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A recent exchange among three local gentlemen--William Buchanan ["Sandra Fluke a product of 'bordello' culture," March 23], Don Bley ["Show me the Scripture," April 3], and Harold V. Hopkins ["Don't take the Scriptures out of context," April 22]--
My concern is not about content, but rather tone. Mr. Buchanan's piece, though focusing on some worrying societal trends,
This is unfortunate, but in some ways Mr. Hopkins' prose is even more disturbing. It is pedantic and sanctimonious throughout.
Mr. Hopkins starts with an ad hominem assault on Dr. Bley, quoting Scripture to place the latter squarely in the category of the
A red herring, informal fallacy is not generally considered a good opening argument. How likely is Dr. Bley (or you or I) to consider the merits of Mr. Hopkins' arguments after first being called a fool?
As for those arguments, the scriptural points he makes are orthodox. The problem is, he makes them in a haughty, "verily I say unto you" pitch.
We are admonished not to "take Scriptures out of context and to draw illogical conclusions therefrom that wrests the truth of God," implying that he, speaking ex cathedra, is immune from such error.
One should be very careful taking on such a mantle. For many, the "Great Commission" to share the Gospel is the Christian's first duty. The believer should be mindful of every public utterance. If the tone is offensive, the content will be ignored.
I question the merits of resorting to the kind of "anger porn" Rush Limbaugh regularly serves his rageaholics, or by treating your fellow pilgrims with arrogant disdain.