Steve Crowder genuinely seems like a decent fellow, and I’m asking you not to read any sarcasm into that. His tone is conciliatory and he asks for calm and what digs he takes are, for the most part, mild ones. However, from start to finish, his entire post is utter nonsense. It’s never a good sign when the headline tries to re-define the discussions in terms you’re more comfortable with. That’s great for eighth grade debate class, but it’s the sort of thing that sets of my B.S. meter every time. Crowder’s headline:
No no no no no no no no no no! Just no. Maybe, just maybe, if you ignore the last couple of years in the U.S., what with the “black people being killed and the courts saying it’s totally ok,” then maybe you can put for this proposition without too much pushback. In the context of June, 2015, though? You don’t get to re-frame it. That’s like saying Baltimore was about the “lack of fathers” ** and not the police getting to murder people. It’s like saying that “the hoodie” killed Trayvon Martin.
By saying “It’s not really about what it’s about, it’s about what I want to talk about” is a bad start. Any guess where we go from there? It’s the “People who call this event for what it is are doing so for political gain and that is unseemly!” AKA the “Now is not the time!” card. Any time you’re telling people what they can’t talk about, you’re trying to control them. At best, it’s a crass attempt to prevent people from talking about a subject because you know it will go very, very badly from your perspective (for example, the way the NRA crows “Now is not the time to discuss gun control” after every shooting). At worst, it’s insulting and patronizing. You’re telling people what they are and are not allowed to discuss.
EDIT: Hey, wouldn’t ya know: Someone DID try to use these events for political gain: The NRA!
And, of course, they blame the pastor for the shootings. Go figure…
SECOND EDIT: Oooh, another one. The guy at Redstate saying that accepting trans people as existing prevents the U.S. from dealing with evil. No, really. He said that. With a straight face.
“Straight face”…aren’t I sly?
After trying to redefine the discussion and then telling people who disagree with them that they’re not allowed to talk, you’d think Crowder would be done. Instead, he saved the best for last. Here’s an early contender for the “No True Scotsman” Award for 2015:
“Listen, I don’t think anyone would deny that mass-murderers are Godless people.”
I don’t think I’m reading anything in to this that isn’t there. I think the formulation is: “Mass-murderers are Godless because people who aren’t Godless don’t mass-murder.” That’s a very neat summation of the classic “no true Scotsman” fallacy: Define your terms in such as way as to exclude all counter-examples.
For the record, I’ll go out on a limb and say that Crowder’s proposition is flat-out wrong: People of faith, people who are “Godly,” commit all manner of crimes; no more and no less than those of us who don’t identify as “Godly.” Being “Godly,” then doing something terrible, does not make you retroactively “un-Godly.” The implication, of course, is that only un-Godly folks commit atrocities. I find that implication offensive, but I don’t expect anyone to care whether or not I’m offended. The fact that it’s patently false, however, shouldn’t be so easily shrugged aside.
The rest of the final paragraph is telling, too:
I also think that many people will find just as much discomfort in acknowledging a definitively Godless reaction from the culture at large. When something this horrendous happens, and we can’t all as a country, join together for even one day to pray and support each other… That’s Godlessness too. America, we can do better. We need to do better.
Again, no, I don’t agree with premise. I don’t care about a “Godless” reaction or even understand what he means by it other than, say “talking about the actual problem.” I’m fine with prayer. Pray all you want. But what I would genuinely like to see is, say, people addressing the problems of institutional racism and easy access to weapons and the media’s tolerance of white criminals as opposed to their smearing of black victims. Which is all to say, pretty much the polar opposite of what Steve Crowder is asking for.
* Bonus points for putting ‘race’ in quotes but not ‘Godlessness’!
** Rand Paul is, of course, is making shit up again. The idea that black fathers aren’t involved in raising their children is a myth.