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View Diary: A Call to Censor the Religion Blogosphere (84 comments)

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  •  I don't see where (4+ / 0-)

    anyone is trying to censor anything. So the Vatican wants to tell Catholics what they should or shouldn't do... that's nothing new. No one's forcing anyone to be Catholic (anymore). Big deal. Just ignore them.

    Break the Cornspiracy! Eat grass-fed.

    by ubertar on Tue Mar 02, 2010 at 05:46:23 PM PST

    •  tell that to the progressive catholic bloggers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LynneK, Larsstephens

      I guess your sense of blogger solidarity has some pretty severe limits.

      •  Where does the right of the catholic (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ubertar, Larsstephens

        hierarchy (since the apostolic hierarchy is the essence of catholicism) get to say 'you're not speaking for the catholic church?' - up to and including threats of ex-communication?

          •  Any time it likes. It's a membership optional (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raincrow, ubertar, Larsstephens

            organization. It's not a government (anymore).

            •  actually it is a government (5+ / 0-)

              as well as a religion. The U.S. has diplomatic relations with the Vatican, which has an embassy in DC.

              That said, the church has long had a membership and set of subsidiary entities that live in apparent contradiction in their beliefs and practices; and its history has been marked by eras of silencing of different points of view have been the worst eras in its history from Galileo through the Inquisition, and more.

              My Catholic friends don't think that is a good thing. I support them in their efforts to speak out and to be heard.

              •  Ah, that's not doctrine (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Nor do I see a concerted effort by the Vatican to silence critics of it's past, and by definition an organization defines it's own beliefs and practices. And can set up subsidiaries to do whatever. Jesuits can lie about the Church if given dispensation by the church. In the church it's perfectly rational and obvious. If you're finding it difficult to handle, welcome to the Reformation.

                And the Vatican is a government of how many acres? It's not a government in the truest sense any longer - the ability to apply force to it's subjects. Trying to equate the Vatican Compound with government power over it's membership is a bit of a reach.

                •  I think you are being argumentative (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  without really offering an argument.

                  I did not say that the Vatican is seeking to silence people who write about its past, I am talking about bloggers writing about its present. The events of the past, were at the time, present, and involved silencing and repression.

                  The SSRC documents that the Vatican is worried about bloggers and the transparenty and challenge that often goes with it -- and quotes a prominent American Cardinal to that effect as well.  

                  You can ignore the unamiguous implications if you wish, but I choose not to.

                  •  What steps towards censorship are they taking? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    raincrow, ubertar

                    And I will defend to the death both your right to criticize the Church and the Church's right to determine it's membership. Since membership is the only legitimate threat that exists, today.

                    •  I don't know yet (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      I have stated what I know in the diary, and there may be a bit more than I quoted from the study. Seems like fair warning to me.

                      I have to say that although I don't know you, I find it astounding that you and others on this thread are so supportive of the prospective silencing of dissident American bloggers.

                      •  we're not supportive of it, (0+ / 0-)

                        we'd just like to see some actual evidence for it before getting all up in arms about it.

                        Break the Cornspiracy! Eat grass-fed.

                        by ubertar on Tue Mar 02, 2010 at 07:28:09 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No, people insisted (0+ / 0-)

                          the church has every right to control its "message."

                          There was little concern expressed that anyone should care if progressive Catholic bloggers might be silenced -- as the SSRC's discussion of the Vatican indicates that they might be. Certainly Joe Carter thinks they, and bloggers from other denominations who deviate from conservative orthodoxy ought to be.

                          I don't expect anyone to get up in arms. I expect people to actually read, and not mischaracterize what I intended after the fact.

                          •  How are they to be silenced? (0+ / 0-)

                            This is the point you're never making. We're saying the Church has the right to say 'you don't speak for us, you are not speaking of orthodoxy'. Just as bloggers have the right (here, and I assume that's what we're talking about) to blog to their hearts content. The church can't silence them here.

                          •  Perhaps you should try reading (0+ / 0-)

                            the headline and the diary.  I have described a "call to silence" bloggers. I have not said that there is a specific plan or that any bloggers have yet been silenced.

                            Given the context of the pope's intention to, as he has put it, to purify the church, even if that means a smaller and leaner church; and given the silencing of theologians and clergy over the past few decades and in recent years, I maintain it is a fair concern.

                            True, they are not going to be tortured as heretics, but as I have mentioned elsewhere on this thread, they can lose jobs, health insurance, pensions, and so on. Clamping down on blogging, if as seems likely will happen, is part of silencing dissent, I say that matters, and not only to Catholics.

                          •  when you say "they" can lose jobs, (0+ / 0-)

                            health insurance, etc., you are referring to employees of the Catholic Church, right? I don't see how anyone else could be affected this way. If that's what you mean, you've got a point, as pertains to those people. But for whatever reason, you refuse to be that specific, and make the threat seem broader than it is, which is why you're finding resistance here. The sky isn't falling.

                            Break the Cornspiracy! Eat grass-fed.

                            by ubertar on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 07:48:23 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  yes, in the crystal clear context (0+ / 0-)

                            of the preceding comments, yes, the they we were discussing was the Catholic Church. If you go back to the diary, it also is clear that the proposal, from someone who happens to be part of a leading neoconservative think tank that has helped spark plug the neocon war on moderate and liberal churches, you'll see that this goes beyond the Catholic Church.

                            As for the standard you set of the sky not falling, there are few things discussed on this site that meets that standard.

                            I have raised a fair concern based on the understated scholarly findings of a major study. You, and a very few unrepresentative others, have acted as though I was taking about things other than what I wrote.

                          •  it was clear you were talking about the CC. (0+ / 0-)

                            What wasn't clear was that those being threatened were CC employees only. Lay people can't be threatened in any other way than being booted from the organization. If you play up the "threat" to laypeople, it clouds the threat to employees, which is real. It allows people to dismiss the issue. If info is crucial to your point, it belongs in the body of the diary, and not just in links.  

                            Break the Cornspiracy! Eat grass-fed.

                            by ubertar on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 11:23:17 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  my diary was about the threat (0+ / 0-)

                            of the silencing of bloggers. No more, no less.

                            In the wider conversation that developed, we also discussed the issues of the context in which silencing occurs.

                            But I submit that the consequences are more than potential labor disputes, as important as those are. This is part of the debate about the direction of the church and its role in society.

                            For example, it is also about accountability. We can certainly see how this might play out for members and family who have been affected by the sex abuse scandals. The cover up is ongoing in important ways, and Voice of the Faithful has been banned from meeting in Catholic churches by order of various bishops. Might we see efforts by the heirarchy to silence Catholic bloggers whose posts embarrass the likes of a Cardinal? It would seem to be so, based on the SSRC report on the point. That day has not come as far as I know. But the purpose of this diary was to say that it probably will.

              •  Minor point. (0+ / 0-)

                The US maintains full diplomatic relations with the Holy See, not Vatican City. While virtually indistinguishable, the Holy See is the church and Vatican City is the geographic political boundary.

                So our government places one religion above all others. Thank you Ronald Reagan.

                "[The GOP wanting to debate Obama is like saying] 'Let's see how tough Aquaman is when we get him in the water.' " --Seth Meyers

                by homogenius on Tue Mar 02, 2010 at 10:15:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  my my (5+ / 0-)

        You do seem a very angry person.  It is hard for people to have a conversation with you when you call them ignorant.  

        This is an interesting post, although I had trouble deciding what point of view you were taking. It is intresting that the church heirarchy is concerned about people discusing their theology on the internet- but as pointed out above, controlling the message has long been part of the Catholic history.  The move away from a controlled message began with the printing press, and continues today with the internet.

        I personally do not think that a theologan has greater authority to speak about religion than a member of his sect- or a scientist for that matter.

        If the churches wish to control the message given out in their particular name, that seems fine.  The own the copyright to their particular story.- But discusion of an individual's own beliefs ( or testimony as the evangelicals call it) is also fine.

        It is also inevitable, with the internet.

        •  somne people wish to discuss (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kalmoth, blueoasis, Larsstephens

          some people just wish to inflame, and often do so out of ignorance, such as in the comment above that you recommend.

          Is this an Onion article? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:raincrow, BPARTR
          I recognize that fantasists want to control their franchise, like when JK Rowling sued that Russian guy who ripped off her Harry Potter novels.  But can't they just talk about it among themselves?

          As people go, when responding to insulting comments about their diaries, I am pretty far from angy.

      •  they're free to write whatever they want, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow, Larsstephens, nickrud

        whether the Catholic Church likes it or not. The CC has the right to kick them out of their exclusive club if they want, in which case, it's time to switch to Groucho Marxism.

        Break the Cornspiracy! Eat grass-fed.

        by ubertar on Tue Mar 02, 2010 at 06:07:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What is "blogger solidarity"?? (0+ / 0-)

        Because I blog, I'm supposed to feel some natural kinship to others who blog? Does that have to include Freepers, RedStaters, Politico, and Instapundit? Man, I hope not, because I manifestly do not. Your rules and mine are VERY different.

        What do you propose we bloggers do to express our solidarity? Do we storm the Vatican's cyber-gates demanding that they stop bullying poor free-thinking Catholic bloggers? LIGHT THE TORCHES!! POSITION THE TREBUCHETS!! CHARGE!!!!!


        •  oh come on (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, LynneK

          When the lights go out for Catholic bloggers, that will be a shame. How about gay Catholics? How about victims of sexually abusive clergy? Should we laugh them off? This pope has made clear that squelching dissent and forcing a far stricter adherence to conservativer orthodoxy is a priority.

          My progressive Catholic friend Frank Cocozzelli has written about the Vatican investigation of American nuns and celebrates the resistance of many to this quiet inquisition.

          •  Old 'net saying (0+ / 0-)

            The internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.

            Churches can try, but bloggers will blog, and network, and keep their ideas moving. The printing press made the Reformation inevitable, imo - once people could read the Bible for themselves, a church that told you what was in it was untenable. With blogging, dissenting views reach millions in days. The question is how churches will respond - whether they'll adapt to keep people from leaving altogether. Gay clergy and same-sex marriage are a good start. I'm the last person to tell a church what to do, but we need more voices telling the Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, and hard-right evangelicals that they're simply on the wrong side of history.

            We're on a blind date with Destiny, and it looks like she's ordered the lobster!

            by Prof Haley on Tue Mar 02, 2010 at 11:13:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  oh come on^2 (0+ / 0-)

            How are the lights going to "go out for Catholic bloggers"???? What about the ones who refuse to let the lights go out? You seem to have a very low, even patronizing, opinion of the will to self-determination of Catholic bloggers. From your portrayal, these people are defenseless lambs, cowering and powerless, waiting for their intertubes to be severed, the electricity to be shut off, the assassins to strike.

            And how do you dare devalue the experiences of the children and adults raped by Catholic clergy by equating the terrible crimes committed against them to the Vatican's admonishments against unsanctioned blogging? I must protest and also question your sense of proportion.

            And my questions remain: what on earth do you mean by "blogger solidarity"? What actions do you intend to take to battle back against conservative Catholicism? And, I might as well ask, what does this have to do with electing better Democrats?

            •  I have been clear (0+ / 0-)

              beginning with the headline, which said that there has been a call for censorship of bloggers.  

              There has.

              We know this because a major academic study noted that it is so.  What's more, a major neoconservative blogger, working for a strategic think tank added that he thinks that is a fine idea and suggests that conservative factions in other churches to try to shut down discussion in their churches by silencing bloggers as well.

              I question your ability to engage in thoughtful conversation other than to misread what I write and then tee off on your misreading.

              I have not equated anything with the crimes of Catholic clergy. What I have said is that the likely targets of the prospective effort to silence bloggers might very well include such people as those affiliated with Voice of the Faithful, who for example have been denied meeting places in Catholic churches by order of bishops.

              As for your question, there are two main points. One is that there are many efforts to try to limit the blogosphere, and we try to expose and thwart these efforts all the time on this site.  These things have nothing directly to do with electing better dems, and everything to do with our capacity to elect them. Secondly, there are many things we write about that form the broader context of our culture and politics that shape our politics. The matters I am writing about in this diary, and the underlying study on which I reported, are part of it.

              But if you have a complaint about the relevance of my post, you can take it to the management.

              •  Again: how are the lights going to go out (0+ / 0-)

                for these Catholic and other religious bloggers???

                I still wonder why you think these bloggers -- who seem to be quite capable of thinking for themselves and acting upon their thoughts -- are going to allow themselves to be silenced if they do not wish to be silenced. Who or what do you think is going to stop them from blogging if they choose not to stop??? It strikes me as downright patronizing to portray such people as weak and helpless.

                It's one thing to point at and call out people who wish to censor religious speech they deem unsuitable. It's another thing to behave as if the would-be censors actually have the slightest power to silence anyone who does not choose to be silenced -- to "make the lights go out." Let's be real about this. They do not. What purpose is served by portraying them as if they have such power? I would argue that doing so is a distortion and perhaps even a vanity, and that perpetuating such a distortion is not "thoughtful conversation."

                Enough electrons on this.

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