JEH Smith:

I have declined, and continue to decline, to reply to many of the diverse points of criticism directed against my profession of faith, which I released into the world a month or so ago. I had thought it would be clear that there is a sort of writing that does not invite arguments in opposition, but simply says lo! behold! ecce!, and carries with it an implied Whitmanian ass-covering: “You say I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself!”

And he “continues to decline to reply” at great length. Anyway, Whitman wasn’t covering his ass; Whitman was standing proudly in the intellectual nude, letting his non-sequiturs dangle in the breeze. Look, if people are basically prohibited from asking meaningful questions and expecting coherent answers, then they’re going to judge the merit of your God-is-love soliloquy on the basis of how you present yourself. By your fruits shall we know you. And for someone who claims to have realized something incredibly important and transcendant, you don’t appear to be any different from any other overly-defensive, condescending windbag. I might be intrigued by a fellow who appeared serenely unruffled by critics or wholly captivated by the sublimity of his vision, but this just bores me.