The Argument Sketch in the modern age


Man: Ah, Is this the right room for an argument?
Arguer: I told you once.
Man: No you haven’t.
Arguer: Yes I have.
Man: When?
Arguer: Just now.
Man: No you didn’t.
Arguer: Yes I did.
Man: You didn’t
Arguer: I did!
Man: You didn’t!
Arguer: I’m telling you I did!
Man: You did not!!
Arguer: Oh, I’m sorry, just one moment. Is this a five minute argument or the full half hour?

The Argument Sketch from Monty Python’s Flying Circus


On April 11 I published a blog entry in which my primary topic was my lament about the dearth of understanding and getting along with one another through personal relationships. I (clumsily I admit) used as an illustration the recent meme of switching one’s Facebook profile to the pink and red equal sign in order to demonstrate one’s solidarity with a cause. I still think it’s empty symbolism used by those who are going along to get along and I could have probably chosen any number of similar memes. But here’s the thing: that’s my opinion.

I seem to have struck a nerve on one blogger in particular however who left a comment completely unrelated to the theme of the post and who launched into a barrage of assumptions and hypotheticals. It is here, despite my knowing better, that I made a mistake: a direct response. Having looked at this individual’s blog should have been enough to indicate to me that a response was futile and be met with hostility, but I tried anyhow. I have read through all of the posts on his/her blog back to its beginning in December 2012. There is a lot of food for thought contained on it. There is also an intense dislike for anything remotely considered religious. I say “intense dislike” and not “hatred” because I believe that word is abused far too much anymore in relation to things that we don’t like or agree with. If you like “x”, but I don’t agree with your liking “x” then I’m a “hater”. And so on and so forth. We don’t talk 1-on-1 anymore, but yell at each other through comboxes and computer screens.

And so I replied on April 15th. Today when I logged on to check my blog I learned that they had replied back, and had then gone to the trouble to post to their blog their comment that was still awaiting moderation in my comments box. Because as he/she said of me:

I suspect he will not have the honesty or courage to publish it, so I am publishing it here. If he remains an ideological coward and does not publish the comment, I will quote & post his entire article precipitating the comments here as well, …

Well if you look closely you will see that I published his/her comment. I have also corrected one item on my original response to him/her that he/she did properly call me out on. I quoted a paragraph from this article in my response and failed to include the link as a source. This was an oversight on my part, hardly intentional, but it was still wrong nonetheless and I own it. Hence the correction. He/she accuses me of lifting the quote from this article at the EPPC, a site I’d never heard of. I wish I had, for then I would have cited the correct source and perhaps worded my comment differently.

I had considered responding, line by line to his/her second comment but have decided against it. Twice the subject to which I was speaking has been disregarded and twice he/she has taken a direction in a preconceived grievance area in which he/she somehow magically purports to know anything and everything about my thoughts, feelings and intentions. My questions were not answered and/or deflected and the responses would make any modern politician proud. If this were to continue it would be a matter of time before we landed here:

So I’m going to stretch my own commenting guidelines and post his second response, and for what I hope is the only time, respond to someone’s comment with a dedicated posting. I’m also going to amend it further by adding a corollary that Stacy Transancos has given permission to use. My response? Well, you pretty much just read it.


But since it was brought up by this individual here are two other points on the topic of the redefinition of marriage and supposed bigotry of Catholics towards homosexuals. In my original response I said I objected to “the dishonest attempts at destroying a word.” His/her response was:

… And I still have no idea what you mean to imply by calling the attempts ‘dishonest.’ There is no agenda in the pursuit of equality beyond equality. To suggest otherwise is to fraught your argument with a level of irrationality that I think you’d like to think you are above. No one wants to destroy anything. They just want to be included in what you claim that they want to destroy. So can we sit for a minute and see how your assertion doesn’t make sense…

It doesn’t? Meet lesbian journalist and homosexual activist Masha Gessen.

“It’s a no-brainer that (homosexual activists) should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. …(F)ighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there — because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie.

The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don’t think it should exist. And I don’t like taking part in creating fictions about my life. That’s sort of not what I had in mind when I came out thirty years ago.

I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally… I met my new partner, and she had just had a baby, and that baby’s biological father is my brother, and my daughter’s biological father is a man who lives in Russia, and my adopted son also considers him his father. So the five parents break down into two groups of three… And really, I would like to live in a legal system that is capable of reflecting that reality, and I don’t think that’s compatible with the institution of marriage.”


As for my supposed hatred and bigotry based upon “presumptions, lies” and “typical rhetoric”:

[Homosexuals] must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. – Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2358

To this end meet Steve Gershom, a pro-Catholic, pro-chastity man with same-sex attraction.

Where are all these bigoted Catholics I keep hearing about? When I told my family a year ago, not one of them responded with anything but love and understanding. Nobody acted like I had a disease. Nobody started treating me differently or looking at me funny. The same is true of every one of the Catholic friends that I’ve told. They love me for who I am.

Actually, the only time I get shock or disgust or disbelief, the only time I’ve noticed people treating me differently after I tell them, is when I tell someone who supports the gay lifestyle. Celibacy?? You must be some kind of freak.

Hooray for tolerance of different viewpoints. I’m grateful to gay activists for some things — making people people more aware of the prevalence of homosexuality, making homophobia less socially acceptable — but they also make it more difficult for me to be understood, to be accepted for who I am and what I believe. If I want open-mindedness, acceptance, and understanding, I look to Catholics.

I’m sure this post will provide fodder for an ongoing series about how loathsome a creature I am.

No it won’t.

Yes it will.


Argument Sketch photo source.


One thought on “The Argument Sketch in the modern age

  1. Let me start out by saying that saying that my husband is a HUGE Monty Python fan & The Argument Clinic is one of his favorite sketches. It is so frustrating people comment who have totally missed the point of your post because either they read one thing at the beginning & decided they knew what your post said, or as is apparently the case of your commentor, have their own opinion that, of course, is right & they look for things to pick apart in your post. Unfortunately, some people are that way also about the Catholic faith. They have been told my their pastors, parents, or whoever that we are horrible people who worship idols and we are bigoted and whatever else, and they believe it rather than finding out for themselves what they are about. I think this poor person (which he/she is since they do not have Christ in their life) who commented on your earlier post needs an arugment clinic to go to in order to get this out of their system!


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