[Vision2020] Crusaders vs. Infidels: Moscow's Muscular Christianity

Darrell Keim keim153 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 1 00:17:15 PST 2010


I was going to leave you alone, as you requested.  But since you asked to
restart our correspondence...

Hey V2020 posters:
Lots of good stuff below if you like watching Joe and I banter back and

On Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 11:04 PM, Joe Campbell <philosopher.joe at gmail.com>wrote:

> In all honesty I'm having some trouble understanding your point, Darrell. I
> fear you won't clarify it further but I'll ask some questions in the hope
> that you really do have a point to make.
I'll try.  I thought I was fairly clear.  I'm not surprised you are having
trouble, we don't seem to communicate well with one another.

> You call the NSA post a "new advertising campaign" but complain about the
> recent NSA criticism on Vision 2020 because it is "rehashing the old" so it
> "doesn't seem to be of benefit." But how can it be rehashing the "old" if it
> is criticism of the "new" ad campaign? The ad campaign was just posted, so
> criticism of it is "new," right? (I've actually made this point already.)
Yeah, it's a new campaign.  But has the product they are attempting to sell
changed in any way?  No.  SSDD.  That's Same Stuff, Different Day.  They are
still ultra-conservative christians with some views that many consider odd
and/or offensive.  It is simply a new campaign selling the same ultra
conservative dogma as they have always sold.  I doubt if it will change
anyones position or deepen their understanding of them.

And, to clarify my position I did not complain about NSA criticism on V2020.
 I complained about the amount of NSA criticism on v2020.  Too recap: I
initially complained about how often things, such as the church list Tom
posted, get linked back to CC.  When you pressed in a later note I
elaborated that unless we had new info or something changed, it seems like
most of the key players already know where they stand.  Thus, my belief that
further discussion doesn't seem to be of benefit.  That was the point where
you made at least 5 erroneous assertions about me.  Assertions which were
downright silly, considering how little you know about me.   Assertions,
which I'll remind you, you never deigned to address.  Even after I was kind
enough to enumerate them for you, and request clarification. I digress.
 Sorry about that.

I have no problem with NSA criticism, or praise for that matter, on V2020.
 I just wish the topic didn't have to come up with such frequency.  Moscow
has other things of interest to discuss.  What about the schools?  U of I?
 Downtown?  URA?  City Council?  All of these together don't get half the
bandwidth CC does.  Here is our Mission Statement.  Perhaps it should be
posted periodically, so that people might read it.  It is one of the reasons
I initially signed on to V2020.
Vision 2020 Mission Statement Adopted March 1995

   1. To ensure that all parts of our community have an opportunity to take
   part in visualizing and planning for the community's future.

   2. To strengthen citizens' sense of community by promoting awareness,
   ownership and investment in Moscow's future.

   3. To foster cooperation among (and public involvement with) the agencies
   and organizations that plan for and make decisions about the future of
   Moscow and Latah County.

   4. To raise awareness on the part of citizens and public officials that:

   1. uncontrolled and unplanned growth may have negative effects.

      2. short-term decisions have long-term consequences.

   5. To inform ourselves about growth and development issues.

   6. To have fun thinking critically and creatively.

 Does this much focus on one topic help us to achieve our mission?  I submit
that it does not.

Is your point that NSA and Christ Church can insult secularists and Muslims
> and progressives and be free of public criticism, and use threatening
> rhetoric, because they've done it before? Is the use of threatening rhetoric
> in an NSA ad campaign "old news"?
No.  And if you honestly think the campaign is a legitimate physical
threat--i.e. they are going to go out and physically assault people, well I
think that is highly unlikely.  You must also think that drinking Bud Light
will get the Swedish Bikini Team after you, and that Exxon gas will put a
real tiger in your tank.  I kid.  I think they are using outrageous
advertising hyperbole to draw their target market--ultra conservative
christians. Not a turn-on for me, but I'll bet it works well for the people
they want.

> Yet isn't the NSA complaint about secularists "old news" for this very
> reason, just the same old stuff they've been saying? Did you contact Roy
> Atwood and complain to him about reporting "old news" in his "new" ad
> campaign? Or is there something special that the NSA and Christ Church
> criticisms have going for them that exempts them from the "only new
> criticisms" demand?
Do they constantly post on Vision 2020 about the same thing over and over
and over and over and over... ad infinitum?  No, in fact they were pretty
much run-off v2020 by folks that found them offensive (which would seem to
violate points 1 AND 2 of our Mission Statement). And, while I have spoken
with Roy Atwood and other key players at both CC and Logos on other topics,
why would I speak to any of them about something they post on their
webpages?  It is their space, they can write what they wish; whether you or
I like it or not.

> Maybe the V is special since it is a public venue. Then in that case,
> you'll be sure to make the same complaint when Crabtree or Roger or whomever
> accuses liberals and progressives of being socialists, or in favor of gun
> control, or any number of charges that they keep making over and over again.
> Same "old news" and there is no place on the V for "old news" since it
> "doesn't seem to be of benefit," right?
If those issues came up with the same frequency as Christ Church, and no
real change bringing in new info to discuss, I might.

> Or did I still miss the "nuance" yet again?
Yeah, you probably did.  But that's okay with me. I'm happy to answer
questions for you.  Perhaps you'll answer some of the questions I've already
asked you sometime..

> On Nov 30, 2010, at 4:57 PM, Darrell Keim <keim153 at gmail.com> wrote:
> My summary of the new advertising campaign:
> New envelope, same old Christmas letter inside.
> Liberals will hate it, middle of the road folks won't care, and Christian
> conservatives-their target market-will love it.
> And, no Nick, I didn't say enough had been said.  If there is new info to
> discuss about CC-good or bad-I want to hear it.  I tried to say that
> rehashing the old doesn't seem to be of benefit.  Small, but important
> nuance there.  Probably my fault though, as others also missed the nuance.
>  Easy to do, as I was recently reminded.  Email doesn't do nuance very well.
>  C'est la vie!
> On Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 1:36 PM, < <nickgier at roadrunner.com>
> nickgier at roadrunner.com> wrote:
>> Greetings:
>> Despite Darrell Keim's belief that enough has been said about Christ
>> Church and NSA, their recruiting blurb is simply beyond the pale.
>> This is my radio commentary/column for the week and the full version is
>> attached as a PDF file.  I direct you to my Logos School revision of West
>> Side Story at the end.
>> Read everything that I've written about Pastor Wilson at
>> <http://www.home.roadrunner.com/~nickgier/Wilson.htm>
>> www.home.roadrunner.com/~nickgier/Wilson.htm.
>> Nick
>> A long war is a small price to pay for eternal peace.
>> --found on a toilet stall wall
>> I don’t often cruise the website of New St. Andrews College (<http://www.nsa.edu>
>> www.nsa.edu), Moscow’s small Christian college, so the new recruiting
>> campaign gave me quite a jolt.  The headline is “Yo, Secularism, Why Don’t
>> We Step into the Alley?”
>> The blurb describes the NSA faculty as “not timid in a rumble,” and they
>> want to make the students “dangerous” so that they can “throw the lies of
>> this age up against the wall, lifting wallets and the occasional gift card.”
>> It ends with “an invitation to a brawl.”
>> Is NSA a Christ-centered liberal arts college or a fighting club?  If it
>> is the latter, then its conditional use permit should be reviewed.
>> After the initial shock receded, my first thought was “How can they
>> possibly recruit young women with this raw machismo”? Out of seven images
>> (two with real tough guys) only one includes female students.
>> Silly me, I forgot that some females might want to go to a college where
>> they can meet “real” Christian men to whom they can be properly submissive.
>> These religious brawlers would defend their honor in an alley or anywhere
>> for that matter.
>> NSA men, however, would not defend their ladies’ right to vote.  According
>> to NSA’s founder, Douglas Wilson, misguided women might decide to cancel out
>> their husband’s wise choices in church and political matters.
>> Wilson also believes that only propertied males should vote. Deliciously
>> ironic, however, is the fact that Wilson encourages all of this congregates
>> at Christ Church to vote for conservative candidates.
>> The phrase “muscular Christianity” came out of the Victorian Age, where
>> Charles Kingsley and Thomas Hughes encouraged young men to combine Christian
>> ideals with physical conditioning. Thanks to muscular Christianity, I built
>> up some pretty nice biceps at the local gym of the Young Men’s Christian
>> Association, but I still ended up with the Unitarians, who of course can't
>> fight their way out of a wet paper bag.
>> NSA does have sports teams, but “pumpkin” rugby has replaced lacrosse (too
>> feminine?), and there is a “girls” volleyball team.  Some of the senior
>> faculty, however, look like they have not been to a gym in ages.
>> In 1964 Douglas’ father Jim Wilson wrote a small book entitled "Principles
>> of War: A Handbook on Strategic Evangelism." I once told Wilson Pere that I
>> thought that upraised sword on the front cover of the book was rather
>> provocative, but he just shrugged his shoulders and said that he only meant
>> spiritual warfare. Being thrown up against a wall sounds pretty physical to
>> me.
>> Has Douglas Wilson’s “Trinitarian skylarking” now turned into godly gang
>> warfare?  An example of the former is an outrageous April Fool’s stunt. NSA
>> students stole University of Idaho letterhead and used the English
>> department’s FAX line to announce a feminist scholar who would lecture
>> topless. Wilson later admitted encouraging his students to do the deed.
>> Douglas Wilson also established Logos School, whose K-12 students, I’m
>> told, put on some very good plays.  I would like to propose that they do an
>> adaptation of West Side Story.  Instead of the white working class Jets and
>> the Puerto Rican Sharks, the gangs should be renamed the Crusaders and the
>> Infidels.
>> I foresee two snags in this version of the play. Although the killing of
>> Maria’s brother by the Jet’s Tony could go ahead, the love story between
>> Christian Tony and non-Christian Maria would be a real stretch.  NSA men
>> must get the permission from a potential date’s father, or from Wilson in
>> loco parentis. Even more problematic is the fact that there can be no truce
>> between the gangs at the end.  For Wilson and other conservative
>> evangelicals, there will be bitter warfare until Christ comes to smite the
>> infidels.
>> As a “post-millennialist” Wilson believes that there will a 1,000 year
>> Christian theocracy with strict enforcement of biblical law until Christ
>> deigns to appear.  I might prefer to get it over with more quickly in the
>> “pre-millennial” Rapture.  I’ll paraphrase Milton’s Satan: I would rather
>> fry in the Rapture and take my chances in Hell rather than serve oppressive
>> Christian masters.
>> Sometime in the late 1970s, I found a saying on a toilet stall wall near
>> my campus office.  Compared to most toilet graffiti, this one was quite
>> sophisticated and a bit puzzling: “A long war is a small price to pay for
>> eternal peace.” One might ask: What kind of peace is this when everyone who
>> has not converted to your religion has been killed?
>>  Nick Gier taught religion and philosophy at the University of Idaho for
>> 31 years.
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