Monday, January 17, 2005

To remind me why some people aren't worth the time

I am reproducing this quote from Eric Svendsen, Ph.D.

Just to recap, this [sic, referring to I. Shawn McElhinney] is a Roman Catholic apologist. Of those things that he includes among his "interests" are: Alcohol, Beer, Nightcaps (not the hat), Red Wine, Tequila (various flavours), and Whiskey. Isn't that list just a tad bit "heavy" on the drinking side? I wonder if he plans to put himself into a drunken stupor before he comes to beat me up? Or perhaps he was already in one when he wrote his comments? We can't really know, I guess, but that certainly is some list. And he certainly has given credence to the old saying: "Wherever you find three or four good Catholics, there's bound to be a fifth."

I don't know where that's an old saying. The first time I ever heard it was a self-deprecating remark made by my Southern Baptist roomie at A&M, replacing "Catholic" with "Baptist" and referring sarcastically to the inconsistencies between the behavior of Baptists in church and Baptists elsewhere (and since Catholics don't share that bit of pietism, I'm not sure where the humor is in the substitution). At the time, it struck me as one of those "I can get away with saying it, but you can't" things, precisely because it is presumptuous for an outsider to remark upon the shortcomings of an insular group (not to mention that such generalizations are rarely true). Such a remark might be the sort of thing that one could get away with saying to a close personal friend, if you knew that the relationship permitted that sort of thing. But Dr. Svendsen is not my friend, nor is he a friend of any of the numerous Catholics frequenting the board at which this reply was directed. In this unguarded moment of irritation, we got to see just what kind of a person that Dr. Svendsen is: a bigot who thinks it's funny to stereotype a class of people he doesn't happen to like. Of course, this simply makes manifest a characteristic that is obvious in his arguments: an irrational antipathy toward Catholics that has long since compromised his ability to engage in reasonable dialogue or argumentation.


UPDATE -- Numerous commenters on Dave's blog have offered their commentary on Svendsen's jackassery. No endorsement of any of these views by the owner of this blog is expressed or implied by reproducing them.

Eric Svendsen wrote: "One of the regular 'commenters' at DA’s blog is a man named Jonathan Prejean. I don’t normally respond to mere commenters of blogs, but…" And then he rambled on for awhile in his usual way.
(…parody warning…)
Here is what I find so very troubling about what's going on with Svendsen. Only two blog posts after writing the above, Svendsen went on to discuss yet another mere commenter—Shawn. I'm afraid that by Svendsen's own standards, that post about Shawn violates Svendsen's solemn oath, quoted above, that he does not frequently reply to mere commenters.
Let's be clear on the facts here, since this is a serious charge. Recall that Svendsen came right out and said as clearly as one could ever hope for: "I don’t normally respond to mere commenters of blogs." But, despite this absolutely clear resolution, two out of his last four posts have, in fact, been responses to mere commenters. How much more "normal" does it get than 50%? Svendsen is systematically ignoring his "resolution" not to normally respond to mere commenters. This is a strategy of deceit! He behaves as though his claim that he does not normally reply to mere commenters was never written! Can that type of thing legitimately be chalked up to a "moment of weakness"? Of course not. It's ridiculous even to suggest such a thing.
Further, if Svendsen replies to my post here, then he is showing—*obviously*—that he intends to violate his solemn oath not to normally reply to mere commenters, even when he's reminded of that oath. So if he replies, he is only proving yet further, and beyond any reasonable doubt, that he engages in a strategy of deceit. But, of course, if he doesn't reply, then that is proof enough that he is afraid to respond to my devastating arguments against his position. Svendsen's meltdown is nearly complete. QED.

Eric Svendsen takes these cheap shots because he is most likely a litte bitter over over CATHOLIC LEGATE handing him his butt over his anti-Marian polemics. His He├Ás hou argument is hysterical.
BTW I sometimes drink Zima & I'm secure enough with myself to publically admit it.

Very interesting.
A couple years ago on their closed-to-the-public message board forum at NoTRoman, Svendsen made a big to-do about both my homebrewing hobby and my photos of beer-related festivals and other events after banning me for taking David The King to task for his obnoxious and ill-mannered behavior.
In the process, both "Dr." Svendsen and His Majesty referred to both myself and my homebrewing compadres as "drunks," which only reveals their abysmal ignorance of the homebrewing hobby and the craft brewing industry.
Apparently, "Dr." Svendsen has a preoccupation with the drinking habits, real or imagined, of others. This kind of obsessiveness is usually indicative of a recovering alcoholic, or a practicing but closet alcoholic, or one who is otherwise incapable of handling alcoholic beverages responsibly.
Where there is smoke, as the old saying goes, there is usually fire.

I've been looking over Shawn's list of interests, and I've noticed something particularly damning, which somehow escaped Svendsen's eagle eye. In the interests of advancing the cause of True Christianity** by dishonestly attacking the reputations of all those who are not believers in True Christianity—IOW, by engaging in Svendsen's own favored tactic—I shall now bring this evidence to light, much as it pains me to do so.
Shawn mentions that he likes, among other things: business, cigars, incense, Mexico, tea (and chai, which, of course, is some kind of crazy foreign word for tea), and travelling!!!
Could it be any clearer? Do I even need to point out what this list tells us about Shawn?
Well, just to be safe—I don't want you dishonest, dimwitted, drunken Catholics missing the point here—I will explain the import of this list.
Shawn is interested in "business," eh? Well, just what kind of business interests him? Since he also claims to be interested in Mexico and travelling, we can be sure that his business interests bring him south of the border regularly. Now, what kind of business would a drunkard like Shawn have way down in Old Mexico? Let's see, Shawn is also interested in incense. Well, as everyone knows, people only burn incense in their homes for one reason: to cover up other smells. And what other smell would Shawn be trying to cover up—a smell, mind you, that undoubtedly has some connection to his Mexican business? Safe to say that this smell has something to do with cigars, since they are also included on his list. But one needn't get cigars in Mexico. No, no, there are plenty of good cigars to be had in the US. And if American cigars aren't good enough, then one goes to Cuba, not to Mexico. So these have to be very interesting cigars, indeed. How do they fit into this list?
The missing link here is Shawn's openly admitted interest in tea. Yes, tea! And, as everyone knows, "tea" is an old jazz term for marijuana. And, as everyone also knows, lots of people who smoke tea like to hollow out—you guessed it— cigars and fill them back up with pot. And, as everyone knows, lots of people smuggle in marijuana from Mexico. And, as everyone knows, smuggling is a business.
It really couldn't be plainer. Shawn's list of interests is really a code, meant to convey his status as a drug peddler to other dope fiends on the internet, so they can email him and ask him to send them some packages of "cigars." Perhaps he even includes some incense in the packages to help the other degenerates cover up the stinky evidence of their crime.
Yes, I have broken the code and revealed the truth about Shawn. You would all be well advised to abandon Romanism and join up with me and Eric Svendsen in True Christianity! Otherwise, you'll all become hopeless pot addicts and tequila drinkers, burning your incense and trying to dodge border guards. You have been warned.
**True Christianity is defined thusly: whatever Eric Svendsen believes about stuff.

That about sums it up. You've got to either cry or laugh at that kind of display, and many Catholics have opted to laugh. Of course, one couldn't really help but laugh at this statement by Svendsen:

Here is a perfect example of why Dave Armstrong cannot be trusted with rightly representing the statements of those he opposes. My meaning here--as the context makes clear--was that DA'a decision did not involve merely shutting down the comments section of his blog (as did my decision, and James White's decision not to start a comments section, and Tim Enloe's decision); instead, his decision involved closing the blog to discussing "anti-catholic" apologetic issues (that, in context, is the meaning of "he's getting out of the apologetic blog business entirely!").

And this is the statement that was supposedly clear "in context:"

And now, as poetic justice would have it, Dave Armstrong is not merely closing the comments section of his apologetic blog--he's getting out of the apologetic blog business entirely!

If you need any proof that anti-Catholicism diminishes one's capacity for rational thought, just review the record here.


SecretAgentMan said...

"Alcohol, Beer, Nightcaps (not the hat), Red Wine, Tequila (various flavours), and Whiskey. Isn't that list just a tad bit "heavy" on the drinking side?"

I agree entirely. Many times I've pleaded with Shawn to just stick to the alcohol, and lay off the beer and tequila. But he won't listen!

Don't get exercised over Rev. Svendsen. In addition to being pastor mundi, dispensing lifestyle advice to anyone who's unfortunate enough to disagree with him, he's one of those fellows who does little but provide evidence for the thesis that a Protestants only true devotion is to curl his lip at the mention of Roman Catholicism.

CrimsonCatholic said...

Yeah, but he could at least construct something like an argument. James White has his heart in the right place, but he's a bit too zealous to accomplish his goals to rival Svendsen's analytical precision. Granted, there was usually some point at which he overplayed his hand, but at least he presented some sort of a challenge. It's always sad to see someone who could have been respectable dragging himself through the gutter like that.

SecretAgentMan said...

Luke 9:60.

CrimsonCatholic said...

This is just giving him a little nudge with the boot to make sure he's dead (Shawn's was more like shooting him a few more times to make sure he's dead ;-) ). I'm content to leave the actual interment to others. I just wanted a quick and convenient link for any instance in which someone is foolish enough to assert Svendsen as a source.