Well it appears that my recent blog post on the mindset and philosophy behind the "COEXIST" bumper sticker rankled the feathers of a gentleman named Gavin (he goes by the TUMBLR ID of "Gavinsaurus Rex") to the point that he devoted an article on his blog metaphorically burning me in effigy. In the spirit of Proverbs 26:4-5, I will respond to Gavin's rant.

What a bunch of hypocritical bullshit. This wanker goes on about how it is the “height of arrogance” for tolerance to be considered superior to other worldviews, and then goes on to say that Christianity is the only correct religion to believe in. And he wants to talk about arrogance? Someone needs to look in the mirror a little more often. Peppered throughout this wankfest are incredible generalizations: I had no idea that EVERY SINGLE MUSLIM was out to kill others because they don’t practice Islam. Fascinating.

The first thing to note are the numerous insults hurled at me as if this is actually a form of argumentation. My experience has shown to me that when someone resorts to ad hominem attack, it usually means they have no cogent reply to your argument.

Second is the equivocal use of the word "tolerance." Tolerance, isn't a worldview, it's a verb — "I tolerate you." It can also be used to express an attitude (e.g., "an attitude of tolerance"). As such, to say that "tolerance is to be considered superior to other worldviews" makes no real sense. Where the equivocation comes in is that for me (as a Christian) to say that Christianity is the only correct worldview somehow makes me "intolerant." That, Gavin, is a non sequitur — it does not follow. As a Christian, I can tolerate the worldview of a Muslim, but that doesn't mean I cannot disagree with him and believe his worldview to be factually wrong and morally bankrupt. However, in today's parlance, tolerance is really just another way of saying "truth is relative" and "all worldviews are equally valid." Sorry, Gavin, but that is simply not true, nor is it a mature statement to make.

Thirdly, I need to correct a factual error on Gavin's part. Nowhere in my blog did I say, either explicitly or implicitly, that "every single Muslim was out to kill others because they don't practice Islam." This is what happens when you're not really interested in thoughtfully engaging in discussion with someone who disagrees with your point of view. All Gavin is interested in is propping up straw man arguments and knocking them down.

For the record, here is what I wrote: "Islam seeks the radical conversion of all 'infidels' (i.e., non-Muslims) and is willing to do so by threat of violence." How one goes from that factual statement (can one seriously dispute this as fact?) to "every single Muslim wants to kill others because they don't practice Islam" is a monumental leap in logic.

Gavin continues…

He argues that tolerance is impossible to acheive (sic), and then tries to justify his own intolerance because he believes he is the only one who knows The Truth.

I nowhere argued that tolerance is "impossible." My exact words were: "The irreconcilable differences of these worldviews makes coexistence difficult without a corresponding change in worldview." Apparently to Gavin, "difficult" equals "impossible." Yet, employing logic and reasoning, it is quite clear that when worldviews collide, you have only one of two outcomes possible: 1) Either the two worldviews "agree to disagree" and "tolerate" each other (in the true sense of the word); or 2) One worldview acquiesces to the other (either peaceably or violently). However, what Gavin and the "COEXIST" crowd are doing is implicitly employing the second of the two outcomes listed above. "COEXIST" wants everyone to acquiesce to their tolerant (in the wrong sense of the word), relativistic worldview in which no one has a monopoly on the truth and all worldviews are equally valid (except "COEXIST" which is the only true and valid worldview).

As far as justifying my "own intolerance" by claiming I am the only one "who knows the truth," nothing could be further from the truth. Again, nowhere do I assert that I, and I alone, know the truth. I do claim the Christian worldview is the only true worldview which makes sense of life "under the sun." But, again, for Gavin, this must mean that I alone possess the truth. I suppose to claim that the Christian worldview is the only true worldview can be seen as "intolerant." But truth, by necessity, is intolerant! It is intolerant in the sense that truth does not allow for falsehood or error. For example, 2+2=4 is true (even for Gavin); therefore 2+2=5 cannot be "tolerated." Christianity is true, therefore any non-Christian worldview must, by necessity, be seen as false. This is simple logic. You can disagree with the premise (i.e., that Christianity is true), but you cannot argue the conclusion.

Now, just because I believe Christianity to be the only true worldview doesn't mean I am intolerant toward other worldviews. People are free to believe error if they so choose, I do not begrudge them that prerogative. But I will not tolerate the view that states that all views are equally valid. That's just plain lunacy! If you believe that, then let's implement Sharia Law here in the United States and see what happens.

But wait, there's more…

I believe that we absolutely could, as a species, live in peace. We could do it. What is standing in the way? Idiots like this. People that refuse to give others respect, and refuse to educate themselves about other religions. (No wonder this guy thinks we can’t have peace: he thinks all Muslims are terrorists!) This guy is saying that all other worldviews are “deviations” of his religion. Therefore it’s “okay” for him be intolerant, I guess. Just .. no. Until we drop this whole “I’m better than you are, nyah nyah” kind of childishness, we will continue to have wars and kill each other. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ironically enough, he shares the same view as those dreaded terrorists, who believe that their faith is the only correct one.

Here is where Gavin has a little disconnect with reality. Apparently, Gavin is under the impression we could eventually achieve "peace in our day." If only irritating, little miscreants like myself would just shrivel up and go away…

Gavin, I would like to ask you a question or two. First, do you think religion is the cause of most wars and conflicts? Second, do you believe if we could somehow discard all religious tension that would lead to peace? For the sake of full disclosure, I will provide my answers to these questions: No and no. In regards to the first question, religion is the reason most people give to many conflicts, but is not the cause of the conflicts. In regards to the second question, most global conflicts of the 20th century were committed in the name of atheism (Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, Communist China, Communist Cambodia, Communist Cuba, etc.).

The point I make with all this is that Gavin's worldview cannot account for the history of human atrocities. No amount of indoctrination or education or political correctness or tolerance will prevent people from killing people on large scales. In fact, I defy Gavin to refute the following claim: There has probably not been a single 24 hour period in the last several centuries (I don't care how far back you want to go) where there wasn't some conflict somewhere on the globe. World peace is a mirage!

That doesn't mean we shouldn't pursue peace. What it means is we should pursue peace with our feet firmly planted on terra firma! The reason we don't have world peace (and the reason we will never fully achieve world peace) is because man, in his heart of hearts, is a sinner in need of redemption. The bible says "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?" (James 4:1). Our desires are sinful and wicked due to the fall of man back in Genesis, and only by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ will our desires be changed and renewed (2 Corinthians 5:17). The Christian worldview adequately explains the situation in the world, Gavin's does not.

The rest of Gavin's response is just more insult laden comments that somehow speak to his "tolerance," so I will not bore you with them.

Gavin, the offer is extended to you if you want to discuss these things in a more polite and civil manner, without invective and ad hominem. Until then, if you want to be taken seriously, you should take others seriously. Your claim to be tolerant is betrayed by your completely intolerant tirade.

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