by John Pacheco
Now that The Fellowship of the Hou (Matatics, Pacheco, Palm, Sungenis) has debunked Svendsen's thesis once and for all, I think it is incumbent on me to insist that Eric Svendsen not share all of the blame for his sham-thesis. While it is certainly true that he bears most of the responsibility for spreading this silly piece of "work", he is by no means alone in his efforts.
The other gentleman pretending to be a scholar is James White. In some ways, Mr. White bears as much responsibility as Svendsen does. White has debated Matatics twice on the perpetual virginity - once in 1993 (or 1995?) and again in October, 2003, while Svendsen himself has only debated Matatics once - in 1999. In both debates, White brought up the heõs hou canard to his maximum advantage. Not only has he taken public stands on this issue, therefore, but he has even written the foreward to Svendsen's book!
Now that this "Jack Chick" of Catholic Apologetics has chopped down the beanstalk, I want to ensure that Mr. White is not forgotten as Eric is left to scramble to save the little credibility he has left. Mr. White has to come forward and tell us where he now stands.
Here are his options:
Option 1: Admit Svendsen's thesis is untenable. This choice is the most honourable and scholarly. It also helps White distance himself from Svendsen's work. He could claim that he didn't actually do the "research" so he was relying on Svendsen completely. This is not a great excuse, but at least he would get a pass from fair-minded people if he opted for this alternative. On the other hand, his relationship with Svendsen would likely suffer, if not fall apart completely.
Option 2: Hold on to Svendsen's sinking ship, and keep plugging the heõs hou program. Ignore the evidence to the contrary. This option is great for the ego, but there is a steep price for it in terms of credibility. Besides, why would White want to go down with a ship where he wasn't captain?
Option 3: Quietly drop the issue, but don't explicitly admit the thesis was bunk to your opponents. This is the most cowardly of the three options, although, I suppose, it is the most likely. While it may keep the alliance with Svendsen alive, credibility still takes a big hit because everyone knows what's going on.
So, the question is, Mr. White, which one will you choose? I guess time will tell. Here's a prediction. If you don't hear White commenting on this within the next few months, the likelihood is that he will default to Option #3. Next time the perpetual virginity of Mary comes up with James White, listen closely. You will be able to learn a lot about James White during this time.
Yours very truly,