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GOOD NEWS - BAD NEWS (Don't Say You Weren't Warned)
Self | 1-22-04 | Sidebar Moderator

Posted on 01/22/2004 6:34:29 PM PST by Sidebar Moderator

GOOD NEWS - BAD NEWS

(Don't Say You Weren't Warned)

The bad news is that I am the newly designated moderator of Free Republic's Religion Forum. The good news is that I am the newly designated moderator of Free Republic's Religion Forum.

First, let's discuss why this is bad news.

I have no doubt that everyone who participates in this forum is aware of the general posting guidelines of Free Republic; they've been in effect as long as Free Republic has been in existence. Just for clarity, here they are again: "NO profanity, NO personal attacks, NO racism or violence in posts."

Having spent the better part of a week reading as much as I was able to get to on the Religion Forum, which includes virtually every currently posted thread, I can say that I've seen no profanity (should be a given on a forum devoted to religion), and only one or two posts which could be construed to contain violence. On that score I commend you all.

Unfortunately, however, personal attacks are rampant. Protestants attack Catholics, and vice versa. Within these two major Christian families, Calvinists attack Arminians, and tit-for-tat. Traditional Catholics attack New Age Catholics, and back it comes. Self-professed Christians of all flavors post gratuitous insults and jibes directed toward Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses frequently. Threads are posted for the obvious and sole purpose of flaming "the opposition", whoever that might be in any particular instance. I could go on and on with further examples, but from many of your posted comments it is clear that all of you are aware of these facts, and seemingly, accept them as the order of things.

It is not the order of things, and it will no longer be tolerated.

Sadly, a forum devoted to perhaps the highest endeavor of the human mind and soul, that of the religious expression of faith, has become an embarrassment to Free Republic. All too often the discourse appearing in the Religion Forum resembles that found in those threads devoted to the War on Drugs, less the profanity, of course. Consequently, the question whether the Religion Forum will remain much longer as a feature of Free Republic, at least in its present format, is very much up in the air. How that question is answered depends entirely on the response each and every one of you make to this announcement in the next few weeks.

Therefore, from this time forward, the Free Republic rule of " NO profanity, NO personal attacks, NO racism or violence in posts.", will be more strictly enforced. Furthermore, you are all reminded that this is a religion forum; that is, all practitioners of any recognized religion, provided they also follow the rules, are welcome. However, since a large majority of posters to this forum are self-professing Christians, of one flavor or another, some additional rules will be imposed. You should all be quite familiar with them, even though some of you seem to pay them no heed at present.

These rules are:

"The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'." [Mark 12:31 (RSV)]

"But I say to you that hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you." [Luke 6:27 (RSV)]

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another." [John 13:34 (RSV)]

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments." [John 14:15 (RSV)]

Or, if the commandments of our Lord Jesus are insufficient (paraphrasing Paul) speak the truth in love.

For now, enough of the harsh words. There really is good news.

First and foremost, all that has passed prior to today is forgiven. However, my forgiveness, unlike that of God, is continuing but not unlimited. After all, I'm a sinner, too. Transgressions of the rules will be met with three warnings, followed by three progressively lengthy suspensions, after which unrepentant posters will be, shall we say, cast into the outer darkness. Totally outrageous violations, of course, remain subject to the ultimate penalty immediately, as always.

However, I am also aware that love, in the Biblical sense, is not the Hollywood kind of love we hear about all around us these days. Spirited debate is a hallmark of Free Republic, and is welcome. Sometimes the truth (at least as we understand it, through a glass darkly) sounds rather harsh, but even harsh truth can be couched in terms that allow the Christian love of the speaker to come through.

Further, no matter how you read the tenor of this announcement, I am not a martinet. I can be persuaded to change my mind by reasoned discourse. On the other hand, sinful nature that I have, I do not suffer fools gladly. Directing complaints to me over some action I have taken is fine; doing so with insulting language will not achieve the results you desire, and in fact, will probably result in something far worse. And, as always, I am not the ultimate authority regarding any decision I make; anything I do can be appealed to one higher court - Jim Robinson, by whose direction I am here as moderator.

There are some things I will not do. I will not arbitrate theological disputes. I will not resolve questions of church polity. Nor will I render judgment on interpretations of Scripture. Those are all issues for legitimate debate, and I do not propose to take part as just another poster on this forum. Naturally, I have my own opinions on all these issues, but my opinions are my own and I will keep them to myself.

You should also know, I suppose, that I was selected as the moderator of the Religion Forum because no one else wanted to wade into the mess that this forum has become. All too often when abuse reports come into the moderators from the Religion Forum it is discovered that there are no clean hands in the dispute under complaint. More often than not removing the post complained about generates another abuse report asking "why was I punished when he said thus-and-so first". In many cases, removing all of the offending posts makes the thread unreadable. So, whatever you think of me now, or come to think of me in the next few weeks, I'm your last chance. After me comes the abyss.

And do yourself a favor; before you respond to this announcement remember the immortal advice of Jim Croce:

'You don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with Jim'

I'm not Jim, but I've got his ear.

One final word. I am not here 24/7. I actually have a life away from Free Republic; consequently your questions/complaints/comments may not be answered immediately. Be patient, they will be answered eventually. In the end, my goal is (our goal should be) that there will come the day when my presence here is unnoticed. That should be attainable if we all act like the Christian brothers and sisters we claim to be.

May God bless you all.


TOPICS: Catholic; Charismatic Christian; Eastern Religions; Evangelical Christian; Islam; Judaism; Mainline Protestant; Orthodox Christian; Other Christian; Other non-Christian; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics; Theology
KEYWORDS: adminlectureseries; catholiclist; fr; ick; law; lexicon; sidebarpastor; zionist
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Pass this along, folks. Read it or not these rules are in effect as of now.
1 posted on 01/22/2004 6:34:31 PM PST by Sidebar Moderator
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To: Jim Robinson; Lead Moderator; Admin Moderator; Sidebar Moderator
It's up.
2 posted on 01/22/2004 6:36:37 PM PST by Sidebar Moderator (I'm keeping a log; wouldn't want to shortchange anyone on their three chances.)
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To: Sidebar Moderator; malakhi; PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain; JHavard; OLD REGGIE; ...
Good deal ping...
3 posted on 01/22/2004 6:40:52 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian; CCWoody; Wrigley; Gamecock; Jean Chauvin; jboot; jude24; AZhardliner; ...
GRPL ping to Sidebar Monitor's thread re the Religion Forum
4 posted on 01/22/2004 6:43:22 PM PST by drstevej
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To: Sidebar Moderator
A related thread:

Reminder About The Smokey Backroom

5 posted on 01/22/2004 6:44:21 PM PST by Admin Moderator
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To: Sidebar Moderator
"Traditional catholics attack New Age Catholics" ????

LOL, some will consider that a flame!

but thanks for coming. Your help is definitely needed.
6 posted on 01/22/2004 6:47:26 PM PST by Piers-the-Ploughman
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To: Piers-the-Ploughman
"Traditional catholics attack New Age Catholics" ????

And the schismatics....nevermind.
7 posted on 01/22/2004 6:49:37 PM PST by Desdemona (Kempis' Imitation of Christ online! http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/imitation/imitation.html)
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To: Sidebar Moderator
GOOD NEWS - BAD NEWS (Don't Say You Weren't Warned)

Good news, definitely good news.

8 posted on 01/22/2004 6:50:18 PM PST by malakhi
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To: Sidebar Moderator
***I can be persuaded to change my mind by reasoned discourse. ***

I appreciate your doing that today regarding the term "The Swarm." Thanks.
9 posted on 01/22/2004 6:55:58 PM PST by drstevej
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To: Sidebar Moderator; Jim Robinson
I like the three strike system, it seems clear and fair.

That said if FR decides that the subject of God is not welcome here anymore, that's the day I toss it in the garbage where at such a point it will belong. I find it incredible that this would even be considered.

I've been hoping for quite a while that Christians can come together and move as one body. I think the hateful types around here are the minority. I have full confidence in your ability to handle them.

10 posted on 01/22/2004 7:01:08 PM PST by AAABEST
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To: ahadams2; Eala; Grampa Dave; AnAmericanMother; N. Theknow; Ray'sBeth; hellinahandcart; Darlin'; ...
New Moderator for the religion forum Ping.
11 posted on 01/22/2004 7:01:45 PM PST by ahadams2 (Anglican Freeper Resource Page: http://eala.freeservers.com/anglican/)
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To: AAABEST
God is always welcome. Tbose slamming each other over religious topics are not.
12 posted on 01/22/2004 7:02:53 PM PST by Jim Robinson (I don't belong to no organized political party. I'm a Republycan.)
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To: NYer; CAtholic Family Association
ping
13 posted on 01/22/2004 7:03:08 PM PST by AAABEST
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To: Sidebar Moderator; xzins; P-Marlowe; Revelation 911; connectthedots; Vernon; ShadowAce; ...
If I were without sin I could throw a stone. Sadly, I've behaved as badly as any over here. Always tell myself I won't, but get sucked in. Still, it's no one's fault but my own.

I welcome your presence here.
14 posted on 01/22/2004 7:03:43 PM PST by Corin Stormhands (Virginia Senator John ChaChingChester is TAXING my nerves.)
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To: AAABEST
And if you feel FR is garbage, you are welcome to leave now. I assure you, you won't be missed.
15 posted on 01/22/2004 7:04:02 PM PST by Jim Robinson (I don't belong to no organized political party. I'm a Republycan.)
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To: Sidebar Moderator
All due respect, but IMO the Religion Forum is not "a mess."

Try as one might, a "religious" forum is NOT a "political" forum. Heaven is not earth. God is not man. And religious beliefs are not equal to temporal opinions such as "Howard Dean has a big green thumb -- on his shoulders."

On a religion forum, everyone should have the right to voice whatever theology they want to toss out.

But you cannot expect anyone of strong religious belief, especially if that person is a conservative, to agree that "your God is the same as my God; all Gods are equal."

God forbid that should ever be a requirement on or in a Free Republic.

16 posted on 01/22/2004 7:07:25 PM PST by Dr. Eckleburg (There are very few shades of gray.)
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To: AAABEST
bump
17 posted on 01/22/2004 7:10:30 PM PST by GirlShortstop
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To: Jim Robinson
That's what I thought JimBrother, needed to hear that.

God bless you, your family and FR. Thanks for giving us a vehicle for ministry and understanding.

We're going to need an assigned mod, as things are about to pick up in here in the near future.

18 posted on 01/22/2004 7:12:57 PM PST by AAABEST
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To: Akron Al; Alberta's Child; Andrew65; AniGrrl; Antoninus; apologia_pro_vita_sua; Askel5; attagirl; ..
PING

19 posted on 01/22/2004 7:14:02 PM PST by Loyalist (The scalpel of the abortionist is the sword of Islam.)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; Sidebar Moderator
It's fair, though, to make a distiction between a personal attack and a debate point. Some of these threads are replete with pictures, silliness, and direct attacks from both sides that are beneath the kind of scholarly reserve with which one might be expected to approach such weighty topics. While degree of guilt may differ, no one is innocent.

Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

20 posted on 01/22/2004 7:17:24 PM PST by Lexinom
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To: Sidebar Moderator
Amen SB.
21 posted on 01/22/2004 7:18:27 PM PST by kstewskis (34 more days until Lent and "The Passion" is released...and no I am NOT giving up Mel for Lent!)
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To: drstevej
I can see it now...

Sinners in the hands of an angry Mod

22 posted on 01/22/2004 7:22:36 PM PST by Alex Murphy
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
On a religion forum, everyone should have the right to voice whatever theology they want to toss out.

With all due respect, good doctor, I think you need to read the thread again. There is no prohibition against introducing any theological issue.

23 posted on 01/22/2004 7:23:39 PM PST by Sidebar Moderator (I'm keeping a log; wouldn't want to shortchange anyone on their three chances.)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
But you cannot expect anyone of strong religious belief, especially if that person is a conservative, to agree that "your God is the same as my God; all Gods are equal."

We'll all be banned, lol....

24 posted on 01/22/2004 7:23:48 PM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: Alex Murphy
LOL LOL LOL LOL
25 posted on 01/22/2004 7:25:10 PM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: Alex Murphy

Good one.
26 posted on 01/22/2004 7:25:38 PM PST by Desdemona (Kempis' Imitation of Christ online! http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/imitation/imitation.html)
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To: AAABEST
Bless you my child. Ask and you shall be forgiven. Now, go forth and sin no more.
27 posted on 01/22/2004 7:26:47 PM PST by Jim Robinson (I don't belong to no organized political party. I'm a Republycan.)
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To: Jim Robinson
And if you feel FR is garbage, you are welcome to leave now. I assure you, you won't be missed.

I guess I have to repost, as your temper has caused you to misinterpret what I stated.

That said if FR decides that the subject of God is not welcome here anymore, that's the day I toss it in the garbage where at such a point it will belong.

I stand by what I said, your moderator threatened to shut the religion fourm down. God is already not allowed on the main board so if this were gone how would God still be welcome here? Just curious.

I don't know why, but for some reason my wife asked who I was typing to. When I told her it was you, she said she wants to make you Swedish meatballs if you come to South Florida. Keep it up and it's hotdogs for you.

28 posted on 01/22/2004 7:26:58 PM PST by AAABEST
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To: Alex Murphy; Sidebar Moderator
Hey speak for yourself, friend.

With the five counts on my religion forum rap sheet (having done time in FR purgatory for each) with the announcement of SB's blanket pardon.... I feel like Mark Rich!
29 posted on 01/22/2004 7:26:59 PM PST by drstevej
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: Sidebar Moderator
Good post.

Be aware that for all the vitriol that flies in the religion forum, I personally have learned an enormous amount from the other posters here. And most of those who are serious disrupters tend to self-destruct quickly.

With that said, Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
31 posted on 01/22/2004 7:28:52 PM PST by Antoninus (In hoc signo, vinces )
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To: Antoninus
Hey no fair posting in Latin... we won't know if you're toeing the line!
32 posted on 01/22/2004 7:30:23 PM PST by drstevej
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To: AAABEST
I stand by what I said, your moderator threatened to shut the religion fourm down.

I believe what I said was that the question of the continued existence of the Religion Forum was very much up in the air. I also mentioned "outer darkness". Think Smoky Back Room before complete and total elimination.

And not to put too fine a point on the issue, throwing out those who continue to flame away is not the same as throwing out God. In fact, some might say it's just the opposite.

If God disappears from Free Republic (which I assure you He won't) I'll be gone before you notice it.

33 posted on 01/22/2004 7:35:10 PM PST by Sidebar Moderator (I'm keeping a log; wouldn't want to shortchange anyone on their three chances.)
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To: Alex Murphy
Not angry. Resolved.
34 posted on 01/22/2004 7:35:45 PM PST by Sidebar Moderator (I'm keeping a log; wouldn't want to shortchange anyone on their three chances.)
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To: drstevej; Antoninus
With that said, Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Hey no fair posting in Latin... we won't know if you're toeing the line!

Excellent idea!

35 posted on 01/22/2004 7:36:05 PM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: Sidebar Moderator; Corin Stormhands; xzins; Revelation 911; connectthedots; Vernon; ShadowAce
I am certain that we can all be persuaded to think before we post. The presence of a dedicated moderator is welcome. I know that all of us are fully capable of making our points without resorting to personal attacks. Let us all learn to hold our tounges (in this case, our fingertips). It is possible. With God ALL THINGS are possible. Even a civil discourse on theology.
36 posted on 01/22/2004 7:36:57 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
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To: drstevej
Hey no fair posting in Latin... we won't know if you're toeing the line!

As long as you don't see the words "scortillum" or "scelus" you're ok...
37 posted on 01/22/2004 7:38:10 PM PST by Antoninus (In hoc signo, vinces )
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To: drstevej
As the only New Age Catholic on this forum, I'm screwed!
38 posted on 01/22/2004 7:39:29 PM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: drstevej
I feel like Mark Rich!

Careful. As my father often says, "Don't let prosperity go to your head." ;^)

39 posted on 01/22/2004 7:40:02 PM PST by Sidebar Moderator (I'm keeping a log; wouldn't want to shortchange anyone on their three chances.)
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To: Ex-Wretch
Does this mean I can't be callin heretics "gravy-sucking pigs" anymore?

I would think not. But if you were actually able to find a gravy sucking pig, then surely you should be able to call it a heretic. Indeed, you could even call it Shirley.

40 posted on 01/22/2004 7:41:31 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
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To: sinkspur
As the only New Age Catholic on this forum, I'm screwed!

I assure you if you do get screwed that won't be the reason.

41 posted on 01/22/2004 7:42:14 PM PST by Sidebar Moderator (I'm keeping a log; wouldn't want to shortchange anyone on their three chances.)
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To: P-Marlowe
I thought Pigs ate anything that they could get their snouts near (I was raised in the city though....)
42 posted on 01/22/2004 7:42:52 PM PST by CARepubGal
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To: Sidebar Moderator; .45MAN; AAABEST; AKA Elena; al_c; american colleen; Angelus Errare; Annie03; ...
Consequently, the question whether the Religion Forum will remain much longer as a feature of Free Republic, at least in its present format, is very much up in the air.

Ummmm....uh....I'll hold my tongue and simply add a ping...

Religion Forum Ghetto about to be totally liquidated ping!

43 posted on 01/22/2004 7:44:29 PM PST by Polycarp IV (Is this how the Jews felt after going into the ghetto but prior to Auschwitz?)
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To: CAtholic Family Association
See Post #33.
44 posted on 01/22/2004 7:46:46 PM PST by Sidebar Moderator (I'm keeping a log; wouldn't want to shortchange anyone on their three chances.)
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To: Sidebar Moderator
Not angry. Resolved.

In the words of that great theologian Foghorn Leghorn..."It's a joke, son!"

45 posted on 01/22/2004 7:47:22 PM PST by Alex Murphy
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah
Deo gratias
46 posted on 01/22/2004 7:47:36 PM PST by Land of the Irish
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To: CARepubGal; Ex-Wretch
I thought Pigs ate anything that they could get their snouts near (I was raised in the city though....)

That is true, however when they are sucking gravy it is very difficult for them to manipulate the keys on their keyboards. Hence you shouldn't be able to find any gravy sucking pigs posting in the religion forum.

Most of the gravy sucking pigs that I know of are posting at DU and using voice recognition software.

47 posted on 01/22/2004 7:47:37 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
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To: P-Marlowe
LOLOL! And the GSP (gravy sucking pigs) are unwashed and sort of resemble Michael Moore (ewwwww). :-)
48 posted on 01/22/2004 7:49:18 PM PST by CARepubGal
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To: Alex Murphy
Of course it's a joke. However, I've noticed in the past week that jokes are a bit sparse around here; just didn't want anyone to get the wrong impression.

You suppose Jonathan Edwards would agree? Hard to tell from his writings.

49 posted on 01/22/2004 7:50:40 PM PST by Sidebar Moderator (I'm keeping a log; wouldn't want to shortchange anyone on their three chances.)
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To: P-Marlowe
Not sure, but didn't the Lord cast all the gravy out of them Shiley pigs before they ran off the cliff and drowned? Gravy bad.
50 posted on 01/22/2004 7:50:44 PM PST by Ex-Wretch
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