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Jeff Sessions speech interrupted by Methodist, Baptist clergy

The Rev. Darrell Hamilton, center left, a pastor at First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain, Mass., is escorted away by a Boston police officer after interrupting remarks by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, not shown, at a luncheon organized by the Boston Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society, on Oct. 29, 2018, in Boston. Sessions spoke about religious liberty during his remarks. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(RNS) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions was only moments into a speech on religious liberty Monday (Oct. 29) before he was interrupted by two ministers who called on him to “repent” for his role in enforcing Trump administration policy.

Sessions was speaking about “The Future of Religious Liberty” at a meeting in Boston hosted by the Boston Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group. But as soon as he began his remarks, a United Methodist minister, the Rev. Will Green of Ballard Vale United Church in Andover, Mass., began reciting Scripture.

“Remember the words of Jesus: I was hungry and you did not feed me. I was a stranger, and you did not welcome me,” Green began, standing as he recited other parts of Matthew 25. He then referenced the attorney general’s Christian denomination: “Brother Jeff, as a fellow United Methodist, I call upon you to repent, to care for those in need, to remember that when you do not care for others, you are wounding the body of Christ.”

Sessions thanked Green for his comments, then referred to the pastor’s remarks as an “attack,” as Green was removed from the meeting by police.

“I will just tell you we do our best every day to fulfill my responsibility to enforce the laws of the United States,” Sessions said.

Green later told Religion News Service that he understood why Sessions described his remarks, which were primarily a recitation of Scripture, as an attack.

“Sometimes when we encounter Jesus it does feel like we are being attacked,” he said, “because when we encounter (it) we can see clearly that what we are doing on this earth is an obstacle to Jesus.”

A local chapter of Faith in Action, which organizes faith communities for various causes, later tweeted that Green worked with the group. Green noted in the interview with RNS that his protest was mirrored by a larger demonstration outside the building. He said concerns about Sessions’ posture on immigrants and refugees — as well as other Department of Justice policies — fueled his protest.

“I interrupted Attorney General Sessions today because his entire political agenda is antithetical to the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said. “Brother Jeff and I are members of the United Methodist Church, so I think I have a responsibility to call him to account about the harm he’s doing.”

He explained that he saw his protest “in the Methodist, Wesleyan tradition as an expression of social holiness.”

Green’s protest at the event was immediately followed by another from the Rev. Darrell Hamilton of First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain, Mass., who also stood up and raised his voice over boos and shouts of “go home!” from others in the room.

Hamilton told Sessions and the crowd that Green was simply exercising his right to freedom of religion.

“That is a person that represents the Christian tradition,” he said, “the faith that everyone here professes to believe in, actually sharing the words of Jesus himself.”

As Hamilton was also led out by police, he identified himself as a Baptist pastor and said it was hypocritical for a group that supports religious freedom to have him escorted from the room for practicing his faith.

Sessions then defended the nation’s immigration policies, saying that they are compatible with his faith and that it is “not immoral, not indecent and not unkind to state what your laws are and then set about to enforce them.”

Later, Hamilton explained protest as a part of a Baptist tradition.

“Jeff Sessions is not a champion of true religious liberty,” he said in an email. “And as a Baptist preacher, in the long legacy of Baptist preachers such as Roger Williams and John Leland, I disrupted Jeff Sessions to defend the protection of both soul and religious freedom of all people as a true witness of Christian religion practice.”

Green said he understood why he and Hamilton were removed from the room. But he echoed Hamilton’s broader remarks about religious liberty and protest.

“You really can’t do religious liberty without taking into account how people practice their religion, which includes social witness and social action,” he said.

Monday’s protest was far from Sessions’ first run-in with faith leaders frustrated by actions he has taken as attorney general. When Sessions cited the Bible to justify enforcement of a policy that separated families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, a number of faith communities issued statements condemning both the policy and his use of Scripture.

In June, more than 600 of his fellow Methodists filed a church complaint against him, railing against his “zero-tolerance” policy at the border and accusing him of child abuse, immorality, racial discrimination and “dissemination of doctrines contrary to the standards of doctrine of the United Methodist Church.”

The complaint was eventually tossed out by regional church officials in Alabama on a technicality, although the logic of the dismissal sparked confusion and derision from numerous Methodist leaders — including a former president of the UMC’s Judicial Council.

Leaders within the UMC and other mainline Christian traditions have been critical of Sessions and President Trump, but members of their churches are roughly split in their support for the president. According to a March Pew Research poll, 46 percent of white mainline Protestants disapproved of Trump, but 48 percent approved.

About the author

Jack Jenkins

Jack Jenkins is a national reporter for RNS based in Washington, covering U.S. Catholics and the intersection of religion and politics.

153 Comments

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  • The policemen did the right thing, the polite thing. But next time, just cuff ’em and plop ’em in the old Hoosegow. A good hot jail will help calm their ecclesiastical nerves.

  • If your church is 48% Trumpee, bail out of it. There is not going to be any fix there. I mean, you can stay there supporting a mess like that with “your prayers, your presence, your gifts and your service” (as the Methodists used to say), but if half of your white congregation does not know Jesus from Trump, you cannot change them, and you’re not gonna be happy with them (because they won’t be happy with you.) Move on.

  • This is where you are completely wrong. The Sermon on the Mount, for believers in Jesusm can no where be circumvented by secular law in it’s spirit. Jesus was OK with taxes to support the secular state, but where does He state the secular state has the right to treaten the poor, the disenfranchised, and stranger like they are criminal?. He was an infant immigrant seeking asylum. His parents were refugees. He was hunted down as an infant by the religious state and finally executed as an adult by the secular state at the behest of the religious theocracy. You write as if you just drop aspects of His story as if they have no no meaning for our current reality.

  • The ministers’ actions don’t seem far removed from those of Jesus clearing the temple. Good thing you weren’t in charge then. Jesus would have been in jail rather than preaching.

  • It’s not just white congregations either. There are some super conservative Korean and Chinese churches who are pretty pro-Trump. I went a few weeks ago as a favor to an Asian family member of mine and I was being preached at how Kavanaugh was being compared to Joseph and Christine Blasey Ford “needed to find healing in the Scriptures”. I walked out.

  • There were many men in 1930’s & 40’s Germany who claimed they were merely enforcing the laws of the nation, and that their service to the Fatherland was not contradictory to their Christian faith. History often repeat itself, and no nation can claim it’s incapable of turning evil.

  • Like most Rightists, Sessions misuses the word “attack.” To be clear, an “attack” is a punch in the face or being held up at gunpoint. Someone else disagreeing with him, is certainly nothing like that. But being a fierce and committed Rightist, he’s too childish to understand that people can disagree with him without also wanting him dead. 

  • Rev. Will Green and Rev Darrell Hamilton, the reference of Jesus in Matthew 24:41-46, likewise Matthew 10:40-42, are words of Jesus Christ to his disciples and those who responded to the Kingdom message, salvation from sins. Those words of Jesus do not apply to government programs assisting the poor and less fortunate. This amounts to a social gospel, rather than the redemption gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the responsibility of the churches, such as yours, to provide for the needy in our communities. The government’s responsibility is enforcing the laws governing the land for civil obedience. The call for repentance is also supposed to be focused on receiving Jesus Christ as personal savior. Be very careful, ministers, not to misrepresent Jesus to the public who needs to hear of salvation from their sins.

  • What “violence”? I only said police handcuffs and jail time, absolutely nothing else.

    (Gotta read the posts before commenting on them!)

  • Too much craziness for me. I don’t like Creepy Clowns, whether they wear clown suits or clergy collars.

    Honestly? These two Whatnots openly disgraced their churches. (And their race too!!). The congregations of Green or Hamilton would NEVER allow rude strangers in clergy collars to just stand up and totally disrupt the Sunday sermons of their pastors. That’s a diss move. An invitation to violence.

    Well, long story short, Jeff Sessions deserved that same kind of respect. HE was invited to speak, not Green, not Hamilton. I may not agree with your beliefs, but if you’ve been invited to speak, I keep my mouth shut till you’re completely done talking. It’s called respect.

  • Here’s the deal. You’ve been invited to give a speech on the Sermon on the Mount. Maybe I agree with your views, maybe I disagree. But YOU were invited to give the speech, not me. So, if I am sitting in the audience, MY job is shut up and listen to you without interrupting.

  • Good article… until the last paragraph. Why, after all that was said here, would a statistic be given that includes only the WHITE mainline Protestants? Were non-whites not polled? Or did it not seem worth reporting on them? Are their votes somehow in a different category? I think some clarification or expansion is needed here.

  • Also, regarding the “boos and shouts of ‘Go home’,” I only heard one voice shouting, and an investigative journalist would want to know who that was and to interview that person. These comments must be looked at closely, especially considering that their recipient was black. I’d like to know the real reason he was being told to “go home.”

  • Read the context of what Jesus said. A caravan full of criminals and murderers are not brothers of Jesus. It is a crime to enter our country illegally and a felony for doing it again after already being deported. I watched a man in the caravan admit to being deported before for being an illegal alien and convicted of felony attempt to commit murder. Sessions and Trump are doing God’s work enforcing our laws against law breakers.

  • I agree, these false teachers are promoting lawlessness and Marxism not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • I’m sorry Sir but I couldn’t disagree more. Jesus never preached personal salvation as an end in itself, his entire focus was changing the society that so severely oppressed the marginalized among them. Everything he did was in resistance to the domination system that ruled in his time. The Kingdom of God is here now – that was, and is, His message. If we are to make it so, we need to resist those forces that keep us from realizing God’s beloved community, including our own internal and external domination systems. As someone else has said, anything less is simply personal fire insurance.

  • I bet that’s exactly what the Romans and the religious leadership were thinking when they cuffed Jesus. That rebel was making life so difficult for everybody.

  • Nah, Asian Christians were always ultra conservative. They usually don’t support democrats unless republicans get on an anti immigration tear.

  • Too bad right wingers attack them too with their anti immigrant bigotry.

    This is why even enclaves like Fort Lee NJ with its large Korean Christian population voted “blue” for the last few years.

  • You are repeating crap that inspired mass murder last weekend.

    A group of people smaller than a cruise ship disembarkation is not this insane threat to your existence.

    A sane less neo Nazi appealing president would be treating this like any other refugee wave and set up facilities to process them as asylum seekers. But why do that when you can appeal to violent bigotry for your support base and waste public resources.

  • Nope, breaking the law in service of your deeply held religious beliefs is something you have supported. Oh wait you are just a hypocrite looking to excuse attacking others.

    Never mind, Uncle Ruckus.

  • But Uncle Ruckus, what about all the times you supported lawbreakers with religious objections like Baronell Stutzman?

    Oh right it doesn’t count if they disagree with you.

  • As long as you ignore everything Jesus said about how we treat others, personal property and blind obedience to empty ritual.

  • Umm, you slightly forgot to provide a single instance — anywhere or anytime — where Baronelle Stutzman has done anything remotely similar to the clowning moves displayed by Messrs. Green and Hamilton.

    You’ll have to try again, it seems.

  • In the previous post – to goat – you whined about how Asian Christians “were always ultra conservative” and usually don’t vote democratic, while in this post you flip it and regal us with tales of them voting “blue”. Just can’t keep your narratives straight!

  • Failure to police a country’s borders represent a dereliction of duty by that country’s government and is immoral.

  • You are selective in your quoting. You missed the part where I said they run to Democrats when Republicans go on an anti immigrant tear.

    Your comment makes no sense unless you are wrongly assuming Republicans were always the anti immigrant party. Then they might make sense in your mind.

  • She broke the law in service of her faith and you defended that. What she did was far worse. You are simply a hypocrite. As expected.

  • How rude of these “men of the cloth”, interupting a speech.

    what if we came to their holy roller sermons and interruptted theirs?

  • Like I said earlier, anybody dare to disrupt THEIR little speeches on Sunday morning, those two guys’ congregations will go nuclear on the perpetrator.

    (Public Disruption is considered to be Public Disrespect in the Black Church, and it’s handled accordingly. Pastor won’t git’cha, but those deacons WILL, plus a couple of old church mothers with knitting needles.
    Usually not quite a “turn the other cheek” situation.)

    So, since those two preachers enjoy full respect when doing their Sunday speeches, it”seems time to stop clowning and do the same for AG Jeff Sessions.

  • So a commenter here can call you names and it is not an attack?

    Isn’t that what precedes the murder, and is it not the same offense in a lesser degree?

  • Jesus was basically silent about the state.

    That is where the social(ist) Gospel goes off the rails.

    Individuals repent and change their lives, and they – not a political movement or party – feed the hungry.

  • You yourself have characterized comments as “attacks” in these very discussions.

    And you were correct – you do not have to get to the point of a fist in the face to attack.

    What made this an attack is NOT that his heckler disagreed with him.

    What made it an attack was that this was NOT a debate event, it was a forum designed to allow Sessions to speak to people who wanted to hear what he had to say.

    His heckler knew that and entered with full intent to be disruptive for media coverage.

    It was an attack.

  • Interrupting a presentation is rude. It is not expressing a religious disagreement, it’s being an a$$hole.

  • Republicans have already taken you and your kind in. Rapists recently, murderers now.

    Good to know you follow along with the same garbage as a mass murderer.

  • You guys already came to a synagogue with an assault rifle last weekend. You already sent bombs in the mail.

    You can deal with some loud clergy.

  • You mean, like hire them? That is a question properly directed to the incorporated entities. It is a debate about all forms of guest workers—–about who wants them, who literally puts them on any kind of a payroll. There are virtually no unincorporated sole proprietors left who actually hire anyone into an employee status. They are all either C-Corps or S-Corps operating as some kind of pass-through entities under the broad heading of LLC.

  • The conundrum of our time. The people who most claim to be “following Jesus”, don’t—–because they apparently can’t see and can’t feel why they are named for a born-in-a-barn, crucified do-gooder.

  • “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

  • African-American Protestants tend to opine and vote very, very differently, on the average, from white Protestants (mainline or otherwise). For this reason, it would be very misleading to mix African-American Protestants with the (more numerous) white Protestants, in taking this measure. Nevertheless I agree with you, if your point is that these are relevant observations that are worth making.

  • So I assume a corollary then would be that in our U.S. general elections too, we should have a “white vote” and a “black vote,” where the white vote would be used to determine the President, and the black vote would be “nice to know,” to write about. Have I got that right?

  • If I was into “whataboutism”, I might remark:

    “You guys already tried to mow down GOP congressional leaders on a baseball field.”

    But that would be pointless, like your own comment.

  • The standard of living for clergy is so high no matter how many illegals are adopted they’re promised the penthouse suite.

  • No, you certainly do *not* have that right. That absolutely *fails* logically to follow at all, either from what I said above, or from what the article says. You are speaking now about *voting*. The article’s point, in citing those numbers, was merely to cite the results of a Pew *research poll* about mere approval and disapproval of the President’s performance, among different parts of the U.S. public. Please try to pay attention, to very *importantly different* specificities.

  • You too spoke of voting, if you’ll look back. You said, “African-American Protestants tend to opine and vote very, very differently, on the average, from white Protestants (mainline or otherwise). For this reason, it would be very misleading to mix African-American Protestants with the (more numerous) white Protestants, in taking this measure.”

    What part of that are you now saying you did not mean?

  • I meant it all. But actual voting, of course, is open both to African-Americans and to whites, as it obviously should be. Yet the mere taking of research polls, about approval and disapproval for President Trump, a large part of the point of which usually is indeed to predict voting behavior, can meaningfully and usefully, and legally and ethically, be divided up into different parts of the voting public. It would, of course, be both illegal and immoral just to allow whites, or just to allow African-Americans, to vote. But there is nothing illegal or immoral about taking a research poll that is only designed either to measure approval and disapproval rates among African-Americans, or to do so only among whites, depending upon what the focus of interest for the research is. Actually, I strongly suspect that the Pew research study did also measure approval and disapproval rates among African-Americans as well (although if I am mistaken, no real difference is made in principle, regarding our point of contention). But this article happens to be about white Protestants, who do have a significantly different ecclesiastical history and tradition, and a significantly different contemporary social standing, from that of African-American Protestants. Measuring African-American Protestants and white Protestants separately can allow us to gauge how much of a difference there is between the two demographic categories, in terms of the approval and the disapproval they have for specified political representatives. This might perhaps be a focus of interest for the research as well.

  • Hi Michele! Thank you for your courteous challenge. Society is changed for the better when individuals receive Jesus Christ as Savior and obey him. The Kingdom of God is here to the extent that followers of Jesus obey him and live his commands. Again, those references in Matthew 10 & 24 refer to Jesus’ followers, as the contexts indicate. Michele, it sounds like you have a heart for Jesus. May you actively serve Jesus Christ for the needs in your community through your local church, as do I. God bless you, Michele!

  • Thank you for your comment, Jeffrey. It is my sincere hope and encouragement to you to each day live in obedience and service to Jesus Christ. God bless you, Jeffrey!

  • Thanks for your comment, Spuddie. Yes, Jesus said much about how we should treat others. What a blessing to imitate him! God bless you, Spuddie!

  • Aha! And so, we come full circle. I think we just habitually see what we expect to see. I’m going to ask you to take your own statement, “But the focus of interest for this article seems mainly to be about white Protestants,” and keep it in the back of your mind while you re-read the article. Does it appear anywhere to be about specifically white Protestants? This is what my entire callout was about, from my very first comment. There is NO mention of whites or blacks or non-whites in the entire article; that was not in any way the focus. Then, all of a sudden, in the very last sentence of the last paragraph, the author dropped the bombshell of the statistics we are now talking about. This was NOT an article about white Protestants, and so statistics regarding the opinions of white Protestants have no place here.

  • Civility has gone out the window with bomb threats and mass murder by right wing extremists. No need to take them or their enabling lackeys seriously in polite discussion.

  • Good for them to speak up against evil in high places as actual advocates for Christ and Christian values.

  • If you are implying it would have been very useful for the writer to have mentioned that distinction earlier, given that he would importantly do so at the end of the article, I agree. But in many Protestant churches and denominations in the USA, the congregants are mostly supporting Trump, while their leaders are largely critical of Trump owing to important theological and ethical considerations. I believe this is what the focus for this article was largely originally intended to have been. Yet if we didn’t allow for separate measurements, and other forms of recognition, for the distinctively African-American Protestant churches and denominations (apart from historically white Protestant churches and denominations), we would be missing much in our study of the sociology and politics of contemporary religion in the USA. It would be interesting to learn whether the Rev. Darrell Hamilton, the African-American protesting pastor, among the two protesting pastors described in the article, is pastor to a historically white-denominated church, or to a historically black-denominated church. Do you happen to know anything about the demographic composition of the congregation for the First Baptist Church, in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts?

  • You see Floyd; Rogers Rules of Order don’t apply when your “resisting”. That’s why you can get beat up for wearing a MAGA hat, be prevented from speaking on college campuses, harassed for eating dinner with your family in public and interrupt debate in the House of Representatives.
    You see, resisting means the rules don’t apply to you because of your (perceived) righteous cause.
    Don’t forget, they are better than you because the resist things you approve of. They are righteous; you are not.

  • Using the fictional Jesus as a weapon is an religious attack, but it is still free speech. President Trump won the primaries by attacking 16 respected conservative Republicans, targeting their height, weight, looks, and even took a cheep shot at John McCain’s years in isolation as a POW. Therefore, the method of attack can be very effective.

  • Wow! So says Spuddie the Christian apologist.
    Good to see you finally on board.
    My prayers have been answered!

  • There are plenty of Christians who do not define their belief by who think they have an excuse for treating badly. I am not speaking to one now. But they are out there. 🙂

  • Right wing terrorists sent bombs and shot up a synagogue last week. Not a single “leftist mob” in sight for any of it.

    If you are talking about “violence from the left” right now, you are just trying to divert attention to the latest news.

  • Obviously he was all about changing the society.

    That explains why he said “the poor you will always have with you” and “my Kingdom is not of this world”.

    The social(ist) Gospel seems to run into that sort of dissonance with the Scriptures more often than not.

  • Nope. They were the people of good conscience speaking up against the vile politicization of faith.

  • Painted with far too broad a brush. Charlatans like Falwell, Graham, and Catholic prelates do indeed live well on the backs of donors. Many ordinary clergy do not.

  • The policies of the USA are not those of the bible or the Methodist Church. The church is called to care for the poor. Our dear Methodist interruptor might consider showing up at his own Methodist conference to weigh in on the morality of SSM and clergy abuse of the Book of Discipline. Or perhaps this is yet another “see how religious I am for standing up for the poor” moments in which he needs to repent for such attention grubbing public prayer?

  • Re: “You yourself have characterized comments as ‘attacks’ in these very discussions.” 

    Thanks for a stellar example of the tu quoque fallacy. 

    Re: “It was an attack.” 

    Only to infantile minds that are too thin-skinned and emotionally insecure to tolerate disagreement. 

  • So, to you it was an attack.

    Btw, I did not make a “tu quoque” (you also) argument.

    That involves an appeal to hypocrisy, discrediting the opponent’s argument by asserting the opponent’s failure to ACT consistently in accordance with his argument’s conclusion(s).

    Example:

    PsiCop: “Mark is guilty of defrauding the government out of tax dollars.”

    Mark: “How can you say that when you yourself have 20 outstanding parking tickets?”

    My argument involved your prior argument on the same proposition.

  • Speaking up against the politicizing of faith is just the opposite of what you suggest, Trumpkin.

  • They spoke out in a political forum to get some media attention for a position they favor.

    That’s politicizing the faith.

    Now, if Sessions held a sword to their throats and they made their point right before he executed them, you’d be cooking with gas.

  • Firstly, there is dissonance within many aspects of Scripture, as details don’t match from one book to the other, and within books. The exchange you reference is in response to a specific circumstance and is probably intended to highlight John’s divinity narrative. Everything Jesus did was calculated to resist the domination system holding his people, and the collaboration of the religious authorities. The whole focus of the Gospel, the Good News, was and is that the Kingdom of God is here, and that we need to uplift each other so that all can participate in the resources of society. Stated otherwise, that God loves all of God’s children, and we should too.

  • The level of “dissonance” in the Scriptures is not sufficiently large for you to drive your tractor-trailer truck of Jesus as socialist or political activist through.

    The whole focus of the Gospel, Good News, was that the Kingdom of God was being proclaimed, not here.

    That Kingdom is not of this world.

  • I am afraid we are well on the way to history repeating itself. All of these “christians” supporting non-Christian policies.

  • Sorry Spuddie, but your uncritical support for Open Borders just ain’t working out (on top of being illegal). In fact, your caravan gang may be giving Trump a little more Mid-Term traction in Texas and the Southwest.

  • Because the preacher was Messing Up. He was doing some sorry-patootie behavior that his own church would not have tolerated for 5 seconds, if it had been done against **him** during his normal Sunday morning sermon.

  • Re: “So, to you it was an attack.” 

    No, it wasn’t. AG Sessions was unharmed in any way by the pastor’s comments to him. That, you see, is the thing about dissent and disagreement that most people don’t comprehend: They’re not harmful to anyone! Ever. They damage no one and nothing. 

    Re: “Btw, I did not make a ‘tu quoque’ (you also) argument.” 

    Actually, you did. But you just go right ahead and deny it. Exactly the kind of thing I expect of a religionist and Groperphile. 

    Re: “My argument involved your prior argument on the same proposition.” 

    It wasn’t an “argument,” it was a tu quoque appeal designed to silence me. Too bad it didn’t work. I know fallacy when I see it. 

    To be clear, I get that the old tu quoque appeal is common these days, especially in politics, but it’s oft-used in many other venues. Decades ago the Soviets raised it to an artform, and people have been spewing it all over creation ever since … often without recognizing it for what it is. 

  • Righteous with a righteousness that costs one nothing in any personal sense; it is simply a matter of hating the right people.

  • Poor misguided ministers!! The Government of America has the responsibility to protect our country and its legal citizens. It has no responsibility to solve all the problems of the world and we do not have the ability financially or otherwise to solve those problems. The churches and their ministers can advocate for charitable causes but they have no right to interrupt others at meetings or vilify them based on teachings in the Bible that have no bearing on our taxpayers. These “ministers” are out of line!!!

  • Funny how you have to make up a position for me to attack. I never (nor has anyone you have accused of doing) advocated “Open borders”. That is just what nativists say opponents do when flustered.

    Since you are unwilling to address what I said directly and felt the need for strawman burning response, it is safe to say you really don’t have a coherent opinion on the subject.

  • So your current position is that if there’s no blood, there’s no attack.

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/attack

    attack – verb

    2 Criticize or oppose fiercely and publicly.

    attack – noun

    2 An instance of fierce public criticism or opposition.

    My comment did not meet the definition of a “tu quoque” argument. It did not meet the definition at all. If you insist, therefore, it was a “tu quoque” argument you are, as with “attack”, using your very own special definition and rejecting the ordinary meanings.

  • Re: “So your current position is that if there’s no blood, there’s no attack.” 

    Actually I made my position clear, so I have no idea why you’d ask this, except to somehow misrepresent what I said. 

    Re: “My comment did not meet the definition of a ‘tu quoque’ argument.” 

    Of course it was! You almost literally hurled the accusation “You too!” at me, which is the translation of that Latin phrase. Look, just own what you said already and stop trying to swerve out of its way. 

    BTW even if you had a valid point — which you don’t — you haven’t even cited exactly when and where I said what you claim I said. So calling your tu quoque an “argument” is a real stretch. 

    Re: “… using your very own special definition and rejecting the ordinary meanings.” 

    I get that people often use the word “attack” to describe criticism, dissent, or disagreement. I’m saying it’s semantically wrong to do so. It mischaracterizes the very nature of criticism, dissent, and disagreement, and as such can even be a form of slander or libel. 

    People like AG Sessions, who’re publicly accountable by defintion because of the jobs they hold, need to freaking grow up for once, grow a pair, and deal with those who disagree with them. They can, and should, be criticized and upbraided — yes, even in public! It comes with the job. Sniveling like a crybaby and whing about being “attacked” is childish, insipid, cowardly, and as I said can even constitute slander.  

    In truth, criticism, dissent, and disagreement NEVER damage anyone and NEVER cause anyone or anything the slightest bit of harm. That’s just how it is. Maybe the AG’s precious feelings were hurt, but who the hell really cares about those, other than him? No one in that room was there to bolster that precious snowflake’s feelings. 

    I say this as someone who held an elected office and had to deal with disagreement. I didn’t complain about being “attacked” when it happened. I listened, digested what was being said to me, and responded appropriately. 

    Sessions is the AG and is a grown adult. He should be expected to act like it and not whine like a precious snowflake. 

    If any of this is not clear, I’ll be happy to repeat it for you. But I will not answer any asinine follow-up questions intended to misrepresent what I said. 

  • “Actually I made my position clear, so I have no idea why you’d ask this, except to somehow misrepresent what I said.”

    I just didn’t want to attribute your conscious purposeful misdefinition of the word “attack” without giving you the chance to correct yourself.

    “You almost literally hurled the accusation ‘You too!’ at me, which is the translation of that Latin phrase.”

    Except I did not.

    What I wrote was:

    “You yourself have characterized comments as ‘attacks’ in these very discussions.”

    To meet the actual definition, not whatever self-concocted definition you’re using, I would have had to accuse you of engaging in attacks.

    “I get that people often use the word ‘attack’ to describe criticism, dissent, or disagreement.”

    Okay.

    Do you “get” that criticism and disagreement by their ordinary English definiton Are attacks?

    “I’m saying it’s semantically wrong to do so.”

    The Oxford Dictionary of the English Language sees it differently.

    “They can, and should, be criticized and upbraided — yes, even in public!”

    To this point no one has disputed that.

    No one should dispute that criticizing and upbraiding can be an attack.

    No one should dispute that interrupting a presentation, particularly by infiltrating it by stealth specifically for that purpose, is unseemly at best.

    “…. and as I said can even constitute slander. “

    You appear to be saying a lot of things that are not well supported. I suppose one more makes little difference.

    “I say this as someone who held an elected office and had to deal with disagreement. I didn’t complain about being “attacked” when it happened. I listened, digested what was being said to me, and responded appropriately.”

    The discussion is not about you, or your job, or what you did with disagreement.

    “But I will not answer any asinine follow-up questions intended to misrepresent what I said. “

    I assume you get blocked a lot.

  • Comparing being rude at meeting with the Messiah throwing the moneychangers desecrating a sacred space out is outright hilarious.

  • Re: “I just didn’t want to attribute your conscious purposeful misdefinition of the word “attack” … 

    I’m not the one who misdefined the word. Your hero, Li’l Jeffie Sessions, did. 

    Re: “What I wrote was: ‘You yourself have characterized comments as ‘attacks’ in these very discussions.'” 

    When you specify occasions, based on explicit quotations — multiple ones, because you used the plural here — then we will discuss this. Until then, all you’re doing is being petulant, hurling a false accusation in a desperate and childish attempt to discredit me, which (as I explained already) is a tu quoque appeal and therefore fallacious. 

    Re: “Do you “get” that criticism and disagreement by their ordinary English definiton Are attacks?” 

    I “get” that this is an intentional misuse of the word. That it is commonly done, however, does NOT in the slightest way make it anything other than an intentional misuse of the word. The reasoning that frequent intentional misuse of a word magically makes it OK to misuse it, is fallacious: That would be simultaneously an argumentum ad populum and an appeal to tradition. 

    Re: “To this point no one has disputed that.” 

    Your hero, Li’l Jeffie, did. Since you’re defending him, then you must be, too. 

    Re: “You appear to be saying a lot of things that are not well supported.” 

    Describing something as an “attack” which is not, in fact, an “attack” at all, could very well be slander: Accusing people of things they didn’t do sometimes works out that way. Or didn’t you know that? 

    Re: “The discussion is not about you, or your job, or what you did with disagreement.” 

    Actually it is. I explained how I treated my constituency while I was in office. I am not asking anything of your hero, Li’l Jeffie, that I did not do, myself. It’s not my fault that you have no experience in the matter, other than your bromance with your hero, Li’l Jeffie. I do. 

    Re: “I assume you get blocked a lot.” 

    Ditto, Jeffie-lover. 

  • No, actually you did, and the Oxford Dictionary of the English Language confirmed Sessions was correct and you were incorrect.

    What I wrote was: “You yourself have characterized comments as ‘attacks’ in these very discussions.”

    End of story, end of tu quoque.

  • Re: “What I wrote was: ‘You yourself have characterized comments as ‘attacks’ in these very discussions.'” 

    And your evidence for that is … what, exactly? Unless you cough up specific citations of that, then you’re lying about me. 

    Tell me, does your Jesus approve of you lying in his name? If so, why would he want you to do so? What reason would a supposedly-omnipotent deity have to want his followers to lie for him? What could he possibly ever get out of that? 

    Just wondering. 

  • You deny you’ve called comments of others directed to you “attacks”?

    Make it worth my while to demonstrate it.

    If I find one example, you stop posting at RNS for a month.

    Deal?

  • Re: “You deny you’ve called comments of others directed to you ‘attacks’? 

    I don’t have to “deny” what you haven’t substantiated. 

    Grow a pair, you whiney little baby, and prove what you’ve claimed. Or admit you lied. One or the other. 

    Re: “Deal?” 

    I don’t make deals with cowardly, infantile crybabies. 

  • I haven’t lost anything because you haven’t said anything. All you did was to lie about me. 

    Which leads me to ask, a second time, why you think your Jesus needs you to lie on his behalf? How can a supposedly-omnipotent deity need his followers to lie for him? 

    Grow up already. 

  • You would be the expert on “losers.” Loser. 

    You’re still lying for Jesus, too. Well done! I’m sure your deity is just SO proud. 

  • One sent mail bombs to opponents and shot up a house of worship. The other just acted rudely in a public setting. So yes

  • from the book of Luke, NRSV: 20 Once Jesus[g] was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among[h] you.” [h] or within

    I don’t have my Concordance so I can’t do more than this, but I know that Jesus was proclaiming the Kingdom of God on earth … he was less concerned with people’s salvation in the hereafter than He was with their “salvation” (i.e., healing) within the community of their society.

  • Well if you know that Jesus was proclaiming the Kingdom of God on earth and was not concerned with people’s salvation in the hereafter, you’ve got yourself an entire new theology.

    Start a sect and proclaim it.

    You will have to compete with a segment of the Democratic Party and the Socialists (unless they merge soon, which seems to be happening).

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