Daily Devotional 1

I could write a daily devotional, well, advice for the day anyway. I even have a title in mind! Here's a potential entry:

There's something to be said for having naysayers and critics in our lives (the "loyal opposition"). They help keep us away from false ideas and unethical actions to the degree they are reasonable and right. But if they truly desire to help us, rather than tear us down, we must first be friends!

I only want friends around me, people who encourage and support me, even when it comes to naysayers and critics. Get it? I can accept reasonable criticism, but I first need to know my critics are trying to be helpful as friends. Would anyone want something different?

Yes, a few immature loud-mouthed obnoxious atheists have criticized me over the years for everything from my grammar (which is benign) to my ideas (and pontificating on my supposed ignorance with the certainty of a Pope, from papyri fragments written years ago) to my personality and/or telling me what I should or shouldn't do (this is a well-known Loftus no, no). The worst thing an atheist critic of mine can do is to treat me with disrespect while espousing ignorance. I don't suffer fools gladly, especially disrespectful fools. So when I call them on this they subsequently tell everyone I'm arrogant (a no-win situation from my perspective). They're projecting when they claim this of me. For the truth is I'm more surprised than anyone (and humbled) at the modicum of success I've had.

One college student took me to task for my views on the philosophy of religion. He assumed I was ignorant. He was informing me of things I didn't know, you see. Well, I assured him he didn't say anything I hadn't considered before, and that was the truth. Apparently I can't even say that without being perceived as arrogant. But it wasn't being arrogant. There was nothing I needed to respond to. A college student level understanding of the philosophy of religion cannot chide me for ignorance about a subject I earned master's degrees in and taught at the college level. Given his disrespect toward me, he was the one who thought more highly of himself than he should.

Haters will hate, that's what they do. In fact, one way to recognize small-minded people is to notice what it takes for them to hate, and how often they do it. A few of them are obnoxious people. They exhibit this characteristic all of the time. So no one should be surprised to see they are obnoxious toward me either.

Now you know.