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On the Fear of Speaking Out

 

PAULA BLANCHARD writes:

I have repeatedly posted my feelings on homosexuality on Facebook and have wondered why I never, ever get any response from my 300 plus friends (positive or negative). And then recently a friend whom I have known for at least 30 years privately messaged me to tell me that she loved reading the articles I post (often from your blog or links that you recommend). She regrets that she can’t comment or even post articles like that herself because she would probably lose her job over politically incorrect comments. Aaahaa! It doesn’t bode well for this country when a person cannot speak their mind. Kind of reminds me of the state of Communist block countries before the wall went down. Thank you for speaking up, but I do wonder if you have suffered any personal backlash?

Laura writes:

You’re welcome, and thank you for writing.

I don’t have a job to lose and however many expressions of hatred I may receive in my inbox, they are just that. Sticks and stones. God helps me to be embattled.

Most people, however, are severely hampered. For instance, priests can’t speak out against liberalism in the Church without risking disciplinary action, as we saw from the case of the Fr. Marcel Guarnizo who was censured after objecting to serving Communion to a lesbian. So the duty falls to concerned lay men and women. Soldiers and officers can’t speak out without risking never being promoted. So the duty falls to those outside the military or those who are retired, perhaps the most effective force.

And many, if not most, corporate positions require lockstep consent. Such is the case with your friend.

So, in general, those who are outsiders to the main institutions of society have almost an obligation of dissidence, whether they became outsiders as part of their rejection of the evil of liberalism or just ended up that way.

Despite these restrictions on speaking out in the mainstream, the more serious problem is the lack of conviction. This is a culture war, and many seek escape or suffer from confusion and incoherence on the issues.

—— Comments ——

Jen writes:

I am honestly amazed that for someone who so clearly believes in the things you do, that you aren’t brave enough to allow public comments on your site.

What a joke.

Laura writes:

Well, then the joke is on me because it is more work to do it this way.

The main reason I don’t take public comments is not to block a slew of hateful comments directed at me personally, but to create civil conversation. If that were something Jen valued, she would send me a civil comment expressing her disagreement with me. I have posted many such comments.

Laura adds:

I wouldn’t be surprised if Jen believed I was unworthy of a civil response because my views are too shocking and revolting.

But if that were so, she must be shocked and revolted by the vast majority of her ancestors, even fairly recent relatives. They would have largely shared my views. I would encourage her to view them as human beings, not repulsive, disgusting idiots

Jen writes:

More than happy to be civil. Seems to me you’re putting words in my mouth above, no? (repulsive, disgusting, etc?)

Also please tell me, how is calling gays and lesbians delusional perverts not equally hateful? In any case it couldn’t possibly be considered civil.

If you truly want to engage your audience, let them comment freely. One post per page with comments at the bottom, so no one has to read yards of anything unless they so choose.

 Laura writes:

I attributed hostility to you based on the tone of your initial e-mail, in which you said my commenting policy was motivated by fear of defending my views and called my site a joke.

It is not hateful to call an action that is perverted perverted. My concern is with people who might be tempted or hurt. Whether it is civil or not, perhaps not, but it falls within the realm of the type of comment I would allow if the commenter were otherwise reasonable. I don’t uphold civility as the end of conversation. There are other important values and the goal is truth and understanding of reality.

As for calling a woman who describes another woman her wife “delusional,” that was reasonable. It is delusional given the definition of “wife” that has been in use for thousands of years.

Regarding Jen’s suggestion on comments, I prefer moderated comments because the conversation is not interrupted by less important side points. While comment sections elsewhere include interesting exchanges, they are sometimes hard to read because they’re un-edited.

Jen writes:

Respectfully, I didn’t call your site a joke. To me, “less important side points” reads: opposing views to my own. The joke for me, is not allowing this healthy debate to happen with transparency. Sure you’ll get a few people who may choose to name call rather than present an opinion or argument – those you can delete. You can still moderate. It’s common practice across blogs and web sites.

Out of curiousity, who or what do you feel defines perversion, or what acts are perverted?

Laura writes:

Saying this site is founded on a joke is tantamount to saying it is a joke.

God defines perversion.

Are you asking me to explain why masturbation is an act of perversion? When I referred to the lesbians engaging in perverted acts, I was referring to mutual masturbation.

Masturbation is perverted because it is anti-social.

Jen writes:

This actually made me laugh.

I masturbate all the time. I’m the most social person I know. I’m also married, own a home, have a wonderful job and a slew of family and friends who love me.

Laura writes:

But to say something is an anti-social act is not to say that someone who commits that act is not also capable of social acts.

Lying is an anti-social act. But liars often live sociable lives. (I am not equating lying and masturbating as they are  different things. My point is that they are both anti-social.)

 Mark L. writes:

I’m not sure whether Jen is being genuine or not, but I strongly disagree with her that you, Laura, should open your site to unmoderated comments. I’ve seen how comments in this kind of forum degenerate within a few short postings — and I’ve noticed this on sites of ALL political stripes — whether conservative or liberal — you’ll even find that in the comments section of online newspapers. It doesn’t take long before the commenters go off on a tangent, sniping at each other. This adds absolutely nothing to advance one’s understanding of the issue at hand, and getting involved in the sniping is actually bad for one’s psyche.

Anyway, Jen, I hope you stick around, despite the occasional bit of strong rhetoric (that may offend modern sensibilities, but is actually mild compared to what you’d witness if the comments were unmoderated). Laura and her commenters make many excellent points that don’t get a hearing in the mainstream media. Laura has a track record of seriously engaging with people who have viewpoints that differ fundamentally from hers.

Make your points respectfully, I say, and let the debate begin.

Laura writes:

Thank you.

I would rather close my site than have open comment threads, even threads in which I delete rude or nasty comments.

It’s not that there aren’t sites where this turns out fairly well. It’s just that, as I see it, time is short and it’s asking a lot of readers and of me to engage in tangents that don’t further the main issues.

Jen writes:

The fact that you went ahead and posted only half of our conversation tells me everything I need to know about you.

 Laura writes:

That’s simply not true. I posted much more than half of our conversation and the fact that you would say this is further indication of your hostility and unwillingness to engage in debate.

You sent other e-mails that reiterated your point about the value of opening comment threads. You also said that views like mine are leading to the suicide of homosexual teenagers. I took the time to respond to both of these points in private.

But, as I said, I am also interested in creating a readable dialogue and these are examples of the sort of redundancies and tangents that wear readers out. I often don’t post all of what readers who fully support my views send me either, even if they are valid points. Sometimes, it’s simply a lack of time.

Anyway, this isn’t a democracy. I’m running a brutal, authoritarian theocracy. But I do entertain opposing views.

Jeanette V. writes:

I often speak out and and I’m a plain speaker. One of the reasons I do this is that I am able too. I am retired and have a good retirement income. No one can call my employer and get me fired. My photography business is mostly with orthodox Christian Churches photographing their conventions and services.

That of course doesn’t stop the homo-fascists from trying. Here is the latest.

Andi Rosin · Top Commenter · Montpelier, Vermont

Jeanette Victoria I sent your comments using the words “vindictive lesbian” and “homo-fascist” to the NC psychology board. Someone who uses hateful words like that should not be counciling others.

This person simply proved my point. Not only is she a vindictive Fascist but she is not very bright as well.

The sad part is my profile on Facebook is very clear I am a retired Licensed Psychiatric Technician (a specialized nurse for psychiatric patients similar to a lvn/lpn). LPT’s only exist in the military and five states. I now live in a state where my license is of no use. I let it go as I never intend to do that work again. I’ve never been a therapist. In fact I’m a grad school drop out when I realized I would make a very poor therapist. I was a good med nurse however.

Robin writes:

I can honestly say with sadness in my heart that I have personally had heated conversations with friends over the fact that The Thinking Housewife is “liked” on my Facebook page, and followed on my Twitter account! Astonishing! One of these electronic conversations did end quite well, and my friend is now more aware than ever that I am NOT the person I was when I was younger, and we are in opposing courts politically and socially. So be it. It does not bother me one bit. It was quite humorous at one point, though, because she did accuse me of “hating men” by following this blog!

As time passes, I am less concerned about what other people think about my traditionalist views. Although I often abstain from debating delicate topics with my employer, most others who now know me also know the depths from which I recovered: a broken life due to “buying the feminist dogma”, and the process of God rebuilding it beautifully – bringing beauty from ashes. He continues his beautiful work daily, all thanks be to Him. The way I see it, Mrs. Wood is simply an agent of God, assisting in His work here on earth, helping to open the eyes of others who have been blinded by an errant worldview.

As far as Jen is concerned, she should enjoy visiting any number of mainstream media blogs where all comments are posted unless they are truly vile. These blogs offer the kind of divisive and strife-filled debate that Jen seems to prefer. The Thinking Housewife is a place where you have the luxury or actually THINKING prior to writing from your own email; and then thinking once more before sending, and then thinking at last before requesting that your post be totally ignored! Or, in my case, when I truly have written something idiotic (from my perspective, in retrospect), at least Mrs. Wood saves me the embarrassment and herself the agony of posting my thoughtless and possibly hormone-laden, lady-drivel all over the World Wide Web!

It’s a win-win situation.

Laura writes:

Ha!

I’m sorry I’ve gotten you in trouble with your friends.

Ah, well.

Robin writes:

I should add: when the friend of my youth sees this post, she’s going to know I’m at home under extreme duress at the hand of my precious husband, knitting my own burqa…

Clem writes:

“You also said that views like mine are leading to the suicide of homosexual teenagers.”

Wow, I guess I am not so bad then. It only causes me to drown kittens.

Laura, it is people like you that are leading the way. Thank God we have eloquent writers like you who are not afraid to speak the truth.That some folks fear for their livelihood, families and whatever else shows have far down the totalitarian hole we have come. Freedom of speech indeed.

Laura writes:

Thank you.

By the way, to Jen’s point that open disapproval of homosexuality encourages suicide, I responded, in so many words, that since the sexual revolution began in the late nineteenth century, suicide among teens has grown astronomically. Encouraging teens to express sexual confusion publicly does not prevent depression and deep ambivalence. Also homosexuality even today, after an immense decline in disapproval of homosexual behavior, is still correlated with a relatively high rate of suicide among homosexual adults, a point Jeffrey Satinover, a Harvard psychologist, made in his book Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth.

Wheeler MacPherson writes:

To Jen, the smug masturbatrix:

You note that you’re married and social and well-loved. Do you have children?

You wrote, “The fact that you went ahead and posted only half of our conversation tells me everything I need to know about you.”

Laura has already answered this charge, and her reasoning is sound. I would like to know, though….how does it feel? How does it feel to perceive that your point of view is being misrepresented, distorted, truncated? This is what those of us who hold traditional views experience every single time we are exposed to the mainstream media. If we write a letter to the editor, if we read an editorial, if we watch the evening news … this is our lot. So while I reject your accusation that Laura is manipulating your e-mails in order to exalt her own opinion, let’s say for the sake of civil argument that you’re correct in your accusation. How does it feel? Does it feel anything like, oh, say, empathy for those with whom you disagree, hmm?

One other thing – where’s your blog? Where’s the website where you regularly bare your ideological / theological / philosophical breast and invite others to have at you?

 Laura writes:

Mr. MacPherson’s comments remind me of that part of the discussion with Jen that I did not post.

She accused me of a lack of “transparency” because I do not post more negative comments.

I responded that her assumption that I receive many negative comments was false and that I almost never (there are exceptions I could cite) post comments that are personal insults with little reasoned argument.

I also wrote:

Transparency?

You are pulling my leg.

Opposing views are expressed everywhere. This obscure blogger hardly controls the conversation.

Laura adds:

Another problem with open comments threads is that they lead naive people to think that the number of commenters who hold a certain view is indicative of whether it is true or false. You see those silly voting systems at websites where there are thumbs up or thumbs down for certain comments. How ridiculous. I want nothing to do with those juvenile popularity contests. That’s not conversation. Fifty thousand people can be wrong while one person is right.

Terry Morris writes:

Jen masturbates all the time , and she’s the most social person she knows.

That one had me literally laughing out loud. But be that as it may, and in all seriousness in any event, what exactly does this prove in the context of this exchange?

One wonders how many fellow masturbaters Jen knows whom she would also describe as, well, the most social people she knows, second only to herself?

 Laura writes:

Jen was trying to prove, I believe, that my idea of perversion was absurd. I said the lesbians were engaging in acts of perversion and she saw nothing wrong with what they were doing.

Ian M. writes:

I am very happy that you edit and filter the comments that appear. The discussion is much more readable and of much higher quality than it would be otherwise. I do not bother to read the comments on most sites. Your site and VFR are the two notable exceptions.

Jane S. writes:

To Jen, start your own blog. Then you can run it any way you like.

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