Quantcast

«

»

Jan 28 2014

The Highly Questionable “Christian Safety Officer”

Photo of Maj. Dowty with caption crossing out Christian fighter pilot and inserting Christian safety officerIn a recent blog post on his “Christian Fighter Pilot” blog, Air Force safety officer Maj. Jonathan C. Dowty (yeah, the Christian “fighter pilot” is actually a safety officer) displayed his crack (as in he must be smoking crack) investigative “skills” in yet another attempt to raise suspicions about the finances of Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF).

I suppose that at this point in his Air Force career, with any prospect of future promotion into the highest ranks looking extremely unlikely, it would make sense for Maj. Dowty to be honing his “journalism” skills for a potential post-military career in the fact-challenged right wing media.

Why do Maj. Dowty’s prospects for a brilliant future in the military look dim? Well, after about six years as a major, he was selected for promotion to lieutenant colonel, but he was not selected to attend Senior Developmental Education at the same time. What does that mean? According to a source who knows about these things:

“When officers are selected for promotion to Lt Col, the top 10% to 15% of selectees are also identified to attend Senior Developmental Education (SDE), which consists of the possibility of going to one of several service war colleges or special fellowships. Virtually ALL of those chosen to attend SDE that attend these schools will be promoted to full colonel a few years down the road and the next generation of general officers are also chosen from this pool. If an officer is NOT chosen to attend SDE, then their chances of making full colonel drop to less than half (depending on the promotion/personnel environment) and their chances of eventually making general officer are virtually zero — they are not ‘players.’”

 

So, rest assured, there is never going to be a General Jonathan “Christian Fighter Pilot” Dowty.

Additionally, Major Dowty was made a safety officer a few years ago, which, from what I’ve been told by reliable source type people I know, is basically a slap in the face for a fighter pilot. He did not get a position at the Air Force Academy, which, according to emails obtained by MRFF through a FOIA request, was what he wanted.

In a 2011 email to an instructor at the Air Force Academy, Maj. Dowty, who was then still in a fighter-pilot-related job, working at the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, wrote:

“Do you have any insight into possible openings for either the test slot or just a line instructor?

“All else being equal I suspect I’ll end up at Eglin barring other possibilities.

“Hope your family is doing well; I’ve got three kids now (who only know Edwards, interestingly). We’ve been enjoying the life here, though moving on will be nice too.”

 

photo of Major Dowty's wife with caption calling her Mrs. Christian safety officerAnd end up at Eglin Air Force Base he did (which is a good thing because we have a contact there who can keep an eye on him). So, Maj. Dowty now does his countless hours of obsessively blogging about Mikey Weinstein from a nice little house he bought at 543 John King Road in nearby Crestview, Florida, where he currently resides with his wife Beth and those three kids of his.

One of Maj. Dowty’s regular activities is to scrutinize MRFF’s tax returns (I guess everybody needs a hobby). He then attempts to make the information on these returns appear highly suspicious via one of his scare-quote-laden blog posts.

The latest of these posts, titled “Mikey Weinstein, the MRFF, and MIBON Consulting,” differs little from his many similar previous posts. The good “Christian Safety Officer” makes his usual accusation that Mikey Weinstein is getting rich off the the donations to MRFF, and implies that there is something suspicious about my employment by MRFF.

Maj. Dowty opens his post by saying:

“Michael “Mikey” Weinstein sometimes tries to make the MRFF — the group he created and runs — seem bigger than just him, citing the number of people associated with his “charity.” However, he quietly admits to the IRS the MRFF has only a single employee — Mikey Weinstein. That admission seems to contradict claims by others, like Chris Rodda, who say they work for the MRFF.”

 

Yes, he is actually implying that I don’t really work for MRFF. And what is the basis of this suspicion-casting assertion? I get paid as a contractor. When I started working for MRFF almost seven years ago, it was to do research for some specific projects and I was hired as a contractor. Those projects led to a permanent job with the foundation, but we just never changed the way I was paid. There is nothing at all wrong with this, of course, but Maj. Dowty somehow manages to make it sound terribly suspicious in his next paragraph:

“Normally, personnel costs are not considered “program expenses” in IRS lingo (program expenses are “those incurred while performing its tax-exempt activities”). However, that seems to be how Weinstein framed payment for Rodda’s services. Rodda once admitted the MRFF “Research” expense line item — about $25,000 — was her annual pay (though she has faded from the MRFF scene in the past year or so).  Presumably, the legal explanation is Weinstein treats her as a kind of independent contractor, rather than technically an employee.  The characterization of the use of that $25K on “research” — or Rodda — is not something a potential donor would know if Chris Rodda hadn’t spoken out of school.”

 

I once “admitted” that I was paid as a contractor? Seriously? And how did this big “admission” come about? Maj. Dowty asserted in one of his many previous MRFF-bashing posts that I didn’t really work for MRFF because I wasn’t listed as an employee on the foundation’s tax return, so I said in a comment on that post that the line item for research on the return was what I was paid. That’s it — my big “admission” — I do research for MRFF and MRFF pays me for it and reports it on its tax returns as research expenses! Stop the presses! We’ve got a scandal!

And I’ve “faded from the MRFF scene in the past year or so?” Really? Someone needs to tell Mikey that so he’ll stop calling me all the time and bugging me to do stuff for MRFF!

But enough about me. Let’s get to the gist of Maj. Dowty’s accusations about MRFF’s tax return. And let’s have some fun with this by comparing what Maj. Dowty claims to be suspicious about MRFF’s tax return to what appears on a recent tax return from the Officers’ Christian Fellowship, an organization to which Maj. Dowty himself belongs.

Maj. Dowty big claim is that that MRFF’s personnel expenses are an excessive percentage of its total expenses compared to what are listed as direct program expenses.

Maj. Dowty has determined that 73% of MRFF’s expenses would be classified as personnel expenses. He arrives at this 73% figure by adding up every expense that he doesn’t consider to be a direct program expense — Mikey’s salary, research (a.k.a. my pay), accounting, support, and consulting.

So, how does Maj. Dowty’s own organization, the Officers’ Christian Fellowship (OCF), fare when you look at their tax return using the suspicion-casting methods of Maj. Dowty.

Well, right off the bat, you’ll see that a whopping 54% of OCF’s total expenses are personnel expenses. According to OCF’s 2012 tax return, their total expenses were $3,992,890, of which $2,139,351 were personnel costs. And $1,600,069, or 75% of all of OCF’s personnel costs (including things like pension plans and other benefits) were listed as “program service expenses,” in the same way that MRFF lists certain personnel costs as “program service expenses.”

Then there are all the other things that the OCF lists as “program service expenses” — the same types of expenses that MRFF and every other non-profit lists. These are a few of OCF’s other expenses listed as “program service expenses”:

Office Expenses: $424,666

Occupancy: $354,450

Depreciation, depletion, amortization: $310,090

Other Service Fees: $67,570

Insurance: $37,453

Investment Management Service Fees: $5,791

 

Yes, that’s over $1,200,000 in operating and other expenses that the OCF lists as “program service expenses,” and that’s not even all of them!

So, what’s our tally for OCF’s personnel and the “program services” expenses listed above? $3,339,371 — over 83% of its total expenses –10% more than MRFF’s similarly listed expenses!

What does the OCF — an organization that Maj. Dowty has belonged to since way back when he was a cadet at the Air Force Academy — spend on its actual “ministry” expenses? A mere $133,417. Yep, according to its tax return, this “ministry” only spends about 3% of its total expenses on its stated charitable function of being a ministry!

So, why isn’t Maj. Dowty questioning the OCF’s highly suspicious expenditures? Inquiring minds want to know!

MRFF has many other questions about Maj. Jonathan “Christian Safety Officer” Dowty, but we’ll get to those in future posts.

40 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Pierce R. Butler

    What’s the point in “doxxing” the Dowties by publishing their home address?

  2. 2
    DaveL

    In the USAF, is Lieutenant-Colonel not considered a high and prestigious rank? In Canada, where I grew up and served in the army reserves, a Lieutenant-Colonel would have command of a battalion or even a regiment. Not too shabby a level to end one’s career at.

  3. 3
    Chris Rodda

    @ Pierce R. Butler … He did it to Mikey by publishing tax returns with Mikey’s home address on them and the name of Mikey’s LLC (in a suspicion-raising way that would make people Google it, which would also give them Mikey’s home address), so I’m just doing the same thing to him since his home address is also public information. Just because something is public information doesn’t mean you should publicize it, but if he’s going to do it then I’m going to do it right back at him to give him a taste of his own medicine. Maybe that will get him to knock it off.

  4. 4
    One Brow

    In the USAF, is Lieutenant-Colonel not considered a high and prestigious rank?

    In the short time I worked at Wright-Patterson, it was considered a moderately high rank, but not prestigious. From what I could tell, most of the officers who did not want to make a career of the Air force got out at Captain. Retiring at Lt. Col. was something done by people who wanted a military career, but just weren’t good enough to go up the ranks (as a Major, even more so).

  5. 5
    Al Dente

    In the USAF, is Lieutenant-Colonel not considered a high and prestigious rank?

    I’m a retired U.S. Navy Senior Chief (E8). I don’t know about the USAF, but in the USN a Commander (same-same Lieutenant Colonel) is a small ship commander (destroyers, frigates, submarines, etc.) or middle-grade staff officer (second or third ranking officer in a staff section) at a flag command. A Commander would also be Executive Officer or large department head at a command commanded by a Captain (one rank higher than Commander).

    My last command in the Navy was a submarine support facility (an intermediate maintenance activity for the cognoscenti). This was a repair and supply organization for two squadrons of submarines (about 20 subs) with some 1600 people assigned. The commanding officer was a Captain while the executive officer, repair department head and supply department head were Commanders. All other officers were Lieutenant Commanders (Majors) or below.

  6. 6
    Ynte Shucken

    Just because something is public information doesn’t mean you should publicize it, but if he’s going to do it then I’m going to do it right back at him to give him a taste of his own medicine. Maybe that will get him to knock it off.

    Agree. We’ve been to nice to these fanatics and it hasn’t worked. If anything it’s made bolder because we’ve let them. Time to draw the line with these thugs.

  7. 7
    Pierce R. Butler

    Chris Rodda @ # 3: … a taste of his own medicine.

    Did you consult legal counsel? Did you consult your co-workers/bloggers, who may become collateral damage should the major’s less scrupulous sympathizers retaliate in the obvious way?

  8. 8
    Chris Rodda

    @ Pierce R. Butler … As a matter of fact, I actually DID consult legal counsel! I always do when writing things about particular individuals. No worries.

  9. 9
    Matt Thompson

    “Christian Safety Officer”. That will make me smile all day !

  10. 10
    Pierce R. Butler

    Chris Rodda @ # 8: No worries.

    I hope not. Alea jacta est!

  11. 11
    Paul Loebe

    Chris you kick ass! You my mofo!

  12. 12
    birdmanblue

    Great job, Chris–as usual. Making Lt Col in the Air Force is really kinda “meh.” It means you’re not incompetent at the basics, but if that’s you’re terminal rank and you don’t go any higher, it just means you stayed in for the 20 years needed to get retirement. Don’t get me wrong, there are LOTS of great Lt Cols and all of the excellent (and crappy) general officers have to pass through this rank, but O-5 on its own isn’t that big of a deal. O-5s command squadrons (the equivalent of a small ship command in the Navy) if they’re on their way to big things, or they become safety or staff officers if that’s your last promotion. Luckily for all of us, as Chris and her sources point out, that looks to be the case for this egregious idiot. Maybe he can just make the Air Force safer by encouraging everyone to pray that no one crashes. Yeah, that’ll work.

  13. 13
    otrame

    It’s not at all surprising that he’s not a fighter pilot anymore. That is a young man’s game. But I can assure you that spending 6 years as a major and then not being sent to a war college is the Air Force’s way of saying, ” 20 is a GREAT time to retire. You should do that.”

  14. 14
    majbones

    How is he still even in the military? Don’t our lawmakers want to reduce government waste and unnecessary spending? Are they afraid that, returned to civilian life, he’ll be even more detrimental to the Dominionist cause? Perhaps they honestly believe they are containing his troublesomeness to some degree by keeping him under a semblence of control through chain of command, but the fact is, his utter disrespect for orders and UCMJ set a very poor example.

  15. 15
    Kaintukee Bob

    I am unclear about one thing: You say he was selected for promotion to Lt. Col, yet continually refer to him as ‘Major’. Has he simply not been promoted yet, or are you purposefully referring to him by his previous rank?

  16. 16
    Chris Rodda

    @ Kaintukee Bob … There is a period of time between being selected and actually being pinned with the new rank. As of the time I was writing this post, I was told that he hadn’t been pinned yet.

  17. 17
    barfy

    I think that you (Chris Rodda) and the MRFF do an outstanding, important and very difficult job. Thank you.

    But…

    It’s not appropriate – and arguably dangerous for his family – to post the home address in a public forum. It doesn’t matter that he would debase himself by doing the same to you. That is a reflection on the Major. If you engage in the same shenanigans, you can’t blame him for your actions. You still did something wrong – in or out of context.

    Also…

    The snarky attack on anybody whose career has been stalled at Lt. Col. – even if it IS for minimum competency – is mean-spirited. No matter what the reason, we should all be incredibly thankful to the major for his service at the level it was needed. Nothing else needs to be said or offered.

    Plus…

    I can’t imagine holding up as well as you and Mikey do to the withering and unfair onslaught of people like the major. I know I wouldn’t do as good a job of controlling my emotions. I am unequivocally on your side! However, in order for us to claim a moral high ground, we must act accordingly. We should never disparage the person by ad hominem attacks. We have enough ammunition by his actions.

  18. 18
    Chris Rodda

    @ Barfy …

    I would never retaliate against someone in this way unless what they are doing has reached the point where I don’t think anything else will work. Dowty’s posts reach that point — his cyber-bullying of enlisted service members who can’t fight back because he is an officer (see HERE), his lies about Mikey and his family (see HERE for ways in which Dowty has gone after Mikey’s family members), his attacks on gays (See HERE) and atheists serving in the military. He has no respect for any of these people who are serving or have served, so why does he deserve any respect from me for his service?

  19. 19
    Michael Sparks

    Dowty may be, and from all signs is, a poor example of an Air Force officer, but publically identifying his home address is a bit much. The readers of your blog aren’t the primary concern here, he’s a senior officer in a military command and even if he were the best officer in the service he would have enemies. In this day and age, even in the U.S. Air Force, it is possible there are people who might exploit this information to the detriment of Dowty and his family. If he wants to release his address to the public so be it, but the decision to do that is his and not yours. We can play by the unwritten rules of society, even if the opposition doesn’t. That is what makes us better people.

  20. 20
    Chris Rodda

    @ Michael Sparks … Being a better person has not worked with this guy, and it never will. My intent was to send him a message that if he does not stop doing this crap on his blog, I will stoop to his level. I really don’t care whether people here think I was right or wrong to do that. The message was for one person — Maj. Jonathan Dowty. Hopefully he will get the message and stop posting the crap that caused me to take it to this level.

  21. 21
    b. - Order of Lagomorpha

    Barfy, if it makes you feel any better, it took me approximately 2.3 seconds to find the Major’s address via the White Pages online. He doesn’t exactly have a common last name.

    Sadly, I doubt if it’ll have much of an effect on the Major. He apparently sees himself as above any of the rules that most people follow in society. Something that’s a frequent failing with folks with a higher rank in the military. I keep thinking the Major’s obsession has to burn out sometime, but like the Energizer Bunny, it keeps going.

  22. 22
    Chris Rodda

    @ b. – Order of Lagomorpha … Yeah, I would never post anything that’s not easily available for anyone to find. I actually do have other information about him and family members of his that I’ve been tempted to post, but consider that off-limits because it’s stuff that did take a bit of digging. That’s completely different than a publicly available address that anyone who wants to can just look up in a matter of seconds.

  23. 23
    birdmanblue

    I see it as Chris just paying homage to Dowty’s “Golden Rule.” I think she can easily presume that since Dowty has had no hesitation at all in excoriating Mikey W and providing info about his personal life and residence, he would endorse the same standard applied to him. The info she posted, after all, was publically available. She didn’t give his last four or provide a copy of his military ID.

    As for being snarky about his career, my comments were nothing of the sort–just stating fact. There’s no shame at all in retiring as an O-5–many great people have done that. I also wouldn’t demean his service (if he confined himself to the mission of his organization and established duties) but I strongly object to his behavior while in uniform and am appalled that he’s been allowed to conduct himself in a manner clearly contrary to established AF policy (AFI 1-1). The simple fact that he made even the “meh” rank of O-5 singles at least tacit endorsement of his actions by a large portion of the Air Force. And that scares me and should scare everyone reading this blog.

  24. 24
    majbones

    Poor, poor Maj. Jonathan C. Dowty. He “doxxes” others and what does he get? “Doxxed” back. Poor thing!

    FWIW, his “doxxing” of others was meant to frighten and intimidate those targets as well as to direct those even loonier than himself to actually, physically attack. Maj. Jonathan C. Dowty might be loony, but he’s a gutless wonder, no courage, and so, no chance he would directly attack Mikey or anyone else. That’s why he hides behind his blog.

    With his own address clearly and easily available over the interwebs, Dowty had to know he was begging for equal treatment. Well, now he’s got it, hasn’t he?

    Moreover, he shouldn’t worry one bit, neither he nor any of his household. After all, he believes in Jesus, right? Jesus will protect him, right? Jesus has covered his derriere this long, allowing him one more promotion despite all his breaches of orders; of morale, good order and discipline;, and his immoral behavior toward his fellow man.

    I cannot see why anyone should attack Chris over this. Rather, they should be going to the website of Maj. Jonathan C. Dowty and attacking the source for his “doxxing” of others. Srsly!

  25. 25
    b. - Order of Lagomorpha

    Chris, I never thought you would. I figured it was just a wake-up call for a gentleman seriously lacking in the empathy department. That whole “Do unto others…” thing doesn’t seem to resonate much with him.

    Easing back into lurking, but not before thanking you for the thorough Barton debunking. I’m a big fan of T.J., warts and all, and there are many things he could be accused of, but a lack of clarity on his thoughts about religion and its lack of any place in government is not one of them. Thank you for a most elegant dismantling of Barton’s “scholarship”.

  26. 26
    Brandon Longcrier

    I was the founder and faith group leader for the Earth-Centered group at the U.S. Air Force Academy between 2006 and 2011. And as you can imagine, Major Dowty didn’t care much for me, my faith, or what I was doing there. So much so that he decided to contact me via email and tell me what he thought about it.

    I was a Technical Sergeant at the time and after a slew of emails from Major Dowty telling me what he thought I could or couldn’t do as an NCO in charge of cadets at the Air Force Academy, I finally had to threaten the Major by telling him that if he emailed me again, that I would report him to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (military law enforcement).

    The emails stopped, but he continued to talk about me on his Christian Fighter Pilot blog for quite some time. MRFF was by my side the entire time and fought on my behalf in efforts to get Dowty to stop posting about me (technically his subordinate) on his blog. And if you read the article above, you’d see that his cyber-bullying didn’t stop with me. He likes to pick on the Enlisted Corps. I guess he gets off on it.

    If you think my words are harsh coming from an NCO towards an Officer, then I’ll go ahead and tell you now that Major Dowty would never receive a salute from this NCO. So it’s probably a good thing he isn’t coming to the Academy anytime soon…where I’m still stationed. The guy is a fanatical lunatic who should have been booted from the Air Force years ago.

  27. 27
    =8)-DX

    Don’t agree with the doxxing – one’s address is not “public” information unless you are someone who has an actual reason to know said address. Just because he did the same is not excuse – two wrongs don’t make a right. I know you’re not trying to get people to harm Mr Fighter Pilot, but posting someones address alongside a photo of their wife and the information that he has three kids is distressing, depressing and a pointless invasion of privacy.

    We’re supposed to be more moral than the Christian right – please delete that information, people who need to know it can find it themselves.

  28. 28
    Dustin Chalker

    Dowty is an obsessive sociopath and Christian supremacist who has used his power to harass and bully subordinates for years. I am a MRFF client and advisor who has been subjected to Dowty’s cyber stalking and harassment for years, ever since I stood with MRFF to oppose coercive religious ceremonies. To this day, a Google search for my name leads to Dowty’s malicious and deceptive articles, which draw an undeserved target on my back. I’m a family man and father of three boys, and since Dowty began his campaign of hate and lies, I have received dozens of threats of violence from his fellow supremacists.

    Chris Rodda has done a great thing here by directly attacking Dowty and giving him a taste of his own medicine. Though I understand the concerns about taking the “high road”, that sort of reasoning only works with a normal person. Dowty is not a psychologically normal person. We don’t have the convenience of playing nice. The hallmarks of sociopathy are antisocial behavior, diminished empathy, no remorse, and disinhibited behavior – an absolutely perfect description of Dowty. He’s a sociopath, and a sociopath acts only in their own self-interest. If Dowty doesn’t like his dirty laundry aired in public, there is a very easy solution! Thanks to Dowty, I know what it’s like to be a husband and a father with some ideological opponent on the internet making you vulnerable and exposed. If he doesn’t like the feeling, he can remove his years of attacks against us, and I guarantee that Chris Rodda would be happy to reciprocate fairly.

  29. 29
    Blake Page

    MAJ Dowty earned his doxxing. He’s been a bully to thousands through his blog and has even gone beyond it to bully people personally. His mischaracterizations and harassment of Mikey, MRFF, our staff and clients, and me personally, have habitually breached civil discourse. He has been doing this for years with very limited attention paid by his chain of command.

    Way to go Chris!

  30. 30
    majbones

    @ =8)-DX
    As you said, anyone who wants to look up that address can do so. I suggest you go to those public sources — you know: the telephone book, whitepages.com, etc. — and discuss “doxxing” with them. The information is public, not private, and therefore deserves no more respect than Chris Rodda has shown, seeing as the sources involved show far less respect for individual privacy. Srsly.

  31. 31
    barfy

    I believe that I understand the antipathy and reasoning behind giving Dowty’s address. I still don’t agree.

    Essentially the arguments are as follows:
    1. He’s not capable of reasoned or reasonable discourse, and this may be the only way to garner his attention to the fact that publishing a person’s address is inappropriate.
    2. He deserves it.
    3. He has been using a bully pulpit as an officer against subordinate ranks, and this is a fair retaliation.
    4. It’s easily available public information.

    Now, as a thought experiment in empathy (something Dowty probably has difficulty with so let’s see how you do), if you were, let’s say, an anti-abortionist (and other than reason 3), you might feel that all the other reasons apply to pro-choice proponents. I mean, how can you reason with a person that can’t see the obvious truth that a fetus is not just a ball of tissue, but a real human being, and that killing them, chopping them up and sucking the remains up in a vacuum is absolutely a vile murder on the defenseless. (BTW, I’m actually a virulent pro-choicer). Haven’t these baby-killers earned the vitriol? Publishing their addresses is the LEAST of what should be done so that they can’t hide in the closet.
    So, I would argue that an anti-choicer, given their worldview, has an even greater right to publish addresses of people than one might claim for Dowty.
    And guess what, they HAVE published addresses of doctors providing abortions.

    Now, you might argue that we, as people who believe in a separation of church and state, are eminently more reasonable (although you couldn’t claim ‘pacifist’ due to the military connection) and would never engage in bullying or harassment, BUT…then why would you even consider publishing the address if not to encourage exactly that behavior?
    To be fair, I don’t know of pro-choicers or MRFF supporters who have actually harassed or bullied anybody, but that doesn’t make the encouragement – tacit or otherwise – a legitimate, moral course. It’s still wrong.

  32. 32
    eadisler

    Chris: Thank you for, once again, shedding light on Major Dowty’s immensely unprofessional, sociopathic, and egotistical “hobby” of haunting and harassing MRFF and its supporters. I can almost take heart that Dowty is spending so much time obsessing over MRFF that he’s depriving his family of his company. Perhaps his children have a chance at normalcy as long as he is so overwhelmingly occupied with reviewing others’ tax returns.
    Take heart, Chris — criticism over your documentation of Dowty’s address is much ado about nothing. A pile of solicitors and advertisers seem to find my snail mail box (same as my home address) every day. It’s not like you published his SSN, though I suspect you could if you wanted to. And I shudder to think of the violent physical threats Mikey and his family have endured at his home address (also no secret). And, it’s a fact that Mikey and his family have suffered because of the kind of un-Christian evangelism Dowty foments. I’m not sure whether “turnabout is fair play,” but “fair play” is an utterly alien concept a man empowered by his own delusions.
    Having formally (as MRFF’s Advisor for LGBT Affairs) registered complaints with the Air Force leadership regarding Dowty’s homophobia and hate speech, I had hoped that the Air Force leadership had shut down Dowty’s immensely unprofessional loathing of those who are Muslim, Jewish, Wiccan, and LGBT. An Air Force officer should be objective, non-judgmental, and supportive – a role model and a professional. Yet, apparently the standards of officership are diminishing; for, here we are, once again being forced to endure as an obsessive and ill-informed Dowty prattles on.

  33. 33
    majbones

    @barfy,
    Did you somehow miss the part where Chris said she did it for Dowty to read and react to? How is it that you are having such a heart attack over it? Why won’t you let it go? How many must respond to your concern, so graphically worded in your last comment as to bring to strong question your claim of being pro-choice, before you are regarded as a mere troll to whom no one should bother to respond? BTW, your abortion analogy is a strawman, nowhere close to what is going on, here. Srsly.

  34. 34
    birdmanblue

    An argument akin to “he deserves it” and perhaps more valid is that Dowty has chosen, of his own free will, to become a public figure in this debate. He’s done so with the tacit agreement of his superiors and in open violation of Air Force policy. While public figures have a clear right to privacy, how they can be treated–especially in an on-line blog–is clearly different that John Q. Public. Dowty is a self-proclaimed defender of the fundamentalist christian practice within the military and operates a website that promotes his views. He is in the public sphere. Frankly, Chris Rodda is in the public sphere because of her popular blog. The difference is that Dowty attempts to hide behind the thin veneer of anonymity when it suits his purposes–something he does primarily to placate his Air Force superiors and subordinates who think that the Emperor’s clothes really are a stunningly opaque brocade and that Dowty is doing all of this on his own free time without any negative consequences for the military in which he serves. That’s clearly bunk. Dowty = Christian Fighter Pilot = Public Face of Christo-Military Fundamentalism. QED. He is to Air Force policy what Justin Bieber is to driving safety and sobriety. I know where Justin lives and can take photos of him whenever he’s outside of his private property and in public. Why should Dowty claim the right to anything more?

  35. 35
    barfy

    @majbones

    Because you asked several questions of me – why, let me retort. (Pulp Fiction reference)

    I’m not having a “heart attack.” I simply disagree for the reasons I have stated. You feel that I’m wrong. OK. I bet that you’re not having a heart attack, either.

    I feel fine with letting it go. But you and Chris have asked direct questions of me, so, I’ll answer. I’ll stop commenting if asked, or if I find myself tedious or repetitive – which I am sometimes.

    People who disagree aren’t necessarily trolls. I’m not hiding behind a wall of guile. I AM trying to express an opposing viewpoint (pro-life) to mine (pro-choice) with all the emotion and logic that I have heard expressed from them many times. Just because I disagree, doesn’t mean I can’t adequately express or parrot their logic.

    BTW, there is NEVER a perfect analogy to any supposition. You may feel that it isn’t relevant, but you must state the reasons. Simply calling it a “strawman” doesn’t make it so.
    Let me help you.
    In order to defeat the analogy, it would have greater validity if you would address the point (1,2, and 4) in my previous post, and how – with an pro-life worldview – they are invalid…OR,
    You could say that people with a pro-life worldview have no business being compared with those of a church-state separation worldview…but, you’ll have to be careful here, i.e., simple ad hominen attacks won’t cut it.

    Anyway, what I sense from the responses to my criticism, is an inability to receive or respond to critique with much more than posturing. Chris Rodda does an EXCELLENT job of this repeatedly. I expect this from our side. We can still be friends (no sarcasm) and disagree…and I would like to be friends.

    I won’t comment any more on this relatively minor point ( see, no heart attack), but I look forward to your responses.

  36. 36
    majbones

    @barfy,
    Written like a true troll. We’re done. You might not have found yourself tedious and repetitive, but I sure did. Your insult against Chris, claiming she is unable to do more than posture in response to criticism, is clearly a lie, so there simply isn’t anything of value to discuss further with you.

    Well, perhaps there is one more thing: Imperfect analogies. Your argument style reminds me of Texas Senator Ted Cruz who, just last Sunday, proclaimed on national TV that it was neither he nor his party who shut down the federal goverment, but Obama and Obama’s party. Guess he didn’t realize all was digitally recorded and publicly viewable.

  37. 37
    Blake Page

    @majbones,

    We don’t have enough information here to justify the claim that barfy is lying about his or her beliefs. Those beliefs don’t seem to align with reality in regard to barfy’s comment about Chris, but absurdity doesn’t equate to dishonesty. Loads of people passionately believe in bs. Of course, there is nothing in Chris’ responses here that I could interpret as posturing, and I agree that we shouldn’t let that comment go uncorrected. Everything she’s said has been direct and honest. So on the point of Chris posturing, barfy went way off track.

    As far as barfy’s primary argument, the only problem with it is degree. The abortionist analogy is very colorful, sure, but an analogy with powerful imagery on a topic that most of us are already familiar with makes the purpose of it that much more accessible. It definitely suggests an escalation of the weight of the topic (publishing Dowty’s info doesn’t seem to me to be on par with the abortion debate) but the syllogism used in both arguments is very similar, which is why it was used. Without considering context, they are almost interchangeable:

    “(Dowty/abortion doctor) has been habitually (harassing and bullying subordinates/aborting unborn children) for years and has been unresponsive to civil discourse, therefore (MRFF/pro-lifers) can justify posting public information about (Dowty/abortion doctor) in order to encourage (Dowty/abortion doctor) to cease their undesired behavior.”

    I don’t believe the two topics align in severity, mostly because I’ve never heard of a politically motivated secular terrorist attacking the homes of people they disagree with, whereas we all know what happens when pro-lifers get angry. That doesn’t mean there is so little reasoning in barfy’s way of thinking we should assume we have a troll in our midst, just someone with a dissenting perspective.

    @barfy- Two things. How can you defend your claim that Chris’ comments are nothing but posturing? There was nothing here that even came close to suggesting sending Dowty strongly worded letters, much less a call to action against him. With that in mind do you still think listing his already public address compares to pro-lifers’ doing so?

  38. 38
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @9. Matt Thompson :

    “Christian Safety Officer”. That will make me smile all day !

    Would a Christian safety offiicer be an officer who keeps Christians safe from the rest of us or the rest of us safe from Christians?

    I think Chris Rodda is in the right here – not just legally which since she’s checked with lawyers as noted in comment #8 – but ethically as well.

    I respect all those who serve in the military for having the guts to put their lives on the line defending the rest of us. Its a tough job and one I personally wouldn’t wish to do.

    If Major Dowty a.ka. the Christian Fighter Pilot is reading this (& I think it’d be great if he replied and engaged reasonably and calmly here if he’s allowed to do so to give his side of the story directly here) then I thank him for his service, congratulate him on his promotion and urge him to STOP and reconsider what he ‘s been doing in his campaign against the MRFF and in his apparent bullying of others. I would ask him to please seriously think & even pray about how he’s been behaving in this issue and to think again on the example of mercy, tolerance and forgiveness set by the Lord he claims to follow. Remember Major Dowty that among the last words of Jesus was a plea for everyone to forgive even the ones responsible for his wrongful execution.

    Because from what I’ve read here and elsewhere Major Dowty, sir, you are doing yourself and your cause no favours and instead a disservice by what you’ve done so far.

  39. 39
    barfy

    @37 Blake Page
    After re-re-reading my comment @35, I think that the statement, “Chris Rodda does an excellent job of this repeatedly” was rightfully misinterpreted. As a reader of that statement, I would have interpreted it as a dig on Chris Rodda.
    What I meant to say was, “Chris Rodda does an excellent job of responding to critique WITHOUT posturing.”

    COMPLETELY MY BAD.

    I sincerely apologize to Chris Rodda.

    As to whether I think that listing Dowty’s public address compares to pro-lifers –
    I absolutely think that Rodda has no intent to spur people to harassment/bullying/worse in a manner that the pro-lifers engage in. And, Chris’ true intent is to just give Dowty a taste of his own medicine…BUT…
    there is still no other way that I can interpret it than as an inappropriate intimidation, regardless of how accessible or public the information is.

  40. 40
    majbones

    @barfy,
    At least, now, you don’t sound like a troll. Rather, you sound like someone with whom there simply isn’t and will not be agreement. Your voice is heard.

Leave a Reply