17 June 2009

On the eve of General Convention a Prediction

A few interesting items have crossed my view making me think about ‘my side’ of some arguments now excessively current in both the society and my church.

Liberals tend to believe that the opposite of liberal is uneducated. This idea sees expression in the concentration of lefties in public education, the comments one reads by liberals about conservatives, and such amusing ideas as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Indaba and “kept them at the table” policy. “If only they understood and were educated {like I am} they would agree” is what, in one variant or another, one hears. One of the ultimate words of condemnation on the part of a liberal speaking about a conservative is: ignorant.

Conservatives perceive liberals think them stupid. Now stupid and ignorant are not exactly the same thing. But the conservative knows he knows what the liberal is saying. But for whatever reason, the conservative comes to different conclusions. So clearly (he thinks) when the liberal says ‘ignorant’ or ‘uneducated’ he must mean ‘stupid.’

This misassumption problem finds all sorts of unfortunate expression.

The archbishop foists Indaba on the church because if only we talk long enough the conservatives will finally ‘get it.’ Oh that is not the rhetoric; the official version is that we are ‘seeking common ground.’ But no one believes it. What is really going on is that the liberals are out to raise the conservatives to their level of understanding. Yes the liberal view is every bit as arrogant as it sounds.

One might when it is stated baldly, begin to understand why conservatives translate Indaba as, "liberals and conservatives talk forever while liberals take over all the authority and do whatever they want." One might also come to understand why people with legitimate university credentials are insulted.

If and it is, the great failure of conservative thought is beginning with the conclusion, the great failure of the liberal thought is the assumption that the processes and conclusions are inescapable.

So we have the interminable efforts on the left to get the conservatives to ‘understand.’ And we have the evolution of the conspiracy theory. Sometimes the link is amazingly clear. To wit:

The Anglican Consultative Council has received a substantial grant from the Satcher Institute to extend the “Indaba” into a “listening process.” Liberals see this as a good idea, "after all if we are still talking" (we say to any and all) "there is still opportunity for understanding." Conservatives see a conspiracy. They know the object is to educate them into liberals so they start looking for the conspirators. And they “find” them.

They trace various people in the organizational structures of the grant, and find some whose past conduct or statements they consider outrageous. Clearly, those people taint the money and their presence explains what is ‘really going on.’ Actually, what is going on is the liberal assumption – educate them and they will reach our clearly inescapable conclusions. It is really that simple but that does not make a good conspiracy. So of course, the conspiracy theorist finds other things, indoctrination, false information and lulling before the ‘strike’ are favorites.

It is likely that not much will come from the listening process or the general convention. Conservatives will continue to talk about ‘clarity’ while the liberals will continue to educate. Neither side will actually listen: nothing will be resolved.

FWIW

34 comments:

plsdeacon said...

Jim,

The conservatives do not have a lock on conspiracy theories. (Can you say "chicken dinners" and "Lambeth?")

I think that the problem is even more fundamental that that. I believe that conservatives and progressives have different anthropologies, different soteriologies, and different ecclesiologies. For brevity, I will simply discuss the anthropological differences.

Conservatives tend to think of people as basically bad (often with good intentions). We may have been created "good" but we are now "twisted" men and women. Conservatives' problem in this area is that we tend toward cynicism.

Progressives tend to think of people as basically good. The progressives' problem in this area is a tendency to be nieve. Thus, we see too many liberal government programs with too much room for fraud and waste (can you say CMS?).

If you start out with the idea that mankind is twisted, then you are likely to think of our natural state as "evil" or "fallen" and, thus, not blessed. If you start out with the idea that mankind is basically good, then you tend to think that our natural state is "good" and "blessed."

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

Jim said...

Phil,

I think 'chicken dinners at Lambeth' speaks to the liberal arrogance. We know that any educated person would think our way (especially true of Jack +Spong who gave us the chicken dinner theory) so absent agreement with our clearly brilliant ideas, (there are after all brilliant -- see how many books we write!) we move to ignorance and gullibility.

I will concede that we have our 'vast right wing' conspiracies too. But I suspect an hour (or more if you can stand it) looking at secularly racist web sites will convince anyone that conspiracy theories arise of anger at being taken for idiots as much as any other cause.

I am not criticizing conservatives here --- far from it! I am expecting to take some heat from my fellow progressive / liberal friends who don't like to hear they are seen as amazingly arrogant by many. They do not want to hear it they just want you Texans to 'get it.'

;;sigh;;

FWIW
jimB

plsdeacon said...

Jim, Jim, Jim.

If you are going to try to speak to a Texan (adopted), then try to spell it correctly.

It is spelled "git it." That "get" stuff is for arrogant liberals (grin)

It seems that we all have our "besetting" vices regarding how we see the others.

Progressives tend to see conservatives as ignorant or stupid. Conservatives tend to see liberals as willfully arrogant.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

RonF said...

The archbishop foists Indaba on the church because if only we talk long enough the conservatives will finally ‘get it.’

This is why we keep hearing about "listening" from the liberal side. They represent that their story has not been heard - which may have been true at one time but certainly no longer is - and they figure that the truth of what they say is so self-evident that if you listen but do not accept, then you either a) haven't really heard them or b) are wilfully being bigoted, etc.

This, I think, is what really bothers conservatives - the underlying presumption that there is really no validity to their viewpoint. I note that "listening" seems to be a one-way process. Conservatives find that their message is suppressed or ignored.

RonF said...

That, plus the insistence of holding conservatives to the letter of the Canons that they object to (e.g., the "Dennis Canon") while ignoring those that they wish to ignore, such as the one that requires that only baptized Christians may be given Communion or that marriage is only for a male/female couple. Conservatvie insistence that the acts of General Convention be observed are met with charges of Pharaseeism. Liberal acts that violate acts of General Convention are justified on the basis of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Questions of how they know it is the HOLY Spirit that inspired them are ignored or met with incredulity that any gathering of Chrisitans - especially liberal Christians - could possibly be insprired by anything but the Holy Spirit. Such consideration is not granted to gatherings of conservative Christians. The Article of Religion that noted that councils of the church can err was conveniently disposed of.

Jim said...

Phil,

Confronted by a Texan and a deacon what can I do? I shall adopt "git it" although it may cost me invites to some wine and cheese parties. ;-)

What troubles me most about this is that it goes to how one might resolve the current problem. Dr. Williams's approach wont work. It is indeed liberal arrogance, coupled with a good deal of bullying. About the only thing he seems to achieve is a steadily diminishing set of supporters and friends. To the (troubling to a liberal guy -- disturbing) degree the Presiding Bishop seems intent on replicating his failures.

;;sigh;;

FWIW
jimB

Jim said...

Ron,

For the record, where I pray and everywhere I know of in Chicago, the standard is that the church welcomes all baptized believers to commune. Nothing else has ever come to these liberal ears. I am sure I could miss something but I know for sure that this was Bp. Purcell's standard and as far as I know Bp. Lee has not changed it.

I know of blessed civil unions within the community but no marriage canon changes.

And the Dennis canon is canon. No one has to stay Episcopal. They can leave anytime albeit I hope they wont. Just leave the keys under the mat.

I know a number of folks out in West Chicago including the rector. When they decided to leave, that is what they did. Bp. Purcell about begged them not to and did in fact wish them well in their new home.

Do you know the Soviet era proverb about truth? It may apply now to virtue.

FWIW
jimB

Jim said...

Oh, Ron, I should say welcome! Glad to read that you have dropped by and commented.

FWIW
jimB

plsdeacon said...

Jim,

I expand on my anthropology comment a bit at the Deacon's Slant.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

Phil Snider said...

You know, as a moderate conservative, I don't actually have a problem with the Indaba process, even though I very much concede your comments on the conflicting aims of conservatives and liberals entering into it. Yes, liberals are trying to 'educate' conservatives out of their views. Yes, conservatives are trying to 'clarify' liberals into a corner. That goes almost without saying.

What I like about the Indaba process is that it implicitly concedes something that we all know is true, but we're not willing to say. There is no consensus and we're at an impasse. The only way to break it is to re-jig the battle lines and force us to actually engage each other as people in the hopes that we'll humanize the issue for a change and start dealing with each other as fellow Christians rather than ideological position. If there is any hope to dig ourselves out of this morass, we have to change what we're doing. Whatever virtues or vices the Indaba process has, it does change things up a bit. Maybe, it will jog something. Or not. If nothing else, it is an attempt to find where the Holy Spirit in this. Will it work? I don't know, but it is worth a try.

Peace,
Phil

P.S. You do know that I use your third rule for your comments in my blurb on avoiding jargon in essay writing for my Grade 12 students.

Jim said...

Phil,

I had no idea you used my direction. Thanks for letting me know!

I do not actually hate Indaba. I do understand why conservatives here do.

Are you familiar with my country's sad and violent history over what we call "Roe v Wade?" I ask because it is illustrative of the problem in a way.

Before Roe, a number of our States were in the process of changing laws and regulations about abortion. There were powerful forces on both sides and sharp political fights. People who otherwise might have done much better saw their political careers end over the argument. No one, not one voter, doctor, lawyer or politician was shot.

After Row v Wade, the issue was legally settled. Doctors, lawyers, cops all were threatened and some were indeed harmed, bombed and murdered.

It is worth asking what happened.

It is my thesis that whether they were loosing or winning, votes and activists were confronted with a fair fight. They could battle it out, win or loose, and fight another day. When the elites (read archbishops) took that away, the violence began.

And as it is structured both at Lambeth and Anaheim, the elites who sometimes learn very slowly if at all, are at it again. The decisions are made by secret committees in the HoB. The discussion is window dressing. That lead to murderous anger before, but the elites think themselves superior and unwilling to concede that maybe oh maybe a fair fight is precisely what is needed.

Ah well. It will be as it is. I trust the Spirit will eventually lead us past our own silliness.

FWIW
jimB

Phil Snider said...

Really, that is the nub of the thing and, I think, the source of conservative anger. The Indaba process, at its best, is a way of furthering conversations which have long since stopped happening-the whys, the hows and wherefores of peoples' positions. By mixing it up and forcing people into unlikely combinations, potentially novel ideas might come out or, at least, the demonization of one's theological opponents might lessen. In a situation where there is no consensus, it is the best thing we can do to try to break the impasse.

Yet, I've said for a very long time that the problem with the same-sex issue wasn't necessarily the talking about it. As long as we were just talking about it, sure, things could get heated, but there was no reason to split. However, once action began in the form of New Westminster's blessings and Bishop Robinson's ordination, the continued talk about wanting to 'hear' conservatives began to seem increasingly insincere. Really, this is where the suspicion of the Indaba process begins and why it is suspect in the American (and, to a lesser degree, the Canadian) context. Where a firm decision hasn't been taken, i.e. the Communion itself, Indaba is much less fraught.

I don't know if this process will work at your General Convention. It might, almost, work in ours, since the schism has moved a lot slower up here. I hope it does, though. Anything to further the Spirit's revelation.

Peace,
Phil

Erika Baker said...

"If and it is, the great failure of conservative thought is beginning with the conclusion"

Is that not simply another way of saying that conservatives are stupid or so inflexible that they are immune to any argument that does not support their foregone conclusion?

Actually, the listening process is not about people convincing each other that they are right.
The listening process is about each side truly understanding the other, seeing them as three-dimensional individuals with their own integrity, and not about seeing them as cardboard cut-out "liberals" vs "conservatives" about whom we already know everything.

It is also about genuinely engaging with the arguments made and not dismissing them out of hand because one doesn't really like the opposition and far less the spurious/prejudiced/arrogant... take your pick... add your own... conclusions they come to.

This thread seems to indicate that we have barely started the listening process.

Brad said...

Liberals aren't "overrepresented in public education" except as teachers/administrators/Union officials; their own children are statistically much more likely to be in private schools, unless they've chosen to live in the suburbs.
Naturally, they "wrestle" with this whenever someone points out the disconnect between their rhetoric and their actions, much like "progressives" who "cherish diversity" but want to move to Vermont.

Jim said...

Erika,

No.

An example. If one begins knowing that the Bible is (1) inerrant, (2) historical and (3) complete as we now read it, then no matter how bright or educated you are, you will reach sharply different conclusions than might someone who begins without the prior conclusions to study the origins of the book or the religions it has parented.

You might none-the-less be very bright and educated. Very bright Roman Catholic scholars have those assumptions and are hardly stupid or uneducated.

I don't agree with this: Actually, the listening process is not about people convincing each other that they are right.
The listening process is about each side truly understanding the other, seeing them as three-dimensional individuals with their own integrity, and not about seeing them as cardboard cut-out "liberals" vs "conservatives" about whom we already know everything.


In fact the implicit liberal assumption is that this will change viewpoints and conduct. It is clear that 'understanding' is expected to produce conduct. Otherwise why bother with it?

Thanks for dropping in.

FWIW
jimB

Jim said...

Brad,

When I see "statistics" mentioned without a cite I am suspicious. Can you provide a cite?

As to wishing to move to Vermont, I can imagine wanting to live where I could marry my partner. That is hardly 'exclusive' it merely recognizes the facts on the ground.

FWIW
jimB

Erika Baker said...

Jim

I spend a large amount of my working time translating material for Biblical Studies PhD students.
Among them are a number of evangelical students who are really keen to understand the bible better.

Yes, they believe that it is inerrant, historical and complete, but no, they do not necessarily assume that we have unearthed the real original yet.

They are happy to discover that beloved translations are wrong, that the original authors may have intended something different etc.

The one thing they haven't got is foregone conclusions. And they don't appear to feel threatened by new discoveries.

I'm not so sure about the listening process.
Of course, if I can persuade someone to see things my way, that would be absolutely wonderful.

But one of my personal favourites is a fairly fundamentalist evangelical in my own parish who has truly been listening to me. He has not changed his views, but he no longer sees me as arrogant, as deliberately ignoring God's will, as making faith according to my own selfish preferences.
He has understood that we both follow God to our best ability, and that I have genuinely arrived at a different way of understanding what God wants for my life.

And I know that he is not intolerant, callours, cold-hearted or stupid, but simply that he just cannot see things the same way I do.

That's fine. We worship side by side.

If listening can do that, bring more of it on!

Jim said...

Erika,

I do not for a moment think that conversation - listening is either a waste or a bad thing. My point in the post is rather that liberals see it as a panacea and tool for converting the uniformed. Ask any two conservatives what most bugs them about liberals and I will bet a steak dinner that at least one says 'arrogance.'

If we have a case to make (we do) then we are not making in.

FWIW
jimB

Erika Baker said...

Jim
I quite agree!
My whole point is that neither side has yet started the listening process because each believes it's about converting the other.

Maybe it's about time we banged on a bit louder about what listening is really supposed to achieve.

Or do you see an alternative?

Jim said...

Erika,

Some of us try to make the conversations a bit less formal and more personal. I for instance know that Deacon Phil who sometimes comments here (and by the way writes very good essays on his blog) and I do not agree much. We do not however doubt each other's faith or sincerity.

I think the bishops should be saying to their clerics -- consider the cellular church model. Put together small groups with facilitators and get the congregation talking. Mix the cells up from time to time.

But we have selected the wrong people to be bishops. These people, as a group, are conflict avoiders. Unfortunately they select the ordinands so the problem runs through the clergy. So it may fail to us benighted laity to finally get the conversations going.

FWIW
jimB

Erika Baker said...

Jim

Yepp, because you and Deacon Phil are actually listening to each other. I agree, we need to take this out of the hands of the hierarcy and each do our own bit wherever life has placed us.

I suppose the real difficulty is that my "living side by side" implies that those who disagree with me don't try to use the law or doctrinal intervention to discriminate againts me. Something which they already interpret as me "winning".

You and Canon Phil disagreeing has not many practical consequences for you, whereas for me, much of the conversation is deeply personal.

I don't know if there can be a constructive way out of that dilemma?

plsdeacon said...

Jim,

I haven't checked the comments here for a while and I'm glad my dog's woke me up to alert me to the killer squirrel or killer rabbit in my yard.

Yes, one thing that constantly bugs me about "liberals" or "progressives" is their arrogance.

I've likened the current situation to a husband and wife discussing the purchase of a new sports car. The wife and husband together have always said that they will wait until both agree to purchase a sports car. Then, one day, the husband drives home in a new Ford Mustang. He claims that his ownership of the new sports car is part of his discernment process on whether owning the car is a good thing for him or not. After all, what is good for him is obviously good for the marriage. He is truly baffled when he asks the wife to continue the dialogue about purchasing the sports car and she explodes in anger and moves out. He doesn't understand why she would feel hurt or why she doesn't want him to have any control over joint finances.

BTW, Erika, I am not Canon Phil. I am simply Deacon Phil or (preferrably) just Phil.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

Erika Baker said...

Phil
The difficulty with the Mustang analogy is that there is always a winner.
If the wife doesn't want the sports car, she simply never agrees to it, so the household is never of one mind, so the husband always loses.

But somehow, that losing is perfectly acceptable, whereas the husband going out and buying a car is called arrogant.

How could you envisage this argument to be concluded so that there are truly 2 equal people in this marriage and that no one side loses?

plsdeacon said...

This is the problem of truth. If something is true, its converse is not true. In the marriage anology, it is either true that purchasing the sports car is either good for, or not harmful to, the marriage or the purchase of the sports car is harmful to the marriage. But it cannot be both.

In the sports care anology, there eventually will come a time when the truth will be known. Dialogue and discussion are some of the tools by which the Truth can be known. Why is the wife opposed? Could it be that there may be enough money to buy the sports car, but not insure it? Could it be out of fear? Could it be that many of the wife's friends got divorced after their husbands bought sports cars? Could it be that the wife knows the husband to be a "lead foot" and that sports cars attract traffic cops like candy attracts kids? Maybe the wife knows the husband to be a less than safe driver and she is concerned that a sports car will only increase his risky behavior and he will end up in a bad accident?

The wife's motives are probably no pure. As a husband of almost 22 years, I would say that my love for my wife should overcome my selfish desires to have what I want - especially if my wife were adamantly against what I wanted. I would hope that TEC's love for the Anglican Communion would do the same.

The problem is that the husband has already purchased the car. Where do we go from here?

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

I think the problems with the analogy real.

First the assumption that status quo ante is not a decision. Erika makes a valid point when she observes that someone is winning and someone is loosing during the elongated discernment period. To move the analogy another step, the husband's driving career is limited, he is aging. "Gracious restraint" is not a freebie someone pays, someone to use the presiding bishops' horrible phrase, is in the "crucified place."

In a marriage, a husband may decide to wait for a better time to push for his dream car. Heaven knows I don't have my Cooper Mini! But, in a polity, someone votes to put someone else in a crucified place. That difference I think matters.

Of course, the reverse is true. If the wife thinks her view of the family's needs must win, then she looses. Of course, I could argue she is being arrogant -- had she simply agreed to try his view.....

FWIW
jimB

Erika Baker said...

Phil
In a real and good marriage, there is no winning or losing. The couple like each other and know each other well, so they understand perfectly why the other wishes to buy that car/not buy that car, and they have some level of sympathy for each other's view even if they don't share it.

In a real marriage, the couple won't shout that only one has THE truth and that the other is an arrogant, insincere, selfish pig.

Because they love each other, they'll probably compromise - see how you live without that car for a year, then we talk again.
Let's hire a car like that for a while and see how we get on with it.
Or even: you buy that car, I won't ride in it, but we can discover whether owning that car is really going to be the end of the world.

Unless, of course, they're already so incompatible that divorce is really the only option.

plsdeacon said...

Erika,

What you say of a good marriage is true. The couple wins when both win. But what would you say of the husband that promised his wife that they would not purchase a sports car until they both agreed and then, shortly after this promise, bought one and then, with the car in the drive way, said that he really didn't purchase it. He allowed the salesman to sell it to him. This is like our promise not to move forward with blessing same sex unions or ordain those involved in homosexual relationships until the communion said to. Then, when bishops were coming under fire for the SSBs that were happening in their dioceses, they claimed they had not "authorized" them, but had "allowed" them. This kind of semantical ploy only makes people angrier and does not provide for dialogue.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

Erika Baker said...

Phil
Yes, if the husband had promised not to buy a car at all until his wife was truly happy with it, but also if he sees that she still genuinely wrestles with the idea of buying the car, he would be right to wait and it would be wrong of him to buy that car until she was happy.

On the other hand, if he discovers that she absolutely hates cars and believes they are immoral polluters and that because of climate change she'd never ever ever allow him to get this car - what is he to do?

She has said to him "don't buy it now", but only to buy time because she knows very well she'll never let him buy it.
Isn't that immoral too?
Is he then really the only one to blame when he finally forces the issue?

Let's not forget that the husband only wants that car so he can start taking the couple's children to all those places where their friends already are. His wife, on the other hand, is quite happy for the children to continue to live in isolation and does not even see how much she is demanding of them.

Real life relationships are never as simple and as black and white as people would like them to be.
Pretending that any conflict is black and white makes it easier to feel self-righteous about ones own position, but that doesn't make it true.

Paul (A.) said...

I've been thinking about this original post for some time.

I think that although it has attractiveness from an intellectual point of view, it is misguided. It may be the case that some conservatives are uneducated or even stupid, it is also the fact that even educated ones can be just plain wrong. And they are unwilling to budge from that position.

Take, for example, this essay by Bob Davies, the former President of Exodus International (the "ex-gay" rescue organization).

He writes: "Anyone who has heard of the cities of "Sodom and Gommorah" knows that they were notorious hotbeds of homosexuality. . . . The Greek word in the New Testament for homosexuality is literally "a sodomite". Jock is trying to redefine what the term "sodomite" means. (A term that has unchanged in 5000 years, even today- "sodomy")"

Now it is obvious that neither of the two Greek words taken to refer to homosexuality (arsenokoitai and malakoi) in any way refer to Sodom. The text is the text. Davies is just plain wrong. Yet he is evidently not uneducated. I cannot believe that he came up with this on his own, so just as evidently he was educated to be wrong.

His position was not to be changed because of contrary facts.

I am sure there are other examples of like "conservative" thinking.

I could posit a similar analysis of Robert Gagnon's playing with facts to justify his positions, but that would take a whole book. (Tobias Haller recently addressed in passing a couple of the principal ones in his.)

These people are not "stupid" nor are they "ignorant". Another category must be used to classify those whose preconceived notions do not allow them to be swayed by facts in the real world: fanatics.

A baseball fanatic may be amusing but is not dangerous. A religious fanatic that insists without reason that some subclasses of one's fellow humans are evil is a menace to society.

Jim said...

Hi Paul,

I think that my point was not that conservatives are ignorant and stupid nor that progressives are educated and intelligent. Rather I was attempting to deal with the perception I find widely held by your and my progressive friends.

Consider for instance, Elanor Roosevelt who was convinced that the world could be changed by education designed to make good progressives out of ignorant conservatives. Her writing and speaking on the idea is pretty clear and still annoys conservatives today.

IMy pessimistic view is that the world views simply cannot talk. My optimistic view is that Paul converted.

It is precisely the parable, the story with an unexpected ending that changes paradigms and we know that not all change when a story is heard. Some of those who heard Jesus tell the parable of the good Samaritan decided to kill him.

It is the story telling that changes people. Every time you turn a page in the synoptics, you find a parable. Jesus used them to change people.

I suspect the scorn with which ACNA faux- bishops regard the 'public narrative' is fear of what stories can do.

There is risk in stories -- we have to both hear and tell them. But that is also what life is about, taking risks.

FWIW
jimB

plsdeacon said...

Thanks, Paul.

You just proved Jim's point concerning liberal arrogance.

In the current issue, there are plenty of strawmen that both sides construct and then, having knocked the strawmen down, the people consider the other side to have been devistated by the argument.

The problem is that we are so twisted and darkend by sin that we are unable to know God's will without outside resources. So, depending on ourselves and those who agree with us simply does not work to discover the Will of God.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

Jim said...

Phil,

I think you went more more than a bit over the top there. Robert Gagnon and Bob Davies are hardly straw men. They exist, their "scholarship" especially in the case of Davies is particullarly weak, and minor details like facts do not seem to matter.

It would be fair to argue they are not representative except for two problems. We both know that many conservatives like many progressives, flatly wont criticize anyone they perceive as 'on their side.' And secondly, it is simply true that both sides always go for the weak scholarship or outrageous examples cf. the drum role about a certain retired bishop.

It is not I submit arrogant to say that some conservatives in fact deliberately ignore little items like what the words actually are as they attempt to argue from authority. It is equally not arrogant to say that some progressives work very hard at ignoring texts. Both can be problems and in fact, both are.

Paul was not saying all conservatives are bad scholars. But some are, and it does not help that it is hard to find a conservative who will say that.

FWIW
jimB

Jim said...

Personal to Paul,

I will publish your most recent comment if you wish but you might want to re-send it. You addressed it to me, but commented on what deacon Phil wrote. It was difficult for me to read.

FWIW
jimB

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