I have tried my hardest to stop engaging the zealots as there is no use in doing so. I still do it from time to time, but I end up hating myself as a result and promising that I will never do so again. And I do, but those occasions are becoming fewer as I better understand the beast.
Occasionally I will write a blog entry that shines light on the zealot-of-the-minute’s awe-inspiring stupidity. I shine said light with the same intention with which one who observes a car accident—one who actually looks into it and acknowledges the horror—says aloud what all other reasonable observers are thinking. This carnage is senseless and horrible. They already know it and it doesn’t need to be said, but the observer says so anyway as a means of connecting with the others who are witnessing the same. Because sometimes it just feels good to know that you are not the only other person who finds it upsetting, and sometimes you need to say it out loud just to get that acknowledgement out of your body.
I do not shine the light as a means engagement because the zealot does not consider thoughtful debate to be a noble thing. Regardless of point of view, the zealot cares only about winning and as such should never be engaged in a meaningful fashion. To do so is to waste your time and to make a habit of engaging the beast is to make a habit of feeding it.
Photo Credit: Screen grab from Big Trouble in Little China