Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dr. Laurence White, Stephen Maloney And Disposing Of Garbage

I have much more sober and significant matters to be concerned about with this blog, than engaging in tawdry wars of disparagement. I am compelled to engage and contest what I sincerely believe are relatively common but very socially pernicious modes of thought and behavior in America and the Western world. And, of course most notably today, I am occupied with trying to draw attention to Mike Huckabee’s campaign for The Republican nomination for President of the United States, which I enthusiastically judge to pose a momentous opportunity for relief of both functional and dispositional ailments in American culture.

However, one pursues what one deems important for the day while still pausing to dispose of the waste material of life. Frankly, I hardly merit the trouble, as I have no credential, achievement, or platform to command any attention other than years of screaming from my little gopher-hole on the Internet, recently elevated to the imminently modest status of one of tens of millions of yowling bloggers. Even among Huckabee bloggers I am not a particularly innovative or assertive source of information, with few tricks up my sleeve other than to ponder and opine. Some years ago, I broadcast emails with a sig: “The Voice of One Crying on the Internet.” But, though I tarried long with the increasingly hostile and shrill rhetorical reflexes of Stephen Maloney, he ultimately saw fit to post screeds of disdain and denunciation on Thursday and Friday, labeling not just my acquaintance (not his), Dr. Lawrence White, but rolling in me along with him as self-serving, America-hating “pro-life phonies.” While I don’t, with his work as one of America’s foremost and ablest pro-life speakers, Dr. White certainly does merit attention from such foolish attackers: MIKE HUCKABEE: DECISON TIME ON AMERICA-HATING SUPPORTERS, Pro-Life Phonies: Larry Perrault and Laurence White

In traditional media, they used to say that bad news is better than no news. Perhaps I should be grateful for being mistaken as a worthy target. Mike Huckabee has felt privileged to be a prized target of some political headhunters. Sort of like me when I was 14, Stephen Maloney has discharged his BB-gun at a backyard blackbird. So, if he sees fit to broadcast my name as a subject of ridicule, maybe I ought to be grateful for any reader who sees fit to investigate my site. In fact, I might wish that he were a more able and provocative rhetorician.

Mr. Maloney first contacted me as a Huckabee blogger to call my attention to Alaska’s Republican Governor Sarah Palin and an online campaign to encourage the Republican nominee to choose her as a Vice-Presidential running-mate in 2008. I investigated Governor Palin and found her to be a principled, bright and appealing political presence whom I’m happy to recognize and direct attention to. And, I watched other Huckabee bloggers reach similar conclusions, all of this much to Maloney’s satisfaction. I should hasten to say that I do not refer to Maloney personally as “waste material,” but his increasing, ugly, and undeterred disparagement of those with whom he finds practical disagreement. Were he to exercise even the barest shred of grace, I would be about something hopefully much more important, at this moment.

I do disagree radically with what I’m sure he honestly believes to be a pragmatic pursuit of relatively conservative ends. He believes we MUST support Rudy Giuliani as the most likely “winner.” I do not and will not, but that’s another matter. My disagreement on a productive approach to social problems would hardly be unique to my disagreement with Stephen Maloney. Disagreement, I’m familiar with. But, I conduct civil exchange with people that I disagree with to a far greater extent than Stephen Maloney. But, this is a pattern that I have observed in his contact with other people: first somewhat agreeable, then points of disagreement, followed by Maloney’s pathological impulse to read evil motivations into the dissenter that he has already established a measure of cooperation with. This extends not merely to distorted perceptions, but to speculations about people’s failures and derelictions, even in their personal lives, which he knows nothing about!

And, of course, Maloney did the same thing regarding Dr. Laurence White, even after no personal contact at all, but just reading a few of White’s writings. So, it actually comes as hardly any surprise that, after I stood by my convictions about what I believe to be a productive course in Republican politics, and then rose to the defense of Laurence White after Stephen’s reckless attack, that I should ultimately find the crosshairs of his moral derision trained on me. And, this even after I had watched him behave irresponsibly toward other people and warned him about his malignant impulses while continuing to be personally solicitous and engaging in weeks of discussion on our mutual blogs: http://larryperrault.blogspot.com/, and http://camp2008victorya.blogspot.com/ . I told him to be careful that Sarah Palin or anyone else is not smeared by his rudeness.

So, I’m not angry with Stephen Maloney. I think he is in dead earnest. He just inhabits a world of blinkered and jaundiced delusion that naturally provokes a reactive and destructive disparaging response. It brought to mind a couple of movies: In The Truman Show, Jim Carrey’s character, Truman, thought that the elaborate reality fabricated by a TV producer to make a program of Truman’s entire life, was the real world. Maloney’s perceptual framework is not so idyllic: he actually thinks the monsters of his wild perceptions are real. Again, I know Laurence White from pro-life and Republican co-travelings. I have spoken with him and heard him speak many times, including at meetings in his own church. My online acquaintance with these other bloggers was more passing. I might be disposed slightly differently on some matters (I usually am), but there clearly were not the deep flaws of personal character that were invented in Stephen’s nightmares.

At least in The Truman Show movie (good movie – I heard one lecture liken Truman’s reality to the ubiquitous delusion that we typically perceive through popular media: big issue with me), Truman eventually ventured to the outside reality, which he doubtless found more daunting though less controlled. Stephen Maloney is older than I am: at this point, such life-changing awakenings are less common, though still possible. Stephen is a Christian: we should pray that he could express a measure of the grace that he has been afforded. As things are, the other movie I thought of was from back in VHS days when my children were small. In Toy Story, Buzz Lightyear once simply responds to Woody: “You’re a sad, strange little man.”

9 comments:

Stephen R. Maloney said...

I will respond to Larry's comments re: me sometime early next week. I invite anyone who thinks Dr. Laurence White is anything other than an egomaniacal America-Hater to read his essay/speech called "God and Caesar." You can read it at: www.mtio.com/articles/bissar55.htm

I don't believe Dr. Laurence White has ever done one thing to reduce the number of abortions and increase the number of adoptions. By holding out for a constitutional amendment (doing what?) on abortion, Dr. White assures that he will be able to spend the remainder of his his life heaping contempt on The Great Unwashed, that is, the American people. To people who are spiritual neurotics -- a bin Laden or a Dr. White -- a free society is always a frightening thing. (I have a doctorate, but you don't have to call me Dr. Maloney.)

Larry Perrault said...

I was contacted by another one of Maloney's targets. If we all knew each other, we could start a hateful phonies web site!

There obviously are plenty of people who have known me for years. The may think I'm wrong. But I'm no phoney. I'm seriously wrong! And everyone who's ever read just a little of what I write, knows that I'm seriously pro-life!

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Here's a big problem I have with Dr. Laurence White and, to a lesser degree, Larry Perrault. The both claim to be Christians -- a claim that's ultimately between them and God, who is not big on people saying "Lord, Lord," but it is a Christianity that seems purely ideological. I was reading last night the passage in Galatians 5 that says, "You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ." As you know, Paul goes on to say, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumsion counts for anything; the ONLY THING THAT COUNTS IS FAITH WORKING THROUGH LOVE." (I'm used the RSV, because it was available.) Do I see faith working through love in Larry or Laurence? No. If any of you can find the love part in anything either of them has said -- having a favorite political candidate doesn't count as love -- then please show me where it is. I see two men who use Christianity as a weapon with which to beat people who disagree with them. I see two members of what I've called "Pro-Life, Inc.," an organization that does nothing to reduce the number of abortions in the U.S., but rather uses their "position" as a way to denounce others. In the case of Dr. White, I apply what Paul said in Galatians to him: White is a person obsessed with the Mosaic Law and almost indifferent to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Again, if anyone sees anything different in White's comments and actions, please let me know. I am aware that Dr. White's church has an organization named after Gabriel. It provides support (mainly through prayer apparently) for pregnant women. However, after the birth of the children, the Gabrielites go elsewhere. This reminded me of Mike's famous comment that "Life . . . does not end at birth." Where is the love for the post-embryonic children? Where is the love for the mothers in troubled situations? Being a Christian is not a form of self-congratulation. Rather, it involves doing many things that we're probably rather not -- such as helping people in troubled pregnancies and continuing the assistance as long as it is needed. Christianity has nothing to do with nurturing people who are engaged in various forms of self-congratulation.

sm

steve

Larry Perrault said...

Laurence White is a Biblical scholar. One strains to think of an irony freater than, you presuming to teach an educated Lutheran minister about the meaning of Galatians, of all books!

Talk about self-congratulations! This is a s meaningless Kabukie dance. Few are watching this strut, which is good for you, because you are making a perfect fool of yourself. I know both the meaning and context of Galatians and Laurence White. You clearly know little of one and NONE of the other. Now, go away: scamper back to your hole and fawn over yourself. I hadn't hoped to start comment moderation, this soon. Feel free to come back if you ever learn a thing about common, let alone Christian decency.

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