The exchange between Mr. Z and our Insanitybytes seems spirited and engaging. I don’t see any real deviation from the standards of politeness that define the spectrum of the blog world. They each appear to do a good job with their positions.
As to the moderation barriers you have set up: the word “Z….” causes your blog to throw up walls? How very strange. How very fearful. How very contrary to the exchange of ideas. How silly and unnecessary. I suspect my views on these subjects are much closer to yours, Tom, than to Z’s. But it’s difficult to engage ideas related to Z’s positions if you have fortified your site against the mere mention of his name. (from here)
The writer of that remark is novascout. I had observed John Zande is impolite, to say the least. novascout disagreed. Then he complained about my judgement.
Here is my reply to and others who have made similar complaints of censorship.
I have a post on why I banned Zande, WHY I BANNED TWO TROLLS FROM CITIZEN TOM. I see nothing to gain by discussing that aspect of the matter further.
Some, such as , have no discomfort with the way Zande observes the rules of decorum. That is a different subject, and that I will address here. I did not ban Zande from my blog because he is impolite, and I do not know if I would have done so. In retrospect, however, I think it would have been appropriate.
What makes the issue of “politeness” a more difficult judgement? I suppose it is the fact that Zande meticulously observes today’s rules of decorum. In this day and age, deliberate and calculated blasphemy does not violate the rules of decorum. Nevertheless, blasphemy violates the spirit of decorum, especially when it is delivered with mischievous glee.
Because a lawful society is by definition rule-bound, required to give everyone the due process of law (which the devious insist upon making ever more cumbersome), we find it difficult to use the government to control/sanction the behavior of those who know how to disobey (or evade) the spirit of the law without breaking the rule of the law. Need proof of that? Look at what our leaders have done. Look at what they are doing in our nation’s capital.
In our private lives, we can and must take care to distinguish between those who obey the “standards”of good behavior and those who comply with the spirit from which those standards were derived. Just because our government won’t do anything, do we have to personally condone vile behavior? Don’t we know that a thief who knows how to avoid being caught is still a thief? Is not a liar who knows how to avoid charges of slander, libel, or perjury is still a liar?
Yet what is happening? Our society has become so rule-bound — so dominated by a huge and still burgeoning government — that it abounds with clever thieves and liars.
Consider the significance of the Democratic Party’s leading presidential contender. It is open secret she violated the law. She had a server, a private email server, with government secrets on it. If any ordinary civil servant or government contractor had been caught doing such a thing, they would already be in jail. And that very likely is the least of her misdeeds.
Think of the questions we should be asking.
- How can substantial numbers of Americans reconcile their support for the candidacy of a known scoundrel?
- What do the supporters of that scoundrel expect to gain?
Back to the subject. What about who we allow to post on our blogs? For the time being, our blogs still remain private affairs. Our government has yet to take them over. We still don’t have reams of Federal regulations designed to paralyze debate. On a blog, we are still not required to give everyone “equal time” or the due process of the law before we ban them. Therefore, the spirit of one’s conduct still matters. Where we generally see that most evidenced is in the truth of an old aphorism.
Birds of a feather flock together. (from here)
Is it inappropriate for those of like mind to seek each other’s company? Yes and no. It is true we should try to try to understand those who differ from us. Nevertheless, would it not be foolish to do something or tacitly condone something evil just to understand the behavior of those who habitually do evil?
In fact, we must as much as possible call attention to the difference between good and evil.
Luke 6:43-45 New King James Version (NKJV)
A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit
43 “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
As Christians — believers in the salvation offered by Jesus Christ — we must bear fruit. We have an obligation to protect the treasure that pours forth when we strive to understand, preach, and obey the Word of God. Therefore, when someone wants to mix blasphemies into our blog, we have a responsibility to say no.