Comment Deletion

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Not that I need to say this, but I have recently deleted two comments for arrogance, rudeness, aggressive belligerence, and above all for simple discourtesy. No one has a right or an obligation to correct misconception with anything other than reasoned argumentation and courtesy. I will tolerate a great diversity of opinions. I will NOT tolerate in any way discourtesy to any who visit here.

If one feels the need to make discourteous comments about others, it were best that one started one's own blog where one might say anything one wished and where I might avoid one at all costs. All future such comments will also be deleted. "Freedom of the press belongs to him as has one."

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What is it with folks around St. Blogs lately?

The 'Not So Quiet' Catholic Corner has taken down its comments for the same reason, and lamity was enough to drive Vociferous Yawpings under.

Something is rotten here.

Dear Mr. Riddle,

It is the anonymity of the comboxes that troubles me, for that anonymity may present a very great temptation to write uncharitable things.

We post in comboxes things we would never dare say to someone's face. Often we wouldn't dare to say that thing, not because it's so brilliant or true or trenchant a thing to say (although it may be) but, more likely because it's so self-indulgent and uncharitable a thing to say.

I'm glad you delete rude posts. And indignant accusations about your infringing on someone's free speech are disingenuous.

If it's free speech you want, here's my question: what's stopping you from buying a bullhorn, getting into your own car, and driving through your own neighborhood and the parking lots of your own parish church and of your workplace, and trumpeting forth your pronouncements? Now THAT's free speech!

Dear Marion,

I agree entirely. The posts were not anonymous, which is to the credit of the poster. If one is willing to say something, one should be willing to say it with an identity. To my mind, that is the price of free speech. However, free speech is a nice mythos that exists to a more-or-less greater extent where not supressed by PC forces on either side of the political spectrum. One of the nice things about blogging is that so long as you're willing to pay for it, you have access to truly free speech.

It so happens that while I am a firm advocate of freedom of ideas and discussion, I am an even more adamant proponent of voluntarily curbing one's enthusiasm of the moment in order to express properly and courteously the central notion you wish to share. This necessarily means engaging neither in rudeness nor in belittling talk that is uncharitable.

Thank you so much for posting, You and Jeff were the only real comments today. I got a half-billion blogger spam posts. Thank heavens for the ease with which MT deals with these.



Who was it that said something about freedom of speech and crying "FIRE" in a crowded theater?
I agree, if one can not be courteous in disagreement, one needs to find a different venue to speak. One can disagree vociferously without resorting to ad hominem attacks or inelegant speech.

One of my pet mini-peeves is the conflation of our Constitutional right of freedom from government interference (which is what "free speech" means) with some completely imaginary and bogus notion that any individual American is somehow OWED by private entities (such as news outlets, bloggers, advertisers, etc.) a forum from which to express his or her opinion!

Nothing could be more ridiculous, or further from the truth!

Glad you didn't fall for that one, Steven!

As a card-carrying jackbooted authoritarian, I am all in favor of suppressing speech. I do it all the time. I have had it done to me, and, you know what? The person did my a favor by deleting something I should have thought out better.

Most people don't realize that a little bit of censorship is as great a favor to the censored as it is to the readers.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 29, 2004 6:16 PM.

Books Abandoned, Books Taken Up was the previous entry in this blog.

Prayer Requests 30 September 2004 is the next entry in this blog.

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