From this manifesto:

It’s a pity you won’t be responding to this. You’ve been a very consistent little Hobgoblin about ignoring me completely. But I’m sure your defenders will protect you, and it isn’t like you can’t respond.

So you appointed yourself the resident GOTT (Guardian Of The Truth®), and embarked on a mission to destroy a man and his ideas. Your motivation, according to you, was to give him a “taste of his own medicine”. You stalked him for no other purpose. It was therefore personal everywhere you did it, including Great Debates. I wondered why you ignored me, especially in the early stages of your mission, since I was shredding your argument to pieces and you were just letting my responses go unanswered. I suppose it’s clear now. Like a Borg drone, you were singularly focused on one task, oblivious to the ship blowing up all around you.

It would almost be funny if your stated purpose were not so ignoble. Instead, it’s rather pathetic really. You targeted a man whose kindness and empathy for the feelings and views of others (including yours) are legendary. You wanted to destroy his morale. Prove him wrong. Shut him up. Give him the thrashing you thought he deserved. And now that your hubris has blossomed into full blown self-worship, you believe that you “won”. What you’ve won God only knows, but you seem to fancy yourself the victor.

I don’t know you from Adam and don’t care to, but I do know Poly. A few years ago, my wife and I visited him at his home near Raleigh. He and Skulldigger (his wife) were struggling with expenses, had no reliable transportation, an obsolete computer, and were about to lose their Internet connection. It was Christmastime, and we weren’t in great financial shape ourselves, but we (along with many others) responded. I’ve never made this public, but just to give you an idea of the scope of our response and his plight, we gave him $1,200. Others gave him cash also. Still others gave needed supplies, like food and clothing. One person I know gave a new computer.

His home was as humble as any I’ve seen. As best I recall, there were four rooms, no central heat or air, clutter everywhere from lack of storage, and extremely modest furnishings. But the love. Oh the love. Their smiles and gratitude, their genuine humility, their tears — we were touched in a way that we’ll never experience again. Our only wish was that we could have given more. And we have since been rewarded, incidentally, many fold. We believe God works like that. Though we sought nothing in return, our fulfillment (personal and financial) was complete.

Now, the reason I bring all this up is so people can see that you did not attack the giant that you perceived. You tilted at a windmill that did not exist. We took Poly and his wife out to dinner that evening, and I can’t count the times that he stipulated in the course of our conversations that he might be wrong. We discussed more politics than we did religion, but that same self-effacing humility is as abundant in one thing as another.

You were not attacking the guardian of liberal Christianity. You were mugging a man who would have given you the loot if only you had asked. Despite his meager means, he is generous with everything he has. He has taken in kids that other people called problems, and given them a loving and nurturing home. He measures his success not by material, not by arguments won, not by souls saved — but by the richness of the lives of those he helped.

Yeah, I know you think that your mission was important. And your defenders will doubtless point out how critical it is to fight ignorance. Y’all surely do seem to believe that you are Cecil’s little minions, carrying his torch. But with friends like you, Cecil doesn’t need enemies. A great contemporary philosopher, Daniel Dennett, said, “There’s nothing I like less than bad arguments for a view that I hold dear.” And that’s what you are for Cecil — a half-cocked sniper rifle with a faulty scope. You would be the last weapon he would reach for in his arsenal, and then only after he had tried pulling out his teeth and firing them from a slingshot.

That’s because you are so profoundly ignorant about so much. During your Rumsfeldian delusions about defeating the Ogre while adoring crowds tossed you flowers, you lacked certain knowledge that so many other people had. Knowledge like social skills, debating tactics and strategies, human emotion and response, planning an attack, selecting a target, and winning the hearts and minds of bystanders. If you had been half as smart as you imagined yourself to be, you would have attacked an asshole like me. Or a blithering poet like Tris. Or an emotional wreck like Siege.

Instead, being the knuckle head that you are, you attacked a man beloved by nearly all, atheist and theist alike. I suppose you thought that your victory would be sweeter if you could lick the blood of the biggest wildebeest in the herd. But the fact is that you didn’t even make the kill. All the arguments made against you that you ignored in your reckless quest still are there. Unaddressed. Standing against you like Hoover Dam against the river. You failed. On almost every level. Because even if you had destroyed him, you would have destroyed something the world so sorely needs: compassion and goodness the likes of which you cannot even comprehend.

Not only have you not proved Poly wrong, but now that you’ve revealed what an empty, pointless, and quite frankly psychotic goal you pursued, you’ve revealed yourself as nothing more than a polyp in the board’s rectum. I don’t know whether your admission of trolling (surely deliberately targeting a man and stalking him in Great Debates for nothing more than personal amusement is trolling) will get you banned or not. And I don’t know whether you’ll ever take me off your ignore list.

But I do know that Polycarp is the victor in your war with him. You’ve shot yourself in the foot. You now have the status of a misfired sperm. Your cause was never anything more than a personal vendetta, poorly conceived, laughably executed, and a waste of everyone’s time. At this point, there’s nothing to be done about any of that, but in the future, could you kindly confine your intellectual masturbation to the Pit where it belongs? Thanks loads.

I’m glad you’re back, Liberal. That was refreshingly coherent and nicely devastating, if it were directed at someone whose skull could be penetrated by the cognitive products of other people.

Some links to the unanswered arguments might be nice, if you have them handy.

Liberal Thanks for sharing that .

I think you miss badchad’s point, “Liberal”. As I see it, badchad is saying that polycarp may be a nice chap, but the residual mumbo-jumbo that attaches to polycarp’s “god-of-the-fewest-spooks-and-magic-tricks-I-can-get-away-with touchy-feely almost mainstream christian” stuff makes his position untenable. Poly tries to offer a way to be a thinking Christian and not be a nutjob or an arsehole. badchad’s claim is that he fails. You claiming that Poly is a nice guy is beside the point.

badchad thinks poly is christianity’s beard.

I think you’re missing most of the point. While badchad is wasting time with bizarre personal vendettas against strangers on message boards, Poly is out being a decent fucking human being with a sense of proportion and priorities. Just by taking up the despicable mantle of “internet stalker” – with pride, no less – badchad automatically loses no matter what his point is.

Liberal, welcome back. Thank you for “misfired sperm”. It is now the phrase that I will substitute whenever I read the user name badchad.

badchad’s continued presence on this message board makes me wonder about the actual importance of what is supposed to be rule number one here: don’t be a jerk. This is not the first time he has freely admitted that his purpose here is, in part, to diminish or eliminate Polycarp’s participation. I’ll reiterate my previous assessment:

As an agnostic I am not taking sides in the current board religion war, but I do question one of Liberal’s metaphors, that of his target being a polyp in the SDMB’s rectum (a polyp after all can be benign and asymptomatic).

A fissure in the board’s anus might be a more apt description from your POV. :slight_smile:

It’s the starkness of the contrast that is so jarring. One the one hand, a man of meager means has done an amazing amount of good on this board — from lifting the spirits of people deeply depressed to giving a few dollars that he couldn’t afford. On the other hand, a knuckle cracking Internet whore has made it his mission to rid this board of its most empathetic ear and generous heart. Badchad is like a piece of molten tar stuck to your thigh. Even if you remove it, the damage is done.

liberal, I’m reaaly glad you’re back.

Before I continue, you must know that I regard Polycarp in very high esteem. He’s been most influential in allowing me to reorganize my belief system in Christ while at the same time freeing me from me perceived neccessity of regarding the bible as the infallible word of God, which is the essence of Christian fundamentalism.

But one thing has been bothering me about Polycarp. It is the increasingly incessant attacks on Christian fundamentalists, and he never misses an opportunity to do so. If Polycarp showed some love and understanding for the mental prison that fundies are in, then I would put him up for sainthood if I could.

I’m fairly certain that Poly’s attacks on Christian fundies is what drives badchad more than anything. He’s stated before that he has loving fundie parents who don’t deserve what Poly dishes out. If Poly wasn’t so hugely popular, adding temendous weight to hatred of fundies, badchad might have just ignored him, Yes, for badchad it is personal and I can’t say I blame him.

I agree with your point, and I’ve lobbied on behalf of fundamentalists myself — despite that I’m so out there that I make Poly look like a fundamentalist. But where Poly is different from Badchad is that Poly, when he sees this, will acknowledge the validity of the criticism, take it to heart, and make a change in himself. You need only bring it to his attention.

I am a fissure of men.

Greetings Lib Nice to see your name on the boards again.

I didn’t read all the exchanges between Poly and** BC** Frankly I was surprised that BC was able to get to Poly in the way he did. I was surprised one relentless and annoying poster could get Poly to consider not frequenting the SDMB. I engaged **bc ** a couple of times at length. Enough to realize that he is more interested in stroking his own inflated ego than so called fighting ignorance. He is more interested in manipulating the conversation and being in control so he can then do his delusional victory dance, than an honest and open exchange. Once I was convinced of that nothing he said or says makes much difference to me. He can do his one handed typing all he wants and it won’t keep me from enjoying the SDMB.
Whatever nerve he hit with Poly was perhaps ready to be hit and I trust Poly has or will recover fully and maybe learn something about himself.
Even though I don’t appreciate BCs technique I think he raised some interesting points and I learned a few things. Not from him , but from other posters being interested enough to offer their insights. I have to wonder if we would have got there at all without his pain in the ass, take no prisoners approach. Who knows? Maybe the extremists serve as instigators so those of us who are more laid back will participate more.

Badchad is a jerk, as **Crotalus **aptly observes. Best thing to do is ignore him. Link to this Pit thread if you feel some response is required lest lurkers think he has “won” any of the debates. I’m sure he’ll get banned eventually. And the more he’s ignored, the more his jerkishness will surface, hastening the process.

I’ve never seen anything I’d describe as Poly’s attacks on fundamentalists. I have very conservative Christian relatives and close friends and they are lovely people. We have exchanged ideas in the past but for the most part keep it very minimal now realizing we won’t change the others minds. Even though I love them I have no problem discussing which beliefs I think are wrong and or harmful to others if the occasion arises. It’s not an attack to speak frankly. What constitutes relentless attack to you?

If you’re talking name calling generalizations then I probably agree. That doesn’t strike me as very Poly like. Perhaps** BC**s misguided fervor comes in part from dealing with his parents. I don’t know. I do know his antics have convinced me engaging him is usually a waste of time and not what I enjoy about the SDMB.

true dat. and we know which fissure.

Blithering Christian Poet checking in. :wink:

I missed out on most of the stalking, and I am sorry to say I didn’t do much to defend one of men I admire most on the board.

However, if it would help, please remember that among the Christians on the board, I am almost certainly the one who has the least intellectual gravitas to his faith. But, I don’t respond well to multiple posts with minimal informational content. I have to admit that badchad is evidently defined in my subconscious as “board noise.” I don’t recall much he has ever said. However, I almost always respond to my screen name, so, Badchad fire away! Prove me an inconsistent and intellectually bankrupt moron. Demonstrate to the world that I am a roadblock, or a detour through ignorance on the road to enlightenment and truth.

Of course, I won’t mind much, which could make it less enjoyable for you. I promise to at least feign outrage.

Oh well, blither blither, bless you all.


Oh, look, butterflies!
I want to cry out aloud.
But you knew that, right?

With apologies to Isa.

Also good advice for dealing with pesky evangelists. If you find that ignoring them is too difficult, play dumb instead.

Liberal is back? Boy, you miss one meeting.

Let me be quick to agree about badchad (that name isn’t not worth bolding), his treatment of Polycarp was virulently mean, a true jerk. He sounds like the kind of guy that has his own animal testing lab, except it’s one that never benefits humanity, he just tortures kittens for his own gratituitous pleasure. That or he has a really small dick. Probably both.

For the record, I’m an atheist and don’t agree with Poly’s theism, but do find common ground with him on many other things.

I agree entirely. While I think the evidence points away from the existence of a God, I think that:

  1. Objective truth ain’t worthy of worship either–it’s a good thing but not the goal of existence; and
  2. I could well be wrong about God; and
  3. badchad illustrates behavior that’s shitty–and behavior is far more important than objective truth, in my opinion.

Point 3 is why I object to fundamentalists when I object to them. Their beliefs don’t bother me. Their behavior very often does. I won’t object to a kindhearted and gentle fundamentalist, any more than I will condone a meanspirited jerkish atheist.


You are completely right in your point #3. I always find it amusing when people assume that ones’ friends must match their religious or political POV. After Peter Boyle’s death, I read a comment on another message board where the poster said they had always wondered how Mr. Boyle “got along” with Patricia Heaton on the set of Everybody Loves Raymond, since he was such a radical liberal, and she is such a religious conservative. This comment struck me as funny…why shouldn’t they like each other, be warm co-workers or friends, just because they disagree on these issues? I disagree with MOST of my friends on politics! So what? If they are good people, what do I care if they vote diffrerently from me, or don’t believe in God, or whatever? I assume, unless I have evidence to the contrary, that most peoples’ political views are motivated by good thoughts & intentions. I also assume that a belief or non-belief in God doesn’t tell me how “good” of a person someone is. I base these kinds of judgments on my interactions with people, and anyone who bases it on politics or religion is no better than a bigot, as far as I can see.