A Notable Follow-up to the Dawkins/Expelled Post

After the “letter to the editor” post regarding Richard Dawkns, P.Z. Myers, and Expelled — the post that suddenly doubled my previous “best-day” record here at Looking Closer (10,000 visitors in less than 14 hours) — I’m still recovering from the mountain of angry mail that came in.

Most of it consisted of people taking cheap shots at Stuart Blessman for his post. (He later went on to blog about it here.)Very few actually dealt with the movie itself. Most of it argued that Blessman was “lying” … and yet the people saying so had not been present at the screening, like Stuart was, so they had no alternate evidence to offer. It would have turned into a ridiculous shouting match, with one side shouting hysterically and the other, except that there was only one side shouting. On the other side, there was only Stuart, who never shouted but simply offered his man-on-the-street perception of what happened.

Some, after unleashing hateful, hysterical, and condemining responses went on to say that Christians are very hateful and condemning. What’s a stronger word than “irony”?

Anyway, after all of that, it was nice to receive this:

I wanted to thank you for posting Stuart’s comments on the Expelled issue and — most of all — for noting and complementing his gracefulness in reply.

He is a student of mine this semester in a class I’m teaching about Biblical arguments. He is more conservative than I am, too be sure. All the more reason for me to note that in person he is as civil as his postings to you were.¬† Very even tempered person. He tells me he has received a large amount of hate mail and threats that he should be expelled and so on. Amazing.

I used to cover some of the Harris and Dawkins books in my Analysis of Argument class, but they are so shoddy and mean-spirited it hardly seemed worth the time. Hans Kung wrote a “does God exist” book and you could take his set-up of the various anti-God arguments, combine that into one book and you’d have something far superior to Dawkins’ effort.

Again, thanks.

John Nordin
Lecturer, Communication Studies

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.