Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Am I a Psychotic Madman & "Evil"? Clarifications, Reiterations, and Partial Retractions from Reformed Protestant Anti-Catholic Polemicist John Q. Doe

One of the many mocking photographs on Doe's site (this one from a post in June 2007)

Some time ago, I removed from my blog all papers whatever having anything to do with John Q. "Deadhead" Doe: a person who is literally obsessed with my apologetic work (particularly when I write about Luther), to the tune of probably over 150 posts now on his site (despite consistently saying he doesn't take me "seriously"). I give more background on why I did that below. Up till today, my citation of him on my site (i.e., since the Big Removal) was confined to just three remarks, in one paper (that documents anti-Catholic ad hominem attacks), where he opined that I suffered from some sort of psychosis. The charge of lunacy was too outrageous to delete, so that was the only thing I decided to retain. I had even removed his section on my Anti-Catholicism page (in the past it had been one of the largest ones!).

Recently, I have been involved in an intense discussion thread underneath yet another attack-post of his (now I am a seeker of filthy lucre and ill-gotten gains by unsavory and unscrupulous methods: par for the course from him). During the course of this I brought up these charges (as a crystal-clear example of his lying about me, and smear tactics) and repeatedly gave Doe a chance to renounce and retract them. This could all have been resolved and avoided henceforth, last night. It could have actually been a significant step of progress; a rare breath of fresh air in the acidic atmosphere of anti-Catholicism.

He partially did so, and softened and qualified a bit, for which I was thankful (and said so) but on the other hand (like a skillful politician), he refused to utterly renounce it and openly still speculates that I may very well suffer from a psychosis, even though he can't prove or confirm it from a distance. I offered to remove my documentation if he would utterly renounce these charges.

But since it remains ambiguous and ultimately unresolved, now I have no choice (given the seriousness and outrageousness of the charges) but to record these exchanges and related utterances. This could have been put behind both of us last night, but unfortunately, it continues now and the lies are still forthcoming, including from fellow anti-Catholic Steve Hays, who is even upping the ante and is now on record saying that I am a "schizophrenic guy" (along with many other equally ridiculous and insulting tidbits).

First I will document what Doe first stated about me on his blog in August 2009 (that he has now removed, but unfortunately for him has not utterly retracted and renounced).

Then follows further discussion of this absurd speculation in February and March 2010 on Edward Reiss' blog, Upstate Lutheran, in another intense combox under his post, "Taking Luther out of Context": an exercise of the sort of goofball, wrongheaded "critiques" of my Luther research that Doe has done for eight years now.

After that I will post relevant remarks in this latest round of futile discussion, from the combox of the hit-post, "How to Make $$ Perpetuating "a serious problem for millions of Catholics".

Doe's words will be in blue, with the following exceptions:

Removed portions of John Q. "Deadhead" Doe's former remarks will be in red.

Removed and retracted portions (one sentence) from John Q. "Deadhead" Doe will be in orange.

Also, fellow anti-Catholics Steve Hays' words will be in purple, and "Turretinfan's" in green.

All bolding is my own, presently. Italics are in the originals.

* * * * *

I think it's quite possible you have serious psychological issues. . . . your cyber-behavior strikes me (and probably others) as very bizarre. If you get yourself checked out, and my suspicions prove accurate, and you get the help you need, be it medication or therapy, and we see a change in your cyber behavior, I'll seriously consider never mentioning you, and begin trying to strike your name from this blog. Perhaps then we could actually have a civil dialogue. If indeed this happens, I don't want to be known as a guy who picked on a person struggling with deep psychological issues. . . .

(formerly posted on 8-24-09 on Doe's Boors All blog; removed on 4-18-10 with a partial apology but no total retraction)

That being said, to all of you who share my concern, perhaps it is time we back of from Dave Armstrong a bit. I know you probably think I'm being sarcastic, but actually, I'm not. / . . . There's just something not right with Mr. Armstrong. I think he needs some help.

(formerly posted on 8-26-09 on the Boors All blog; I believe in the same thread as the above
; removed on 4-18-10 with a partial apology but no total retraction. Both of these were later cited on the Upstate Lutheran blog: on 2-26-10)

* * *

Armstrong considers himself a "professional apologist." Any "professional" should know the importance of context. . . . In fact, if I know DA, he'll simply add the actual references I provided to his "book." (2-26-10; note the derogatory use of quotation marks: a common theme in Doe's relentless smears)

Dave, I'm sure you would very much appreciate it if I didn't look up the quotes you mishandle and put them back in their proper context. Indeed, I don't take you seriously as a "professional" apologist, and yes, your behavior is a bit bizarre at times. Your "work" though, finds an audience, so unless I stop coming across Romanists linking me back to you, I'll keep looking up your "research." You've put forth enough bogus "research" to keep me busy for a long time, if I so choose. You tend to be the recent Romanist with the most Luther stuff, so your "work" get's scrutinized the most. (2-26-10)

Comment all you like. I can't stop your obsession. But I can stop all serious interaction with you (as I have), and stop providing the exposure and notoriety that you crave on my blog (as I have). (2-26-10)

Those who care about truth will benefit from contexts and will find your "work" substandard. (2-26-10)

So our friend offers me this choice:

"If you go to the shrink and get therapy and meds, I'll stop lying about you, won't mention you and will consider removing the massive evidence of my obsession with your non-serious work from my blog, and we can (as a special bonus) even engage in civil dialogue! All you have to do is admit that you are nuts!

"But if you don't admit that you have serious psychological trouble, I'll continue lying about you and being obsessed, as I have for six or seven years now."

Makes eminent sense, doesn't it? Truly an intelligent, compassionate, Christian opinion there . . . who could argue with it? (2-26-10)

your cyber-behavior strikes me (and probably others) as very bizarre. [citing his own past words from 8-24-09, above]

I still stand by those words. Yes, like your fixation on anything "Tim Enloe," your posting of a massive amount of blog comments, then deleting all those comments, posting on issues in those comments that are totally unrelated, protecting your ego via massive amounts of text in those blog comments, claiming to not get involved with anti-Catholics, and then getting involved with anti-Catholics, calling people names, and then playing the martyr when someone says something uncharitable towards you, and on and on and on. (2-26-10)

[replying to my comment of 2-26-10, two entries above] Great example of your psychosis. Rather then simply admit you didn't read Luther in context and subsequently put forth propaganda, you'd rather talk about your favorite subject: Dave Armstrong. (2-26-10; orange portion retracted on 4-18-10 with apology: ")

Perhaps your readers have enough wits about them to realize how ridiculous it is for you to take the view of me that you do, while you keep obsessing over my work and trying desperately to discredit me. Maybe even your readers are embarrassed by that, so they don't respond and hope you will write about something else for a change, and stick to your resolve to not continue tormenting a desperately pathetic, psychologically ill figure such as I. :-) (2-26-10)

Thanks very much for using the word "psychosis," so folks can know exactly what you are talking about. Excellent. (2-26-10)

Umm...Dave, the only one who cares what I think of you is... you. But well done with this diversion, now that we're talking about your favorite subject (you), you don't have to explain contexts that you never read. (2-26-10)

Once again, we see an evasion of context. DA still won't address his own "research" or lack thereof. . . . If anyone is presenting shoddy review of history, it's Armstrong and those like him. (2-26-10)

Would you be willing to go on Iron Sharpens Iron radio program this week on this topic? I'm sure I could set this up, maybe even for Friday. We could set it up with opening / closing statements, responses and Q & A. If my arguments and research is entirely bogus, you'll have the opportunity to directly confront me. Let me know. (2-27-10)

You know what my policy is. What is it you don't get about it? Do you have amnesia now? You had your chance in 2007 to do a live chat debate with me, but you (and six other of your buddies, including Bishop White, twice) refused. At that time I gave up debating anti-Catholics, since they were unwilling to even discuss the foundational issue of what Christianity is. That was the last straw, after 12 years. . . . You can't goad me into this, just because all of a sudden you have worked up the gumption and guts to actually do a real debate. I don't operate on that plane, but by principle. Since I'm not the egomaniac narcissist that you think I am, this ploy doesn't entice me in the slightest.

Why would I waste my time with a guy who thinks I am 1) psychotic, 2) not to be taken seriously, 3) unable to ever tell the truth about Luther, 4) not a Christian? That sounds like a real good discussion to you, eh? Talking things over with a lying, unregenerate nut whose work you are obsessed with? (2-27-10)

Just curious Dave, a lot of other people respond to you, and have done so over the years. Why is it, that you think I'm obsessed with you, while someone like Steve Hays or TurretinFan is not? Perhaps they are as well, but you haven't stated it? They also respond to you, Hays probably as often as I, or perhaps more. (2-27-10)

Why is it that you keep talking to me and writing about my opinions (now even challenging me to a debate), when you think I am a nut and not to be taken seriously? You have some 150 papers about me on your blog (when I still posted your garbage on my site I documented what you had up, in one paper). You say no one should take me seriously; I lie all the time about Luther; I am psychotic (you even said folks should stop pestering me because I am so seriously mentally disturbed), yet you keep doing it. That's obsession because it is certainly not rational (or consistent) behavior. And I do have some background in behavioral science (sociology with a minor in psychology), so that I can recognize an obsession when I see it (especially when I am the target of it). But I wouldn't deign to dogmatically diagnose someone as "psychotic," as you do. (2-27-10)

Yes indeed, I do find your shenanigans quite odd behavior. However, as I've stated repeatedly while I think you're wacky, other people take you seriously. (2-27-10)

Thanks again! This is a great day for the cause of documenting anti-Catholic inanities! We've got "psychosis" and "wacky" in one day! . . . If the best thing you can do is deal with one whom you regard as a wacky psychotic day after day, then perhaps you should examine your own priorities and stewardship of time. And if your anti-Catholic masses are so profoundly stupid that they can't even discern that the rantings of a Romanist madman and liar aren't worth their time, then go give them THEIR meds and urge THEM to seek therapy (and education). . . . (2-27-10)

Dave, you've called me names for years, and put up all sorts of silly pictures and comments about me (and others), so stop being a martyr. I explained earlier your eratic behavior, particularly on my blog, lead me to question whether or not you needed help. Your behavior over here and evasion of a simple question about contexts doesn't help either. That you won't answer simple questions about context really does make one question your honesty. (2-27-10)

I hope to one day attain to your sublime heights of profoundly objective scholarship. With your constant help and guiding hand and inspiring example, perhaps I can get there. It'll be an uphill battle, though, being the lying evil scumbag and psychotic and vow-breaker and narcissist that I am (i.e., stuff that you anti-Catholics have been telling me for years, but my stubborn ears wouldn't receive it). (3-1-10)

Almost anyone in Junior High School could probably put a quote back in context. All it takes is a library and the Internet. With a context, correcting your poor research and misguided editorial comments of the quotes doesn't take much intelligence. It does though take time. (3-1-10)

But to say what I am saying, I get must (inevitably) be accused of being dishonest. Doe has already stated as much (more than once); it's not my mere speculation. This is how it always goes: if I disagree with him, I am dishonest, because what he writes is self-evidently true. . . . I must be seen as dishonest by those who can't handle or comprehend any honest disagreement without slinging charges of dishonesty and deliberate misrepresentation. So be it. I think Doe is a liar and relentless twister and distorter when it comes to my Luther research (and I am the world's biggest expert on my own research and what motivates it), so we'll simply regard each other as liars and go our merry ways. (3-1-10)

There is a reason why I've often said I don't take his work seriously. That is, when I read it, I know I'm not getting the insights of someone looking honestly or in-depth at an issue involving Luther. (3-1-10)

I did call you a slanderous ass, and if anyone ever deserved to be called that, after my personal experience for eight years, it is you. I know it to be the case, because as I've said, it is my work that you have distorted on an ongoing basis all that time. You say I do it about Luther; I say you do it with my own work. The difference is that I know my own work and motivations a lot better than you know Luther's work or motivations. (3-1-10)

. . . whether it's you, Steve Ray, Sippo, Madrid, or whoever playing fast and loose with history. (3-2-10)

You have said you are moving on. So let's see that. Go ahead and do it, and shut up in this combox. Now you can go plan another thirty-forty posts devoted to showing that I don't know the slightest thing about context or establishing a contention through documentation and about how dishonest and stupid and "anti-Luther" I supposedly am (to get up to 200 posts about me by summer's end). Have fun. God sees what you are doing. You can't get away with continually lying, whether I call you on it or not. Your soul is what gets harmed by that, not me. It's your loss, not mine. (3-2-10)

The fact of lying is simply what it is. My indignation is against the sin, not the person. It does him no good to keep doing it. I am rebuking the sin for the sake of his soul. All of you yes men that he surrounds himself with don't see that he is distorting and twisting my work. I do, because I have been the target of it.

But there is no personal malice involved at all. I see him and all anti-Catholics as victims of a deeply flawed, intellectually-suicidal worldview (though it remains Christian, with added garbage on top of that which is untrue). I'm simply sick and tired of having my work distorted over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. (3-2-10)

* * *

If one is going to claim to be a professional Roman Catholic apologist, . . . a guy who simply claims to be an apologist. (4-15-10)

It would be ungrateful of me not to thank you for greatly blessing me:

Matthew 5:11-12a: "Blessed are you when men revile you . . . and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. [12] Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven . . . (4-16-10)

It was stupid of me to comment here at all (I know now), but I hoped beyond hope that undeniable lying (exposed as such) could be rectified for a change. My problem is that I'm too much of a blasted optimist and idealist; heaven help me. I always think people (especially Christians, who allegedly live by a much higher ethical standard) will do the right thing when it is plainly shown that they have done something wrong or are in error.

It is the host's responsibility as a Christian to correct and retract the falsehoods (and outright deliberate lies, insofar as he has been corrected by the party being charged) in the interest of truth and the well-being of his own soul and relationship to God. (4-16-10)

That's quite an ironic use of Bible verse coming from someone who won't even use my actual name in writing, but rather uses a mocking pseudonym. To make matters worse, you've complained over the years of people using pseudonyms instead of real names. If I appealed to that Bible verse every time you wrote something in regard to me, over the years, I would've posted the verse quite a number of times. (4-17-10)

Why though do you at times do mass deletions of your comments? That behavior appears very erratic. (4-17-10)

Well, according to you, who think I suffer from "psychosis" and arrogance and extreme narcissism, why would there have to be any explanation? You're assuming that what I do has some rational reason, which is absurd in the case of a psychotic. In actuality (getting away from your fictional fantasies), usually it is because there is no rational interaction taking place, and if there is any "interaction" at all, it is mostly mocking (just like this thread). So I get disgusted with that because it perverts the legitimate progression of intellectual discourse and I go and delete comments.

If someone can't maintain a normal conversation, he doesn't deserve to be interacted with, per the many biblical injunctions to avoid the vain discourse. It's almost like an occasion of sin: a rational statement may make you guys stumble again and indulge in yet more lying and mocking (like teasing a dog with a bone or tempting an alcoholic with liquor). That doesn't help you, and I get extremely tired of it in about half a second. (4-17-10)

If your reasons for pulling all your posts is what you say it is, fine. So be it. On the other hand, “fictional fantasies” isn’t mocking as well? (4-17-10)

I’ve repeatedly said that others do take you seriously, so I critique your “work”- especially since you write on Roman Catholicism and the Reformation, subjects that interest me. Part of looking over your “work” and commenting on it is nothing else than showing why you shouldn’t be taken seriously. (4-18-10)

For my part, though, I have removed all posts about him from my blog, after being challenged by his friend Carrie to do so. She said that if I thought so strongly that our "dialogues" were substandard, that I could always remove all of them from my site (so I did). We all know, however, that the host is unwilling to do any such thing. (4-17-10)

I don’t recall Carrie’s challenge to you, nor the context of her comments. Correct, I’m not going to dump posts in which you’re either mentioned or critiqued. From a simply pragmatic reason, I don’t have the time to edit and delete a few years worth of posts. If you do, fine. On the other hand, Many of the posts in which I responded to you either harshly or with sarcasm were usually the result of some insulting thing you wrote about me. In a few cases, the posts you wrote about me had to be toned down because of your nastiness. I don’t have the time to do such editing- what I wrote reflected my feelings at the moment. If I was angered by your comments, well then I was angered. Was I sinfully angry? That’s indeed possible. Was my sarcasm sinful at times? Quite possibly. Was it in each instance? Probably not. (4-18-10)

Thank you. I say the same about myself, which is one reason why I took down all the posts having to do with you, and urged that you reciprocate. Are you at least willing to look over all your posts about me and remove ones that you yourself deem to be of this category of sinful expression? Or do you have no time for that project, either? (4-18-10)

Yes, I’m willing to do that, will it happen any time soon? Probably not. (4-18-10)

* * *

You say I am a psychoticI only note it for observers reading this who don't know the background.

I don’t recall all specifics of the thread in which I made that statement, but I do recall saying you needed help- and this was after I read a bunch of comments from you obsessing over Tim Enloe and other points that weren’t even the topic of the post. You simply began talking about yourself. (4-18-10)

We already know how Our Illustrious Host has claimed I suffer from "psychosis" and have a serious psychological problem (documented above). So that matches the "bipolar" remark.

Yeah, and the comment was made in a context in which you obsessed over Tim Enloe, brought up multiple issues irrelevant to the post, and then talked about yourself (a lot), and then deleted all your posts. No, that, isn’t strange behavior, nope. (4-18-10)

And so for these reasons (your jaded, hyper-biased description, but we'll even accept your report for the sake of argument), you feel it is entirely justified to call someone a psychotic? This was not merely anger or disgust at my supposed exasperating or tedious remarks. You had already stated the same on your site back in August. This was not a spur-of-the-moment outburst of temper and intemperate language.

So do you stand by it now or not, or do you want to keep playing games of mediocre obfuscation and selective memory and playing around with contexts, as if this lessens the seriousness of the slander? Am I a psychotic? Do I still need to go to a shrink and get meds, as a condition for you to start acting in a civil fashion?

Jesus said to love your enemies and bless those who curse you. You say you will start acting in a charitable civil fashion worthy of a baby Christian if I get meds, see a shrink and admit that I am nuts. I give you a lot of credit for originality, at least. It isn't very often that one sees such a ridiculous and infantile display of foolishness and barely suppressed anger. (4-18-10)

You don't recall accusing me of being a psychotic. How convenient. I already cited it above in this thread. Here it is again [I cited the two August citations in red above]: . . . You put in several comments dripping with a sarcastic, condescending disdain. I then responded with a direct reply to your charge that I am nuts, that I have also cited above in this thread (go read it). This was the immediate context of your reiteration that I am a wacko nutjob, written on 2-26-10 [also above, including the retracted orange sentence]: . . . You used the word "psychosis." You said I should get "medication or therapy" and that I am "struggling with deep psychological issues." Do you stand by these statements or not? And do you agree with the ones your cronies have made, that I mentioned above? (4-18-10)

* * *

Just curious: Do you stand by your description of my supposed "serious" psychiatric disorders as "psychosis"? (4-18-10)

I mentioned a few comments back about this, about how your behavior got quite odd and erratic and why I made the comment- I’ve always found your behavior odd and erratic (in terms of your insults, retractions, obsessions, reasoning, put up a blog post, take down a blog post, excessive comments about yourself, etc). I don’t know you in person, nor am I trained in psychology, so I can’t know for sure if you have serious problems. (4-18-10)

Yet you felt that you could diagnose me in public as a psychotic? Does this mean you retract and renounce your "diagnosis" now? (4-18-10)

But you do indeed come off as a strange person via your cyber exploits.

And "strange" equates in your mind with nuts and psychotic, huh? (4-18-10)

If you do indeed have some sort of disorder, my error in the matter was pointing it out publicly

Oh, so now I see that you still regard it as a live possibility, if you are not certain and entertain it publicly as such. (4-18-10)

That is, if indeed your odd behavior is the result of personal problems, then I should not have taken the opportunity to use it in such a way as to make matters worse for you by stating it publicly.

So you are still inclined to believe that, and state so in public. Thank you for your honesty about the lie you wish to put out for public consumption. (4-18-10)

No, re-read my comment Dave. I said “I don’t know you in person, nor am I trained in psychology, so I can’t know for sure if you have serious problems.” That is, I don’t know you Dave, as you don’t know me. I’m sorry if you think my comment is a “lie”- but I’m trying to be as honest with you as possible. We’re two people on the opposite ends of the keyboard who only have a one dimensional understanding of each other via writing. It’s entirely possible my previous comment is wrong. If it is, please accept my apology. I don’t mean that sarcastically or in jest. (4-18-10)

[after I jokingly posted the lyrics of "They're coming to take me away"] Again, if I’ve mischaracterized you, my apology. (4-18-10)

So you are renouncing the psychosis charge, even though you still think it is a distinct possibility and think it quite plausible, though you can't know for sure, etc.? (4-18-10)

To actually prove to you the truth of one of my statements above, I actually went back just now into my blog archive, and deleted the post in which I questioned aspects of your psychology. I doubt this will change any of the distance between us, but it at least should demonstrate to you that I meant what I said above. (4-18-10)

I appreciate that; thanks. Now I want to know if you retract and renounce it. That is two different things. You can remove a statement for a variety of reasons yet still continue to believe or suspect that the statement was true. You are still hemming and hawing and making "I'm not sure if you beat your wife or not" sorts of loaded statements. You can't have it both ways. You need to renounce the entire thing and concede that there was never any basis for it from the get-go. (4-18-10)

I actually went back and re-read my statement before I deleted it. In the comment, I questioned not determined. Those are two very different things. I can’t renounce that I said you had definite problems, because I didn’t say that. I wondered and posited if you did. I’ll renounce the statement from Edward’s blog, “nice example of your psychosis” or whatever I said. That’s the best I can do Dave. If you’d like me to say I don’t have credentials to determine your state, that’s fine. If you’d like me to renounce that I questioned your state, I wouldn’t be being honest. If you want me to concede I have no basis for my own opinion about you, I can’t do that either. My experience with you is my experience with you. (4-18-10)

Okay; thanks for those concessions and the retraction. This means that I will remove the one statement you retracted [instead, I have colored it in orange for necessary documentary purposes and noted the retraction above]. But the others will stay in the post you have cited.

In courtesy to you I will include all your qualifications and limited apologies from this thread (added tomorrow, as it is 3 AM now) [that became this present post]. That way, my readers can be treated to extensive discussion of whether in fact I am a lunatic: a thing you continue to entertain as a distinct possibility. At such time that you decide this whole line of thought and speculation is unethical and unwarranted; indefensible, please let me know (and also make a permanent public statement to undo all the public damage), and I will remove all of it.

Perhaps further reflection and the work of the Holy Spirit can bring this about. I'm delighted that any progress at all could be made, and sincerely thank you for that. You're probably getting blasted in private for even this much concession to the "evil" DA . . . it took guts to admit I was right about anything at all. This is encouraging. (4-18-10)

Dave, if any progress can be made here, you should at least admit the blatant double standards you use in which you claim victim status while at the same time mocking others. I don’t see how a person can claim the Holy Spirit is working when that same person uses such a blatantly obvious double standard. (4-18-10)

* * *

Nor will you distance yourself from Hays saying I am "evil" and of "evil character." Is that not judging my heart? What's next? That I am damned to hell too? You object to people questioning Luther's psychological states, yet you turn around and psychoanalyze me without cause. Hence you wrote: "Perhaps the most outrageous claim from Sippo is 'Luther was a bipolar manic-depressive who was virtually psychotic during his periods of mania'" (5-29-06). In Luther's case, I have found many non-Catholic historians who agree that he suffered from serious cyclical depression [post one / post two], which is not all that different from manic-depression (I minored in psychology and majored in sociology; I know a little bit about this stuff). Erickson actually classifies him as such, and he was Jewish, not Catholic.

So Sippo's claim quite arguably has some considerable relation to truth, according to many many Luther historians, but your insult of me had no proof whatever. You cite "erratic" behavior online and some deletion of posts (I explained the latter today and it is perfectly understandable). You recognize now that the public judgment was unwarranted, which is good, progress, and commendable, yet you still seem to have the suspicion that it is true, which is scarcely less objectionable. I'm trying to make the point that saying someone is nuts or evil is completely out of bounds. The statements are made merely because someone has a theological or ethical disagreement. It's ad hominem. It has no place in any rational discussion. (4-18-10)

Unfortunately, you haven't lived up to this standard. You posit you’ve been mocked and this is bad, but then you argue a smaller amount of mocking is OK if you do it, and then add a Bible verse to it to make yourself the obvious lamb among the wolves. I don’t think this is a rational argument. (4-18-10)

* * *

Now that's interesting- while using Google to look for the comment to delete, I found this link- It's selectively citing my words from an hour ago from this comment box- and using my actual name, along with mocking the title of my blog "Boors all"- (4-18-10)

Oh, sorry. So you would prefer that I revert to "John Q. Doe" rather than use your real name? You're quite the confusing guy. (4-18-10)

Well, so much for trying I guess.What's up Dave? Is it that you don't want me to actually delete comments and want to continue to mock me?

If you completely renounce the psychosis thing, per my last post, I'll be happy to remove that, as it is the only thing I have about you on my entire blog now. I wanted to keep the charge of lunacy because of its seriousness and absurdity. But if you renounce it (rather than simply say you shouldn't have said it publicly because you couldn't be certain, which is quite different), then it can be removed. But even these insults that I have documented were removed from my Anti-Catholicism page and put into one post, where they are less likely to be seen. I did that a few weeks ago. I continue to document insults of this sort because it illustrates the bankruptcy of arguments in the folks who use them. (4-18-10)

Do you agree with your friend [Steve] Hays saying I have an "evil character" and that I am flat-out "evil"? (4-18-10)

I don’t recall the context of Steve’s comments, but perhaps he had good reason to say what he did. You’ve posted some downright awful things over the years. I don’t keep track of them, but there have been times I’ve read your blog and wondered what motivates you to post some of the things you’ve posted. On the other hand, if I believe you actively promote a false gospel, then indeed, the work you do is not God-pleasing, at all. (4-18-10)

How about your friend David T. King's description of me as a "foul-mouthed Romanist"? Do you proudly stand by and support all those descriptions? (4-18-10)

Similarly, I’m sure Pastor King had a good reason to make that comment. (4-18-10)

* * *
The mocker strikes again by calling me “Doe”. You’ve got quite a lot of nerve to claim a Bible verse in order play the victim while you repeatedly slander and mock me. Simply stop hiding your hostility behind a Bible verse Dave. If you want to start claiming Bible verses, you better walk the walk as well. (4-18-10)

Would you prefer "viper"? I'd be glad to call you that, too, if you keep lying. And I have an impeccable precedent and role model for doing so. I do call you "Doe." You deny that I am an apologist. You deny that I am a professional apologist. You mock my research by putting that word in quotes. You mock even my "work" by habitually putting quotations around that, too, as if I don't even work now, either??!!You claim I am a pretender who takes people's money in an unethical fashion. You call me a psychotic. Certainly all of these sewer scum insults would qualify as actionable in a civil suit for defamation on the grounds of libel, were I inclined to go that route (I am not at all).

All that, and my simple use of "Doe" has you throwing a hissy-fit. Which is worse? . . . Are you so vain and prideful that you actually can't distinguish between the relative seriousness of mockery between what you do and my calling you Doe? Are you really that caught up in your disdain and condescension that you can't tell the difference? I trust that 99 out of a 100 in a random sample could tell, but you cannot. (4-18-10)

Dave, you call me names, and many others. If you want to be the victim, you need to be consistent. (4-18-10)

Of course mocking is permitted under some circumstances: lots of biblical precedent. I love sarcasm and satire and have done it for years. I was writing satirical tracts (one about the Resurrection and liberal theories about it) in the mid-80s before anyone had ever heard of Rush Limbaugh. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it. I can defend what I do, and if it is excessive and I am convinced of that, I happily retract and remove it. I've done so many times. I'm not perfect. But I'm not nearly as wicked and hypocritical as you and your buddies make me out to be.

Saying publicly that someone is a lunatic is not mocking: it is downright calumny and lying. That's as different as east is from west compared to me calling you "Doe." I've never said any anti-Catholic was nuts, to my knowledge, or evil, or even insincere. I've defended James White on several occasions when he was unfairly criticized. I defended Tim Enloe when White and King were trashing him.

There is simply no comparison. Your continual methodology is to take any sharp remark I make and pretend that it is exactly as objectionable as these extreme remarks made about me, wholly apart from context and justifiability in that context. You have tried to appeal to context in defending or half-defending the remarks I object to.

But there is no justification for implying that someone is a madman or lunatic by calling him a psychotic. That goes far beyond mere contextual issues. You renounced the latter statement, I know ("psychosis"), but you continue to not grasp the gravity of making any such claim without cause in the first place. You still suspect this is the case, but you have no hard evidence for that. (4-18-10)

Again, I refer back to the distinction I made earlier when I re-read my deleted post. It wasn’t a lie. Questioning your state is not the same thing as saying “This is your state.” All your comments about me over the years, as well as the mocking names, is simply wrong as well. You have questioned my integrity and mocked my blog entries on Luther and the Reformation- in essence doing exactly what you say I’m doing. I don’t keep a score card of your insults like you do on others. (4-18-10)

Earlier today you claimed I couldn't produce any lies that you have spread about me. Yet before the day was over you have retracted your remark that I have a "psychosis." But even then you have to qualify it and won't absolutely renounce it. Whatever . . . onlookers reading this now see the sorts of things you have thrown out and they understand that it is not rational argument. It is insult, and fully intended as such. And that's only the tip of the iceberg. If I wish to, I could document your avalanche of insults again, as I did once before, but removed it along with all other papers about you. I removed all my stuff about you, save documenting your remarks that I am nuts. You continue on mocking and lying about me just about every week. And you think that will harm me? (4-18-10)

I’m sure you could. That’s one of the differences between you and I. I deleted those blog comments earlier, completely. That means, I won’t threaten to put them back up when I need them. On the other hand, you appear to simply delete and bring back when needed. And you think this is acting like a “Christian”? If your behavior of post and delete - vow and unvow is what Romanism is all about, that is yet another reason why I’ll never be a Roman Catholic. (4-18-10)

Bottom line: we can't get along; people are sick and tired of all these stupid fights, so I suggested we show some class and remove everything from the Internet. We had a chance to do that and set a positive example. You can still keep substance in your posts without referring to me. That doesn't have to be totally lost. I did that with your posts on my site. I took any reference to you out of them and kept the arguments that stood on their own. You refuse to get rid of all the hit-posts about me because your identity is so wrapped up in distorting my opinions and even actions, and showing how vastly superior you are in all ways, that to do so would apparently be some sort of trauma for you. After all, what would you write about if you weren't constantly, obsessively attacking me?

You claim you have no time to pick through all those posts. It's not that difficult. I removed all your stuff in one day. It's easy. You just don't want to, and you know you will get some severe criticism if you ever decide to remove that, from your buddies who despise me as much as you do. It's too big of a price to pay. So you have decided to keep obsessing and lying (this very post being a quintessential example of your dubious and unsavory method). Like I keep saying, it's your soul. If you can live with this, then there is little anyone can do except pray. I've put a ton of effort into this thread and we've made some small but significant progress, but there is still a million miles to go. (4-18-10)

I deny that I have lied about you. I critique your research, and your abilities as a self-professed theologian/apologist. . . . I question this call. In fact, it sounds quite Protestant and Luther-esque. You are what you are because you feel you’ve been called. Has any official from Rome deemed you an apologist? (4-18-10)

* * *

And now an exchange with the inimitable Steve Hays:

But Hays . . . doesn't see that it makes no sense to simultaneously accuse me of bragging about having something and then not particularly even caring if I have it. So he accuses me of both shortcomings, as if he had done nothing wrong, or hadn't contradicted himself. Or he takes the opinion that I am a liar myself who has no scruples and will say one thing in one instance and another contradictory one in a second instance, since I have no consistent morality. I can't be trusted as to my word regarding my own opinions. This is quite possible for him to conclude, since we know he thinks I have "an evil character" and am "evil" period. So for him it is quite possible that I lie according to situation, to save my skin, just as any unscrupulous rascal would. (4-17-10)

It’s entirely possible for a schizophrenic guy like Armstrong to contradict himself from one moment to the next. Indeed, just look at the wild mood swings which he has put on display in this very thread. . . . The question is not whether the accusation makes sense, but whether Dave makes sense. Dave is confusing logical consistency with psychological consistency. It’s psychologically possible for an emotionally unstable guy like Dave to be logically inconsistent. (4-18-10; I predicted it: the only thing I missed was that Hays used madness instead of an evil character as the cause of alleged flip-flopping)

This doesn't hurt me. It hurts you.

That disclaimer would be a bit more plausible if Dave didn’t go on and on and on in one hysterical comment after another after another. One of Dave’s problems is his lifelong love affair with himself. He reacts to any imagined slight the way a normal man reacts if someone slights his wife or mother or girlfriend. . . . Dave is self-important. . . . People who are truly self-effacing don’t ordinarily crow about how truly self-effacing they are.

This was the immediate context of your reiteration that I am a wacko nutjob.

If would help Armstrong if, in refuting the allegation that he’s emotionally unhinged, if he didn’t become emotionally unhinged whenever he hears the allegation. A hundred hysterical comments later: . . . (4-18-10)

Of course I am not unhinged at all. I am cool as a cucumber, as I always am. This is yet another of the charges that always come out, because you can't distinguish between passion and emotional imbalance. Apparently that is one of the many distinctions that you are unable to grasp in your sublime wisdom. (4-18-10)

Yes, imagine how we could possibly infer his emotional state from his chronic use of emotive, overheated language? (4-18-10)

As cool as a cucumber in a microwave oven. (4-18-10)

Secondly, I am grateful for this because it illustrates perfectly the inanities and idiocies of attempted discussion of any sort with anti-Catholics. I'm either supposed to shut up (in which case I am obviously guilty as charged and a coward as well) or if I choose to defend myself, as presently, then out comes the inevitable narcissism and hysterical charge, and we hear insinuations that I am mentally ill because I deign to defend myself against outrageous, groundless lies. So what do you suggest I do, Steve? (4-18-10)

Well, since you ask, one of Armstrong’s problems (yes, the list is long, I know) is his repudiation of Pauline sola fide. And we see the practical outworking of his life. Because he doesn’t trust in the merit of Christ alone for salvation, Dave has an insatiable need for self-justification. He, like other Catholics, has no peace of mind. (4-18-10)

Should I take the coward route and be thought of as all that you clowns say I am, or should I opt for being nuts and hysterical and paranoid? Whatever I do, it is spun in the most uncharitable fashion imaginable. Thanks for another sterling example of it. (4-18-10)

Yes, Dave, that's evil. Pure evil. (4-18-10)

And separately, shame on you, Dave. Steve's judgment of you has now been demonstrated to be correct. (4-18-10)

I meant that I share his opinion that your actions are evil, though my opinion is somewhat softened by the fact that you showed the sense to delete your comments. I am not expressing an opinion about your mental health.

Of course, that’s symptomatic of Armstrong’s instability. He will post reams and reams of high-strung reaction pieces in the heat of the moment, then, after a cooling off period, when it dawns on him that his impetuous commentary unwittingly backfired, he will follow that up with a mass purge. (4-18-10)

I don't sue anyone (as I noted above). I wasn't making any threat. I had a serious dog bite at a business place some years back and I could have been a rich man, but I don't do that, because this is one of the problems in our society: it doesn't solve anything. I merely mentioned that if I were so inclined, it would be easy to demonstrate that defamation and libel has massively taken place at my expense, in public media, and without cause: some (like Hays' site and White's) that have considerable numbers. (4-18-10)

For example, speaking of defamation, Eric Svendsen did a spoof of a National Enquirer cover once that associated me with Holocaust deniers. Is that true too? Or do you sop that up and believe that I am a neo-Nazi in addition to everything else? He at least had the sense to take it down (though without either retraction or apology, private or public). But the rotgut lies on White's, Hays', and Doe's websites about myself still remains: it is virtually never removed.

The removal of one example of the "psychosis" charge last night was a rare instance of rudimentary sense and fairness in this regard, but even then, note that it wasn't accompanied by a full retraction and renunciation. Hays even ups the ante and reiterates that I am "evil" and now calls me a schizophrenic as well (which is a first, to my knowledge).

I'm delighted to let this all stand here in public as a testimony to how anti-Catholics "argue." James White has articles all the time that decry personal attacks against him. But according to y'all, not a single one of these outlandish charges made against me is even questionable. They're all gospel truth. If you think that your readers are so stupid and dumb to believe all this, then that is the most encouraging sign of all. I don't think they are that ignorant. And that means that the anti-Catholic polemical cause will suffer, which is an altogether good thing, because it is a pack of lies. So there is a bright side to this ultra-ugly stinking affair. As the eternal optimist, I was bound to find it if I looked hard enough, and sure enough I did. (4-18-10)

* * * * *

At length, just when some actually constructive discussion was beginning to take place, as instigated by Tim ("Pilgrimsarbour" -- see particularly his last altogether sensible, thought-provoking entry), Doe decided to shut down the combox that was devoted to the NCAB and my sanity (or lack thereof), even before Tim could counter-reply and a normal discussion could occur. I clarified several points of fact in a number of comments near the end. Here is John Q. Doe's entire final comment and obligatory clueless parting-shot at me:

Dave Armstrong,

Sell whichever products you wish, but keep in mind, I'll review them as I see fit. if they are of the quality of the NCAB, expect it to be noticed. Squirm around all you want, change the subject to make it about you personally, ignore my questions on the NCAB, but the facts of the matter on the NCAB are quite clear.

This discussion on this blog entry has its own life. For your supporters and friends, nothing I say will convince them the NCAB is not a worthy Roman Catholic product, and demonstrates the substandard quality of your endeavors. Go ahead, advertise and promote a book in which the inserts and footnotes say contradicting things. If you don't think that's a problem, and that Roman Catholics buying it will still will be edified rather than confused- well, then we'll have to agree to disagree, because I think if I were Roman Catholic, I'd want my money back. I could not advertise such a product, but it appears our standards are quite different. I admit, I'm not Roman Catholic, so perhaps I don't understand the standards Roman Catholics use for study Bibles.

We here on the other side of the Tiber will critique your work (for reasons I outlined in this very discussion)- as your work stands against the Gospel, and promotes the heretical sect of Romanism. I plan on working through more of your Calvin book, time allowing. I will attempt, as much as possible, to stick with only the facts as you present them. I'll strive to make sure those reading my entries come to the conclusion your Calvin book is substandard all on their own, if I prove that to be the case. If no one reads my blog, or critique of your Calvin book, or anything I write, so be it, I'll enjoy revisiting Calvin's Institutes.

I'm going to shut down this comment box now- simply because of the time drain it has become. I spent Saturday night (11 PM) into Sunday morning (4 AM) interacting with Mr. Armstrong. The next day, I repented of using my time so foolishly (I was quite tired in church). The discussion went nowhere- the NCAB barely came up. I spent my time interacting with a man repeatedly calling me liar- the same man who said he wasn't even going to visit this blog anymore (makes one wonder who the actual liar is). (4-19-10, 5:33 PM)

See also what was my last comment on the issue made in the Boors All combox, just before Mr. Truth and Open-Mindedness shut it down; preserved in the combox below.


Adomnan said...

It's always pandemonium on those anti-Catholic blogs: slander, swill, sophistry and swinishness (the last a reference to Hays, per Mark Shea).

Ben M said...
This post has been removed by the author.
Dave Armstrong said...

Swan just shut down the combox. Too much truth was being set forth, I guess. Here is my latest comment that was made after his policy was decided upon:

* * *

My opinion was expressed over a year ago in the paper: Why Folks Are Buying the Bestselling New Catholic Answer Bible / Clueless Anti-Catholic Attacks On It


So why am I being asked about it again now?

I said recently that theological liberalism (i.e., where it occurs in the footnotes of this Bible) was a serious problem. What a revelation! Of course. I've been fighting it for 30 years now. Any falsehood is serious. This site [i.e., Boors All] is a serious problem, as it contains many serious errors.

For the Calvinist, Lutheran errors are serious problems. For the paedobaptist (Doe, Hays, TAO, King), credobaptism (White) is a serious problem insofar as it is a false doctrine.

Every error is a serious problem. When Protestants advocate masturbation as a warm-up exercise for marriage (as Hays does: how's the practice going, Steve?) that is a serious ethical problem, as it is a grave sin and was always regarded by Protestants as such until recently.

Lots of serious problems going around. Bearing false witness and lying and slander and gossip are regarded as extremely serious in Holy Scripture. Yet they take place every day on this blog: every article written about me contains some of that. See:

1 Timothy 1:9-10 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, [10] immoral persons, sodomites, kidnapers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,

Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death."

i Timothy 4:2 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, [2] through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared,

Dave Armstrong said...

I posted the following in another combox at Boors All:

* * *

My last comment in the NCAB hit-piece thread before it was shut down, so that a normal ongoing conversation with Reformed Protestant Tim could be avoided, is preserved on my blog, if anyone is interested:


* * *

This occurred in the post, "Romanist Charity Says: Zwingli was an Idiot"


The time given for posting is 6:01. I document this for the record, of course, in case it is later removed by Swan.

So far it is not showing up when one pulls up the post at the URL above, but it shows if you try to make a comment:


This may already mean that Swan has taken steps to ban me from commenting further on his blog, Steve Hays and James White and David T. King-style.

If so, I think there could be no more appropriate ending to this whole farce: call a man every name in the book, including "evil" and nuts and "schizophrenic," then forbid him from even commenting and shutting down the first normal conversation that was attempted, started by a fellow Calvinist who is a regular on the same blog.

Dave Armstrong said...

Swan may be trying to forbid my comments. It's weird now. I tested it out in the "Envoy Forums" thread to see if the same thing happened. It, too, doesn't show my comments if one goes to the URL for the post / thread by itself. But if you are on the blog, it shows the number of comments, and if you go to post, mine is included.

This may be some sort of method to hide my comments as much as possible. We'll see.

If it is, it comes as no surprise. Anti-Catholics habitually shut down and attempt to shut up those whom they are unable to rationally answer. After the name-calling, slander, and smearing tactics fail, that is the next recourse of the fool.

I've gone through this with White, Svendsen, King, Hays, Enloe, TAO (for one day, before he changed his mind), and now Doe. Join the crowd . . .

Dave Armstrong said...

Could someone else check these two URLs to see if my comment is there? Maybe I can only see them:



Then try the two post URLs, which are supposed to include the comments:




Dave Armstrong said...

I guess I'm still hanging by a thread. Swan wrote:

Not yet.. would you like to be? Would it help you to show what a "viper" I am over on your blog if I banned you? If you really want to banned in order to revise your victim status at the hands of a dastardly anticatholic viper, I'll oblige you.


I replied:

Oh, that would be wonderful. Then you could be in the sublime, noble tradition of White, Svendsen, King, Hays, and Enloe (and current-day liberals and Democrats and Marxists): shutting down and shutting up folks who disagree with you.

I think it would be very appropriate. What do you think?

I do confess that I was surprised, though, that you would shut down even a normal discussion with a fellow Calvinist. That could have gone somewhere constructive, but we can't have that! So, BOOM, the thread is shut down, lest anything constructive come out of the thread that was designed from the first to smear me and show what a nutty dumbbell I am, as all your posts about me are designed for.


Dave Armstrong said...

Note also that Swan continues to pretend that I called him a "viper." I never did. I was making a rhetorical point. He is twisting the facts again. Here is what I actually wrote:

SWAN: The mocker strikes again by calling me “Doe”.

ME: Would you prefer "viper"? I'd be glad to call you that, too, if you keep lying. And I have an impeccable precedent and role model for doing so.

I do call you "Doe." You deny that I am an apologist. You deny that I am a professional apologist. You mock my research by putting that word in quotes. You mock even my "work" by habitually putting quotations around that, too. You claim I am a pretender who takes people's money in an unethical fashion. You call me a psychotic.

Certainly all of these sewer scum insults would qualify as actionable in a civil suit for defamation on the grounds of libel, were I inclined to go that route (I am not at all).

All that, and my simple use of "Doe" has you throwing a hissy-fit. Which is worse? . . .

Are you so vain and prideful that you actually can't distinguish between the relative seriousness of mockery between what you do and my calling you Doe?

Are you really that caught up in your disdain and condescension that you can't tell the difference? I trust that 99 out of a 100 in a random sample could tell, but you cannot.


Dave Armstrong said...

The problem in the comments now appears to be a gap between posting and when they show up with the URL. So it is merely a technical thing.

Good; but of course Doe is now threatening (in his usual clueless fashion) to ban me. Then he can pretend (as he says outright) that I was seeking victimhood status. This is what his fertile mind thinks he sees.

Anyone with an IQ higher than a pencil eraser can clearly see that I am making a point about free exchange of ideas and free speech and having the courage to defend one's convictions (as I do very often, especially in banning or threatened banning situations).

But Doe cannot. For him, I am always trying to be a victim and have a severe martyr complex. I don't think he ever will get anything that I do.

Too much personal hostility. That severely clouds one's vision.

I steer clear of that because I don't have hostility towards persons: only to their false ideas and unethical actions as they occur (which is what God calls us to do: hate the sin but not the sinner). This allows me to clearly understand the viewpoints of opponents, while they often don't have a clue about mine, due to hostility.

That in turn gives me a huge advantage in what few interactions I have with anti-Catholics anymore; also the fact that I once was a Protestant (though not an anti-Catholic one) whereas most of them were never Catholics.

Dave Armstrong said...

The fun continues over at Boors All:

ME: I want Hitler or Stalin. C'mon, I dare ya! I wanna add that to my collection. "Evil" and "schizophrenic" isn't strong enough language.


SWAN: Have you ever met one of those guys who says, "I dare you hit me, go ahead!"

C'mon Dave, the show is over. You've got all you needed for your recent blog entry, you've beaten every one you've come in contact with over here with irrefutable logic, Romanism once again triumphs, and the anti-Catholics are now hiding with their tails between their legs.

If you've got any sort of respect for your enemy (based on whatever Bible verse you come up with), please don't hijack another blog post that has nothing to do with you.


Swan then took it upon himself to delete my final comment in the original thread, that I had posted on another (since he shut down the original one where it should have been). It's posted above, on 4-19-10, at 5:48 PM. Here is his justification for deletion:


He will now regroup, lay off for a while, and if experience is any guide, in a week -- two at the max --, he'll put up yet another "revenge" hit piece at my expense, which will be #162 or so. I have to "pay" for telling too much truth in the recent "exchange." Since he made an ass of himself for the 854th time, and couldn't rationally defend his positions (even in discussion with a fair-minded fellow Calvinist), now I'll have hell to pay, and we'll see many more attempts at smearing and cynical propaganda.

It looks like his obsession will go on indefinitely, since the only condition that will ever make him stop, as he has made clear, would by my admission that I suffer from psychosis, my going to therapy, and taking medication.

Then (so he said last August, and as documented in the post above, in red, near the beginning) he would consider removing his avalanche of lies about me on his blog, and would even (!!!!!) seriously consider engaging in civil discussion. Imagine that!

Swan having a civil discussion with a Catholic, minus the goofiness, stupefied logic, back-slapping, herd mentality hee-haws from his fan club and sycophants, and insults, is about as likely as a rhinoceros playing a game of chess.

Dave Armstrong said...

The latest idiotic, cowardly stunt pulled by Doe on his blog was to start deleting my comments because I dared to call him "Doe" in his combox.

I noted that this was far less offensive than his seriously questioning my mental health on the same blog, or Steve Hays calling me a "schizophrenic" there, and asked why one was deleted while the other was not.

After a few more posts he decided to start deleting everything I wrote after making the yawningly predictable charge that I am a narcissistic jerk, always talking about myself.

I agree that I must be at least halfway nuts, to even think rational discussion was possible with a guy who acts (and "thinks") like this.

See the thread: with all the insults towards me intact, and all or most of my posts now deleted:


Dave Armstrong said...

Oh, I spoke too soon. Now Doe deleted his stupid replies, too, lest anyone see how ridiculous they were.

Dave Armstrong said...

Apparently Doe is still smarting from my documentation in this post.

He doesn't want that to happen again. He has a reputation of great integrity (and the utmost fairness to his opponents) to uphold, you see . . .

scotju said...

Dave, I hoped you enjoyed my remarks at Boor's All on the continuing "Luther, Crazy?" controversy. As I told the boys over at Boor's, when people hear voices that claim to be the devil, are obsessed with filth,have incrediable cycles of manic behavior and very deep depression, they're either demon posessed or mentally ill. People in their right mind just don't behave this way. Because I've known quite a few mentally ill folks in my time, I believe Luther was suffering from bi-polar. His obsession with filth is one of the classic cross-cultural signs of a mental illness.
I find it offensive that Swan would call you "psychotic". You are not psychotic. You are quite capable of rational thought. This is just childish namecalling from a man who has no real arguement, but he's too proud to admit it.

Dave Armstrong said...

Thanks for the support.

We have some disagreement on Luther. I think he suffered from cyclical depression and overscrupulosity. I don't think he was "nuts," though.

Manic-depression or Bipolar (even if he was that, and I wouldn't rule it out as a possibility, though I don't positively assert it) is more of an emotional malady than a mental one. One doesn't usually lose touch with reality. It is emotional highs and lows. I minored in psychology and know a little bit about this stuff.

Surely we agree, though, on the ridiculous double standard being shown at Boors All. I couldn't even call the host "Doe" without him deleting my comment and crying foul. It's completely absurd. But this is what personal hostility does.

It is ultimately due to pride, I believe. Doe first started down this path of mockery and name-calling after I was quite unimpressed with what he thought was his magnum opus on Luther: a big fat paper with 201 footnotes. After that he started the schtick of not taking me "seriously."

His ego simply couldn't handle my "rejection" of that goofy, pathetically argued paper of his.

Dave Armstrong said...

Here is my initial comment that set off Doe (because I called him "Doe") and set him on a deletion spree. I happened to get it back as part of a letter sent to me:

PROTESTANT COMMENTER: Assertions without arguments. I've come to expect as much.

ME: Yeah, me, too: having been characterized as a "schizophrenic" (Hays) and wacko (Doe) and "evil" (Hays) myself, on this very blog (oh, the ironies and double standards there, that are patently obvious).

So that takes place with absolutely no cause or evidence, but if anyone dares simply say that Luther suffered from serious depression (as I and virtually all his biographers do), then it is Chicken Little and a Catholic conspiracy of malice (even though the Protestant historians say exactly the same).

I've never contended that Luther was nuts or insane or even of a bad character, but all this has been said about me on this blog, and winked at and reiterated, as if it were perfectly normal and not absurd or outrageous at all.

scotju said...

Yes, we do have a slight disagreement on wheither ol' Marty was totally "nuts". If he was a psychotic, temporary or permanent, then he would have lost touch with reality, for example, his talks with the devil. I think as far as his permanent state of mind, a very good case can be made that he was a neurotic. The definition of neurosis in the New World Dictionary is:any of the various mental functional disorders characterized by anxiety, compulsions, phobias, depressions, dissociations, etc. All of these fit Luther like a glove. The dissociation part could and would explain his behavior, if it was not outright psychosis or demonic possesion. Dissociations can involve altered states of consciousness, which can be an alternative explanation of his talks with the devil. You should go to en.wikpedia.org/wiki/Dissociation for a fairly good exposition of dissociation. I believe it will help us to understand why Luther was the way he was.

Dave Armstrong said...

Neurosis is a different thing. We know that Luther was overscrupulous, from the reports of his ridiculously detailed confessions as a Catholic monk.

Talking to the devil doesn't necessarily prove anything. Jesus did that. I'm sure many saints have as well. It could possibly be a weird thing, but not necessarily.

I don't see the benefit of arguing that he was nuts. It is only seen as a personal attack. I prefer to stick to his false theology and ideas. That's where the heart of the discussion lies.

As for this other stuff, I go with what almost all Protestant biographers believe: he suffered from periodic serious depression and had some other eccentricities.

scotju said...

"Neurosis is a different thing." Yes a neurotic is not totally detached from reality. Like the definition says, they are so overwhelmed be anxieties, phobias, depressions,complusions, and dissociations that life becomes a living hell for them and the people around them. And when they try to work out their problems without proper medicines to control the symptom of the illness and adequate talk therapy, they act out their neurosis. Luther had "talk therapy" in the form of confession, but it didn't work for him because he did all the talking and didn't listen to his confesser's advice. As for medications, I don't know if they had any thing like prozac in the 16th century, Luther's frequent downing of alcohol was the worst possible thing for a neurotic. It would make his existing problems even worse.

"Talking to the devil doesn't necessarily prove anything. Yes and no Dave. Jesus and the saints did talk to the devil, but they resisted him. They didn't go on to found a false religion like Luther or Calvin. Luther, who was either in the depthes of dissociation or demonic posession, was clearly out of it.

"I don't see the benefits of arguing that he was nuts. It is only seen as a personal attack. I prefer to stick to his false theology and ideas. That's where the heart of this discussion lies." Dave, if the man and his ideas are wrong, they both have to be discredited. It was because of his abberent mental state that he came up with his flakey balderdash. A person with a sane mind would not have said and done the things that he did. Indeed, a quick study of the lives of the founders of religions that are considered cults show this to be the case. Since I used to follow Herbert Armstrong years ago, I know this to be true in a very personal way. If I haven't become disillsioned with Armstrong's person and doctrine, I never would have turned away from cults to the true church. The same thing applies to Luther as well. I was a Lutheran too, and it took being disgusted with Luther's life and doctrines to break with the Lutherans.

"It is only seen as a personal attack". As a former cultist, I can tell you that any attack on a group is always regarded as "personal". You can publicly announce that you are not going to attack the leaders person, but they won't believe it.

Your last statement I'm in partial agreement with. Sure it's important to attack the false prophets ideas, but if the ideas are false, so is he/she. Peter and Jude in their epistles didn't hesitate to blame the personal failings of the false prophets/apostles as the cause of their false doctrine. Again, as a former cultist, I learned that Herbert Armstrong's personal feelings, prejudices, and hang ups were the main reasons why his cult believed and taught what it did. Both the person and his beliefs are at the heart of the discussion.

Yes, Martin sffered from depression. He had depression because he was a neurotic basketcase.

Dave Armstrong said...

We need not regard a man as either evil or insincere (let alone nuts or demon-possessed) because he taught some false theology. He was still a Christian.

I think your cultic background has clouded your judgment here, leading to an extreme view.

scotju said...

Dave, since heresy is regarded as a work of the flesh, how cold the post 1520 Luther be considered a Christian, since Galatians says such will not see God's kingdom?

My extreme reaction!? Dave, if you knew what it was like inside the cult I was in, you never would have made such a foolish remark. People tried to commit suicide, they drank too much, marriages were torn apart at whim, educations derailed because it would be 'worldly'. And what was the man at the top like!? A rapist, an incestous father, an adulter, a fornicator, a finanical leech, a drunkard, a glutton, etcd. The point I wish t5o make again is this. If I haven't discovered the real Herbert Armstrong, I doubt wheither I would have broken away from his dammable cult. Disillsionment with the heretic and his heresies must go hand in hand or the victim of the heretic can't make the break.

Dave Armstrong said...

Luther wasn't any of those things that Herbert W. Armstrong was. It is unfair and illogical to project him and your experiences there onto Martin Luther.

scotju said...

Dave, I just had a run-in with Mr Doe at Boar's All. Boy,talk about a hyper-sensitive individual! In on of my last posts in the com-box, I called him Jimmie and Swanee. He acted like I was mocking him. I told him I was not and that people have called me by pet names and nick-names all my life, and I didn't take offence. I then told him I would avoid calling him "Jimmie" or "Swanee" because I don't willingly wish to hurt anyone's feelings. However, i also told him that his demand made him look smallminded and petty. This simple forthright observation caused him to loose his cool and close down the com-box. Some folks just can't take a little helpfull criticism! If yo want to see what lead to this go to beggersallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/05/reforming-work-of-paul-what-load-of.html I'm embarassed for Doe and his crew!

Dave Armstrong said...

Anti-Catholics are indeed a very sensitive lot, with loads of double standards. They regularly mock us and distort our opinions but if we engage in even the mildest fun with satire or nicknames, it is Chicken Little.

But that is nothing compared to their inability to argue sensibly or rationally: the reason why I no longer bother trying to dialogue with them. In September it'll be three years since I instituted that policy. It's been one of the wisest time-management decisions I've ever made in my ministry.

scotju said...

Dave, you are right about these folks being unable to argue sensibly or rationally. These so-called "Christian" anti-Catholics remind me of the people I knew in the Worldwide Church of God. They could espouse their beliefs with great energy, but when someone seeked to qeustion them about their beliefs, rational thought and action went out the window. The only thing you can do is pray for them and expose their heresies.