Thanks for not using “No True Scotsman”

I found this letter to the editor in yesterday’s Austin American-Statesman interesting. It was in reference to a statement in an earlier article regarding the recent Fort Hood shootings:

Religious radical?
Re: Nov. 12 article “Suspect alarmed doctors.”

The story noted that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s doctors and colleagues “viewed him at times as belligerent, defensive and argumentative in his frequent discussions of his … faith.”

That pretty much describes every member of the religious right that I’ve ever encountered.

Rev. Bill Young

How often have I, and others, said that liberal Christians need to be more vocal in their condemnation of their more extreme brethren–instead of falling back on the “No True Scotsman” fallacy? In fact, it’s their silence and solidarity as much as their support of irrationality that lends credibility to the extremists in their ranks. So, this statement undermines at least one of the pillars supporting fundamentalism in Western Christendom. I hope other Christians will follow suit.

When I first read the content, I thought, “No Christian will hear anything an anti-religious person submits in this vein.” Then I saw the signature and was happy. It’s like reading about a lawsuit to bring down a religious statue on public property and finding the plaintiff is theist. It’s sort of a relief to know we aren’t going to be accused of bias and targeted for criticism or ugly insults—at least not this time. That’s not a bad feeling now and again.

Thanks Bill.

Brannon Howse, racist asshole

Back to the loonybin otherwise known as the Christian Worldview Network. Bask in the unapologetically racist language Brannon Howse uses to distort Barack Obama’s reaction to the Fort Hood shootings.

On the day of the Ft. Hood murders Obama walks out and acts like a classless, inner-city, gangster giving shout outs to people in the audience. What is also with his trying to sound like a gangbanger when he is in front of certain groups of people? Why is this a poor example to America’s students? We take your calls including calls from two black Americans who agree with what Brannon is saying.

Gotta love the way he throws a variant of the “some of [my best friends/our show’s callers] are black” line over the transom at the end there. Of course, it doesn’t save him any more than it does any other racist.

I’ll be writing in depth on the Fort Hood shootings here soon. This all happened just up the road, about an hour from Austin, so it resonates locally. I’ve been to both Fort Hood and Killeen many times, and have friends there.

Anyway, I’ll sign off with a link to Obama’s actual response to the shootings. You know, as it happened in the real world and not the one between Brannon Howse’s redneck ears.