Thursday, October 16, 2008

Reverend Spitz Upon Yesterday's Post

American Life League
Pro-Life, Against Violence
(Image from ALL)

Yesterday, I looked briefly at Dan Clanton's recent article, "Biblical Interpretation and Christian Domestic Terrorism: The Exegeses of Rev. Michael Bray and Rev. Paul Hill" (SBL Forum, n.p. [cited Aug 2008]), and I noted that the word 'terrorism' in the article's title remains undefined:
Despite the title's reference to "Christian Domestic Terrorism," the term "terrorism" does not elsewhere appear in the article -- nor does "terrorist" or even "terror." Consequently, no definition of "terrorism" is provided by Dr. Clanton that would clarify why he applies this term to the violence advocated by Michael Bray and used by Paul Hill. Presumably, "the bombing of abortion clinics and the planned murder of abortion providers" is so obviously "terrorism" that the issue need not even be broached, but I'd like to have seen some treatment of this point.
This question about Clanton's choice of the word "terrorism" was the main point of my blog post, but a certain Reverend Don Spitz dove bellyfirst into my post and splashed it with this comment:
You seem to imply there is something wrong if a babykilling abortion mill is burned or bomb. Which do you prefer, a pile of bricks or a pile of dead babies? Innocent unborn babies deserve to be protected just as born children deserve to be protected. You would have no problem protecting born children if they were about to be murdered.
This comment seemed to fit my post like a wrongly pressed suit, for I had been posing a question about Dr. Clanton's choice of the word "terrorism" to characterize the violence advocated by Michael Bray and used by Paul Hill. Reverend Spitz didn't appear to be the sort to engage in reasoned dialogue -- and I had a suspicion that he wasn't looking for discussion anyway -- so I gave as much serious thought to his 'comment' as he had given to my post and instead asked him:
Reverend Spitz, do you support the killing of abortionists?
I received no answer from Reverend Spitz, but his own words imply that he does indeed support the killing of abortionists.

In response to another individual's comment on Reverend Spitz, I revealed my initial suspicion about the good reverend, along with what I had since learned:
My initial thought was that Reverend Spitz was spamming -- searching the net for blog entries like the one that I've written and posting preformulated 'responses'.

I suppressed that thought, however, and posed a question to him . . . just in case he were the sort to reply.

Since posting, I've Googled his name and discovered that my first thought was correct. He spams his preformulated 'responses' onto blogs as if they were comments.
On the blog Serendipity, I had found this information about Reverend Don Spitz:
Spitz seems to spend large amounts of time searching the internet for mentions of his proteges Hill and Rudolph. When he finds these references, he drops in a comment chock-a-block with assumptions, invective, accusations, calls for violence, and biblical quotes that he supposes give him the authority to spread his hate-speech.
Since I was right about Reverend Spitz's mode of operations, then I suspect that he will notice today's blog entry as well, given that it specifically mentions Michael Bray and Paul Hill, and we may see another spammed-in 'comment' supporting "the bombing of abortion clinics and the planned murder of abortion providers" -- violent actions that are roundly condemned by such mainstream pro-life organizations as ALL.

I wonder what Reverend Spitz thinks of those groups more consistently pro-life.

Labels: ,


At 12:56 PM, Blogger John B said...

Looks like no luck on drawing the esteemed Rev. Spitz out. Another lost opportunity to carry out one of the great intellectual discussions of our epoch.

At 1:01 PM, Blogger John B said...

Like this.

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Yes, no calm, civilized, erudite discourse today.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Except for at that link you've provided...

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 2:14 PM, Blogger John B said...

I was curious, though, if you've read COVERING ISLAM by Edward Said. I haven't read it yet (it's been on my wish list for years) but I think he touches on the representations of terrorism.

I don't think you've directly addressed it, but the correlation between terrorism and Islam in the media is hovering over the idea of Christian terrorism.

Have you considered religious dimensions to Irish terrorism in previous decades? It is usually framed, at least in what I've read, as a nationalist issue. But there are also varying dimensions of nationalism to Islamic terrorism. I guess what I'm trying to ask is, what exactly is the scope of your research?

At 4:17 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

John B, I've not read that work by Said (though I suppose that I should). My 'research' would have to be comparative, eventually, if I continue, for I'm no expert in Islam (not knowing Arabic).

The Northern Ireland problem is complex, with roots in nationalism, Marxism, and religion, but I'm no expert in that. My guess is that the Irish Catholics of Belfast don't prooftext the Bible for support of terrorism. The Irish Protestants might, however, but they might be twisting verses in a way similar to Reverend Spitz.

Islamist terrorism is a more problematic issue, for we have to find a way of distinguishing terrorism from jihad. Jihad itself has many problematic aspects, but if extended to include terrorism, then it poses an extremely serious threat.

Part of what I want to understand is precisely where that dividing line runs between jihad and terrorism.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 5:31 PM, Blogger John B said...

Does that include the Algerian GIA and/or GSPC?

At 6:21 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Does 'what' include GIA and GSPC? Do you mean "Are they Islamists?" They certainly appear to be.

Every such group, of course, has links to local issues, but Islamists are not genuinely interested in these issues, for their aim is a restoration of the Caliphate . . . ultimately.

But there's only so much that I can comprehend. I try for a global view of what's going on, taken with a dose of humility. That's about all that I can hope for.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *


Post a Comment

<< Home