Stuff that needs to be said about John Pavlovitz


John Pavlovitz, the blogger/pastor behind “Stuff That Needs To Be Said” first came to my attention when a Facebook friend shared his January 2017 “Let the Record Show…” post in response to Trump’s election. I read it out of interest and respect for my friend. Plus, at first blush, it looked entertainingly over the top.

Some days I wish I hadn’t. John Pavlovitz’s post is a thoroughly overwrought partisan political piece of poo poo for which I can only attribute my friend’s sharing it to severe post-election angst.

Curious, I visited Pavlovitz’s Facebook page. After a few months of reading his posts and interacting with him and his followers, I’ve come to these conclusions:

1) He doesn’t genuinely engage those who challenge him, but instead replies reactively with childish taunts of trolling and shutdowns rather than defending his positions.

2) He’s so angry over the Trump presidency and with those who support him that he’ll stoop to the silliest comparisons and tactics to oppose them (Trump is a terrorist; GOP wants to deprive poor people of health care; Christians hate LGBTQ folks).

3) He’s drunk with his own social media popularity and views it as a validation for the liberal, emergent church-based theology that got him fired from a pastor gig.

Whatever. I care nothing for his political postings on his self-promoting social media pages and sites. But I care very deeply that he mangles scriptural truth and misrepresents Jesus in order to weaponize him.

Pastoral panache

Pavlovitz attempts to lend credibility to his overwhelmingly political (and spiritual) attacks on Trump, Republicans, “Evangelical” Christianity and 2,000 plus years of accepted theology and scriptural authority by citing years of pastoral experience.

In his roles as a pastor in “the resistance” and “social justice warrior,” he resists an illegitimate and odious president and the evil evangelicals who support(ed) him. And while he’s at it, he champions the marginalized (as defined by his Democratic party).

I pray for Pavlovitz. And for some reason I feel a kinship—maybe because of our similar ethnic backgrounds/former Catholicism. Or maybe something about his idealism and passion makes me feel for him because he’s chasing his tail by mistaking political activism for spiritual mission.

Speaking of the spiritual, Pavlovitz doesn’t seem to understand Jesus at all. To him, he’s all love, all the time. Of course, Jesus is love. How can he not be—he allowed himself to be tortured and crucified in order to take the sins of the world literally on his back. Because he loves, he died for us. But he’s so much more than merely love: He’s the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah.

Lion and lamb

As C.S. Lewis’ Lucy in The Chronicles of Narnia asks and learns of Aslan (Jesus):

“Is—is he a man?” asked Lucy.

“Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.”

“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will, dearie, and no mistake” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”


Pastor Pavlovitz doesn’t write about Jesus as Savior, Lord and King. He writes of him as his standard for social justice. To justify his attacks, he assumes a self-appointed role as temple table over-turner in which he compares his angry written rants to Jesus’ outrage over merchants’ peddling their wares in the temple of his “Father’s house.”

In Pavlovitz’s view, Jesus is only dangerous to John’s perceived political enemies. Instead of seeing him as Savior, he seems to see him merely as his model for his social activism. Pavlovitz appears to have repudiated Jesus’ loving sacrifice and willing atonement because both do not fit his desired perception of God.

Messy is the new sin

Pavlovitz seems to prefer a loving Jesus who doesn’t hold us to any standards other than that we “fight” for “the marginalized.” Instead of acknowledging sin and our fallen nature, he has bought into the emergent church’s version of sin as a mere “messiness.” What does that mean? Okay, we’re messy, but why? What causes us to live messy lives? What drives us to murder, steal, kill, cheat and commit a world of other messy offenses sins against each other?

Pavlovitz fails to acknowledge the source of evil and rejects sin by turning it into an amorphous and innocent messiness. Instead of following Jesus by taking him at his word, instead of acknowledging a universal, self-evident truth that we are broken because of our propensity to sin, instead of helping others embrace a loving, sinless and holy Savior, he rejects the very reason Jesus became a man, lived a sinless life, and died so that we might live.

To Pavlovitz, Jesus is less a savior and more a slingshot to slay his giants. And though he writes about mercy, he only expresses it toward those he and his party consider marginalized. He doesn’t seem to understand mercy’s ultimate expression nor does he accept our need for it in response to a holy God.


Real mercy

Consider Jesus’ parable of the unmerciful servant who owed his master 10,000 talents, the equivalent of 160,000 years of wages (as one talent was worth 16 years of wages). This would be like a $60k per year employee owing his employer $9,600,000,000. Obviously, neither debt could ever be paid.

By law, the servant could be given life in debtor’s prison. But because of his tears and please for mercy, his master’s heart was touched and he forgave the servant all he owed. The staggering debt was wiped out with mercy.

God’s mercy wipes clean ledgers and settles accounts. It dissolves debt and saves those whose hearts are open, tender, and penitent. His mercy is powered by love. And it’s the essence of grace. Mercy is something Pavlovitz says he feels and shows to others who are politically marginalized, but how can he when he doesn’t accept it from God?

It’s easy to write about loving others, but I don’t see any hope in Pavlovitz’s posts about death. Nor do I see any love in his obsessive attacks on Trump. Nor in his incessant attacks on other believers. We’re all sinners, but if Pavlovitz doesn’t believe in sin, how can he see himself as one? And if he believes that truth is something one feels is right for him or her—even when one’s truth is diametrically opposed to another’s truth, how can truth be true?

Stuff that truly needs to be said

Here’s an unavoidable truth: We simply cannot do enough or be good enough to atone for our sins and sinfulness. If we could, Jesus died for nothing. HE is the only one good enough to atone for our sins, and He did so out of love and mercy.

Some people are like the unmerciful servant (sinner) who failed to show mercy to his fellow servant (and fellow sinner), but instead had him thrown into debtor’s prison because he owed him next to nothing (a single day’s wages)—and this AFTER having been forgiven of his staggering debt. It shows that he didn’t have the slightest concept of mercy, but instead was a grasping, greedy, graceless person.

I don’t think Pavlovitz is like this. I use this parable as a way to illustrate God’s wonderfully loving and forgiving mercy and grace—a concept that I struggled with as a cradle Catholic for years (and still do so a little). I had the toughest time viewing God as a loving, forgiving, smiling, merciful Father-God who loves me no matter how much I disappoint Him. But my struggle makes me appreciate His loving mercy all the more.


God as child abuser

From Pavlovitz’s words, it seems that instead of embracing God’s love and mercy, he has embraced this lie: If God allowed or appointed his own Son to die and atone for our sins, he is guilty of “child abuse.” This is a humanization and rejection of God’s perfect nature. And it’s a favorite justification of emergent church leaders for their (only) loving (yet politically progressive) Jesus.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why a just, loving, perfect God is so repugnant to them. We want our judges to be just arbitrators of the law and issue just verdicts. We want parents to establish boundaries of behavior and hold their children accountable for their actions. I’m confident that Pavlovitz is a good father who has standards of behavior for his children. Here’s my question to him: Why wouldn’t a much better (perfect) Heavenly Father have standards for us?

God’s standards derive from his perfection and are for our good. His mercy flows from his love for us (like any good father for his children). And His grace, through his Son’s willing and loving sacrifice, covers our sins. What a beautiful love story. What an amazing grace.

Amorphous grace

Sadly, Pavlovitz, like the unmerciful servant, doesn’t seem to understand our need for God’s grace. Not because he’s grasping and greedy, but because he’s graceless. And he’s graceless not because he writes that way, but because he lives without God’s grace.

For Pavlovitz to accept God’s grace means that he must accept that He is holy. And to accept this means he must accept the necessity of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins in order to satisfy this holiness. And because he has humanized God, he no longer sees Him as holy. He has lowered God in his mind by rejecting his nature and replacing it with one that he can accept.

Pavlovitz has also replaced Jesus’ Great Commission (sharing God’s mercy and grace with others) with a Captain Ahabesque obsession and silly “resistance” to a foolish president. This is like trading a diamond field for a dunghill. And this is the difference between living life with forever in mind and settling for the vanity of the here and now.

What I mean by vanity is what Solomon (the man to whom God gave the gift of wisdom) meant by it: Anything we strive for in this life that—compared to God’s plan of redemption and eternity—is valueless and a waste of time. Vain pursuits distract us from truly loving others and from sharing God’s mercy and grace.

Picking the wrong fight

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t fight for the marginalized. Faithful Christians (and non) hid Jews during the holocaust and defied an evil tyrant. But they also did so without losing sight of the ultimate plan. Can we agree that someone’s eternal soul is more important than a tax reform or an immigration ban?

Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer defied Hitler not with snarky words about his hair or heart, but with a rock-solid adherence to truth and resistance borne of faith, not fantasy. Bonhoeffer was part of a real resistance to a genuine evil. He didn’t play politics; he played for keeps and died for embracing truth and resisting genocide.

Compare Pastor Bonhoeffer’s mission and sacrifice to Pavlovitz’s:

One was a pastor who died for his faith; the other is a poser who peddles politics to the faithless. One sacrificed everything to stand against true evil; the other plays political pastor in a wannabe resistance. One was imprisoned and executed for fighting genocidal fascism; the other suffers with ideological fear and anguish brought on by a presidential election defeat.

Pastor in a resistance? Pavlovitz wouldn’t know a real reason to resist unless it kicked him in the teeth.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Fighting the right fight

Instead of joining a worthy fight against a real enemy—the one who’s behind genuine evil—I’ll say it: the devil, Pavlovitz dismisses his existence while branding a buffoon of a president evil. He can’t have it both ways. If evil exists, and I think most agree that it does, from whom does it come? If Trump is evil, is he evil on his own? Can Trump be stupid, as Pavlovitz asserts, and also a diabolical genius who is the source of his own evil? How can a dumb schmuck like Donald pull his own strings?

Witness the glaring lack of logic in Pavlovitz’s positions: He’s sees bogeymen in the oval office and behind pulpits, not because he’s illogical, but because he’s blinded by a partisan political frenzy of anger and fear.

Meme crazy

Here’s a prime example of Pavlovitz’s arrogance and delusion. From a recent meme on his Facebook page titled, Cultivating the Activist Heart of Jesus:

“When professed Christians call me a ‘social justice warrior,’ as if I’m supposed to be insulted, I just ask them to read the gospels to see who I’m taking my cue from.”

  • The use of the word “professed” connotes hypocrisy. It implies that if a Christian disagrees with his take on Jesus as social justice warrior, he or she has not properly read the gospels.
  • Pavlovitz assumes that Christians who call him a social justice warrior mean it as an insult rather than as a misapplication of his gifts. Everything is a petty fight to him. His snarky social media style resembles an arrogant teenager rather than a mature adult … or pastor.
  • He ignores the real enemy and instead makes enemies of Christians because he conflates their opposition to his mangling of truth with political opposition of conservatives and republicans to his progressive positions.

Dear John Pavlovitz,

Social justice is political, not spiritual. Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords, not a party pawn like you. His justice is over sin and death; it’s not consumed with presidents and politics.

Don’t try to lower Jesus Christ to the level of your ridiculous resistance and identity politics. And no, pastor—the gospels do not back you up, and the only cues you’re taking are yours.

I’m a Christian and have the read the gospels. Nowhere in any of them do I see a Jesus who acts or speaks like you. I see a Jesus whose words beautifully transcend ugly politics, supposed social justice and an us-versus-them war of words and stuff-than-needs-to-be-said ego trip.

I see a Jesus whose mission is essential and profound and not all like your silly social media rampages. Jesus is after hearts and souls; you’re chasing likes and shares. You aren’t taking any cues from Jesus; you’re taking them from your own deluded and deceived heart.


Let’s think this through:

If God is God, is he sweating a Trump presidency? If He’s God, does he applaud Pavlovitz’s obsessive vilification of another sinner? Does God think a political party’s platform involving social justice is more important than his plan of ultimate justice and universal atonement?

Do you think God approves of this aspect of Pavlovitz’s party’s platform—that killing unborn babies is okay? This is another issue, but it illustrates a colossal contradiction of his social warrior mantra of fighting for the least of these.

I’ve read too many of Pavlovitz’s political rants and attacks and can’t imagine any of them coming out of Jesus’ mouth or with his approval. I think Jesus would say what he said to one of the disciples when they wanted him to lead the resistance against Roman rule, and I paraphrase:

There will come a time when I’ll return to set all things right, but it isn’t now, and it’s not in the way you want or think. I’ve come to lay down my life, not take up a sword.

Mad man

Pavlovitz is a former advertising art director. This is another similarity between us—we’ve both worked in advertising, which is why I know that he knows how to get clicks with his blog, Facebook and Twitter posts. I can also tell by the graphic quality of his memes. His wife is also an art director.

There’s nothing wrong with knowing how to get clicks. And there’s nothing wrong with applying one’s artistry to create quality messaging. Here’s where John goes wrong, in a nutshell:

Pavlovitz creates posts, comments and memes in order to “resist” Trump, Republicans and Evangelical Christians because he thinks they threaten all that is good, right and fair in the world. Are there Evangelical leaders who shouldn’t be? Of course. Rotten Republicans? You bet.

But there are also progressive pseudo-Christians and dirty Democrats—like Pavlovitz’s golden girl, Hillary. How about a bit of balance and reality, pastor? Better yet—how about joining the real resistance?

A Christian’s enemies are the world, the flesh, and the devil. Pastor Pavlovitz’s are Trump, Trump, and Trump. Or to be more accurate—Trump, evangelicals who voted for Trump, and GOP members who voted for Trump.

The truth is that Pavlovitz’s bogeymen threaten the goals and ideology of his political party and emerging church dogma. But they simply are not the monsters he portrays them to be.

Marketing minister

Pavlovitz wages his holy war by blending hatred and passion with advertising and marketing methods to caricature his perceived enemies. He does so by creating false equivalencies, straw men, silly exaggerations and outright lies while pushing a political agenda and his career as a writer and pastor in “the resistance.”

Pavlovitz is not acting as a pastor; he’s acting as a political activist. He touts his ministry experience to lend weight to his work, but as he likes to write (and as Jesus said): We can know people’s hearts by their fruit.

So be it. John Pavlovitz’s fruit can seem fresh and needful, but it’s gratuitous and rotten because it issues from a heart poisoned with fear, hate and politics. It’s absurdly over the top and unworthy of thoughtful discussion.

Stuff that needs to be said? Please.

The “resistance?” Its followers wouldn’t know a real reason to resist, if it punched them in the face.


Warning: This post is intended for mature readers who can disagree agreeably, resistance soldiers and those who are considering joining the resistance.

Dear resistance,

I’m trying desperately to understand what drives your resistance.

It seems that you’re watching the implosion of our country and its values at the hands of a misogynistic, bigoted, ill-suited-for-the-job monster of a new president. You’re still reeling from the loss of your preferred candidate and feel galvanized to resist the tyrant at every turn.

You witness the 120-day ban on immigration from seven countries, and you see a “Muslim ban” that reeks of discrimination and bigotry and fear of a religion. But let’s consider—Is this a ban based on a religion or on points of origin? Muslim emigrants and refugees from Libya, Egypt, Turkey and Afghanistan can come.

If it’s a ban on a religion, why are they welcomed?

Discrimination is not always a dirty word

This temporary ban IS discrimination. But it’s discriminatory not of a religion, but of citizenship. And though the seven listed countries are majority Muslim— Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Scientologist emigrants from those nations would also be denied immigrant status under the ban.

Also, let’s be factual—this discrimination against citizenship doesn’t apply to green card holders or to those with legal status—only to those seeking a path to citizenship via immigration.

The ban also discriminates based on behavior. Consider this hypothetical scenario:

Let’s suppose you have a guesthouse on your property, and you advertise it for rental. Among the applicants are three guys, let’s say, who are devout Satanists. You do some research and discover that according to their satanic bible, they’re required to offer animal sacrifices to their god.

You also discover that other Satanists have used house cats and dogs captured in neighborhoods where they live as sacrifices. You have dogs and cats—and young children. And there are other applicants—one is a retired schoolteacher and the other is a “gearhead” who was sporting a greasy t-shirt when he came to see about the rental. What do you do?

You discriminate against the gearhead because you don’t want drip pans filled with oil sitting around the back yard. Now you’re left with two applicants: the retired schoolteacher who could be a potential positive in the lives of your young children as a very close neighbor and three young committed Satanists. How do you choose?

You discriminate based on potential behavior and politely tell the Satanists that you’re renting to someone else and secretly wish them bad pet hunting—somewhere else.


Actions AND words

How does this relate to the behavior of Muslims?

While most Muslim refugees who seek to immigrate are fine, upstanding, good-hearted souls in search of a better life, there are other Muslims who may want to come who’ve pledged to follow Islam to the letter of the Quran and who burn with desire to force infidels to embrace their religion or die.

What do you do, resistance? What does a president who’s responsible for protecting Americans—Muslim or of any other faith—do to prevent those committed to perpetrating more 9/11s, more San Bernardinos, and more Orlandos from coming here posing as immigrants?

We can agree that the ban is discrimination. Do you truly believe it’s based on religion? Do you care what it’s actually based on? I fear that you don’t care—that you employ the ban-on-Muslims narrative for effect. Tell me the truth—I want to believe you.

This temporary immigration ban is NOT a ban on a religion. It’s not a Muslim ban. And we have yet to see if all its provisions will become permanent, or if it can stand up to legal scrutiny. In my view, At THIS POINT, it’s not a legitimate reason for resistance.

Here is, to my mind, the logical, rational truth:

Your resistance is a farce. You’re fighting phantoms. You’re breathing fire because you’re fearful of what you think a president will do based on his foolish words and an equally frightened media. Please get a grip and some perspective.

When the delirium hits home. Quincy, CA 3/3/17

Worthy of resistance?

Is this temporary country-based ban on immigrants worthy of resistance?

How about past and potential discrimination by high-ranking officials in government agencies toward businesses and religious groups they disagree with?

How about Muslim Americans who push for the adoption of Sharia law, which calls for the subjugation of women and sanctions honor killings?

Or resistance to the drug cartels who exploit open borders and use human beasts of burden to provide drugs to addicted millions? Do you really think resisting the building of a wall that could help reduce this double enslavement is more worthy of your resistance?

How about resisting terrorist-sanctioning theocracies’ that want to wipe a country and an entire race off the map?

Do you actually think that resisting attempts to get sanctuary cities to enforce state and federal laws regarding illegal aliens more worthy of your resistance?

Here’s a challenge

Try explaining your reasons for resistance to someone who understands real racism. Talk to people who have experienced the hatred and intolerance and fear that genuine fascists use to foment the murder of “undesirables” and infidels and Jews.

Could it be that partisan political and ideological agenda drives your resistance, not a reaction to real injustice? Do you not see the absurdity of your resistance when compared to resistance to the Third Reich or to the Pol Pot regime or to Stalin’s reign of terror?

You’re clamoring for resistance to “fascist” actions that have yet to happen. And you’re calling for others to join you based on fears filtered through election disappointment, ideological bias and personal disgust.

Your fear and loathing of a thin-skinned, heavy-handed, loose-cannoned neophyte of a president has shaken your grip on reality.

Yes, Trump says foolish, objectionable things. And I know—his thoughtless words and machismo do nothing to allay fears. But is it possible that he uses bravado to mask inexperience and dispel doubts about whether he’s up to task? Have his actions risen to the level that warrants the intensity of the resistance thus far?

It IS possible that you’re resisting a bogeyman. Let’s wait until the bogeyman shows himself a tyrant, then let’s resist him. With everything we’ve got.

But until then, open your fists, and get a grip.


Get real.

Suppose the tyrant orders suppression against Muslim Americans with a form of Kristallnacht—German for “night of crystal”—during which hordes of Nazis broke windows and vandalized Jewish-owned stores and property throughout Germany and Austria.


Say that devil Trump signs an executive order to round up and illegally deport Mexican Americans suspected of harboring or aiding undocumented workers.


I’ll join you in a heartbeat.

Now I’ve heard about fascist Trumplings smashing windows and scrawling swastikas on mosques and minority-owned businesses. This monstrous stupidity is worthy of all our resistance. To the point of resorting to our resistance fists, if necessary.

Here’s my point:

In my view, at present, your “resistance” is much ado about nothing. I grant you—Trump’s actions have crossed ideological lines. But they haven’t crossed legal or moral lines, in my opinion.

I know. You probably hold that Trump HAS crossed legal and moral lines, or that he’s about to. That’s your perspective, and I invite you to persuade me on this score. Persuade. Don’t dodge questions and call names.

Let’s talk about it. But first, let’s talk about words.


Racist, bigot, hater, intolerance

You in the resistance hurl these words like toxic grenades to neutralize and demonize opposition. Do you realize the damage you’re doing to honest debate?

Scroll up to the five-fisted recruitment banner at the top of this page. Spread the deliria? Really? Do those in the resistance even know what they’re calling for or to what they want us to join?

To “spread the deliria” is to propagate:

A more or less temporary disorder of the mental faculties, as in fevers, disturbances of consciousness, or intoxication, characterized by restlessness, excitement, delusions, hallucinations, etc. A state of violent excitement or emotion.

I hope that you those in the resistance who crafted this message simply couldn’t be bothered with the meaning of deliria. Or maybe they just thought it sounded rad. I fear it’s worse—to them, meaning is irrelevant—it’s  all about effect.

Soldier Tim

Is it possible that most of you in the resistance have yet to face real bigotry or genuine hate? Will you consider the possibility that much of the intolerance is coming from your side?

I posted a question on the Facebook page of John Pavlovitz, a former pastor and now blogger, speaker and author who appears to align closely with the resistance. I also posted a link to my Trump is not the devil. And God is not a clockmaker post, in which I argue that God rigged the election.

Based on the tone of his answer, I made the mistake of commenting (subjectively) that he seemed angry and arrogant, for which I later apologized. He hasn’t responded, but one of his followers did. I’ll call him Tim.

Tim’s world

Here’s a portion of Tim’s opening comment:

“Realistically, no politician in America is going to FORCE you to do anything, but in the case of many of the things Trump has done and continues to do, it really is a choice between his views and God’s. Trump’s immigration policies are plainly contradictory to what the Bible teaches about loving refugees and welcoming immigrants.

You can’t be a strong Christian and succumb to fear of Mexicans and Muslims. You feared that Hillary would be the one to make you choose between your faith and the US government, but in fact Trump has done just that. You probably don’t regret your vote just yet (I’m quite sure you voted for him) but you will.”


My world

Here are the top and bottom sections of my reply:

“Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I agree that American politicians don’t force us to do anything and didn’t mean to imply that in my blog post. Glad you pointed that out though, so I can tweak it. I think we just disagree about Trump’s immigration policies.

To my thinking, placing a temporary immigration hold until extreme vetting processes can be developed and implemented is wise. I think many who decry Trump’s immigration policies are assuming the worst and inflating his intentions based on bias and actions that have yet to happen.

I don’t regret anything about my vote—my vote is irrelevant—I live in California. Unless you’re into the popular vote nonsense. I don’t regret it and won’t regret it because I believe God is in complete control and that he appoints leaders—good and bad—not for our comfort or sense of rightness, but for his master plan.”

Blame gamer


“I believe you’re a coward. Sorry, I know that’s blunt, but i believe it to be true for a couple of reasons:

1. You believe more “vetting” of refugees is necessary- even though NOT ONE SINGLE American life has ever been taken at the hands of a refugee. This means your fear (yes, it is FEAR) of those refugees is based not on facts or reason but by something else completely–the fact that they look different and worship differently than you, perhaps. Irrational fear of different cultures is cowardly.

2. You refuse to take responsibility for your vote. If Trump leads us into WWIII, I am 100% sure people like you will throw your hands in the air and say “It’s in Gods hands” when in fact YOU were the one who elected him.

Take responsibility for your part in this. I don’t care that you live in CA. You’re sitting here blogging about how we should “submit to our new leader.” You did this. If you’re not comfortable with that, then repent. It’s not too late. The resistance is just starting.”

I added italics because it’s more spooky and fun that way. Not to mention creepy. The resistance is just starting? V for Vendetta?


Name caller

After repeatedly telling me what I think and how I feel, Tim proceeded to call me—sprinkled throughout our combined 18 comments and replies—coward, fearful, irresponsible, irrational, hypocrite, foolish, apathetic, denier, satanic, and an embarrassment.

I encouraged him to read my post decrying name-calling, Uncivil Discourse: How we’re vilifying viewpoints, warping words and destroying debate. His response? To tell me that he’s not Jill, the open-minded, big-hearted modern progressive “thinker,” of the post’s hypothetical debate scenario.

From this point our “conversation” plunged downhill and eventually off the cliff despite my many attempts to engage him respectfully and ask clarifying questions. I spent most of my time trying to get him to stop telling me what I think and to accept my telling him what I think.


During the free fall, Tim came up with these highly empirical stats and predictions:

“Trump has proven himself, beyond a shadow of a doubt, to be 100x more dangerous than any Syrian refugee.

Trump’s careless pen stroking has already cost the lives of over 30 civilians and a US Navy SEAL. So yeah, trump has killed more Americans than Syrian refugees have. It’s proven and measurable. Perception doesn’t change the fact that those people are dead and many thousands more will die if the ACA is repealed.”

Hier [sic] Trump. Courtesy of the anti-fascists at the Tuluwat Examiner

Unanswered questions

Dear resistance,

Does a president “cost lives” by “pen-stroking” (signing executive orders)? Did Trump’s predecessor’s pen-stroking cost lives?” Is the costing of lives based on your agreement or disagreement with the merits of an executive order?

These are the kinds of questions I asked Tim. Ad nauseam. Each and every time, he either ignored or twisted my laser-focused questions into assumption-bloated, over-generalized and absurdly false caricature.

It was like playing catch with someone who kept throwing the ball AT me, instead of TO me, and so ruined the game.

Missed opportunity

Had Tim reigned in his zeal and buffered his bias for a nanosecond, had he addressed my questions and points, had he taken me at my word concerning my thoughts and feelings, we both might have learned something.

Instead he engaged in talking points, bullying and name-calling—the most uncivil of discourse. We missed an opportunity to better understand one another’s perspectives on some crucial issues.

Here’s a question for you, resistance: Is Tim the exception or the rule of the resistance? To me, he seems to have embraced the call to spread the deliria by waving and brandishing both fists.

Shared joke

The resistance’s call to spread deliria is apparently being taken quite literally by groups like the Here’s their statement of purpose from their Website:

“This election has shaken us to our core. Millions of Americans are feeling desperate to find ways to get involved. We need to show the whole political establishment that there is a massive progressive force that will fight against Trump’s extreme agenda of greed and hate every step of the way.”

Agenda of greed and hate? Really? It’s silly, lazy fighting phrases like this that make the resistance difficult to take seriously.

Here’s a more militant sounding call to action from The Donald J. Trump Resistance (at least they’re respectful in adding his middle initial.) And they seem to think that making Each Word Start With Uppercase Letters Makes THEIR Tagline That Much More Impressive:

“Where WE Make Hatred, Bigotry, Xenophobia, Sexism, Racism, and Greed Pay the Price”

What IS the price, exactly?


Good advice

Here’s some advice for you, resistance that, if heeded, would make your cause much more attractive to doofuses like me:

Shelve your exertions until the time comes when resistance is truly necessary. Wait for genuine governmental abuses of power—and then act. If presidential overreach in the form of executive orders is the standard, shouldn’t we have resisted during the last eight years? Where was the “resistance” then?

And finally—and perhaps most importantly—resist the urge to engage in uncivil discourse. We can disagree agreeably. Ask and ANSWER clarifying questions to better understand another’s point of view. Listen, THEN talk.

I believe in resistance. If I were in the Star Wars universe, I’d join the Rebellion. Or better yet, the Jedi Knights. Or even as a third with Han Solo and Chewbacca.

But I won’t join a joke.

I resist you, resistance. In fact, in light of events as they stand AT THIS TIME, I wouldn’t join any of you jokers—even if you offered me the Millennium Falcon.

Stop muddling meaning and lobbing word grenades. Get a grip on the gravity of our issues. Save your powder for the real battles, if and when they come.

Get serious, not delirious. Then, count me in.