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Friday, July 24, 2015

Neither Fish Nor Fowl, Part 4 of 4

(This is the final post of a four-part series about what happened in my last days at the Fisheaters forum.  My first blog post after being banned--Fisheaters: The Gay Sewing Circle--was directed towards what I thought was the reason for my being expelled.  However, in a private e-mail, Tracy informed me that she actually got rid of me because of her disagreement with me in "taking back the net."  This four-part series is my response to this newly-assumed rationale behind her action.  Whether she banned me for disagreeing with her statements about "gay love," or whether she banned me for disagreeing with her in conquering the internet--I have responded to both.) 

This final part is a response to Tracy's objections and accusations in a thread she posted after I was gone, which was titled: What Happened to the Take Back the Net Subforum

Much of Tracy's retort to my concepts in the now-deleted "Take Back the Net" sub-forum was answered point-for-point in previous threads.  (Those threads, now deleted, have been condensed and reprinted on this blog.)  Since she continues to mention the same objections after I have already answered them, I can only conclude that she has merely glazed over my stance at best, and not read what I've said at worst. 

However, let's take a close look at her response nonetheless.
What Happened to the "Take Back the Net" Sub-forum?
I got rid of it because, as things went, it simply was not serving the purpose I had set out for it.
It was intended to be a place for people who have charity in their hearts to get folks to come help them in a debate somewhere, or ask questions about how to handle a situation or answer someone, etc.
And no, charity is not the equivalent of American "niceness" but can often look like it to some degree insofar as charity is  patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up;  is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil;  rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." 
Feelings do matter. They are not the be all, end all, obviously, and the Truth might hurt and that's too bad (but the way the Truth is presented can mitigate some of the pain), but they matter, especially given the fact that most people are simply not rational and don't -- likely can't -- respond to sophisticated rational arguments.  
Fisheaters as a place for people who have charity in their hearts?  Okay, let's talk about what, exactly, charity is. 

Charity has nothing to do with being nice.  It is vigorously peristent.  It is the opposite of impotence.  It demands that justice is done upon manifested evil.  Before Christ was to rise up into Heaven, He upbraided the eleven apostles because of their incredulity and hardness of heart for not believing Him.  That is, our Lord vehemently scolded them, chewing them out, criticizing them, and reproaching them.    

The people from our era who plunge into Hell are there partially because we are complicit in their descent.  We have failed to be charitable to these damned souls.  We shrug our shoulders, accept indifference--the opposite of love--and we fail to raise our unwelcome objections. 

For modern cowards, such as ourselves, our "love" is conditional.  We are always expecting people to reciprocate that "love."  We do not practice caritas, which is altruistic love.  We fear to practice caritas because it seems unkind.  True altruistic love will yield honesty, while false narcissistic love will stir up lies and manipulation.  When we are to love and turn the other cheek, it is because we are to exercise true charity, even if that charity is returned with a physical or emotional blow.  Consider what Ann Barnhardt asks:
"Is our culture not totally contingent upon reciprocal esteem and quid pro quos?  Is not every word and every action measured by the amount of popularity it generates, with power and wealth coming behind as corollaries?  Is the need to be “liked” not central to most people’s existence?  No one will do the right thing or stand up for the truth because to do so would mean public scorn and ridicule..." 
The opposite of charity is to be permissive of the evil godless Leftism that I've talked about driving out.  The indifference of the past century has led to this awful moral state that we are all trapped in.  Evil demanded toleration, and then ratification, then celebration, and then participation.  We ought to stop evil.  We ought to shame the scoffing SJWs on the Internet social spaces before the multitude of voices manifests into something beyond our toleration. 

Charity is patient?  Very well.  Have I not endorsed running a "long game" when it comes to outlasting the SJW opposition?  Charity is kind?  Of course.  If your hostile atheist is being nice to you, return the niceness.  If they require correction or harsh response, then kindly demonstrate the magnitude of their error in the necessary methods of discourse.  Charity envieth not?  Why envy these hysterical SJWs?  Charity dealeth not perversely?  Have I endorsed perversion? 

Charity is not puffed up?  Very well, do not exaggerate your own ability in the discussion.  But do not hesistate to lay on the Truth...thick.  Charity is not ambitious?  Well, lucky for us, we're talking about nothing more than debating people in Internet comment boxes.  Charity seeketh not her own?  The only people I can think of who seek their own are the folks who stay in their online social communities and fail to venture into the un-evangelized spaces on the Internet.

Charity is not provoked to anger?  Of course not!  Take joy in this task, and smile at the people who hate you.  SJW's hate it when you smile.  And, of course, stay calm and mix your rhetoric with dialectic.  Charity thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth?  Consider only the Truth of the Scriptures and the teachings of the Church, and focus on spreading that Truth to your opponent; do this, and evil will not be your output in these online battles.

Charity bears all things.  Indeed.  The angry, hostile, atheist SJWs will tear at you mercilessly.  Continue to turn the other cheek.  Charity believes, hopes, and endures all things?  Of course!  Endure the online battles with SJWs, hoping for good outcomes, believing that anything is possible.
As I've said before, there is no wrong in shaming our opponents.  Shame is a gift from God to sinful men.  We should be covered in shame, due to our sinful nature.  Sorrow for sin is the fruit of the First Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary.  We are to beg God to increase the shame we feel for our sins.  We should struggle to grasp how even the smallest sin is a sin of infinite proportion to God. 

As Barnhardt continues to argue, in the modern world, shame is "a scandal to be eliminated, a character fault to be purged, and a 'hate crime' when recommended to others."  But in reality, a person with no shame whatsoever is either psychopathic, sociopathic, or both.  In reality, shame is a medicinal mercy.  In reality--in spite of what the modernists of our failing world may think--if we cannot generate our own shame, then shame ought to be charitably applied by other people.  This is true caritas.  This is true altrustic love.  This is true charity. 

Feelings matter because people are not sophisticated thinkers?  Look, our society has been making people feel happy for a century, and the Church has been struggling to ensure that everyone feels happy since the late 60s. Ever since Vatican II, a lot of priests concieve of our Lord as "superfun girly pacifist Jesus," who wants everyone to feel good about themselves and frowns upon the harsh reality of Hell.  Unfortunately for modernists, Christ during His ministry talked about Hell quite often.

Tracy continues to try to justify her actions:
The idea that took root in that sub-forum that, in essence, playing fair, refraining from fallacious ad hominems, not doing wrong because the SJWs do wrong and that's the way to "even the playing field," etc., and debating to save souls and for the cause of teaching the Truth aren't important, but "winning" is -- that's not even close to what I had in mind at all. 
Playing fair?   This topic was covered already, but Tracy seemed to gloss over it.  As in all things of war, we should utilize every tactical advantage that we have.   Read Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, or any other military geniuses, and most will attest:  "Superior force in these confrontations is the proven way to win, which is historical and logical. We will lose if we continue feeling. Our side doesn't like feeling morally inferior to the other side--so much so, that we'd rather lose than give up that feeling of superiority in order to meet the enemy head-on."

Ad hominems?  I say, take it even further.  Be cutting.  We should ridicule our opposition.  If you are a fool, then know that you are corrupt, you do abominable deeds, and no fool such as yourself does any good.  "I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!"  That is, "I wish those who bother you would be castrated."  These jabs come from Scripture.  We can be kind, gentle, and loving as we work to put these people in their place.  It would be unkind, most ungentle for everyone, and unloving not to do our civic duty, and engage them at the front line, as I have argued. 

The social justice warriors do wrong because they virulently stand for lies.  Our side stands for the Truth.  Our side is not wrong.  We are right.  Our side will win in the end.  Our side can win now.  Being friendly to the enemies of Christ will get us in the same place it's gotten us in the past fifty years. 

Next, Tracy discusses the success of her forum:
People can argue with me all they want to about this, but for them, I have a few simple questions: How many souls has the Holy Ghost used you to bring to the Church? How many religious, trad seminarians, and trad priests are doing what they're doing because of how the Holy Ghost used you to bring them to Tradition? Me, I can answer those questions by saying "hundreds of the former," and "a good 12, at least, that I know of, off the top of my head," of the latter. What I am saying works, and it is right. The choleric, fighting-to-win and "humiliate" opponents is wrong and does NOT work. I am not "bragging" and know the responses to FE aren't "my" doing except only indirectly, but I also know that I would have NOT had those successes if I were to have a nanny-nanny-noo-noo attitude toward people who disagree with the Church (likely because they are ignorant, in most cases). I'd bet $20 that there's not a single soul that "a certain other forum" has brought to Tradition or to the Church Herself. Unless people really "get" what's at this link, they just won't be effective at defending the Church or evangelizing:  http://www.fisheaters.com/conversionoftheheart.html I believe that to the depths of my being, and simply can't have people at my forum "undoing" what I'm trying to do -- and what has been working.
 Okay, so Tracy says fighting to win does not work.  But, one more time, she is arguing for something completely different.  Her objective and my objective are not the same.

Tracy argued for evangelizing people in internet comment boxes. 
I argued for an aggressive conquest of internet comment boxes.

Tracy is arguing for the salvation of individual souls.  I think that's great, and it is a goal fitting for an internet forum where personal and friendly public conversations take place.  I am arguing for the salvation of our society and the civic good.  If we Catholics are to act collectively in order to achieve a paradigm-shifting change in our society, we are going to have to get real, and not just talk about "sex for ex.", but war as well.  This is a culture war, and no one on our side is acting like it.

What I am saying works, and it is right.  The "choleric, fighting-to-win-and-humiliate-opponents" approach is right, and it DOES work.  Tracy's battle is for the individual soul.  My suggested battle is for the soul of our society.  These things are achieved in different ways, and they are as different from each other as the Old Testament is different from the New Testament. 

I do not wish to undo what Fisheaters has done.  As I've stated before, her website and forum have started a lot of us on our journeys, and they probably continue to do so for other people to this day.  I was on her discussion forum attempting to discuss a new objective for Catholics.  My argument was shut down, and my person was shut out. 
If someone wants to blast away at the SJWs and use SJW tactics, I can understand the impulse. But don't use what was being called "shock troop" tactics (humiliating others, using mean-spirited tactics simply because the SJWs do so, as if two wrongs make a right, etc.) in the Name of Jesus, or while defending the Church. It harms the Church. It wounds His Sacred Heart.
 Using the social justice warrior's tactics is merely returning to our own tactics.  The West has pushed out scoffers from normal decent society for a long time up until the mid-twentieth century.  Boldly confronting our hostile faithless enemies is more than an impulse.  It is an act in a war--that we should at least attempt to win.  Humiliating others?  Did not Elijah do the same against the Baal worshippers?  "Go to Hell's fire, which has been lit for you by the Devil!" said St. Nicholas.  Corrupt cardinals are "a stench that makes the whole world reek," said St. Catherine of Sienna.

What is "mean-spirited" even supposed to mean?  If anything, I am endorsing a spirit of charity and love.  It is good and loving to try to clean up the filthy mess that evil men and neglectful Catholics have allowed to fester because of indifference.  All of this--the correction of corruption--is janitorial work.  A mess has been made of Western Civilization.  And now, compelled Catholic laity (and any remaining faithful clergy) are going to have to clean it up.  Healing the world, driving the godless haters out of public spaces will only help to restore Christendom.  Doing this will help the Church.  Doing this will gladden Jesus Christ's Sacred Heart.
And this stuff of equating any decency with being "wussy" is ridiculous and has to stop. I -- and most of the people posting on this forum -- could've made each and every point made by the person embracing that "shock troop" persona, while showing absolutely no sign whatsoever of "complacency," without "watering down" anything, without missing one single DROP of the Faith that needs to be related to make the point -- and we could've done it: without unnecessarily offending anyone. For the sake of all that's holy, someone explain to me what possible good could come from these schoolboy, ineffective, harmful "shock troop" tactics? "
How could Tracy have "made any of my points" if she disagreed with them?  My endorsement of the "shock troop," robust, confrontational approach to hostile online enemies is the point and has been the point in every deleted thread that I posted in the now-deleted "Take Back the Net" sub-forum.  Your fear to offend anyone offends me!  But I was happy to disagree with you, and I was cheerfully ready to disagree with you in good spirit.  To cut me off and then say these things after I was gone is really special.
That sort of stuff even turns off fellow Catholics, for crying out loud. What do you think it'd do for some intellectually lost, miseducated, radical feminist type who's just ITCHING to find "ammo" to use against the Church -- stuff she can tell her friends about? "So this Catholic dude on this forum was going on about this and that and was being a total ass. That's just how those Christians are. They don't know how to think. They're just stupid." There are some personality types who just don't naturally do well at evangelizing, with empathizing with others, "getting into others' minds" to have a sense of who they are and what they need, etc. That type should absolutely stay away from evangelizing until/unless they work those things through. They do more damage than they do good, and that just IS the way it is.
 This "sort of stuff" is switching on fellow Catholics.  More and more, I see Catholics ready for action and waiting to know what to do about the problems that we have.  The only problem is that there is no cohesion.  There is no uniting force that is bringing we, the faithful laity, together.  They message me often, and I see their desperate search for direction in the comment boxes that the SJWs have overrun.  Indeed, the SJWs are activists, and their overrunning of the internet social spaces are truly and literally a part of an organized campaign of the Left to control culture. 

Tracy says that there are some who naturally don't do well at evangelizing?  I am not talking about evangelizing.    

Tracy argues for evangelizing people in internet comment boxes. 
I argue for an aggressive conquest of internet comment boxes. 

Getting into others' minds is essential for tactical and strategic victory.  Know your enemy.  However, I am not talking about winning them over.  I am not talking about individual salvation.  I am talking about cultural warfare.  In this situation, if we are to know our opponent's mind, it is to know their mind's weaknesses so that we can defeat them.  The objective is different.

The Old Testament is different because God the Father was guiding a nation, a collective.  The New Testament is different because God the Son is guiding individuals and individual people.  In talking about cultural warfare, I am talking about rallying one collective against another.  In talking about evangelizing people, Tracy is talking about evangelizing individuals.
As an aside, when Bible verses get thrown at me, and depending on who's doing the throwing and what the exact situation is, I sometimes reply with, "Eh, you can't play the Bible verse game with me; I'm Catholic. The Church Fathers interpret Scripture, not me, not you" -- coupled with a grin, in a humorous tone. That's worked a good number of times to throw them off their game and make them come up with another approach LOL
The last time I was at a Novus Ordo Mass waiting for the lisping priest to interpret the Sunday Scriptural reading, he introduced a guest priest from South Africa who talked about poverty, feminism, Mandela, and Desmond Tutu, ending his "homily" by asking for donations. 

Beware of how you sport that "grin and humorous tone," Tracy.  You don't want to unnecessarily offend people with your quasi-ridicule. 

Besides, as St. Jerome once said: "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."   Our newest Catechism states that "The Church 'forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful. . . to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ."  I will continue to read scriptures, as venerating the Divine Word is of great value to us, and reading for over half an hour gains us a plenary indulgence.  I exhort everyone else to do the same. 
I love the idea of that sub-forum! I was inspired to make it, ironically, because of someone I just had to ban for the above sorts of things I described. And it just SUCKS that I felt the need to do that. He was obviously wanting to spread the Faith, which is SUCH a great thing, a NOBLE thing! I thought it was wonderful of him, and I so wish more and more people had that sort of fire in them that that poster obviously has. God bless him for that! -- but he was just doing it way, way wrong, and I truly, deeply believe it harms the Church and that it works against everything I am trying to do here. I wish that the poster in question would've listened to what I was saying about all this, but nothing I said seemed to sink in.

 Sigh. It just makes me want to cry having to ban someone who wanted to do good and who obviously puts a lot of work into it, especially when it's a poster I liked for a lot of other reasons. It just -- it just &%^%$ sucks.
At which point it becomes even more personal. 

You banned me because you disagreed with me.  Indeed, it does suck that you felt the need to do that.  And I can promise you that should I ever undertake the option of creating a forum of my own, I would absolutely not do the same to you.  Because I am one who believes that discussion forums are for discussing.  As I stated to you in my private e-mail to you: simply asking me to drop the subject would have sufficed.  Different forums have different preferences for what they want to allow.  Communicating with people before making up your mind could be helpful in generating a faithful base of members.  This is the problem that I have seen on your forum, and I have witnessed the same at The Echo Chamber. 

This circle of Catholic forums that we all know of: Fisheaters, Suscipe Domine, Cathinfo, Te Deum--all of these are very personal places, run by individuals.  These are not mega-corporations that are private, cold, and money-hungry, such as Catholic Answers Forum.  We think so little of CAF, and our expectation is thus very low for that place.  But the former four forums are run by private individuals, and friendship and community is implied.  We've expected more from forum moderators of these four places.  If ever there has been or will be any reason that great anger is generated towards the moderators of these forums, it is because banned members have or will feel betrayed.

I, for one, do not easily shed my associations and friendships over mere disagreements.  This explains my presence over at Te Deum, by the way--a place where I am a fish out of water.  However, I know the people there, and I will visit them for as long as they'll have me. 

One final time: Tracy was wrong to ban me without warning me first.  She was wrong for not telling me to "drop it."  She was wrong for erasing our previous conversational threads about "taking back the net."  She was wrong for removing the "Taking Back the Net" sub-forum on Fisheaters.  She was wrong for erasing the threads that talked about sodomite marriage.  She is wrong for putting down what she thinks I said--without me being there to defend myself.  She is wrong for not responding to my e-mail messages.  And she is completely wrong about what my objective is. 

Tracy argues for evangelizing people in internet comment boxes. 
I argue for an aggressive conquest of internet comment boxes. 

I have said my peace on this matter.  I am finished. 

"[B]efore some audiences not even the possession of the exactest knowledge will make it easy for what we say to produce conviction. For argument based on knowledge implies instruction, and there are people one cannot instruct."
- Rhetoric, Aristotle

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