Thursday, June 22, 2006
Yesterday, we banned three IP addresses from RSR.
Although we've found them personally repulsive, in recent weeks we've been tolerant of comments from self-proclaimed bible-believing Christians that border on antisemitic and anti-Catholic, as well as a few that were downright racist and homophobic. In each instance, we swallowed hard and allowed the comments to remain for two reasons:
- We dislike political correctness. We oppose laws criminalizing hate speech, and we believe strongly in allowing all opinions -- no matter how repugnant -- to be heard.
- We think there's no better way to expose the real agenda of right-wing fundamentalism than to allow its adherents to write in their own words what they really believe.
Over the past couple of days, a small number of the these creationist cretins have become more abusive. I have taken action to ban these individuals because:
- One of these commenters is posting from the same IP address under five separate pseudonyms including, in a number of cases, using the first and last names of real people, often, making serial, off-topic comments on the same post.
- Another, using at least two different pseudonyms swoops in early in each RSR post to make multiple off-topic comments designed solely to derail discussion by others.
- A third, apparently, has decided to make RSR his own personal platform for the promotion of anti-Catholic hate tracts.
RSR finds it highly ironic that the creationists -- who claim to be defending traditional moral values against Darwinist amorality -- are invariably the ones who resort to vulgar language. RSR is not a prude. We don't think there are good and bad words, but calling other readers who comment here "pricks" (as one of those banned yesterday has done) is an abuse of RSR's hospitality that we will not tolerate.
We will not ban anyone for using crude language as long as the words used add something of value to the comment. We are thinking here of the difference between the erotic and the merely pornographic. Wit is always appreciated, but we think, in general, it's beyond the meager abilities of the bible-thumpers. We strongly advise them to avoid attempting wit at all costs.
Likewise, we will not ban anyone who merely expresses disagreement. RSR regularly gets comments we don't happen to agree with. Those who sincerely want to discuss the ideas presented here, or even to register their disagreement are welcome as long as its done in a civil manner.
Even those who are less than civil will be tolerated if they make an effort to provide evidence for their assertions or attempt to construct a logical argument.
Tolerance is RSR's watchword. We want everyone, no matter where they stand on the issues, to feel welcome here.
That being said, we will not tolerate abusive behavior against this blog or those who wish to take part in the discussion here. Those who are unhappy about this policy are welcome to exercise their right to free speech by starting their own blog.