Yet another Attie Award….
I swear I could give these awards out once a day. And, this one goes out to people who CLEARLY don’t know what they are talking about and even worse, have dragged the Way of Christ through the mud.
I’ll confess up front, this award is meant as a defense of Hemant Mehta, a friend of mine. Hemant came to Columbus in February to an event that my student group co-sponsored with the Students for Free Thought at Ohio State. I got to know Hemant through his talk, dinner and he stayed overnight at my house. He is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, atheist or otherwise.
So, it just infuriates me when people like The Illinois Family Institue attack him with no basis in fact whatsoever. I’m leaving aside the whole controversy that caused them to go after him. But, I want to stick to something they said in their press release that really burned my candy bars. They imply that Hemant is dishonest and pushes his views on students while giving NO proof that he is in fact doing so.
Even worse, they bang on about kids being “influenced” by such people because they are smart and good looking, etc. (Well, Hemant, you should take that as compliment at least). Then teach your kids to be smart and stop rotting their brain with poor reasoning. Use Hemant’s blog to instruct them WHY you disagree with him, instead of attacking the way he does his job or implying he is doing something unethical.
Look, I actually agree that the family is a strong building block of society. But, what that means for me is that I raise my kids to think, understand, and take the actual time to teach them. I don’t agree with many of Hemant’s positions and frankly, think he is wrong about. And, I would teach my kids that.
But in teaching my kids, I would teach them that love and respect in disagreement. even more, teach them the first rule of civilized disagreement, the Principle of Charity, meaning, make your opponents argument even stronger than the would before you contest it.
You have to actually engage with people are actually saying. Would I let me kids read his blog when they are in High School (a long time away, thank God)? Yes and then I would actually take the time to discuss it with them. Would I let Hemant teach my kids math? No doubt about it. And, I would ask them to learn from Hemant on how to be a nice guy. Something many Christians I know (including myself) could learn from.
So, congrats Illinois Family Institute, you are now in the esteemed (cough) company of the Creation Museum, Sam Harris, and “Pastor” Tom. You have sacrificed the cause and way of Christ for the way of “The Family”.
This Attie is for you.
St. Thomas, release the hounds…..