Why don't apologists--you know--apologize?

(Not sure if this is the right forum, but…)

To "apologize"means to express sorrow and remorse for something, to admit wrong-doing and to take responsibility, etc.

But to be an apologist for someone is to deny and justify, spin and stonewall on their behalf, which is the opposite of apologizing.

Or am I defining apologizing wrongly? Perhaps it means to try to talk your way out of a situation one way or another in order avoid punishment or condemnation.

Oh, and imflammable means flammable?

(bolding added)

Perhaps you wanted this in GQ? Otherwise, even as an atheist proselytizer, I’d have to say this is a rather lame stab at religion (presuming it to be so.)

You know another word usage that pisses me off? “Witnessing” as a synonym for preaching. Unless you’ve personally seen the resurrected Jesus Christ in the flesh, you haven’t witnessed a damned thing. :rolleyes:

Not much to add. In the sense that you’re referring to, “apologist” means “defender.”

Preaching and witnessing are two separate things. Preaching is giving a speech that contains lessons and thoughts. Witnessing is the blathering of someone who feels he has personally experienced something world-changing and OMG-must-share-right-now.

And why don’t economists economize?

You might want to look up the definition (or the Wikipedia article of the word.

No, it doesn’t. To be an apologist means to offer a defense for something. This definition does not contain any inherent obligation to deny, justify, “spin” or stonewall on anyone’s behalf.

Of course, someone who is utterly convinced that the other side is wrong will sometimes accuse its defenders of everything that you’ve said. That’s not what being an apologist means, though. In the interest of combatting ignorance, let’s not act as though that is how the term is defined.

My understanding is that “witnessing” (i.e. “bearing witness to”) and “giving one’s testimony” are used by evangelical-type Christians in a sense roughly analogous to their legal meanings. It’s supposed to be more personal than preaching, more along the lines of “This is what God has done in my life.”

And why is “abbreviated” such a long word?

Right. Plato’s dialogue The Apologia recounts Socrates’ defense at his trial; nothing in it can be read as an “apology” in the more usual sense of the English word.

It’s always bugged me that “palindrome” wasn’t a palindrome. Talk about a missed opportunity!

I would like to say that I’m sorry that apologize has more than one meaning. My fault.

I heard that Obama was socializing with the Queen. That proves he’s a socialist!

You might as well ask what conservatives conserve.

(There actually was an entertaining article in the Globe a few elections back by nature painter Robert Bateman taking what had recently become the Conservatives to task for their environmental stances, or lack thereof; it was called “I am a conservative, I conserve.”)

Anyway, yes, the original meaning of “apology” is as described. In fact in most languages that have a cognate of “apology,” it does not mean “expression of regret” but “defence” (French apologie, etc.) Anglophones are the deviants in this regard.

Also, why do you park on the driveway and drive on the park-


[Alessan is shot in the head by a Mod] *

What on earth makes you think this has anything to do with religion?

I don’t know from “obligation” but that’s usually what it amounts to. Why can’t they apologize?

Well, I’m sorry he’s a socialist. I’m sure he didn’t mean it, but he’s been under a lot of stress lately. Those of us who elected him deeply regret it and we promise to make it up to you someday.

Your own question demonstrates that you think being an apologist means that they should apologize. As several posters have already pointed out, that’s not what the word means.

Why can’t they apologize, you ask? Why should they? There’s nothing in the term “apologist” that imposes such an onus on them.

The term “apologist” in the sense you criticised in your OP is often used in the phrase “Christian apologist.” For example, C.S. Lewis is often referred to as a Christian apologist. I had the same initial reaction as Sage Rat and thought you were meaning it in this sense.

In Spanish “apología” means “defense” but it is not very commonly used. The best known use is the crime “apología del terrorismo”, defense of terrorism, which can land you in jail for defending and promoting terrorism purely by speech.

As in many others. They just don’t seem to realize it.