Joe has written a blog response to "and I am the liar!?" where he takes me to task. I am going to paste it here and put my responses within in red (and italics for Brook). Perhaps we simply work out our math in different bases; perhaps there is more to it than that. You decide. :)
So I never knew that disagreeing with someone was the cardinal sin. Well, that's not true, I did. I just didn't expect it from this guy. You may remember the Santa Claus discussion. Well, apparently because we didn't agree with Mr. Hackman's Musings we're uptight enough that a "piece of coal up our butt would lead to a diamond in two weeks." I think he's calling me a liar, too because I didn't agree with him. He says,
"What always amazes me about these kind of folks is THIS is the kind of issue they focus? It's friggin Santa for cryin out loud. Not world hunger or inner city gang violence! To me, it so petty. Not that they do not want to do Santa, but that they want to argue about it!" I am not sure where I call him a liar here, but I guess it is fair to say that I do that overall.
Now, is that an honest representation of this blog? 522 blog posts last year and one on Santa. But I'm focusing on "THIS." That's intellectual dishonesty at its finest. I don't think I ever implied that I was commenting on previous postings on his blog. I think it was clear that I was focusing on this topic and that my statement referred to anyone who made Santa a big issue (in fact I feel a little silly that I am still in an argument about Santa Claus) Nothing shows his true colors more than this:
Next, I am being accused of lying to my daughter and holding back from her the true meaning of Christmas... blah, blah, blah. (Emphasis Mine)
I asked him how he would deal with my five year old's question. What is dishonest here? I answered your daughter's question, but that was not good enough for you. You came back with :"There's an obvious difference between the Fiction and actively telling your kids an untruth. I agree that it's not my job to tell your kids or anyone else for that matter. My problem is that you are purposely hiding part of the Christmas story from your children in that you are telling them that Santa--not God-- has provided for them." In addition, I provided the entire discussion for context. I think my "true colors" there was completely fair.
Then he gives this beauty:
I've got to say I think that is a lie there. I never cared if he saw it my way. I never cared if he could "prove" his way to me, I was asking questions about his way and I thought he could ask questions about my way. Evidently, unless we all agree with Mr. Hackman we're just wrong. Unless we're all in with him, then we're all out with anything that is right in the world. Unless, I agree that Santa is A-OK for my kids too, then I can't be doing anything about world hunger or anything else. Perhaps this is an example of speaking different math, but I do not see any point in the conversation that I am implying that he NEEDS to do Santa with his kids. However, he and others kept coming back in the conversation trying to get me to see all of the problems with the way I do Christmas with my kids (eg. you are purposely hiding... etc)
Mike- As I look back over the conversation, and some of their subsequent comments, I realize some of the core problem. They were not content to see it their way, while I saw it mine. They wanted me to talk them into my way of thinking, confident that I could not. That was never my point, I did not want them to see it my way; I wanted them to see that "I" saw it my way.
What I appreciate most about this exchange with Mr. Hackman and the subsequent post at his site where he questions my honesty proves that fighten' fundy mind set is on both sides of all issues. Unless, I saw this issue his way, I was attacking him and his views. I was being dishonest and wanting to punch sinners in the nose. I don't feel that the way I used that phrase was saying you want to punch sinners in the nose. I was making a comparison to your apparent vacillation between wanting to put-down what someone practices and calling them a liar, while couching it in polite and gracious sounding phrases. To me that is "like" someone who uses the hate the sin but love the sinner phrase. You are not saying what you feel. I think you are doing it in this response. I was guilty of double speak. All I needed to do was agree with him and I would be absolved of all these sins. Again, I in NO WAY thinks he needs to give up his no Santa stance. Perhaps someone can show me otherwise, but this seems to be the focus of his contention, yet I don't feel I ever did it. I stated in a later comment that I was fine with a no-Santa policy, I just couldn't understand a need to argue the point.
So here it is: Mr. Hackman, you can feel free to tell your children that Santa, the Easter Bunny, The Tooth Ferry, and any other fictitious character is real. I honestly do not care. (I disagree, and you may not concur, but I think you do care. I think you care a fair amount about this issue.) I have real life friends that I respect that do all of that. I cannot agree with all of your conclusions but I do respect your right to hold them. If you find that to be double speak, I'm sorry about that. I really am. If your children and my children were ever to meet I would instruct my children to not mention Santa being fake. I am sorry that you believe that because I do not have a love for Santa that I do love poetry, music, or daydreams. I do love warm cocoa and a blazing fire and snuggling. (Where do I make this implication?)
I would ask the next time you call me a liar, at least have the decency to tell me you're saying that about me. (I think it is fair to say that I should have let you know about the post, and for that I apologize.)
And, I would suggest that you check your whole analogy as it seems you've made some pretty broad assumptions about my wife and me based on the fact that we don't agree with you about Santa. I think there are people who are overall digital or analog. But you are right, a more complete analogy would be to say that people may be issue specific as well. There may be areas of your life where you are analog, but on this one you are digital. I understand that. I just don't believe you are as ok with me having a Santa as I am with you not having a Santa. You have said that I feel you are wrong because you do not believe in accordance with my stance. I don't think I ever said any such thing. My contention has been how you respond to people who do not share your stance. You should have just told me that you didn't want to discuss it, that all you wanted was someone to say, "Well Gee, Andrew OK. Thanks." There are some people that email me or respond to things here and that is all I say. I thought you wanted to be part of a discussion. A discussion doesn't mean we agree, it just means we don't attack each other over disagreeing. We don't write blog posts where we call each other "those people."
Yes, I'll be sending this in an email to you as well.
Happy New Year.
See, this is what going off on a rant can bring ya. I now know not to discuss religion, politics,.... and Santa Claus! :)