It started heating up in the blog yesterday. Just coincidentally I came across a relevant article by John Blake in CNN’s Belief Blog, Holy Trollers: How to argue about religion online. The image to the right is also from the CNN article.
(CNN) –"Yo mama…"
Whenever I heard those two words while growing up in inner-city Baltimore, I knew something bad was about to happen. Trading insults was a childhood ritual. But everyone understood that one subject was off-limits. You didn’t talk about anybody’s momma unless you were prepared to start swinging.
Now that I’m all grown-up, I’ve discovered a new arena for combat: The reader’s comments section for stories about religion.
Blake goes on to identify and discuss commenter types such as the Street Corner Prophet, the Provoker, the Atheist, the Scholar and the Peacemaker. He wraps up:
When the conversation turns to religion, you may meet your holy troller, and you will have to make a choice.
Do I make the peace, or do I go the war?
What kind of holy troller will you be?
What a stupid moron!
Never say anything online that you would not say to a person’s face. Never say anything online you would not say in front of your mother. Nothing is hidden from God, and if you don’t believe that, then believe this: every word typed into cyberspace is there forever, no retraction can recall them, anymore than you can unring a bell. . I think this blog is one of the most marvelous tools in the world to learn about the science and discipline of Syndonology, But sadly it is also a place, as of late, where basic civility and respect seem to be lacking. We all know the study of the Shroud has always attracted its share of conspiracy theorists and ranters, and we all need a good laugh now and then. But haughty, elitest, academic sneering, personal attacks, obscenities…not attractive, folks. I, for one, think if would be a good idea for anyone defending a particular theory, to cite their references so the rest of us can have access to them. Many posters here already do Who knows, you might develop a following. But an undignified and hate-spewing presentation does nothing but build barriers to communication. My neighbor LaKeisha puts it this way: “God don’t like ugly.” I think she may be right.
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