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Evangelical Man Calls Me a Fascist Over Recent Gun Control Post


I have written a major post on gun control exactly twice over the past twelve years. Americans love their guns, and anything that threatens to limit or take them away brings anger, fury, and attack. One commenter on my latest gun post had this to say about me:

Bruce, it appears that you are quite fascist in your views. Those who don’t see things as you need to be silenced and regulated. It also appears that you are just an extremist. Before your deconversion, you were an Evangelical extremist. Now you are an Anti-Christian left-wing political extremist.

I replied:

Ahh, you hurt my feelings.

You said, “Before your deconversion you were an Evangelical extremist.” You might want to read my story before making rash, uninformed judgments.

I make no apology for my political beliefs. I support using the political process to advance a liberal/progressive worldview. Evidently, only Christians are allowed to do so? By all means, Geoffrey, I will meet you in the arena of the public square. Let’s do battle, but please leave your guns at home. May the best ideas win.

Geoffrey (Geoff) is an Evangelical Christian. I assume from his comment that my ideas about gun control caused him to forget who he is talking to. Geoff has been reading this blog on and off for five years. Have I ever written ANYTHING that remotely suggests that I am a fascist? (Please see Wikipedia article on Fascism.) Of course not. Not one word. I suspect I upset Geoff with my liberal anti-Second Amendment beliefs. Instead of engaging me on the issues I raised, Geoff decided to personally attack me, suggesting that I want to regulate and silence those who disagree with me. This, on its face, is absurd, and Geoff knows it. He is an Evangelical, yet for the past five years, I have allowed him to comment on this site. This is definitely not how I typically handle Evangelical commenters. I did not regulate or silence him, though I did, at times, strongly disagree with what he had to say.

When I write posts such as America’s Gun Culture in Light of the Recent Insurrection, I expect people to disagree with me. I know people have all sorts of ideas about guns. Fire away. But personal attacks, or hurling a derogatory epithet my way? To quote the esteemed Bengals philosopher Ocho Cinco, Child, please. (Ocho Cinco explaining what Child, please means.)

I get it. Some readers love my atheism and hate my politics. If I wrote about politics all the time, I am sure some readers would stop reading. That said, I also know that a number of readers generally agree with my political views. As a writer, my objective is NOT to please people, to make them really, really, really like me. I have a point of view about religion and politics that may or may not resonate with this or that reader on any given day. All I know to do is tell my story and share my worldview. It is up to readers to decide whether what I write speaks truth to them.

Have a good week, comrades. I am off to a meeting of local fascists, also known as Trumpists.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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    I think it is safe to assume that many people, especially right leaning people, have little understanding of what facist means. They have similar problems with socialist and communist. It appears they think these political ideologies are all the same. It also appears that they see facist as one of the worst insults they can hurl at a liberal, probably because it has been used on them and it hurt them.

    They don’t realize that calling a liberal person a facist only makes the liberal roll their eyes and mutter “what an idiot” under their breath. There are many words you can use to insult me, but facist is not one. In fact, it only insults the person who uses it, because it shows they are in the lower ranks of intelligence, having taken no time to understand the words they use, or critically analyze their own beleifs. As a result, I treat them with the disdain they deserve.

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    I agree with Sage. Most people hurling the “fascist,” “communist,” or “socialist” terms don’t even know what those terms mean. I’ll do you one better. Conservatives are angry that private social media companies have exercised their right to ban people (like Donnie Trump!) off their platforms. They are businesses so it’s a capitalist decision. I’m sure Jack and Mark may lose money in the short term, but figure in the end they will make more by kicking inflammatory people off their platforms.* Conservatives** are even saying that social media platforms are public utilities and need to be regulated as such. They have no idea that doing that MAKES THEM ADVOCATE SOCIALISM, with government owning certain businesses. It’s really tiresome.

    *Do I think Jack and Mark care more about not allowing our country to become completely fascist? No, they care about profits. And if making better profit in the long term motivates them to do right, I’m just happy that their capitalist impulses coincide with the good of not encouraging fascism.

    **It is questionable if they are true conservatives. They do call themselves conservatives, but they are nationalist regressives.

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    Sage and BJW make a point that I make regularly elsewhere, that fascism is extreme right wing ideology, and that when people use it as a form of abuse it simply reveals their ignorance. I get pushback frequently, with citations to writers who say this or say that about fascism, and a couple of people have tried telling me that Mussolini was actually a communist! Fascism can be hard to pin down exactly, but every serious study of the subject includes some form of national militarism. It’s where the role of the country as an identity involves asserting itself against other countries by ways that involve military might, and the position of the people becomes very much subservient. Left wing ideologies always put the people above all else though, in practice, communism may lead to very similar totalitarianism.

    Incidentally it’s not my place to interfere with the issue of gun control in the US (though I think anything that’s out of control should be addressed), but I would say that here in the UK, where we’re largely gun free, both physically and culturally, we regard it as a freedom. US gun nuts say that it’s an ‘infringement’ (they can’t, for some reason just say ‘breach’) of our rights and leaves us defenceless. I respond that it’s given us the much greater right to freedom from the fear of guns, and the mass slaughter that it leads to.

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    Davie from Glasgow

    Yeah. I wouldn’t be surprised if, without knowing anything about it other than that it’s ‘A Bad Thing’, Geoff is one of those people who are convinced that Joe Biden is ‘a Socialist’.

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    So the gun rights people argue that they need their guns in order to protect themselves from government oppression. Do Baked Alaska and Q Shaman really think they can overthrow the highly equipped and professionally trained US military with a few firearms and bison helmets?

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    Geoff, my husband and I like to watch British detective/murder mysteries. And one thing we noticed: the police don’t carry guns! Adds to the plot but in the US, it would take away a lot of interesting plot twists. Funnily enough, most people don’t carry guns in the UK so takes away the need for the police to do so.

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    Davie, I’ve entertained myself by trying to explain to Trumpists that Joe Biden is NO KIND of socialist or communist or Marxist. Of course, they have no idea what those words mean. Joe Biden has been a moderate Democrat his entire career. But they are also convinced that Kamala Harris is going to take over quickly and then be a crazed commie. There is no reasoning with such willful idiocy.

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    Well OC, they also fantasize that the military is going to be on their side. They would have a real shock based on their looney ideas, as the US Military isn’t generally supportive of insurrection against the government. They also think no one else besides them has guns! Ha ha, that would be another really rude shock for them. Lots of people to the left of them do have guns, they just don’t make a big deal about it. Pretty sure we non-Trumpists would be more than willing to defend ourselves against traitors.

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    Karen the rock whisperer

    BJW, I agree that people with left-leaning politics do sometimes own guns (like Husband and me, for example). I think what the media likes (liked? I can’t keep up) to call “ammosexuals” are much more likely to be conservative and even fascist in their politics, or else raging libertarians. I have relatives who might reasonably be described as the latter. The government is not to be trusted, people who can’t support themselves well are clearly lacking in ability and/or ambition and are therefore not worth their time, and they will escape the “People’s Republic of California” soon for the social comfort of Idaho or Montana or some such place. They’re looking forward to being able to own the guns they really want, which are illegal in our state because of their ease of use in killing large numbers of people quickly.

    Would my relatives ever actually turn those guns on crowds of people? Unlikely, but they cherish the idea of being able to do so. To my mind, they are poster children for the need for gun control.

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    I find that the people recently throwing the word Facist about as an insult are wickedly close to actually holding facist ideas. I honestly don’t think they understand the depth of projection they are engaging in. The trouble is I’m too worried about the 7 Mountain Fundies that are standing in the background rubbing their greasy hands together in glee. They actually are facists.

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Bruce Gerencser