CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

As Reason Declines, Hysteria and Hate Expand

Apr 9, 2020

When rationality shrinks, hatred grows:

In an age of public controversy, here is a truth you can take to the bank: the more controversial some matter is, the more likely that reason, logic and facts will decline while emotion, anger and hate will ramp up. It happens all the time. It takes some effort to make intelligent and coherent argument, based on facts and evidence. But it is easy-peasy to just start emoting and hating on others.

No wonder the latter is so predominant. And I know all about this. With over 5000 articles on my site (many of them controversial to say the least), and a rather large social media presence, I know all about the dearth of reasoning and the rise of emoting. I encounter this just about every day.

Countless examples could be mentioned here, but just one will suffice. The other day I penned an article which for many folks was seen as controversial. I wrote on the George Pell High Court decision. You can read it here: billmuehlenberg.com/2020/04/07/the-pell-decision/

But all hell broke out as any number of emoters and haters came out to attack me, revile me and let me know I was clearly a child of the devil. I noticed that basically all of these hot-headed critics did not offer one argument, one fact, or one piece of reasoning. It was all just an emotional outburst and a knee-jerk reaction.

So let me again state a few basic facts concerning this ruling:

-The decision was 7-0. If it were, say, 4-3, then some questions might remain. But this was a unanimous judgment.

-The court found that there was no compelling evidence that Pell was guilty of the charges of sexual abuse of one person (the other complainant had withdrawn his charges)

-This does not mean that the court has said there is no such thing as child sexual abuse, or that it does not take place.

-This does not mean that the church – like any other institution in society – does not have some problems with child abuse.

-All abuse – wherever it is found – is deplorable and must be opposed, but looking for someone – anyone – to be a scapegoat is equally wrong. This is just compounding problems and making things worse.

-Over the years Pell has fought the “gay mafia” in the church and stood against abuse. When he was the Archbishop of Melbourne he set up the “Melbourne Response” protocol in 1996 to investigate and deal with child sexual abuse complaints in the archdiocese. It was the first such protocol of its kind in the world.

But don’t let the facts stand in the way of a good hate session. The haters are gonna hate. But let me try to break this hatred down into a few categories.

Types of haters (of Pell and Catholicism)

One. Those who hate child abuse. This is the only legitimate reason for anger. Yes, I too hate child abuse – we all should. But that should not blind us to justice. A mere accusation of abuse does not mean that abuse has in fact occurred. That is why we have courts of law to help adjudicate such claims, and to seek to establish their truth or falsehood.

Finding a scapegoat to take your anger out on helps no one. We should all hate actual cases of abuse, but not imagined cases or unproven and unsubstantiated cases. If we want to go back to backyard justice with lynch mobs bypassing the legal system, then we are just as bad as the abusers.

Two. Secular lefties and atheists who hate religion and hate Catholicism. This of course is to be expected. These misotheists and Christophobes are always going after Christians, especially those who are very much in the public eye. They have been at the forefront of this witch-hunt, and of course not one of them so far has apologised for their false accusations.

And neither has the Victorian criminal justice system, nor the police, nor the media, nor the main one to engage in this trial by media: the ABC. Not one of these groups has offered any sort of apology that I am aware of. They doggedly pursued him, and now that he has been vindicated, these groups are silent. Shame.

Three. Protestants who hate Catholicism. It is not just angry atheists and the like who hate on Catholics. Sadly many Protestants can as well. But let me make a few things clear here: I am a Protestant, and I have major theological differences with my Catholic friends. But I know many of them, work with many of them, and am happy to align myself with them, at least as co-belligerents in the culture wars.

Sure, there are Catholics who hate on Protestants as well. But there is just too much Catholic-bashing by some Protestants. They can be no better than the angry atheists when they claim that Pell must be guilty because he is a Catholic priest, and they all must be guilty.

Four. Conspiracy theorist who hate everyone – or at least suspect everyone. This last group is of course as ubiquitous as they are impervious to reason. Indeed, you simply cannot argue or reason with them. Their minds are shut like a trap, and they have simply bought all the nutty stuff found on every loony video out there.

They are certain that everyone plus their uncle is in on these conspiracies. And if you dare to suggest that they might need to get a grip and not be so reckless with their accusations, they will have one instant retort: “Aha, that proves it: you are part of the conspiracy as well! You are part of the monolithic coverup!” There can be no discussion with these folks and no reasoning. So it is not worth trying.

But as I say, the haters are gonna hate. All I can do is try to offer these folks one last plea: Just imagine that you were charged with child abuse, although you never did it. Imagine being dragged through the courts, but finally you are cleared of all charges.

What would you think about those who said about you and the case: “I don’t care what the court said. I don’t care about the evidence. I KNOW that he is guilty and that is the end of the matter!” So just how would you feel if that was you?

[1064 words]

11 Responses to As Reason Declines, Hysteria and Hate Expand

  • Really enjoy your articles Bill since ive discovered your website, very informative.
    Your article on George Pell has challenged me though. Have you read the book “hell on the way to heaven” by chrissie foster?
    She makes clear she has no beef with catholicism as she is still a practising catholic herself, but she tells the harrowing results of having both her children sexually abused (in which one committed suicide) and her account of George Pell (when on a few occasions they met with him) paints him as uncaring and arrogant.
    Im not saying that means he is guilty, but would really like to hear your thoughts, thanks.

  • Thanks George. Since I have not read the book, I cannot comment on it of course. She is one person who does not seem to like him. Many other people do like him and know him to be a kind and caring man. I too have met him more than once, and that is my take on him as well. See more here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2020/04/07/the-pell-decision/

  • Thanks Bill,
    I’ve followed your blog for years.
    We honour your courage and your well reasoned articles. Many of these haters don’t even have the backbone to put their true names down. I recently argued with a troll who stated cardinal got off Scott free. Amazing! I don’t think 400 days in Barwon prison and a permanently damaged reputation is getting away “Scott free”.
    Pell’s ability to remain positive in all this hate is amazing. I expect civil proceedings against him will now arise. Utterly disgraceful,
    Happy Easter Bill to you and your loved ones,
    Philip

  • Oh dear. Does George Salapatas think George Pell should have been sent to gaol because he is supposedly uncaring and arrogant? The fact is Cdl. Pell, like many people, simply did not believe the accusations were possible to begin with and when you are faced with repeated false accusations it is not so easy to determine the true ones. Yes he was wrong, as he freely admits, but at the time surely people can see why he was initially skeptical of the accusations against senior Catholic clerics whom he felt duty bound to defend.

    Now I became aware of the problems with homosexuality among the Catholic priesthood back in the 1980s and my thinking at the time was that it was a disaster waiting to happen and I was most definitely horrified when I found out given that it is so obviously against Christian principles, but I am not Catholic and not responsible for defending the Catholic Church. The fact remains, however, that the majority of pedophile attacks occurring in the Catholic Church were homosexual.

    What is also quite obvious is that the claims against George Pell were very obviously preposterous and had no credibility on their own but, just as with Lindy Chamberlain’s case, the ABC was able to manufacture false credibility. This is the problem with the massive abuse of power being continuously exercised by the ABC.

    This is the main issue and one that absolutely needs to be addressed. While we are looking at overwhelming state controls we should not forget that every time we see despotic rule, whether it is in Nazi Germany, or Stalinist Russia, or North Korea or ancient Rome, or whatever, it is the control of public thinking through whatever media is available, that enables false, despotic rule to take hold and the fact that the ABC has been able to influence the public so overwhelmingly, including the police, judges and politicians as well as other journalists, into believing obvious falsehoods, is a massive issue that people don’t yet seemed to have fully grasped the gravity of.

  • Hi Bill, a great, well thought out article. The findings of our High Court really highlight the deficiencies of the Victorian Court system. A great injustice was corrected, and the silence from the Victorian legal system continues to be “deafening”. Your articles last paragraph really summed up the irrational hysteria that has dogged the Pell case. It also sadly highlights the depths of irrational depravity that Australian society is sinking into. As always Bill, “keep dishing it out”, hopefully a few of the snowflakes and moonbeams out there will stop, and properly digest, and consider, the Solid Evidence you continue to present in these articles, instead of launching “zero thought” irrational attacks. Bless you heaps, regards, Kel.

  • Thanks Bill for your honest and commonsense article. I know too what it is to cop hatred when you challenge the logic of the haters.
    Yesterday on the Best of Melbourne Graffiti Post which displayed the hate filled graffiti painted on the door of St Patrick’s Cathedral – I responded to one of the angry posters as follows:
    On what do you base your evidence Vlad? I believe in justice, however a person has to be proved to have committed a crime. In no way was Pell proven guilty, whatever his personal failings might be like every human he has faults, but there is no proof that he was a pedophile, and the High court although not making a judgement on that, definitely and clearly says that evidence that supported his innocence of crime in this case was ignored and should not have been as it created reasonable doubt. He has been demonised by the media and social media trolls for years creating a social hate situation that he was seen as guilty in the eyes of many even before the Victorian police trolled to create a case. In the eyes of many he will be still guilty but if we are to have a proper justice system it has to work with out social bias impinging on rationality.”

    A typical response : “The legal system can strip you of almost all liberties, so it must be beyond all reasonable doubt. Of course, in a legal context, there is doubt about crimes that happened decades ago. However. In the publics eyes, its beyond all reasonable doubt at least one of the many victims is telling the truth. The man is a pedophile or covered for those that were, he is as evil as the organisation he works for.
    Anyone defending him or the Catholic church must be immoral pieces of shit. That graffiti is on that church because Pell is a child molester, and the church covered up his and many other crimes for decades. That fact you are upset about some paint on a building, given why it is there, speaks volumes of your character.”

  • Thanks Bill. As a foil to the horribly biased ABC treatment of Pell, Andrew Bolt is one journalist who points out the same rational arguments that I read a year or so ago that show how ridiculous it is to accuse this man of what they say he did. Unfortunately, the ABC put out a 2 part documentary using all their considerable powers of persuasion, people weeping…probably music and language aimed at tugging emotions. Many of we humans tend to jump to conclusions as soon as we hear background music and devastated humans rather than sit down and read the objective facts! That’s how Lindy Chamberlain ended up in jail as well. Shame on the ABC yet again. On my post on Facebook, every person who refuted the post had seen that ABC documentary!

  • I hope every pedo gets caught and punished. but the courts need to have evidence. that’s the difficult part – it’s a secret crime done in secret. but there was no evidence that pell was guilty – even if he was. what we need is an uncorrupt judicial system and to expose evil in every sector of society. but we can’t support courts doing witchhunts. that’s not justice either, and it’s dangerous for all society. from the research i’ve done child abuse and sex trafficking is rampant – and the crimes are unimaginable. but there needs to be proof to deal with it. anyone read andrew bolt’s column in the herald sun (vic) today? a kneejerk reaction to anyone who has stirred emotions results in injustices and two wrongs don’t make a right.

  • Hello Bill, some comments re Deanne Graf’s post. My opinion is that the two part documentary was deliberately timed to air before the High Court decision, perhaps to try and influence them, but definitely us.
    What little I saw of it was enough to convince me it was a hatchet job, with some of the charges having been dealt with and dismissed years ago.
    On the issue of music in news of a factual nature, music has no place there. It bypasses the mind and affects the emotions for or against. I have noticed foreboding music being played when saltbush is being dozed, or land being cleared in the country. It doesn’t seem to be played too much when the same happens in the city for houses. Music is being used, in my opinion, as weapon to manipulate people so they end up with subconscious biases which they have not rationally arrived at. No doubt some your readers could give other examples.
    We have arrived at a situation where the louder the yelling and screaming, and the more tears, then the more “truer” the claims are, and the more sincere and moral the screamers and weepers are.
    Such behaviour does have some effect in causing the non pc to question and doubt their position, which is of course, the goal. Thankfully, though maybe rattled by such irrational behaviour, it is is good to see people hold their ground.
    Well, that’s my sixpence worth.
    May you and your readers be blessed appropriately this Easter season.
    Robert G.

  • Big problem is people assume that journalists are honest, unbiased, Joe Friday types you know “Just the facts ma’am”. While some try to be as unbiased as possible in their reporting many are just propagandists for the far left point of view. (I’m sure many of them know a great deal they never report that would shock people maybe even cause revolutions throughout the West). We trust the media and so when they tell us so and so is guilty we believe them thinking they have done their due diligence and investigated and discovered facts to support that conclusion we don’t for a moment think we are being lied to by people with an agenda.

    For some it is hard to argue with them because as the saying goes you can’t reason someone out of a position they weren’t reasoned into. I have found emotions trump logic so a good emotional argument can get people to support what they wouldn’t normally support because there is no good logical argument for it. Hysteria and panic are good at short circuiting logic as well as when afraid or angry people tend not to think straight. Those who would control us and rule the world know this.

    While individual denominations have their problems, including Catholicism, individual members, even priests (pastors, bishops, etc), should be judged on what THEY believe and what THEY have done. If a person has the truth I’ll listen to/read them regardless of denomination (though I admit STYLE can be hard thing when it comes to the Charismatics and Pentecostals)

  • Dear Michael,
    Your comment is Truly excellent “While we are looking at overwhelming state controls we should not forget that every time we see despotic rule, whether it is in Nazi Germany, or Stalinist Russia, or North Korea or ancient Rome, or whatever, it is the control of public thinking through whatever media is available, that enables false, despotic rule to take hold and the fact that the ABC has been able to influence the public so overwhelmingly, including the police, judges and politicians as well as other journalists, into believing obvious falsehoods, is a massive issue that people don’t yet seemed to have fully grasped the gravity of. ”

    This comment is equally applicable to the Corona Virus fear Campaign especially in America.
    These three videos are profoundly disturbing because they show there is a REAL Disconnect between the US Media is reporting on and the Reality of what is happening in USA Hospitals.

    The question is WHY? Is this a deliberate attempt to create fear so the population can be manipulated and forced to take Vaccines with a mandatory Nano chip included.

    It is high time for Christians across the world to think carefully and not be driven by FEAR in many cases driven hard and manufactured by the media.

    Is Bill Gates truly acting in the interest of the public OR does he have an agenda pushing a nanochip vaccine?. I am still investigating Bill and to date I am deeply concerned with what is going on with his “philanthropic”? activities, especially in Africa.

    God bless all, Phil

    Videos below 1.52minute. The italian hospital is replayed on CBS as a US Hospital.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pIMD1enwd4&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR2uN1QAOd2R-xmWbJc_l1WnSU-8cl4a9xM2KQKFAlRA5XctxjY1vhWcUdw

    Jeff Byerly part 1 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vUdpLZdnEw

    Jeff Byerly part 2 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijTo-HJiP5Q

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