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View Full Version : George Yancey on the use of the term "Bible thumper"



KingsGambit
04-04-2015, 11:26 AM
His basic argument is that the term is a slur and that it should not be socially acceptable to use it.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/blackwhiteandgray/2015/04/it-is-time-to-retire-the-term-bible-thumper/

I've also expressed unease about the term "fundy". I'm not against all usage; "fundamentalist" is a legitimate theological perspective that can be discussed, but just using it as a casual insult is problematic.

Paprika
04-04-2015, 11:29 AM
His basic argument is that the term is a slur and that it should not be socially acceptable to use it.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/blackwhiteandgray/2015/04/it-is-time-to-retire-the-term-bible-thumper/

I've also expressed unease about the term "fundy". I'm not against all usage; "fundamentalist" is a legitimate theological perspective that can be discussed, but just using it as a casual insult is problematic.
Does he really think he can use Political Correctness to Christian ends without it backfiring massively? What kind of idiotic "if you can't beat them, join them" strategy is this?

KingsGambit
04-04-2015, 11:30 AM
Does he really think he can use Political Correctness to Christian ends without it backfiring massively? What kind of idiotic "if you can't beat them, join them" strategy is this?

You are rushing to equate basic human courtesy to hyperpoliticized Political Correctness fights.

Paprika
04-04-2015, 11:36 AM
You are rushing to equate basic human courtesy to hyperpoliticized Political Correctness fights.
No, it is the Politically Correct that rush to paint themselves as being courteous:


Bible-Thumper is a religious epithet on par with the term “raghead” for Muslims. It is a term that should be retired in polite company and should not be used in televised public discussions....As such, it should not be controversial to call for a stigmatization of the use of the term “Bible-Thumper” and put that term in the garbage bin of terms no longer used on air or among people who want to be seen as having some degree of class.
After being exposed to the term "Bible-Thumper" the author experienced feelbad and can't bear to rationally listen and evaluate or dialogue so he is attempting to create environments where he will have sufficiently feelgood to engage in conversation with others of different persuasions:

Regardless of the arguments the speaker was making, he lost me once he said “Bible-Thumper."

One of the main problems with such derogatory terms is that they prevent us from having a productive conversation with each other. I remember sitting in a graduate school class when the instructor causally called a group of conservative Christians “Bible-Thumpers.” As a Christian, I looked around the class to see if anyone would challenge her. It was not just that no one spoke up against the insult. As I looked at the faces of my peers, it was clear that this was just a term to use with no repercussions or stigma. As a Christian it was reinforced to me that I did not have a place in that conversation, and as a student I had no institutional power to confront that reality. Insulting others does not aid our conversations, it shuts conversations down.

Chrawnus
04-04-2015, 11:37 AM
His basic argument is that the term is a slur and that it should not be socially acceptable to use it.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/blackwhiteandgray/2015/04/it-is-time-to-retire-the-term-bible-thumper/

I've also expressed unease about the term "fundy". I'm not against all usage; "fundamentalist" is a legitimate theological perspective that can be discussed, but just using it as a casual insult is problematic.

In my opinion and depending on context, if anyone calls me a bible thumper I'd probably wear the designation as a badge of honor, rather than view it as something negative.

KingsGambit
04-04-2015, 11:38 AM
No, it is the Politically Correct that rush to paint themselves as being courteous:




After being exposed to the term "Bible-Thumper" the author experienced feelbad, so he is attempting to create environments where he will have sufficiently feelgood to engage in conversation with others of different persuasions.

Or he was simply pointing out the hypocrisy of those who hold similar treatment of Christians and similar treatment of Muslims to higher standards.

Paprika
04-04-2015, 11:42 AM
Or he was simply pointing out the hypocrisy of those who hold similar treatment of Christians and similar treatment of Muslims to higher standards.
"Simply"? He can't even rationally engage when he hears a 'slur' against Christians; with respect to this kind of irrational hypersensitivity he is no different from the SJWs.



Regardless of the arguments the speaker was making, he lost me once he said “Bible-Thumper."


I remember sitting in a graduate school class when the instructor causally called a group of conservative Christians “Bible-Thumpers.” As a Christian, I looked around the class to see if anyone would challenge her. It was not just that no one spoke up against the insult. As I looked at the faces of my peers, it was clear that this was just a term to use with no repercussions or stigma. As a Christian it was reinforced to me that I did not have a place in that conversation, and as a student I had no institutional power to confront that reality.

KingsGambit
04-04-2015, 11:50 AM
I would call his reactions neither irrational nor hypersensitive; your characterization of them as such seems unwarranted and calculated to dismiss. I'm also uninterested in again hashing out this same argument that has spilled across numerous threads in the last month.

Paprika
04-04-2015, 11:57 AM
Regardless of the arguments the speaker was making, he lost me once he said “Bible-Thumper."


I would call his reactions neither irrational nor hypersensitive.
I would like to know how on earth this reaction is neither irrational nor hypersensitivity, but since you don't want to engage I fear we shall never know.

KingsGambit
04-04-2015, 12:02 PM
I would like to know how on earth this reaction is neither irrational nor hypersensitivity, but since you don't want to engage I fear we shall never know.

I don't intend to drop out of the thread. I mean I'd rather stick to the article rather than debate political correctness per se (since that's been discussed enough elsewhere). Seeing one's group misrepresented in a well-poisoning manner is, in effect, an attack on one's own group identity as it defines said group on the terms of the opponent (in this case, the characterization is of Christians as ignorant and insular). A negative reaction seems warranted.

Paprika
04-04-2015, 12:03 PM
Seeing one's group misrepresented in a well-poisoning manner is, in effect, an attack on one's own group identity as it defines said group on the terms of the opponent (in this case, the characterization is of Christians as ignorant and insular). A negative reaction seems warranted.
Indeed a negative reaction is warranted, but don't stop there. Is refusing to listen warranted once the other side has used a slur? Hardly.

KingsGambit
04-04-2015, 12:09 PM
Indeed a negative reaction is warranted, but don't stop there. Is refusing to listen warranted once the other side has used a slur? Hardly.

I see the angle you're taking now. I suspect what is going on here in many cases is that the person will thus dismiss the person as disingenuous as a whole on that particular topic.

Paprika
04-04-2015, 12:16 PM
I see the angle you're taking now. I suspect what is going on here in many cases is that the person will thus dismiss the person as disingenuous as a whole on that particular topic.
Irrational and hypersensitive.

"Regardless of the arguments the speaker was making, he lost me once he said “Bible-Thumper." And he's supposed to be a professor. Good grief.

Pentecost
04-04-2015, 02:50 PM
Just to chime in a little, I've had people call me a Bible-Thumper intending insult, and if it is socially acceptable then it may be used as a short hand to poison the well of Christian positions in arguments. It's use reveals a distinct anti-Christian bias.

Paprika
04-05-2015, 12:57 AM
Just to chime in a little, I've had people call me a Bible-Thumper intending insult, and if it is socially acceptable then it may be used as a short hand to poison the well of Christian positions in arguments.
Plenty of insults are socially acceptable and can be used to poison wells.

Jedidiah
04-06-2015, 02:25 PM
I don't care if someone calls me a Bible Thumper.