The truth of the matter is this: As the political and religious topic comes closer and closer to one's own home and neighborhood, silence steadily descends along with the gravy. In other words, politics and religion won't disturb anyone's meal any time soon if they're being argued in a local context, where deeds actually might mean something if ventured. Rather, most folks would rather get worked up about things happening a thousand miles away or in a different astral dimension. Doing so spares them any chance of actual involvement.
Thus: Don't talk about (national) politics and (illusory) religion.
In this spirit, having failed to elicit much in the way of discussion while warning of the tyranny of bridge tolls, I changed course last week and devoted my Thursday Tribune column to atheism. Predictably, the online comments area quickly filled.
Here are a few of the gems. By the way, thanks to 'The Big Deal' for joining the chat.
First up is Amy. We've jousted before, haven't we? She's the Clere Channel groupie, right? I know it's her because she always addresses me in the same way. At any rate, Amy comes off sounding really grumpy about my column, although it didn't suppress her twitteristic voyeur instinct, did it?
Baylor, since you've made up your mind to be angry about Christianity, I'm not sure why I'm writing this because it won't make any difference. I saw that you wrote anti-Christmas stuff on your Twitter account too. You've been a grump, grump, GRUMP about the whole thing ... The only thing you're ever happy about is beer. What kind of sad statement is that! ... To the Tribune: Please stop publishing this rubbish. Several people I know refuse to read this column and now I'm joining their ranks. Please fill the space with something else.Amy will be delighted to know that I've taken her advice. This week's column is quite happily about beer.
And then there's Andrew, who cribs Amy's (those pesky "A" names) formatting. He couldn't help reading, either, accusing me of being angry before getting a tad miffed himself.
Takes a lot of nerve to put it in print that you don't believe in God. I'm not surprised. Goes along with all your anger ... To the Tribune: I agree with the commenter who asked that you stop publishing Baylor's columns. He doesn't write anything to help the people. This article doesn't make any more sense than anything else he writes. I don't read this and only checked this one out because someone sent me a link. It's just filling space. Make it your New Year's resolution to get rid of it.If they're "just filling space," why do they take so damned long to write?
'Believe it or not' hasn't forgotten the Publican or Christopher Hitchens. He or she detects a group of followers trailing behind my robes, but what the hey -- I'm no tinpan prophet.
I pray for you (prayers that, I suspect, you do not wish for), and even today in church we collectively prayed for all non-believers ... Why not consider writing something to offer the public a wisdom to uplift rather than tear down, to come to a greater understanding of themselves rather than to criticize, and to speak to all the people rather than engage your group of supporters in strong (and angry) alliance with you?Saving the best for last, even my personal physician weighs in:
With all of his big words and rhetoric, Mr. Baylor attempts to hide the fact he suffers from Theophobia (fear of Gods or Religion).At least my sawbones, a Republican, openly opposes tolls. Recalling that holiest of dictums, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," we might yet find grounds for common cause.
You rarely find any Christian as outwardly intolerant as you repeatedly hear and read from Mr. Baylor. There are numerous examples of his utter disdain for people with a religious belief.
Thanks to those who read my column each week, critics and fans alike.