Monday, June 30, 2008

Of Sheepdogs and Crackpots

From someone's point of view, just about anyone could be a crackpot. There are those who think home educators are crackpots. And then there are those crackpots who criticize home schoolers.

A major problem for Christian Martialist Sheepdogs is how to tell the harmless crackpot from the potential killer. Rather than present you with a lesson on this, I think I'll present you with an assignment. ("Should you decide to accept this assignment . . . ."}

Drpaleophd's blog recently had a post that linked to an article on Gary DeMar's The American Vision site. Gary DeMar is a Christian who has done a lot of work in history and worldview studies from a Christian perspective. He has also produced some curriculum material used by home educators.

The article in question centers on a letter Mr. DeMar received from someone who claims that homeschool graduates are good for nothing but cleaning toilets and mowing lawns. A crackpot, right? But is this crackpot potentially dangerous?

That's what I'd like you to decide for yourself. Read the article and the followup. Do you see any clues that the letter writer might possibly present a physical threat to Gary DeMar? Of course I have my opinions, and you will form yours.

In order to do this exercise justice, you must be able to form some kind of profile of the individual in question, and then you must have an idea of whether or not the subject's profile warrants heightrened security.

Here are the links to the articles:

Homeschoolers Are Only Good for Cleaning Toilets

"Cleaning Toilet" E-Mailer Responds

Let me know your thoughts on this. See mine in "Of Sheepdogs and Crackpots, 2"


Stephen Boyd said...

I'm not sure. Someone with that much vitriol could very easily become violent. Prayer for God's blessing and protection is the most important thing.

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

My answer, in short:


He is vicious and vile, but one thing I do not see is him making clear threats, something you'd expect to see in this kind of situation.

Of course, reading mere excerpts of emails is not sufficient to get a near-perfect grasp on this person, but still, I'm not seeing any major indicators. Hateful and embittered, but perhaps not an enraged killer.

He's violent in speech, but, if I had to guess, I'd say he's not physically violent towards us (yet).

Of course, you never know, but that'd be my assessment.

Fanstatic idea for a post! I loved this. You should do it more often...and I should do something like this too. It's a good exercise. And of course, I appreciate the plug!


Mada said...

I don't believe he's dangerous. Truth be told, he's probably just verbally retaliating for what was posted earlier, regarding his email. I don't think that the post author was doing much to help his feelings along with his latest post, either (even though he deserved most of it).

The Black Knight said...

Basing my assessment on the principles contained in “The Gift of Fear”. I would say the crackpot was not a threat to begin with, but that with each new level of interaction on the part of Gary DeMar and “American Vision” his commitment to the relationship (of back and forth debate and letter writing) will grow, his options of how to defeat Gary Demar in debate will shrink every time Mr. DeMar cleans his clock in a debate until Violence is the only one left and finally that the more Mr. DeMar interacts with him the more this man will believe that Gary DeMar considers him a credible threat to his world view just by the simple fact of his continued interaction, thus promoting the belief that he (the crackpot) has the Means and Ability to use violence.

P.S. I wrote this up on my computer before reading GravelBelly's answer. It was only when I went to copy and paste it into a comment that I realized he had posted again.

The Black Knight said...

Just to clarify I am not predicting
Gary DeMar will be murdered next week , but only that continuing to answer an irrational person who has nothing better to do than attack a Christian ministry via Internet and Letters is a bad decision.