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The Sacred Beliefs of the Left

Here’s a fascinating essay by a Canadian progressive gay activist who uses the pseudonym Aurora Dagny [1], in which she criticizes her own side — and, as she admits, her younger self — for pursuing their goals with a zeal Dagny now finds frightening and monstrous. Excerpts:

There is something dark and vaguely cultish about this particular brand of politics. I’ve thought a lot about what exactly that is. I’ve pinned down four core features that make it so disturbing: dogmatism, groupthink, a crusader mentality, and anti-intellectualism. I’ll go into detail about each one of these. The following is as much a confession as it is an admonishment. I will not mention a single sin that I have not been fully and damnably guilty of in my time.

First, dogmatism. One way to define the difference between a regular belief and a sacred belief is that people who hold sacred beliefs think it is morally wrong for anyone to question those beliefs. If someone does question those beliefs, they’re not just being stupid or even depraved, they’re actively doing violence. They might as well be kicking a puppy. When people hold sacred beliefs, there is no disagreement without animosity. In this mindset, people who disagreed with my views weren’t just wrong, they were awful people. I watched what people said closely, scanning for objectionable content. Any infraction reflected badly on your character, and too many might put you on my blacklist. Calling them ‘sacred beliefs’ is a nice way to put it. What I mean to say is that they are dogmas.

Thinking this way quickly divides the world into an ingroup and an outgroup — believers and heathens, the righteous and the wrong-teous. “I hate being around un-rad people,” a friend once texted me, infuriated with their liberal roommates. Members of the ingroup are held to the same stringent standards. Every minor heresy inches you further away from the group. People are reluctant to say that anything is too radical for fear of being been seen as too un-radical. Conversely, showing your devotion to the cause earns you respect. Groupthink becomes the modus operandi. When I was part of groups like this, everyone was on exactly the same page about a suspiciously large range of issues. Internal disagreement was rare. The insular community served as an incubator of extreme, irrational views.

High on their own supply, activists in these organizing circles end up developing a crusader mentality: an extreme self-righteousness based on the conviction that they are doing the secular equivalent of God’s work. It isn’t about ego or elevating oneself. In fact, the activists I knew and I tended to denigrate ourselves more than anything. It wasn’t about us, it was about the desperately needed work we were doing, it was about the people we were trying to help. The danger of the crusader mentality is that it turns the world in a battle between good and evil. Actions that would otherwise seem extreme and crazy become natural and expected. I didn’t think twice about doing a lot of things I would never do today.

Dagny talks about the “anti-intellectualism” in radical circles, an impulse the demonizes intellectual inquiry about theoretical matters. Excerpt:

Consider otherkin, people who believe they are literally animals or magical creatures and who use the concepts and language of anti-oppressive politics to talk about themselves. I have no problem drawing my own conclusions about the lived experience of otherkin. Nobody is literally a honeybee or a dragon. We have to assess claims about oppression based on more than just what people say about themselves. If I took the idea of the infallibility of the oppressed seriously, I would have to trust that dragons exist. That is why it’s such an unreliable guide. (I half-expect the response, “Check your human privilege!”)

It is an ominous sign whenever a political movement dispenses with methods and approaches of gaining knowledge that are anchored to public revelation and, moreover, becomes openly hostile to them. Anti-intellectualism and a corresponding reliance on innate knowledge is one of the hallmarks of a cult or a totalitarian ideology.

change_me

If you don’t agree that a human being with a penis is not a woman, no matter what that person says, then, in the eyes of this sort of person, you are an Enemy of the People.

Read the whole thing. [1] Interesting that the author wrote it under a false name. She’s scared of her own side.

As ridiculous as the whole Elton John vs. Dolce & Gabbana fight [2]is, there is something important at its heart. Dolce & Gabbana are fashion icons, and have been so for a long time. They have also been openly gay. They spoke out in favor of privileging the traditional family, and against IVF. And the reaction from their own side? Prominent people saying they want to “burn,” or otherwise clear their closets of, D&G clothing, and saying that the men should have their business destroyed.

Unlike a bakery or a restaurant, Dolce & Gabbana, who are worth billions, will be fine. But the impulse that leads people to fanatically denounce them as if they were witches and this were colonial Salem is strong in our society, especially among gay rights activists and their allies. A reader sent in this essay about this kind of purity culture among progressive Evangelicals [3]. Excerpt:

For evangelical Christians moral purity will fixate on hedonism (e.g., sex, drug use).

For progressive Christians moral purity will fixate on complicity in injustice. To be increasingly “pure” in progressive Christian circles is to become less and less complicit in injustice. Thus there is an impulse toward a more and more radical lifestyle where, eventually, you find yourself feeling that “everything is problematic.”  You can’t do anything without contaminating yourself.

To be clear, I’m not judging any of this. I’m simply trying to trace out the contours of the purity culture at work among progressive Christians. Mainly because I think many progressive Christians have become burnt out by this psychology. Progressive Christians have become burnt out by the chronic anger produced by the “good vs. evil” Crusader mentality and burnt out by the chronic exhaustion of living in a world where “everything is problematic.”

For most of us, the vision of progressive Christianity–as we took up the banner of social justice–started out so hopeful and joyous.

But for far too many, in the words of Aurora, the purity culture of progressive Christianity caused it all to “metastasize into a nightmare.”

It’s just so damn exhausting. If I had the money to buy Dolce & Gabbana clothing, and I wanted to do so, I would not give a rat’s rear end that they’re gay, or what their personal beliefs are on homosexuality, gay marriage, IVF, or anything. I imagine that I don’t agree with the politics, cultural or otherwise, of the creators of many good things that I enjoy. So what? The fact that Elton John is a hysterical prig does not take away from the fact that his music — his Seventies stuff, anyway — is quite good. The joylessness and zealotry will burn itself out, I imagine, but a lot of people are going to get hurt before it does.

91 Comments (Open | Close)

91 Comments To "The Sacred Beliefs of the Left"

#1 Comment By grumpy realist On March 17, 2015 @ 6:48 pm

(Come to think of it, the only sacred beliefs I hold as a card-carrying individual on the Left is that Quantum Mechanics is really weird stuff, stupidity should hurt, and the best scotch out there to drink is Laphraoig or McCallen.)

#2 Comment By Carlo On March 17, 2015 @ 6:55 pm

Andrew S.:

“Really, Carlo? Then why are so many conservative politicians afraid to get on the wrong side of talk radio bloviators like Limbaugh, Levin et al?”

Because there is some serious confusion of language going on. Somebody who exists in order to oppose the revolution is an anti-leftist, i.e. a revolutionary in reverse, but certainly not a conservative. But unfortunately this elementary distinction is completely impossible in American public discourse.

#3 Comment By Carlo On March 17, 2015 @ 7:06 pm

panda:

which statement?

In any case, there are different “rights” in the US: a Randian libertarian right, a religious right, white supremacists, the conservative right etc. In which one do you observe gnostic-millennialist tendencies like those clearly displayed by the people Aurora Dagny describes?

I know some groups, but as I already told somebody else, they are really anti-leftists, without much life of their own.

#4 Comment By steve On March 17, 2015 @ 7:18 pm

When I was in college there were always a few tiny groups of weird radicals like this. I ignored them. So did everyone else. Now that we have the internet we focus on these people a lot, on the internet. In real life, everyone still ignores them.

Steve

#5 Comment By Isidore The Farmer On March 17, 2015 @ 7:20 pm

This serves a key purpose, though: by only gingerly talking about these things in a hushed tone, it has an effect of shifting the goal posts of what can even be discussed at all. A small minority may only ever buy into this nonsense, but a large majority just observed, and learned the lessons, that some opinions are best kept private.

Until traditionalists fully absorb this lesson, and recognize that pushing back against it will require both courage and strategy, they will continue to see the limits of acceptable conversation shifting beneath them.

#6 Comment By redfish On March 17, 2015 @ 8:21 pm

grumpy realist,

This isn’t a Left vs. Right thing–it’s a fanatics vs. moderates thing.

Sure, and I consider myself a moderate, not a conservative.

But your comment about the swamps of the Left and the Right is a bit interesting, since the Left has a lot more control of the culture. The swamps of the Left can be found in academia, newsrooms, the entertainment industry, and increasingly in corporate america as you can see by their endorsement of a lot of socially progressive politics. The swamps of the Right can be found in one portion of the religious community that has gradually diminishing church attendance, odd websites here and there, and talk radio.

#7 Comment By Isidore The Farmer On March 17, 2015 @ 8:54 pm

Speaking of everything being problematic, this is one of the great new tumblr blogs on the interwebz:

[4]

There is a decently sized segment of society that is not won over by ideas but simply operate by the herd mentality. They will go where they believe they have cover and numbers. If it boosts their ego, even better. Reflections On XYZ have no impact on this group. What does have an impact is embarrassing them and/or isolating them to the point that they believe it is in their interest to join your side. They will go wherever the wind blows. The left understands this better than the right, in part because this mentality is slightly more common on the left than the right. This is part of the reason why these things manifest themselves in different ways across the spectrum.

Some people are persuaded by reason; some people merely want to feel safe within the herd. You dislodge them by causing them to doubt their safety in the numbers.

#8 Comment By Bobby On March 17, 2015 @ 9:04 pm

Yes, there are nutty left-wing fundamentalists. So what? Their numbers are relatively small, and they are hardly representative of everyone who opposes the right-wing social agenda. Moreover, the existence of left-wing fundamentalists doesn’t make right-wing fundamentalism excusable.

#9 Comment By Isidore The Farmer On March 17, 2015 @ 9:10 pm

Apologies, my comment at 7:20pm was intended for the thread about men having abortions.

#10 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 17, 2015 @ 9:19 pm

Hey, where’d you get that cool photo of a live Gorgon?

All the criticism this young lady growing up has to offer are true, valid and timely. But her use of the word “sacred” is rather strained, and anyone who has any positive sense of the sacred ought to recognize that.

There is nothing inherently sacred about dogma, and nothing inherently dogmatic about perception and veneration of the sacred.

The sacred beliefs of many of us on the left are found in the Apostles Creed. Many even adhere to every word of it, although I must admit I quibble over “seated at the right hand of…” God doesn’t have a right hand, and whatever Jesus is, he’s not seated. But those are minor quibbles.

#11 Comment By Darrel On March 17, 2015 @ 9:49 pm

It’s just so damn exhausting. If I had the money to buy Dolce & Gabbana clothing, and I wanted to do so, I would not give a rat’s rear end that they’re gay, or what their personal beliefs are on homosexuality, gay marriage, IVF, or anything.

This “why can’t everyone just relax and be cool and engage in normal commerce across cultural and political divides” pose sits in some tension with the rather histrionic way you react to the notion that people who provide public accommodations should not discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation.

Anyway, it seems like a sensible enough reaction to this silliness. I hope you stick with the new you, although I’m not optimistic.

#12 Comment By Anand On March 17, 2015 @ 11:09 pm

It may be true that the political right in the US hasn’t tended to devour its children like this… but the more extreme parts of the religious right have.

One example here:

[5]

Or for that matter the Independent Fundamental Baptist (KJV only) church movement.. some of whose idiocies are catalogued here

[6]

These groups display all the characteristics listed by the author above.

They also have one additional characteristic in common…a lack of concern when their efforts fail to succeed in achieving their stated goals. Because after a while being radically countercultural becomes an easier end to achieve than dealing with the redemption of real people.

-Anand

#13 Comment By panda On March 17, 2015 @ 11:31 pm

“In any case, there are different “rights” in the US: a Randian libertarian right, a religious right, white supremacists, the conservative right etc. In which one do you observe gnostic-millennialist tendencies like those clearly displayed by the people Aurora Dagny describes?”

First off, the distinctions between the groups you name are not nearly as hard and fast as you imagine: the vast majority of politically active conservative christians fully supports libertarian economics, for instance. Second, the fact that movement conservatism in the US is has a millenarian streak, is so clearly that I am almost embarassed to debate the point. How many warnings about the fall of the republic had been issuing from those quarters since 2009 .

“I know some groups, but as I already told somebody else, they are really anti-leftists, without much life of their own.”

And this is really your problem. For better or worse, you are arguing on an American website, and within the frame of reference of your interlocutors, what you are basically doing is trying to write 80-90% of the rightist/conservative community out of existence, because it doesn’t fit your Platonic ideal of how the “right” should look like.

#14 Comment By panda On March 17, 2015 @ 11:33 pm

“The swamps of the Right can be found in one portion of the religious community that has gradually diminishing church attendance, odd websites here and there, and talk radio.”

And Congress, and Senate, and state legislatures..

#15 Comment By L617 On March 18, 2015 @ 6:14 am

Others may have already said this (haven’t gone through all the comments), but I’d imagine that for a lot of people it’s not about D&G’s personal beliefs. It’s about the personal affront calling one’s IVF child a “synthetic baby”. Sure, D&G aimed it comments mostly at gay families, but calling a person a “synthetic baby” all because of its parents is pretty insulting, whether you are the gay or straight parent of a child conceived via IVF.

#16 Comment By Rob G On March 18, 2015 @ 10:00 am

“There is no apocalyptic, end of republic, final battle for the republic, streak on the American right at all, and American conservatives are all cautious pragmatists. Have you been asleep in the last decade or so?”

As usual, you’ve got it precisely bass-ackwards. This sort of apocalyptic is a reaction to perceived threats of the “immanentization of the eschaton,” not a manifestation of it. Sheesh.

#17 Comment By Rob G On March 18, 2015 @ 10:11 am

“the vast majority of politically active conservative christians fully supports libertarian economics, for instance.”

Not unless you define “libertarian economics” as “any sort of capitalism, loosely defined.”

“the fact that movement conservatism in the US is has a millenarian streak, is so clearly that I am almost embarassed to debate the point. How many warnings about the fall of the republic had been issuing from those quarters since 2009.”

Even if this were true, you again confuse “millenarian” with apocalyptic. Dont be afraid of the dictionary — it’s your friend!

~~For better or worse, you are arguing on an American website, and within the frame of reference of your interlocutors, what you are basically doing is trying to write 80-90% of the rightist/conservative community out of existence, because it doesn’t fit your Platonic ideal of how the “right” should look like.~~

Whomever you’re writing about has an infinitely better handle on the American Right than you do, panda. You’re stuck in “analysis” based on the same tired binaries that mainstream conservatism is, except from the other side.

#18 Comment By Johann On March 18, 2015 @ 11:09 am

We can thank the Lutheran church for the large Minnesota Samali population. Thanks for nothing Lutheran do-gooder women. Are you feeling good about yourselves now? Too bad for your grandchildren and great-great-greats though.

#19 Comment By Johann On March 18, 2015 @ 11:33 am

Oops, that’s Somali, not Samali 🙂

#20 Comment By grumpy realist On March 18, 2015 @ 11:52 am

Redfish–considering the number of Republican congresscritters who don’t believe in evolution, I think the rot may be a little deeper than that…

#21 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 18, 2015 @ 12:10 pm

First off, the distinctions between the groups you name are not nearly as hard and fast as you imagine: the vast majority of politically active conservative christians fully supports libertarian economics, for instance.

Prove it. The above statement has the same inherent problems as more rigorous conclusions of actual social science: how big is your universe and what did you leave out, with the added disadvantage of being an anecdotal personal impression, without having counted heads at all.

If one were to say, various forms of conservative ideology overlap some in their adherents, I would agree, although that too is a personal impression of mine. But in addition, the various forms of conservative ideology overlap with various shades of leftist ideology in their adherents. So drawing conclusions about “those people” is possible only in the delusory world of the right wing talk show hosts and their leftist magazine counter-parts.

#22 Comment By stef On March 18, 2015 @ 1:33 pm

@grumpy realist: Redfish–considering the number of Republican congresscritters who don’t believe in evolution, I think the rot may be a little deeper than that…

On the other hand, I’d prefer a pack of young-earth creationists to the “evolutionary biologist” racialists and/or MRAs.

Decisions, decisions.

#23 Comment By Anne On March 18, 2015 @ 1:37 pm

I would never say the vast majority of Christian conservatives support libertarian economics, only because I doubt the vast majority of any group of ordinary Americans know one school or philosophy of economics from another. They certainly vote for politicians who support libertarian economics even as they tell pollsters or members of the “lamestream media” they don’t want the government messing with their Medicare (!). It seems to me the problems in this country stem as much, if not more, from invincible ignorance as dogmatism from the Right or Left.

#24 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On March 18, 2015 @ 2:05 pm

Shorter Stef: I’d prefer a movement that flatly denies scientific truth to one that interprets scientific truth to come to conclusions I might dislike.

When Steve Sailer refers to SJW wackoes as ‘liberal creationists’, he isn’t kidding.

#25 Comment By Thursday On March 18, 2015 @ 2:21 pm

This sort of apocalyptic is a reaction to perceived threats of the “immanentization of the eschaton,” not a manifestation of it.

Right, people on the right end of the spectrum, whatever flavor they are, do object strongly to the dismantling of goods already here. But rarely are they trying to bring about heaven on earth. They aren’t utopians.

#26 Comment By grumpy realist On March 18, 2015 @ 2:48 pm

Stef: in that case, can I simply root for injuries?

But you’re right. At least the young-earth creationists have a sincere (if literal) belief in the Bible that propounds a genuine system of ethics I could live with. Whereas the “evolutionary biologists” racialists and MRAs boil simply down to pure Randian selfishness and finding justification for the worst aspects of ego. (“Me good, me get to rule over everyone else and do whatever I want.”)

#27 Comment By Andrew e. On March 18, 2015 @ 2:52 pm

Isidore the Farmer: I want to thank you for giving the perfect example of Poe’s Law as applied to the (shudder) Social Justice Warrior Left. As a general liberal, that Tumblr blog both confuses me and chills me to the bone.

#28 Comment By Carlo On March 18, 2015 @ 3:00 pm

panda:

excuse me, but you just ignored my main contention: that the millennialism of the American right you have in mind is just a mirror image of the millennialism of the left. But (and this is important) the millennialism of the left has both logical and historical precedence.

I’ll be happy to grant you that there are non-millennialist components on both left and right. However, I insist that since, say, the late sixties, ideology has been rampant on both sides of US politics, but one side is a reaction to the other.

I would argue this is somewhat similar to what happened in Europe in the 1930’s, when in several ways Nazism expended as a naturalistic/nationalistic/racist mirror image of Bolshevism.

#29 Comment By Viking On March 18, 2015 @ 4:59 pm

Rod, I had a little trouble with something you wrote. You said: “If you don’t agree that a human being with a penis is not a woman”…. “you are an Enemy of the People”. Don’t you mean that a person with a penis can be a woman, if “she” so identifies “herself” as such? It’s we reactionaries, after all, who think a penis = manhood.

#30 Comment By MikeCA On March 18, 2015 @ 5:28 pm

Johann,I remember when people were complaining that the “do gooders” were swamping MN with “boat people” when Catholic & Lutherans alike helped resettle Southeast Asian refugees. Like any other immigrant group it has been harder on older people who had a tough time learning English & adapting to US cultural norms; their children,grand children & probably great grandkids at this point have assimilated pretty well. There’s never an exact comparison when it comes to different immigrants and their ability to adapt & thrive but I suspect the Somali community will ultimately do just fine. Ben Franklin wasn’t crazy about the large number of Germans settling in PA and questioned their ability to assimilate and after that it was the Irish,then Italians,Slavs,etc and each in their turn have become American. Of all the things to worry about,Somali Americans long term are not an issue.

#31 Comment By Deb On March 18, 2015 @ 7:29 pm

Extremists in general are scary people, whether they be on the left or the right.

#32 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 18, 2015 @ 8:35 pm

I can certainly get along with a Young Earth Creationist who has a sincere concern for improving life in the inner city than I can with a Randite. After all, I can argue with YEC types about what we BELIEVE happened some 6000 – 13 billion years ago, but none of our argument is going to change what is True. Whereas, nurturing and educating children can actually change the Truth of our immediate surroundings.

Likewise, and with more subtle distinction, I could support a pro-life politician who supports the Fight for $15 movement among fast food workers, more easily than a cultural “progressive” who, along with being pro-choice, is earnestly concerned with everyone being broad-minded about their pronouns, but considers anyone who isn’t familiar with the difference between cappuccino and frappuccino a reactionary lost cause.

#33 Comment By Michael Powe On March 18, 2015 @ 9:56 pm

Well, Rod, how about producing the counterpoint, “The Sacred Beliefs of the Right”?

Frankly, one of the prominent elements of the Left that is nearly wholly absent from the right is the capacity for self-critique.

I find particularly absurd any person on the right condemning “group think,” when the entire political platform of the right is itself group think.

Your political representatives can’t even answer the most basic questions, like “Do you believe in evolution?” or “Do you believe that AGW is real?”

Those of us on the left certainly have our issues. We actively address them on an ongoing basis. Articles in the vein of the one adduced here are a dime a hundred among leftists. Strive to do the same in your own group, instead of using self-criticism among leftists as “proof” they’re screwed up.

#34 Comment By Neal On March 19, 2015 @ 3:20 am

Activists, extremists, fanatics, pundits, and opinion makers… are all the same people. And those of us living in the real world, pay them no mind.

#35 Comment By Jesse Ewiak On March 19, 2015 @ 7:19 am

“Likewise, and with more subtle distinction, I could support a pro-life politician who supports the Fight for $15 movement among fast food workers, more easily than a cultural “progressive” who, along with being pro-choice, is earnestly concerned with everyone being broad-minded about their pronouns, but considers anyone who isn’t familiar with the difference between cappuccino and frappuccino a reactionary lost cause.”

It’s weird you keep saying things like this, when ya’ know, where the $15 minimum wage was passed? Seattle. Land of secular social liberals. So just maybe, some of us can care about wages _and_ reproductive freedom at the same time.

#36 Comment By Rob G On March 19, 2015 @ 9:51 am

“one of the prominent elements of the Left that is nearly wholly absent from the right is the capacity for self-critique.”

Excuse me, but do you happen to be blind and deaf? The sheer existence of TAC serves as a critique of movement conservatism. Ditto Front Porch Republic, The Rockford Institute, and others.

The point is not so much self-critique or lack thereof, but what it’s based upon and how it manifests itself. Did you even read the post?

#37 Comment By Rob G On March 19, 2015 @ 10:03 am

“I could support a pro-life politician who supports the Fight for $15 movement among fast food workers”

Just wondering — what happens to those workers in other industries, education or health care for example, who are now making the magical $15 but whose jobs are of notably more value than burger-flippers? Do they automatically get a raise too? Or do you really want to pay the Mickey D’s employee the same amount that you pay a teacher’s aide or the woman that handles your medical insurance claim at Blue Cross?

The liberal idea that you can fix a problem by simply throwing more money at it just never seems to go away, does it? And I say this as an agrarian, completely non-mainstream conservative who has deep moral concerns and strong disagreements with corporate capitalism.

#38 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On March 19, 2015 @ 10:52 am

Rob G,

Fast food workers are probably a poor example (since I’d prefer we lived in a society with fewer fast food restaurants and fewer fast food workers), but here’s a serious question. If you were going to get paid $30,000 a year to work at Micky D’s or to do whatever it is you do, which one would you choose?

#39 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 19, 2015 @ 1:38 pm

Just wondering — what happens to those workers in other industries, education or health care for example, who are now making the magical $15 but whose jobs are of notably more value than burger-flippers? Do they automatically get a raise too?

Sure, they don’t make enough either. And the CNA’s don’t get paid much more than burger flippers, although the benefits MAY be better at SOME of the larger institutions.

Or do you really want to pay the Mickey D’s employee the same amount that you pay a teacher’s aide or the woman that handles your medical insurance claim at Blue Cross?

That’s arguably not a bad idea either. They all have to pay bills and support families in the same economy.

But this might make more sense. There should be a base pay rate that is enough for bare subsistence, really enough, considering we all need electricity, water, sewers, a car to drive to work, etc. Everyone should get that, and it may well be $12-$15 an hour. Then, EVERYONE gets somewhat more, which might be a mere $2-$3 more for burger flippers, and $5-$10 more in occupations that require greater skill, or are more essential.

When I was driving a bus under union contract for the princely wage of $10-$13 an hour (from starting to two years plus seniority, and with COL increases), I could live comfortably on it as a single person, but I don’t know how my fellow drivers with kids managed. Many had second jobs.

#40 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 19, 2015 @ 1:41 pm

Land of secular social liberals. So just maybe, some of us can care about wages _and_ reproductive freedom at the same time.

Of course Jesse, and some don’t. My point precisely. As an inner city Milwaukee resident, I’m grateful for all those voters in Madison, but also for those in Prairie du Chien and Superior. They all add up.

#41 Comment By Viking On March 20, 2015 @ 4:03 pm

Hector, are you, in your “Shorter Stef” reply at 2:05 PM on the 18th of March, saying that all creationists are Young Earth? I’m asking because I’m (for lack of a better term) an “Old Earth” creationist, who doesn’t deny the science that shows much longer geology and far more complexity of life than YEC provides for, but who doesn’t see how that could have come about thru natural selection. It’s important to make that distinction, I think.

Btw, are MRAs “men’s rights advocates” or something else?