“If going to church makes you a Christian, does going to a garage make you a car?”
I saw this on a bumper sticker the other day, and it got me thinking, and then kind of made me angry. I understand that this is Christians trying to reach out to other Christians, and say “there’s more to it than just going to church and going through the motions,” but I really did not like the comparison they used. Obviously, it’s meant to prove the point using an outlandish statement, but it reminded me so strongly of one of the common arguments against gay marriage:
“If we allow gay people to get married, then what’s to stop people from marrying their dog or their toaster?”
When you are using such incredibly similar arguments and one of them is meant to be so absurd that it’s obvious what the intended message is and one is meant to be taken literally, how can you ever expect people to take you seriously?
When your arguments are that incredibly ridiculous, how is anyone supposed to know whether you are speaking in satire or in earnest?
I’m not saying anything to try to get people to change their argumentative style. If that’s the way you want to speak, go right ahead. What I am saying is that if what you say and actually mean is so similar to what you say as outlandish satire, maybe you should sit down with yourself and honestly think about what you’re saying to people and how you or anybody else can be expected to actually believe what you’re telling them.