A reply to Ben.

Seems Ben over at Scattered Words wrote a small entry about us here at Stupid Evil Bastard in which he muses on how hard we work at making ourselves feel better about not knowing God and our apparent fascination with him. It came as a trackback to Brock’s entry awhile back contrasting Scattered Words with The Hulk’s Blog. As it turns out that is the second trackback to that entry from Scattered Words so I have to wonder who it is that’s really fascinated with whom in this situation. Anyway,  I wrote a lengthy comment as a reply, but his TypeKey authentication wasn’t working properly so it got put into a moderation queue so it could be screened to prevent “malicious comments” from appearing on his blog. On the off-chance that my reply ends up being counted as too malicious for Ben to handle I decided to post it here as well, but you may want to go read his entry first or this won’t make a lot of sense.

    If all you see in my blog is an effort to feel better about not knowing God then you’re only seeing what you want to see and not what’s actually there. The very idea of trying to make myself feel better about not knowing something I don’t believe exists is nonsensical in the first place.

    I have expressed disdain and I have been rude and insulting to those who would come to my blog and try to tell me I’m wrong without having something in the way of a decent argument to backup their point of view and this mainly comes from the weariness of hearing the same old lines over and over again, but I don’t hate these people. Oddly enough, I don’t hate anyone. Yes, I consider many believers to be very much like sheep of which many are ignorant or self-deluded, but saying these things doesn’t bring me any sense of superiority or make me feel good as you assume. If anything it saddens me to think we’ve been around for so long and have yet to outgrow so many of our childhood fantasies.

    You do flatter yourself to think so much of these comments on my site are directed at you. I think you’ve been mentioned in all of three entries out of over 2,000, two of which were written by a guest author. The one mention that I made myself was in comparison to Senator Ed Schrock who would appear to be another homosexual man trying to deny his true nature by wrapping himself in the cloak of religious belief.

    You have no big secret to share, but I understand what it is you think you have because I used to be a believer myself at one time. Further reading of my blog would have revealed that to you. My sense of peace was developed after I gave up belief in a deity. Considering the struggles you write about here on your blog I’d say I’m probably more at peace than you are, but then I know who I am and I don’t try to be something that I am not.

    As for not wanting to hear it, the truth is I discuss religion and God quite often with a number of friends who are believers and there are many believers who frequent my blog daily. I find the topic rather fascinating most of the time. What I grow tired of is people who show up intent on converting me with their Bible Conversion Manual in hand spouting the same sad arguments that the last fifty people who showed up with a similar intent used.

    In actuality I really don’t care if you want to believe in a God or Gods or what have you. If it makes you happy and lets you sleep at night and keeps you from climbing the clock tower with a high powered rifle then you go right ahead and believe in whatever you want for all I really care. But if you’re going to come to me and tell me I’m wrong for not believing the same way or, worse, try to get laws passed based purely on your religious viewpoints then we’re going to have an argument and if you come across as an idiot I’m going to call you on it.

    As for you specifically, I have no great fascination for you. The entry you listed was written by my guest author, Brock. A distinction you haven’t made clear in this entry thus prompting my reply. Personally, I feel a little sorry for you in that you can’t seem to accept yourself for who you are and thus cause so much more torment for yourself by trying to change what is essentially a fundamental part of your nature, but beyond that you don’t cross my mind all that often. Brock will have to speak of his own fascination with you, or lack thereof, on his own.

    Does speaking out make me feel better? Only in the sense that it allows me to vent some frustration about my fellow humans. It doesn’t make me feel superior or give me a warm fuzzy, but it does avoid the depression that would likely come from bottling it up inside. It also provides people with another point of view to consider. If it makes a few people think a little more about things then so much the better.

44 thoughts on “A reply to Ben.

  1. Ha, made me look twice when I saw the title in my RSS aggregator.

    It’s amazing to me that people like him get into such snits over things said on a blog.  Then (apparently) turns on comment moderation to… um… censor? comments, judging from this entry—this conversation is very disjointed, to say the least.

    Eh, screw him anyway, the internet’s too big and life’s too short.  smile

    The other Ben

  2. I think the problem that Ben from scattered words has is that he’s a little high-strung.  I can’t say that I’m a regular reader of his blog, I don’t find it particularly compelling.  However, I have looked at his writing once or twice and it struck me that he seems to always on the edge of an emotional breakdown.  To paraphrase a line from Falling Down Ben seems a little fragile and perhaps its best not to vex him to any degree or at all.  His fragility is the only reason that I can see for him taking the time and effort to find detractors on the internet and comment upon them. 


  3. I won’t go and judge that guy by what he says, altough his views seem a little strange to me, they’re valid in his own point of view. And since from what I’ve read, he questions his views every day, he will some time reach a point where he doesn’t struggle all the time, probably. Maybe after he accepts homosexuality.

    Very open, actually, so open I don’t want to listen to them, because they’re gonna tell me about their sex life and deepest fears after about 5 minutes. Altough that bears some strange kind of fascination, I have to admit. And on the other hand, as soon as you start arguing and criticizing their actions (and maybe even a little bit of their worldview), they shut down the contact to you.

    It’s an easy way out, bears no need for confrontation, and since those people don’t want to listen to many arguments, they can easily disdain everything I say that might challenge their views as hate and personal offense.

    I feel sorry for those people, but not in a “come on, let’s look at this” way sorry. Rather in a “whatever, live your life” way sorry. I just can’t be bothered to solve their problems.

    Oh, something in his favour: He seems to know that entry was written by Brock after all…

  4. Hm, something’s amiss here, sorry. The second paragraph should start with…

    I’ve met other people who seem the same at the first glance. (and then what’s there already)

  5. I’m really sick of these fools that say you must believe in some god in order to know peace or love or joy! What a crock. I did not know true peace of mind until I let go of all the superstitious nonsense from my childhood. I guess some folks just never mature.

  6. Peace can come from many places. Some are more lasting than others. I find some peace in trying to be a good person. I don’t mean that in the christian, love everyone, sense. I just mean trying to do what good I can. What I believe works for me, but it might not work for you. My beliefs do not require everyone else on earth to beleive them. They don’t require anoyone else on earth to believe them. If more religous people would grasp that concept, I think a lot of us, myself included, would have a bit less to complain about lol.

  7. Some good points there, Guido. When I said I felt kind of sorry for Ben I meant it in exactly the same sort of way you describe above. Very well put.

    Spocko, that’s one of the common rationalizations used by some believers to make them feel better about those of us who don’t believe that seem to get along just fine without it. It’s also why they examine every thing you say for the slightest hint of anger or annoyance which they’ll magnify as an example of how unhappy and hateful we are and how much more at peace they think they are.

    But again, not all believers do this nor do all Christians do this. Those who have actually found the peace that folks like Ben speak of rarely make a point of saying so and you can usually discern the truth by their statements and actions. People like ***Dave and JethricOne strike me as having found that inner peace so many others claim to hold.

    ReaZ, that’s another good point and I agree whole heartedly. You’ll note that I don’t spent too much time complaining about Wiccans and there’s good reason for that, but that’ll be a new entry a little later.

  8. It’s also why they examine every thing you say for the slightest hint of anger or annoyance

    When apologetics fail, they often resort to pyschoanalyzing their opponent….

  9. I checked out Scattered Words awhile back to see what the hoopla was about, and just didn’t find it very interesting.  He’s a 1-trick pony, and that trick is: being uptight about his sexuality. My reaction was, “Gee, the poor guy doesn’t seem very happy.  Hope he works it out somehow.  The End.”

    It would probably be of great interest to people struggling with their sexuality, but not for, oh, anyone else.  I just hope anti-gay activists don’t seize on his blog as evidence of something or other.  He’s one guy – not normative for anyone else.

  10. ReaZ
    Your comment about just being a good person hit home with me!  I also feel my beliefs do not require anyone else to justify how I believe.  I care about others but I refuse to force myself on them.  I also find myself becoming concerned when someone claims that people I love and respect tell lies and display hate and anger when this is not true.  Try reading things with a clear eye and head not distorting it because it doesn’t suit your beliefs or theories.  That is my only advice to these people.

  11. I for one am glad that Ben found religion.  Reading through his blog I don’t he think he has the mental or emotional capacity to confront his displaced anger and inner conflict.  Without a deity to dump all of this on he may very well have ended up in the clock tower.  Maybe later in his life when he comes to terms with himself he will be emotionally mature enough to dump the security blanket or at least be able to experience the true peace and happiness that other believers have found in just being oneself.

    The road to true self acceptance is a difficult one and many would rather turn to religion than face themselves in the mirror.  My experience is, that those who come to terms with themselves experience peace with just about anything.  Whether it be religion or atheism.

    captcha = ‘terms’  Les is loading the keywords again.

  12. This isn’t a comment on the post itself, although it pertains to it. All I wanted to say, publically, was that I really do enjoy this site. Not everything is of interest to me, I don’t often comment, and I haven’t read every little thing that’s been written…but I linked and e-mailed Les a little while back because my instinct and my first impression, despite the ‘evil bastard’ part of the name, was that this was a place where issues like this one might be discussed in a frank and open-minded fashion, without resorting to pointless name-calling or I-am-RIGHT-and-fuck-anyone-who-disagrees ranting. With the benefit of hindsight and some extra time spent reading this site and chasing various links, I find myself a little proud of my instinct, and a little proud to be a member here.

    Oh, and I like videogames.

    I sort of addressed the issue at stake here the last time Scattered Words came up. I honestly wouldn’t have even bothered commenting as Les did. I’ve read Scattered Words, and while I feel some sympathy for the guy, he strikes me as the kind of person that isn’t in an emotional place that’s receptive to reasoned argument. I hope and believe that he’ll come to terms with himself at some point. If and when he does, I may post there. Otherwise, it’s a waste of my already-calloused fingertips.

    The part of Les’s post that I most agree with is the mention of hate. I find myself diametrically opposed to a large percentage of what Ben types, and were I to comment, my opinion would reflect that. But I don’t hate him. Life’s too short and there are things that are far more important than one man’s insecure ego-trip. People are dying out there. Hell, if you’re up on the news, children are dying out there. That’s a real horror, and one guy’s confusion about his sexuality and spirituality sort of pales in comparison.

  13. I think that if he dislikes your blog, that much that he should simply not read it.  The same works in reverse.  Personally, I think Freedom of Religion includes Freedom FROM Religion for those that want it.  But it also means that I’ll respect others right to their religion provided it doesn’t push on my freedom from religion.

  14. I would like to clear up a few of things concerning Scattered Words. Ben (or official keepers of his opinions) of Scattered Words makes it seem that I fashioned an entry about his site because I was angry that he banned me from commenting. It all began when I followed a link that Les had posted to a site called Fifteen Minutes, where the author of that site had mentioned Stupid Evil Bastard as interesting with the disclaimer that it was not a “family friendly

  15. That’s essentially the message I got from your post in the first instance, Brock. Maybe not in that kind of detail, but the sentiment was there. I didn’t think you were particuarly hateful in any way, and I certainly don’t think you have anything to clear up or a need to defend yourself. Not only did that post make a valid point that needs no defending, it also introduced the readers of SEB to the world of hilarity that is Hulk’s blog. Two birds with one stone, Brock. Stand tall and proud.

  16. One of these days, I’m going to put all of my thoughts on this in a huge essay. Me? I’m kind of a “Believer who has no idea what he believes in anymore”… I just know I have always despised organized religion.

    If a person’s philosophy was a mathematical formula, then “God exists” is a “given” in a religious person’s mind. That’s it, do not pass “go”.  With an atheist or agnostic, it isn’t.

    And that’s where the impass begins.

    The religious are filled with dread and fear when it comes to atheists… and can you blame them? The Bible is filled with horror stories with what happens to anyone who dares question the “God of Love®”. Take away that “given” and the house of cards fall apart.

    On the other hand, I really feel for atheists, because they have to know the bible better than most religious folks in order to point out all of the glaring errors and contradictions. They have to constantly defend themselves, when it really should be the other side that has the burden of proof.

    We, as a society know slavery is wrong.
    We, as a society know there’s nothing wrong with gays.
    We, as a society know abortion is a sad & necessary medical procedure. (If us guys got pregnant, there wouldn’t be a debate).

    These values are in direct conflict with the teachings of the Church, an archaic institution following an outdated manual.

    I just know for a fact that the church is dead wrong.  That’s about as far as I go with any certainty.

  17. Thanks Neon. I’m glad my intent came across. I think this subject matter is important to discuss, but maybe I’m one of too few who value such open-minded free-to-express-whatever-opinions-you-have discussions.

    Ben obviously is afraid to discuss without maintaining control over the fate of the comment made. He says it’s because [he has] “a lot of readers, specifically young people who are struggling and questioning. Quite honestly, they don’t need to see the dissent or the detraction. I can handle it, but I’ll do what I have to to protect them from it.”

    He’s hit on precisely why I have a problem with his Blog. He wants to disseminate information that he values and feels comfortable passing on and he doesn’t care if some minds are too immature to responsibly decide what fears they will internalize. I detest the thought of him being proud to pass on his fucked-up attitudes to impressionable young minds.

    I wish Ben would come here and explain why he wants a Blog that vilifies homosexuality, but I’m certain he doesn’t have the balls to do that. He’s more secure in that mean-spirited Blog home he’s built for himself. He won’t respond directly, but safely from his controlled environment.

    One thing he said, that I hope isn’t true, is that I’ve brought down the quality of Stupid Evil Bastard. That scares me more than anything he could have said because it’s the last thing I would want to be true.

  18. There are a lot of religious folks out there that consider knowledge as something too dangerous to trust the faithful with and are oblivious to the irony of this attitude.

    If what you say is true about Ben, it’s just another case in point.

  19. One thing he said, that I hope isn’t true, is that I’ve brought down the quality of Stupid Evil Bastard. That scares me more than anything he could have said because it’s the last thing I would want to be true.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.  You have contributed some well written, and well thought articles to this intellectual feedbag.  There’s a strange sense of pride among the bastards here and I’m sure you would have heard it from us first if there had been any wrong committed.  Keep up the good work!

  20. But again, not all believers do this nor do all Christians do this. Those who have actually found the peace that folks like Ben speak of rarely make a point of saying so and you can usually discern the truth by their statements and actions. People like ***Dave and JethricOne strike me as having found that inner peace so many others claim to hold.

    Oh, great, thanks a lot, Les—that’s just the sort of comment that will get some Divine Testing tossed down on my shoulders.  Yeesh …

  21. If that’s the worst that God throws your way then you’ll probably be OK. Your comments will be confusing, but you’ll be OK.


  22. I actually went off and did exactly the opposite of what I said I was going to do in my post. Yup, I commented on Ben’s blog. I did so as a complete and utter neutral, and everyone ignored it. Go figure. next time I’ll swear.

    Actually, scratch that. There won’t be a next time. I’m taking my own advice.

  23. Probably for the best, you were likely considered guilty by association as soon as you mentioned you came over from here.

    I posted one follow up reply and I’ll probably stop at that. I’ve said all that needed to be said.

  24. I just had to write this….

    A person chooses a discipline of life or a faith if you prefer and studies it, embraces it and shares the personal benefits (happiness, health, self esteem…everything ). Now here you have a person who walks a path in which he or she feels is going to make him or her a better person at the end. It is something that you can almost calculate. If you want to you can live that life of brotherhood and sisterhood inside a community and and really profit from the support system that the community in question has to offer. And that is good…really…if you do it for yourself.

    But for that you have to forget self-criticism, the great beyond scientific approach to certain subjects and you almost absolutely have to follow the flow. If you do that, you’ll do just fine.

    You can equally live a beautiful life outside such a system if you don’t need to BELONG to such a group or religion. You are not a sinner if you live like that, you are just morally more independant and self sufficiant which is what was causing problems in the times of the dark ages.

    Here is a fact : THERE IS NO GOD. There is only life and death created at first by natural accidents in the cosmos. And now sometimes by our own stupidity.
    You don’t believe me….watch the news.

    We all posess inside of us and in front of us the proof of that.
    The people that use religion to protect what they have gained from that community or to give themselves the looks and feel of a spiritually educated person have no proof of god’s presence.
    I think it is called blind faith.


    I don’t know what all of you think but we are going back into the “clash of the religions” Thanks in part to BUSH.

    I am off the subject and for that I apologise.

  25. Here’s the real issue:  i think Ben at Scattered thinks Brock is hot and is sublimating that desire.

    But, besides that… wink
    Dealing with people who hold extreme, divisive beliefs is always difficult, and the discussion is always prone to being more combustive than interesting/informative.  But, ideaologically speaking, i think it’s important to confront these people at each and every possible turn, no matter how exhaustive it can be.  You would be awed at how people synthesize opposing views and how that exposure *does* change their beliefs, sometimes very gradually.

    Pardon the comparison:  Off and on i sometimes spend considerable time with white supremecists in the NEast area.  When i meet some new member and we start discussing “the issues”, i’m often struck at how under-exposed they are to the opposing side of beliefs; This i say as a (blond) Jew, and a (str8 acting) gay.  Granted, they don’t know my full agenda, and for sure makes that discussion more civil.  But, it also helps me see what their core beliefs are, and their core defenses for those beliefs.  Often, their defenses are factually nill and more what i call “emotionally faith-based.”

    Like ourselves, many of our beliefs are first created by some emotional need.

    When we discuss our beliefs with those who differ we can’t help but confront our individual *emotional needs to believe.*  I believe that when we identify those types of beliefs, given enough time and need, those beliefs are replaced with a reasonable ideology.

    It just takes exposure, time, and reason.
    Confrontation, no matter how difficult, is always the best policy.


  26. Dealing with people who hold extreme, divisive beliefs is always difficult,

    Very much in the eye of the beholder.  As a believer in an invisible man in the sky, I was mainstream and therefore not divisive.  But that’s a pretty extreme belief, in its consequences for humanity!

    As is my present atheism.  Now that I’m not mainstream, that’s divisive.  And some of my friends feel my atheistic belief is extreme.

    many of our beliefs are first created by some emotional need.

    An important truth.  The very reason I pay a lot of attention to views that make me uncomfortable.  Fool me once…

    Having done a little more reading about the ex-gay movement, it seems well supported by political/religous interests and quite unconcerned with anyone’s happiness.

  27. Having done a little more reading about the ex-gay movement, it seems well supported by political/religous interests and quite unconcerned with anyone’s happiness.

    Political and religious interests focus on compliance, not happiness. Too many people assume the authority to tell others what to do or to think, but they reject the responsibility that comes with this assumption.

  28. It just takes exposure, time, and reason.
    Confrontation, no matter how difficult, is always the best policy.

    I’m going to have to disagree with you here.  The first part is just fine, but confrontation can hardly be considered the best policy.

    Confrontation tends to establish an I’m right and your wrong atmosphere from the start.  In some case you may very well weaken someone’s defenses to the point where they will begin to be receptive, but I would argue that you are more likely to cause the individual to further entrench themselves in their belief system.

    Instead of confrontation, I would suggest challenging others to think about things from a different perspective.  When people come together and discuss ideas outside the trenches a lot more can be solved than when we smart bomb their infrastructure and then tell them why they were wrong.

  29. I’ve sort of got to agree with what deadscot has said above, and also to admit that I’ve continued posting on Ben’s blog. Not because I felt I would achieve something by it, but because the hostility I encountered from some of his regular commenters made me frustrated and left me with the feeling that I hadn’t put my point across.

    I tried to be neutral initially, but on reading more of Scattered Words, I found myself feeling uncomfortable and unhappy with what I was digesting. My ‘neutrality’ fell away to some extent, and although I still don’t agree with Ben, I find myself understanding his story more than I did previously.

    Anyway, I don’t feel like I’m going to build a bridge between Scattered Words and SEB or anything, that’s clearly not going to happen. But I do feel like I found a place in me that can post sincerely on Ben’s blog without feeling the need to confront him.

    Bear in mind, that’s not a criticism of anyone here, just a statement of my own position.

    Damn, I really got dragged into this one, huh? I know, I know, I’m naive as all hell, but I can’t help it. Ultimately, I have an extremely childish wish that everyone would just get along.

  30. Well, my first ‘meeting’ with Brock was rather contentious too (since I mentioned in one of my first comments here that I’ve never met an ‘out’ gay, which apparently caused Brock to think me a hypocrite).

    But his posts are certainly in the spirit of the site. And why should we have perfect harmony anyway? wink

  31. I’ve continued posting on Ben’s blog. Not because I felt I would achieve something by it, but because the hostility I encountered from some of his regular commenters made me frustrated and left me with the feeling that I hadn’t put my point across.

    “Never try to teach a pig to sing.  It wastes your time and annoys the pig.”
    – Mark Twain

    For the record, No, I’m not saying Ben’s a pig.  But he might be a bit pig-headed and I can certainly understand that, since it often takes me a lot longer than it should to catch on.

    And why should we have perfect harmony anyway?

    Yeah!  There’s hardly anything less interesting than a roomfull of people all agreeing with each other and slapping each other on the back.  Like any political convention, for example.  The only interesting people there are the protesters and they all get dragged away in handcuffs.

    I’d like to see kids learn how to argue without fighting.  People say, “I don’t want to get into an argument” because they don’t understand the difference.  A real argument is a constructive meeting of different minds and is lots of fun.

  32. Since Ingolfson made reference to a conversation we had, yet was (purposefully?) vague enough to allow one to judge me unfairly, I’d like to excerpt that conversation here, so everyone can be certain that I do indeed deserve a spanking.


    —-Ingolfson on 2/07/04 at 04:51 PM wrote the following…

    I think Chad meant France (a country with a strong secular tradition) and maybe Germany, where a big part of the population does not consider itself religious.

    Personally, I think religion doesn’t enter the picture that much in regard to couples having children or not. Its wealth and culture. Sadly, we in Europe don’t put much stock in kids, and we are too occupied living our lives to be distracted by having kids. I think thats the major danger for Europe – I don’t have anything against immigrants, but integrating large groups of them *is* difficult.

    And concerning the main topic, I’ll take Les advice and just add my big fucking “YEAH! WHAT THEY SAID!!!

  33. Hi Brock!

    Well, it seems I opened that up again. First off all, I hope you don’t really feel I was implying anything negative about you. I was simply stating that you *can* come across as rather …direct.. in your statements.

    I didn’t want to point to that old post, or expound big on it, exactly because I did not want to dig that old matter up again. Maybe I should have simply not posted it then. But the style of your posts was being discussed, and I added my couple cents.

    You said (still haven’t learned that Blockquote thing):

    > I would like to offer that my first response to
    > Ingolfson was only meant to reveal
    > incredulousness and I was trying to make him
    > laugh, but surprisingly to me, he took it very
    > seriously.

    But you *also* said in the post:

    > Now, just tell me where you live and I’ll have
    > someone over to make you gay in every way.

    Now it was surely over-reacting from me – but from where I stand, as a hetero (my viewpoints on gays nonwithstanding) that comes across as rather crass.

    How would you react if I asked you:

    “Hey Brock, mail me your adress!. I’ll send someone over to *straight*en you out!”

    So – your post was at least rude.

    > Then I took our conversation more seriously and
    > next thing I knew, there was a fist hole in the
    > wall and the police had been summoned.

    Really? Well, you could check and see that for example I never called you names.

    But yes, I feel passionately about my viewpoints too. And I react very aversely to anyone telling me what to do. I’m much too much the individualist loner to take that without comment.

    In this post now you also say:

    > It does bother me though that you said “If I
    > meet someone who turns out to be gay, I will
    > treat him like everyone else – I’ll judge him
    > by how much I like him, not by his sex habits.

  34. Wow you go offline for one weekend and look what you miss. 
      I feel so very at home here even though I don’t post a lot.
      In BROCK’s 9/04/04 at 07:24 PM post he mentioned that SEB was listed elsewhere as not a “Family Friendly” site,  is that some kind of code word for “Not for people who want to experience intellectual freedom”?
      My children are not old enough to handle most subjects posted here but I certainly like to hope that from age 16 on they will be open to the kind of intellectual discourse readily available here and compose/defend their ideas/postions with the high standards of the assorted Evil Bastard’s.

  35. I’ve come to regard “not family friendly” as a badge of honor… What’s sad is that there are people out there that consider exposure to differing opinions much like a disease vector.

  36. Elwed, that’s probably due to the caching system. I have most templates set to cache for around 10 minutes or so and the sidebar is technically its own template. The comments page, however, clears itself from the cache anytime a new comment is posted so it’s possible that the sidebar and the page it’s being shown on might be slightly out of sync with one another. The convenience of editing only one template when I change the side bar versus having them in sync by including it on the comment template is a trade-off.

    I’ve been debating coming up with a variation on the sidebar specifically for use on the comment pages that would eliminate a lot of the extra stuff such as the blogroll and the like which is only really needed on the main index, but I haven’t decided on what a comment specific sidebar should include.

    Lordklegg, I didn’t miss anything as I get all the comments sent to me as email and I check that pretty religiously even when I’m not active on the blog. Honestly, I think the discussion here has been pretty good overall.

  37. Ingolfson, I tend to get on a soap box when it comes to certain issues and I must admit, that to some extent I was using your comments as a springboard.

    Too, my sense of humor IS somewhat crass at times and even my friends can be amazed that I’ve had the gall to say what I said. Then factor in the social and cultural differences, language and political inclinations and I feel purely lucky when a joke I make is taken as I meant it.

    My first response that caused you to say you didn’t like my style really was meant in jest and to show how some perceive the “gay agenda” but just as I was trying to offer some talking points, you offered some great ones too. Perhaps down the road we can pick up this conversation and I’ll try to leave my wry humor out of it. (I hope you realize, though that I can’t promise anything.)

    The blockquote thing is done this way: [ followed by the word quote followed by the opposite ]

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