glen e. p. ropella gepr at ropella.net
Wed Sep 28 14:37:35 PDT 2011

Russell Johnson wrote circa 11-09-28 10:41 AM:
> The impenetrable facade you see is faith.

I don't think that's true... or at least it's only partially true.
Having grown up Catholic, I met a LOT of people with faith ... very
deep, unassailable faith.  The fact of their commitment to their beliefs
did not prevent them from having a sense for alternative meanings of
ambiguous phrases/idioms (like casually referring to God as "she").  It
didn't coerce them to constantly, in every situation, preach.  And above
all, it didn't prevent them from knowing when it's appropriate to preach
and when it's inappropriate.  Moreover, _I_ have faith in spades, as
well, albeit a faith that God is a plurality, a dynamic holarchy in a
rhizomic bath.  These articles of my faith have been unshakable since
they cohered about 14 years ago.  And in an important way, my religion
instructs me to spread the word to others.  But I don't feel the need to
preach to Christians (or generic monotheists) at _every_ opportunity.

Michael may or may not have faith.  But it's not faith that makes him
behave this way on the PLUG list.  If we relate it to his insistence
that a lack of response to any string of his posts is censorship or,
even more primitive, his sporadic demands that his posts receive a
response, then his problem implies something like narcissism.
Narcissists can have faith in some flying spaghetti monster or not.  But
the most important thing is that they demand others pay attention to
them.  They feel entitled to that attention.

I speculate that his impenetrable facade is a kind of solipsism, an
operational as well as ideological closure.


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