Why bother to post, or read, opposing views?


I’ve sometimes tried to post articles here, now and again, that are written from a viewpoint I do not share.  The authors may be of a different religious faith, or a different political perspective, or a more or less radical world view;  but the common element is that I don’t share their views.  Neither do many of my readers.

I think many of you understand why I do this.  Others, however, do not.  In the most recent case, earlier this week, I received comments like these:

  • “Someone with a lobotomy wrote this.”
  • “There are no people of good will on the Left. If they were of good will, they wouldn’t be Leftists. QED”
  • “Sounds like it was written by a parent who just cannot blame one kid no matter how at fault or vicious they act. Praising this type of mushy logic framed as the virtuous center is well below your intellect. We all know who is tearing America down and why, it’s been admitted about 10K times. Some men get very sentimental and too understanding in their later years.”
  • “My initial summary of Lipson’s codswallop I edited out, solely for respect of your blog and your preferences, but suffice it so say it’s something found in the former Augean Stables by the metric ton … Some crimes merit old time torture, not mere execution. His nonsense qualifies, ad extremis.”
  • “Peter, this article you have copied isn’t even bovine excrement, it’s nightsoil, and a wast of time and electrons. I can look anywhere on the web to find the same sort of crap, I really don’t want to find it on your blog.”
There are others in the same vein.

The problem with all these comments is that they assume that only one point of view is right.  All others are wrong to a greater or lesser extent.  That’s precisely the assumption that many on the “other side” are also making.  We’ve gone past the point where we’re prepared to listen to each other, and try to understand how the other is thinking.  We now simply reject their viewpoints, and them for holding such viewpoints.  It’s “my way or the highway”.

Friends, those of you who’ve read my work over the years know my background.  I’ve seen far too much of war, bloodshed and violence for my peace of mind, and I’m seeing a ramp-up to it again in these formerly United States.  I think it’ll be a tragedy if that should be our future.  It may well be – it may, by now, be unavoidable – but as long as I can, I’ll try to provide an alternate viewpoint now and then, in the hope that some readers at least may be given food for thought.  Do I really hate/despise/want to kill people with these views, just because they don’t see the world my way?  Sadly, some already do.

There are those who consider this wishy-washy.  I had that criticism in plenty after my thoughts on the Paris terror attacks in 2015 – see the comments there for yourself – but it doesn’t alter the fact that my views then are my views now.  By “othering” the enemy, instead of recognizing our joint humanity despite our differences, we effectively harden ourselves.  We make ourselves part of the problem.  It may be necessary and/or unavoidable that we resort to violence to solve our problems;  but I don’t want us to walk into that with the absolute conviction that we’re right, and they’re wrong, and the only possible solution is to kill enough of them that we make the problem – i.e. them – go away.  To do that makes us, morally and ethically, as bad as the extremists on the other side.  It’s like marriage or relationship counseling.  Those of us who’ve done that have learned the hard way that – with the exception of domestic violence – there are almost always two sides to the situation, and that it’s hardly ever just one person’s fault.  The same is true of other human interactions as well.

It’s certainly that way in politics and war.  Do we rail against left-wing, liberal, progressive politics and the damage they’ve done to our country?  (I certainly do!)  Then let’s not forget what right-wing politics have also done to our country, and to many others.  Think of the “neocon wars” of the past few decades.  How many were justified?  How many should have been ended and the chapter in history closed, rather than allowed to drag on in an attempt to impose “truth, justice and the American way” on societies and nations that wanted nothing to do with them?  For the latest results of that, see what’s happening in Afghanistan as I write these words.  Two trillion dollars, thousands of American dead, tens of thousands of American wounded – all thrown away, wasted, washed down the drain of history.  Some of those opposed to our Afghan war may be left-wing or progressive in their views, but I don’t think anyone would argue that they’re wrong because of that – just as we wouldn’t argue that right-wing opposition to it was/is wrong.

For better or worse, I’m a Christian pastor.  I’m also a man of deep experience in the extremes of human behavior.  I’ve been shot at, and I’ve shot back.  I’ve been wounded – nearly killed – and I’ve returned the favor.  I’m not some pie-in-the-sky theorist, some head-in-the-clouds idealist.  I’ve “been there and done that”, and my body bears the scars to prove it.  (So does my mind, for that matter.)  I’m not thinking and writing this way because I’m a “pajama boy” type, but because I’m a hard-bitten realist (and some of the bites still hurt!).

I know the evil that dwells in the hearts of men, because I’ve found it in my own, and I’ve seen it in the hearts of all too many others.  Civil wars, and armed insurrections, and terrorism, and serving as a chaplain in a high-security penitentiary, will all do that for you – and I’ve done them all.  They’ve all helped to make me what I am.  If you think I’m somehow a “closet liberal” after all that, there’s nothing I can do to make you change your mind.

I try – I don’t always succeed, but I try – to let my faith inform my approach to life.  That faith tells me that I must always seek to give the Holy Spirit room to move, room to change the hearts of men – including my own.  Thus, when I provide viewpoints that I don’t share, and many of my readers don’t share, I do so to give us all food for thought;  to make us realize, yet again, that there are other perspectives out there, and we ignore them at our peril.  Just as any man of sense distrusts and avoids extremists, we don’t want to paint ourselves into an extremist corner if we can avoid that.

That doesn’t mean I won’t take a stand.  I fully agree with the old saw that “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”.  My positions are well-known to regular readers.  I’m morally conservative, politically center-right, and philosophically Christian.  Those aren’t about to change.  However, the fact that I hold those views does not (and should not) blind me to the fact that there are others out there, and those holding them are as entitled to do so as I’m entitled to hold mine.  If I try to ride rough-shod over opposing views, the Golden Rule essentially implies that I’ve given those who hold them permission to ride rough-shod over mine.  If I expect them to have any respect and tolerance for my views, I need to have at least some respect and tolerance for theirs, even though I may oppose them vigorously.  If I reject them along with their views, why should they not reject me along with mine?  Recognizing that reality doesn’t make me soft or wishy-washy.  It makes me a realist.

Sadly, that perspective, and my efforts, don’t meet with everyone’s approval.  I’m truly sorry about that:  but it won’t change who and what I am.  I’ll continue to try to provide alternative viewpoints from time to time.  I’ll go with Oliver Cromwell‘s plea (and he was anything but a “softie” or liberal shill) to the Church of Scotland in 1650:

Is it therefore infallibly agreeable to the Word of God, all that you say? I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.

I can be (and often have been) as mistaken in my approach as any other.  I’m not infallible, and never will be – and neither will any of my readers.  I therefore beseech those of you who get annoyed when I post something with which you don’t agree:  “think it possible you may be mistaken”, even if you’re absolutely sure you’re not.  Read others’ views and perspectives, even if you will never agree with them, and question your own fallibility, as I do mine.

If that doesn’t work for you, there’s always the proverbial approach, of course.

Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.  That way, when you do, you’ll be a mile away and you’ll have his shoes.

Not very Christian, perhaps, but also very practical!



  1. Spot on. “On Killing” and “On Combat” reinforce your point. Dan Bongino has a nice way of putting it too. “We think the Left are people with bad ideas. The Left thinks we are bad people with bad ideas.” Othering is part of the problem and is why a black kid can curb-stomp a white reporter in Oregon and then saunter off.
    We are Americans. We aren’t afraid to have discourse. We don’t want other Americans as enemies and if we stay in our own echo chamber we will get to the point where everyone outside IS othered – and then we’ll be the ones doing horrible things without remorse.
    Please keep up the good work.

  2. I want to see/read/hear opposing viewpoints. They tend to chop the rough edges of my own opinions, and on the rare occasion, change mine. I don't believe I ALWAYS have the right position, nor do I believe those that disagree with me ALWAYS have the wrong position.

    I like people in my life that disagree with me, honestly, and civilized. I try to offer the same on my behalf.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. Peter,

    I understand your concerns.

    Large scale violence and civil war are the last thing that the majority of honest and patriotic citizens wish to see. But there is a limit to the tolerance and that has been exceeded. We are in the gasp of a fascist government which has yet to start the roundups and concentration camps. Yet…

    The "United States" just like the Roman Catholic Church is dead skin suit being worn by evil power seeking people. We are at war and it is already destroying the country and killing hundreds of thousands. The problem is that the sheep don't realize it yet.

    Let's do a short list:
    Attempts to start a race war. Unequal enforcement of laws based on party and privilege. Gain of function research funded by the US that "escapes Chinese weapons lab" and destroys economies and brings out the worst in governments. Suppression of churches. Men becoming "women". Babies at 40-42 months born, then harvested for organs while alive. Stolen election that is still be covered up by all institutions including media and the Supreme Court. FBI staging "insurrections" and false flag attacks. Dubious forces treatment for a virus that doesn't work while treatment that does work is suppressed. Anti-administration doing everything possible to destroy the economy and the constitution.

    We are in the hands of a demonic mob that allows a corrupt senile pedophile as it's figurehead.

    How do you talk to people that don't recognize evil?

  4. We are already at war. Not identifying your enemies is silly. Not paying attention to their plans is foolish. Giving any credence to their propaganda is foolhardy.

    In twenty years, there will only be us or them. Choose wisely, but know that the enemy doesn't care what you think, and increasingly restricts what you can say or do.

  5. "We've gone past the point where we're prepared to listen to each other, and try to understand how the other is thinking. We now simply reject their viewpoints, and them for holding such viewpoints. It's "my way or the highway"."

    This opposite of this has been the strategy of the mainstream Right for the past 60 years or more. How has that been working for you? Feel like we've gained any ground? Or even slowed the rate of loss? Think the Left has gotten anything but crazier and less interested in working together? They smell blood and opportunity, and they aren't letting up.

    I think you're letting your emotional faith-based modern weak-kneed Christianity get in the way logic and reason. You may WANT that kumbaya 'let's all just get along' nonsense to work, but it isn't and it won't. Like the reverend in that old version of "War of the Worlds" movie who walked toward the Martians and got vaporized for his faith and stupidity. Some people just won't get it until they are being curb-stomped by the mob.

  6. We're pretty aware of their views as they have majority control of the media, entertainment, schools and government. We have experience attempting to have civil conversations with them only to be screamed at and called every ist and ism in the dictionary. We're pretty sure what they want to do to us once they have absolute control, they've pretty much told us and we have seen what their philosophical predecessors have done to their political opponents. So yes, we've grown more intolerant of them because our survival is in question. But so far, we have only griped and bitched about things while we watch their side commit political violence in an organized and well funded manner. A lot of us haven't experienced armed conflict like you have but many of us had fathers and their friends who have fought in WWII, Korea and later. And they told some of us everything about what they experienced, sparring no details. It looks like violence is unavoidable. So yes, we've grown a bit intolerant of them and we're liable to vent some to let off some steam.

  7. Peter I respect your opinions and hope you continue to be a voice of reason in an increasingly insane world.

    In the End we ALL have to stand before God's Throne about what we did and didn't do.

    Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

    Nietzsche: “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”

    You've cautioned me against using Old Testament scriptures to prove a point but Satan is Old Testament and he's STILL The Dragon seeking to destroy today.

    Matthew 10 15Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. 16Behold, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17But beware of men; for they will hand you over to their councils and flog you in their synagogues.…

    Matthew 10 21 “Brothers will turn against their own brothers and hand them over to be killed. Fathers will hand over their own children to be killed. Children will fight against their own parents and will have them killed. 22 Everyone will hate you because you follow me. But the one who remains faithful to the end will be saved. 23 When you are treated badly in one city, go to another city. I promise you that you will not finish going to all the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes again.

    Jesus didn't say all would be honey and light. Satan continues to fight God and mere people are the tools of both sides.

    Plenty more in the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (BIBLE) that trouble is part of being human on earth.

    Once the final box, the cartridge box is opened the Republic is truly dead and we are just doing revenge killings over her murder.

    Keep on fighting the good fight Peter. Many of our peers are going into the Monster Mode themselves and need reproof and reminders that the "Good Guys" have the hard work of Remaining Human while fighting Monsters.

  8. It's a good thing to post contrary opinions, sometimes there are kernels of insight that otherwise would not have caught one's eye. Thanks for doing it.

    I used to listed to NPR 30-40 years ago for similar reasons – they had fairly good journalism content and were not afraid to cover contrary viewpoitns, the kind of stories that the networks would start to pick up a week or two later. I appreciated the content, in spite of the teeth-grinding morally-superior bias.

    Then NPR continued its left-ward march, and it became more a case of listening to understand what the Left was up to, and also get some fairly good journalism.

    Now they're just not worth listening to at all – it's like being forced to watch old re-runs of a stupid situation comedy that you never found funny in the first place.

    I appreciate your blog, and your efforts.

  9. Life has taught me that no viewpoint is entirely correct or entirely wrong. The difficulty is determining the line that separates the valid from the invalid, the acceptable from the unacceptable. Sometimes, it is obvious and easy, other times more searching is required. How hard you search is up to you…

  10. I don't fault you for looking at, nor presenting, opposing views.
    Both sides can both be wrong.
    But they can't both be right.

    There may come a day when we can look at the other side, and seek to understand where exactly they slipped the surly bonds of sanity, and went charging off into the swamp of utter retardation. But that's a forensic pathology best left to future generations.

    At this point in time, the only thing worth knowing, is that they can bleed.
    And if something bleeds, we can kill it.

    The point where that is merely an option is probably already behind us in the mirror, at this point.

    If there were some means of surgical finesse to remove the cancer on the republic, I'd be all for it.

    Alas, this is going to be surgery with machetes and battle axes. The Left is (literally) Hell-bent for the Abyss, and what they've failed to concern themselves with is they're pulling the entire nation along with them.

    Cowboys wore pistols for a variety of reasons, but not least among them was that, in the event they became unhorsed, they could shoot the animal rather than be dragged to death with a boot caught in a stirrup.

    Not an enviable position, but certainly to be preferred to the alternative.

    It's time to shoot the horse, Peter.
    Nothing lesser will avail.

  11. We've never met but I like you from your writing. That said I have spent over 20 years in politics. Understanding and walking a mile in your opponents shoes is good advice attempting to understand the psychology of the mind behind it is useless and harmful to our own psychology. Unless that understanding is necessary to defeat that evil psychosis, because that's what it is not a viewpoint or a way of looking at the world. It is simply a lust for power and dominance disguised as a different understanding of the world. Hypocrisy is a way of life with these people and they will do anything to dominate you and I while wiping Christ off the cultural map. Real true evil exists in this world and I will not countenance it or attempt to understand its moral position as it has none just shifting morals to achieve its goals of complete domination. Power for powers sake, I've fought these cretins most of my adult life I know of what I speak, stop trying to understand and start learning how to throw sabots in the gears.

  12. I'm always suspicious of hate peddlers, especially those pretending to be on your own side of a discussion. They say a bunch of almost right things but mix in hatred of whole groups of people; Jews, Negroes, Boomers, Millennials, Policemen, Government Workers–the groups that need to be hated seems almost endless. "Oh there may be an occasional good [member of a hated group], but we need to kill them all and let God sort them out!!"

    These people are not your friends and may be stooges of your opponents. Stay away from them.

  13. I remember a discussion I was having (yearrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs ago) that turned into an argument that had becoming a shout-fest when I stopped and listened to what the other guy was saying…and he was agreeing with me. I apologized.

  14. Disagreeing with the posts doesn't mean they are not valuable for getting inside the heads of totalitarians quite the opposite.

    Very little if any of the criticism is directed at you Peter we're here for a reason that reason is you.

    But lets not pretend listening to these opposing views is any more enlightening than listening to the last 25 power hungry communists or communist enabling idiots over the last 25 years. That's the point, not the fact your posting it.

  15. Ohh by the way the Biten administration is now floating the trial balloon of restricting interstate travel. I wonder what we can learn from that or better yet exhibit some empathy for their reasoning, sorry I had to go there..

  16. I understand (and appreciate) your arguments, Peter, but there isn't enough space to discuss the validity of some of them here (nor is this the venue in which I'm most comfortable discussing them).
    But Aesop put forth most of the points I'd wish to make quite succinctly – Thank you, Sir!
    Sometimes you just have to harden your heart and shoot the horse.

  17. "To do that makes us, morally and ethically, as bad as the extremists on the other side."

    Would you have sunk the immigrant ships?

    Would you have maintained borders, even using force?

    Would you have opposed pornography, even with force?

    Marxism? Suffrage? Homosexuality?

    These things could have been opposed in the past far more forcefully, and we would not be required to make most of these moral judgments nowadays.

    Or perhaps we would. The peace and advancement we enjoy now comes from bigoted nationalistic religious fanatics who could indeed answer the questions about what was moral and just. If the current citizens of the United States are unwilling to do so then it will break up into smaller entities that can indeed answer with : Our people (singular) have a right to exist in the land we carve out for ourselves.

    The morality of a nation cannot be the morality of the individual, nor can it be stronger than the resolve of its people to maintain it.

  18. I have recently had two experiences on the internet that demonstrate a lot of what you say. They were comments on videos online. One was a small, black woman driving a large, black man off with a gun. The comments were all like, "Alright! If only she had shot him!", "Feel good post of the day!", etc. It was obvious to me it was staged for internet traffic. There were several clues that gave it away. But, nobody said (except me), "Guys, this is not real." Another one was a recent "White House vaccination promoter." The White House intern that it revolved around was a screaming gay stereotype. The majority of comments I read were, "Damn homo commies! Makin' fun of us. Let's kill 'em all!", or, "This is proof that the White House is filled with perverts trying to restrict our freedom." Except, it was joke skit. Why is it that when you choose one side to line up on you lose your sense of humor and perspective. Everyone just looks for things that they think validate their perception of reality, even when those things aren't reality.

  19. I’ve read (re-read) this article several times.

    I’ve discussed the current circumstances (world, national, K-12 education) in several social situations with “moderates” (upon my wife’s instruction, I have tried to stay out of it, desperately) and when engaged I have tried to look at the particular point with their eyes; each time I’ve come away feeling like I’ve been cleaning a plugged waste line.

    I’ve read the comments section several times and agree most firmly with Aesop who remains a philosopher in this life (though, not as far as I know, a fabulist) – Thank you, Sir!

    I say again: I have tried, in each instance, to look at each particular case through their eyes, considering their family background, level of education, religion, and occupation; I have tried to discuss the point they’ve brought up at their level, but…

    1) Humpty Dumpty’s statement (Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass) “When I use a word …it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” is in constant force during these discussions – they’ve redefined words: we’re speaking two entirely different languages.

    2) I feel as though I am being forced to read from the pulpit a version of the Bible as re-written by Satan: I will not this; I will not convert to their religion.

    I am concerned that by engaging in this discussion, I am allowing this person to convert the neutral onlooker/listeners to doubt their own moral values.

  20. The plebes are kept fighting so the patriarchs can stay in power and stay weathly…

    This states things more succinctly than I can…


    Let's just have the conversation
    Not every liberal is dumb, not all Republicans are racist
    The government wants everybody fighting with their neighbors
    'Cause they know that if we get along, we'll probably go against 'em

    They can't stop us 'cause we're ready to fight
    Try to brainwash us but we won't let freedom die
    The whole world's brainwashed
    Everybody pick a team, start a riot in the streets
    The whole world's brainwashed
    It's us against them, it ain't you against me

  21. My original comment was primarily about your excerpt being quite long, and being annoyed that I ended up wasting so much time to get through almost all of it before my disgust finally made me quit.

    You really don't need to copy as much of someone's writings to get people interested in looking for the rest of it, if it looks useful. I've noticed this propensity of yours, but this was the first time I decided to squawk about it 😀

    BTW, the comments on this post are concise, and pretty much cover the truth of the current political situation. THe mindset of the Left is not in question anymore, at this point we just need to know what is happening, and where, and notable changes in status.

  22. I just can't agree with your criticism of commenters who correctly identify the Left as being without truth, reason, or even a soul. We have seen enough over the past 100 years to know who these people are. We therefore have good reason to judge their point of view as illegitimate, sometimes even downright evil.

  23. When I read the referenced article and then the posts, I saw that many were posting comments that exactly matched what Mr. Kay was writing about. I figured they knew this and so refrained.

    I thought that post and this post were speaking to the common man on the street, which many here are not.

    I like to think that Tom MacDonald gets this. Here is something along those lines released today:


  24. "However, the fact that I hold those views does not (and should not) blind me to the fact that there are others out there, and those holding them are as entitled to do so as I'm entitled to hold mine. "
    Nobody in this country is entitled to a world view that requires the destruction of our Constitution, our Republic or our home. Such as hold those views are not our countrymen and need to get the hell out, feet first if necessary. We aren't just talking about high or low taxes and stuff here, we are talking about the life or death or our Republic and the safety of its citizens.

    "To do that makes us, morally and ethically, as bad as the extremists on the other side."
    Not even close.

    Contrarian, Will, Boron, Aesop and some of the others have the right of it.

  25. Good on you, mate, as an Aussie might say.
    I like your honesty, integrity and posts.* Your policy on guest writers is a good one.
    Keep up the good work.
    *Unless you have completely fooled me.

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