John W. Loftus said:
“Have you ever seen the programs on TV where some guy or gal marries a person just to kill them and take their money? While Linda wasn't that bad, she was of the same type personality. I don't expect you to understand. It hasn't ever happened to you.”
i) Are there sexy women who pursue rich men for their money? Sure. But you’re not The Donald. So that explanation doesn’t apply to your bank account.
ii) But since you choose to use that illustration, what about it? Yes, we’ve all seen young, bombshell blonds with rich old geezers. She marries him for money, and he marries her for sex. They are using each other—by mutual consent. Each has something the other wants.
Is such a woman acting sinfully? Yes. But it’s a sin which is predicated on a reciprocal sin. Supply and demand. Unless there was a male market for these “services,” there would be no prostitution, pornography, or strip clubs.
So, sorry, but I as a man can’t blame a woman for making a living by trying to please a man. So even if her motives are depraved, it is a male appetite, run amok, which is feeding this industry.
This is something that men need to own up to. That men need to take the lead on.
“But it absolutely devestated me to the core. I see no Christian compassion here at all, as expected, and as I experienced in my own Christian community. You just don't understand. I'm just guilty. That's all you care about.”
i) What comes across in your account is impenitence rather than contrition. Christian forgiveness is not unconditional. Rather, it’s contingent on repentance.
ii) I’d add that you have a very me-centered notion of compassion. In this account, you are not very compassionate towards Linda or your ex-wife or your fellow ministers.
Is it compassionate for you to publicize your marital woes with you ex-wife and imply that she was a frigid woman, which is why you “succumbed” to Linda?
And what about Linda? Why does a woman become a stripper? A true spirit of compassion would ask why Linda turned to such a lifestyle in the first place.
What you’ve done, instead, is to concoct a misogynistic scenario in which Linda becomes a mythological, whip-wielding dominatrix who preys upon hapless, helpless ministers.
Sorry, John, but this is pathetic, and no self-respecting man who cast himself in such an obsequious role.
Stop whining and start acting like a real man, for God’s sake!
“I'm not excusing myself here. But I dare say that the temptation was just beyond me. That you won't understand either. If a pretty woman wants you and is clever, very clever, she could probably get you.”
i) None of the contributors or commenters at T-blog is a stranger to sexual temptation.
i) A pretty woman doesn’t have to be very clever to seduce a man. All it takes is a pretty woman and a willing man.
ii) Is sexual temptation resistible? It depends.
It’s resistible if you keep a certain distance. If you take certain precautions.
Where it becomes irresistible is if you take it to the point where you no longer want to resist.
iii) But the further point is what we do in case we do give into temptation. Do we repent, or do we start pointing fingers at everyone else?
“That you won't understand either. I'm just guilty, and I do bear the blame.”
Except that you don’t accept responsibility for your actions. What you’ve done is to accept a little bit of the blame, but then to dilute your admission by spreading the blame around.
“There are a lot of books available where people confess to having sex with Elvis and the like. I was just honest here in revealing what changed my life.”
Since I don’t read books about Presley’s former lovers, I couldn’t say.
“Now think about this. I knew people would object to this incident but I included it anyway. Why? Because I'm dishonest? No! Because I was trying to be as honest as I could.”
Actually, I think this incident was a play for the sympathy vote. But it backfires because your self-image, along with the exculpatory interpretation of your role in this affair, is quite different from how it looks to an outsider.
“My book is a sincere attempt to explain why I changed. You cannot dispute that anymore, since I write about the good the bad and the ugly.”
And that’s why, by your own admission, this is relevant. You are using your deconversion story to justify your apostasy. And you are using this incident as a key step in the process of deconversion.
“ Listen up. You treat me as if I'm not a person. You treat me as if I'm an alien or something.”
i) I treat you as a morally responsible agent.
ii) I also make allowance for the fact that I’m only getting your side of the story. That you demonize Linda, as if she overpowered you through trickery.
Let’s get real, here. No man was ever seduced against his will. To blame the woman is simply unmanly.
“YOU tell me this, what do YOU do whenever you're caught in sin? That's exactly what I did. And there are mitigating factors to all sins too.”
Ah, yes, “mitigating factors.” That’s your escape clause. That’s why you remain impenitent.
You say you don’t excuse yourself, but then you immediately negate that admission by drawing attention to a number of extenuating circumstances—as you view them.
“But that you will refuse to acknowledge since it's me.”
John, your idea of charity begins and ends with you. You were quite uncharitable towards everyone else whom you tried to implicate in this sordid affair.
“ I'm the one who signs my real name to what I write.”
And I sign my real name to what I write as well.
“I'm the one revealing myself here, in all sincerity in the honest attempt to explain myself. Most of you are simply gutless pricks.”
One of the problems with this excuse is your perverted notion of what honesty demands. A tell-all novel or trashy, talk show is not my idea of honesty.
Why do you think that we need to know about your sex life?
And when you choose to write a kiss-and-tell bio, you immediately violate the privacy of everyone else concerned. For example, it never occurs to you that it might be a breach of confidence to inform the world that your ex-wife, whom you specify by name, was no fun in bed—which is why you turned to a stripper.
One has to be morally blind to a monumental degree not to see what is wrong with this kind of “honesty.”
“ Your turn. Tell me the things you've done wrong in your life. Go ahead. Post it with your real name too. Then let me tear you a new [explicative deleted].”
1.You’re the one who chose to publicize your sex life. But when I repeat what you say, word-for-word, you fly into a rage.
You’re the one who is using you sex life, and the ensuing consequences thereof, to justify your apostasy. God let you down. The church let you down.
This is how you chose to frame the issue. And I agree with you that this episode sheds a very revealing light on your road to apostasy.
2.Since, however, I have never attempted to use my private life, whatever that may be, to prove what you use your private life to prove, I’m under no obligation to parallel your practice. I don’t measure my witness by your X-rated yardstick.
3.There are Christian converts who speak in general terms about how God delivered them from addiction or gambling or pornography or other suchlike. That’s great.
But that’s not the same thing as naming names, and thereby exposing the private lives of others we know—of using “honesty” as a pretext to settle old scores and give a defamatory, one-sided account of who’s to blame.
Jay Adams once described group therapy as group slander, in which people sit around and publicly badmouth their parents, or spouse, or whomever else they want to incriminate in order to shift blame for their own failings.
In Christian ethics there’s a big difference between confession to God and malicious gossip.
“YOU are the reason I will never return to the sludge pit of the Christian faith. The more you treat me with disrespect the more it confirms what a bankrupt way of life Christianity really is.”
Welcome to the true face of apostasy. When we unmask the apostate, when we wipe away the make-up, it’s personal and emotional.
Forget about John’s “cumulative case.” That’s just so much eyewash.
This is his real reason. Pride. Rage. Resentment. Immorality. Self-denial. Self-justification.