Well, just when I thought Matt and I were about to hit it off. Oh well, maybe next week.
I don’t have much to say in response to Matt’s narrative. I’ll just clarify a few things before offering my primary response. First, while I did call Matt “deluded” (though I clarified that I did not mean he was a delusional person), I never called him a “clown.” “Attack of the Clowns” was the title of one of my posts because the titles were following a Star Wars theme: “The Phantom Herring,” “Revenge on the Benjamites,” “Attack of the Clowns.” I made it very clear, however, that by titling my post “Attack of the Clowns,” I was not calling Matt a clown. It was meant to be a humorous jab at the idea that the Israelite soldiers were kid-friendly.
In addition to the email I sent Matt apologizing, I also posted a public apology on my blog.
In absolute honesty, I took the posts down because the discussion between myself and Matt’s wife Madeleine had become so heated that I thought it didn’t do her a service to be represented like that. I had gotten under her skin and it was showing (and it was my fault). That was my motivation for taking them down, good or bad, right or wrong.
I could respond to each of Matt’s claims. Many (though not all) of them are accurate, and there’s a much fuller picture, but really I think that’s between me and Matt. But I won’t respond to the claims. Here’s what I really wish to say:
Matt, once again I take full responsibility for the eruption and I regret it sincerely. I offer you my genuine apologies.
I hope that we can come to see past the past, and I hope that you will be able to read my current criticisms in the spirit in which they are honestly intended. Even if you disagree with my positions (although I do believe we were beginning to establish that we are closer than either of us had thought), and even if you disagree with my tenor, I hope our past interactions haven’t poisoned the well so much that you can’t see the heartfelt motives driving my work or see what’s substantive behind the confrontational tone.
I was wrong.