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  #1  
Old 14th December 2012, 12:51 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default Bannings from the group

member TheGiftOfLife has been banned for a couple of reasons.

I have the role of moderator in this discussion group. This means that occasionally I will set limits on what can be discussed by deleting a post, closing a thread, or setting limits on topics and the direction of a discussion on a topic.

Recently, I limited political discussion, since this is a discussion group on Catholicism, and I asked members not to post exaggerated or sensational claims about President Obama (e.g. that he is a communist, etc.). TheGiftOfLife posted repeated messages along these lines, so I repeatedly deleted those posts and PMed him to remind him of that limitation.

Yesterday, I deleted another of his posts on that topic. His response was to post a series of messages in which he deliberately violates the aforementioned limits on discussion.
http://www.catholicplanet.net/forum/...1&postcount=13
http://www.catholicplanet.net/forum/...ead.php?t=5447

I've undeleted the post, the deletion of which caused the above outburst. You can see it a few posts from the end of this thread:
http://www.catholicplanet.net/forum/...t=3020&page=26

So member TheGiftOfLife is banned for not accepting my role as moderator of the discussion group, and for repeatedly posting sensational and exaggerated claims on the topic of politics, contrary to my limitation on the discussion.
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  #2  
Old 14th December 2012, 01:06 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Let me just say a few words about bannings in general.

In the past, I was perhaps too quick to ban certain persons from the group. In recent months, I have tried to be more discerning, giving members more leniency and some time to comply with group rules or a decision of mine about moderating the discussion. I've tried lesser interventions, such as suspensions and deleting posts, but often the member becomes upset and ends up leaving the group anyway. It is not practical to have a group in which no one can be banned, and anyone can say whatever they like. Limitations on the discussion protect souls from harm, and allow the discussion to focus on edifying topics having to do with faith, morals, and salvation.

I have participated in the past in discussion groups where claims of false private revelation are promoted to the harm of souls, where any and all Catholic teachings are denied or distorted to the harm of souls, and where the faithful believer is mistreated and maligned merely for his beliefs -- all within a discussion group that calls itself Catholic.

I can't permit that type of problem here. But to avoid such problems, I must set limits on the direction of the discussion, and occasionally ban members.

In the past, some members were banned simply for refusing to accept limits on the discussion. That is why TheGiftOfLife was banned.
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  #3  
Old 14th December 2012, 01:25 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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TheGiftOfLife charges that I am banning him to protect Obama (because I don't allow him to post his claims that Obama is a communist).

My response is that TheGiftOfLife was banned for refusing to adhere to the limits I set on topics of discussion, that members not post exaggerated or sensational remarks in politics, and also for refusing to accept my role in moderating the discussion. I'm not a supporter of Obama, and I've never voted for him. But it is absurd to claim that he is a Marxist or a Communist. He is a member of the democratic party, rather liberal, but not a socialist or Marxist or communist.
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  #4  
Old 14th December 2012, 01:27 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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On the charge of censorship: Most discussion groups have one or more moderators, who set limits on the discussion. This group is not a place where anyone can say anything. It is a place for Catholics to discuss topics that assist members and non-member readers in learning the faith ever better. Limits are needed to keep the group on that track.

In this group, we have done a Bible study of the entire New Testament. We have gone through every doctrinal decision of every Ecumenical Council, except that we are still working on Vatican II, and we have discussion various teachings of the Church on faith, morals, and salvation. If some members disagree with me as to the meaning of certain magisterial teachings, that is fine. But I will set some limits on discussion so that the group benefits souls. I must necessarily use my own fallible judgment to do so.

By comparison, many other discussion groups are directionless. One member claims the Church teaches one thing, and another claims the Church teaches the opposite. A member asks an important question on a matter of faith or morals and received ten different answers, each claiming that their answer is Church teaching. I have seen, many times, a sincere soul ask a question on an important matter of morality: Is a certain act a mortal sin or not? And I've seen responses where a mortal sin is claimed by various members to be not a sin at all. And the individual accepted the false answer and, I suppose, went and committed that sin.

The freedom of speech that secular society proposes is a false freedom, in so far as it has no moral limits and does not consider the possible harm that some words may do.

I know of a number of Catholic blogs in which grave doctrinal errors are taught to readers with the claim that these errors on faith and morals are simply a proper understanding of Church teaching. Souls are harmed by false teachings on matter of faith and morals. A correct understanding of freedom of speech must include responsibility of speech: to do good and avoid doing evil.
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  #5  
Old 14th December 2012, 05:05 PM
Truthseeker Truthseeker is offline
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Default Just a small suggestion

Ron, I have this little suggestion. What if for a while you limit discussion that do not really serve for spiritual growth but just for speculation and perhaps worries of saving the body rather than the soul? My idea is that if we post about spirituality, divine mercy, writing of saints (without going too much into deep theology) and about other things that really profit the soul, then this group will be moving towards healthier discussions. I think we spoke enough about politics, prophecies and so on. However, I do not see much posts on how to grow in the love of God. I think that this is what really matters. It is not important when the warning will be, when the world will end, when this and that will happen. What matters is how we can grow in the love of God and neighbour.
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  #6  
Old 14th December 2012, 06:22 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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There is currently a limit on the range and extent of political discussion. I want the group to focus on topics in Catholicism. But I'm not going to limit the extent to which we explore Catholic theology, including eschatology. The topic of eschatology is an essential part of the Faith, even though much of eschatology is highly speculative.
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  #7  
Old 14th December 2012, 11:41 PM
Pontifex Pontifex is offline
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Ron,

I think you did the right thing in banning him and thanks for being open about it.

We all have our sentitvities when it comes to issues or topics important to GoL, he became to passionate and the type of discussions that would of ensued relative to the above posts would have been idle, never ending and best kept in a forum where political discussions are the norm.
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  #8  
Old 15th December 2012, 12:03 AM
Pontifex Pontifex is offline
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Ron,

If I had one suggestion regarding banning, I would ban for a few days, or weeks, or forever depending on the gravity of the postings.
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  #9  
Old 15th December 2012, 12:59 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pontifex View Post
Ron,

If I had one suggestion regarding banning, I would ban for a few days, or weeks, or forever depending on the gravity of the postings.

It doesn't work that way. I've tried suspensions in the past, but the member just gets upset and so they leave the group anyway. TheGiftOfLife was really only banned because he chose to be banned. He left me no choice with the PM he sent, the posts on Obama, and several posts directed at me proclaiming he was about to be banned.
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  #10  
Old 15th December 2012, 01:05 AM
Pontifex Pontifex is offline
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Ok, I see. Thanks.
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