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“Censoring” Sinners

| 74 Comments

EDIT: SEE ADDENDUM AT END OF POST.

In the last several weeks I’ve had to delete several comments due to to nasty attitudes. Most of them are from atheists, which is to be expected, but what surprises me is the lack of grace shown to unbelievers by those who call themselves Christians. It’s my fault for allowing some of the nasty comments through.

In the future I will not allow name-calling from anyone. If you insult my God I will not allow your comment through. If you call me a name, or continue to be disrespectful or are really nasty (and I’m speaking to the atheists here), I will ban you without explanation. I have recently banned two unbelievers.  I completely wiped all mention of one particular unbeliever and all his comments because of his persistent surliness.

To be restored, you can, of course, change your email or pseudonym, but I will be watching “new” commenters more closely. The better way will be more difficult for the atheists insulter: apologize. I will publicly post your apology in the comments and you will be restored.

Thanks for your understanding.

ADDENDUM: When you are banned I mark you as SPAM which means I will never see your comment, unless, of course, I choose to look through the hundreds I receive daily. Thought you’d like to know.

74 Comments

  1. LOL
    Typical Wotm

    • Steve Sanchez says:
      April 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm
      “How about you, Donald? Care to apologize to the atheists for some of the things you have written?”

      Steve,

      After a lot of contemplation I have decided that I do want to apologize to an atheist for the things I’ve said. I want to apologize to Jim Diver. What better way to say I’m sorry than through music? So I dedicate the following song to Jim Diver. From one man to another, I’m sorry Jim. Enjoy.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps6DAAVKhLU

      • Donald,

        Where’s the music?

        It takes a big man to apologize. Thank you! Generally, it’s a Christian who will humble himself to do that. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the other atheist guys….

      • Oh, look. Steve’s being passive-aggressive again. Still waiting for some of my Christian school peers to apologize for their bullying that led to multiple suicides of my friends.

        Oh, wait, no response there?

      • Also, note that merely saying sorry means nothing if you aren’t actually apologetic about it. From what I’ve seen of Donald so far, he doesn’t actually seem sorry at all.

      • I would call that a passive-agressive non-apology, but, I don’t think an apology is necessary – at least to us. (Though, would it be too much to ask for you to at least try to see why Steve pulled your comment out for an example?)

        Maybe you owe Steve an apology, since he seems to think you’re capable of more than the childish taunts you’ve been throwing around here.

      • perdita,

        Actually that was my comment that Steve pulled out, not Donald’s. See it says “Donald,” not “Donald:”

        I heartily apologize to Steve for anything I have done wrong on his blog since my intention isn’t to wrong Steve.

        If Jim Diver is crying himself to sleep over some comment a stranger, me, makes on a blog, then I’m sorry for that too. I don’t think I have said anything mean about Jim by the way. That is just a hypothetical.

        If Jim got his feelings hurt I’m sorry.

        I think some of you atheists are painting a picture of Jim as someone who can’t handle his business. Maybe some of you atheists should apologize to Jim for making him to appear that way.

        I find it hard to believe that Jim even cares let alone is upset about anything anyone on here says.

        Also I am fine with a comment of mine going through or not going through. Steve should be the one who decides what is on his blog and what isn’t.

        (Steve, if what I just wrote needs to be edited please feel free to edit. I’m fine with that now and anytime in the future)

      • Great words.

        That’s two Christians who’ve apologized.

        The Humility Score

        Christians: 2

        Atheists: 0

      • Schmader, thanks for the correction. I had originally thought it was yours, but misread the pull quote.

        I think some of you atheists are painting a picture of Jim as someone who can’t handle his business. Maybe some of you atheists should apologize to Jim for making him to appear that way.

        Where do you get this from? Or is this ‘if it doesn’t pertain to you then ignore it’? Because I said I didn’t think apologies were necessary to us. I get the impression that Steve may have been hoping for better behavior from you two, that’s all.

        Also I am fine with a comment of mine going through or not going through. Steve should be the one who decides what is on his blog and what isn’t.

        I’ve never disagreed with that. His house, his rules. Recently, I had a pointed, snarky comment withheld (not directed towards Steve). While I was surprised, I figured it was probably for the best.

      • Steve, if you have an “humility” or an “apology” count, you’re doing it wrong. That’s not the point.

      • It’s my point.
        Sure, but the question is how many of the readers here need to apologize?

        It might be appropriate for the score to be 2 to 0.

    • Generally, it’s a Christian who will humble himself to do that. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the other atheist guys

      No, Steve. In reality it doesn’t actually work that way. There are stubborn Christians and there are stubborn non-Christians. There are nice, generous Christians and there are nice, generous non-Christians. How is your comment not bigoted?

  2. For the sake of discussion, can you provide an example of things that you would consider unruly? I fully intend to have polite discussions, but of course it’s hard to do when 1.) The rules of what is and isn’t allowed are relatively arbitrary, and 2.) Christians (some, not all) refuse to have a conversation and instead will suggest atheists are pedophiles (for example).

    If you could demonstrate an example (preferably from both sides, that’d be even better), I’d appreciate it.

    Cheers.

    • Here’s an atheist example:

      So now you delete all my posts and refuse to even have the common decency to email me?

      How can you expect us to believe you about anything when you resort to such skulduggery and cowardice?

      You are no true christian. You are a cult leader no different than those I have fought against in Scientology.

      F— you Steve. Really.

      A Christian one:

      Donald,

      Jim is the 1%!!!

      ROFL. I’m trying not to sin and covet his life.

      If Jim had Jesus and a woman in his life he might have it made.

      Also, when there is a constant refrain that I’m lying, I will delete it. I don’t lie.

      And, I may just delete a post because I think it’s way off-topic, too negative, or I just plain don’t like it.

      • Can we define “lie”? I really don’t want my posts deleted because I cite contradicting sources.

        Is “lie” the intentional misrepresentation of facts, information, or quotations (read: quote-mining), or is lying merely not telling the truth, either intentionally or unintentionally?

        Also, if I may, I don’t mind off-topic or negativity (albeit that is a tad too subjective for comfort), but “I just plain don’t like it” strikes an odd chord to me. That essentially nullifies all your rules right there.

      • LOL
        So no actual discussion, kist a shrine to your ego, Got it.

      • “Also, when there is a constant refrain that I’m lying, I will delete it. I don’t lie.”

        Hmmmmm….. but have you ever told a lie?

      • Ryk says,

        LOL
        So no actual discussion, kist a shrine to your ego, Got it.

        Ryker it is after all Steve’s blog. Why don’t you start your own blog then you can put whatever content you want on it. I doubt you will be as kind to your detractors as Steve has.

      • Ryker it is after all Steve’s blog. Why don’t you start your own blog then you can put whatever content you want on it.

        Holy wow, Schmader and I agree on something.

        I doubt you will be as kind to your detractors as Steve has.

        Well, that agreement was nice while it lasted; now we’re back to disagreement.

      • Nohm,

        You and I were one sentence away from being friends?

        You don’t agree that Steve is 100 percent nicer to his detractors than his detractors are to him?

        You have to admit that Steve is very tolerant of what he allows to be posted. Steve also is very forgiving. I have seen some things that people have written about Steve.

      • Schmader wrote the following: You have to admit that Steve is very tolerant of what he allows to be posted. Steve also is very forgiving. I have seen some things that people have written about Steve.

        Very tolerant? No. tolerant? Yes. “Very tolerant” would entail zero moderation or censorship, and I know plenty of blogs/forums that have this. Still, Steve gets insulted (and so others, regardless of theology), and he’s tolerant for letting his critics speak.

        Forgiving? Somewhat – but no more or less than CARM or the Why God Wont Heal Amputees forums. Forgiving people of their transgressions first means there’s a system in place that can be transgressed. Many blogs/forums don’t have systems like this – and in that sense, they don’t have to forgive anyone.

        I mention these not to criticize Steve, but to show that there are lots of examples of people more tolerant than he is.

        Still, when in Rome…

  3. So which one of the Gospels has Jesus refusing to listen to people who were being negative? I would love to read the verse where he is afraid of contrary messages. As a student of the Bible I am sure you know, because I can’t find it.

  4. Wow I go away for a week and miss a lot of drama.

    I sincerely hope you don’t resort to silently banning me and then deleting my old posts. I have on multiple occasions said that if you decide your evangelism to the lost would be better without this lost person here, just ask me to leave and I never return.

    • No worries, BathTub.

      I banned Jim Diver because of his constant stream of profanity and obscenity diected at me on this blog and at the other blog. Also, the occasional threatening email was a factor. This is why I banned Rustyfirefly. Why invite enemies into the camp? It’s easier to mark them as SPAM so I will never see another nasty comment again.

      I do like the atheists to participate, just a little more civilly. Snarkiness and criticism I have no problem with.

      Thanks.

  5. This is Steve’s blog which means he can do whatever he wants. Why are the atheists upset over this?

    • Sigh.

      Schmader, please understand that there is a vast difference between “the atheists” and “certain specific people”.

      Certain specific people disagree with the way Steve runs his blogs. Other people, like myself, have no problem with it, and are definitely not “upset”.

      Please understand the difference between “certain specific people” and “the atheists”; you’re better off focusing on the former, as focusing on the latter on leads to you failed mind-reading, as you have done above.

      To fully clarify: I agree that this is Steve’s blog, and he can run it however he wants, and I’m an atheist.

    • If what I say doesn’t apply to you then ignore it. That is how I roll.

      • If what you say encompasses people it shouldn’t, you probably should say it differently.

      • So if you were to say “Black people are lazy” or “Jews are thieves” you would expect any honest Jews or Hard working black people to just ignore it?

        Bigotry is not something that should be ignored just because you don’t fit the insult. I oppose anti atheist bigotry precisely because it does not apply to me.

      • Oh, let me try.

        “All Christians are terrible, awful people who are merely crusaders for Christ in order to save their own skin. They deny rights to others and deserve nothing more than to be locked up so they can’t murder anyone else.”

        Doesn’t apply to you? Just ignore it. That’s, of course, how you roll.

  6. Schmader
    I did blog for sometime, I never vensored the commentors even the Christians who made death threats.

    Censorship is a form of cowardice I chose not to engage in.

    As to being kind to detractors, it really depended on them..I did have a great many civilized discussions however.

  7. You shouldn’t expect surly behavior from atheists or be surprised at the lack of grace from Christians. People are people – you can’t extrapolate behavior from the labels they may wear. And you’ll find that believers and unbelievers are equal in justifying their own bad behavior. No group has sole ownership of good behavior either. Good behavior is found in people regardless of belief or disbelief.

  8. I am not upset that Steve ru.s his blog how he chooses. I often defeded Ray Comforts right to do the same.

    I am simply pointing out that the way they engage in discussion, highlights the falsity of their position.

  9. Jim Diver threatend Steve? That is taking it to another level. It-is-just-a-blog.

    • Actually, he threatened my church’s tax exempt status when we promoted the 180 movie several months ago. Also, his obscenity-laden name calling on another sight and his barely cleaner language on this site prompted the banning. All he has to do, and all Rufusfirefly has to do is apologize. I suspect that their pride will never allow them to do this.

      How about you, Donald? Care to apologize to the atheists for some of the things you have written?

      • I’l give you credit, Steve. I’m happy you’re at least consistent with asking Donald (amongst other Christians) to apologize as well.

        Cheers.

      • Let’s see if he will….

      • Steve, now you are either mistaken or lying. I didn’t threaten your church. I just informed you that you were putting your tax exempt status at risk due to some of the content in the video can be viewed as campaign intervention.

        I still have the emails.

        I wrote on 9/27/2011:

        “Steve,

        You might want to have your tax lawyer look at the video and then research the following words: “Political Intervention”.

        By promoting this movie, you are risking your church’s 170.b.1.A.i tax status.

        This is not Issue Advocacy, but Political Campaign Intervention in an election year.

        Ray makes this Political Campaign Intervention by telling people not to vote for candidates who support choice. ”

        Steve replied the next day:

        “Thanks Jim!
         
        Yours ever heartily,
         
        Pastor Steve”

        And now you think you can censor what I say on sites not owned or related to you by banning me here? What right do you think you have to do that?

        What do you expect me to do when your christian followers blatently libel my name and you allow it? Did you attempt to stop them or call them out on it? NO! Instead when I defend myself you ban me?? There is a term for that: Double standards.

      • I want to give Jim one chance to respond. He sent this email twice. Does it sound to you like an implied threat? Jim, until you apologize, this will be the only post I let through. Thanks for your understanding.

      • Like they say on the street, “Bloggin’ aint easy.”

        🙂

        I for one wouldn’t be bothered if I got censored or if my comment didn’t get posted. I don’t know any blog where people are allowed to post what they want with impunity.

        Also I think if someone is getting that upset over a blog or a website, to where they are making threats, that is the time they should back away from the computer or find something else to do.

      • That did not at all sound like a threat to me, it sounded like Jim was expressing a legal point. It would really only be a threat had he said something to the effect that he was going to sue you to have your tax exempt status challenged or call the IRS or something. He did not do so nor did it sound as if he were implying it. He simply cautioned you that what you were doing could be considered political advocacy. Whether it is or not I can not say but your perception of it as a threat seems unwarranted.

      • At the atheist site where he also contributes, he said that was what he was going to do. It was a threat. An empty one, but a threat nonetheless.

      • Steve, if I wanted to hurt your church I would have just reported the violation directly to the IRS.

        But, no. I told you that you might be on thin ice and advised you that you might want to get legal advice.

        And you took that alert as a threat? How paranoid are you?

        As to your apology, no way. You are the one who owes the apology. Not me.

      • And this is Jim’s final say. Nice having you here, Jim.

      • I’ll apologize to any atheist who brings to my attention a valid reason why I should apologize to them.

      • Jim says:

        What do you expect me to do when your christian followers blatently libel my name and you allow it? Did you attempt to stop them or call them out on it? NO! Instead when I defend myself you ban me?? There is a term for that: Double standards.

        What is Jim talking about? Who is libeling him? What is his definition of libel?

        When did Jim defend himself?

        I think Jim uses some terminology that isn’t applicable to the situation he describes.

      • Steve,

        Regarding Jim’s “threat” what he wrote is ambiguous.

        So consider the source.

        If Steve L wrote that I think the comment could be interpreted as being a true concern for you and a warning.

        If BathTub wrote that I think the comment could be interpreted as a way to make you worry enough to get you to quit talking about 180.

        But Jim wrote that comment. So I think your interpretation of what the meaning is is correct. If Jim had an opportunity to get you or Ray in trouble don’t you think he would take it?

      • Please Jim Diver apologize and all other’s so we can continue to have the great discussions and debates that is StonethePreacher.com!

      • Steve,

        Given the way that you say Jim usually talks about and to you, on both this blog and “the other site”, I would argue that his email to you about 180 and your church is NOT a threat, because it isn’t written in the same tone that he writes when he’s annoyed by you.

        That’s just my opinion.

      • Jim is a tough nut to crack. Looking at the big picture I think Jim’s comment was a veiled threat. It is like he is saying, if you support 180 these are the consequences.

        That is my opinion.

      • Sudden Death Mondays and Atheist Tuesdays aren’t going to be the same without Jim Diver.

        Just say you are sorry Jim.

      • Steve Sanchez wrote:
        “At the atheist site where he (Jim) also contributes”

        CONTRIBUTES) Hmmmm; is this the correct terminology?

    • Schmadster

      I don’t see it, if anything it was more of a “if you violate campaign laws pertaining to your tax exemp status, these are the consequences” not the same thing for two reasons.

      The first is that if Steve was not violating any laws he had nothing to be threatened by. (I have no idea if he was or was not)

      The second is that Campaign finance and religious tax exemptions are political topics of discussion that are not in and of themselves threatening. Not to say that Jim wasn’t trying to caution Steve or alter his actions only that there doesn’t seem to be any threat overt or implied, more of a warning.

      • Here’s Jim’s comment about my post about the “180” movie from the atheist site from Oct.1 2011.

        My post: We are setting up a table tonight during our four services at Hope Chapel that will display the “180″ movie (click here to see it). We purchased a 1,000 copies and will be offering it for sale for one buck. Our hope is that many congregants will buy a quantity and give them to their pro-choice friends.

        We will show a two minute promo before the service to whet the appetite of those who have not yet heard about this award winning film.

        We have also set up a little “Honor System” box for those who buy the DVD. This film is the most important resource that Ray Comfort’s ministry has ever created. Not only does it have the potential to save souls, but also may save millions of babies’ lives when their mothers do a “180″ in their thinking about abortion.

        Jim’s comments:

        I guess you didn’t talk to your tax lawyer about “Campaign Intervention”.

        Too bad.

        Think I will have to fill out another tip form to the IRS.

        Me: The above comment sounds like a threat to me….

      • As to that comment it does sound as if it is intended as more of a threat than a warning. In this case it comes down to whether you were breaking the law or not. If you were or if Jim had good cause to think you were it is not so much a threat, telling a criminal you will report them if they do not stop their crimes is less a threat than a fair warning. However if it were frivolous then yes it could be called a threat.

      • It was frivolous and had no basis. Churches can legally advocate for social issues and propositions, not individual candidates. Stating that we ought to vote for an anti-abortion candidate does nor support an individual.

        An empty threat. Still a threat, no less

      • Sounds like typical intimidation tactics people use online to shut other people up.

        I’m glad it didn’t work on you Steve.

      • Ryker,

        Shmadster? I like that. Schmaniac is good too.

      • Interesting Steve, I am not sure how the IRS would see it. I have heard of cases where saying vote for an anti abortion candidate, for example, has been seen as advocating for a candidate rather than an issue. After all if there are 2 candidates one who supports choice and one who does not saying to vote for the anti choice candidate is candidate advocacy.

        That being said I am not overly concerned, I am not a lawyer or tax man, and more importantly I don’t think the government really has the right to forbid churches from advocating for whatever(ethically I mean, legally they do have that right). Of course I don’t think churches should have tax exempt status anyway.

        I am ambivelant on the issue but err on the side of free speech, so I have no beef with you supporting 180 (I don’t obviously, I think it is ignorant, anti woman, and anti semetic to boot). I do think that whether Jim intended it as a threat or a warning, it is not without basis. Unfair as it is there are situations in which your actions could have been outside IRS rules, of course this may not have been such a situation.

      • “The atheist website” – you could just link to the website and let people meet us for themselves.

  10. Again, this is your blog, and you’ve all the freedom in the world to censor or moderate it as you see fit.

    With that said, doesn’t this post contradict something you’ve said earlier? Something about not censoring, but instead trying to bring unbelievers to Christ…

    I bring it up not as a “gotcha” (which my post undoubtedly will appear to be), but because I truly believe you’re unaware of the inconsistencies in your behavior and beliefs.

    • Things change.

      Bringing unbelievers to Christ does not mean I have to put up with their guff—their obscene guff—on a public forum, a primarily Christian forum to boot.

      I hate to tell my little girls that they can’t read the comments until I look at them first.

      I don’t mind gotchas, by the way. You understand where I coming from. No one has to worry about me indiscriminately banning them without cause.

      • Things change.
        Fair enough

        No one has to worry about me indiscriminately banning them without cause.
        Well, this question is about the nature of that “cause”, not whether you have one or not 🙂 However, I concede the point – I don’t think you’d censor people unless you believed it was the right thing to do.

      • Thanks for your understanding. I’m sure you see my point in not allowing nasty comments through. That’s the issue.And persistent nastiness is bannable.

      • I’m sure you see my point in not allowing nasty comments through.

        Right now I’m speaking to you as an adult and a peer, Steve – no malice or criticism intended:

        I don’t entirely see your point, especially if your site is meant (in part) to be an outreach to the faithless. The internet is a nasty place, but if I were in your shoes, I would let everything through and react accordingly – which means (if I were in your shoes) I’d be meek but ignore the nastiness.

        Still, I defend your right to police your blog as you see fit, and this would be true even if I were the one being policed (and I have been in that position). I mention this to distinguish between being understanding of your decision to do so, and agreeing with it. Know what I mean?

  11. Who wants to hug it out?

  12. Censorin’ for Jesus. Again.

  13. Okay – then say that. “Christains should be the first … Don’t wait for those two atheists…” It may seem nit-picky, but I think it important that neither side misunderstand what you’re saying.

  14. You don’t see the irony in that?

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