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Religion Forum Guidelines
RM | January 26, 2007 | Religion Moderator

Posted on 01/26/2007 9:05:39 AM PST by Religion Moderator

I am the current Religion Moderator and have general responsibility for this Religion Forum on Free Republic. However, all moderators have authority on the RF as well – and prior RMs may log in with my handle. So the person handling your abuse reports may or may not be me, but usually it will be.

I diligently try to read all of your posts, but am not here 24/7 and cannot remember all of the slights and parties involved on every single sidebar much less when posters carry grudges between threads. So if you are wondering why I singled one guy out and not the other involved in a dispute, often it is because I either did not see a previous post or did not remember it as part of the sidebar.

If the other guy in the dispute was given a warning, consider yourself warned as well.

I make every effort to treat all confessions with an even hand. Some here say that is not so evidently because their own confession is the target of what they consider to be more challenges and ridicule than the other guy’s confession. First, there is no confession on the Religion Forum with “clean hands” – if you doubt that, check out the threads where the article is “for” the other guy’s confession. Secondly, some confessions are far more contentious than others evidently as part of the doctrine.

Remember this: the demeanor of the poster says more about his own confession than the post says about yours. When he is being rude or mean it drives people away from his confession and towards yours. That is of course if you can resist the urge to meet fire with fire, in which case neither confession is appealing to the lurkers. The poster who “turns the other cheek” wins – every – single – time.

Some posters argue for their confessions as if their lives depended on it because, frankly, to many of them it does. Flame wars ignite over petty, miserably petty, minutia. Therefore, I hold all the Religion Forum posters to a tough standard:

1. Discuss the issues all you want, but do NOT make it personal. You’ll see this warning frequently on threads because the first offense in a flame war is often when one of the participants makes a personal remark about another Freeper, e.g. you’re an idiot, liar, heretic and so on. Attributing motives to another poster or otherwise reading his mind is “making it personal.” Stick with the issues and you’ll be fine. When in doubt, double check your use of pronouns before hitting “post.”

2. Thin skinned RF posters should stick with the “closed” threads. I can and do intercede to keep posters from “making it personal.” There is nothing I can do to prevent a poster from “taking it personal.” And, frankly, many posters come to the RF with huge chips on their shoulders. Such posters are as guilty of causing flame wars as the ones who actually do “make it personal.”

3. “Closed” threads on the Religion Forum include devotionals, prayer threads and caucuses. The header of the thread should make it obvious that the thread is closed, i.e. like a church meeting behind closed doors. Such assemblies will not be disturbed. Any challenges or ridicule will be removed. Any thread can be designated a caucus - e.g. labeled as a “[Catholic Caucus]” or “[LDS Caucus]” - provided that neither the article nor any of the posts challenge or ridicule any other confession. These are “safe harbors” for those who are easily offended or are ill equipped to defend their own confession.

It is disingenuous to complain that your confession is being maligned when you are NOT using the caucus designation to protect the thread from challenges!

4. All other threads on the Religion Forum are “Open” which means they are like a town square. Challenges and ridicule will occur. Expect them to be contentious, rough or even insulting. Your confession will be maligned on open threads. Your beloved religious figures will be ridiculed. Don’t complain because the author or a religious figure is called a liar, demon, heretic or whatever on an open thread. It is to be expected in the town square. Remember too that the Religion Forum is densely populated with highly educated theologians. If you are ill-equipped to defend your confession, you’ll get beat up on “Open” thread. When in doubt, ping one of your best defenders and withdraw to a “Closed” thread.

As much as is possible I try to use a progressive method with uncooperative Religion Forum posters – a warning, and if that warning is ignored, a cookie (making him log in again), and if that is ignored, an hour suspension … and so on up to a banishment. I do this because an occasional misstep on such sensitive matters as one’s confession should be tolerable. But I will not be ignored.

Posters who have been previously banned and try to come back with a different handle will be banished as soon as they are “found out.” Some retreads stay off the “radar” by behaving themselves, but once they start picking fights – they cause the moderators – any of us – to investigate. If you have been previously banned and want to come back on the forum, make a request, promise not to do whatever caused the first banning.

A poster may also be banned in an instant if he is discovered to be a racist, a hate monger including an anti-Semitist, troll, anti-Freeper, etc.

There will be people on the forum who are anti- your confession whether anti-Christian, anti-Calvinist, anti-Catholic, anti-Protestant, anti-Mormon, anti-Atheist, anti-Scientologist and so on. As long as they are arguing for their position on an “Open” thread – and are not using hate mongering material such as the false “oath for Knights of Columbus” or Jack Chick cartoons – and are otherwise abiding by the guidelines, their challenges will be tolerated.

Threads that become “toxic” – which is to say have devolved into an unredeemable mess of hurt feelings will be locked or pulled. I prefer to lock the threads because many posters put a great deal of effort in their replies and would like to keep them bookmarked.


TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: moderation; religionmoderator
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Please post your comments and suggestions here.
1 posted on 01/26/2007 9:05:40 AM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator

Best wishes to you sir. Sorry we here on the RF have slung enough mud that a moderator is needed.


2 posted on 01/26/2007 9:18:34 AM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Religion Moderator

With all due respect, would you please explain what you mean by "confessions?" I always thought of a confession as something you admitted when you got busted and were in trouble, so you gave your confession to keep from getting in any more trouble than you were already in. LOL At first I thought you meant an individual's post, but I wish you would clarify it for all of us. Thanks! :o)


3 posted on 01/26/2007 9:20:48 AM PST by NRA2BFree
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To: Religion Moderator

I don't hang out in the RF, but I will swing by to say, "Good luck to you, and Godspeed RM."


4 posted on 01/26/2007 9:22:42 AM PST by Darksheare (Hey, you're curious reader #[an error occurred while processing this directive] to reach the end.)
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To: NRA2BFree

A "confession" in this case is whatever a person believes. It may be theistic or atheistic, Christian or Hindu, Catholic or Protestant, LDS or Scientology or Presbyterian or Baptist, and so on.


5 posted on 01/26/2007 9:25:29 AM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator
OK. Thanks. Now I'll read it again to make sure I do what is right and expected of me on the religion threads. I usually get flamed by one or two people when I stand up for a preacher/evangelist. I just don't think Christians ought to be condemning other Christians. They're not walking in love when they do. That's my main problem. Actually, that's my only problem. LOL

It's not of the Lord to gossip or condemn other Christians. The Bible sets forth clear instructions on how we are to deal with a Christian who is not preaching/teaching the Word. When people attack other Christians and have not follow those instructions, then they ought not to be condemning others. The Bible tells us to watch the words of our mouth and to guard our tongues, because they can be deadly weapons, and can literally ruin people.

6 posted on 01/26/2007 9:43:55 AM PST by NRA2BFree
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To: NRA2BFree

If the Bible tells us to "watch the words of our mouth and to guard our tongues", how much more so should we watch what we post on these forums, since we have all the chances we need to preview what we write and give our written words due consideration.

So--if uncharity comes from our written words, which we have a chance to review, then we are more than ever responsible for them


7 posted on 01/26/2007 9:54:38 AM PST by Running On Empty
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To: Religion Moderator

Fair enough, but I do have 2 questions:

1. Are you the same RM we've had for the past several months or a new one?

2. In the past I've posted Jack Chick cartoons as a parody, not as an attack or as a truth. Is it the context that matters or is he totally off limits?

Thanks!


8 posted on 01/26/2007 9:55:42 AM PST by Gamecock (Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda secundum verbum Dei)
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To: Gamecock

I'm the same one. Jack Chick cartoons are off limits even when posted as a piñata, though some absurd sources do make fun for all. I have been known to "zot" ....


9 posted on 01/26/2007 10:01:57 AM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator

***even when posted as a piñata**


Hehehe


10 posted on 01/26/2007 10:04:42 AM PST by Gamecock (Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda secundum verbum Dei)
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To: Religion Moderator
Is it ok to call Islamic apologists names?

11 posted on 01/26/2007 10:22:16 AM PST by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
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To: William Terrell
If the Islamic apologist is a Freeper, no, calling him names would be "making it personal."

If he is not a Freeper, then yes - he can be called names (as long as they are not profane of course.)

12 posted on 01/26/2007 10:28:19 AM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator

Excellent guidelines, RM...


13 posted on 01/26/2007 10:34:23 AM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: Religion Moderator

Is it ok if I give decaffeinated chocolate bars to my pit bull?


14 posted on 01/26/2007 10:43:09 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it! Supporting our troops means praying for them to WIN!)
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To: xzins
LOL! But actually, chocolate is poison to a dog.
15 posted on 01/26/2007 10:49:29 AM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: xzins

If your mutt is anything like mine, giving him chocolate will cause him to ralph his guts out ... then go and post nasty personal remarks on the FR Religion Forum.


16 posted on 01/26/2007 10:51:29 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Religion Moderator

See....Maha Relig Mod knows all!

:>)


17 posted on 01/26/2007 10:52:53 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it! Supporting our troops means praying for them to WIN!)
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To: ArrogantBustard

For what it's worth, the Dallas City Council has decided that dogs can eat with their owners at outdoor restaurants.

America can have a little ralph with its JR & Sue Ellen.


18 posted on 01/26/2007 10:55:27 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it! Supporting our troops means praying for them to WIN!)
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To: Religion Moderator
Please post your comments and suggestions here.

No suggestions (you do an excellent job), but I do have a question: How are the religion moderators selected?

19 posted on 01/26/2007 11:21:13 AM PST by Logophile
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To: Logophile

I'm not really sure what was involved in my being selected. Perhaps I'll discover how it happens when the next one is selected.


20 posted on 01/26/2007 11:30:37 AM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator; Logophile
So is there a fixed term for you and the other mods?
21 posted on 01/26/2007 11:57:47 AM PST by Gamecock (Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda secundum verbum Dei)
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To: Gamecock

Trying to get rid of me so soon? LOL! Actually, no, I'm not aware of a fixed term.


22 posted on 01/26/2007 12:00:16 PM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator

Not at all. I think you are fair to all sides and do put up with good amount of nonsense. (counting myself as one of the ones dishing it out)

It's just kind of interesting to get a glimpse into the inner sanctum.


23 posted on 01/26/2007 12:03:29 PM PST by Gamecock (Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda secundum verbum Dei)
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To: Religion Moderator

Were you to pick a mod nickname, what would it be?

(Recall last November we got "Control Freak Mod", "Out of Control Mod", etc., all in good jest.)

Fr. Mod? Mod the Great?


24 posted on 01/26/2007 12:16:42 PM PST by Enosh
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To: Religion Moderator

Welcome, new Religion Moderator. I wish you luck, and lots and lots of patience.

Mama always said, "Do not get involved in arguments about religion."

Good advice, but hard to heed here on FR.


25 posted on 01/26/2007 12:19:28 PM PST by Palladin (Life without music would be a mistake.--Nietzsche)
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To: Enosh

LOL! I'd like to know what you'd pick.


26 posted on 01/26/2007 12:21:44 PM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: Palladin

Then again, if everyone listened to your mother, I'd be out of a job. LOL!


27 posted on 01/26/2007 12:24:49 PM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator
Fr. Mod is kinda cute, a play on words. RM + ZOT = Fryer Mod.

Hehee...

28 posted on 01/26/2007 12:26:26 PM PST by Enosh
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To: Enosh

LOL! That is hilarious!


29 posted on 01/26/2007 12:36:07 PM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator
Killjoy.

There ought to be some looseness allowed for improving the human race, I say.

30 posted on 01/26/2007 1:23:55 PM PST by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
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To: Religion Moderator
Catholics are,unfailingly, bright, attractive, and well-read.

Is that the principal reason we get so much opposition?

31 posted on 01/26/2007 1:27:31 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: bornacatholic

I don't know for sure, but if I were to venture a guess it would be that your confession is the "establishment" relatively speaking.


32 posted on 01/26/2007 1:36:47 PM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator

Yes. Established is just the right word to use.


33 posted on 01/26/2007 1:49:56 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: Religion Moderator

Were you a frequent poster on the Religion Forum before becoming a mod?


34 posted on 01/26/2007 1:50:40 PM PST by Invincibly Ignorant
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To: Religion Moderator
idiot, liar, heretic

I would like to make a distinction. Idiot and liar are insults (well, rarely, a lie can be proven, but not likely on an Internet forum). Heretic has a technical meaning, and when used as such should not be taken as insult. For example, if you profess to be Christian but deny the Virgin Birth of Christ, you are objectively a heretic.

More narrowly, the Catholic Church defines as heresy denials of certain Catholic doctrines, even if other Christian denominations disagree with them. For example, some Christians believe that The Virgin Mary did not remain virgin after the birth of Christ. This makes their belief on that score objectively heretical.

There is also a distinction between holding a belief that is heretical and being oneself a heretic. This is because in order to be called a heretic one has to have a full understanding of the correct doctrine. An ignorant person cannot be a heretic. So, there is in fact a dose of respect that comes with the term.

I don't know if other confessions use the word at all, but this is how Catholics use it. Please, do not think that if you are described as a heretic someone is trying to insult you. All that is typically meant by the epithet is that your belief does not conform to the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Another word with a potential to be taken as an insult is "anathema", or its English and Latin cousin, "excommunication". This is used to describe the same thing: that the anathemized belief or the excommunicated person is in contradiction to the Catholic (or Orthodox) belief system. It does not mean that the anathemized person is condemned to hell, or even that he is forever barred from communion. The purpose of excommunication is to call the person's attention to this unfortunate fact and invite him to correct his views and come back to communion.

I am not sure if confessions other than the Catholic and the Orthodox use these terms in the precise technical sense, but this is how we use them, and we mean no personal offense when we do.

35 posted on 01/26/2007 1:56:45 PM PST by annalex
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To: Religion Moderator

Bump for future reference (and, of course, thoughtful contemplation)


36 posted on 01/26/2007 1:59:16 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: annalex

The Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church tends to use the term "heretic" only in reference to member of the ELCA.


37 posted on 01/26/2007 2:02:22 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: bornacatholic

I guess that makes us antidisestablishmentarians ...


38 posted on 01/26/2007 2:08:30 PM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Mr. Lucky
Good to know. Same principle: in order to be a heretic you have to hold a belief that is overall compatible. I would not call a Muslim heretic -- our beliefs have too little in common. Obviously the Lutheran confessions are not trying to insult one another, they are just being technical.

Heresy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a "theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the Roman Catholic or Orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by extension, to that of any church, creed, or religious system, considered as orthodox. By extension, heresy is an opinion or doctrine in philosophy, politics, science, art, etc., at variance with those generally accepted as authoritative."

[...]

the term "heresy" has no purely objective meaning: the category exists only from the point of view of speakers within a group that has previously agreed about what counts as "orthodox". Any nonconformist view within any field may be perceived as "heretical" by others within that field who are convinced that their view is "orthodox";

Wiki


39 posted on 01/26/2007 2:11:18 PM PST by annalex
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To: ArrogantBustard
:)

You are sesquipedalic. That is a sign of Divine favor.

So you got that going for you; which is nice

40 posted on 01/26/2007 2:22:53 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: annalex; Religion Moderator; kosta50

I have to second annalex's comment, RM. Orthodoxy uses heretic and heresy in almost the exact way he has described Roman Catholic usage, the only difference being that for us a heretic is a heretic is a heretic whether or not they realize they are a heretic. To state that someone is a heretic or some belief heresy is merely a statement of theological fact within the contemplation of The Church. Neither are terms in any way synonomous with or equivalent to liar or idiot.


41 posted on 01/26/2007 2:46:41 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: annalex

"I would not call a Muslim heretic...."

I would because many of its theological roots lie in Nestorianism, Arianism and an odd old Arabian heresy which indeed did worship the Theotokos as a goddess.


42 posted on 01/26/2007 2:49:27 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Mr. Lucky

Quote: "The Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church tends to use the term 'heretic' only in reference to member of the ELCA."

And, is there a problem with that? :-)


43 posted on 01/26/2007 3:01:43 PM PST by Fischer1483
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To: Religion Moderator
From the link:
White chocolate: 200 ounces per pound of body weight. It takes 250 pounds of white chocolate to cause signs of poisoning in a 20-pound dog, 125 pounds for a 10-pound dog.

:-0!

44 posted on 01/26/2007 3:07:16 PM PST by Lee N. Field
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To: NYer; Salvation; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; wagglebee; Claud; magisterium

Catholic ping.


45 posted on 01/26/2007 3:12:36 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Religion Moderator

I'm disappointed in the recent moderation of the Religion threads. We Catholics are being held to a higher standard, imho.


46 posted on 01/26/2007 3:14:43 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: trisham
We Catholics are being held to a higher standard

We should be.

47 posted on 01/26/2007 3:17:59 PM PST by annalex
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To: annalex

No, I was trying to be cute. The ELCA and the Missouri Synod don't agree on much.


48 posted on 01/26/2007 3:25:16 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: annalex

No, I was trying to be cute. The ELCA and the Missouri Synod don't agree on much.


49 posted on 01/26/2007 3:25:58 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: Kolokotronis
well, thee are material heretics and formal heretics

It is helpful to think of it his way...all liberals are heretics but not all heretics are ugly

Is that helpful?

50 posted on 01/26/2007 3:26:50 PM PST by bornacatholic
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