Monday, January 17, 2011

Road Signs: Detour

Over at The Spirit of the Law, there is a new post by yours truly. As you may remember, I am one of the moderators of the site, albeit a long-dormant moderator. I promised the guys over there I would not be too free with cross-posting. However, I feel strongly about this one, so I must beg their indulgence. I would also ask that you take a trip over there if you are so inclined to read the comments that I am sure this post will ignite.

The post itself is called Freedom is Refreshing. And it goes a little something like this:

Freedom.

It is like 7-Up for the soul.

Yeah... its lemon-lime (cannot say lymon, because that is Sprite, after all) effervesence that makes your nose tickle when you take that first drink? That is the feeling of freedom.

I am talking about all kinds of freedom.

The freedom to stand up on a soapbox in a park and proudly proclaim your beliefs without worrying about being arrested (so long as you are not inciting violence).

The freedom to carry your Beretta where- and whenever (nearly) you want to do so.
(Aside: For the record, that is "Beretta" not "Baretta": it is difficult to carry a private investigator wherever you go, let alone his cockatoo 'Fred.').

The freedom to vote for whomever you wish without fear of reprisal or intimidation.

The freedom to read, or write, the books you want without oppression or censorship.

The freedom to be able to worship how, where, and when you desire.

Except in the so-called Bloggernacle, apparently.

Unfortunately, it is an all-too-common practice among supposedly observant Latter-day Saint blog-hosts/-moderators to moderate, censor, and yes, even stifle debate. That is to say, debate against the ideas they believe and support. They willingly moderate and hold posts, preparing and scripting their responses. And then, when they feel they are losing or have lost the argument, shut down the comments altogether. Who knows why they do it: fear? hatred? shame? I do not claim to know. All I know is that, when faced with a little opposition, they inevitably suddenly up and walk away home, taking their baseball with them, bragging to everybody how they won the game.... Of course, it was their ball, and when they leave, how can you argue with them that they won the game?

That is one reason I am proud to be a member of this blog. The Spirit of The Law, regardless of how vitriolic some of us moderators become, it is in defense of our beliefs, beliefs that are under common and vile attacks elsewhere in the supposedly observant and routinely hypocritical LDS Bloggernacle. A place where the Brethren of the Church have urged members to bear our testimonies of the Living Christ and of the truthfulness of His Gospel, and the Restoration of the Gospel in the Latter-days. A place where, all too often, those testimonies are belittled and challenged by those who think that those Brethren--Brethren they supposedly sustain, by the way--are out-dated in their thinking, that they "just don't understand," or even worse, bigots and/or deranged.

Yes, this is the state of a large portion of the "Bloggernacle." It is a hostile place out there. Heck, sometimes it is a hostile place here, too. None of us is perfect, after all.

But for those of you who disagree with the moderators of this site, remember this: at least here, you -- a dissenter -- you get a hearing. I am not sure that I can remember an instance of any of the moderators shutting down argument or locking up a thread. Here, we understand Agency; we may not agree with your choice, or your perspective, or your comments, but you are free to make your argument.

For this, I say 'thank you' to my fellow moderators. I can feel my nose tickling.

And that is Freedom.

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