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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Neither Fish Nor Fowl, Part 1 of 4

I have a mess to mop up. The first part of cleaning up this mess is explaining what happened in the week after Tracy gave me the boot.

As it is already known, I originally thought that that Tracy banned me from Fisheaters because I quoted from the Book of Romans.

In the thread titled: Article: Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage, Tracy said the following:
“I disagree and think that Love is Love, and that the true emotional (non-sexualized) feelings of homosexuals for each other shouldn't be diminished or scorned (or sexualized when they don't need to be).”
I retorted:
“I disagree and think that what people are calling love is a shameful and vile affection."
After that post, I was banned. I thought that I was banned because of what I said about "gay love." But I was informed by Tracy herself that I was wrong. The actual reason that Tracy banned me was because she disagreed with me in the "Take Back the Net" subforum.

However, had my original perception been true, getting banned from Fisheaters was important and noteworthy to the community--this blog, at least--for three reasons.

#1. Those following me at Fisheaters would have wanted to know where I went and why. I was trying to give them an explanation.

#2. It was news in Laramie Hirsch World. This blog is just an extention--a home base of operations--for my online participation. Getting banned from Fisheaters after 6-7 years is definitely noteworthy enough to state for the record.

#3. If I was banned from Fisheaters for the reason I thought I was banned, then it would have confirmed many things that the community of Traditional Catholics suspected. If I was correct in interpreting what happened, then the stories would have been definitively proven true--that Tracy of Fisheaters is so "pro-New Homophile" and so enamored with making nice with gay people, that she would react emotionally to even the slightest hint of my disagreeing with her on the matter.

If all of that premise were true, then I was in a special position that obligated me to caution any wandering Catholics who'd want to venture there.

The idea that even Laramie--the anti-sede, pseudo-Novus Ordo, diocesan TLM guy--is getting banned because of Tracy's obsession with gays? That would confirm the suspicions that the online Traditional Catholic community has held for 2-3 years, now.

This is what I thought once I was banned. I was mistaken, however. I was incorrect. It has been confirmed that I was banned because Tracy disagreed with me on the "Take Back the Net" subforum. And now, I need to clarify this fact.

Now, in my defense, I would say it's understandable that I was left with this impression that I was banned because of my comments about "gay love." First of all, I was banned immediately after I quoted Romans. Secondly, after being banned, Tracy erased all of the recent threads that discussed gay marriage, leading me to believe that she had been emotionally triggered. Why would she erase all of those threads if it wasn’t because the topic bothered her? What was I to think?

Originally, I thought that Tracy banning me for quoting the Bible was absurd and immature. I thought I had stated something that she could not emotionally fathom. I thought she was having an outburst by just deleting all of the gay marriage threads and then getting rid of me.

I tried for the next two days to contact Tracy to clarify what was happening. I tried to set up two different accounts—just to get a private message through. I simply wanted to ask: “Why did you get rid of me?” But when I tried to start those accounts, no confirmation e-mails came to my e-mail addresses.
After those two days, I concluded that Tracy was ignoring me and shutting me out completely. I thought that, once again, a moderator was completely snubbing me. I thought that, once again, I had no recourse to a moderator’s emotional behavior.

Then, like every other time that I get banned—in order to inform those who I previously had access to—I’d communicate the only way I know how when I get ostracized from a place. I posted about the incident on The Hirsch Files. I discussed the incident in the post: Fisheaters: The Gay Sewing Circle. 
In that blog post, I expressed my displeasure about the entire incident. Due to that week’s perception, I thought that Tracy had confirmed everyone’s typical gay-orbiter accusations that are thrown at Fisheaters. I insulted her in different ways, and I spread the news on two different forums. I fed the appetites of Tracy’s online critics, even gaining the attention of people who I typically avoid.

I have damaged Fisheater’s reputation because of a misperception. I thought that Tracy banned me for stating that gay men have vile and shameful affections. I was a mistaken witness, and I sowed discord among the Catholics of the online Traditional Catholic community. This, I have done.

If I had given it a week, I could have discovered the true reason that Tracy let me go. If I had known how to properly contact Tracy, I could have talked to her immediately. This misunderstanding would not have taken place. I was not as patient as I could have been.

The sad truth was that—not only had Tracy banned me for something completely different—but also, she was totally unaware that I had shouted about the incident from the rooftops for almost a solid week. Once I was able to come into contact with her, I informed her of my actions. Our dialogue was civil, as has always been our exchanges.

People ask me: “Why care about Fisheaters? It was rotten in the first place.”

I do not know what these Catholic forums are for a lot of people. But for me, forums are a hobby. I do not look upon them as institutions carved in granite with solid maxims that ring eternal until the end of time. They are gatherings of people who have something in common, and they are organized by individual people with different personalities. I do not have a problem with participating in a forum in which I disagree with the moderator. Be polite to me, and I will be polite to you. Is there a taboo subject? More often than not, I don't mention it.

I knew I had some strong disagreements with Tracy. I never really felt compelled or called to confront them. I had a live-and-let-live attitude. Impygate? It came and went for me without noticing much. I might have remarked about it once or twice, but I cannot remember. I did not feel compelled to react strongly to it. I was more annoyed that all of my colleagues were mass migrating over to SD. I found it to be very inconvenient. I followed them there, but I did not consider myself to have abandoned Fisheaters. I despise how the online Traditional Catholic community continues to split itself apart into one branch after the other. It's like watching a microcosm of Protestantism. What truth can be found in this fact--this continuous division--I wonder?

Perhaps I enjoyed the different articles Tracy put up. She's always found a few whoppers here and there. Perhaps it was because I enjoyed the Science subfolder. Maybe I liked the "banned from CAF" thread. I had a neat Charles Coulombe Fan Thread started. Also, I managed to rope some of the biggest viewers to threads, and got a large amount of traffic for the forum. (The "NIA is a fraud" thread comes to mind.) It is possible that I felt rather invested there, given the large amount of posts I had on that forum. Perhaps it was because I had been there for 6-7 years. In the last couple of years, I was not as prolific a poster as I was before. But I still enjoyed the resources that the forum community provided from time to time. Same with SD. It is not inconcievable that I would be stating these same things about SD if I were still there today.

I don't think I have anything profound to state about my membership at Fisheaters. It did suck, however, to learn that it was ended so abruptly over such matters. Whether it was because of criticizing "gay love," or because I was arguing for retaking the social spaces in the "Take Back the Net" subforum, I don't think either was worth getting booted. Not in my case, at least.

These things happen, I suppose.

More to come.


  1. How about starting your own forum Laramie?

    Just a suggestion.


  2. Howdy Neopelagianus. I've thought about what kind of a forum I would have many times. But I don't really feel called to the matter. I'm not quite sure what all is involved, and I'm often stretched for time. Besides, I've often heard Tracy and CAF asking for donations to keep the forum running. I'm not sure if I could afford it if that is the case.