I Am Not Sure I Have Ever Been Damned with Fainter Praise

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Introduction

So it is a red letter day, in that Rod Dreher came to my defense. But in his defense, he sure didn’t want to.

“So, even though it probably makes him cringe to have Rod Dreher stand up for him, and believe me, it makes Rod Dreher cringe to do it …I’m going to stand up for him.”

Numerous Qualifications

Throughout his piece, Rod makes the repeated (and very correct) point that the weapons that are being used on people that you might not happen to like may well be weapons that are going to be turned on you in about ten minutes. Throughout the article, Rod made it most apparent that whether he agreed or disagreed with me was entirely beside the point, and that Christians need to come to grips with the fact that religious liberty is the basic point here. I would hope that, were our positions reversed, I would be willing to do the same thing for Rod. Disagreements and all, jabs and all, I actually really appreciated it.

However it is apparent that a number of the people who read his article are not all that strong in the reading comprehension department. Rod had to post a little postscript afterward that said, “Guys! I am not defending Doug Wilson’s teaching or his behavior as leader of the Kirk.” Whew! Good thing he finally made that clear! The fact that he had to say that again after all the qualifications that were piled up in heaps inside the article is really striking. It shows that the only real irony is Rod feeling the need to explain himself to a group that does not read closely, carefully, or well. The irony comes in because these are the sorts of breathless and half-woke people who have passed on to him the sordid tale of my various shenanigans. Maybe when developing views on someone else’s character, it might be good not to crowd source it through your comments thread.

But I will prove to you that he was defending liberty and not me personally by citing just a couple of his comments. I hope we can use them in the future for book blurbs or something.

“It is more than fair to say that Wilson’s bomb-throwing Calvinism is not my jam. In fact, that’s a massive understatement.”

“Doug Wilson has a special gift for making enemies, and he can be incredibly obnoxious.”

However . . . There Was One Low Blow

The only jab I took really strong objection to was this phrase—“humility is not his strong suit.” Simply unbelievable. Humility is my strongest suit. For all his thumb-on-the-pulsing work in reporting, Rod has apparently not been informed of my upcoming book—Humility and How I Attained It.

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Adam Huntley
Adam Huntley
1 year ago

Now that’s a closer….

Nathan Smith
Nathan Smith
1 year ago

I’m not sure any of us understand humility very well. I say that as humbly as I know how.

Vincent Stewart
1 year ago

Great close! Loved it!!

kyriosity
kyriosity
1 year ago
kyriosity
kyriosity
1 year ago

Possibly he received comments via other means or deleted some on the article.

Hunter Baker
Hunter Baker
1 year ago

Doug, this was the most amusing thing I’ve read in ages! You improved my day with this one.

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
1 year ago

Very amusing. Humility is a such slippery virtue.

Adad
Adad
1 year ago

Buddism: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”🤔

Christianity: “How do you win a humility contest?”😏

Being a “faint praise magnet”, is a sure sign of humility.

Our host is, no doubt, humbled and honored!😏
👍

-BJ-
-BJ-
1 year ago

Rod Drehr criticizing someone for not being humble enough is rich. Really rich indeed.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  -BJ-

BJ, you would probably appreciate an open letter to Dreher written by Father Richard Munkelt, a “rad trad” priest who grew weary of Rod’s endless disquisitions on the horrors he endured on the Catholic stage of his religious odyssey. Munkelt, who seems to be both scary smart and scary literate, slices and dices Dreher on many fronts, but this was one of my favorites. “Your words are: ‘one of my greatest errors as a Catholic was to live primarily as an intellectual within the church. I made the mistake of thinking that if I mastered the intellectual dimension of the… Read more »

-BJ-
-BJ-
1 year ago

I have this is wierd thing where I love Drehr’s writing while really disliking the guy a lot. He is a real piece of work, that one.

JohnM
JohnM
1 year ago
Reply to  -BJ-

“I love Drehr’s writing while really disliking the guy a lot. He is a real piece of work, that one.”

Now I’d love some elaboration on that! Not saying you are wrong or right, just would like to hear more about it.

Ross Leavitt
Ross Leavitt
1 year ago

It’s a moderated comment board. When you leave a comment, it doesn’t post until an admin approves it. If I were Rod, I wouldn’t have approved comments like that, and he probably didn’t either.

Daniel
Daniel
1 year ago

The Navy once gave me a medal for my humility. But then they rescinded it and took it away because I wore it…

Jeff S
1 year ago

Bomb thrower? Obnoxious? Sermons with pepper? Gasp!

I only know you through your writings and the books you’ve given away (thanks.) I’ve heard these and much more horrid insults directed at you. And I don’t see it.

I read your ‘rhetoric’ in line with taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ.

David Douglas
David Douglas
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff S

It’s a matter of perspective. Around 1980, I read Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God” prior to being on-board (at least emotionally) with the doctrines of grace. I found it shrill and combative. Yet I couldn’t refute the fact that his argument was buttressed well by scripture. Still… it took me a couple years to come ’round and Pink’s tone didn’t help. Within the last couple years I reread parts of the book. I found no shrillness, but much grace. A’ la Twain, I was surprised by the sanctification the old man had acquired in the last few decades. Drehr’s on… Read more »

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
1 year ago
Reply to  David Douglas

A usually reliable warning sign with any writer is when he spends rather too much time dwelling on the inadequacy of his opponents and how obviously foolish and mendacious their arguments appear. It is often a sign that he has not spent enough time grappling with those arguments and has dismissed them without really understanding them.

Unfortunately, my limited reading of Pink has given me the impression that his writing contains too many of those warning signs to be worth further exploration. Of course, it’s quite possible I’ve missed some of his more sober efforts.

Dan
Dan
1 year ago

I’m curious what Dreher would think of the Apostle Paul’s tone from time-to-time?

Mike D'Virgilio
1 year ago

If Rod Dreher says something negative about me, I’d take it as the highest compliment. His website is one of the most unpleasant sites I’ve encountered on this world wide web, which is why I stay very far away from it and him.

JohnM
JohnM
1 year ago

Mike,

Why is that? I’m not offended and have I no need to defend Dreher, just wondering what in particular it is about his website that rubs you the wrong way.

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Jake
Jake
1 year ago

It’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way.

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