Now You Know

No, by the grace of God, you will NOT plead ignorance. You will NOT testify that you never knew any better because no one ever taught you anything better. You will not plead that you were never told.

Friday, December 17, 2004

The Myth of the Christian Doormat

On this comments thread to a post by La Shawn Barber on her blog, La Shawn Barber's Corner, the very first person to comment said the following:

"It’s been my experience that American Christianity is not Christian at all and that fundamentalists are hateful towards the world. I am a Christian myself, but it’s very clear that much of American Christianity is a joke and not connected to Christ at all. It is, at best, idolotry [sic] that includes Jesus."
Comment by Michael — 12.17.04 @ 9:06 am

Note that "Michael" does not leave an e-mail address and does not leave a URL for a blog or home page. He does not give his full name. He may as well have posted anonymously. He clearly did not want a response, although he threw out this attack against "American Christianity" (as opposed to European Christianity? Asian Christianity? Australian Christianity?) and left no substantiating evidence, no basis, no convincing argument in support of his assertions. In other words, we have an unprovoked attack made with unsubstantiated assertions coming from one hiding behind the secure confines of virtual anonymity. It was an implicit attack against La Shawn and an explicit attack on American Christianity, made in public with what is apparently presumed impunity.

My comment addressed specifically to La Shawn, as well as my response addressed specifically to "Michael" on that same thread, was the following:

"La Shawn,

It is comments such as the very first one on this thread from 'Michael' that confirm for me that your decision to limit them in the future is a wise one.

Why should you be attacked in a public forum by snipers who hide in the shadows? Readers should note that 'Michael' is indeed a cowardly sniper who launches his attacks not only against you but against Christianity from the safety of virtual anonymity.

As for you, 'Michael,' it would behoove you to reflect upon the meaning of the name 'Michael.' The name is a question and it means 'Who is like God?' Here’s a hint at the answer to that question for you to meditate upon 'Michael' – it isn’t you."

Comment by Frank Villon — 12.17.04 @ 11:15 am

Astute readers who possess at least average intelligence will note that my comment was specifically addressed to La Shawn, in support of her decision to limit comments in the future, and to "Michael" in defense of La Shawn and "American Christianity." Apparently, my comment did not sit well with one of La Shawn's readers by the name of Michael E. Cummins. I take it that Mr. Cummins is not among the astute readers I mentioned above, for I was not addressing him. Although he attacked me in response to my comment, he at least had the decency, courage and courtesy (in stark contrast to the previous "Michael"!) to do so while giving his name and a link to a blog in which he takes part. The blog is The e-mail contact information for Mr. Cummins that is publically available on that blog is:

The following is what Mr. Cummins had to say to me in his comment on La Shawn's thread:

"Actually Frank, I found your reply to have more measurable venom and sarcasm than Michael’s. Whether we agree with Michael or not is another matter, but his posed an idea instead of simply criticizing another’s comments wholesale."

Comment by Michael E. Cummins — 12.17.04 @ 11:40 am

That brings us to the explanation for the title to this post. I responded to Mr. Cummins' attack in an e-mail to his listed address. The text of my e-mail to him was the following:

"Mr. Cummins,

Please exercise some discretion and discriminating discernment before castigating me for defending La Shawn Barber and American Christianity, while simultaneously coming to the defense of one who slurred American Christianity without basis or provocation.

The first 'Michael' to post on La Shawn's thread was clearly not provoked by any other commenter, least of all me; he is the first commenter on that thread and can only be responding to La Shawn's post. He gives no evidence and presents no rationale for making a blanket statement that casts aspersions on all American Christians in general.

What you unjustly characterize as venom on my part was simply pointing out facts, and what you debase as sarcasm was meant in all seriousness and based on scripture. If you don't like the Bible and lessons to be drawn from it, that is not my problem, it's yours.

In spite of 'Michael's' unprovoked attack and unsubstantiated accusations, you have the gall to take me to task for pointing that out to him and for noting that he launched his attack in virtual anonymity, without provocation.

Please refrain from attacking me in the future. It's bad enough that you incorrectly felt that you had to attack me. It's even worse that you were doing so in defense of one who makes baseless blanket statements against American Christianity.

There is no need for you to respond to this e-mail and you would be wasting your time to do so. I can assure you that I will not respond to you or your attacks again. I do not conform to the myth of the Christian doormat, which is to say that I am a Christian, but I am not a doormat.

Thank you."

Let me re-iterate that last line for the benefit of any who may be under the mistaken impression that because I am a Christian I must suffer attacks in silence: I do not conform to the myth of the Christian doormat, which is to say that I am a Christian, but I am not a doormat. Nowhere in scripture does it say that one should sit idly by when a Christian or Christians are attacked. Nowhere. We can turn the other cheek and we are exhorted to forgive those who repent and ask forgiveness, but we are not commanded to allow others to trod upon us. In other words, if you think that you are going to attack this Christian with impunity, you have another think coming.

You've been told and NOW YOU KNOW.