Barrett Brown: Debate between myself and First Things editor Joe Carter
As per the protocols agreed upon yesterday evening between myself and First Things editor Joe Carter, our respective persons will be engaging in a contest of rhetoric (hereafter referred to as the “debate”) concerning the nature and existence of God and His proper relation to the state, with the conflict in question scheduled to begin on Thursday, holy unto Thor. The debate will be conducted from my end at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen and from Carter’s end at First Things.
In addition to his editorial role at First Things, Mr. Carter served as Director of Research and Rapid Response to the presidential campaign of noted guitar virtuoso Mike Huckabee and director of communications for the Family Research Council, in addition to various other roles in the realms of social conservatism activism and media, and remains an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry University. He’s also the author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator.
I am the founder of the distributed think-tank Project PM, a contributor to Vanity Fair and Skeptical Inquirer as well as the author of Flock of Dodos: Behind Modern Creationism, Intelligent Design, and the Easter Bunny and a forthcoming book on the mediocrity of mainstream American commentary. I also serve as director of communications of the atheist PAC Enlighten the Vote.
This debate is the teleological attractor towards which all of history has been proceeding, having itself been set in motion by transcendental forces for the purpose of bringing about this Typhoon Struggle, this Great Accounting of Man and His Works. Empires have risen and fallen merely as the grist of causality - but causality itself was merely a tool by which to bring us to the eve of this moment.
There shall be feints within feints, plans within plans, and always the hidden hand of Loki - the slow blade, the knife that thrusts as if on its own accord. Point will meet counterpoint; participant will lull participant into the complacency of certainty before making manifest all that was hidden, and these shall be spikes. Each word will be chosen as would a gem for the throne of Timur the Lame. Eyes that look upon this contest will afterwards see only through the prism of those things that will presently pass, yet always remain, indeed taking up all of space-time by virtue of their significance.The muses of rhetoric will assemble for the purpose of a contest for which they themselves have waited from the beginning of time’s forward march.
For the purpose of this contest I shall today discard my human form and take on the aspects of Apollo and Mithril, both of whom shall speak through me over the following days. It is our pleasure that all men will now refer to us by the following title which we take on as of this moment: Barrett Lancaster Brown Epiphanes, Avenger of Julian the Apostate, Manifest Will of Jupiter, Knight Consular of the Order of the Golden Proceeding.
The wearing of purple will henceforth be viewed as proof of treason and punishable by death, although the children of the executed will of course be provided for in a manner sufficient to their station.
The challenge has been issued and accepted; as determined by the protocols, the debate will begin by the posting of quotes chosen by each participant. Thereafter will follow at least three rounds of exchanges with one post on each side, after which the debate may be honorably put to an end by either participant - or, if both parties are in agreement, it may continue under further protocols to be determined between the two of them. The winner will transform into a bull and live for all of eternity in a field of platinum, attended by maidens with whom he shall do as he pleases.
Anyone who does not follow the entirety of this debate is expelled from the race of men. At the height of the contest, the universe will collapse into a single point, and the tragic cycle of matter-made-sentient will begin anew.