Archive for January, 2011

Words Of Wisdom, From A Woman To All Of Us

Friday, January 28th, 2011

From Christians for Biblical Equality’s Arise e-zine, January 28, 2011:

“The South Andhra Lutheran Church in India ordained its first women pastors on January 12, 2011. Rev. Nelavala Gnana Prasuna, one of four women who were ordained, described her ordination as a “celebration of liberation, inclusion, reconciliation, and equal opportunity.” Expressing the conviction that the church would grow as a result of women’s ordination, she reminded women in ministry “not to divide but to unite, not to exclude but to include, and not to rule but to nurture.”

Somehow, I can’t imagine Rev. Prasuna ever inciting her flock to “resist the tyranny” of politics that she disagrees with, nor would she ever, I think, portray her government and its leaders as enemies, usurpers, and shadowy figures worthy of their prayerful contempt. May God expand her circle of influence as she lovingly exercises her gifts in the true power of the Spirit, and not in the false power of combative and divisive rhetoric. The former is not the provenance only of women, but, sadly, the latter appears to be the near-exclusive domain of men.

My prayer is that those masculinist men who would question Prasuna’s ordination would shift their focus from denying her gifts to following her example, for the good and Godly edification of the Body of Christ.

Back From Seattle, And Missing The Kitten

Friday, January 28th, 2011

I spent much of the last week in the Seattle area, visiting my son as he slogs through a heavy schedule of student teaching in the district he grew up in, in the town I ministered in the first 12 years of his life.

It was a surprise for him on his birthday, and my sudden appearance at the birthday party my wonderful mother-in-law held for him just about blew him away. I gilded the lily of his shock by presenting him with an 8-week-old kitten the next night, which delighted him beyond what the average 22-year-old can utter. And don’t worry — Anthony had wanted a kitten, but hadn’t had time to go out and find one. I’m not sure, frankly, that he even has time to find his socks, but he’s thrilled to have a little buddy to come home to after a full day of grading papers and herding the high school’s debate team through its steps. I got to see his girlfriend, whose family I worked with years ago, and wasn’t at all surprised to see that she’s become such a bright, motivated, and thoroughly lovely young lady — a college graduate preparing for grad school and the attainment of her MBA, and not at all interested in spending the next couple of years pining for my son or any other man.

There is no greater blessing, really, for the Christian mom than to see her son growing up to be a gentle man of integrity and virtue, intelligence and vitality. My younger son is preparing to move out, and he will do just as well as his brother. My sons are using their God-given minds and exercising their Spirit-driven hearts, and I am a woman truly blessed.

And a woman behind her keyboard once again . . .

Paul Krugman On Talk Of "Tyranny" And "Resistance"

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

“Citizens of other democracies may marvel at the American psyche, at the way efforts by mildly liberal presidents to expand health coverage are met with cries of tyranny and talk of armed resistance. Still, that’s what happens whenever a Democrat occupies the White House, and there’s a market for anyone willing to stoke that anger.”

Economist Paul Krugman, New York Times, Jan. 15, 2011

It’s hard not to think of Douglas Wilson and his bandying-about of terms like “tyranny” in defining Barack Obama’s presidency and “resistance” in describing the Christian man’s “Biblically-mandated” response to it. Wilson doesn’t, of course, make ARMED resistance a necessary part of that mandate. Shamefully, though, he doesn’t forbid it — an omission that, in the superheated, angry, reckless political climate of today, and with the perpetually-aggrieved, heavily-armed, ill-informed subculture evident among his followers, is inexcusable.

I often disagree with Krugman. Here, though, I think he hits the nail on the head, both in describing the tepid, barely left-of-center politics of Barack Obama and the inflammatory, utterly-beyond-prudent posturing of a man whose classical Christian pedagogy has left him unable to grasp the difference between true tyranny and mere politics merely not to his liking.

“God loves a cheerful warrior,” Wilson writes. I think, however, that what God really loves is when men who speak in His name, after whipping up the war band, make it clear that bullets have no place in the battle. That Moscow’s Bishop of Belligerence fails to do that makes his a tyranny of enormous magnitude: The tyranny of cooperation with evil, as sinful when wrought in recklessness as it is when carefully molded by the steely embrace of bitter, bigoted flesh.

May his repentance come quickly.

A Critic’s Take On The Empty Life I Live

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Below is a comment I received earlier today from a gentleman I’ve engaged with over the last eight or nine years via the Internet but never have actually met. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t consider that an enormously significant loss in his life, and I’m not devastated that we’re still strangers, either. But Mama always said you oughta know someone personally before you judge their life to be pretty much empty and pointless. I think it was her Southern upbringing.

Anyway, this is what I got from Wilsonian pit-bull and gadfly most gallant, Doug Farris. My response to him follows. I’ve always said that I’m not afraid to reveal or endure my knocks in public, and it would be hard to imagine a more all-encompassing hit than the suggestion that I live a life of, if not quiet desperation, then at least quaintly irrelevant dissipation.

From Doug, responding to my post thanking God for President Obama’s words at the memorial for the victims of last week’s shootings in Tucson; you might remember that I said I was “sad” that my lauding Obama would be received with derision by the majority of my readers:

“Keely,

I’m sorry you feel sad. I’m sad too. I’m sad because the other 16,000 7-11 clerks, doctors, construction workers and Korean gas station attendants that were murdered this past year didn’t get a visit from our pastor-in-chief; they didn’t get a place in a wall or a flag set at half mast. They only had family members, friends, and customers mourn and pray for them.

What else makes me sad is that you haven’t found something else to do with your life but posit (sic) your comments here and other places around the hood these past many years.

How sad indeed!

January 15, 2011 11:23 AM, by heirdoug, Doug Farris”

My reply:

Gee, Doug, it’s so nice to hear from you . . . You are, of course, always welcome to post comments to Prevailing Winds, a courtesy I extend to my critics and one that is not, oddly enough, extended to me by certain of your pals who have been the objects of my criticism. Nonetheless, your weary observation on what you see as the vacuity of my life is — how to put it? — most unwelcome, more than a little amusing, and entirely without use to me.

But before I get to that, I wonder if I could presume on any shred of integrity yet dangling from your heart and propose something:

Let’s be honest, shall we, and acknowledge that Obama would have, and rightly, in my view, been excoriated by both the press and the people if he had not attended the memorial in Tucson. Let’s acknowledge further that no one expects the President to be Pastor-in-Chief, nor to devote himself to attending funerals and thus eliminate his ability to do anything else of substance during his term. Let’s agree, you and I, that we ought to grant him the presumption of benevolent motivation, a judgment of charity rightly extended to others around us and in the public eye. I believe that such “charity of judgment” is important to you, isn’t it?

And then let’s acknowledge together that you loathe the man and likely would criticize him for the type of blade with which he shaved the morning of the memorial, so profound is your disrespect for him, his wife, his presidency, and, it appears, his very presence in our world.

Further, let’s be clear, Doug, in agreeing that over the years of our correspondence via the Internet, you and I have never met and, unless I’m mistaken, have never even conversed with each other by phone. If I have ever lain eyes on you, I haven’t known it; if you’ve seen me, it’s only because someone’s pointed me out, and if so, you chose not to take the opportunity to introduce yourself.

That would lead both of us to conclude that your judgment that I “haven’t found something else to do with my life but posit (sic) (my) comments here and around the hood these past many years,” which you find “sad, indeed,” is breathtakingly arrogant and unkind on your part. I’m neither surprised nor offended, mind you, but merely perplexed that someone who doesn’t know me would so readily reveal his lack of perspicacity and civility in commenting on how I choose to spend my time, conduct my affairs, or order my life. I receive comments and criticisms from strangers all the time — but I tend to favor the perspective, when discussing the vast prairie of meaninglessness my life has become, of someone who’s actually met me and been a part of it.

Were it from someone else, I would be taken aback and would give it due consideration; coming from you, brother, it simply confirms that even though you are geographically removed from the Kirk, you are no less cut from the same manly mold as your elders. That that mold produces a character so unlike that of Christ Jesus is, evidently, an obstacle neither to you nor to your leaders.

How sad, indeed.

Please be assured, in all affection and truth, that the day your assessment of my life matters even a whit to me, I’ll conclude that something of unprecedented, incalculable, and extraordinary transformation in my character or yours has taken place. Should that transformation be evidenced in your life, I would be more than interested in receiving and exploring the merits of your rebuke.

Until then, though, I find that it would take far too much from my terribly busy day to give your verdict on my life any particular thought at all — only enough consideration, really, to offer a quick prayer for the kind of change in your heart that would make your criticism of me something worthwhile, necessary, or desirable for me to ponder. I am, at times, surely deserving of criticism — but when the Spirit convicts, I think it’ll sound a bit more like the LORD and a lot less like a stranger tripping on his own carelessly-wielded serrated edge.

So, Doug, it might be better to comment on things you know about than on that which you don’t. I generally find that to be a good starting point. Wanna give it a try? What, exactly, did you find so off-putting about Obama’s speech?

Or can I buy you and your wife a cup of coffee next time you’re in town?

Keely

The President’s Memorial Speech In Tucson

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

I thought President Obama did a remarkable job speaking at the memorial service for the shooting victims in Tucson. He was wise, prudent, ministering, hopeful, and passionate. I believe he was tonight God’s man for the task at hand, and it’s to God that I offer my thanks not only for his calm and healing words, but for his presidency as well.

His service is not a tyranny to be resisted, he’s not a shadowy, evil usurper to the office he fills, and his election is not sign of High Evil overtaking the land. That these sentiments provoke such derision among so many of you — not mere disagreement, but rank derision against the President himself and mocking derision against me for believing as I do — is very sad to me.

Really? Am I Just Like Wilson?

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

As you likely know by now, I generally don’t publish anonymous comments, and I certainly don’t respect those who write them even when I do. Other than giving to the poor, nothing I do is anonymous — if I think something needs to be said or done, then I’ll say or do it, and if I feel the need to comment on something, I feel a corresponding need to make sure it’s known that it is, indeed, Keely Emerine-Mix who is making the point. I think integrity requires that, not breathtaking courtesy.

Many of the comments I make are in public. I can’t think of a circumstance under which posting a comment to Prevailing Winds is so dicey, so fraught with risk, so likely to diminish the comment-maker’s standing, security, or social functioning, that it must be made anonymously. I have to conclude, therefore, that those who hide behind either anonymity or noms de plum are merely lacking in courage. This is more than a little ironic, given that most of my opponents are men, male supremacists, and masculinists who presume to claim courage as a primary trait of Real Men. Either that, or they attend a local congregation that requires of them a loyalty oath and restricts them with an unbelievable, and certainly ungodly, amount of de jure control.

No, I don’t like anonymous comments, not one little bit. But you knew that.

Nevertheless, I’m printing the one below, received just a day ago, because there are a couple of points I need to answer, and my response to a critic makes little sense if you don’t know what the content of his or her criticism was. If I were a betting woman, I’d wager that most of my readers agree with my valorous correspondent, which is all the more reason to answer what it is he or she says to me.

“Now that the facts about the killer are in, specifically that he is an atheist with a history of mental illness, no connections to the right (religious or otherwise) and a personal vendetta (dating back to 2007!) against Ms. Giffords (may our prayers be with her), I think a little bit of introspection on your part might be in order.

How, exactly, do your criticisms of Mr. Wilson’s contributions to the tone differ from his comments? I noticed that you didn’t specifically renounce violence against him, what makes you so different?”

Well, I’ve already made clear that my initial speculation that the shooter was someone who identified at least tangentially with Christianity was wrong, but since Brave Correspondent seems to have missed that, I’ll say it again: I thought the gunman would be someone who claimed the Christian faith, even if his beliefs, and certainly his actions, were not claimed by the Church itself. That isn’t the case, and I’m very glad to be wrong on that one.

I didn’t speculate that he was mentally ill, and while he pretty obviously is, his illness — his full recovery and restoration from which, by the way, I pray fervently — doesn’t erase other factors as motivation or provocation for the violence unleashed in Tucson. Further, analysts and commentators much wiser than I believe that his rambling screeds against the federal government, the monetary system it employs, the lack of a gold standard for currency, and the notion of obeying the law of the land are things most often heard from the extreme Right. Beyond that, I pointed out that I don’t equate mainstream conservatism with either the Tea Party, which I believe is entirely detrimental to this nation, or other more fringe-Right movements. It’s hard for me to imagine how to be more understood without adopting a tone that, while clear, would be tedious and more than a little condescending (which means “talking down to,” and by which I’m illustrating my point).

Brave Correspondent believes that Loughner’s “personal vendetta” against Congresswoman Giffords, and not the fact that she was his congressional representative, motivated him to target her. What, I’d ask, would a stranger’s “personal vendetta” against a member of Congress stem from other than the plain fact that she was part of the government he believed was controlling minds, mishandling currency, contributing to both illiteracy and misuse of vocabulary and grammar, and a representative of the “federalists” he and others needn’t obey? Had she cut him off in traffic? Did her dog poop on his lawn? Or did this profoundly ill young man respond badly to a toxic political environment that demonizes government and dehumanizes those who are a part of it — regardless of his own personal politics, even though themes of his ramblings tend to echo some of the weird-Right rhetoric in a media-saturated nation.

The picture that emerges of Jared Lee Loughner is not of a Timothy McVeigh-like conscious, and consciously evil, soldier of the Right. He is, rather, a young man attracted to some of the stranger thoughts from that end of the spectrum who, I truly believe, had become mentally ill in an environment that carelessly jokes about assassinations and violence — one that trades easily in paranoia, bigotry, distortion, division, suspicion, and conspiracy as it careens through the media and burns a path through the electorate. I cannot apologize for continuing to believe that that dangerous and ugly rhetoric is largely — not solely, but largely — blasting from one side of the political spectrum. If the gunman’s illness of mind contributed more to his actions than his political allegiance of heart, he nonetheless did literally what far too many on the Right suggest figuratively, metaphorically, and recklessly. Witness Tea Party poster woman Sharron Angle’s speculation that it might be time for Americans to re-examine the use of firearms, as she says is guaranteed by the Second Amendment, to bring about revolution.

To put it another way, Jared Lee Loughner was sitting on a powder keg and giving off sparks. If his mental state gave off the sparks, it seems to me clear that any voice that dehumanizes and demonizes public servants, our government, and their political opponents provided the powder keg on which he perched. Those voices and images, from the Left or the Right, helped set the stage. But across the nation, and certainly in Moscow, it is more likely that those voices and images find their home on a particular side of the spectrum. That it’s the side that most commonly claims to follow and represent Christ Jesus is an unspeakable tragedy, and it’s beyond me why Christ’s people on the Right would rather criticize their brethren on the Left for the rebuke instead of honestly examining whence comes this curious tendency to use violent imagery to make political points, or ghastly humor to diminish those who disagree with them.

The Tucson Massacre And My Response To Wilson

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

I mentioned in the previous post that I had heard directly from Douglas Wilson, who says in his initial email and its follow-up that I “badly handled” the situation in Tucson by saying that people like him and Courtney bore some responsibility for the carnage yesterday. I don’t have Wilson’s permission to reprint his email, but here’s my response to his contention that I “badly handled” things with what he calls my “slander” of him and his fellow Christ Church elder:

(KEM to Douglas Wilson, private correspondence, Jan. 8, 2011):
And do you believe that your 10-point “Resistance To Tyranny” which, in this violent and volatile political climate, included not one word of caution regarding violence against its subject, your President, was badly handled?

Do you believe that you and Dale have “badly handled” discussion of a man whose Psalm- and cartoon-predicted assassination and whose race, death and birth have been the focus of much of yours and Dale’s rhetorical spew, and sometimes humor, in the last couple of years? Was your posting of an obviously re-issued birth certificate of Obama’s — the same re-issued, not original, birth certificate you and I and every Little Leaguer in the country has to produce — with dark commentary that it was pretty clearly, you know, suspicious-looking, at all badly handled? Did you contribute light and salt, peace and truth, to the racist and ugly discussion surrounding Obama’s citizenship?

Regarding those you dislike and see as enemies, and for whose harm you pray, have you contributed anything at all to their well-being? Or are you content simply to veer between insult, malice, and mockery and calls for “resistance” against the supposed “tyranny” of those you find odious and suspicious? The weapons of your personal warfare, Doug, may not be guns and knives — but I don’t see evidence in your public ministry that those weapons you employ are of the Spirit, either. Frankly, your words are toxic and the manner in which you employ them reckless. If you presume that your positive words will bear fruit, do you not see that your uglier, more malicious ones will, too? Jared Lee Loughner likely has never listened to you. But he obviously listened to those who poisoned his mind and provoked his wrath, and, lamentably, many hundreds of people do listen to you. I shudder to think that there’s a Loughner somewhere in whose heart your words bear horrible fruit.

Does nothing give you pause? Do you ever reflect on your tone? More to the point, do you ever intend to begin to behave as a minister of the Gospel?

“Tyranny” and “resistance” are examples of the kind of language spoken by Christians across the nation that inflames unstable and armed people like Loughner, and Dale’s hideous taste in anti-Obama humor makes, in the minds of those who listen to you, hatred of the President and other of your targets less than sinful, perhaps even indicative of the virtue of the serrated edge. (Note: Wilson’s book “The Serrated Edge” is a diminutive tome on the importance of the Christian’s use of cutting sarcasm, mocking irony, and scathing wit in debating one’s enemies, of whom there are, in Wilson world, a distressingly stark number). I’m sure you noticed that I absolved you of accountability for what this man did. What I said, and what I mean, is that you and every other mocker, hater, inciter, and provocateur bear responsibility for the dangerous climate engulfing us now. That you speak as you do in the name of Christ is horrifying to me.

Here’s something else you should know: I have prayed endlessly and mightily, for as long as I’ve known of you, for yours and Dale’s repentance, and I’ve prayed now for the shooter in this tragedy. I do not want him to be sentenced to death, and I will pray that even though he did something despicable, he, too, would be touched by the grace that you and I receive in Christ Jesus — unto salvation, and unto healing and restoration. It grieves me beyond what I can tell you that I feel the need to pray the same result for you and those who mimic and follow you.

As always, I am more than willing to sit down and talk to you. I won’t, however, stop holding you to the standard appropriate for a minister of the Gospel. I hold myself to that same standard, and if the Holy Spirit of Christ convicts me that I’ve sinned in what I said, you can be assured that I’ll publicly, personally, and promptly apologize and repent. Until then, I stand by my words.

And Why Do I Believe They Bear Some Responsibility?

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Again, an amalgam of follow-up posts of mine on yesterday’s Vision 2020:

I hold Wilson, Courtney, et al, responsible (do I have to say “and not accountable” again???) because, as ministers of the Gospel — Courtney has been an elder in Christ Church and is a visible evangelical spokesman in Idaho conservative/Libertarian politics, and I believe you all know Douglas Wilson — they have failed in their mission to preach and model peace, truth, justice, and basic kindness in their public pronouncements. Worse, they have fanned the flames of a tinderbox-volatile sociopolitical, religiocultural climate, often with astonishing glee and carelessness, and are committed, judging from their own works, to calling simple political disagreement “tyranny” that must be resisted by all Christian men.

I neglected to mention that the alleged gunman’s video on You Tube — which, again, does not indicate that he is, as I first speculated, acting in the name of Christ — nevertheless echoes the same paranoid, angry, irrational anti-government stuff that Wilson, Courtney, and all of their ilk are as famous for as they are for their status as Christian ministers. While he was evidently a lone wolf, or so it appears, he was, as Wilson would say, eagerly suckling at the teat of vicious right-wing extremism of the kind they promote.

(Offended by my use of such frank mammarial language? Look up Wilson’s take on those in his congregation who might be tempted to join others in availing themselves of any social services — food stamps, WIC, even Social Security. Those who do so, even in time of great need, he terms “piglets” suckling at the teat of the Federal government. I don’t speak in a vacuum here, and that seems to me to be unreasonably judgmental and cruel).

Anyway, it’s astonishing to me that CNN and others have concluded that Jared Loughner’s shooting of Giffords and others wasn’t political. Read his You Tube posts. He talks about a lot of things, most of which make little sense, but he’s clearly fixated on treason, the supposed illiteracy of the heavily Latino congressional district Giffords represents, government, currency standards, and “federalist laws” that, it turns out, we don’t have to obey.

The fact that he’s pretty clearly not sane doesn’t mitigate what appears to be an entirely political “statement” of Loughner’s in shooting the 18. And that’s what makes the rhetoric from the far Right so dangerous — those who are unhinged need little provocation to go on a rampage, and those who call themselves Christians should be the last people to provide them such provocation with inflammatory, abusive, and reckless words and actions, whether they are speaking from the left or the right, or condemning either side of the spectrum. But the stark reality is that the ugliest political rhetoric of our day comes from the Right, and comes particularly from the Tea Party/Libertarian and putatively Christian Right, and that’s an offense to the Gospel and a danger to our republic.

In the interest of transparency, I want to say that I’ve heard indirectly from Dale Courtney and directly from Douglas Wilson, both of whom, not surprisingly, take umbrage at my characterization that people like them bear some responsibility for things like the politically motivated shootings in Tucson. You can look on Dale’s blog, and I won’t post Wilson’s emails to me without his permission, but when I take my hits for something I’ve said or done in public, I am not afraid to acknowledge those hits in public. But let’s be clear.

I did not say that Douglas Wilson and Dale Courtney shot anyone.

I did not say they are accountable for the actions of the man who did.

I did not say they are guilty in the same way the shooter is, and I didn’t say they specifically, personally encouraged him to do it.

What I said was that people who say the kinds of things these two prominent local Christians have said, and say them in the ugly and intolerant, public way they’ve said them, are responsible for the climate that helps tip unstable, paranoid anti-government types over the edge. That doesn’t seem too difficult to comprehend, and certainly wouldn’t seem to be too difficult for these two men of chest to bear. Frankly, if Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has concluded that the atmosphere of hatred and abuse swamping the country these days has incubated actions like the shootings today, it hardly seems odd that those of us who live in a place where our neighbors contribute so nakedly to that atmosphere would remark on their culpability for it.

The Massacre In My Hometown

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Yesterday was one of the most difficult days I’ve ever experienced, as I took in the news of the horrific shooting in Tucson, Arizona, where I lived the first 22 years of my life, and where my family still lives. You’ll understand, I’m sure, why this is so intensely personal to me as you read further.

What I’ve posted below is from my writing on Moscow’s Vision2020. While I stand corrected that the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, is a “Christian” terrorist — and I’m glad for it — I stand by the comments toward the end. I would ask you to read them carefully and prayerfully, considering the truth behind what I’ve said. A search of the men’s blogs will easily reveal the examples that I found yesterday to be so vile. Subsequent posts, because transparency is important to me, will be chronologically from my correspondence on Vision, from which the following is taken in its entirety:

I’m in shock, and frankly inconsolable. CNN reports that they can’t confirm her death, nor that of the federal judge with her, as has been reported. Also, there are reports of 18 shot, not 13.

On a personal level, and to explain why I’m inconsolable, Gabrielle was a dear friend of my father’s, and he acted as an unofficial advisor to her — someone who, if he were alive, would undoubtedly have been there with her. That’s jarring. But she’s an acquaintance of my mother’s, and my mother, a 50-year Tucson resident active in politics that entire time, knows most of her staff, as well as all of the federal judges in the area. I’m afraid she’s in for some tremendous loss. All of us are, but I’m sure you’ll forgive me if I’m taking this extraordinarily personal. Gabrielle’s staff was at my father’s funeral in February 2009; she was meeting with Obama at the same time, but her condolences were for a man she admired tremendously and whose wisdom, and friendship, she availed herself of regularly. I’m glad Dad isn’t here to see this.

But it’s also personal because the shooter is likely someone who claims Christ as Savior, who believes the radical, Tea Party fringe represents the best promise of the Gospel and the best hope of America, and who stands for everything I hate in the name of Jesus Christ. I have fought against bigotry for my entire adult life, and particularly here in Moscow against those vicious and craven bigots who promote hatred and division in the name of the One to whom I’ve pledged my life. Remember Dale Courtney’s hideous “Obama assassination” joke after the Inauguration, or his “Obama Psalm” stunt a few months ago. Remember Wilson’s ten-point guide to resisting “Obama tyranny,” a vile screed that not once cautioned those who read it to refrain from violence — or even any display of personal hatred for the man. And I will remember what most of you don’t know, and that’s the few, but real, behind-the-scenes and off-record threatening, ugly, malicious and jolting comments I’ve received as a result of my speaking out and writing against Wilsonian and Tea Party bigotry. I’m not anyone of any consequence or importance, such that I have reason to be afraid; I don’t hold myself as anyone significant enough to be concerned, really, and this certainly isn’t about me. But I swear that, personal grief and horror aside, I will never back down from fighting against those elements in this country and in this county who act in hate and encourage malice, and there isn’t anything on this earth that will keep me quiet in the face of this false, horrific gospel of filth perpetrated in the name of Christ.

And yeah, I hold people like Courtney and Wilson responsible — not accountable, but responsible — for this and all other acts of terror whose increase, I’m afraid, is assured in the climate they encourage, revel in, and profit from. No way in hell will I ever stop fighting them. It won’t be on Vision, but it will be there.