I have stirred a hornets nest. It was one thing to publish articles in that “liberal rag,” the Huffington Post, about gay marriage. It was another thing to respond to some comments made by Fr. Jacobse and his readers about what I had written. Fr. Jacobse seems to believe I have attacked him. I have not. Nor do I intend to.
Because I was about to go on Ancient Faith Radio to speak about gay marriage, it seemed like a good idea to recount the past year, specifically how I became involved in the gay marriage debate. My only intent was to clarify my point of view against the backdrop of some rather harsh criticism about me.
Fr. Jacobse commented on that piece, saying, “Hang on here David. You are ascribing comments to me I never made.” I asked for clarification, twice, but never received it. The truth is, I never want to misrepresent my critics. I have been on the receiving end of that (still am), and it is not fun. Nor is it intellectually or personally honest.
A few years ago I made two promises to myself, both around the same time.
1. I will never misrepresent my opponents to avoid dealing with arguments that might require me to change my mind. I will strive to be honest to myself and others.
2. I will not make my career by being mean to people.
That is why I am going to say my “goodbye” to any further discussion with Fr. Jacobse for the foreseeable future. I have a better sense of what comments he thinks I ascribed to him. In the title of my post I called myself (tongue in cheek) a heretic. Fr. Jacobse never did call me that, but one of his readers did (i.e. he/she said I denied the full humanity/divinity of Christ). I never referred to Fr. Jacobse singly, only some comments of his and his readers, collectively.
I will go ahead and say that his summary of my position is simplistic to the point of laughable. He is not critiquing me but my straw effigy. So be it.
I need to exit this discussion because, when I am confronted with such behavior, I am tempted to respond in kind. That is, I am being tempted into a fight. I take it Father feels I started this fight by interspersing my last blog post with screenshots of some of his and his readers’ comments, or by suggesting he called me a heretic. I am not a rigid grammarian (I often leave a sentence fragment in each paper just to “stick it to the man”), but I do know that the number of the subject matters, and I never once singled out Fr. Jacobse from his readers.
Okay, that might have been a bit snarky. I apologize. But I will not edit that out because it illustrates why I need to walk away from this conversation.