A Special Sort of Troll
Some weeks past, a special sort of troll graced this blog: 'Harvard Man', a sock puppet for 'Silly Sally'. I prefer to this person as 'Silly Sally' and conventionally use the feminine pronoun.
Silly Sally -- whom I've encountered in comments on other people's blogs -- is amusing, brilliant, and caustic. Her comments are psychologically perceptive attacks on the personal character of those with whom she disagrees. By "psychologically perceptive," I mean that she is extraordinarily gifted with a sense of where a person can best be hurt.
For an earlier encounter with Silly Sally (aka Harvard Man), see the comments to my blog entry of April 24, 2007: "Morning Alarm...."
She returned again yesterday to respond to my blog entry on "Koons Swimming the Tiber." I'm again impressed by her brilliance. I quoted a passage on "alien righteousness" in the online paper (pdf) by Robert Koons:
The crucial issue is this: is the righteousness by which the justified are justified an alien righteousness, the righteousness of Christ entirely outside of us (extra nos) and apart from regeneration and the new kind of life that results?After various caustic remarks about Catholicism and Koons, she turned to my character:
Gypsy's "alien" and even "domestic" justification and righteousness before God is in exact proportion to the life and strength of his faith and his deadness to the world's charm.I want you to appreciate this statement. It is not an off-the-cuff remark. It has depth. It is, of course, a personal attack, but it's so subtle and interesting that I'll let it stand. Yet, I won't engage it other than intellectually. I'm not interested in defending myself against personal attacks, for whom -- other than Silly Sally -- would I be trying to convince?
But I am interested in understanding the sense of things, so I wrote to her:
[P]erhaps you could explain this:I'm curious as to what Silly Sally meant this to say. Intellectually curious, I mean. As for the personal and spiritual dimensions to its meaning as these concern my character, I have no interest in discussing them with Silly Sally. Why not? Because I don't trust her. Nor do I trust all of the hundreds of people who visit my blog daily.Gypsy's "alien" and even "domestic" justification and righteousness before God is in exact proportion to the life and strength of his faith and his deadness to the world's charm.It sounds like a rather neat dichotomy, and admirably expressed, but I'm not sure that I've understood.
It's not a chiasm, is it?
Do you mean that an alien justification (and righteousness) means strong faith (and 'strong' deadness to the world), whereas a domestic justification (and righteousness) means a weak faith (and 'weak' deadness to the world)?
Or are you linking justification to faith and righteousness to deadness to the world?
I know that Silly Sally's remarks about Catholicism (and other matters) will be offensive to many, but I urge you to let them pass. I won't allow my blog to descend into vitriolic polemics, and if comments become ad hominem attacks, I'll block the comments function and delete the ad hominem.
Take that as a friendly caution.