Re: [asa] A caution about the conversation on the "soul" and Christianity

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Fri Sep 25 2009 - 09:08:16 EDT

I reply to Burgy's question below. Here it is:

Do I understand you, Ted, to be saying that there is only one way of
understanding; that Christianity is that way, and that no dissent from
that position will be tolerated?

If that is so, it may be time to leave the ASA. Bernie has given us
all a lot to think about. I benefit from his struggles, even as I
don't see my own faith under attack nor being in any danger of
collapse. If we can't answer Bernie (and others) perhaps we ought to
retreat into fundamentalism. I won't go there myself.

My 2c worth. I think your dismissal of Brenie from this dialog is way off base.


Burgy, as ASA president I note your opinion. I think you have read more into my comments than they contain.

For me as your president, Burgy, it comes down to this: is the ASA interested in helping someone to "build a case against Christianity," as Bernie stated it? This isn't a question of anyone's right to dissent from someone else's opinion, whether or not it has anything to do with Christianity. It's a question of what the ASA list is for: to serve our members, and I just don't see where Bernie's agenda is consistent with ours. Do you disagree with this assessment?

The specific topic of the thread, and the opinions that Bernie or anyone else expressed in it, are simply not the issue for me. And, like you, I don't see my faith being threatened here; nor would that be a proper reason to make the ruling I did. I simply cannot reconcile our identity and mission with helping anyone enhance their case against Christianity. If a person follows our conversations (which are public and publicly archived) and learns things to use in arguments against Christian faith, that's one thing. I might not like that, but there is nothing I can do about that and it's really no different from reading published literature by advocates of certain views and then arguing against them. That's what free discourse is about, and I'm all in favor of free discourse -- including free discourse among our members in this forum, as long as the topic is relevant to our identity (and the "soul" clearly is). It's a very different thing, however, if a person enters into!
  conversation with our members with the specific stated goal of building a case against what we represent. That doesn't sound like open-minded inquiry, let alone faith seeking understanding. That sounds to me like using us to advance an agenda that is directly opposed to ours. Am I missing something here, Burgy?


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Received on Fri Sep 25 09:08:58 2009

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