Too Thick to Deal With

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Looking over the comments below Gaywalkers, Gaytards, and the Gaystapo, I can see that it is time for a refresher course in why we talk here the way we do. To write the same thing for me is not grievous, and for you it is safe (Phil. 3:1). But, alongside the refresher course, a hearty well-done for those of you who clearly do get it.

First, we must recognize the utter lack of proportion that this kind of thing represents. The strategy of pc-correctness is calculated to silence any form of effective opposition to their despotic agenda, and it does this by inverting the proportions. So what we see is an ever-expanding circle of taking offense at trifles, coupled with an ever-increasing pile of “acceptable” outrages. It is demanded that we never use any language that might, under some circumstances, considered in the right light, hurt a fly, while at the same time insisting that the savage butchering of millions of children be considered a women’s health issue. We have a professional class of feminist offendees agonizing over “micro-aggressions” against women, for example, while simultaneously demanding their right to continue unabated their macro-aggressions against the unborn. We demand groveling apologies from the fellows who fail to strain out a gnat, and give Medals of Freedom to those public-spirited figures who managed to choke down the camel. We are a generation that, in the words of Dabney, are simultaneously sentimental and inhumane. The only way we react with moral outrage anymore is if someone insults our bizarre and disjointed sentimentalist taboos.

But this is not mindless behavior on their part; it is a play they are running. They are running it very successfully. They arbitrarily make more and more things offensive to say, and then well-meaning Christians who want to “maintain a good witness” volunteer to police the boundaries of their new prohibitions. Orwellian double-speak abounds, with Christians who really should know better serving as the double-speak cops. They do this, thinking it our duty for the sake of the witness, when our real duty is to put our foot through the side of every double-painted lie.

Second, when I coined (or so I thought) the word gaytard, I was courteous enough to explain what I thought I meant by it, and that meaning did not include mocking the mentally handicapped. For all anybody knew, I could have been riffing off of leotard. But no, I wasn’t — I actually was combining gay and retarded, and I was describing those people who are being blockheads — whether homosexual or straight — with regard to the sexual propaganda they are being served up. Now while it is offensive to God to taunt a retarded person for being retarded, it is not offensive to tag someone who ought not to be acting that way. For example, Paul does this very thing to the Galatians. “O foolish Galatians . . .” he says. The word for foolish is anoetos — without reason, without sanity or sobriety, stupid. Is Paul walking through a psych ward, making fun of people? Not if you know how to read.

Third, on top of all this, one commenter noted that the word had an entry in the Urban Dictionary, and so I went and took a look see. And in that august place, the meaning given was not the same as mine. There it referred to someone who was simultaneously gay and retarded — obviously scurrilous and offensive, and unnecessarily so. While there, learning one of the names that you street-wise secularists taunt mentally-handicapped homosexuals with, I was helpfully offered the opportunity to “buy ‘gaytard’ mugs and shirts.” So if you would like, all you people who are distressed at my word choices might want to head off to the complaints department of the Urban Dictionary and protest their calloused disregard of civilized discourse, and their merchandizing off the actual misfortunes of actual gaytards. Good luck. I’ll wait here for you. While you are there, you might discover that their gaytard entry is one of their milder offenses.

And last, one observer thought that I was interfering with his ability to spread the message of God’s love, and that is why he wanted me dead. You really can’t make this stuff up. At least he didn’t want me dead because our church sometimes sings imprecatory psalms. That would have made the irony too thick to deal with.

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David Douglas
David Douglas
8 years ago

“Not if you know how to read.”  To quote Slartibartfast in Douglas Addams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide:  “Well, that’s where it all falls down, of course.”

Rick Davis
8 years ago

Pastor Wilson, I’m reminded of a time when there was a similar fracas over you using the word “effeminate” as an insult for a certain kind of man. If I recall correctly, your use of that word showed your deep hatred of women and the fact that you viewed femininity as something to be despised. It didn’t matter that you said that calling a woman feminine would not be an insult because she was supposed to be feminine, but calling a man feminine is an insult because he’s not supposed to be. The response was along the lines of, “Aha!… Read more »

Barnabas
Barnabas
8 years ago

While the church fathers were not infallable, if you think that you are being more virtuous than them, it makes sense to check your assumptions. Paul, Augustine, Luther, and Calvin all use language that these bowing and scraping Christians would find out of bounds.

J
J
8 years ago

The need of the hour is wisdom. What people fail to understand is that there is a way to speak these things in this manner that is godly, edifying, and necessary. We have enough biblical examples to say this with confidence. There is also a way to speak these things in this manner that is demonic, destructive, and useless. We have enough biblical warnings to know this is a temptation for us. The first way builds the defenses of the church in ways that seal the cracks in our wall by helping us all to see the gay mirage for… Read more »

Peter Jones
8 years ago

Thanks Pastor Wilson!  Your ability to clear the fog is unsurpassed.  Unfortunately, many like the fog and wish to remain there. Thanks again and keep hitting the nail on the head. Peter Jones, Pastor Christ Church of Morgantown

timothy
timothy
8 years ago

When, not if, when the main topic of the  thread is derailed by those offended, we need a way to immediatly bring the conversation back to the content of the post.   Something as simple as, “Please do not distract others from the topic of this post. Pastor Wilson has addressed your concerns at least twice in posts entitled “To Thick To Deal With It”* and “Preparing for the Refugee Column”*   If anybody fluent in web-enese has a better suggestion/technique, please share it.   *I know we are to only capitalize the main words in a title, but “to… Read more »

Ed
Ed
8 years ago

I love the way you write, and think, but that last paragraph is stand alone in it’s excellence. May your tribe increase.

Melody
Melody
8 years ago

My observation is that while I would not likely speak publicly the way Pastor Doug does, I also would not likely go into the foyer of a carnal church and knock over the tables where gay cookies (or some such silly thing) was being sold in the name of the Lord like Jesus did. Again, how many ‘retarded’ folks are likely to have read the blog post?  And if they did, would it bother them or would they even ‘get it’?  Also, they guy who tried to come off as retarded was way too good at wordsmithing to be believeable. 

Eric the Red
Eric the Red
8 years ago

Doug, suppose you are right in everything you say.  That still leaves the tactical question of why do you persist in making an issue by speaking in such a way that you know will create the controversy?  It’s not that you have no other way to make your points; you’re a good writer with a good command of the English language.  Why would you not want to make your point in such a way that the issue you want to discuss can be discussed rather than being derailed?  If you were to say, “Here is my opinion of gay marriage,”… Read more »

John
John
8 years ago

This is helpful for me since I teach middle school students. The next time I hear a student call another student a “retard”, if someone tries to correct him, I’ll step in and say, “No, no, he wasn’t making fun of retards when he said that to the colored kid. He was saying that Negro boy was acting like a retard.” That should smooth things over. After all, we don’t want our kids growing up thinking we have to submit to every whim of political correctness. We’re Christians after all and Christians don’t do that.   If there are further protests,… Read more »

Moor
Moor
8 years ago

ETR and John asked, “Doug, why do you speak in parables?”

JDM
JDM
8 years ago

. As an apostle of this current age I think it is safe to assume this post is not aimed at you. It is aimed at those here who might be refugees.

Wesley
Wesley
8 years ago

I really appreciated Eric’s comment, to be honest, and I think it may be a great point to consider, so an off-the-cuff response I offer is this:  considering Elijah’s word’s in 1 Kings 18, perhaps “scatological” diplomacy is necessary to draw attention to the foolishness and danger of false beliefs.  Of course, when I say “scatological” I’m not actually talking toilet-jokes, but rather proffering something akin to flatulence (as ETR has evaluated it) as a way to answer the fool according to his folly, less he think himself wise.

J
J
8 years ago

Hey Eric, I don’t think I’ve addressed you directly before. How does it feel to be the anti-guy to this site? Honestly I’m the kind of person that would probably enjoy doing that. Do you have any recommendations for other blogs that are more in line with your views on which I could play your part on this website? Not that I would do a great job or anything but it would at least be interesting.                                                … Read more »

Respectabiggle
Respectabiggle
8 years ago

Correlation does not prove causality, but it really seems to me that all the people who hem and haw and worry about the “tone” of how we confront evil …. they have really crummy theology, too.
The offensive people, on the other hand, seem to have all of their excrement in one sock, which is to say, squared away.
Funny, that.

Brendt Wayne Waters
Brendt Wayne Waters
8 years ago

If you take point #1, it boils down to this: “I might be doing something wrong, but it very significantly pales in comparison to the wrongness that others do. So, actually, now that I think about it, I’m not *really* doing anything wrong.”
 
Admittedly, this is probably the most popular stream of “logic” in all of Christendom, but it’s still a big steaming pile of legalism.

J
J
8 years ago

Hey John,   Would you be ok explaining some of the grittier parts of genesis to those middle school kids? How about to some that are younger than them? The point being that age and appropriateness are factors in the way things are dealt with. If they are old enough to know about and understand the more mature parts of scripture then maybe they are old enough to understand the difference between what Doug is doing in the adult world of politics and calling a fellow student in school a “retard”. Perhaps then the problem there lies in the issue… Read more »

Brendt Wayne Waters
Brendt Wayne Waters
8 years ago

In Isaiah 1, God (rightly) rips Israel a new one for 16 verses. They had missed His “point”, getting caught up in the minutia instead (particularly in verses 11-15).
 
When this happens to God, what is his reaction? “Come, let us reason together.”
 
When this happens to Wilson, what is his reaction? “You are ‘Too Thick to Deal With’.”

David Moody
David Moody
8 years ago

I’m offended.  I’m so greatly offended.  I’m so extremely, utterly offended.  How do you even sleep at night?  Do you *know* how to spell potatoe?  I mean, come on.
Heh.  Okay.  Just kidding.  I liked what you said about straining gnats just so, and swallowing camels.  But I also liked how you explain your snide comments.  You don’t just offend to offend.  You explain yourself.  Keep doing that.  I hope you got my Dan Quayle joke.

Thor
Thor
8 years ago

I apologize for my ignorance, but I have been somewhat retarded (original meaning of slow here) in my theological studies as of late. Please, I beg of you, can one of you quintessential Christians please remind me which commandment or sermon on the mount or wherever in the Holy Writ it may be that it is written:  Thou shalt always be artificially happy, ever verbally and socially flowery, never abrasive, divisive, or course?  -OR-  You have heard it said that you should not offend anyone in anyway, but I say that you should also not speak, act, or think in… Read more »

Daniel
Daniel
8 years ago

Keep up the good work! Preach! Don’t let these naysayers get in your way of speaking boldly! (Forgive me for saying naysayers) :/

Dave W
Dave W
8 years ago

And now, a  brief history of the reimagination of sin, taking Alcoholics Anonymous as a convenient example of a much used tactic: There are men who drink too much. God calls them “drunks.” “Drunk” is a not-too-gentle way of pointing to the man’s sin every time we discuss him. Sophisticated yet Fallen Man comes along and decides to change the name to “Alcoholic.” What has been achieved? The sin of drunkenness is now slightly less sinful through etymological overreach. It’s not “drunkenness,” you know, but only “Alcoholism.” And for that matter it’s not rank and reeking Sodomite sex, but “Gay… Read more »

Will G.
Will G.
8 years ago

As a formerly active gaywalker who is now married with a daughter and in the process of adopting a son with some “genetic issues”,   I fully appreciate the author’s substance and style.   
 

doane
doane
8 years ago

Im going to guess that the reason Doug writes the way he does is because he’s doubling down on real men/women who are actually willing to stand for the right things but have almost been silenced. They read, say to themselves, “Wait. Yes. Thats true”.  And then those who almost got on the wrong train to wussy christian town change their course and become salt and light. Just a guess. 

St. Lee
8 years ago

Well into the comments section of the post that precipitated this one, I felt the need to say something to the effect that it would be nice to see as much hand wringing over the sin itself as there seems to be over words used in speaking out against it.  Not having the spare time to frame such a thought, I refrained from commenting.  I see now that my point has been better articulated both by Pastor Wilson and some of the those commenting here.                                                                                                                                         BTW Moor – excellent!  And it seems that others also parable challenged have added… Read more »

Matt
Matt
8 years ago

This post, all of its foolishness aside, should settle the matter.  The world sees Doug Wilson as a tone-deaf buffoon, but he sees himself as the One True Prophet spreading light in the darkness, one day to be triumphantly vindicated when one day the crash comes and everyone wakes up, finally seeing clearly.  So you can see, there is no point arguing here.  There is no evidence or reasoning you can marshal that will ever sway this view.  If you agree with him, then he is right.  If you don’t agree and object, he is even more right.  There is… Read more »

RFB
RFB
8 years ago

I do not have a “Holy Ghost X-Ray Machine” and so I cannot examine hearts. I do get to observe actions and writings, and also to hear words.   I hear a lot of seeming concern for those who might get their feelings hurt, as well as those who say that their concern is regarding how Pastor Wilson’s writings could affect Christian witness. They are voicing these concerns while living in a culture that seems to be in full embrace of a sin that God has roundly condemned,  historically destroyed cities for which it is named, and one that He… Read more »

St. Lee
8 years ago

Matt said,

The world sees Doug Wilson as a tone-deaf buffoon

For a real Christian, could there be higher words of praise?
and

 And besides, nothing written on a blog matters that much anyway.

How much less, then, what is written in the comment section!

DCHammer
8 years ago

Pastor, You might be able to make an argument why this language should be permitted, but I’m not thinking that it is wise.

JDM
JDM
8 years ago

@St Lee. Exactly. Would that more Pastors would treasure the scorn of the world rather than craving its approval.

Michael Coughlin
8 years ago

LOL. All of it. The post, the comments, the whole thing is just sorta awesome to take in. I do appreciate Doug’s points and also some of the people who are choosing to do differently. In fact, I see that as a personal freedom in Christ that they each have, I suppose.
I would agree that words have meaning, though, and we should be mindful of what that meaning will be to our audience and try to be sensible about it. Not sensitive, per se, but sensible.

John R.
John R.
8 years ago

Doug, I think part of the problem here is that you’re insisting on an older term, now considered offensive, as the root for your neologism. The word “retarded,” is, in the ever-evolving umbrage industry, now considered unacceptable.
So let me suggest, as a way of both satisfying the more sensitive among us, a new term:  “rectally challenged.”

David
David
8 years ago

I have a child with Down’s syndrome, and I was not offended by this post, for whatever that was worth, and I love daughter greatly. Matt, I did not see anything in Doug’s post that would imply, or outright indicate, that he sees himself as a prophet. Your problem, if I had to guess, is that Doug said something negative about homosexuality, the subject that must be approached with kitten mittens and kid gloves lest someone such as yourself start (here comes the irony) prophesying about our hearts, and about how the future will prove us wrong. And that’s just… Read more »

Jeff
8 years ago

Consider also the temperament of individuals. When I counsel, I tell them up front, “I am straightforward and plain speaking. Some may call it blunt. But when I’ve tried to be diplomatic and beat around the bush to potentially avoid hurt feelings, people scratch their head and say, what is he trying to say?” I tell them that if that will be offensive, this will not be profitable time spent together.  I don’t mind the Furious Scribbler’s writings. Nor do I find them offensive in the ways others do. In fact, I enjoy the raw plainspokenness of it. But that is… Read more »

Sara F.
8 years ago

Pastor Wilson, Reading your blog has straightened out my thinking on a myriad of topics. But I’m struggling to follow the reasoning in this sentence: “Now while it is offensive to God to taunt a retarded person for being retarded, it is not offensive to tag someone who ought not to be acting that way.” Someone who is retarded does not act “without reason, without sanity or sobriety” (or if he does, he doesn’t act that way because of the retardation). I especially resist the notion that it is okay to call someone “retarded” if they are acting foolishly, because that is equating… Read more »

Tim
Tim
8 years ago

So.  We seem to be writing essays about whether you can use a derivative of “retard”, or the word “retard”, to describe someone who is being intentionally stupid.  So if I were to be sitting around with some friends, and I’d say “oh, that’s retarded”,  or “you’re acting retarded”, I’d expect nobody would be offended.   They know what I mean, they’re adults, there’s no mockery of an actual weakness that someone can’t help.   But if I were to be in a classroom with kids who are mentally disabled, and I said to one of them “you’re a retard”,… Read more »

Fake Herzog
8 years ago

Preach it Pastor Wilson! I especially liked this bit: “We demand groveling apologies from the fellows who fail to strain out a gnat, and give Medals of Freedom to those public-spirited figures who managed to choke down the camel. We are a generation that, in the words of Dabney, are simultaneously sentimental and inhumane. The only way we react with moral outrage anymore is if someone insults our bizarre and disjointed sentimentalist taboos.” I just read a little essay by the wonderful social critic Theodore Dalrymple who was reflecting on the recent incident in a Danish zoo of the callous… Read more »

Moor
Moor
8 years ago

It would be offensive of me to say, and so I won’t, but giraffes are retarded.

Andrew W
Andrew W
8 years ago

I see Doug as an irascible older man urging his compatriots not to fall prey to cowardice.  As such, there is perhaps a place to warn of Doug’s rhetoric becoming rudeness, of ceasing to trust in the fortress of God’s truth and set up his own worldly fort from which to throw stones at the coming horde. But ask yourself whether you object to this out of concern for him, or because his crude fort is hampering your ability to throw open the gates to the invaders.  For while you may or may not consider them your enemy, they consider… Read more »

bethyada
8 years ago

A long, but somewhat relevant passage from Lewis. The Problem of Pain. (my emphases).   When the apostles preached, they could assume even in their Pagan hearers a real consciousness of deserving the Divine anger. The Pagan mysteries existed to allay this consciousness, and the Epicurean philosophy claimed to deliver men from the fear of eternal punishment. It was against this background that the Gospel appeared as good news. It brought news of possible healing to men who knew that they were mortally ill. But all this has changed. Christianity now has to preach the diagnosis – in itself very… Read more »

bethyada
8 years ago

FH, thanks for Dalrymples’ article. If others wish to read it.

Matt
Matt
8 years ago

For a real Christian, could there be higher words of praise?   Exactly.  For Doug’s particular subculture of Christianity, anti-respectability is the goal.  That’s why these complaints are hopeless.  Heads you lose, tails Doug wins.  Let the matter be settled.   Your problem, if I had to guess, is that Doug said something negative about homosexuality   You guessed wrong, I don’t care about homosexuality and I’m not offended by anything juvenile Doug says.  My problem is that his rhetorical strategy invariably results in the topic descending into interminable arguments about the terminology involved.  Since Doug will never admit error… Read more »

JDM
JDM
8 years ago

Apparently in Matt’s world John 15:18, Matthew 10:22 = subculture of Christianity. 

David
David
8 years ago

Matt, You should care about homosexuality, or any other form of sexuality that is damaging to the souls of people. Your previous post uses a great deal of emotion for someone who thinks the whole thing boils down to the mire of using the wrong terminology. I wouldn’t have used the word gaytard myself, by the way, but Doug’s point about a loss of moral proportion between the two ideologies in this debate is spot on, and it is demonstrated by his use of these words and the response of people to those words. Shutting down a bed and breakfast… Read more »

Moor
Moor
8 years ago

Matt, I will not speak for others (though I’m guessing the sentiment I’m about to share would be shared by others), but let me be the first to say that it would positively thrill me if the last of the methodological critiques had been written here, and that from now on we could focus on content instead.   I’m inclined to believe, however, that we will not have seen the last of them, even from you (who has now eschewed them), because there seems to be a portion of the regular readership here who finds it difficult to access or… Read more »

Moor
Moor
8 years ago

David, Christian are indeed animals, but not the giraffe kind.  
 
So says the current culture anyway.

katecho
katecho
8 years ago

I’m still trying to figure out what Matt is using for a standard.  Doug’s standard is Scripture (which he has connected very directly to his methods on this topic), but Matt’s standard and his strategy appears to be nothing more than a giant nod to whatever the worldly culture is serving today.  Perhaps Matt simply has no use for confrontation (unless he is passing judgment on Doug).  No, that kind of sentimentalism would be hypocritical, given which subculture is dragging people to court these days.  Perhaps Matt is against minorities who dare to maintain distinctives and resist the majority?  No,… Read more »