I'm not the first to notice that the quickest way to provoke Romanists to bizarre heights of irritation is to post something critical of one of their Marian dogmas. Rip Jesus or something and that'll usually get their dander up too, but don't nuthin' get the spittle flyin' like suggesting that Mary actually committed a few sins in her lifetime or that she wouldn't have deprived her husband of intimate marital relations after the birth of the virgin-conceived and virgin-born Jesus Christ. Just makes them crazy!
So, I expected nothing less from the reactions to my post. But apparently I forgot something - everything revolves around Dave Armstrong. I should have remembered that he likes defending himself even more than he likes defending Marian dogma. Oops.
It was a normal day at the office in the combox, when DA appeared in response to this comment from me, responding to another commenter:
--Rhology, that's the most idiotic comment you've ever made.
Then you haven't read much of my stuff. I can guarantee you I've said more idiotic things.
I was just making a joke, and of course it's true. I have indeed said more idiotic things. I don't even mind DA jumping in to take the joke and salt it liberally with gratuitous mean-spiritedness:
I can wholeheartedly vouch for that sentiment. The bar is set pretty low, but Rhology is able to consistently break his own record. The present "argument," however, is perhaps unable to be lowered . . .
Let me repeat - I don't mind that at all. It is clearly mean-spirited, but like I said, I can take a joke. Whatever - let the man say what he wants to say. That's why my blog is unmoderated and the guy can post whatever he wants, as long as it's not obscene or a link to pr0|\| or something.
Two things came into play, though -
1) The Beggars All blog (which DA refers to as "Boors All", b/c he's a nice man who'd never hurt anyone or say anything nasty about anyone, ever, honest) is now a DA-free zone. We've been back and forth with him many, many times, and no doubt James Swan, the site's founder, proprietor, and main poster, has lost count. The paper trail is there for anyone to see, and it was recently decided that DA would no longer be permitted to comment there.
2) As anyone can see, the comment he left was totally off-topic. Again, this isn't sthg that bothers me with respect to blog moderation, but it doesn't put me in an ultra-conciliatory mood. Often I just ignore such things, but in this case, factor #1 being what it is, it fell to me to alert DA of his banning. Again, I don't have a problem with that; this kind of housekeeping is one of the things I signed on to help James with some years ago. What's telling is how it all played out in the interplay with DA's ego:
We're helping you fulfill your resolution not to be concerned with what happens here at Beggars All. Thanks for your continued awesomeness!
DA: Since whatever I write will be deleted (including this), I won't bother . . .
Me: Dave Armstrong,
Sorry, I thought I made it clear you're no longer welcome here. Not in my posts, and not in anyone else's posts. Have a good day! Please stop commenting! OKthxbye!
DA: Meanwhile, Rhology is currently commenting at great length on my blog, where he and anyone else are welcome, provided they offer any substance at all, and no vulgarities, etc.
Two of my comments in this thread were deleted; this will almost certainly be the third.
DA: Moreover, if you want me to "shut up" here, then stop writing about me in the combox. Works both ways. Delete your idiotic remarks about me and I'll cease commenting on them. But it's a double standard to have the freedom to insult someone in a venue, when that person is not allowed to respond.
Me: Ah, maybe this is why Dave Armstrong thinks Scripture isn't perspicuous! Apparently NOTHING is clear to him. For example, here he's just commented for the 3rd time on this thread despite two explicit reminders that his comments are no longer welcome here at Beggars All.
So either he's a jerk with no respect for others' property, mentally unstable, or lacks any skills of reading comprehension.
I don't know which one it is, but I do know that Dave Armstrong is not welcome to post comments on Beggars All.
Me: Oh, and Dave - nobody talked about you in this combox until you inserted yourself into the discussion. This thread is about the Immaculate Conception, not about you.
DA: Thanks to Pilgrimsarbour for his usual classy fairmindedness.
The double standard continues. Rhology's comments on my blog will be allowed to remain, because I consistently abide by my beliefs in free speech and fairness of allowing both sides to comment (even if the person is arguing like an idiot).
My initial comment was simply a joke, that I couldn't resist after Rhology wrote: "you haven't read much of my stuff. I can guarantee you I've said more idiotic things."
Again; I will not abide by blatant double standards. I won't leave until you remove your nonsense about me, including now the obligatory observation that I am supposedly "mentally unstable".
Pilgrimsarbour was absolutely right in his assessment. You won't listen top anything I say, but perhaps you will heed his wise words.
The principle that a man is entitled to present his side of things in the same venue where he is being attacked, trumps the sentiment of my not being welcomed here. Quit making the childish insults, while deleting my replies and simultaneously commenting on my blog at great length, and I will voluntarily leave.
I simply made a joke when I first entered this combox. You had made one yourself, so I assumed you could take one, but alas, it wasn't to be.
Me: See, PilgrimsArbour? The guy can't miss an opportunity to justify himself...
DA: (Posts the same comment a 2nd time)
Me: (Answering TurretinFan's question): It was me. I deleted all DA's comments here and will henceforth delete any comment DA makes on any post I make on Beggars All.
DA: While he continues to be allowed to post freely on my site (two lengthy replies are sitting there right now) . . .
At which point, and here I'll let you in on a little secret - I decided to ignore DA on that combox and hope for his own sake that he'd go away. The key to understanding why this went down the way it did, both for him and for me, is this comment: Oh, and Dave - nobody talked about you in this combox until you inserted yourself into the discussion. This thread is about the Immaculate Conception, not about you.
That was my big mistake. Of course the thread was about him! Everything is about Dave.
Well, as far as going away, he sorta did, but of course his ego was sufficiently damaged to post a verbose (but actually pretty tame by his kill-a-rain-forest-every-time standards) exposé (which, strangely enough, seems to be back-dated to a posting date of 7 July, which is before I posted my brief article) of how badly he'd been treated at
He mentions in this post that:
--I noted in the second and third deleted comments (unpreserved on my part)
I preserved them, and reproduced them in full above, so anyone can see the actual interaction. Even though I'm deathly afraid someone might actually read it, b/c my own ego is pretty fragile. Like a china doll.
DA was informed of the decision to ban him, and like so many adherents of Sola Ecclesia before him, when banned on a Reformed blog like Boors All or at the Triablogue, he chose to violate his ban over and over again, showing high disregard for the proprietors' desires and chosen modus operandi. I've been banned before. So what are you 'posed to do when you're banned? Keep posting and make everyone mad? Or do you go to your own blog and show why that was b/c of cowardice on their part and leave it to the reader to decide? I'd suggest that DA has been sufficiently refuted, time and again, at Boors All and at Triablogue, to say nothing of other places, that a thorough examination of what has gone before would not leave a reasonable observer with the notion that we're afraid of him or something. The same doesn't necessarily go for the Atheist Experience, Mark Shea, or Larry Niven.
All that to say, DA's temper tantrum means little to me or to anyone at Boors All, but I did want to explain why he got his habit in a twist over this. The takeaway - it makes a statement about you when you insist on making a thread that's not about you, about you.