what we understand your words to mean. Shall I look up all of the definitions now?
Had you used this statement in explanation at the time of your response to clarify your meaning, we could have had a different discussion on this point.
Leftists attacking George Bush is easy and predictable. I would be impressed, though, if I ever saw a substantial number of left-wingers condemn Sarah Jane Olson or Mumia al Jamal or the environmentalists who had a symposium here in Fresno last Winter on how to make gasoline explosives.
"There you go again!" - Ronald Reagan
I can only be responsible for my own words, sir. I take no responsibility for the words of those over whom I have no control or influence. Neither do I make any apologies for their words, for the responsibility is theirs.
I have already stated to you my position on Sara Jane Olsen, and now you bring up Mumia al Jamal? Was he part of some column of yours back in 1998 that I don't know about? As long as you have brought him up, this lefty thinks Jamal is where he belongs. Life in prison is sufficient for me. 'Nuff Said, Homie!
As I was not in Fresno last winter to see for myself this alleged eco-terrorist symposium you cite, how do I know that it really took place? Either provide links for the topics you raise or leave them out of the discussion. It is not my place to do the research on your arguments. You only lessen your credibility with me by bringing up unsubstantiated allegations. I cited links in my pieces to back up my contentions. I challenge you to do the same.
Although I haven't seen that, I have seen conservatives regularly condemn abortion clinic murderers, because such conduct is immoral. This is pertinent because, again, Byron has in the past done the proper and right thing by condemning such evil notwithstanding the political goals of these scum. (You see, there can be enemies to the right of conservatives.)
Then why does Byron still appear to promote, or at least condone, through his presentation of this scenario, the violent overthrow of the US government by the assassination of US senators and Supreme Court Justices? Even some of the commentators at Balloon Juice have some doubts about Byron's motives. Are they all censoring lefties also?
You have yet to address the validity of the presentation of this scenario. Byron's saying "I'm Sorry!" after the fact isn't going to cut it. It certainly won't keep your favorite lefty Sara Jane Olsen out of prison after she tried to say she was sorry at her arraignment!
Third, your paranoia about the Patriot Act is touching.
I'm touched that your touched. In your honor, I'll try not to spend it all in one place.
I won't spend time on your fantasy about the Patriot Act except to point out that I was present at a debate sponsored by the Eastern District of the Ninth Circuit where the opponent of the Patriot Act acknowledged that the "horror stories" about the Patriot Act don't involve the Act. There are problems with the Act, but they are the technical kind that only a policy wonk could love.
That's just your opinion again. Unless I can read the transcript for myself, then I have no way to judge the validity of your position. As you don't link to it, then you must not be too secure in its existence. What other conclusion am I to draw?
On the other hand, the only real infringement of Free Speech, I have seen have involved advocacy against abortion. Thus, you have Supreme Court decisions that authorize the police to go into crowds and arrest only opponents of abortion.
It's no different than Bush supporters being allowed to line the route traveled by George Bush while Anti-Bush protesters are arrested for leaving their "First Amendment Zones". I guess both sides have an issue with unfair arrests, don't we?
You also have the decision in the Nuremberg file case where the "threat" amounts to voodoo. The "threatened" doctors admit that they weren't frightened or threatened by the owners of the Nuremberg file. (Before you make any assumptions, google search and see what I said about those people.) Now, if you don't understand, why these two cases are problematic for everyone, including the left, you may be too locked up in your parochial politics.
I will, but are you sure that I will find the sites you desire?
Here are the first links of several sites that I found:
See Perfesser? Us'n's godliss commy pinkoes dun lernt how ta Google!
I listed these links to make a point. You make statements, then expect me to validate them for you. This tells me that you do not have the courage of your own conviction to present information which you believe supports your statements. You expect me to understand exactly your position when I interpret these links that I might find, (which will change daily based upon the updated database Google uses) then run off into the blogosphere, probably smirking over putting one over on us dumb lefties again.
Either present your supporting links, or don't bring up a topic that you aren't willing to substantiate. If this is the best you can do, then I hope you never act as my defense attorney.
And, yet, I hear a deafening silence on the left in the face of all this. But I do see leftists, like you, jump with glee at the prospect of the Patriot Act applying to a "sick puppy Christian."
And there are none so blind as those on the Right who will not see. You put words into my mouth here. I have no "glee" over someone violating the law. I don't care where on the political spectrum the perpetrator happens to land.
My complaint with your buddy Byron is that he seems to "jump with glee" over presenting the scenario, not over his rightist views. In many ways, he's tame. He's certainly no Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, or Sean Hannity. Pat Buchannan would eat him for breakfast and call for more!
My raising the Patriot Act is not to have it applied against him, but to show that it could. I still feel, having read his page more than once now, that he could have made his case on Bonhoeffer (this is how it's spelled outside of Germany as most of us 'Mer'kins are not familiar with umlauts!) without any of the CLF crap he chose to include, which would have meant that we on the left could have saved our outrage against him. We would have had something to discuss instead.
Now, since Bonhoeffer is raised, here's what I think your position on Bonhoeffer is:
So the correct Bonhoeffer question to put to one who believes as I do that violence is not an option for the disciples of Jesus Christ is not the often-heard "Then what would you do about Hitler?"
What indeed? Substitute Bush for Hitler, and this statement sums up a lot of the political discussion of the Left Blogs.
Now my take:
"What would you do with a church which chooses to go along with a government that systematically eliminates Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals, and mounts a war that would lead to the deaths of more than thirty-five million people" (Nation, 1999).
- Mark Thiessen Nation
Allow me to clarify my position further:
"What would you do with a church which chooses to go along with a government that systematically seeks to deport Muslims because they might be terrorists, imprison liberals for opposing the actions of their government, and kill homosexuals because their Old Testament says to do so, and with numerous falsehoods mounts a war over oil that could lead to the deaths of billions of people?"
Clear now? Didn't think so.
Bottom line, based on his track record, Byron wasn't advocating terrorism.
We will disagree on this. I have yet to see enough to tell me that he merely made a mistake in judgement.
Further, I would take the left a lot more seriously if they started showing some kind of actual commitment to both the principles of free speech and political restraint when it comes to violations of the law, such as has been shown in the past by Mark Byron.
So if you are so committed to the principles of free speech and the political restraint concerning legal violations, why do you say
"By the way, if you're interested, my "dark thoughts" involve a rifle with a sniper scope, a time machine and Germany in 1517"?
Do you think that Martin Luther had no right to post his 95 Theses? (In my opinion, Luther was correct about his charges. And no, I'm not a Protestant.) Was Church law so absolutely correct that it could not stand up under review of how it was applied when challenged? Did not St. Augustine say:"So, too, as long as she is a stranger in the world, the city of God has in her communion, and bound to her by the sacraments, some who shall not eternally dwell in the lot of the saints. Of these, some are not now recognized; others declare themselves, and do not hesitate to make common cause with our enemies in murmuring against God, whose sacramental badge they wear."
- City of God, Book I, Chapter 35
Sounds to me like Luthor was trying to recognize those who fit this description, but you would rather shoot him and flee back to the present time, wouldn't you?
If you feel it was alright to murder Martin Luther for daring to point out the flaws in the clergy of the Catholic Church, then why should I not believe that Byron was advocating violent murder as well?
By the way, Mr. Bradley, did Byron appoint you his Defender, or did you take the role upon yourself? I think he can handle himself should he choose to do so. He's certainly welcome to take a stand here in his own defense. He might make a better case.