Relationships in a World of Individualism

  • rWorld

    The rWorld is about more than Dale Kuehne's book Sex and the iWorld.
    The rWorld is a New England based, non-profit (in formation), that is composed of a growing number of people and organizations from many faith and ideological backgrounds worldwide. We believe that much of the fulfillment for which women and men are looking can be found by enhancing the quality of our relationships. While the individual freedom we enjoy in the West is a gift, the love and intimacy for which humans yearn will not be found in self-serving materialism or hedonism, but in a variety of healthy relationships.

    Contact us if you'd like get involved:

  • Dale Kuehne

    Sex & the iWorld

    Professor of Politics and The Richard L. Bready Chair for Ethics, Economics, and the Common Good at Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH.

    In this blog I'm highlighting signposts of the world in which we presently reside as a means of helping promote a civil, and meaningful dialogue about what kind of world in which we wish to live. I am particularly interested in exploring how might we reconcile the individual good and the common good, and where reconciliation isn’t possible, which should take precedence and why.

    I also blog at

    [Content Caution]

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Guilt by Association

Posted by Dale Kuehne on March 15, 2011

One of the benefits of publishing a book is not only hearing praise, but also receiving criticism.

I am genuinely grateful for the following, very honest, critique of my book.

Whether what was written about me or the book in the linked blog post is an accurate portrayal, is NOT the point. There is such a thing as corporate guilt, and guilt by association. Of this, we Christians are guilty. Indeed, I would urge everyone to read and reflect on the following post — especially if like me, you are an evangelical Christian:”

Please be clear that the lyric reproduced below pertains to not to the critique, nor the individual who wrote it, but to any/all who have fallen short of loving every neighbor as ourselves — without exception.

Throw your cash on the barrel-head and get on the floor
And all the rest of you away from the door
And everything that you ever thought would come true
I’ve got news for you…

All the cash on the barrel-head
You never thought you’d be doing this ever
I don’t know why you think you can talk to me
In such an uncivil tone

As you peel back the skin from an orange
‘Remember how you got all o’ this
Well all of this… is never coming true

There’s nothing you can do to change it
You don’t have to do the crime to do the time
It’s just guilt by association

I’ve been thinking to myself
There’s something we should be up front about
Are you starting to figure out
That you’re never going home?
(Going home…)

All alone, but from what I see fit
There’s nothing you can do to change it
You don’t have to do the crime to do the time
It’s just guilt by association

I’ll stop you right here
I’ve got something to say
Everything they deserve today
Is going to come true…
How ’bout you?

No, you never thought you’d be in this place right here
Where we’re at
Well there’s something you must confront right now, now

Don’t you wish you could
Take it
Don’t you wish you could change the way I feel
Don’t you wish you could look into my eyes
And make me feel
You’re going to make me feel

It’s just guilt by association

Guilt by Association by Louis XIV from Slick Dogs and Ponies (2008)


11 Responses to “Guilt by Association”

  1. Leanne O. said

    A few random thoughts on “you just kind of wasted my precious time” blog:

    ***I admit, I couldn’t finish reading the whole post as most of it was clouded by emotion and inner turmoil. The word homophobe is used all too often as a negative way to describe any and all people who might disagree with the choices a homosexual makes. Because a person disagrees with their choices doesn’t necessarily make them haters. This blogger believes her precious time would be wasted by joining Dale Kuehne’s conversation. Instead, she uses her precious time creating an emotion filled blog without proposing any ideas or solutions to further her cause.

    ***It is easy for a person to hide anonymously behind the computer. When this blogger is courageous enough to actually identify herself, I think she may be taken more seriously. Perhaps she can begin her discussion by attempting to prove how sexual relations between homosexuals are as beneficial, if not more beneficial to society than sexual relationships between a married man and woman. This seems to be the topic that first sparked her interest and civil discussion on the topic would certainly get people’s attention.

    ***It is time to look at the facts instead of relying on emotion. How can we ever respect the side of someone we disagree with if we are not willing to join the discussion, keep an open mind, and stop blaming others? We need to stop the rage and protests, and start the discussion with an open mind and a logical tongue. Dale Kuehne, I applaud you for starting that discussion. While blinded by rage, people do not even realize that they are responsible for the same hate they claim others have for them. It is time to move beyond that hate and the first step in doing so is through civil and logical discussion.

    • Charlie Butler said

      Leanne O –

      So, a person has just written a long, eloquent and closely-argued post explaining why she refuses to join in a conversation about her right to exist, and your critique amounts to a claim that what she should have done instead is… join in a conversation about her right to exist? Way to miss the point.

      I notice you do not address or even mention any of the arguments she makes. Clearly you like to pick and choose which conversations you yourself join in: a case of motes and beams, perhaps?

      The post was not anonymous. As is usual with WordPress, you can find out more about the author by clicking the About button.

  2. Leanne O. said

    You are correct. The post was long. Yes, I do think she should have joined the conversation. I read the book, did you? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember the book stating anywhere that she didn’t have the right to exist. As a matter of fact, I am going to go and read the book again just to make sure. I was not at the conversation, but wasn’t the conversation about the book? Were you at the conversation? If you didn’t read the book or attend the conversation, perhaps you missed the point. Regardless of what you think, my point was not to address her argument that Dale Kuehne is a homophobe and extremist, or to debate the rights and priveleges homosexuals and heterosexuals should be allowed in our society. I simply wanted to make clear how important it is for people to discuss with logic and fact instead of emotion and name calling. Of course we pick and choose the conversations we want to be a part of. The point is that we should not run away from conversations that matter to us because those conversations might be difficult, tiring, or contrary to our beliefs. Who in history has ever won a debate or proven their side after saying they felt tired, scared, and weepy and ran away from an opportunity to join a discussion that did not involve screaming and finger pointing? I would be tired too after all of that useless picketing!

    Thank you for the tip regarding the About Button. I try not to spend much time in the blogging world. Leanne

    • Leanne O. said

      Excuse my typo above and thank you for posting this.

    • Charlie Butler said

      No, I’ve not read the book, but then I didn’t set out to critique the book. You, on the other hand, did set out to critique her post without (according to your first post) getting to the end of it. Your characterization of it as being about “running away from conversations that matter to us” rather bears this out.

  3. Leanne O. said

    You should read the book so you can get an accurate view from both sides. Shortly after my post, I did read the rest of her post only to find her speaking in a her way or the highway tone. I believe civil discussion is always beneficial because through discussion we can learn and teach. This blogger does not believe she needs to justify her actions or defend them as in her own mind she is right and nothing anyone else says about the matter holds any value. She obviously sees there are haters and “homophobes” out there so isn’t it counterprductive for her to shut off all discussion about the topic? Why wouldn’t she want to educate all the ignorant people out there? What happens in Congress when they stop talking? Exactly…nothing positive. Over and out, thanks for the discussion.

  4. Dale, I think you should invite her to attend Emmanuel the next time she is in the States. It is one of the few places she will find an absolute lack of judgment, bigotry, anger, hate… all those things that were detailed in her blog. I have a much longer response I’d like to send to her, much of it noting that the Dale Kuehne about whom she writes bears no resemblance to the Dale Kuehne I have had the honor of knowing. And, should she or anyone who agrees with her not know me, I am a bleeding heart liberal who has known true love, acceptance, and grace from Dale Kuehne. She missed an opportunity to experience the same when she declined the invitation to step inside and listen to what you had to say.

  5. Leanne O. said

    Very well said, Christine :).

  6. Leanne O. said

    @ Charlie – You are obviously confused. Please read the book, re-read the posts and contact me privately if you wish. I prefer not to clutter this thread. Thank you.

  7. Charlie Butler said

    If you don’t believe me, perhaps you’ll believe Dale Kuehne: “Whether what was written about me or the book in the linked blog post is an accurate portrayal, is NOT the point.”


    I’m not sure what you think the thread *ought* to be “cluttered” with, if not discussion of the post that prompted it – but clearly you don’t wish to engage in that. Cheerio.

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