Would you trust this news source?

by Richard on February 8, 2011

OneNewsNow claims to be a Christian news service.

Whether it’s a story about prayer in public schools, workplace restrictions on Christians, or battles for biblical truth within our denominations, the American Family News Network (AFN) is here to tell you what the newsmakers are saying.

AFN is a Christian news service - with more than 1,200 broadcast, print, and online affiliates in 45 states and 11 foreign countries - that exists to present the day’s stories from a biblical perspective. We not only feature the latest breaking stories from across the United States and around the world, but also news of the challenges facing Christians in today’s society.

At OneNewsNow.com, you will get your news from reporters you can trust to give the latest news without the liberal bias that characterizes so much of the “mainstream” media.

Many of us are looking anxiously at Egypt, praying for its people. We’ve been glad to see signs of hope emerging, such as images of Christians and Muslims protecting one another whilst at prayer. We shouldn’t be surprised by this, but somehow we have been. So how does this ‘Christian’ news source cover events in Egypt? Today’s headline made me despair: Coptic Christian: Muslims not to be trusted. Just how does the articles main message, that “No one should trust any Muslim” square with the Christian gospel that they are claiming to represent? But there’s more. Their US Coptic source is quoted as saying of Barack Obama, “Unfortunately I don’t trust this guy because I believe his background is not really clear for me — is he Christian or Muslim?”

Frankly, if the alternative to liberal bias is fear, lies and conspiracy theories, Christians would be better off getting their news with liberal bias.

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Kim 02.08.11 at 12:42 pm

I heard a Coptic Christian say the other day, “I’m a Coptic Christian, but I’m an Egyptian first.” While he’d feel very home with a lot of American Christianity, I sure hope he is not representative of his Church.

2

Earl 02.09.11 at 2:29 am

Thankfully there is a alternative to liberal bias not only in the reporting of news but many other areas of public life. That alternative is call the truth. Sometimes as in this instance, that truth is inconvenient. It would appear that Coptic Christians opinion of muslims is shaped by their actions and not their press releases. They are not alone in not knowing how to view the current president.

3

Richard 02.09.11 at 7:37 am

Earl - I don’t know where to start with this. You have a very strange idea about ‘truth’. You generalise from one Coptic Christian (a US citizen who hasn’t lived in Egypt for 20 years) to “Coptic Christians opinion of muslims”, though clearly that’s what this news service wants and expects. That’s not very truthful. In fact, it is deliberate, willful falsification. It’s lying. It continues to lie with it’s spreading of ludicrous gossip about Barack Obama’s religion. They, and you, should be ashamed.

4

Earl 02.09.11 at 10:45 pm

Glittering generalities fall off the tongues of politicians… and pundits. I make no generalization. I simply state that “it would appear that Coptic Christians opinion of muslims is shaped by their actions and not their press releases.” Inflated protest to the contrary not withstanding, reference to the opinion expressed of the current president’s less than clear background accurately reflects precisely what was stated.

5

Richard 02.09.11 at 11:04 pm

“it would appear that Coptic Christians opinion of muslims…” is as great a generalisation as any that I’ve ever heard. Your President’s background is only ‘less than clear’ to idiots an conspiracy theorists. His opponents, however, are neither of these. They cynically spread rumour and lies for political advantage, and I have to tell you that I won’t allow this blog to be used for that. I’m minded to simply delete any future references to such stuff.

6

Kim 02.09.11 at 11:21 pm

God, Earl, you really are an odious human being, and your comments of late have been quite chilling. Stupidity has never been censored on this blog; after all, DH is ubiquitous. But you’re really turning things evil. When it comes to the demonic, I reckon it it’s time to reconsider editorial policy. I wonder what other people think. It is, of course, Richard’s house, but ignorant guests are one thing, those who shit on the carpets are quite another.

7

Earl 02.09.11 at 11:44 pm

The current president promised a transparent administration. He has failed to keep that promise. As far as deleting comments… you will do as you please.

8

Paul F. 02.10.11 at 12:38 am

A few thoughts on this matter, Kim:

In the future, if we find someone expressing an opinion we think is vile, the best thing to do is refuse to respond, ignore it. A retort will only engender more comments of the kind. I would prefer this to blocking comments, although I find it difficult not to respond just because I disagree so strongly with what is being said.

A good example is this thread. What good will it do to go back and forth with Earl over things like a so-called “liberal bias” or the U.S.’s so-called “Muslim President”? He’s firmly entrenched in far-right ideology. Only prayer will woo him out. Responding will only mean more frustration on our part and zero enlightenment on his.

I propose that only bathroom stall wall-worthy stuff should be blocked. Stuff you wouldn’t say in front of your mother, I guess.

9

Richard 02.10.11 at 8:01 am

“…the best thing to do is refuse to respond”

I sort of agree, except that I’m not willing to leave some things unanswered.

10

PamBG 02.10.11 at 9:32 am

All I can say to the original post is that fear-mongering is certainly a violation of the commandment not to bear false witness against one’s neighbor. A commandment that very few people seem to take seriously, I guess because violating it doesn’t result in sexual misconduct or taxes (sex and taxes, of course, are far more harmful than stripping a person or a group of people of their dignity and rights by making them a target for hatred).

Fear-mongering breeds hatred between individuals and starts wars. If you are trying to take control of the hearts and minds of people, it also has the potential of being a very effective way of attracting followers and creating chaos all around oneself.

Why people cannot see that this anti-Muslim ethos is exactly the same as antisemitism is beyond me. Of course, people can then pat themselves on the back about not being racist because they don’t hate Jews. But hating Muslims is perfectly acceptable. (And I wonder how many people are going to read that paragraph as antisemitic because they don’t “get” that God is for all people and not just for some.)

11

Richard 02.10.11 at 9:44 am

Amen!

12

Kim 02.10.11 at 10:00 am

Good response, Pam BG. And you’re right about Islamophobia. Haters always need someone to hate, and Muslims have slotted in nicely now that, in the West, racist and anti-Jewish attitudes cannot be overtly expressed (while gays get the smarmy crap about “hating the sin but loving the sinner”). But it’s gotta make you sick when Christians are leading the charge. This phenomenon is one of the things I had in mind in my post “My personal Lord and Saviour”, as Christians who use this sort of unctuous discourse are often the biggest constructers of Others to thingify, demonise, and hate. Of course Jesus himself had some harsh words to say about Lordy-Lordy-talk when it doesn’t issue in living the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:21-23). And were he around today, the Good Samaritan would undoubtedly be the Good Muslim.

13

Tony Buglass 02.10.11 at 10:43 am

“The current president promised a transparent administration. He has failed to keep that promise.”

Well, I read somewhere that politics is the art of the possible. How ‘transparent’ can an administration actually be? What happens when the new president is in the hands of those who have run the establishment system for years? How many times has a new guy been told “Sorry, Mr President, it doesn’t quite work like that…”?

In the UK in the 197s and 1980s there was a wickedly funny series called “Yes, Minister” which became “Yes, Prime Minister” about the relationship between a hapless politician and his civil service staff, especially the wonderful Sir Humphrey Appleby. The visionary ideas of the politician were channelled, contained, and tamed by the machinery of the civil service - except that sometimes he managed to score the crucial point, and the fun continued. Apparently it was Mrs Thatcher’s favourite, because it was so true to life.

For Westminster, read Washington inside the Beltway. For Jim Hacker, read Barak Obama?

Either way, if I can accept George Bush Jnr as a Christian (despite his rightwing interpretations of the faith), I can accept Obama as a Christian. I have much more difficulty with Christians who deny the faith of other Christians because they disagree with how they interpret that faith. So you’re not prepared to accept Obama as a Christian because he doesn’t ‘walk the walk’? Who says? Who made you judge over him? And since when did you walk the walk so closely that nobody can question your interpretation of the faith?

It will be 40 years this November 6th since I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, and 38 years tomorrow since I was filled with the Spirit. I have sought to answer God’s call and walk with him ever since - but I wouldn’t dare set myself up as the example of the ‘one who got it right’ in contradiction to ‘that one who got it wrong’. Neither should you.

14

Wood 02.11.11 at 3:05 pm

Kim “But you’re really turning things evil. When it comes to the demonic, I reckon it it’s time to reconsider editorial policy. I wonder what other people think. It is, of course, Richard’s house, but ignorant guests are one thing, those who shit on the carpets are quite another.

Kim’s right.

There’s been a tipping point recently where Earl and Doug in particular (the M******* P******* - I dare not say his name lest we be revisited - and his flock have been quiet recently) have ended up posting more words on this blog than Richard and Kim. And more than that, when people engage with them, they, especially Earl, do not. They just post more.

There has to be a point when giving a poster a platform — particularly when we see the actual anti-Christian, anti-Bible, anti-truth, grass-is-pink, Mammon-is-God, guns-are-good, outright work-of-the-adversary evil Earl has been posting recently — is detrimental to the site.

I’m going to confess. I’ve counted Kim and Richard as real face-to-face friends for over a decade and sometimes I can’t even bear to read this site sometimes for the crap posted all over it.

I mean, Doug/DH is bad enough - I mean, the man’s basically an unrepentant illiterate - but at least you can scroll past everything he writes and know for a fact you haven’t missed anything of substance or worth. But Earl… no.

There’s a rich, well-funded world out there on the internet full of insane heretics like him. World Nut Daily. Fox News. Any number of sites like that. Progressive voices in Christianity are, whatever the conspiracy theorists say, the minority. We do not need the lackeys of Mammon on this site.

Please, Richard. We’re not talking about arbitrary banning here. We’re talking about something damaging to the site and damaging to the site’s Christian witness.

These people are not engaging. They are not supplying anything other than a shout that drowns out the voice of actual good people. it’s like they’re sticking their fingers in their ears and going “la, la, la, I can’t hear you,” only they’re

Richard’s stance on free speech is admirable and noble and I couldn’t do it - in the days when I put rants and discussion on my blog, comments from idiots like unto DH and Earl (at least one comment from DH, actually) never got past the queue. But like all good and noble things, it can be abused by bad people. And it is being abused.

Yes, it’s going to be a horrible decision to make, but the site’s witness is being compromised. We can pray for Earl’s conversion from heresy, but the fact is, allowing him a platform helps no one.

This applies to a lesser extent Doug, whose arrant, aggressive incompetence derails discussion, kills threads or sends them on tangents - I mean, for crying out loud, a joke thread suddenly gets a pile of pig-latin dumped on it, surely the equivalent of some braying American fratboy wandering over while you’re having a pleasant conversation about film and killing it stone dead by yelling, “hey guys, are you talking about films? Isn’t American Pie awesome?”

And back to the worse of the two, I mean, why is Earl here? The man keeps coming back - have you ever wondered why that is? He’s not actually interested in reading this stuff for any intention of engaging. That much is clear. At the very best, he wants to convert “the unbeliever” to his twisted, blackened brimstone-redolent version of “the truth”. Even that sort of proselytising is unacceptable.

But it could be so much worse. Because I have a horrible feeling that he’s actually only here to make people go away, and to stifle discussion and drive the “heretics” off the net, so we have no voice at all.

Conservative voices are and should be welcome here. But these people are abusing this site. They’re defecating all over the carpet.

15

Richard 02.11.11 at 4:02 pm

You’ve raised some important questions here, Wood. But for now I’d like to keep my own counsel. How do others respond to what Wood has said? Discussion on this thread from now should be considered under ‘Quaker rules’: you get one comment, then you have to give others chance to have their say before you come back in. Keep it concise — and civil.

16

Bob Gilston 02.11.11 at 5:12 pm

I am absolutely new to blogging. I could never understand the point of it until I met Richard and and was introduced to his blog. I find it absolutely fascinating.

All I would say, is that if it wasn’t for the fact that I have had the opportunity to read Doug and Earl’s posts alongside of everyone else’s posts, I would not have been able to clarify in my mind what it is I actually believe. I have learnt so much about what is unacceptable (in my view) about extreme evangelical Christianity that makes me feel that Richard should give future readers of the blog (who like myself are new to blogging) the opportunity to decide for themselves what they believe. By all means Richard block what you find to be unacceptable but beware the problem of censorship.

17

Tony Buglass 02.11.11 at 9:45 pm

Sorry, Wood, but I disagree - Earl and Doug have every right to come here and share their ideas with us. They might not appear to you to be learning anything from us (who knows?) and we (some of us) might be reluctant to accept what they offer. But the conversation is important, not least because it is a blog and accessible to readers all over the world who might follow a link or drop in and read without any of us knowing they’re around. When we engage for the n-th time with some aspect of biblical teaching or theological interpretation which Doug or Earl has repeated, it is worth it for what somebody else might take away. It has been commented in the past that I have been extremely patient in explaining yet again stuff which Doug has apparently not got right - fine, I do it not just for Doug and the regulars here, but for the sake of the truth, and anyone who happens to pass by and read it.

Censorship sounds wrong to me, especially in a conversation between Christians. Speaking personally, I would be very happy to share communion with Pam, Richard, Kim, Earl, Doug, and all the rest of the folk who’ve shared in these conversations - whatever things divide us, that which unites us us greater. Yes, I get a bit cross with some of the things Earl and Doug come out with (I probably have the same effect on them) but I wouldn’t get cross if I didn’t care. And I do.

Some 40 years ago, in the conversations between Latin American liberationists and European theologians, the Latin Americans felt that the Europeans were simply not able to grasp where they were coming from because the two sides had utterly different assumptions. One of them warned “Incommunication is about to occur.” Wonderful word, typical of the type of jargon which typified all the liberation theology I’ve ever read! The phrase has stuck with me, as something to be avoided at all costs. I’d hate censorship of a blog to be a direct cause of ‘incommunication’. Don’t build the walls any higher, please.

18

Mendip Nomad 02.11.11 at 10:39 pm

Tony, I can’t tell whether your comment on liberation theology is somewhat, I don’t know, not “mocking”, that’s too strong, maybe tongue-in-cheek might do? Liberation theology, especially when placed in its Latin American context, is one of the most important and significant theological developments within Catholic theology of the 20th Century - and one for which Catholics, lay and clergy, as well as those of other denominations, have died - Archbishop Romero for one. Forgive me if I read something into your comment that was never there - blog comments can be so easily miss-read :(
All that said, I am entirely in agreement with you over the censorship issue. However much we may disagree, the willingness to converse is vital. If we are to reflect Christ in our lives we cannot ever remove the opportunity of conversation with those of a vastly differing view than ourselves - that’s what the religious and state authorities did to Jesus when they put him on a cross!
Wood - if you genuinely believe the views of Earl, and maybe Doug, to be evil then shutting them out is the worst thing you could do - you will simply confirm them in their attitudes. Ghandi, King, Mandela, Tutu - none of them ever removed the offer of conversation with their oppressors from the table of possibilities. God through Christ never removes the opportunity from us of our redemption - the opportunity is always there.
Richard, as you can tell, I’m with Tony (whom I hope you might permit to respond to my comment in the first paragraph without breaching the Quaker rules, I would hate to have misunderstood him and not have him able to correct me). Censorship is a bad idea in the free exchange of thought and should be avoided if at all possible.

19

Kim 02.12.11 at 12:29 am

The problem is that Doug and Earl threaten to turn Connexions into Beck-land. The question is not whether or not they can be redeemed (of course they can), or whether or not they should be free to talk shite (of course they should), but, blog-specific, whether or not their views are so toxic that they are poisoning the conversation here, deterring some folk from joining it here, and putting others off visiting this site altogether because they take a look but then go away because they consider it either pernicious or potty. If this is the case, does Richard have an obligation to give Doug and Earl a platform?

Doug is the village idiot of Connexions. He can’t read, spell or write and his thinking (sic) is usually so incoherent as to be risible. But if Doug is the monkey (showing its ass), Earl is the organ grinder, and his tunes don’t make you laugh, they make you sick. And his ability to string notes together, albeit in an excruciatingly monotonous style (he calls it vanilla, but it makes vanilla taste like a forty-flavour sundae extravaganza), to make maladies - I mean melodies - so chilling they’d bring a morning frost to hell - it gives his tunes a menace lacking in Doug’s pathetic cacophany. Does Richard have an obligation to give the purveyors of propaganda, distortions, lies, and even hate a platform? And not now and again but on a regular basis, such that they colonise the blog?

I too am hard-wired against censorship. But, again, I’m not sure that is quite the question here. I don’t think it’s the least illiberal for someone to say that if you want to shit in your house, fine, but not in mine. Or, at least, to say, “Only so much crap!” Given some of Earl’s more recent malodorous comments, I would certainly understand it if Richard thought it would take more than a pooper-scooper to stop the fouling. And I would also understand it if he thought otherwise.

20

PamBG 02.12.11 at 1:06 am

I don’t believe in censorship and I’m not sure what it would accomplish.

Doug’s views seem pretty much like many of the Christians I grew up with and represent everything that I think is wrong with American evangelical Christianity (the fact that it’s not actually Christianity at all but a cultic system designed to create scapegoats). There have been times when I have seriously wondered if he was a Strawman set up by some Progressive Christian somewhere. And one thing I’ll give him is that he seems to be quite pleasant.

As to Earl, I’ll bet if I claimed that there are a lot of folk in the US like him and he were not around, you all would accuse me of hyperbole and fear-mongering in the opposite direction. Welcome to my childhood.

If we decide to engage with them, is it not worth it for the people who have got fed up with this brand of pseudo-Christianity and are thinking of rejecting Christ altogether because of the corruption of his disciples? (I speak of how I feel at least once a week if not more.)

21

PamBG 02.12.11 at 1:08 am

I’d be gobsmacked if Tony had a mocking attitude toward liberation theology, but I’ll let him speak for himself.

22

Bene D 02.12.11 at 4:45 am

Hmmm Wood - I can identify. As a writer, it is apparent you are galled when DH mangles the English language, and goes on and on and on; and when Earl spouts his hateful American exceptionalism and goes on and on and on…

I think you care very deeply for community, for give and take, for learning and growing, and I get the frustration of running into such ignorance and obtuseness. They derail a lot eh?

Like you I have no room for pity.
I told DH to F*** o**once and I meant it. I phoned Richard and spit for an hour. I wanted DH gone. That phone call cost me 50 bucks, and as nice as it was to connect with a friend, I realized when the bill came in that DH was not worth it. That was an expensive lesson.:^)

At least David Hallam is up front. He has been very clear he has no respect for Richard. He has no use for Kim or I, and I left this blog because of him. Hallam knows what he is and what he is doing and that makes him dangerous.
Richard has the sense to understand David can push his buttons and it is wise for him not to engage him.
That is where the community is powerful and healthy. What Richard cannot and should not do, regular readers and commenters can. And you do. And I learn.

I have learned it is wise for me not to engage DH or Earl, I’m not going to lie, I’m sensitive to the abusive language they spew.

Earl takes himself terribly seriously - he thinks we care that he sees Republicans seated next to God, and he tries impresses us with hyperbole, verbosity, certainty and his silly defense of -and identification with - the US religious right. He actually thinks the rest of us care about his ideas about liberals or Obama or his ‘worldview. ‘

He is a baby in the wider world of connexions and too babyish to know he is - we come from places I doubt he could find on a map, and he is not the centre of the universe.

He cannot match your word skills Wood, or Richards wisdom or Kims intellect, or Tonys patience. He can’t stand with dignity beside Pam BG, and Pam.

Like Pam BG, I’ve wondered if DH and Earl are here to destroy. Like Pam BG I’ve met enough Earls and DH’s in the US to know they are real, relentless, self-absorbed and aren’t going away.
Unlike some here, I don’t hold out any hope any sense will penetrate and I do share the expressed concern they will wound more sensitive souls.

Their little world is more often than not incredibly toxic and of course it does spill over into connexions. To deny that is to be as thick as they are.

Would connexions be poorer without them?
Would connexions be more ethical?
Would connexions be safer?
Do some people bring evil to this place sometimes?
Sometimes, yes, and the question isn’t about free speech to me, it’s about how to face that evil.

Bless your heart for speaking up Wood, thanks for your Quakerness Richard.

23

Tim 02.12.11 at 9:57 am

The main problem with Earl and Doug is that their comments are so boringly predictable. We already know what they think about the subjects they are interested in, and whenever a post touches on those subjects (and sometimes when it doesn’t), out comes the same line. Those of you who have been around here for a while have refuted those arguments plenty of times, but the same points are reiterated again and again.

Richard says ‘I’m not willing to leave some things unanswered’, but the problem is that every answer generates another answer, and so the argument goes on, ad infinitum. At what point do you say, ‘Guys, I’ve already said everything I have to say on that subject, and my point of view seems to me to be true. You obviously don’t agree, and I’m obviously not going to convince you, so why don’t we leave it at that?’

I really don’t know why Earl and Doug keep coming and arguing here, when they know their views are so much in conflict with the general philosophy of this blog. I tell you what - I sometimes post comments on a couple of blogs where the ‘philosophy’ of the blog is different from mine. But once I’ve made my view clear a couple of times, I don’t feel I have to reiterate it every time the blog owner(s) post something I disagree with. I’m a guest there, so I accept the fact that the prevailing view is different from mine, and either find a way of dealing with that, or move on.

As for censorship, I don’t see it that way. I know of some blogs where you can’t post anonymously or under a pseudonym. If you do, you get deleted. Those are the rules of the house, and the blog owner has every right to impose rules. It’s his house. Richard invites us into his living room for regular conversation parties (called ‘blog posts’). He’s even gracious enough to welcome guests who disagree with him, because stimulating conversation includes disagreement. But no one can take their welcome for granted (I certainly don’t). It’s Richard’s house, and we’re here as his guests. If we repeatedly choose to act without consideration toward the owner and the other guests, the owner has every right to withdraw out welcome.

I have to say, though, that in the end I agree with Paul F. about ‘just not responding’, which is why I have given up the completely pointless practice of arguing with Earl and Doug.

24

Tony Buglass 02.12.11 at 10:03 am

Nomad, if I was mocking liberation theology it was only for the jargon in which most of the stuff I read was expressed. Some of it was truly impenetrable - nearly as bad as stuff translated from theological German; I could never work out which was worse, the English or the original German!

I agree with you about the true nature of liberation theology - I have the deepest admiration for the theologians, who were practitioners rather than theorists. They got stuck in, got their hands dirty, put their lives on the line, and then reflected on what that said about the Kingdom. I have found that a helpful component in my own theological learning.

Hope that clarifies the confusion!

25

tortoise 02.12.11 at 11:36 am

As disheartening as I find the views of certain commentors on this blog, and other blogs, I would be more disheartened to know that their comments were being suppressed. Connexions quite properly includes a disclaimer that the opinions expressed are those of the individuals concerned; rightly understood, this does more than distinguish between blogged view and denominational policy: it declares the door open to comments that stray very far from the host’s own views or party line.

I guess that many of us will be familiar with one of the criticisms of a postmodern tolerance-based communal ethic: how do you deal with the individuals whose expressed views are adjudged to be intolerant? All too often I’ve encountered situations where such folk, even when expressing themselves in a considered or tentative tone, are immediately jumped upon, vilified and demonised. The perceived scapegoaters become the scapegoats. And that’s not good.

I would also want to express some discomfort at the way this thread is going. Wood raised a legitimate issue; Richard invited views; but many of the responses are very close to the ad hominem line, if not over it. And that’s not good either.

26

Mendip Nomad 02.12.11 at 12:18 pm

Tony, thanks for the clarification. Based on your comments elsewhere I thought that would be the most likely scenario but thought I’d best check - I’m currently having to read some liberation theology for an essay on economic ethics for my Christian Ethics class and can concur with your view on some of the language :)

27

Paul F. 02.12.11 at 2:23 pm

I don’t want to offer any more thoughts on whether or not Richard should censor/delete. I just want to point out two things:

1) Doug and Earl frequently comment on this blog even though they disagree with the vast majority of what is expressed here. That’s impressive, and it’s not something I would do if I were in their shoes. I don’t visit or read any blogs grounded in conservative theology or politics, much less post comments on them on a regular basis. You may despise their viewpoints, but at least respect their decision to constantly expose themselves to our views and criticisms (even if there’s a supposed agenda on their part to eradicate liberalism).

2) Closely related to #1: as unbearable as Doug and Earl can be, Christians calling Christians –or anyone else for that matter — “idiots”, “illiterates” and “morons” is unacceptable. I’m not saying it’s easy, but in such instances one must learn to control their tongue…er, keyboard. A good rule of thumb (yes, I know you’ve all been doing this much longer than I have, but just a reminder) is don’t say anything about someone online you wouldn’t say to them in person.

28

PamBG 02.12.11 at 4:17 pm

@Paul F.

Re your point number 1), you have a point. What I find fascinating, however, is what they hope to achieve. I hold the view that I hold largely because I grew up with people who held the views that they do and I saw how destructive the views were to those individuals’ own lives and I saw how I believed they were destructive to society as well. Yet, they seem to hold different variations of the opinion that if they just repeat their points of view over and over, we will finally see sense. It’s boring but it also strengthens me in my radicalism.

Re your point number 2), my bet is that there is no one here who regularly uses language that they wouldn’t use in person. I can’t speak for everyone, of course, it’s just a hunch.

29

fat prophet 02.12.11 at 7:22 pm

I do have a degree of sympathy with what Wood is saying about doug (aka DH) in particular because there have been a couple of occasions in the past when I have commented in response to something he has said and then been verbally savaged by him. I would have to add that I understand what he is saying about Earl as well. We perhaps need to bear in mind that there are probably a number of significant differences between them and many of the people who comment here. I am tempted to think one of the major things is the outlook of people here and in America - culture is very different it seems and while I would not wish to insult anyone there may be a little bit of Red Neck in some of the comments made here (not always from America though)
I would not like to see censorship creep in to any blog but would plead for some semblance of gentlemanly behaviour in the way that we communicate with each other via our posts and comments.
I see nothing wrong with robust conversation and debate but as we all know there have been times when things have descended into the sort of behaviour we experienced in the playground (schoolyard).
Perhaps we need to take the advise of the writer of Ecclesiastes who said ‘There is a time for everything, ‘ (Eccl 3 v 1) and adopt there is a time to speak and a time to be quiet, a time to write and a time not to write as our maxim, especially when dealing with views and comments where we know the writers appear not to read let alone understand what others have written.

30

Wood 02.14.11 at 2:13 pm

I have had my say, but I shoulddefend myself in this: I am not always proud of this, but I never post anything online that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face.

In some quarters I have a reputation for being intimidating, fierce and arrogant.

Can’t think why.

31

Kim 02.14.11 at 3:27 pm

Our Lord couldn’t think why either. ;)

32

Wood 02.14.11 at 4:00 pm

Are you really comparing me to Jesus?

33

Kim 02.14.11 at 7:12 pm

Just in being an awkward bastard!

34

Doug 02.14.11 at 9:57 pm

I’m really finding it disheartening to here all of this “attack”. It seems that just about the time that I think things are getting better between all of us on this blog, people are thinking of myself as being “hostile, etc., etc. I never think any “ill-will” toward anyone on this site.

What I find interesting is that I never ever once before posted anything on this particular thread but yet people feel the need to make a comment towards me on this one. I understand making a comment on a thread where I make a response but here? That seems kind of a form of gossip to me.

I have the upmost respect for many on this blog: Tony, Richard, Tim, Paul F., Mendip, Bob and obvsiouly Earl. Others I thoughtwas going great but seem to be surprisingly going “down hill” are PamBG, Kim (I never mean to be harsh, ill-will, etc. Why take my responses as such when the attitude is not even though it is from an opposing viewpoint?)

“In some quarters I have a reputation for being intimidating, fierce and arrogant. Can’t think why.”

Wood, maybe YOU need to stop the hostility toward Earl and myself?

35

Wood 02.15.11 at 9:14 am

Earl — who may not be himself evil — has been posting things that are. You — who may not be stupid — have posted vast amounts of things that are.

You want me to stand back and applaud?

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