Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Hate Speech Not Allowed Here

I'm just back from a mini-vacation, and I didn't take my computer with me.

I moderate the comments on this site. As my regular readers know, I encourage dialog and discussion, and have several "regulars" who disagree with my positions who post comments.

But, I have never posted hateful messages, and my latest blogs on abortion in health care reform and single sexually active adults seem to have brought out particularly vicious ones. They are not posted here, but any that contain threats are turned over to authorities.

The Bible teaches us to love our enemies; it doesn't say we have to post them on our blog.


Kari said...

Absolutely! Good for you. Thanks for holding your line on this one, and I'm sorry for any hate turned your way. I love reading your blog! Keep up the great work.

Robin Edgar said...

I am sorry to hear that you have received some comments that constitute hate speech or contain threats Rev. Haffner. As someone who does differ from you on some points, usually when you are clearly mistaken about something :-), I appreciate the fact that you have had the integrity to post almost every comment that I have ever submitted to your blog. I guess the very fact that you have published my critical comments makes it clear that you do not consider them to be "hateful messages". I have always felt that we have had a pretty good rapport and that you have respected my comments by posting them. I appreciate your integrity in that regard.

I am going to differ somewhat with your parting shot now. :-) To be honest the whole "love your enemies" saying of Jesus is rather questionable in light of all of the other things said about who to deal with one's enemies in the Bible. When someone uses the "love your enemies" line to try to persuade me or other people to back off from seeking justice in some matter I point out to them that Jesus appears to be a bit of a hypocrite in saying that in light of his ostensible attitude and apparent behavior towards his own enemies. . . Am I wrong? Just read the 'Book of Revelation' if you think so.

Having said that, I agree that no one is obligated to post the words of one's enemies to one's own blog but there are actually some good reasons for doing so, not the least of them being keeping lines of communication open towards the end of encouraging dialogue and discussion with one's enemies in the hope of eventually making peace with them. There are however other good reasons for doing so including, but not limited to, exposing their bad behavior. It's your blog and you may do what you want with it but when if I received hateful messages from my enemies, and even threats from them, on my blog (why am I saying if here?) I would post them for all the world to see. . . Heck, I will even post hateful comments made about me on other people's blogs to my blog in order to expose their hatefulness. So you might want to consider doing that at some point. Maybe make a "teachable moment" blog post out of some of the more hateful and threatening messages you have received recently. I deal with hate speech, and other hateful messages, or indeed threats, by exposing them and denouncing them, and even making those who spout them chow down on their own hateful words with my U*U World famous "Eat Your Words Diet", as U*Us well know by now. . .

Best Regards,

Robin Edgar

Robin Edgar said...

Most serendipitously, and quite ironically, I have just discovered that U*U blogger Laverne Coan posted about the An Angry Jesus at about 8:30 pm last night. Her very pertinent 'Lifting the Spirit: Experience of a UU Christian' blog post is listed about half a dozen posts below yours in the UUpdates blog aggregator. The Spirit works in mysterious ways. . . :-)