Less than two weeks ago, Dr. Ergun and Jill Caner laid their precious fifteen year old Braxton to rest. Attending the memorial was both excruciating and liberating. Families frequently grieve perhaps more excessively when the one passing on is a young child.
Over the past two weeks, many have showed their love and support for Dr. Caner and his family, some showing support by flowers and cards, others giving a gift to a memorial fund set up in Braxton Paige Caner's name, and still others silently but effectively lifting up the Caner family before the Lord.
Only last Sunday did one of the Caner family's chief critics, JD Hall, give a confessional to his Montana church where he serves as pastor, a confessional admitting he sinned in engaging the late Braxton Caner in a Twitter feed and vowed to give up a muckraking campaign against the Caners. Hall becomes the first cyber-critic to publicly vow to stop harassing the Caner family. Baptist Press contacted me inquiring about a possible statement concerning Hall's actions, a statement they graciously quoted in full. We clearly stated our gratitude for Hall's commitment to cease his attacks on the Caner family and had hoped his contrition would lead to more cyber-stalkers ceasing their horrid hounding and harassing of the Caners.
Our hopes were crushed today however.
The Caners' supreme internet critic relaunched his social media abuse campaign against Ergun Caner and his family on Twitter. As part of an exchange with @DefendtheSheep, White tweeted the following words:
Here is my question for every person who says to me, "Hey, just let it go." OK, what does that look like? As I… http://twishort.com/kbfgc
My response to James White followed a bit later:
And here's my response to James White's ridiculous reasoning as to why he intends to keep the fires burning again… http://twishort.com/kxfgc
I could not believe James White was once again attacking the Ergun Caner family. Barely two weeks has passed since Ergun and Jill said their final goodbyes to their son, and wouldn't see him again until Heaven. Even so, White relaunches his grizzly campaign against the Caners. It near took my breath away.
But the horror didn't stop there. White responded to me in an extended tweet employing classic, James White you-sir-are-a-liar rhetoric:
In this piece, White becomes perhaps the most cynical and relentless in his charges against the Caners than he has ever been. My mouth is dropping as I'm reading the page while at the same time my heart is thumping faster and faster. This attack-screed is the mother of all attack-screeds by James White. And, more significantly, White's moral screed against the Caners comes at the most horrifying time, a time White suggests by his own words when the Caners are still in shock over the death of their son.
White uses the same accusatory, condemning rhetoric he's used for years against Caner. However, one statement White made tore my insides to shreds. Read carefully the following words:
Peter Lumpkins needs to shut up. Turn off the attack machine. The period of shock will wear off soon. Real grieving does not begin its process for a number of weeks, and reaches a real crescendo three, four months down the road. And in complicated situations, it might take even longer (embolden added)
Below was my response to White's moral lapse.
@DrOakley1689 Mr. White, you may think of me as you wish. I am who I am. On the other hand, for you to begin once again bashing the Ergun Caner family two weeks after they laid their 15 year old son to rest remains grossly irresponsible and morally reprehensible. Consider your own words you just penned as you spoke of their grieving process:
"The period of shock will wear off soon. *Real grieving does not begin its process for a number of weeks,* and reaches a real crescendo *three, four months* down the road. And in complicated situations, it *might take even longer.*"
If you're aware of the horrifying hurt the Caners are experiencing now...knowing that they haven't even gone beyond the "shock" stage according to your own estimation, with the "real grieving" coming literally months out, or "even longer"... but then you, sir, have the insensitive nerve to morally brow-beat the Caner family yet once again with your provocative rhetoric either implying or explicitly stating that Ergun is a liar, a charlatan, a fake, a disgrace to Christian ministry, all the while knowing they are in shock after the tragic death of their son and need months or longer to heal, what is the Christian community to think of this? What?
Dear Lord Jesus, have we come to the place where we intentionally heap upon emotionally distraught people, people whom we know are in shock over the loss of a young son, a catalog of perceived sins we think they've committed and we demand they repent of so we can be perceived as "standing against" sin?
If this is your Christianity, James, I assure you it's not mine. I want no part of it. You and all those who follow you can have it. I'd rather make my bed and sleep with those you call fakes and liars than to be a part of a community that is so hate-filled, mean-spirited, and quite frankly, ugly as what's portrayed there now. It near steals my breath away to read the moral assaults against them so soon.
If I could block not only Ergun from reading your sorry, lowdown words, but also Jill and Drake from reading such self-righteous bigotry against them while they're thinking solely of their son and brother, I'd literally do anything to make sure they didn't see this. Alas, the internet remains unforgiving.
I will pray for you James. And I hope under God neither your wife nor your daughter nor little granddaughter will ever have to wade through such degrading assaults as you have viciously piled upon the Caner family, especially in their most vulnerable time.
Come Lord Jesus.
My dear brothers and sisters, it's time to put a complete end to internet harassment by people like James White. He intentionally piled on one grievous insult and attack after another upon a family he explicitly admitted were not even in the grieving stage yet, a stage of grief by his own estimation could be three or four months or "even longer." Yet just weeks into the memorial of their teen, James White emotionally, spiritually, and morally trashes this family. As Wesley said in another context concerning love, if this is love, is not this such love as makes your blood run cold?
Therefore, contrary to James White's suggestion that I need to "shut up," I have no intention of being silent while he and/or his bully-bred followers continue harassing people on the internet.