Posted by politicalpartypooper on December 19, 2008


My title is specifically designed to grab Bob’s attention.  I think he has a good heart from what I’ve read, and I think everyone on his blog is a good person.  But they’re buried in their own extremism right now.  This post is for them.

I’ve always said, if you want to try to  intimidate your adversary into acquiescing to your wishes, use the extremes in your arguments.  It won’t work, but try it anyway, right?  Such was the case in my post yesterday, where I called Kathryn Kolbert’s statement “hate speech”.  In reality, it probably isn’t, but for a prime example of how to use extremes to put your opponent on the defensive, I figured I’d write that post.

If you want further examples of extremism, just go visit Bob Cesca’s Blog, and click on some of the comments.  Similarly, you can visit the Huff Post, click on any story about Rick Warren and Barack Obama, click on comments, and read the extremism.  There is more than enough hate and extremism on these two blogs for me to believe that soon, someone is going to be killed over this issue.  Of course, the press will do its job, and spend three days covering the tragedy.  Let’s hope it never happens, because it is a tragedy that is so easily avoidable.

The trouble with extremism is that the people who stir it up do not understand the bigger picture.  They do not have the vision to see how their words will affect their readers or listeners over an extended period of time.  Extremists have no time for the future; their cause is now; thus, using extremism to stir up the deepest, darkest emotions is of necessity to them.  Unfortunately, once a word is published or spoken, it’s too late to change the effect it has had on bystanders.

Since Barack Obama chose Rick Warren to deliver the invocation, the LGBT community has been in an uproar.  They are insulted and betrayed (noticed I didn’t use the word “feel”, but actually validate what they say and feel by saying “they are”).  They believed they had a friend in Barack Obama, and his election gave them real hope of a brighter future for a group of people who have tasted the dregs of discrimination for far too long.  They have taken Obama’s selection of Warren to mean he is abandoning them to the far Right.  Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, but at this moment, there are precious few in the LGBT community who will listen to this line of reasoning.  I say, it is because of the extremism that they are unwilling to listen.

Rick Warren will be doing the invocation.  It’s a prayer, an ask for help, for guidance, for unity and strength, and for hope.  If you believe in God, can you believe that God can take the words of a man who is wrong, and turn them into gold anyway?  And if you don’t believe in God, then who cares what Rick Warren says in his invocation?

The point is, extremism has never won true acquiesence from an opponent.  Extremism raises defenses, promotes war, and gives rise to hate.  If in an argument with someone you know, they suddenly tell you that you always interrupt them, what is your response?  You certainly won’t agree with them, will you?  That’s just a bland example of extremism, but look at the results it breeds.

I have seen comments that said:

“Warren is the best of the worst! He’s the equivalent of most moderate of the Taliban!”

Umm, even the most moderate of the Taliban would shoot this commenter on sight.  Not a realistic comparison; get my point?  It’s extremism, and it accomplishes absolutely nothing.  Actually, it accomplishes less than nothing; the results are a negative gain.  The two sides draw further away from each other, and war ensues.

Now, I am a universalist; I believe ALL people are saved, and that God didn’t need our belief or our silly “obedience” to gather all of his children together in paradise.  He simply loves us, and that’s enough for Him.  I can’t speak for evangelicals, and am somewhat put off by their hypocrisy.  But you won’t catch me throwing extreme statements around the room just because they call me condemned.  In fact, speaking from experience, I draw them closer to acceptance of my views by listening to them, and loving them.  I can’t help it that they’re wrong, but I don’t have to make them more wrong by forcing them to dig in and defend their position.

There is no one looked at more sideways in the Christian community than Universalists; we’re called heretics.  We are literally a threat to evangelical authority.  When we speak, we threaten their entire structure, their power base, their funding.  They feel more threatened by us than by any other group, because we make them unnecessary…sort of like the way Jesus made the Pharisees unnecessary.

But you rarely see a universalist threaten an evangelical, or use extreme language to bash them.  It’s pointless.  I suppose we pity them, because of the constant guilt and lack of freedom they carry with themselves.  But if I was to become extreme with them, then I would become like them.  I would carry my own guilt, and I would put myself in a jail of my own making.  If you want freedom, extremism is the very worst way to get it.

What the LGBT community needs is a Martin Luther King.  I don’t really see one amongst them right now, although I admit, I may have missed one.  Martin Luther King never used extremism as a tactic; he knew he had time, and he knew his cause was right.  Because he did, he had the luxury of patience, while the prejudiced Establishment buried themselves deeper and deeper into a hell of their own making.

Yes, sometimes it feels good to zing someone.  I’ve been guilty of it myself, and you can see that right here on my blog.  I’m not proud of that.  Sometimes it feels good for a while to hate, and to spew words that stir the darkest emotion.  But those feelings never last, and the fruit of that labor is a prison you made yourself.  Escaping those iron bars gets harder as each day passes.  You look, and see that there is yet another reason to be angry and extreme.  Brother and sister, you’ll never run out of reasons to be angry so long as your periscope is set to just beneath the surface.  And what will you recieve for your valiant extremism?

I think you’ll receive exhaustion without achievement.  Don’t take my word for it.  Just keep being extreme, and see where it gets you.



  1. girldujour said

    I am not associated with any religion or political party and my personal feeling on the matter is: what happened to the separation between church and state? why do we need a prayer?

    I say no prayer. In fact, I don’t even think we need an inaugural ball. Do you realize what the security alone will cost? I think that the new President should be recognized, and even celebrated, but haven’t we all witnessed enough extremism and just get on with the job at hand?

  2. willpen said

    I followed your link here from Cesca’s blog and I have to say that you do make sense. It may be in an intense and somewhat absurd manner, but it makes sense to me non the less.

    What I have come to learn in trying NOT to be extreme is that thoughtful reflection and patience are ALWAYS a virtue. I am a classic child of the 60’s who fought tooth and nail against the establishment and everything that I loathed about it. My views were always on the extreme but as I said with age has come some wisdom and hopefully with that wisdom a sense of some middle ground.

  3. Politicalpartypooper said

    Hi Willpen,

    I am a child of the late seventies/mid-eighties. Yes, the eighties! I always looked at the sixties as this period of one constant protest. Of course, once I started studying some history, I realized this wasn’t true. Nevertheless, your generation spoke out about a great many things. Yes, some of the language was extreme, but you know what? The one face I put on the sixties, the one man who rises above all the rest by far, is the one man who never used extreme language or methods of protest. Martin Luther King Jr. I am sure is the most prominent personality of the sixties, with John Kennedy second. Isn’t that amazing?

    Isn’t it amazing how quickly the extremists fall into obscurity? I hope the LGBT community finds someone who can speak for them with peace, hope, and love as the foundation. Then, they will be remembered, and then, real change will happen.

    Thank you so much Willpen for your thoughtful post.

  4. Politicalpartypooper said


    I’m afraid you’re never going to get your wish regarding no prayer; it’s too deeply ingrained in American culture. But, yes, I agree, let’s lose the inaugural ball. It’s a total waste of money.

  5. johnny said

    dXtghl Thanks for good post

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