Monday, May 07, 2007

James White's Disdain of My Supposed "Verbal Flood" Concerning Dr. Beckwith's "Reversion" Rings Hollow and Hypocritical

Just a little fun diversion . . . once in a while I like to poke fun at the attempts by folks like anti-Catholic Reformed Baptist apologist James White to dismiss someone (no names!) simply because they supposedly write so much. The latest round of controversy reads like the usual Keystone Cops scenario, whenever James White is involved. Laurel and Hardy have nothing on this guy for goofiness and comic genius.

For background, see my first and second posts on philosopher and ethicist Dr. Francis Beckwith's return to the Catholic Church and White's scandalous and unethical conduct regarding same. In a nutshell, White (who allows no comments on his blog) decided to visit college student and 2007 convert Kacy Sandidge's blog, Meandering Home, after she objected to his unethical treatment of Dr. Beckwith, who happens to attend her home parish in Waco, Texas.

White more or less demanded some straight answers as to why Kacy and other folks thought he was guilty of poor treatment of Dr. Beckwith, and claimed he was being misrepresented. He asked several times (in his usual boorish fashion), and people started answering, including yours truly. But (utterly predictably) White ignored my response and instead decided to reply to Kacy's (quite eloquent and well-done) response. It is always good policy, you see, to ignore experienced Catholic apologists like Jimmy Akin and myself (we have both blogged at some length on this, and Akin was directly involved to some extent in influencing the reversion; and I have written many posts about Catholic conversion in general) and to go after a brand new convert instead.

Having mocked Catholic apologists as supposedly in the habit of systematically ignoring critiques from such as himself, White turns around and does the exact same thing that he just got finished excoriating (ignoring my point-by-point critique). For those of us who follow his escapades, this is nothing new whatsoever. It's standard practice for Bishop White. But it never hurts to highlight blatant hypocrisy. Jesus was rather fond of doing that, too.

But anyway, the funny thing I wish to deal with in this post, was White's statement of breezy dismissal towards my reply to the questions he openly asked and requested answers to:
If anyone "descended" on this blog [Meandering Home], it was Dave Armstrong, who decided to flood it with his normal verbal floods.
Without delving into much past history and propagandistic, smearing tactics of anti-Catholic apologists, this has long been a droning theme of our good friends. Finding themselves unable to answer rational arguments and critiques, one of many many personal attacks they have launched against me is this canard that I offer no substance, but merely reams and reams and endless tomes of meaningless, ethereal fluff (White's most recent insults and playbook potshots are that I am a "stalker" and a "moonbat" and "unhinged").

But beyond all that, let's get real "basic" and simply look at what White is talking about. My "verbal flood" on Kacy's blog (since posted on mine) was exactly 2,851 words. That was my response to White. He felt that he could ignore it and simply mock its length, as if length has an inverse proportion to substance and meatiness and depth of thought.

Alright. But how many words did White use when he responded to Kacy? Well, um, his My Reply to Kacy post is exactly 3,852 words. The man outwrote me by 1000 words, plus an extra bonus of one. I wrote only 74% of the volume of words that he provided us with. He wrote 1.35 times the number of words that I wrote. But, you see, when an experienced apologist and (as he relentlessly reminds us) veteran of 61 oral debates tackles a 22-year-old brand new convert, it takes lots of words, and this is not a verbal flood at all, because it is, well, "Gospel Truth" and all that, over against the wicked, spiritually-bankrupt "man-centered sacramentalism" of Rome. Therefore length is no issue. But let a Catholic apologist tackle White's remarks and queries in a thousand words less, and it is a "verbal flood" and able to be ignored on that basis.

Not only that, White has also written a torrent of related articles. I've written exactly two before this one (and this is simply a humorous aside), and the first was only partially devoted to White. Nevertheless, for the sake of this post we'll add up the numbers there, even when many have nothing to do with White. It is 1,955 words long.

But once the good bishop gets on a roll of defending his "honor and integrity" there is no end of words (some of you may fondly recall his reply, some years ago to Pat Madrid's "White Man's Burden" article in This Rock, that seemingly surpassed War and Peace and Homer's Odyssey put together in extraordinary verbosity). After my first post on the matter, White issued the already-legendary screed "The Roman Moonbats " (5-4-07), with the highlight:
Now, moonbat is an interesting phrase. It is generally used to describe the wacko left, but it strikes me as being particularly descriptive of wackos in general, unhinged folks who have no self-control and are utterly controlled by their angry emotions. Most religions have their moonbats. Rome surely does. Off the top of my head, we can list . . . Dave "the Stalker" Armstrong . . .
And of course, White wouldn't be himself if he didn't simultaneously offer blistering criticism of Catholics criticizing him unjustly, while he is writing this kind of bilge about Catholics. "The Roman Moonbats" has 1,724 words.

Ah, but that is just the beginning. Then there is the charmingly-titled jeremiad, "To All Consistent Children of the Reformation: SHUT UP!" (5-6-07) This is a short 1,884 words in length. And let's not forget his notorious original post, that started the huge controversy now taking place: "Head of the Evangelical Theological Society Swims the Tiber" (5-3-07). It is 1,788 words long. And: "Dr. Beckwith Explains His Conversion and Does the Right Thing Regarding ETS" (5-5-07). That's 192 words. And "On Pots and Kettles" (5-6-07): 170 words.

So now we can see who is really suffering from verbal diarrhea, specifically on this topic of one high-level conversion. [Drum roll ..........] Hold on a sec; lemme reach over to get my trusty calculator. Okay. Here are the grand totals:
James White: six articles (in the space of four days) and 9,610 total words.

Dave Armstrong: two articles (in three days) and 4,806 total words.
"Verbal flood"? You can do the math: White missed by just two words, outwriting me exactly two-to-one (his are 1.9995838 as many as my words).

This happens again and again when folks insist on making stupid, unwarranted claims to cover up for their intellectual cowardice. It is inevitably a matter of projection of their own faults onto others. I've done a similar analysis on White in the past, and also on fellow anti-Catholics John Q. Doe and Steve Hays. The results are always the same. But it's a fun diversion, isn't it? Ironically -- for people who write so many words -- their words often have little or no connection to reality. Propaganda rarely does.

No comments: