My wife and I had dinner earlier tonight, in The Garden Restaurant atop the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, overlooking the Salt Lake City Temple, with Russell McGregor and his wife, who are visiting from New Zealand. It was a very pleasant evening, and I’m grateful to them for spending time with us.
In response to something that I posted a day or two ago regarding Joseph Smith, a belligerent new individual appeared on my blog quite irrelevantly denouncing the use of religion “to demean, degrade, dismiss, demonize and dehumanize our fellow human beings.”
When I suggested that there was nobody on my blog — certainly including myself — who favors demeaning, degrading, dismissing, demonizing, and dehumanizing other human beings, he assured me that religious people do precisely that in the name of “godliness” or “righteousness” and suggested that I would reveal myself to be just such a person if I were to reveal my views on immigrants and Muslims.
I thought that was pretty funny. I told him that he shouldn’t assume that I’m an anti-Muslim bigot, that I write about Islam pretty much every day on my blog, and that, within sixty seconds or less of browsing through it, he would have a very good idea of my position on the subject.
He refused, and he became increasingly nasty. Having demanded to know my “views” regarding Muslims, he angrily told me that he wasn’t really interested in my opinions. He couldn’t be bothered to look at the blog on which he was, at that very moment, commenting. Then he again demanded to know my views on the subject, attempting to charm me into further discussion by calling me a “ridiculous lunatic,” “a ridiculous obnoxious arrogant lunatic,” and an “obnoxious arrogant cult worshipper.”
His attempts, though, were in vain. Tempted though I was to spend an hour or two conversing with such a winsome new acquaintance, I simply didn’t have the time.
I get a huge kick out of people like this. I wonder what they’re like in everyday life.
I also get an odd kick out of occasional suggestions that I’m an anti-Islamic bigot. I was, in fact, actually once disinvited from speaking at an Australian university on the grounds that my remarks would be divisive, hostile to Islam, and bigoted. That was a genuinely weird experience. I guess that my creation of the Islamic Translation Series, my book titled Abraham Divided, and my biography Muhammad: Prophet of God weren’t enough to overcome the completely nonexistent evidence that I’m a zealous anti-Muslim polemicist.
P.S. Had my new online friend been even remotely curious, I might have eventually pointed to a clue that might have helped him to understand my attitude toward refugees, on which he also requested my views while assuring me that he wasn’t interested in my opinions:
I was among the signers of the document to which this article refers:
Here’s some Islam-related news for anybody who’s interested:
Posted from Park City, Utah