At this point, let me remind the reader that this exchange began on August 29, 2002, and now, here it was September 23. This had long since begun to get old, especially since Tobias and Gertrude's (or would that be Tobias/Gertrude's) strategy was to try to get the last word by repeating the same hysterical rants over and over, no matter how many times their claims were refuted. It was like being stuck in a small room with a pair of undersocialized children whose response to whatever they heard was "is not!". Sooner or later, and probably sooner, you're going to be glad that you aren't the parent of these children, and I was certainly tired of being their babysitter.
Never one to let reality get in the way of a good tirade, Gertrude continued trying to put the usual spin on events, including the insane accusation that Christo-Paganism was a ruse to convert Pagans. This, she backed up with the usual level of evidence conspiracy theorists and paranoiacs demand of their theories, which is to say, really none at all, unless one counts a shrill tone as "evidence". As I pointed out in my reply, I had already answered all of this, and was not about to waste any more of my time on this "is so, is not" contest. But, before I went, I had one last question to leave CHU's fan club with.
Why is it that when we see Wiccans, most of whom come from a Protestant background, bash Christians, we almost invariably see them bashing Catholics, even though such attacks as have been seen on Paganism have almost invariably come from fundamentalist Protestants? The question answer itself, especially in Britain, which has a long and shameful history of mistreating its Catholic population stretching back to Elizabethan times. As the expression goes, "Cain is trying to be Abel".
At this point, I was largely out of the picture. Tobias declared victory, announcing that I was "running scared" from the force of his arguments, as if 3 1/2 weeks of going back and forth with somebody who wasn't listening wasn't enough. Not enough for Tobias, apparently, because after I got tired of trying to pound some sense through his thick skull, and walked off, he was so desperate to continue arguing with me, that when somebody else wrote in to complain about his Christo-Pagan bashing, he tried to pretend that this person was me!
He went on to add that "Fundamentalists" were not entitled to religious freedom. (Keep in mind that Tobias has, through context, clearly implied that Roman Catholicism should be regarded as being "Fundamentalist", and the rest of Christianity as well - notice that whenever the possibility of working with Christians was brought up, he always responded as if one had spoken of working with Fundamentalists). This genuinely is bigotry, and not merely critical social commentary, because it is indiscriminate, and stubbornly so, at that. Tobias, Gertrude and CHU have not merely dismissed the virtues of the individual Christian in their hatred of Christians as a group, but they've gone into denial about the very possibility that such virtues could even exist, even when presented with clear and undeniable evidence of such. What Tobias is calling for, in effect, is a return to the days when Catholics were persecuted in England, and if the rest of the Christians can be persecuted as well, wonderful, as far as he is concerned. Not that this, realistically, is an attainable goal, but given recent history, a promotion of anti-Catholic discrimination most certainly is feasible. To clearly seek to do so, and then speak of oneself as being the victim of hatred instead of the perpetrator, is pure hypocrisy.
I could not have been more delighted to tell him off. Toby seemed unusually subdued at that point (compared to his usual obnoxious self), being able to do little better than squeak out a claim that that the arguments which you've already seen were "irrational and incoherent", which would be as good a description of his own remarks as one could ask for.
He also seemed most unhappy about my suggestion that "Seraphim", a persona which had posted some apparent trolls in the guestbook, might be nothing more than Tobomas in disguise, creating an imaginary enemy in order to get attention, as he had been doing throughout, with his anti-Christian and anti-Christo-Pagan paranoia. I noted, with some mild interest, that "Seraphim" never posted in a place where his IP address would become visible to the general public. (Like, say, Usenet). This is what one would expect to see were "Seraphim" merely Toby's sock puppet - that Toby would take care to make sure that others (outside of PAN) would not be able to compare his and "Seraphim's" IP addresses.
Toby tried to sidestep this suggestion by saying that one could see Seraphim's IP on his own site ("The witchhunter army"). Seraphim/Toby, however, would have control over what appeared on that website, leaving this argument akin to his earlier attempts to back up CHU's (and CCLF's) claims by citing their own websites as if they were independent references. Shortly afterwards, on the very next page of the guestbook, in fact, "Seraphim" (whoever that might be), claiming that the Witchhunter Army was a spoof site, said that he had removed it just to make Tobias happy. Yes, the sarcasm was obvious, but who sets up a site only to quickly take it down? Somebody who had created the site as a politial ruse might do so, in a pitiful attempt to give himself an illusory public victory, but otherwise that would be very peculiar behavior, were it voluntary.
Not that I have any intention of looking any more deeply into that mystery, as I could not be more tired of this subject. Gertrude and Tobias have since gone on to a new conspiracy theory: the suggestion that the horse mutilations seen in Europe in 2002 might have cultic ties is now supposed to be part of a Christian plot to discredit and destroy Paganism. But then, what isn't? Let's move on.