September 10, 2009

Please Charles, Stop

Charles,

I say this as a friend. Stop this misplaced guilt by association campaign you have been engaged in against Robert Spencer.

Robert is no extremist. You know this. Stop it.

I'm right there with you on Birtherism. I'm right there with you on Israel. I'm right there with you on the hypocrisy of politicians like Geert Wilders wanting to ban the Quran.

But to imply that Robert Spencer is an extremist because some of his sponsors are Christians dedicated to the Christian principle that homosexuality is a sin is to imply that most Americans are extremists. Something which by definition can't be true.

They might be wrong -- maybe both the Old and New Testament are way off base and God approves of homosexuality -- but they're not extremists.

As for the alleged fascist tendencies of some the anti-jihadis in Europe I can only make the observation that almost all European political parties have fascist tendencies by your definitions. Nearly all left and right wing parties in Europe support banning "hate speech" of one kind or another.

If Geert Wilders is a "fascist" for this than so is Tony Blair. Both are wrong on the issue, of course, but neither is a fascist.

Charles, if you think the "anti-jihad movement" (if such a thing exists) has gone too far then call them out when they are wrong on what they are wrong about.

But stop the guilt by association nonsense.

I'm not even saying that some of the European movements and groups you have identified as having fascist roots and tendencies don't have those tendencies and roots. They may very well have. But it's the nature of European parliamentary government that centrist groups must --- and I mean must -- cooperate with extremists.

For instance, I was sent a link to this article today. Note that the committee heading the investigation into the wearing of the burka is headed by a member of the Communist Party. By any and every definition of the word a Communist -- even by European standards -- is an extremist.

If extremists and non-extremists can work together in parliaments across Europe where they make laws, then I'm not sure I get the fundamental objection to them sharing a stage at a conference discussing (ie, talking about but with no actual power to do anything about) the threat of political Islam -- something far less consequential.

So, stop it. So what if some of Robert Spencer's friends and sponsors are Christians? And so what if some of the Christians invited some (maybe) less than savory characters to share a meal with Robert Spencer (a meal which didn't happen and which Robert Spencer didn't even invite the alleged unsavory characters to)?

I've had dinner with Communists. Many times. Many many times. It says nothing about me or my beliefs on Communism. Hell, I've shared the stage at academic conferences with people who by any and every measure are extremists of all stripes.

It's not even guilt by association. It's guilt by association with those who are guilty of association. Guilt by association, once removed.

And if you're not trying to imply that Robert is some sort of extremist, than what is the point of all of these posts pointing out (sometimes, erroneously) that Robert has been invited to speak somewhere by extremists, that he has shared a stage with extremists (or shared a stage with someone who was at a rally once with extremists), that he has hyperlinked to someone who might be birther, or that he accepted an invitation to eat with someone who also might have invited extremists to eat?

Seriously, if that's not your intention than what is the point? The only other thing I can think of to explain it is that this has turned in to some petty blog war. Is that it?

Either way it is just silly and it has got to stop. Please.

UPDATE: I've avoided posting this for months. LGF is one of the reasons I started blogging in the first place. Charles has been something of a mentor to me for years. It --- literally -- hurts to write this post.

But, Robert is also a mentor. My links to the right are sequential order of when they were added to the blogrolll. You'll notice that LGF is just above Jihad Watch.

Which is why I think Brian from Snapped Shot expresses how I've been feeling for some time:

I expressed very strongly my neutrality in the long-past blogwar between Charles and Robert Spencer. In much the same manner as a child of divorcées tries to express neutrality when their parents fight, I reckon.
For a little while I was privately trying to get Charles to reconcile with Robert (Rusty as Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills in Parent Trap)-- to no avail. And I still hope Charles will see that what he is doing vis a vis Robert is just wrong.

I've publicly (and privately) disagreed with Robert over this or that. Again, I call on Charles to do this when the occasion merits. But fairly. And on the merits of the argument.

Robert isn't running for office. We don't need to worry about a possible Spencer Administration or his Supreme Court nominees -- the Spencer Court.

In other words, he doesn't deserve the same level of scrutiny as, say, someone running for President of the United States. Someone with real power. Who might just actually let some of his cookie friends become a Green Jobs czar or something.

Moving on and looking at the comments, I see there are a lot of pissed off people who have been banned from LGF. I have no beef in that fight. LGF is Charle's blog. He can ban whomever he likes. It's not a public forum.

Start your own blog if you don't like it. And by the looks of the comments, it seems like some of you have.

Me? This isn't a free speech issue to me. I'm just too busy/lazy to ban some of your sorry asses! (Or have tried and failed --> Greyrooster)

Posts by me = my opinon. Posts by other Jawa authors = their opinion. Comments = your opinions.

Your opinions are sometimes insightful, sometimes wrong, sometimes hateful, and sometimes pretty damn funny.

As to the allegation in the comments that this or that website is a "hate site" because this or that web program classifies it as such, I will remind readers that one of the first links I got from LGF was when we got banned from Google News years ago for "hate speech". So I find that kind of ironical.

You know who also guilty of hate speech crimes? You. A computer program told me so. I flagged your speech as hate. Then the computer told me it was hate. Now it is empirical fact that your comments are hate!

If you don't know what GIGO is, look it up. Don't trust everything a computer program tells you.

The most ironic comment goes to one anonymous and moronic commenter who writes:

Perhaps you should ask Mr Spencer to stop lying about his associations and about Mr Johnson as well.
Lying about his associations? So, he's defending a guilt-by-association argument with a (inaccurate) guilt-by association argument?

Anyway, I really hope Charles will think about this. At the very least, I hope he can just drop it with the posts about Robert and just learn to do what the rest of us do to people we've had a falling out with: ignore them.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:34 PM | Comments |