Saturday, December 02, 2006

Loopholes for lying?


I find the intellectual gymnastics necessary to be a fundamentalist quite interesting. The born again are rather adapt at ignoring their own contradictions and inconsistencies. Consider an exchange I had with a rabid Right fundamentalist.

The Americans for Truth web site, run by Peter LaBarbera published an article that contained false allegations against the film Breakfast with Scot. In addition the article was rather rabid and hateful. In other words typical fare for the fundamentalist. LaBarbera runs the site, he printed the article. And I held him responsible for doing so.

An ally of LaBarbera, she links to his web site from her blog and she writes for another blog that reprinted the same article verbatim, posted a comment: “The headline and all the information in the post comes from Lifesite News, not Americans for Truth. It is simply a post linking to the article which was written by Hilary White, not Peter LaBarbera.”

Actually this woman is wrong. It is not simply “linking to the article” but it is a full reprint of the article. To link to an article does not mean to reprint it word for word on one’s own web site. When one reprints it and supports it, as LaBarbera has done, one endorses it. When one repeats the allegations as true one is taking responsibility for the allegations. LaBarbera, while not originating the lies, repeated the lies.

Apparently these Christians think there is a loop hole in “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Apparently they think the command is “Thou shalt not bear false witness unless thou art the second to do so.”

A lie is lie whether one makes it up or repeats it. Now it would not be a lie if one did not know it was false. Lying implies knowledge of the falsehood one is spreading. But in this case all the knowledge necessary is contained in the article itself. It clearly said that the Toronto Maple Leafs were sponsoring this film. Yet when you read the article all they did was allow their logo and name to be used. The film is about a former hockey player and the Maple Leafs agreed to be the team with which the fictional player had formerly been affiliated.

The article itself made it quite clear there was no sponsorship. LaBarbera surely read the article before he printed it. He would know that there was no sponsorship. The fundie blogger who crowed about LaBarbera not actually authoring the accusations, merely repeating them, blogs for a site that also reprinted the article in full. In other words she needs to defend LaBarbera because the site she is affiliated with committed the same deception. They lied about the role of a major sports team and urged readers to send protest letters to the team for “sponsoring” a film which they simply did not sponsor.

Now it could be that these people are not too bright. Certainly most the fundamentalists I know are not that intelligent -- which is why so few of them finish college and many of them barely make it out of high school -- if that. They may not know what words actually mean. They may think words have any meaning they wish them to have.

So for them “sponsor” may not actually mean “to financially support” but to have any link whatsoever to the film. Why do I think this. Well they got the definition of sponsor wrong. And this blogger who contacted us said that LaBarbera only “linked” to the article. He did not link to the article he printed it in full. If he quoted from it and then provided a link that is a link. But to reprint it in full is not linking as much as publishing.

But LaBarbera also plays with his own definitions. He says the article he published is “excerpted from” the original. What does that mean? It means to “select or use (a passage or segment from a longer work).” If LaBarbera took a quote from the article and reprinted that it would be an excerpt. He did not do that. He reprinted it word for word. The entire original was republished by him. Excerpts are passages from a longer work not the longer work itself.

In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, Humpty Dumpty tells Alice: “When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.” Alice replied: “The question is whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

And this is the problem with the fundamentalist. They make words mean anything they want it to mean. Sponsor doesn’t have to mean “financial support”, link can mean reprint and excerpt can mean the entire article. How does one communicate when this happens?

This is why reading fundamentalist literature is so difficult. They have their own meanings. Any film with a gay character is “homosexual propaganda”. All gays are “radical homosexuals”. Gays don’t have concerns or issues, they have an “agenda”. What fundies used to call “creationism” is now called “intelligent design”. To refuse to give fundies state property for Christian messages is to “ban” Christianity. When government teachers don’t lead prayers that is called “making prayer illegal”.

And now we get the argument that repeating a lie is not lying. LaBarbera is, I take it, not responsible for his false witness because he merely repeated the lie and did not originate it.

What a unique defense. “Yes, your honor,” the defendant said to the judge, “I was part of the gang that mugged the victim. But your honor, I was the second one to hit him so it doesn’t count.” It is false witness no matter how many people said it first. When LaBarbera chose to use the article on his web site he took responsibility for it. He did not link to it. He printed it. He did not excerpt it he printed the entire article. His face is next to the article. He was not responsible for it before he did this. But the moment he printed it on his site he became responsible for it.

9 Comments:

Blogger Lucian's daughter said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

December 02, 2006

 
Blogger Lucian's daughter said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

December 02, 2006

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

I have removed the comment above because it was the exact same comment she already posted on this site. It is not necessary to post it more than once. It was posted as a comment to the original article about "Americans for Truth" and then again here. Please don't do that. Pick a location, post your comment according to the rules we have explained here numerous times and leave it at that. Multiple postings will be removed.

December 02, 2006

 
Blogger Lucian's daughter said...

Seems fair to post my response in both places where I was quite outrageously called a liar (among other things). How tolerant of you to delete it.

With that, I leave you to your name-calling. Clearly there is no reasonable dialogue to be had in your neighborhood.

December 02, 2006

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

I just reread the article in question. No where does it call you a liar. Why this distortion of what was said? It says that you defended LaBarbera lying on the premises that he didn't make up the claims merely repeated them and that is precisely what you said. I said that you used words in ways so that they mean something which they don't mean making dialogue impossible. But no where did it say you were liar. That I fear is entirely in your imagination.

And the concept that my not given you unlimited access to the blog is intolerant is just absurd. First, you have far more access to this site than I have to Americans for Truth site I mentioned. All I did was ask you to post the same message in one spot and not set up a second chain of comments that are the same. If you post the exact message in two places then I have to respond to it in two places. And then you respond in two places. This is confusing and I think annoying to the average reader.

But this is typical of the new fundie tactic of claiming to be victims constantly. Picked that up from the far Left and ran with it to new heights. Now any web site has the right to set the rules for posting comments. Mine have been simple. Try to keep it short, try to keep in on topic, if you want to preach about Jesus and other mysticism do it on your own site not mine. Yesterday I added, post the same comment just one time -- I never considered that rule before because you are the only person I've seen who insisted on posting the exact message in two places. In my post I said that the fundamentalist cultist insists on having access to property they don't own. I said when that property is denied to them they whine loudly. Elsewhere I've said they invoke their status as alleged victims in the process. You have illustrated that point perfectly. I have also said that fundies are regularly distorting and twisting what people say for their own theocratic agenda. Again you illustrated that perfectly as I never said you were a liar. I said LaBarbera repeated the lies, that you tried to justify his doing so, that you were connected with a web site that printed the lies and that the site practiced the same deception. But I did not say you were responsible for that (perhaps you were and this is your confession?). In fact I'm not even saying you are lying about calling you a liar. The claim is false but I don't know if you are making false claims intentionally or are just confused, don't read well, or honestly don't understand the meaning of words. And if you choose to respond, no skin off my nose if you don't, one reply in one place please.

December 03, 2006

 
Blogger Abigail Ruth said...

GLBT activists have no agenda?

Who's kidding who? GLBT activists are trying to normalize homosexuality and we are trying to stop that from happening. It really is that simple.

Why don't you be honest about what's really bothering you (and it's not whether or not the Toronto Maple Leafs technically sponsored this movie...)

You are angry with anyone who calls the wisdom of promoting homosexual behavior into question.

December 03, 2006

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Abigail is another fundamentalist from the same blog as Priscilla (aka lucian's daughter). That is for context. She uses the same sort of linguistic manipulation as most fundamentalists. Notice her first sentence: “GLBT activists have no agenda?” She makes it sound as someone actually said that. No one here did. It’s always best to reply to something someone didn’t say. Fundies make up nasty things about people they oppose. Love their neighbor to them means bash them verbally every chance you get and try to strip them of legal rights.

Let us start with what I did say. I said fundies distort language to smear people. So “All gays are ‘radical homosexuals’. Gays don’t have concerns or issues, they have an ‘agenda’.” Notice I said nothing about political activists but all gay people in general. Abigail distorts what I said and tries to imply that I then said that “activists have no agenda.” She smuggled in “activists” where I was not referring to activists who would obviously have an agenda -- like her and her brain dead legion of Jesus addicts.

In fact she stupidly proved my point. I said that they immediately claim all gay people are “radical homosexuals”. When I speak of all gays in general she then claims that is the same as speaking about “GLBT activists”. See gays are not human to these people. They are activists.

Now what the hell does this wench mean by “trying to normalize homosexuality”? Well, that simply means the average. By that standard Bible-mongers are not normal. Fundamentalists are not normal. In psychological terms it means healthy. Well the psychological field doesn’t agree with deluded religionists. They say gays are just like everyone else when it comes to psychological health. But the fundamentalist hates anything different from themselves. So anything not fundamentalist is not normal.

She says “we” (meaning fundamentalists) are trying to stop gays from being “normalized”. What does that mean Abby? Does it mean that it should be illegal to be gay? What punishment do you want inflicted on homosexuals? The Biblical one of death? Or do you ignore the Bible there?

You obviously don’t want gays to have children. What will you do to those who do have them? Do you want the state to take their children away from them? Do you want men with guns to perhaps grab the kids from the school during the day and relocate them with religious fanatics like yourself? How far are you willing to go to impose your “loving, Christian” view on others? And exactly how are you morally any different than the Taliban?

Here's you chance Abby. Tell us exactly what you think should be done by the state to prevent homosexuals from being normalized? Don't preach religion, just tell us what policies you want. Will you arrest gays for having sex with their partners in the privacy of their homes? Will homosexuality be illegal? Will you deny gays custody to their own children? Do you want them stripped of specific kinds of jobs? Which ones? Do you think they should have the right to promote their values or should they be censored? Would you ban gay publications? I know what many of your fellow religous types advocate but I want to knwo what you advocate.

December 03, 2006

 
Blogger Ethereal said...

Why do so many christians impose on those that are gay or lesbian? Often, people that are mostly religious always attacking gays because of their choice of who they with. I just say to christians to leave people alone and stop imposing your ideas on those that mind their own business.

Robert

December 04, 2006

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Two days ago I asked our fundamentalist visitor Abigail to answer some questions. She says she is working to preventing homosexuality from being normalized. I asked her exactly how far she was willing to go. I would like to know what she means. Some of the questions I asked is does she want to make it illegal to be gay? Would she punish people for being gay? Does she want to take away custodial rights of gay parents? I want to know where she stands on such matters. So far she chooses not to tell us.

December 05, 2006

 

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