Friday, July 07, 2006

Hypocrisy Versus Integrity

One of the more insidious forms of subversion in the world today, is the practice of lying to people through propaganda and calling it “truth”. The classic example, of course, was the old Soviet newspaper “Pravda”, which simply took the regime’s doctrines and wrote stories to support them, ignoring all facts to the contrary. It failed in the end, but for decades many millions of people believed the lies told to them, because they thought they were receiving an independent and objective perspective on events and issues.

Liberalism was suborned by Socialism sometime in the Twentieth Century; it is difficult to pin down a specific date when the classic notions of human independence and right to free expression were rejected in favor of Leftist policies and Statism, because the process was gradual and concealed within false rhetoric – indeed, for many years the Socialists cloaked their agenda in the word “liberal”, knowing it held better support in the public eye – today of course “liberal” has been so sullied by the Socialists that now they call themselves new labels, like “progressive”, which word they will in time equally stain. Certainly by the 1930s, Socialism had reached a point where even freely elected governments were considering huge centralized government as the solution to all major problems, with the right to personal freedoms and expression harshly suppressed. By the 1960s, the strange amalgam of civil rights on the secular level with the abolition of rights to express faith was in full ascent, and by 1980 it was equally out-of-line to deny someone rights on the basis of their race or gender, or to expect that a person could express their faith publicly, especially traditional Christianity. The assault on Faith was managed on several levels, largely through manipulation of mass media and in the schools. The clear protection for faith in the First Amendment was perverted to apply only to protection from faith, and the deceitful phrase, ‘separation of church and state’ was repeated so often that many people today do not realize there is no such clause in the Constitution whatsoever, but that the phrase was a subjective interpretation adopted by anti-faith advocates.

Today faith lives on a battleground; anyone willing to express their faith in God is looked upon as odd, and any devout Christian is quickly cast as a social misfit and an enemy of the modern culture; schools today often ban Christian jewelry in the same class as gang paraphernalia, and any expression of faith is treated as “hate speech”. While many Christians have tried to fit in as best they can, many faith-expressing families have found it necessary to home school. Despite the clearly unconstitutional discrimination made by so many school districts on this point, few challenges have yet been made in court. Christians do not tend to sue, which works to the I.S.D.s’ advantage, even as they falsely accuse Christians as troublemakers.

All this brings me, at length, to the focus of today’s article. The Internet has opened up a world of discovery for many people, and represents a clear threat to lies and distortion, as facts can be verified and false claims disproven. The problem in the matter of Faith, however, is that no court room or laboratory can prove or disprove matters of the spirit. So discussion sites are a useful way to explore discovery of moral truths and life lessons. The difficulty there, is that such sites tend to pick a position and treat it as the default opinion, demoting all others and treating them quite shabbily. I mean this not only in terms of those sites which reject Christianity, but also those Christian sites which are unwilling to test their own claims and assumptions. What is needed, is a site where conpeting opinions are treated equally in merit, and where serious discussions can progress. For a time, such a site was . Unfortunately, I must warn the reader that since being acquired by ABC, Beliefnet has chosen to promote the secular position and begun to censor and punish outwardly Christian positions, in violation of its own stated “Rules Of Conduct”. It is now a site of hypocrisy and intolerance.

Beliefnet is set up with a number of different boards for discussion, based on the faith focus. In the case of most faiths, deliberate insults and attacks against the faith is not allowed, and posts which attempt this are deleted, even in the “Debate” threads. For some reason, however, “Christianity Debate” not only allows deliberate lies and insults about Christianity, but seems to encourage them. Attempts by Christians to defend themselves are allowed, but only so long as they show deference to their attackers, and do not actually point out their lies and malice. I received emails from some Christians who gave up on the board, because they were sick and tired of the treatment, but I stayed for quite a while longer, hoping that the malice and hatred displayed by non-Christians could be remedied by discovering the truth from believers. Boy howdy, was I wrong!

I applied to become a Community Host, and was accepted. By and large, the Hosts at Beliefnet are hard-working and since they are volunteers, they do a lot of work for nothing but complaints from the offenders and people who dislike being told they cannot use profanity or threaten other folks. Unfortunately, the Hosts are required to abide by the site rules, which in some cases means a clear disconnect between the Rules of Conduct as stated, and what is actually enforced or supported. As near as I can tell, Beliefnet wants to encourage the Maltheists and Atheists, to such a point that the site regularly ignores ROC violations by these people, even as they discourage any expression of faith by Christians. In the beginning, it was sometimes necessary to address posts by extremist Christians, who used the board to preach at full voice and warn of impending hellfire for miscreants, but as the months passed the definition of ‘proselytizing’ changed and grew, so that it is never considered an offence for an Atheist to say insulting things about Christ, even when he clearly knows them to be false, or for a Buddhist to pitch her way as the only truly wise life, in deliberate condescension of the three traditional great faiths, yet for a Christian to explain the characteristics of Christianity, or to clarify the falsity of the many attacks against their faith, much less to openly observe hypocrisy and malice by non-Christians, is to risk immediate penalty. Christians are not only treated as inferior members of the site, they are expected to play by rules which clearly promote abhorrent moral values, especially the deliberate suppression of witnessing. Let me perfectly clear – in five years at the site, not once did I cross the ‘proselytizing’ line to claim that someone had to abandon their beliefs and adopt my own. I have been extremely careful on that point. Yet I have been regularly and very falsely pilloried simply for defending why I believe what I do, and for not accepting deliberate lies as truth. It is clear to me, therefore, that the board, like the site overall, has passed the point where a believer may hope to express or discuss their beliefs in a fair and open forum, and instead must endure a poisonous atmosphere which attempts to silence the Christian perspective, by design. To be sure, the site keeps a number of “Christian” boards open – but those boards are either kept isolated, as if Christians were a disease from which the other faiths must be protected, or else these boards deliberately target Christians for the sport of non-Christians; the right to respect for our faith is quite uniquely and intentionally abrogated there, and I strongly advise any Christian to stay away from Beliefnet – it is not a good place, nor an honest one anymore.

I am posting this article here, because some of my friends from Beliefnet sometimes read my work here, and I would like for them to understand my abrupt departure. I have asked management to release me from Host duties at all of the boards where I had served, and I do not intend to post again at Beliefnet. Seeing how people are treated when they say ‘farewell’ there, I do not intend to open myself up for the abuse, and in any case I do not see any reason to return just to see what was said about me. In a way, this is just as well; the fall semester is coming up and I will be more than busy with the existing responsibilities; wasting time at a ‘Mock the Christian’ site would be a poor investment indeed. To those friends from Beliefnet who read this, whether you are Christian or not, please understand it is not you I am leaving so much as it is necessary for me to choose honesty over supporting a fraudulent management. If I said more, I would be violating the agreement made when I became a Host. I have tried to leave off specifics of attacks for the same reason, and from a sense of honor – those who hate me are unlikely to read my personal blog, and so would not have a fair chance to defend themselves if I named individuals here.

I apologize to those who doubtless found this rant useless in information, but every so often this sort of thing has to be done – a statement reaffirming basic ideals, even if it makes for little interest to the public at large.


Tredibaker said...

Propaganda is based on the modern concept of truth: "What we agree is true, is true".

Of course faith is resistent to this type of thought process. That is why faith has come under attack.

I don't think that discussion can happen between people that cannot agree on a definition of truth.

Icarus said...

Based on the one comment - it looks like readers have flocked to your site, goofball.

And there I go, doubling your comments again.

You need medication. Seriously. Do you ever think you're Napoleon?

Icarus said...

"What is needed, is a site where conpeting opinions are treated equally in merit, and where serious discussions can progress."

That sentence is the funniest piece of self-parody I've ever read.

This from the self-appointed prince of censorship and deletion of all competing opinions.

You are so truly funny, Drummond. I have never encountered someone less self-aware or more completely blessed with absense of an understanding of an irony.

The fact that you are calling for "competing opinions" is so priceless. Your hypocrisy is almost boundless. Bravo!

DJ Drummond said...

Actually Icarus, your choice of screen names is what I find ioronic.

Surely you remember what led to Icarus' quite literal downfall?

In any case, the fact that you mix personal insults with out & out lies only provides support for my contention. For that at least, thanks.

Mark L. said...

D. J.

Originally, I was not going to comment because I had no dog in the fight (I did read your post on the day you wrote it and have been checking the comments out of interest.)

I am sure that icarus remembers what happened to the mythical Icarus because his comments indicate that he is flying way too low for the sun to melt his (or her) wings.

But commenter icarus needs to remember the rest of the legend. Dadelus not only warned his son not to fly too high lest the sun melt his wings. He also warned the boy not to fly too low lest the frogs jump on his wings and weight him down so much that he crashed.

So that croaking you are hearing from icarus? That's just the frogs he has accumulated by taking the low road.