In January, I was blogging regularly about what is required to motivate change, a move from inaction to action, from one view to another, from not caring to caring. I pointed out then that just telling someone their position is contradictory rarely moves them to change their position.
Today, I heard yet another podcast (see this one too) discuss Samantha Bee’s new show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. On this podcast, Stephen Metcalf of Slate says:
I may have reached my limit for “let them eat satire.” The debasement of as culture, especially political culture, as raw material for the late night shows, and this is the kind of comedy placebo that I swallow on a nightly basis to wake up as a functionally sane human being. I’ve kind of reached the end of it in a weird way, I’ve kind of, I want, I want rage and political action. I don’t want to laugh, however on point the satire is.
As I discussed in this post earlier this month, pointing out contradiction in someone’s position as a means to convert them to your view doesn’t work. Most people recognize that holding contradictory positions is not a good thing, but few seem to think that such a charge demands of them that they change their minds or their ways. It isn’t even that they defend themselves and try to show that they don’t maintain contradictory views. They just aren’t moved by the charge. So pointing out contradictions, as enjoyable as it is, is probably not the best approach for changing people’s minds. Read more
The summer after my junior year at the College of William and Mary, I interned for Rick Santorum in his Washington, D.C. legislative offices. I got the internship because my family had been very involved in anti-abortion activism, like Operation Rescue involved. In high school in Philadelphia, I had worked for a local anti-abortion activist organization and the director, William Devlin, knew Santorum’s Chief of Staff, Mark Rodgers. So he hooked me up. I think I interned for 10 weeks, but maybe it was 8. When I graduated from college, I went to work for Brabender Cox, Santorum’s political consultants who continue to advise Santorum in his presidential campaign. Read more
On New Year’s Day, I visited my Uncle Jon in Chicago. He is a member of JPUSA, a Christian commune in Uptown. He’s a feminist progressive Christian who is more aware of his white male privilege than any Christian man I know, so it’s refreshing to spend time with him. He was telling us about his changing views on evangelism. He described a certain perspective on efforts at conversion that he called, “dive bombing.” “Dive bombing” is when you come from above and attempt to strip your target of their (false) understanding of the world so that you can then replace it with yours. This approach, he pointed out, is very condescending. And it works by establishing that someone else is wrong. So it’s basically gaslighting evangelism. Read more