Great post. It’s amazing how the word “liberal” (or add in feminist, or so forth) is considered a bad word in and of itself – unless of course you identify with the liberal label, in which case, “fundamentalist” or “right-wing” becomes a knee-jerk evil identifier.

john pavlovitz

“That’s the thing with all you Liberals…”

Now there’s an ignorant, wasteful sentence starter if there ever was one; a lazy, dismissive, broadly painted insult disguised as objective insight, designed to malign someone and undermine their perspective and write them off—all in less than 140 characters. (I’ve become all too familiar with it in recent months.)

In the bloody trenches of social media debate, it’s a cheap, unproductive, foolish tactic, yet as debate tactics go it’s no more cheap, unproductive, or foolish than beginning a sentence beginning with:

“That’s the thing with all you Fundamentalists…”

It turns out that when confrontation arrives in matters of faith, creating caricatures comes equally easy to all of us regardless of our theological leanings. We’re all quite capable of snap judgements and blanket insults and drive-by stereotypes.

Heck, it’s a whole lot quicker than actually stopping to listen to people.

The moment in a heated conversation when we lump someone in with…

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