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May 06, 2007


Joshua James

Great post, David, we definitely gotta find time to do coffee at some point and talk about this kinda stuff.

I haven't been able to communicate with Scott reasonably for quite some time, after three or four blog flareups, I've simply stopped engaging him or his site . . . He may be a nice guy, but I've found that discussing matters with him, be it theatre or culture, to be a royal pain.

And what frosts me about "believers" so to speak, is that they do exactly as you've stated . . . somehow stating that their "belief" system is the same game as the "non-belief" system.

They are different, different as creationism is to evolution.

To state they are on equal basis is silly . . . As a Buddhist, I recognize that, and it's amazing how christians fight any and all criticism, as if their faith is so delicate that any and all suggestion that it might be a waist of time would derail everything.

Joshua James

HAH! I said "waist" when I meant "waste" -

silly writer, spellcheck is for kids.

Joshua James

I just wondered, am I a "fundalmental athiest" simply because I think most religion is hogwash and Christianity the largest and most hypocrititocal scam on humankind, or am I disqualified because I'm a Buddhist?

Okay, I'm hijacking your blog . . . I'll stop now.

Hilary Sanders

David Cote writes...

"Religion is a form of social control by (mostly) men, a byproduct of adaptive processes in developing humans, and a historically fascinating form of social organization that has outlived its primary use: keeping your tribe alive while wiping out the other tribe."

It's interesting to me how your definition of religion sounds so much like my definition of theater criticism.


Joshua James


Can't say that I see your point, Hilary, they seem to me to be miles apart, theatre criticism and religion . . .

I don't know that, via theatre criticism, slavery has been justified, doctors have been shot and killed at clinics, I don't know that women have been disempowered and desexualized, I don't know that wars, torture or crusades have happened as a result of theatre criticism, nor has anyone been literarly burned at a stake for being a witch . . . nor has anyone hijacked a plane or behead someone because of Aristotle's Poetics. No one has killed anyone simply because someone disagreed with a book about theatre criticism or a philosophy of theatre criticism, not that I know of.

The culture of theatre criticism has never led to genocide.

All that and MUCH more has happened as a result of religion, but I can't think of a single instance of theatre criticism resulting in murder, mayhem and enslavement - bruised feelings, careers ruined and fortunes lost, perhaps, not not genocide, not racism or war or torture, so your point is not a point, it's just a senseless personal attack on David's profession, made because you evidently can't attack his argument and you don't know anything about him personally, therefore you attack his profession - how very neocon and juvenile, I must say.

Come on, as Mark Jackson would say, "You're better than that!"

Alison Croggon

It's that familiar rhetorical wriggle of the right, which presents itself as the victim of left-wing sins - intolerance, bigotry, etc - when it is exercising its right to be intolerant, bigoted etc. Strange stuff.

Hilary Sanders

Joshua --

Dude, you need to chill. I thought it was pretty clear I was being relatively cheeky comparing theater criticism to religion. Sorry you took me so literally.

That said, you should probably figure out the difference between religion and extremism before posting further. While I happen to be a pretty cynical atheist myself, I also happen to know that not every POF is a fanatical intolerant terrorist. Yes, all manner of atrocity has occured in the name of various religions, but insane people also murder and torture in the name of love, honor and figure skating. Should we condemn all those who engage in those institutions as hateful and dippy ignoramuses as well?

It's pretty clear from Cote's post that he thinks anyone involved with organized religion is at the very least less enlightened than he is and, most likely, less intelligent and just plain ol' wrong. He thinks of his opinions as not JUST opinions, but facts. This is pretty typical of theater critics. Does his rigid holier-than-thou opinions of POF's (and certain types of theater) make him a fundamentalist? I don't know, but he must come pretty close. His vicious ridiculing of others (whether its their religious beliefs or their artwork) certainly smacks of intolerance. And while he may not want his enemies DEAD, that doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't want them to go away forever. He can be intolerant and still have no choice but to tolerate the things he has no power to change. Despite his saying otherwise, I suspect if given a magic wand, he WOULD make devout Christians disappear, or at least make them stop believing the things they do. I also suspect he'd zap most of the plays mounted at the Roundabout and MTC out of existence as well. Cote is a smug, opinionated creep who poses and preens and flaps his big fat mouth as loud as any televangelist on Sunday morning television. And like most televangelists, he thinks he's right all the time, and anyone who thinks differently is an idiot who should just go away.

Is his intolerance of MTC as dangerous as Islamic Fundementalism? OF COURSE NOT! But when it comes to personality types, Cote seems to have a lot more in common with Jerry Falwell than he does with Martin Luther King.


Joshua James


Dude, I was pretty chill, hence the Mark Jackson quote at the end . . . believe me, if I hadn't have been chilled, you would have seen some sparks . . .

And you weren't really being cheeky, if you think so, I'd rethink your cheeky position . . . from where I sat (and evidently, where Alison sat) it was more a snarky attack than a cheeky drive-by.

And that becomes evident later on in your recent post when you say this:

"Cote is a smug, opinionated creep who poses and preens and flaps his big fat mouth as loud as any televangelist on Sunday morning television."

That's not cheeky, so I don't believe your first post was cheeky, either. It was just a dumb personal attack. You show yourself and your true intent. You may think it was cheeky, but in reality it was all ASS.

And you obviously didn't read David's post clearly at all . . . in his post, he wrote about being called a Fundalmental atheist and then went out to break down how that was not at all like being a fundalmentalist of any sort of other religion.

I don't get, if you are truly an athiest, why you're so upset with David - I'm not even an athiest, nor have I ever met him in person, and I'm more amused than anything . . .

what frosts me are the Christian folks who demand respect for their faith from "non-believers" when it's obvious that chrisitans don't respect an athiest's position at all . . . and from his post, that's what frost's him, too.

And you're attacking him as well - boggles the mind. You say:

"It's pretty clear from Cote's post that he thinks anyone involved with organized religion is at the very least less enlightened than he is and, most likely, less intelligent and just plain ol' wrong. He thinks of his opinions as not JUST opinions, but facts. This is pretty typical of theater critics."

Actually, it's not pretty typical of theatre critics, not at all (I happen to know at least three) and nor do I think it's what David is doing . . . at the least, David has posited that religious people are delusional (not that different from Buddhist folk) and in that he is no different from Bill Maher to Richard Dawkins.

And it's much more lenient than what most religious leaders believe about non-believers . . . most preachers and real christians believe folks such as David, you and myself are sinners destined to burn in eternal torment . . . that's much more disrespectful than thinking someone is simply delusional.

Finally, you say this:

"That said, you should probably figure out the difference between religion and extremism before posting further. While I happen to be a pretty cynical atheist myself, I also happen to know that not every POF is a fanatical intolerant terrorist. "

I happen to know every POF isn't a terrorist as well, I technicall AM a POF, and, hello, that was't the point of my post, nor would anyone, had they actually READ my post, think that . . . nowhere in that post do I state every POF is a terrorist . . .

You drew an insane line from religion to theatre criticism and I pointed out that many, many bad things have happened as a result of religion and few terrible things have resulted from theatre criticism.

In each, I spoke about it as a philosopical movement and their negative effects. Slavery, genocide, and murder have been justified by holy books. These things are true. Never happened due to theatre criticism.

Nowhere, NOWHERE do I say every POF is a fundie terrorist. NOWHERE.

. . . so you need to figure out the difference between Aristotle's Poetics and the Bible before posting further.

So, you're doing it again. You find yourself unable to address the arguments, so you invent things to attack me about (I've said all POF is a fanatical terrorist) that I've never said.

You want to keep fighting like this, fine . . . you don't like David personally because of his profession, or simply because you don't like how he states his case, fine . . . there is no law stating you have to like everything . . .

But don't try to state he hasn't made his points, reasonable and logically, because it seems to me he has.

And dude . . . lighten up . . .


It's odd; I've been an agnostic all my life, which to me is the most scientific view. I don't believe anything that I don't know to be true. No Christian has ever taken me to task for being an agnostic. Only atheists have. I've never understood that.

A good deal of your point is well taken. I'm far more worried about religious zealots than I am about a handful of possibly intolerant leftists/atheists/whatevers. But here's the thing. I know quite a few Christians who don't subscribe to findamentalism, who don't decy science, and who don't advocate pushing their views on others. Their faith primarily inspires them to acts of kindness and charity, and provides their life with an element of meaning that certainly does me no harm. A few months ago I had drinks with an Episcopelian priest who declared himself to be a proud member of the "Christian left."

What I'm saying is, while all forms of religious fundamentalism need to be opposed (and I've written like five plays on that subject), I don't see the point in just picking on Christians in general. I think it's ugly and pointless. I like Andrew Sullivan's distinction between Christians and Christianists, because it separates people of faith from people who want to mobilize their faith as a political force and push it on unwilling people.

As secular liberals, we need to oppose religious fundamentalism of all stripes. But is there any reason we need to be jerks?

David Cote

I didn't intend my post to be critical only of the Christian creed. I like to think that if I had been raised in a Jewish or Islamic context, I would have eventually rejected those ideologies too. (That also points to another issue relating to class, perhaps: Maintaining a show of Christianity did nothing to advance my career or personal interests, having less invested in the culture of religion, I easily ditched it.) Mac is right, though - much humanist charity has been done in the name of religion, not quite enough to offset centuries of slavery, genocide and assorted atrocities that Joshua catalogued, but yes, some good. But isn't it a little sad that the only way that some folks will help others is if they think an imaginary being wants them to do it, and they go to Heaven if they do? Isn't it simply enough to love your fellow humans and be pleased to help others? Why not keep the humanism and ditch the superstition. I think of religion, among other things, like a veil that obscures a clear view of the world. For some it prettifies the world, for others, it makes it uglier. It's a needless layer, perhaps historically it had its uses, but it's time to cast it aside. (sheesh, now I'm annoying myself) Anyway, as much as I sneer and jeer and jump up and down screaming, I do have a sort of non-misanthropic view of life without God, as a step forward. Jerky? Sometimes, but it's only cuz I care.

Scott Walters

I find this atheistic anger at religion baffling. Yes, religion has supported a lot of bad stuff. It has also supported a lot of good stuff. And while you say it doesn't balance out, I wonder whether you are including all the day-to-day benevolence that goes unreported instead of only the big Spanish Inquisition stuff that is in the History 101 textbooks.

Wanna see how well atheistic leftists do? Check out Stalin. And check out how supportive and benevolent he was to artists like, say, Meyerhold and Bulgakov while you're at it. Or how's about Mao? How did he treat artists, or anyone else while you're at it? No, it seems to me that there is plenty of horror to go around, and that in the 20th century it ain't the religious we need to fear.

Your faith in science as the final arbiter of truth is problematic. Did germs not exist until science "discovered" them? How's about black holes? Read Kuhn if you'd like to see how science changes as new perceptions become available.

For the record, I:
1. Am not a Christian.
2. Am not right-wing -- have voted the left side of the Democratic ticket my entire life.

But I do find the theatre avant garde, at least as illustrated by the theatre bloggers, to be elitist, snobby, classist, and intolerant of anyone outside their clique. They demonstrate a lockstep that is creepy in the extreme.



For you to think/say that anyone who believes in God is insane or mentally damaged, speaks volumes to your own pathology of defense. 90% of American adults believe in God. So your position is exclusive to the extreme when considering theatre as a function of community.

In the past most bigots put a hood over their disease and practiced their illness in secret. But today Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and others of their ilk have found the perfect disguise for their bigotry in their Christian smiley face. “They hate the sin, not the sinner.”

I believe you care. And your honesty might be admirable here. But flaunting your peculiar bigotry toward Christianity probably doesn’t serve you as theatre critic. It most definitely doesn’t serve the theatre community.

David Cote

Scott: Because some genocidal/mass-murdering policies were carried out by atheist/secular institutions (Stalinist Russia, Maoist China) does not invalidate my critique, such as it is. I am not arguing for any totalitarian system. So my argument against religious belief is not a statement FOR totalitarian purges, no matter how twisted your logic path may be. Yes, there's "plenty of horror to go around," but let's take one horror at a time, please? And don't be creeped out by the theatrical avant-garde blogosphere, they're really very nice people. Great table manners. Scared of them? Goodness, I wonder how you must jump at your own shadow or a creaky stair!

David Cote

And Nick: While calling the religious "brain-damaged" or "insane" was hyperbole on my part, I would ask you how exactly my lack of religious faith and respect for the same negatively affects my drama criticism? I mean, I would ask, but it might prolong this agonizing exchange.

Joshua James


"Your faith in science as the final arbiter of truth is problematic."

Is a profoundly silly statement - science is a process, not a destination - it gives people a way of breaking down questions to lead to answers.

One doesn't have faith in science - one understands how it works, or doesn't. Like math or physics, it's there whether one understands it or not.

Gravity exists, whether one has faith in it or not.

Religion gives you the answer and let's you figure out how to get there.

Science and religion are not comparable.

Scott Walters

Joshua -- Science is based on a belief that the only things that exist are things that can be measured using the senses at any point in time. Prior to 1875, science had many different theories about the spread of disease, and generally it would have dismissed a germ theory as unproven because it could SEE the germs at the time. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to think that such a thing might happen again. When one adds in many of the discoveries of Quantum Physics, which creates a universe that bears a resemblance to many religious ideas, one's threshold of doubt lowers further still.

Karl Miller

Could we stop arguing about who's more or less tolerant, creepy, genocidal and maybe engage the emotions beneath the belief systems (rationalism and faith alike)? I don't think anyone in this forum really wants to take away anyone's right to believe anything in particular. They wouldn't be using a public blog if they did, right?

Many people seem capable of understanding how religion makes for bad science. They can also see how religion makes for bad history and bad politics. Yet people believe. David posted earlier about how religion makes for bad art. And that thread might actually bring us dangerously close to resolving the reciprocal snob assaults people keep falling back on.

Anyone want to talk about how religion makes for bad psychology? Can any believers out there talk about their faith without acknowledging a fear of death/dark/sex/art? Can any believers out there offer an experience of god that is not merely the sum of all wishes or the default repository of as-yet unanswered questions (like quantum mechanics)?

Can any rationalists offer some help to the believers? Something besides repeating the obvious fact that religion (like art) is irrational?

I keep wanting to segue into another discussion of the Walter A. Davis book when I hear nasty fights like this. Because God is not just a rhetorical problem, a scientific problem, or a historical problem. God is an aesthetic and psychological problem, too.

Which is why I, for one, don't believe.

David Cote

I don't want to make absolutist claims I can't back up--about existence, perception, reality. I can only say what I think and believe to be true. And it's very hard to prove a negative, in my case, that God does not exist. I can only repeat that I have never come across a persuasive argument for the existence of God and that, on the contrary, belief in a supreme being and various repressive dogmas only reveal religion as the ritualized social control I believe it to be. I cannot respect that which I consider a byproduct of emotional problems and historical patterns that have no basis in reality as I perceive and live in it. I believe in the imagination, but I don't think my imagination shapes reality, just my perception of it. I love the imagination and I love art, but I don't make false claims for their provenance or powers.

Joshua James

Science is not a belief system, Scott . . . look it up.

And frankly, you're a college professor, you should know that, regardless of what area you teach it.

Joshua James

Don't bother, I did it for you:

science |ˈsīəns| noun

the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment : the world of science and technology.

• a particular area of this : veterinary science | the agricultural sciences.

• a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject : the science of criminology.

and next:

religion |riˈlijən| noun the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods : ideas about the relationship between science and religion.

• details of belief as taught or discussed : when the school first opened they taught only religion, Italian, and mathematics.

• a particular system of faith and worship : the world's great religions.

Faith is belief in the unknown, that much can we agree on?

Science is a rigid process for establishing the KNOWN -

and it's silly to argue that since science has been wrong at times, it's always wrong, because that's part of the process, proving something right or wrong is what science is about . . . any hypothesis or theory is up for critical mauling to prove it . . . evolution has stood the test of extreme critical process, and despite how many people would like to see it proven wrong, it just hasn't been, not yet, while a wealth of evidence supports it's existence (and I notice that many a fundie's disbelief in evolution probably hasn't stopped them from getting a flu shot).

Note: at the recent Republican debate, the question was asked, who didn't believe in evolution. Three of the ignorant motherfuckers raised their hands.

Science is a way of processing physical truths about our existance. To argue that it doesn't have all the answers is moot, because science doesn't claim to, science is a process or path, nothing more, nothing less. If there were no UNKNOWN, we probably wouldn't need science. Or medicine, for that matter.

Religions, for the most part, are helpful as philosophies for dealing with the mental anguish of the UKNOWN and also the KNOWN, it gives comfort by offering answers to UNKNOWN questions of existence and guideance . . . but it is not science, it's not up for hard critical analysis (most of them, anyone, some strands of Buddhism welcome it) and it's sometimes in conflict with hard facts of reality (um, Evolution) . . .

Relgion offer comfort and social contact, which is one reason why folks are so feisty and proprietary about them (one of many reasons) but other than philosofical or emotionally truths, they won't offer hard knowledge about our physical world.

So you can't call Science a belief system and you can't call religion a science (unless you're speaking metaphorically) . . .

the height of irony is that big scam Scientology, which has nothing to do with science or religion and all about money (and before anyone gets on me about that, yes, I've read Dianetics more than once, and as a matter of fact I worked at a scientology center and I can tell you it's all about the money and not a religion, it's regression therapy mixed with science fiction).

Okay, I'm ranting and I'd better stop before I get rolling too far and David kicks me off his site.


Not at all Joshua - you do a better job defending me than I could myself. I just hope that anyone who wants to continue this discussion will do so on their own blogs.


"I find this atheistic anger at religion baffling. Yes, religion has supported a lot of bad stuff. It has also supported a lot of good stuff. And while you say it doesn't balance out, I wonder whether you are including all the day-to-day benevolence that goes unreported instead of only the big Spanish Inquisition stuff that is in the History 101 textbooks." This is like wanting to why we don't hear the good news from Iraq -- because the bad news, when it is news, is so bad.

I believe the dominant Christian church's anger at heresy and atheism *was* called the Inquisition, whose office still exists.

Dear Lord, is it time already to cross the Godwin radius? Do I have to point out that being a dominant religion gives its followers lots of leeway to excuse evil committed in its name? Christians had no problems seeing Africans dive overboard in order to avoid slavery, beyond the loss of profit, nor sending people of all religions to the ovens during WWII. Atonement for these sins, at the very least, for those religious institutions that existed back then would at least be tolerance of people they do not like. Not love your neighbor; just don't advocate their bashing. Christianity is a good idea, and it'd be a great one, if it were practiced more often.

As for "But I do find the theatre avant garde, at least as illustrated by the theatre bloggers, to be elitist, snobby, classist, and intolerant of anyone outside their clique. They demonstrate a lockstep that is creepy in the extreme." -- tell me one blog you'd ever read which is egalitarian, open, sweetly natured and class-inclusive, and I'll show you the most policed and moderated comment section on the net -- because it takes a hell of a lot of time, resources and manpower to keep a place civil, period. If you find theatre bloggers who are the better sort of people you're looking for, don't tell them about us, don't list their links -- heaven forfend we should spoil them.

I hope that noble non-theatre-blogger-class you seek puts on great plays, at prices anyone curious can afford, and have wide-ranging discussions about their sincere faith. I'd propose Cornerstone Theatre Company, and other community-based companies, but then I bet they don't blog much, because they're busy forging community by actually meeting and talking to people.

If you engage with people whose views you don't like, frustration is what you get -- if this cohort of theatre bloggers is so apostate and virulent, why hope that they change their ways? Would prayer warriors work better than blog flames? If the Christians you know make for better people, why not help them make theatre, help them start blogs, and create a community of faith and merit? Every church and megachurch has a theatre within it, and sometimes they need more than the Bible as a script. If you hate the theatre blogosphere, as it is, make a better one of your own, but don't expect people to change until the spirit moves them.

Scott Walters

Cool! "Theatre Blogosphere: Love It or Leave It!" Sounds like you've got a bumper sticker there, cgeye! That whole "love it or leave it" thing was so useful during the Vietnam War for silencing all those commies who dared to question what we were doing, and it is sad to see the slogan languishing for want of use. But it is the perfect lockstep slogan!

You note, as a way of condemning the moral turpitude of Christians, that they were content to watch Africans leap into the sea to avoid slavery. But I seem to remember it was religious groups who headed the abolitionist movement. And gosh, wasn't Martin Luther King Jr a -- gasp -- Baptist minister? We could play this game all day using all kinds of groups: one finds a bad thing the group did, another finds a good thing. The fact is that no institution or group is pure, and over a 2000-year history it wouldn't be surprising to find bad things done by a group. Hell, take a look at the American government, which in a little over 200 years has managed to do a helluva lot of really bad things -- are you equally ready to give up American democracy as you are to give up religion? Are you anti-democracy?

Cornerstone Theatre, by the way, is awesome. They do great work, and appeal to many classes of people. But wait: they aren't just out creating community, they DO have a blog:

And I'd also recommend the amazing Roadside Theatre, which is part of Appalshop in Whitesburg KY. They manage to do incredible work, and employ dozens of artists, in a town of 1500 people! Surely they must be too busy to blog... Oh! Wait! They have a blog too:

And then there is Arlene Goldbard, long-time community-based artist and author of many books including "New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development." She is in great demand all over the world, so I'll bet she's too busy to blog... Oh! Wait! Here it is:

It seems like a LOT of artists do good work AND blog! Imagine wasting all that time trying to communicate ideas instead of cranking out another production of "The Seagull!"

Joshua -- yes, the Scientific Method, good for you. But the scientific method is based on assumptions, which you provide clearly in your cut-and-paste description: "the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment." Note the limits: "the physical and natural world" and "through observation and experiment." Science is awesome when it stays within its parameters: the observable physical and natural world. If you define the world as only those things that observable, you are safe. It runs into problems when it extends its dominion to things that cannot be observed. What happens is that science says "if it isn't observable, it doesn't exist" -- which is fine, in a limited way, for the physical world, but I doubt there is a scientist alive who would say that everything there is to observe has already been observed. So yes, I would agree that science is about the known, but with the following amendment: it is the study of the "known SO FAR." But the known is constantly growing. Think of how the universe opened up when the Hubble telescope was launched -- suddenly, we could SEE things we couldn't see before, things scienetists didn't know existed until then. Is it that big of a stretch to think that this might apply to things currently considered religious?

How does science explain double-blind experiments that show that people who are prayed for, even by people they've never met, heal faster and more fully? And what about things like emotions and thoughts? Science has a helluva time explaining those, and when it does ends up explaining them simply as neurochemical activity -- man as machine. Surely as an artist you find that hard to embrace.

The problem, Joshua, is that you see everyone who disagrees with you as being ignorant, when in fact they might just be looking at more or different evidence. You might want to look at some of the recent postmodern critiques of scientific "objectivity." Here's a good website (with a really annoying background):

Call me a skeptic, but it is the certainty of atheists that I find objectionable. The statement "I can't see it now, therefore I will NEVER see it" makes no sense to me.

But as always, thanks for the schooling, Josh.

David Cote

Okay, this has devolved in an absolutist relativizing solipsistic clusterfuck of bloviation and epistemological hairsplitting. "My subjectivity is more subjectivey than yours" and all that. "My uncertainty is more certainish than yours." Thanks everyone from contributing but I mean it, continue the arguments on your own blogs if you want, but you can't sleep here.


Last post, I promise:

The bumpersticker's more "Theatre blogosphere: Hate it, or make it better", but if it's convenient for you to continually engage with people whose opinions you despise, feel free.

As soon as I went past the Godwin radius, I knew you'd go for the MLK return serve. Funny, ain't it, how every person defending an inclusive Christianity which allows bigots, dominionists and misogynists somehow finds time to hide behind Dr. King's robes, conveniently omitting just how pious Baptist (Southern Baptist -- you know, the *white* denomination?) preachers preached hatred of him, and probably had no problems quietly celebrating his assassination? That churches had no problem with slavery, in the South, and those evil, disruptive abolitionists up North were so alien to them that war seemed to be the only answer, to defend the Southern way of life?

If Christians could have listened to other Christians more often, we wouldn't have so many wars, just on general principle. If Christians stopped harassing Christians who truly acted as Christians, such as the religious who protest at warhead launch sites and the torturers' School of the Americas, then more people worldwide would see Christianity as a religion that means what it says.

And, just so we're clear, the dominant form of Christianity in this country -- the religion that has the ear of the President, his cabinet, his hand-picked flunkies from the most influential Dominionist academies, his backers and his funders -- is deeply anti-democracy. Do you really think we'd fight so hard to make Dominionists' intentions clear to those who consider modern religion mostly harmless, if they could leave *us* alone?

And your tacit accusation is that there are two types of people involved in theatre: useless, enervated heathen, who question everything needlessly, and practical people of faith, who are certain of life's basic goodness. I just wanted to make sure you knew those practical, kind, uncynical people are out there, so you could stop trying to mold us in their image. If you are really desirous of diversity, can't you respect this cranky part of the universe, as well?

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