Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Banned at Absolute Write!

I went on a recent campaign to get banned at Absolute Write's forums. Why? Am I nuts? What on earth could I be thinking?One of the last acceptable forms of prejudice (along with size bigotry), is religious intolerance of wiccans, pagans, witches, and anyone (really) who isn't Christian. I really dislike bigotry. I mean, I hate bigotry the way... well ignorant people hate everyone else. So when a thread discussing the "dangers" of pagan/wiccan/witchy elements in Harry Potter became insulting, I clarified two positions held by me (and nobody was asked to conform to them):

1. It is inherently prejudiced to imply that references to "real" paganism/witchcraft make a book dangerous for children.

2. When someone identified spells in a specific way, saying they differed from prayer, I pointed out that MANY pagans, wiccans, and witches don't differentiate, and perform spellwork just as some would say a prayer. I certainly don't claim this is done everywhere, but it has become quite common.

This resulted in a forum member quoting the dictionary, and other telling me these definitions were fact, and that this was non-debatable.
For those who practice the faiths in question, this will be an obvious error. For idiots, not so much. Many religions and spiritual practices exist without rigid requirements, guidelines, and sets of rules. It is, in fact, the most appealing quality for many converts to paganism, wicca, or witchcraft. The large numbers of "solitaries" are most likely in part, at least, a result of this openness.

I never called any individual a bigot, but I did say I felt the thread was starting to stink of bigotry. I think insisting that a person's faith/religion/belief system is defined by others, can't be flexible, and is closed to discussion by any but those who see it as threatening to children... well, yeah, that would be bigotry.

So I deliberately picked a fight, said I was doing so, and hoped (probably in vain) somebody would suddenly realize how incredibly arrogant, ignorant, and insulting it was to tell another person what he or she believed... whether he or she liked it or not.

This message met me just a few minutes ago:

You have been banned for the following reason:

You need to step back, cool off, and research your own religion.

Date the ban will be lifted: 08-10-2007, 01:00 AM

I'm sort of hoping I can avoid the lift by blogging about it. I've never once had so much as a warning there until this topic came up... and weirdly, the same topic has taken place in a reading group I moderate for kids. Nobody has been so much as mildly rude. But they're young and haven't learned how to be asshats yet.

I KNOW I will get email and/or comments indicating I am an idiot for deliberately picking this fight. And that's a valid opinion. I simply believe that some things are worth fighting over, and people like me-- the pissy wenches of the world-- are good at doing it.

And if you don't find the wording funny you need to get out more. The irony is priceless.

12 comments ]:[ Add your comment:

Nonny said...


Err. No, I have to say that I'd agree with you and were I a regular poster on AW (I don't frequent there at all, really), I'd have opened my big mouth too.

Frankly, if I were going to get banned for a reason THAT stupid, I'd pack my shit and leave. I don't hold with that kind of bigoted inanity.

Chrissy said...

Thanks Nonny!

I should add that there is a lot of value to the site. It's NO ROMANCE DIVAS, nor is it free of the usual BS.

I was very pleased to be banned. I think of it as being a whistle blower who helped shed light in dark places.

Power to the people!

Mac said...

Actually, you were given a time-out for what amounted to trolling in the Christian forum. The OP originally specifically asked for the Christian point of view regarding her question -- and the thread wasn't in the pagan room, or even in Office Party.

You go into your local churches and proselytize them, too? The thread was quite civil and unremarkable until you decided to pick a fight.

The complaints I got about your post were primarily from wiccans/pagans on the board, btw, and not from the Christian contingent. You were behaving like a troll, so you got treated like one.

Nonetheless, if you'd prefer your ban be permanent, that's easy as pie.


Chrissy said...

I assume you can go read all the rep point remarks that people gave me also? Although I doubt it.

It's honestly cool, Mac. You know you have a reputation for selecting people to moderate who are immature but live for the board, and little else. At least that's what is all over my email inbox at this time.

Intolerance is intolerance. I never ONCE picked on Christianity or its beliefs. I hoped to educate some Christians about their error, and did so politely. When I was told I was wrong and had a dictionary quoted at me, I did say the thread was smelling of bigotry.

It was. It stank to high heaven, and I think you know it. And removing remarks while simpering to "take private" any real, informative discussion is chickenshit. You know that, too.

Ban away, hon, it makes the point more powerful. While I did contribute often at AW and still recommend it for some things, the criticisms are not new to you.

Good luck. But really... if you ever want to learn something, it's not a great idea to tell those who KNOW to go research their own areas of expertise.

Ellie McBride said...

Goddess, I am so sorry to see this.

No mod or admin on a legitimate public discussion would dismiss a member with such an insulting comment.

Research her own religion? Perhaps these people are sounding so foolish because they don't know what prejudice and intolerance are. Telling a well respected authority to research her own religion would be both.

HUGS, my sister! Peace and light upon you. Oh, and thank you so much with all your help tonight. Now can you help me make the Wordpress one go away? LOL


Chrissy said...

WHY am I still up????????

Thanks for your support, sugarplum. I sent you an email about some stuff, so check in, k?

Your blog looks good. I can host the images no problemo. You are welcome. I was happy to do it!!

I don't know much about Wordpress but I will give it a look. I assume there is something on a dashboard there? Usually there is a delete form or something similar.

Peter said...

I looked at the threads in question and saw the emails being sent around.

I guess sometimes online people start living in their own little world. Where the thread was, who said what, that some newage wannabes were among those deciding there is only one definition for spell and it can be found in the dictionary-- all of that is not the point. It also scares me a little.

I'm with you. Telling anyone what they are allowed to believe then copying and pasting dictionary passages and punishing the voice of reason seems pretty ignorant.

You did pick a fight, tho. I give you props for saying so.

Lisa Spangenberg said...

I'm the mod who banned you. I'm the person who suggested, strongly, that you research your own religion.

I did that, by the way, as someone who has read somewhere around a thousand spells, and incantations, and invocations and curses in roughly eight languages, and has been invited as a witness by followers of a variety of traditions, including Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Wiccan, and two family trads, as well as more Neo Pagan druid events than I can count.

In more than twenty years of contact and collaboration with Pagans, I've never met any Pagan, of any stripe, path, or trad, who thinks it's OK to post deliberately inflammatory remarks in a Christian forum, particularly when the remarks are daft, and clearly demonstrate that you intended to be a troll.

Patrick, by the way, would not have shaken your hand; you've violated basic principles of Celtic hospitality and courtesy by picking a fight in a Christian forum--behavior that shocked and appalled the other Pagans on AW.

Anonymous said...

I'm Roger Carlson, the moderator of the Christian Board at Absolute Write. I didn't ban you, as that ability lies higher in the mod hierarchy, but I was responsible for deleting your posts.

I've decided to undelete them so everyone can decide for themselves exactly who was rude and insulting.

I deleted your posts because publicly debating mod decisions is not allowed on AW. My suggestion to take it to private messaging to either the board owner or myself is standard procedure. We could have discussed the issue without public hysterics.

I also deleted your posts because you were indeed trolling. You admit here and in your next blog post that you deliberatly picked a fight. One of my jobs as a mod is to stop people from deliberately picking fights.

Lastly, your contention that I only "slap(s) the witches around" is entirly false. A total of 5 people have been banned from the Christian forum as a result of their behavior there. Four of them were Christians. You are the ONLY non-Christian who has ever been rude enough to be asked to leave.

Ahmed said...

Lisa is Mac, just so people know. They are often unclear at Absolute Wrong about who did what, said what, and is whom.

20 years against generations too many to count? It's an interesting question.

Telling others what they can and can not believe because you read it somewhere? It's prejudice. You may think you know more, and may even know more. I am convinced you know very little.

Emails using religious slurs to back up worthless arguments?

Go back to your playground and pick your noses in peace. Nobody in the world where logic lives wants to hear any more of your intolerance and excuses.


Chrissy said...


I can't say if Lisa is Mac. I don't believe so.

I never said I practiced anything, personally. I don't. I said it's bigotry to completely dismiss or rigidly define what others believe. (It is.)

The message, when it popped in my window, had Roger's name on it. No idea why it makes a difference.

Woooow. 20 WHOLE YEARS? And all those books, too? Ahh, to be young and that self-centered... Funnily, last month I saw a t-shirt with a bunny on it that said "I Found Religion in a Book."

Learn to respect your elders? LOL

This is beginning to get silly.

Being both adored and reviled is thirsty work. I must have a latte, and make Ahmed a hamburger. He has that gleam in his eye that says feed me.

AW crew... You look more foolish every time you make an excuse that completely contradicts your last one. You also have yet to explain why saying "don't tell others how to define and or practice their faith" is somehow wrong. That was what I did. Everything else is just you trying to back up and redefine history.

Now can everyone stop picking on the dumb people and let them go back to their sandbox? I have hamburgers to make, books to write, and actual stuff that matters to worry about.

But I love you guys.

City Zone said...

I’ve also just been banned for life.

No warnings whatsoever! I don’t think I will go near another writing forum again after this :(((
I asked them what I did wrong, someone emailed me saying ‘they are not a spamming mill - and you are banned forever’.
When I posted my article I saw a link that you can link your blog address to, so I did that. Apparently this is evil spanning in their books lol!

Best alternative is to just build up a wordpress or blogger community and be in charge.
They are nothing but a negative/evil community that I will personally avoid like the plague.

Cheers Ash

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