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Monday, February 9, 2015

Pulling Punches

As I said before, Greg at Cathinfo was banned.  I suppose Greg's style was proving too much for Matt, and so he was shown the door.  Okay, that is fine.  In another development, Matthew told me that he would also ban people based on what they might say outside of the Cathinfo forum.  To this, I say, that is also fine.  It's within Matt's right to do what he wants with his forum.

Consistent and Masculine

Going a little further, though, it can also be said that Cathinfo has always been a straight up no-nonsense forum that is consistent.  Matt does what Matt wants.  I have yet to see Matt renege on some sort of overriding principle or make a hypocritical statement.  There has been no contrary behavior on the part of Cathinfo's owner.  For the most part, that forum has been reliably steady, which is why people tended to be attracted to it in the beginning of Fisheater's troubles.  

Te Deum, also, has proven to be a place of consistency.  To date, Te Deum is not a forum of wild policies.  It is run in a sober and straightforward manner, and after reading the rules and a few posts, it is easy to know what to expect from moderators.  I have a clear idea of what is tolerated on the Te Deum forum, and this firm manner of running the forum is quite honest, and they do not pull any punches. 

Consistent and Masculine

I would even go so far as to say that the latter two forums are run in a very mature and even masculine fashion.  I really do not get the impression that either Cathinfo or Te Deum are run by emotional children.  

Yet, the latest imbroglio over at The Echo Chamber has had me in stitches.  It seems that there is a thread in which an agenda-driven poster there (Scrappy) as well as Jayne have been rambling on and qualifying their seemingly veiled support for homosexuality.  It was an emotional thread that was moderated in an emotional fashion, stretching over 24 pages. 

Greg blew up in typical Greg fashion, which I enjoyed reading.  He called out Jayne, but then was castigated for daring to remind everyone about what kind of forum poster she was.  I truly hope that Greg will not be banished from there, as ostracization is a rather crude method of punishment from people to claim to be high-minded.  

In any event, Penelope the moderator came on the last page, declaring that emotions had "been running high."  She reminded everyone that they are all Catholics there, and that it should be assumed "that we are all doing our best to work out our salvation as we go through life."

How sweet.  

After that, the moderator, Penelope, condemned the fact that people continue to bring up events that transpired at Fisheaters.  But I will simply state that this happens because Suscipe Domine became the default location for all of the sensible Fisheaters who made an exodus out of the Fisheaters forum.  So...of course you will have people mentioning their former online home.  

So, according to SD moderators, a decent Catholic forum is to block discussion about other forums--except Catholic Answers Forum?  CAF is okay, I guess, since it's just so radically liberal and different from "true" Traditionalists.  Right?  How silly.  

The posters at SD clearly want something different from what goes on at FE or CAF, and yet, the posters are hypocritically prevented from talking about those two forums.  One would think that discussion of goings-on at other Catholic sites would be completely relevant for the perennial discussions of Traditional Catholics.

Yet, the constant micro-managing by SD moderators demonstrates an ignorance of these facts.  The members of The Echo Chamber are treated like children, and the safest way to remain on board is to have polite little namby-pamby discussions and digital high-fives.  Indeed, the safest way to remain in any echo chamber of any kind is to simply restate trite non-confrontational things over and over, and shirk from every single challenge that presents itself.

As a connoisseur of online Catholic forums, I would like to reiterate just how much I am bored with cutesy little exchanges that are filled with compliments and smiley-filled reinforcement chats.  My brain works at higher levels than that.  My IQ is higher than 80.  A hearty steak of conversation is what people always seem to be looking for, and for such talk you only need look for a thread that lasts beyond 30 pages.  Why would a team of moderators exit their clown car to stop such a thing?

A clear psychoanalysis of the SD forum is obviously craved by more than just yours truly.  The writing on the wall about Jayne's behavior (behavior which helped in getting me banned) is becoming more obvious to all, and moderator tolerance of such behavior is frustrating the proletariat.  Again, consider what Greg has said about the recent mess in The Echo Chamber:

Are we allowed to bring up people's posting history from any other place on the Internet? What about Cathinfo, or the Thinking Athiest?
Consider what would have happened in the pre-Internet Trad world, known as the "tea-room" had you expressed an opinion after Assisi, that John Paul II was only "smelling the leather" on the Koran. Had you tried to defend JP2's other heterodox actions as innocent after that you would have been shot down in flames and your stupidity, gullibility or downright dishonesty over him "smelling the leather" would have been brought up.
You would have been reminded of your stupidity and mocked for at least another decade and this is a good thing, because it forces fools to shut up on topics they've shown ill-will or profound ignorance on. If they are of good will and humble then they will realise how stupid they have been on that issue and shut up about it in future, understanding that their opinion was so profoundly in error before that their credibility has been torn to pieces for a long time to come.

Someone who can square Transexualism and Traditional Catholicism is either an incredible ignoramus or they are deliberately trolling and they enjoy causing controversy in order to get their intellectual rocks off. Perverse and contrary. My informed opinion over 5 years of watching Jayne post is that she is the latter. Perhaps she has some loose wires and does not realize she is doing it, but she is doing it and many posters recognize it.

As usual, Greg talks common sense and throws it out there plain as day.  His entire post is great, actually, and I'm seriously considering posting it all for posterity.  

Unfortunately, confrontation with actual issues boggles the minds of Echo Chamber moderators.  Indeed, if SD cannot handle discussions about evangelizing atheists, how can they possibly stomach a few of their own members who start to question the forum policies?  And so, Greg was summarily banned along with Jayne for three whole days.  This once more reveals the hypocritical behavior of The Echo Chamber.  

Why is The Echo Chamber hypocritical in banning Greg for three days?  Because just last October, Greg was already banned, and he was warned one last time that if there was any kind of rough talk, and he would be banned permanently.  So, with this weekend's three-day ban, The Echo Chamber has reneged on their threat to Greg and only banned him for three days.  And a look inside the "Banned Members and Reasons" thread will show that Jayne, also, has been banned a bit more than your average SD member.    

These two repeat offenders, Greg and Jayne, have been given a good couple of chances.  Meanwhile, I'm-not-Catholic Scrappy--who clearly has an agenda on the forum--has not been banned at all.  I am not even aware that Scrappy has been warned.  This is two-faced and capricious behavior on the part of Suscipe Domine.  Clearly, agenda-driven posting is allowed, and clearly there's plenty of emotionalism for everybody.  What contradictory action!  Suscipe Domine is an emotional forum run emotionally.    

And yet, I was the one singled out for all of the above.

Suscipe Domine: where talk of evangelizing atheists will not be tolerated.

This was all completely predictable as recently as a year ago.  After a series of bannings for the most trivial of actions, it became clear to me that Suscipe Domine moderators are highly interested in cherry picking only those members who build up their own hubris.  And in that regard, The Echo Chamber is not much different from Catholic Answers Forum.

If you are wanting milquetoast conversation and a moderating team that is easily intimidated--and you want to go someplace besides CAF or a Mark Shea blog, you people know where to go.    


*The "emotional" 24-page thread on Suscipe Domine has since been shut down.  Yours truly, however, heartily encourages confrontation and dust-ups, as that's the only real way to work out ideas.  I therefore invite everyone who is still interested in continuing that conversation to my humble patio.  Here, in my arena, you have the freedom to pull out your stilettos and have at it to your heart's content.  That's one of the reasons why The Hirsch Files is here.  It is for you, my fellow exiles, to come and catch your breath.

You say that error has no rights?  Then step right up, duke it out, and put a knife through the heart of error, if you have the fortitude.


  1. When Greg was warned last time it concerned matters of doctrine. He was told he would face a permaban if he posted any further heterodox comments. Nothing of that sort was involved this time. This was a far less serious matter of publicly objecting to moderation policies rather than contacting the mods privately. It would be silly to permanently ban a valuable poster like Greg over such a relatively trivial matter.

    My own temp ban concerned something serious enough to merit a harsher penalty, but I suspect they showed mercy because my poor formation, religious education, and past sins have left me limited in my ability to have a correct understanding on the subject of homosexuality. While they would be justified in permanently banning me, by merely forbidding me to post opinions or debate this subject, they stop me from spreading error while giving me an opportunity to receive instruction and correction. I am grateful that they are showing so much concern for my soul.

  2. I am not sure how clear that was, so I want to add some things. When I read this thread you are discussing, it seems to me that everything I have written is compatible with traditional Catholic teaching. I am unable to see what is wrong with my posts. I would not deliberately contradict Church teaching.

    Further down in Greg's post than the section you quoted, he made the point that my past actions as a homosexualist activist (gay parades, etc.) mean that I am unable to reliably understand Church teaching in this area. I think he is right. It is a basic spiritual principle that sin darkens the intellect. It makes sense that it would affect me this way. This explains why people are being scandalized even though I am genuinely unaware of saying anything opposed to Church teaching. Greg is absolutely right that I should not be giving my opinions on this topic. He had me convinced even before the moderators gave me no choice in the matter.

    Others must have told me this before, but this time I was open to hear it. I am grateful to Greg for getting through to me and to the moderators for reinforcing his words.

  3. Jayne, you were banned for putting forth "views on homosexuality [which] cause scandal and are incompatable [sic] with the traditional teachings of the Church." So why did you receive a ban but Sojourn did not? You both shared the exact same position. That's what I can't figure out. Your ban seems unfair and arbitrary. Sojourn and Scrappy made posts that were substantially no different from yours. If you're grateful to the mods for showing "so much concern for your soul," don't you think they should be concerned for Sojourn and Scrappy's souls, too? You seem to be in one of your masochistic "I deserved it" moods, but try to see the forest for the trees.

    Greg's ban made even less sense. I guess if Pope Francis, who is already on Twitter, signs in to Fish Eaters and posts a heresy there, it'll be off-limits for discussion on SD.

  4. The reason for Greg's ban was clear to me. He ignored a moderator instruction which they are quite consistent about. Fr. Cekada even received a tempban for that.

    I suspect the reason I received a ban and not other people who wrote similar things has something to do with my history. I am sure they had a good reason.