[originally posted on 4-5-09]
Just as in his treatment of me, Bishop White claims repeatedly that Steve Ray is dumber than a door nail and completely unimportant in matters apologetic (and exegetical, etc.). Yet on the other hand, White is literally obsessed with personally attacking Steve and impugning his character, and going after his research at every turn, invariably accompanied by the most rank insults (White seems as utterly unable to refrain from these as a leopard is powerless to escape its own spots). It’s obviously a high priority. The fact of the obsession is undeniable. If you don’t believe me, I’ll let White speak for himself. All of the posts in the first two sections below come from his blog, from his own hand, and most were primarily devoted to Steve Ray.
[8-22-07] What is clear is that Ray has not seriously interacted with anything other than this kind of “Jack Chick/Dave Hunt” style fundamentalism. His writings prove the point. . . . Many before me have noted that the converts to Catholicism who have then taken up the apologetic sword in defense of Catholicism tend to bring their Protestantism with them. Ray does so with a vengeance. And when it comes to his sources and his arguments, once again, the parallels between himself and men like Chick and Hunt are undeniable.
[8-27-07] What he has actually posted in this blog article is more than enough to demonstrate that he is intent upon engaging in the most egregious forms of spin and smoke-and-mirrors to attempt to rescue any shred of credibility he might have as an apologist.
[9-25-07] Soon Ray mentioned he was going to post a lengthy refutation, co-authored by Gary Michuta. This appeared on August 21st in pdf format. It is 30 pages in length, though, the actual material directly relevant to the topic is a minority of the information. Instead, the response begins with pages of standard, oft-refuted Catholic claims, stated in such a fashion as to leave the knowledgeable reader without any reason to believe Ray and those involved in the production of his response are either fully aware of, or concerned about, the refutations that have been offered of this kind of apologetic materials. . . . does Ray ever come close to recognizing the level of argumentation required to substantiate Rome’s position? Or is Ray content to do the “keep the troops happy, don’t worry about those who don’t already bow the knee to Rome” routine?
[9-29-07] OK, so which is it…am I important enough to respond to, not important enough to respond to, or am I so easy to refute? Can Ray figure it out?
[12-17-07] As I noted in my last installment, Ray has dismissed my replies, ignoring them completely, dismissing me as irrelevant and unimportant. Which explains, of course, why he wrote the original article! His evident inconsistencies aside, . . .
[12-17-07] Again we can only smile as Ray demonstrates his inability to show meaningful understanding of the positions he denies; . . . but Steve Ray pretends to be a professional, doesn’t he? How can he reproduce this kind of tripe and expect it to be accepted and have an impact, unless, of course, he is only writing for the kind of audience who finds this kind of rhetoric encouraging and likely to produce donations.
[2-26-08] If you thought there was a “renaissance” of Roman Catholic apologetics a few decades ago, I believe you can see this entry by Roman Catholic apologist Steve Ray as the tomb stone of any such renaissance. . . . Given the string of apologetic blunders Steve Ray has committed of late . . . I figured Ray would just keep busy riding around Israel on a bus and hope his constituency would not notice that once again he had been shown to be less than honest in his comments and publications. . . . While he pretends expertise in the early church, he lacks the training and ability to respond in any coherent or meaningful fashion to the simple contextual reading of Ignatius’ words.
[8-17-07] One man tried to reason with Ray, who can’t seem to see the difference between saying “Person X is wrong about matter Y, and here is documentation Z,” and “Person X is a rabid dog and a waste of time.” This seems to be a problem endemic to RC apologists, as he is not alone in suffering from it. . . . Well, I won’t be long winded—wouldn’t want to delay Mr. Ray in making more money selling his wares!
[8-17-07] As to hanging out with Ray, or any of his buddies, that’s right. I have no interest in so doing. Why? It isn’t because I don’t think Jesus “ate with sinners.” However, when Jesus ate with sinners, he called them to repentance, and that isn’t why Ray would want to get together. Secondly, Ray is a false teacher, not just a regular ol’ “sinner.” And as I’m sure I explained to him at the time, the point is that if someone comes with another gospel, another message, you are not to even greet the person, let alone hang out at Starbucks with them. See the previously linked article for samples of what Steve Ray has said about me in the past. He can’t produce similar invective. Would you want to have lunch with someone who has spoken of you in terms like this: . . . It’s all about Steve Ray, isn’t it? He does not seem to understand that the only reason I am quoting him is that I am addressing the issue of Rome’s teachings. But for him, it is all about Steve Ray. . . . Is there any inanity these folks will not post in cyber-space, I wonder?
[8-22-07] Steve Ray is still a fundamentalist. Now, I use that term not in its historical sense, but in the sense Ray himself uses it, descriptive of his “former life” before his conversion to Rome. But Ray’s mindset has not changed an iota from that which he describes as his own. In fact, as I was considering his recent behavior, his response on the Assumption, etc., I suddenly realized who Steve Ray reminds me of: Dave Hunt. Yes, good ol’ Dave Hunt, the man who can keep repeating long-exploded arguments ad nauseum [sic] . . . Steve Ray is Dave Hunt in papal garb.
[8-25-07] . . . men like Steve Ray, that my forefathers were right all along. These men are Romanists. Rome is all that matters to them. Service to Rome is their highest goal. All facts, arguments, and thoughts, are to be twisted to the service of…Rome. . . . And how do you accurately describe men who will sacrifice their integrity, their logic, their rationality, and put forth such monumental efforts in defense of Rome? They are Romanists.
[8-26-07] We see it every day as politicians demonstrate that truth is not their highest goal. And we see it when proponents of false religions spin the truth in the service of falsehood. Steve Ray has begun the spin process on his blog . . . It is simply deceptive. Ray may well have been misled by someone else, and simply did not bother to look it up himself. It doesn’t matter. It’s a falsehood, and that has been documented beyond all question. . . . when you’ve been so clearly refuted, there is not much more you can do than to play games like this. Notice he never once accurately represents even his own words (how difficult it must be to engage in such self-deception!) . . . as I have pointed out, it is the essence of Romanism to defend Rome at all costs, and one’s personal integrity and honesty is surely the first casualty. . . . will Ray ever actually deal with the facts in an honest fashion? Given what we’ve seen from him so far, there is little reason to hope for much better. I wonder where the honest Roman Catholic apologists are?
[8-27-07] When representing others, the truthful writer can quote that person, in context. Steve Ray can’t do that. Why? Because he’s peddling lies, and he is fully aware of it. This is not just a mistake on his part, he is purposefully lying to his readers. He is banking on them never checking him out, trusting him implicitly, sort of like they trust their priest, or the Pope. . . . Fundie Romanist apologists don’t have to quote sources. “Rome is Right–Be Happy” doesn’t require a very high standard of documentation and argumentation. . . . hope your followers are as utterly unconcerned about the truth as you are, and that they will just applaud your brilliance and move on to the next pilgrimage, buy the next DVD you crank out, order your next convert-story book, and keep the donations coming. . . . it is always sad to see anyone sell themselves out to error and engage in this kind of gross dishonesty. But you see, the kind of person who will be influenced by this kind of outrageously facile rhetoric isn’t going to be overly impacted by what I have to say anyway. Those are not the folks I believe I am called to help. The serious minded person who truly wants to think through the issues and hear both sides cannot help but be repelled by the specter of a Steve Ray. If his behavior is representative of what it takes to be a catholic convert, he has done a great service to those who love the truth by warning them off.
[8-27-07] Obviously, we will not get any honesty out of Ray about his error. He is willing to throw his integrity under the bus in the face of overwhelming documentation and respond with laughter and mockery. It is the way of the Catholic Convert, evidently.
[9-15-07] As we look at Steve Ray’s attempt to give a defense for the dogmatic teaching of Rome regarding the bodily assumption of Mary, . . . we once again see the “attack Scripture as a means of smuggling your false teachings into the faith” motif.
[9-24-07] And, as is usual for Steve Ray, his reply is bombastic, mean-spirited, insulting, condescending, and hypocritical—all at the same time! . . . If a man does not love the truth, he will be willing to behave in any fashion necessary to continue to love a lie. But I know fellow believers have benefited from seeing his errors documented, so I press forward with my replies, as time allows.
[9-29-07] . . . just how cavalier Ray is with the truth. . . . again we see the double-standard: in the service of Rome, all insults are allowed. No one will call him on it, to be sure. In any case, the comments of his supporters found in this combox give us a somewhat startling insight into the mindset of those who buy into the twisted reasoning of Ray and others.
[11-14-07] Even if Ray has taken note of the easy refutations of this article that have been around for a long time, and how even referring to such reprehensible writing decimates one’s credibility, I truly doubt he would allow that to stop him. Cheap shots are easy and quick, and as long as you have no respect for your audience, they are quite useful.
[1-16-08] Here is a tremendous example of the kind of scholarship put forward by Ignatius Press and Catholic Answers in the person of one of their “experts,” Steve Ray. This kind of gross misrepresentation is simply too easy to refute, yet it is so very popular amongst Rome’s adherents.
[1-19-08] Where are the serious Roman Catholic apologists these days? It is truly amazing. . . . Evidently he views it as his job to protect Steve Ray when Ray makes utterly absurd statements on CA Live. In any case, it is Michuta who now gets to own this mess of half-truths and deception, and own it he will.
[1-25-08] Four years ago I addressed the abuse of the words of Ignatius of Antioch by Roman Catholic apologists, . . . Steve Ray repeated this abuse on Catholic Answers Live recently, . . .
[2-26-08] Ray has to keep beating the “anti-Catholic” drum, seeking to fire up the emotions of his readers through bigotry; and then he simply lies to his readers. . . . willing to lie out of his arrogance and ignorance, one of the two. . . . the facts are plain: Steve Ray is about as truth challenged as you can get. . . . he is lining his pockets with the money of gullible people who follow him around Israel, hanging on his every word . . . Steve Ray and his ilk line their pockets by turning Ignatius into a Roman Catholic. One side speaks the truth, the other side serves Mother Church with dishonesty and, in this case, simple cowardice. . . . one of the most promoted Roman Catholic “apologists” today, a regular guest on Catholic Answers Live, will be allowed to get away with documented, public dishonesty . . .
[2-26-08] I launched into Steve Ray’s now completely documented dishonesty, . . . I reviewed Ray’s blog article (noted below), documented its obvious dishonesty, . . . Another amazing display of just how far Rome’s apologists will go in service to “Mother Church.”
[3-6-08] Given Ray‘s dishonesty, the possibility that he made the entire e-mail up cannot be dismissed.
[3-11-08] Thanks again, Steve, for proving that there is no limit to how far you will go to avoid facing up to the truth! Then again, who has the time to back up their wild claims when they are running about Israel on a bus filled with pilgrims! Tough job, but someone has to wear the safari hat!
Bishop White made a veiled reply to this paper on 4-20-09:
Recently I have noted, in the context of his unscrupulous behavior and actions, the many errors of Steve Ray. Examining his writings and claims with knowledge of the Bible and history puts a Protestant apologist in a “target rich environment,” to be sure. We have only scratched the surface of the refutations to be offered of Ray’s claims. But some have suggested that I am picking on Ray because of his shameless promotion of Patty Bonds. But there is a bit of a historical problem with that claim, similar to the anachronism inherent in Roman historiography relating to such things as the Papacy. It doesn’t fit the time line. You see, Mrs. Bonds contacted me anonymously on July 15, 2000. And it was not till November of 2000 that I learned of her apostasy to Rome (and even later that I put two and two together and realized that the e-mail I had responded to in July of 2000 was from her). Yet, the following section about Steve Ray is from an article I posted in April of 2000, months before the Bonds situation became known to me. Hence, I have identified Ray’s work as shoddy, shallow, and easily refuted independently of his impudent involvement in Mrs. Bonds’ activities.
As so often in White’s case, he is setting up a straw man and knocking it down. It has become his trademark response. Most unimpressive . . . I didn’t state that White never dealt with Steve Ray till the latter befriended his sister, Patty Bonds. That was the unforgivable sin. I said White was obsessed with Steve. I wrote in the post related to this one, that I linked to near the top:
White and his cronies have been making relentless personal attacks on Steve Ray for many months (even years by now). It never lets up.
Of course, he wrote about Steve before all that. But that’s beside the point. The obsessive response to Steve Ray dates to more recent times, and that coincides with Steve’s defense of Patty Bonds. I only documented back to August 2007, which is just one year and nine months.
The interactions of Steve and myself with White go back to the late 90s, online (I first encountered him in 1995, via snail mail). But note the frequency of attack in the last 21 months, from White on his blog, personally attacking Steve Ray and impugning his integrity at every turn. It’s clearly a strong emphasis. In those 21 months there have been no less than 42 such attacks or two per month average (counting many others from White’s cronies also). That comes out to an average of an attack on Steve every two weeks for the last year and nine months. That surpasses, I think, even White’s ratio of personal attack against me, which is really saying something, believe me! :-)
And that, my friends, is an obsession, no matter how you want to look at it or spin it. It’s all entirely predictable. Steve has to be “punished” and smeared. It’s all White can do (exactly as in my own case as a target of White’s derision and contempt for over a dozen years). In fact, Patty Bonds recently mentioned that she had told Steve that this would be the result if he dared to befriend her and believe her (as opposed to considering her a malevolent liar, as White does):
Steve and Janet Ray have also been there for us over and over again. I warned him many times that involvement in my life would earn him the wrath of my brother. Any time he has been willing to help me promote my writing I’ve cautioned him that he would pay dearly in persecution if he showed himself supportive of what I do. He has stood by me and taken the full frontal attack several times and has helped me reach many people who have expressed thanks for the insight that “Out of Darkness” has brought them. (4-15-09; link now defunct)
Steve can take White’s insults (as can I). It’s all part of being a Catholic apologist. Anyone who ever refutes White’s arguments receives this treatment. Ho-hum, yawn, zzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZ………..
Photo credit: James White: posted on 14 May 2020 on Twitter [source]