January 27, 2000
I am afraid I have hurt Mr Tabib's feelings more than I intended to,
assuming that he is of a more robust stock than is the case ["Blind
patriotism"]. My contempt is not for Mr Tabib's person but for
his opinion. I am sure he is a valuable member of society who contributes
in his own way.
Now to the crux of the argument: there is some talk of patriotism in
the opening passage of Mr Tabib's letter. It amuses me that he did not
get my point last time. Whether Christmas is of Persian or not has no
bearing on my national pride so that his quote, as touching as it may be
As for juxtaposition of my obligation to respond and my perceived harshness,
I merely invite him to look up the difference between etiquette and politeness.
I also invite Mr Tabib to abandon his emotionalism and speak factually
instead of plead for sympathy.
Mr Tabib then launches into a hyperbole: "I have touched a nerve,
it appears, and it has propelled Mr. Salardini to launch a search for the
holy grail of proofs regarding a causal link between Mithraism and Christmas."
Well I like to say that my earlier correspondences to the Iranian suggest
that I exercise the same courtesy of proof in all my debates and that he
need not feel particularly privileged.
And the tale of woe continues: "I, as a 'poorly educated man,'
would like to assure Mr. Salardini that my years in the poorly educating
system (!) of American universities has taught me at least one thing: Dogmatism
and blind patriotism is the greatest peril that can fall upon a tribe,
nation or group..." Well there are those of us Iranians who are particularly
impressed by the label "American University" and those of us
that realize that the differences between Howard University and University
of Zanjan are only that of appearances. Even if Mr Tabib is from Harvard
or Yale he is still a poorly educated man. Why? Because anyone with even
the beginnings of an education knows the difference between reliable and
The three examples Mr Tabib uses in his response to my "challenge"
are simply pathetic. Two of them are tabloid, nameless sites and the
third is by a 19th century researcher whose biblical scholarship can hardly
be considered cutting edge today. The very first thing his "American
University" should have taught Mr Tabib is how to conduct reliable
and reputable research. In that task they have definitely failed him.
The difference between the Catholic Encyclopaedia and "infidel.com"
is the comparison between my arguments and those of Mr Tabib's.
As for Easter, I like forward to debate the point when the time comes.
And I like to reiterate that my contention is with his argument, not his