Evidently the spirit of the Inquisition lives on. As you may know, men wrote in defense of the use of torture and imprisonment during the dark days of the Inquisition because they believed that since to be separated from the Church was to experience eternal loss, it was better to torture the body temporarily now than to lose the soul for eternity. That mindset seems alive and well over in the Catholic Answers Forums, even as they claim to be praying and fasting today for my conversion!
One particular participant in the thread, found here, seems to use his real name, Michael Howard. He is listed as being from Washington State. The number of outrageous and slanderous things flowing from his keyboard in a thread about praying that I would be converted is truly astounding. I will let him speak for himself:
James white on the other hand is not a healthy person and for one to ignore this is shameful. He’s a debate junky, enslaved to arguing, slandering and destroying the character of other people. This goes beyond attempting to show another person the errors of his/ her faith, he attacks the actual person and that simply is not acceptable according to scripture, that goes for Catholics as well or anyone who participates in hate dialouge. There hearts need to be converted because hatred and malicious anger are not of Christ but anti-christ.
Aside from what you believe about his teachings, to turn your eyes away from the fact that he’s doing these things and even particiapte in the demoralizing others is problematic in the sense that it in no way reflects the character of Jesus Christ, just the opposite frankly. So I would suggest praying for your brother James White as well, that he would be released from anger and turn toward Jesus Christ who is pure love, and love is the greatest commandment.
His demoralizing shamefully goes on behind the scenes, James is well known for harassing Catholic aopologists, bombing them with e-mails, challenging them to debates and if they do not give into his wishes? He publicly shames them saying they were to cowardly to debate him!
If you want proof of this send an e-mail to Patrick Madrid and I’m sure he be happy to send you some of James Whites e-mails. Now, can you please show me from the Word of God how this behavior is beneficial? James Whites public shaming of people is no big secret.
It’s not about peering into his heart, James White has been shamefully and “publically” promoting his attacks for years and he’s quite proud of it. I question your honesty in this matter but, perhaps you are a very new sappling disciple of James White and stiil quite innocent in these matters?
If you really want to go through the hassle of collecting all of the hate mail James White has spewed over the years we can do that, it would probably take another thread though and it actually sounds quite dull to be honest.
Etc. and etc. Wow, can you feel the love? And can you see the documentation? Oh, no, there wasn’t any of that. Just more unsubstantiated slander, all meant, I guess, to make me feel warm and fuzzy and help me “come home to Rome.” I haven’t seen anyone stepping in to point out the obvious. “Uh, hey, guys…this guy has written books, and, if he’s so bad…why aren’t you quoting from them? And, he’s done nearly three dozen moderated debates with apologists well known to us. Wouldn’t it be real easy to document all these allegations from those debates? Should we be slandering him up one side and down the other in the same thread where we are professing our hope for his conversion?” Yeah, you’d think someone might say that.
But the double-standards and incoherent thinking are not limited to Mr. Howard. A user by the name of DADTO8SOFAR gives us a tremendous illustration of how Roman Catholics can find Rome’s apologetics convincing even when the truth is staring them in the face. Check out this post:
I used to visit the Alpha & Omega website from time to time. It was interesting to hear White’s perspective on varied subjects. Despite his abrasiveness, I enjoyed the debate. But the more I listened to White, the more I noticed a pattern – and I began to suspect that he wasn’t as interested in truth as in winning debates. It really began to bug me. But the straw that broke the back was last year when White wrote a piece where he quoted Richard Mcbrien as a Roman Catholic authority on history. See the following:
While it’s true that Mcbrien is a professor & historian at Notre Dame, it is also common knowledge that he is an enemy of Catholic orthodoxy. He is hardly a reliable source. I find it highly unlikely that White didn’t know this. At best, White acted with great irresponsibility for not checking his sources; at worst, he acted with conscious deception. This seems to be a pattern. I no longer have much respect for his work.
Pray for James White, and pray for me while you’re at it.
Now let’s think for a moment about this argument. First, the linked article is my response to the anonymous hit-piece by Envoy—you know, the one written about a footnote, without reference to the original source, or even my name? Where is the complaint about that? Then, the citation of McBrien is as follows:
Barbour abandons sound historical procedures by pointing to the words of the Council of Constantinople, which met 355 years after Nicea, which claimed that both Constantine and Sylvester together called the council. R.P.C. Hanson, a noted historian, writes concerning this claim:
Religious partisanship has in the past led some scholars to suggest that Sylvester, bishop of Rome, convoked the council of Nicea, but modern Roman Catholic Scholars honourably dismiss this idea.
Likewise, George Salmon describes as “less scrupulous” those who make Barbour’s assertion, saying that there is “no foundation” for the claim. Roman Catholic historian and Notre Dame professor Richard McBrien likewise notes that Sylvester “played no part” in the proceedings of the Council of Nicea, that he “did not convene the council,” and that even Sylvester’s representatives “were given no special status” at the assembly.
 R.P.C. Hanson, The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1997), p. 154.
 George Salmon, The Infallibility of the Church (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1959), p. 289.
 Richard McBrien, Lives of the Popes (HarperSanFrancisco: San Francisco, 1997), p. 58.
Now, George Salmon isn’t even a Roman Catholic. So, I guess, for this writer, unless you cite pro-Roman Catholic sources, you are irresponsible and deceptive! What a convenient rule for those wishing to defend Rome’s claims! You can only quote…us, or we will accuse you of deception! Never mind McBrien is a Catholic academic, teaching at Notre Dame! Never mind what he said is verified by other scholars! If you cite any historian who is not a conservative Roman Catholic, you are being deceptive! And this is a “pattern” according to this writer. Yes, it is a pattern. I actually cite historical sources based upon their value rather than upon the agreement of the author with my particular religious viewpoints. That is a pattern this writer might wish to emulate. And what is more, he might try interacting with what McBrien, and the others, said. Ad-hominem argumentation, while very common in the CA Forums, is still logically invalid.
But you see how it works: someone else, who does not even follow the link, reads this and then, months later you get, “Well, I hear White is deceptive in his use of sources.” Lie, based upon lie, based upon the retelling of a lie, based upon ignorance, etc. This is the very essence of “pop apologetics” in Roman country. Throw in enough slander and mythology to choke a horse, and you know you have arrived in the land of the CA Forums/Envoy forums.