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Gagnon Rants On And On

Timothy Kincaid

August 18th, 2008

gagnon.jpgRobert Gagnon doesn’t like to be challenged.

Perhaps that’s true of all of us. But Gagnon REALLY doesn’t like to be challenged, to the point where questioning his rather peculiar logic drives him to excesses of hyperbole and obsessive argumentativeness. This stuff just has to be read to be believed.

I’m not going to spend time on the substance of his latest postings (I didn’t find much). Mostly he makes wild declaration about what I “say” or rambles on and on repeating the unconvincing circular thinking and talking points he’s posted at least twice before, peppered with invective and denunciation. It’s kinda sad, really, but also very very funny.

Here are a few tidbits from Gagnon’s latest over-the-top “series of articles” refuting Box Turtle Kincaid:

First, here’s a selection from Box Turtle Kincaid’s Failure to Address Arguments on the Heidelberg Catechism and the Centurion Story (pdf, 8 pages).

Box Turtle Kincaid Grow Nastier as His Inability to Defend Rationally His Remarks Rises

His favorite word to describe detailed, reasoned responses to his numerous fallacies in argumentation is “rant” (translation: Kincaid feels overwhelmed by the number of rational arguments posed against him). My “jargonistic language,” which is nothing more than the normal language that scholars use for discussing historical-critical issues, upsets him (translation: Kincaid feels like he is out of his league).

Perhaps Dr. Gagnon truly believes that scholars use his imaginary term “homosexualist”. However, for the sake of his mental heath, I truly hope not.

And if you liked that, you have to read the opening sentences of Box Turtle Kincaid Continues to Attack with All Heat, No Light on the New “Authoritative Interpretation” (pdf, 7 pages):

In his new tirade (“Gagnon Revisited,” Aug. 10, 2008), Box Turtle Timothy Kincaid continues to respond in anger and fear, as evidenced by regular snide and hateful remarks, but with precious little rational thought. He apparently believes that, when it comes to facts, it is better to stick his head in the shell and (here unlike the quiet box turtle) scream from the shell.

And I am not kidding you that he closes this same piece with:

It is such a shame that Kincaid even now continues his pattern of misrepresenting arguments and evidence, leaving out crucial information for readers, making logical missteps, taking unprincipled positions, and spewing out angry snide remarks and ad hominem attacks. The level of personal culpability for deception and hatred on his part grows as the evidence against his position mounts.

All I can say is, “Wow”.

I’m sure that Gagnon genuinely thinks that his arguments are going to sway the Presbyterian court and that literalists are going to delight to discover that the story of the Roman Centurian was not at all as Scripture reports it. But even if one were inclined to agree with him, who wants the theologian in their corner to be this guy?

At this point I think I’ll put Robert Gagnon in the same category as LaBarbera, Barber, Marcavage and Hartline and not further comment on his blog-rants. Some folks are just beyond the pale.

UPDATE:

It must be a slow time in Dr. Gagnon’s life. He’s now updated his blog combining all six of his commentaries (57 pages) under one heading and added the following sidebar:

The mean-spirited homosexualist website, boxturtlebulletin.com, is aptly named, for the box turtle is easily confused and frightened by reality (though I don’t attribute meanness to the poor box turtle). A main writer for the site, Timothy Kincaid, underscores his own difficulties with logic, truth, and civil discourse in his multiple caustic postings regarding me. The more that I show, through rational argument, that his claims are baseless, the more he lashes out with bitter ad hominem attacks, referring falsely to my alleged “anti-gay bigotry,” “frothing indignation,” “homophobic rants,” “laughable proclamations,” “pomposity,” “tortured logic,” “wacky way of thinking,” “wild presumptions,” and “blatherings on.” In puerile fashion he asks where I went “to grammar school,” and what “junior high writing class” I had. Then he whines that he is a victim of “personal insults and hostility” simply because I patiently show why every one of his claims is without merit. Remarkable stuff.

Alas poor Dr. Gagnon. He doesn’t read any more carefully than he reasons or he’d know that I’ve never mentioned his “anti-gay bigotry” or his own “homophobic rants”.

And I nearly fell out of my chair laughing at how he patiently shows how every one of my claims is without merit. Oh, he’s a regular Job, he is.

See also:
Gagnon Rants On And On
My Very Favorite Gagnonism

Robert Gagnon and the Grand Box Turtle Whirl of Immorality
Gagnon Revisited
Clarifying Robert Gagnon’s Tortured Logic
Gagnon Employs Tortured Logic
Robert Gagnon’s Unorthodox Approach to Doctrine

Comments

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Evan
August 18th, 2008 | LINK

Poor guy.

Doesn’t he have a job? Or is this somehow included in his job description…

It’s appropriate to put Gagnon in the same category as LaBarbera, I suppose, since LaBarbera has always fawned all over him as the anti-gay that gays “are too scared to debate.”

I’m always amazed at the amount of vitriol right-wingers are willing to spew, yet when one of us uses the slightest bit of snark in a response, they’re the first to cry “victim.”

Anywho.

Jenny
August 18th, 2008 | LINK

Wow, What a very angry person. All that looking down his nose, must have given him a headache.

Schag
August 18th, 2008 | LINK

Love your blog. Just wondering why you spend so much time on this wack-job. I actually took the time to visit his website and I determined that … it was an utterly complete waste of my time. The dude is obviously crazy and as far away from the Christ as one can be.

Why waste so much time on his rants?

Timothy Kincaid
August 18th, 2008 | LINK

Schag,

It took me a while to realize just how far out there Gagnon really is; at first I was commenting on what I thought was a credible (though somewhat peculiar) theologian. Now he just amuses me.

But, as I noted above, it’s time to let him go.

Patrick ONeill
August 18th, 2008 | LINK

Here is a hint for any future dealings with such people.

Any time you are talking to someone that thinks a magical dude in the sky wrote us an instruction book and wants to discuss various interpretations of the instruction book – you are dealing with a nut job, and wasting your time.

Just a thought.

JJ in Chicago
August 18th, 2008 | LINK

Keep up the good work, Tim.

When you get a response like this from such a quack, you know that you hit the bullseye.

Keep challenging him and keep him on his heels.

It aggravates the hell out of him. And that puts a smile on my face.

Timothy Kincaid
August 18th, 2008 | LINK

Patrick,

As a Christian, I doubt that your advice will be very useful to me.

JJ,

Thanks.

David
August 18th, 2008 | LINK

I can’t respond with anything other than the typical internet ‘ROTFL’. I had to do a double-take when I noticed that his pdf file there is entitled ‘homosexBoxTurtleKincaid6′ (I didn’t know you were a homosex!).

Personally I find the idea of the centurion having a sexual relationship with his pais quite far-fetched for a number of reasons, and I’d agree with Ralph Blair’s statement that the Bible is an empty closet (while similarly approving of a pro-gay theological stance). But I simply do not have the willpower to read through Gagnon’s essay. If he could stick to scholarship, reason, and a humble but assured attitude, I might find it engaging. As it is, it’s not worth the time.

I have been a bit surprised by Gagnon; while I’ve found his views (only from articles, I haven’t gotten around to reading his tome) rather poorly defended – especially concerning his great dependence on Genesis as a model and a mystical aspect (to which real personalities are molded, or stereotyped) of complementarianism – I’d thought he was at least one of the more level-headed folks advocating the Traditional View*, and not so much plain anti-gay. I have been disappointed.

* I don’t like the term ‘anti-gay’ as it is somewhat of a smear, unless one is referring to out-and-out bigotry. So I use circumlocutions like ‘traditional view’ for those whose objections are at least partly grounded in reason and thought.

Patrick ONeill
August 18th, 2008 | LINK

Well as a christian then, your problem will always be that as a gay man any arguments that you might make about bible translations not being homophobic are seen as being in your self interest – and rightly so.

Samantha Davis
August 18th, 2008 | LINK

You know, I kind of think Gangon rather feeds of the attention.

Jay
August 19th, 2008 | LINK

Robert Gagnon, c’mon if Jesus really cared so much about stopping the world from becoming filled with same-sex couples, wouldn’t his scripture have addressed this in a very straight-forward way? (and we all know that it doesn’t). If you say, well, it was a different time when he lived, I’d say, isn’t Jesus the all-knowing fella who talks to future generations? Where’s the beef (in scripture), Gagnon? Do you really think he wants us sitting around arguing about this when we’ve got a war waging that has already killed thousands of people? What would Jesus think of that? Oh . . . right, Jesus told Bush to go kick some ass in the Middle East.

Ben in Oakland
August 19th, 2008 | LINK

David wrote: * I don’t like the term ‘anti-gay’ as it is somewhat of a smear, unless one is referring to out-and-out bigotry. So I use circumlocutions like ‘traditional view’ for those whose objections are at least partly grounded in reason and thought.

I have yet to hear any comment against the ending of this stupid prejudice and the full inclusion of gay people in our society that ever has ANYTHING to do with reason or thought, unless it is these two:

my reason is that I hate queers.

My thought is that book written thousands of years ago that I think i might understand if it were, shall we say, CLEAR, is a good guide to life in the 21st century, except for the parts that I disagree iwth because they are not. Have some ham.

Rick Brentlinger
August 19th, 2008 | LINK

“…literalists are going to delight to discover that the story of the Roman Centurian was not at all as Scripture reports it…”

Rob Gagnon holds many odd beliefs which conflict with the beliefs of the conservative evangelicals who support him. For example, Gagnon embraces the Documentary Hypothesis which, among other things, posits that Moses did NOT write the Pentateuch, an assertion which would certainly surprise Jesus, Luke 24:27, John 5:46.

In the New Testament, Gagnon believes (sola fide), in the imaginary Q document, the allegedly lost textual source for Matthew and Luke’s Gospels. Most of the evangelicals who depend on Gagnon’s scholarship vehemently disagree with him about Q.

A staunch Presbyterian, Gagnon nevertheless rejects Presbyterian and reformed doctrine by asserting that saved people can lose their salvation, see pp. 282, 288, 338 of his book. Strange, very strange.

Rick Brentlinger

toujoursdan
August 19th, 2008 | LINK

Keep it up. Gagnon is oft cited by the Anglican/Episcopal right-wing in their assertions.

Scott
August 20th, 2008 | LINK

Wow, Timothy. You certainly must be doing right to have drawn such vitriol from Gagnon! Do you think he ever stops to consider what his vehement obsession on this sole topic (homosexuality) says about him to the people around him? Or what it implies about his own sexuality? As we used to say back in the day, “i think his slip is showing!”

Andy
October 26th, 2008 | LINK

Timothy you are clearly out of your league in attempting to debate Prof. Gagnon. His points are far more weighty and nuanced than you imply, and the biblical and theological evidence against homosexuality is overwhelming.

Regards,
Andy

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