So Kevin DeYoung set off a national conversation with this article. When his article dropped, I was in the middle of wrapping up my November posts, and so a response had to wait until today. But I did have enough time to tweet that I thought Kevin’s critique was a responsible critique from a reasonable man, and so I asked all those who thought of themselves as being “in my corner” to respond to him judiciously and in that spirit.
As far as I could see, this is something they largely did—but that did not mean that the responses were not pointed, telling and forceful. I am going to try to do the same. I thank Kevin for this opportunity, and look forward to meeting him as a result of all this.
This response is kind of a beast, but what are you going to do?
Our War With Crapola
Below please find the latest promo ad for Canon+. After you watch it, you might wonder if we rushed it through production over the last week in order to respond to Kevin’s piece on the Moscow Mood. But no, it was in the works already, and it summarizes our approach to all these things nicely. We are at war with crapola, and are willing to use words like crapola as the occasion demands.
Here is the video.
Come for the Mood, Stay for the Substance
As the header for this section indicates, I am willing to play with Kevin’s point that some people are being attracted by the mood, and that doctrinal concerns are not really all that front and center. But this is just a rhetorical playing around, because you can’t cover everything in a short little header. So I would also want to note that as I have interacted with many of the people who are attracted to Moscow, I find all sorts of variations on the central theme of “reasons for coming”—”come for the practical teaching, get used to the mood,” or “come for the grand kids, stay for the postmill stuff,” or “come for the community, misunderstand the mood,” “come for a classical education, stay for the worship,” and so on. In other words, I believe that Kevin’s thesis is genuinely a small part of what is going on, but is by no means the whole thing. It is accurate as far as it goes, but that is not very far, and there is a lot more going on. The word I hear mentioned in this regard, overwhelmingly, is community. This is in reference to a blessing we have been given—and do not deserve—and that gift is something the apostle Paul would have called koinonia.
So, sure. Come for the mood, stay for the substance. Come for whatever reason, and stay for the only reason that ultimately matters.
“. . . which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”
Colossians 2:17 (NKJV)
A Quick Round Up
There were various responses to Kevin’s article from various quarters, and I appreciated a lot of what was said in them. Joe Rigney did a marvelous job in The American Reformer here, Toby Sumpter responded here, and Jared Longshore here. It is an honor to be associated with these men. Here is one, and another, and yet another. There were also some words of real encouragement. And here is another response from someone who had come to Moscow for a visit just a few weeks ago. And Tom Buck, no big fan of Moscow rhetoric, pointed out a glaring inconsistency here. And Michael Foster did some valuable work in pointing that everyone everywhere has a mood, and maybe we should have a discussion about all of them. And Brian Brown knows what time it is. So does William Wolfe, and he applies a crucial insight from John Piper to the whole situation.
Coming from another direction, Justin Taylor promoted Kevin’s article on X, and reinforced some of its main points himself. He also recommended this piece. And as much as I appreciate the proffered explanation for my behavior, this take seems to me to be an exercise in after-the-fact damage control by means of long-distance and entirely unsupported psychoanalysis.
What I think is happening here is that a discussion is ongoing about how best to distance from me, but it can’t look as though it is happening because of heat from the left. Anthony Bradley has complained pointedly about how I have been platformed in the past by Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, etc., which is true enough, but in order for them to not look like they are caving to pressure, the line has to be that I am the one who has changed. An offered explanation for the dark turn my mind has taken in recent years is that it was Rachel Held Evans “what done me in.” Let me just say that I engaged with Rachel Held Evans quite a bit because of the damaging traction she was getting in the broader church, which shouldn’t have been happening, and because she was really quite easy to answer. But had she had gotten under my skin? Hardly.
So with my jim-jams-diagnosed-from-a-distance out of the way, let us turn to the real subject at hand.
What Kevin Did Well
Kevin offered a critique of our Moscow project, and his critique was far more effective than the standard fare that comes after us. By “standard fare,” I mean the kind of assault that appears to be afflicted with an advanced case of rabies. In other words, Kevin was being a critic, and not someone with a frothing Moscow Derangement Syndrome. In my responses below, I will get into why I believe his criticisms miss the mark—by a mile, actually—but they were in fact real-world criticisms, and not simply spleen-venting. Kevin was obviously trying to be careful, and for this I thank him.
The tell that indicated this, and what made his critique more effective than others I could mention, was the fact that Kevin was willing to give credit where credit was due. He was not attacking us for being sociopaths, or orcs, or Klingons, or pedophile-apologists. He recognized that there is something genuinely attractive about what we are doing, and that it is attractive to reasonable Christians. At the same time, he believes there is a kink in our hose somewhere, and he clearly wanted to warn these reasonable Christians about that. This was on the basis of his belief that something is seriously wrong down underneath all the good stuff.
But he does see, and was willing to talk about, the good stuff.
“I know a lot of good Christians who have been helped by Wilson . . . Wilson is to be commended for establishing an ecosystem of . . . deserves credit for being unafraid to take unpopular positions . . . He offers the world and the church an angular, muscular, forthright Christianity in an age of compromise and defection. On top of that, Wilson has a family that loves him and loves Christ . . . the cultural aesthetic and political posture that Wilson so skillfully embodies.”KDY, The Article In Question (TAIQ)
And now, because November’s over, I hasten to qualify. I am not saying that Kevin is to be treated as a quality critic simply because he said some complimentary things about me. So long as I get a bit of flattery coming my way, I am somehow willing to flatter in return? No, that’s not it.
I am simply saying, as someone who knows how rhetoric works, that few things are more helpful to us than the unhinged critics are. For any reasonable person who has spent any time here in Moscow, or who knows anything at all about us, it is evident that many remarkable blessings are taking shape here. Kevin sees this, and is willing to say it, which means that he is not blind. And it should always be possible to profit from critics who are not blind.
And at the same time, his concerns are not trifling. They are weighty, and need to be taken seriously, and answered thoroughly. That is what I intend to do here.
I have been answering such questions about mood or “tone” for forty years now, and it is not a new subject for me.
But judging from the fact that Kevin felt the need to address it now in this way, at this level, indicates a mood shift within the rest of evangelicalism. And I believe that this article by Kevin actually presents us with a wonderful opportunity to get some things settled.
Here is the heart of his concern:
“My bigger concern is with the long-term spiritual effects of admiring and imitating the Moscow mood. For the mood that attracts people to Moscow is too often incompatible with Christian virtue, inconsiderate of other Christians, and ultimately inconsistent with the stated aims of Wilson’s Christendom project . . . what you win them with is what you win them to.”KDY, TAIQ
So that is the charge, and what follows would be the basic answers that I would present in reply.
Short Term, Long Term
What is the short term fruit that Kevin sees?
“He offers the world and the church an angular, muscular, forthright Christianity in an age of compromise and defection. On top of that, Wilson has a family that loves him and loves Christ.”KDY, TAIQ
But this is the very sort of thing that so many Christian families are hungry for today—a forthright Christian faith that stands against compromise, held out to the world by families that are united in their love for Christ and their love for one another. Isn’t this the very sort of thing that Jesus said to judge by (Matt. 7:20)? For Kevin to grant this made his critique much stronger, as I noted above, but only on the surface.
That is because if you take the concession seriously, you realize that it unravels the critique itself. What he conceded seems like a strong upside pitch for Moscow. So what is the downside? The downside is that imitating a mood that is incompatible with Christian virtue could have long term deleterious effects. My question here has to do with that phrase long term. Yes, you can see all this good fruit now, but what about an unspecified future time when that fruit isn’t here anymore? Well, when the good fruit turns bad, you should point that out. But in the meantime, you don’t predict bad things that could happen years from now, and go bury your one talent in a napkin because something could go wrong.
For example, there once was a time when The Gospel Coalition produced a lot more good fruit than they do now, but that was before they fell in love with Taylor Swift. Times change and so should the criticism. Well, and if a time comes when I am no longer presenting a forthright Christian faith in an age of compromise, and my family no longer loves Christ, and no longer loves me, then I would hope that somebody would point that out.
The Worldliness Snare
“I fear that much of the appeal of Moscow is an appeal to what is worldly in us.”KDY, TAIQ
Hold on a sec. What is worldliness? The thing that drives it is a deep desire for the world’s respect. Does Kevin really think that this is what I have been striving for? That I am trying to get the world to like me? To respect me? The only way people like me ever become respectable is after we’re dead and deep. And if that ever happened, it wouldn’t go to my head because I will be in Heaven and have better things to think about.
“How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?”
John 5:44 (KJV)
So the world only praises Christians within a very limited range, and it is happy to blame us for all manner of. things. If someone has an itch for respectability, that means that they have placed a huge steering wheel on their back, right between their shoulder blades, and the worldly-wise are never hesitant to take the wheel.
The desire to be approved by God puts the standard in the text of Scripture (2 Tim. 2:15 ). The desire to be found winsome by the world puts the standard completely in the grasp of Old Slewfoot. He is the one who now determines whether or not you are being winsome. No, no. Scoot farther to the left.
Here is how worldliness is diagnosed in Screwtape.
“No doubt he must very soon realise that his own faith is in direct opposition to the assumptions on which all the conversation of his new friends is based. I don’t think that matters much provided that you can persuade him to postpone any open acknowledgment of the fact, and this, with the aid of shame, pride, modesty and vanity, will be easy to do. As long as the postponement lasts he will be in a false position. He will be silent when he ought to speak, and laugh when he ought to be silent.
The Screwtape Letters, p. 50
In contrast to this, my desire, when confronted by the world’s rebellious and insane folly, is to speak when I ought to speak, and to laugh when they forbid laughter.
There are ways that this can go wrong—because this is a fallen world—but our temptation here in Moscow is not that of caring too much what the respectability-mongers are selling this season. Too many Christian leaders believe that our witness and testimony depends upon buying up the world’s fall line. Next spring it will be the spring line. Our temptations here in Moscow lie elsewhere. I would tell you what those temptations are, but there are people out there who would weaponize it right off the bat.
The temptation to ache for worldly respectability is, however, rampant throughout the evangelical world. Vast sections of our evangelical establishment have gone down before this alluring temptation, like dry meadow grass before a sharpened scythe. This article by Kevin is a marvelous case in point. He is not going to lose any respectability points from the cool kids over this, is he?
The Thumbscrews of Catholicity
“The strategy is not to link arms with other networks, but to punch hard and punch often, all the while forging an unbreakable loyalty to the one who is perceived as the Outsider-Disruptor.”KDY, TAIQ
Now speaking frankly—which I suppose by this point I need to—this is rich.
I am a fundamentalist, in that I believe the fundamentals with all my heart. But I am not a cultural fundamentalist, and I am not a schismatic or separatist. When I am invited to go speak at a conference, I would not decline because of any intramural doctrinal differences. I am more than happy to go. Not only so, when I am invited somewhere and I actually get to go, I really do behave myself. I conduct myself like a gentleman. If I were invited to the great evangelical banquet (not going to happen, fret not), I would not throw my dinner roll at the server with all the champagne glasses. Neither would I make fun of any of my hosts. For some curious reason, some people have assumed that if I am willing to smite infidelity under the fifth rib, I am therefore willing to do the same to pretty much anybody, including the organizing pastor’s wife in my opening remarks. This assumption makes people jumpy.
But there is more. Sometimes I am invited to speak somewhere, and am then uninvited after the ecumenical thumbscrews are applied to the organizers behind the scenes. Then I don’t get to go. Yes, that happens. It has happened quite a bit, actually. And when we invite a speaker to come here to Moscow, and they accept, if they are anywhere in the Big Eva orbit, we don’t count on it until after they get the treatment. This is because it is quite possible they will withdraw after agreeing to come, the way Karen Swallow Prior did. We have invited multiple people from all over the Reformed evangelical world, and most of them have married a wife and have bought them five yoke of oxen (Luke 14:19-20).
In this vein, Kevin complained about the jab I took at the ERLC and G3.
“He takes a swipe at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and at the G3 Conference. Both are conservative Baptist groups—groups, we might add, that would be on the same side as Wilson in almost every important cultural battle.”KDY, TAIQ
With regard to the ERLC, this is simply not true. The increasingly progressive tilt of the ERLC has been a matter of public controversy in the Southern Baptist Convention, and the fact that Kevin is not aware of how far left they have drifted on a number of issues is itself an indicator of how bad the situation has gotten.
G3 really is a conservative group, but one that brings us back to the theme of this section, which is catholicity and “who is actually the standoffish one?” CrossPolitic was invited to participate in a G3 conference a few years ago, but then they were told they could not have me on as a guest on their show while there. I would have been happy to participate, and pleased to associate with G3. It didn’t go the other way. Perhaps Kevin should admonish G3, telling them that Wilson is a conservative, and that he would be on their side in “almost every important cultural battle.” See if that works.
Look. We know all about the pressures that are applied to people to keep them from having anything to do with us. We know. We were there. And please know that this does not hurt our feelings. We long ago learned how to put on our big boy pants. But then . . . for Kevin to come out and say that we are the ones who are being fastidious about who we associate with . . . well, now. Okay, that doesn’t hurt my feelings either. But it probably ought to have.
Kevin really ought to know how willing we are to link arms with people who are outside our native orbit. We have certainly invited him to come work with us enough times. Kevin does good work, and we support it. I have appreciated reading his stuff. We would be willing to work with him despite the fact that there are men with him on the TGC council that we believe to be badly compromised. But if Kevin were ever to accept an invitation from us, do you think that he would get any fierce pressure from them? Just a thought experiment, and we already know the answer. In short, we are not the ones thinking ourselves “better than other folks.”
Balance in Writing
Kevin believes that I am capable of writing stuff that is good and wholesome and balanced, but that for some reason I just don’t want to. He points to what he considers to be the comparatively rare instances where I let my abilities in this line show, as in my kind comments after the death of Rachel Held Evans. Kevin wonders why I couldn’t do more of that kind of thing.
Now here is a novel criticism—someone wanting me to write more stuff. I tell people that I write for the same reason that dogs bark, and usually barking dogs are not encouraged to step it up a bit.
Kevin wonders where he could find a . . .
“month of posts on the loveliness of Christ, or the power of prayer, or the finer points of Reformed soteriology, or the wonders of the cross, or the total trustworthiness of the Bible, or soteriology, or the holiness of God, or the glorious intricacies of trinitarian theology.”KDY, TAIQ
A little bit later, he had even more suggestions for my “to do” pile.
“Wilson’s online persona is not about introducing Reformed creeds and confessions, or about explaining the books of the Bible, or about global mission to the uttermost parts of the earth, or about liturgy, preaching, prayer, and the ordinary means of grace. I’m sure Wilson cares about all those things . . .”KDY, TAIQ
Yes, I do care about all those things. But I do more than just care about them. I have written a book on about three quarters of them.
And I really do hate to talk like this, but you have driven me to it, man (2 Cor. 11:16). I believe that with just the books that come off the top of my head, I can put this concern to bed pretty quickly: “the power of prayer,” “the finer points of Reformed soteriology,” “the wonders of the cross,” “the total trustworthiness of the Bible,” “soteriology, “introducing Reformed creeds and confessions,” “explaining the books of the Bible,” “global mission to the uttermost parts of the earth,” “liturgy,” and “the glorious intricacies of trinitarian theology” (for this last one, I wrote the draft). And on those remaining topics where there isn’t a book in print yet, the chances are pretty good that there is something in process. Give me a minute, wouldja?
This point that Kevin makes here is what I call the Cave of Adullam phenomenon. Back in the day, we ran a magazine for about twenty years (Credenda/Agenda). It was about forty pages of teaching on family, church life, the civil magistrate, eschatology, and so on. Near the back was one page we called the Cave of Adullam, which was dedicated to skewering what we called the “regnant follies.” We would also occasionally horse around in the masthead, or in an editorial up front, but in the main the bulk of the magazine was clothed and in its right mind. But what would happen is that people would get the magazine, turn immediately to the Cave, read it with a guilty chuckle or two, spend the rest of the evening being harangued by their conscience, and then write us a concerned letter about our writing habits—when they really ought to have been more concerned about their reading habits. This is called reading all the snark, and ignoring the rest. This is called picking all the bacon bits out of the salad, and then complaining about the paucity of greens.
So please note that the point Kevin tried to make here is simply risible. What is the word like risible, but for howlers? Kevin either did not know about all these other emphases—multiple books on marriage, multiple books on children, multiple books on education, multiple books on church life, and down the street and around the corner—in which case he was critiquing a movement he does not understand at all, or he did know about all this voluminous material and chose not to acknowledge it for the sake of scoring a cheap point. And if that is the case, then his critique is disingenuous.
Our tag line, our motto, is “all of Christ for all of life.” It is not “all snark for all of life.” But if Christ is Lord of all, and He is, then He is the Lord of sarcasm. To acknowledge this is to submit to the Bible, and to the proportions set forth in the Bible. It is not to enshrine Sarcasm as Lord. That would be bad.
A Very Short Section
The next section is going to deal with Kevin’s objection to my language at certain points. But before getting to that, I think that a few distinctions are necessary beforehand. I believe we should not muddle up and confuse certain things that are routinely mixed all together, but which shouldn’t be. I do write in a particular way. I think in metaphors, and whenever I open the spigot, what comes out is whatever was in the pipes. But bright yellow metaphors and incarnadine similes are not the same thing as snark. Writing in an interesting way is not the same thing as sarcasm.
It is not that I don’t know how to use the satiric bite, because I do know how, but I am not doing it nearly as often as some people assume.
Cussing and the Tu Quoque
There is an informal fallacy in reasoning which is called the tu quoque fallacy. This is Latin for “oh, yeah? well, you do it too.” But a man who is charged with stealing something cannot defend himself appropriately by saying that his accuser stole something earlier. This is a fallacy of deflection, an attempt to change the subject. If you are a thief, then you are a thief, regardless of whether there are others who are also in the same category.
So Kevin is a council member for The Gospel Coalition. When I point to the standard for language set by the TGC approach to movie reviews, I need to explain how this is not the tu quoque in action. Rather, this is a straightforward inconsistency pointed to in the link to Tom Buck’s tweet linked above. The tu quoque retort happens when it is assumed and acknowledged that both sides are doing the same thing—both stealing, as in the example above.
But my use of hot sauce language is completely different than the use commended by multiple TGC movie reviews. The thing I am accused of, I am not doing, and the thing the accuser attempts to throw at me, the accuser is doing. And so for me to be the one to point that out is not a fallacy of distraction at all.
What this amounts to is a recognition of a basic biblical truth.
“For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Matt. 7:2 (NKJV)
“And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?”
Romans 2:3 (NKJV)
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
Galatians 6:1 (NKJV)
What I believe this point reveals is that the objections to my language has more to do with where that language is aimed than it has to do with the presence or absence of certain words. Kevin, and the men in his circle, do not mind being associated with certain words. They embrace that association. They recommend that Christians go to movies that are filled with it. But they do mind that kind of language being deployed against the sins of the age by a fellow Christian.
Just before writing this paragraph, I went back and reread the famous piece where I used the c-word. I would be willing to write every syllable of it again today, and moreover to defend it as a stand for righteousness—because that is exactly what it was. That article was filled to the brim with arguments, and had one stark word in it. Everyone wants to gasp and point to the word because they think they can score some easy points that way, and they refuse to engage with any of the arguments because they know they can’t engage with them. No one answers the arguments.
And in something of a surprise twist, I find myself in broad agreement with Paul Tripp on this, where such things should be evaluated on the basis of context and intention.
And this is why I would say that Kevin (and Justin Taylor with him) are simply being hypocritical. I am not saying damned hypocrites, like the Pharisees in Matthew 23. But they are being manifestly hypocritical, the way Peter and Barnabas were at Antioch—good men doing a bad thing. They really ought to quit it.
You can support movie reviewers finding “gospel themes” in a secular movie with over a hundred F-bombs in it? But you can’t find gospel themes in a blog post that had overt and hot gospel in it because there was one crude word there? And that one word was aimed at the heart of a particular sin for which the blood of Christ would bring true forgiveness?
What this boils down to is that the camel is all gone, and we still can’t find the gnat.
Just know that in some of my hardest-hitting posts, I have routinely made a point of concluding with a jet fuel gospel presentation. That doesn’t happen by accident. I am a minister of this gospel. And if you can’t find the gospel themes in that kind of direct gospel presentation, but you can find them in a Taylor Swift tour, then something is seriously off.
For those just joining us, this question of language is territory that is well-traversed. My most recent post on this can be found here, and there are a bunch of links in that post that you can follow to get more goodness.
So keep this principle in mind. The apostle Paul said that we were to have our speech be gracious, seasoned with the occasional red hot chili pepper (Col. 4:6). In my cooking, over the course of millions of words, I have on occasion put in a red hot one. True enough. I have done this deliberately, seeking to be obedient, mindful of the context, and with great care concerning what kind of dish it is supposed to be. The way I use it, the pepper is not a sin—I am not arguing that it is okay to sin if you only keep the ratios right. Rather, it is not a sin if it is being deployed righteously.
Now what Kevin did (and Justin Taylor after him) was gather up all those peppers, grind them into an asterisk paste, and put them all on one Ritz cracker, to be served to your sainted Aunt Millie in one bite, in the hope that she will be aghast and stop listening to Nancy’s podcast.
That’s not how it is supposed to be done.
Q & A Is Mandatory
Right near the beginning of Kevin’s article, he said this:
“I’m not looking to get into a long, drawn-out debate with Wilson or his followers.”KDY, TAIQ
I am sorry that I need to explain this, but that is not how this works.
You don’t get to launch a critique like this one, designed to make a lot of good-hearted people think twice about their attraction to the Moscow Mood, and then with a flourish refuse to take questions, or to be too busy for replies. You can’t launch an attack and then call for a cease fire.
This is particularly the case when your critique failed as a knock-out blow. If there were no possible answers, and we defenders of the Moscow Mood were all just sitting around shamefacedly, you could easily afford to take questions, because there wouldn’t be any. But if turns out that this was a swing and a miss, and there are consequently a host of questions, many of which would be very awkward for Kevin to try to answer, you cannot just say that this would “take a lot of time.” Yes, it does. It takes up a lot of our time as well. Why did you start this then?
The reason for starting it is that the Big Eva world is starting to see significant “defections,” and it is concerning them very much. They consider them defections; we just call them reassignments. There are the rank-and-file “defections,” and there are the high-profile “defections” like Jared and Joe. But in this climate, I cannot imagine anyone who was already being drawn to the Moscow Mood being in any way slowed down by Kevin’s piece. The reactions I have seen online bear this out.
We have seen critiques like this before, and the online support we have gotten in the aftermath of this one has been significantly more robust than what usually happens. After Kevin published his piece, and after Justin tweeted in support of it, a crowd naturally gathered. And this time around, the crowd had a lot of trenchant and observant things to say.
On top of all that, a lot of people who would have loved for Kevin’s piece to have been devastating to us have been grumbling about it—the way ardent fans of a football team complain about their own coach after a loss.
So I believe that the questions raised in the pieces I linked to at the top require answers. I believe that the quite reasonable questions I raised throughout the course of this post require answers. Responding in writing would be fine, but I believe that person-to-person, face-to-face, would be far preferable. Uri Brito, presiding minister of the CREC, has offered to broker something like that, and I would be delighted to participate in such an event, or in anything like it. Uri would be a faithful moderator.
But if that seems too lopsided a set-up, I would certainly agree to an event like the Evening of Eschatology, chaired by a moderator of Kevin’s choosing, with me discussing these issues with Kevin and two other men of his persuasion, and also of his choosing. I would be happy to be outnumbered and without any home court advantage. I would show up to the designated venue promptly, and would be happy to go through security. You know . . . those metaphor-detectors. I would wear a clean shirt. And a tie.
And not so incidentally, this last point ties in with the point I made earlier about who is keeping their distance from whom. We are far more willing for association with our brothers than our brothers appear to be. At any rate, there is the invitation, laid honestly on the table, and it is an open invitation.
Kevin also commented on a “Clint Eastwood-style closeup of Wilson puffing a massive cigar . . .” That was not a massive cigar. It was a plain old cigar.
I am not really trying to make this post any longer. This last section simply contains the major points of my response in summary, one sentence for each major section. Kevin worked hard to be even-handed, but he was so even-handed that he diluted the force of his subsequent critique. Worldliness is a hunger for respectability, which is far more in evidence in Kevin’s circles than in mine. To be isolated, shunned and avoided is not the same thing as being a loner by choice. The people aligned with our movement are the people who appreciate the full breadth of what the movement represents; the people who focus on what they have dubbed my inflammatory “online persona” are the ones who are exhibiting tunnel vision. Colorful writing is not the same thing as cussing. The real objection to the sharpness in my writing has to do with where the spear is aimed, and not the words themselves—there is all sorts of evidence that the words themselves are taken in stride by Kevin and company just so long as they are not targeting the sins of the age. And Kevin now has a moral obligation to engage with us on this subject, and to help us get it all resolved.
I would love that.