Mudcat Café message #1409387 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #78311   Message #1409387
Posted By: GUEST, Experienced Former Target
14-Feb-05 - 11:45 AM
Thread Name: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
Some of y'all need to study up on Mudcat history. Before there was a BS section, there were regular flamewars on issues of religion. Some of it was genuine lack of tolerance and understanding, but some of it was intentional trolling using religion as the excuse for the attacks and defenses. In the end, a number of the trolls admitted their sole purpose had been to create uproar, no matter the subject-- with religion being a hot-button, it was an easy way to get people's knickers in a twist. (At least one of those self-admitted trolls is now a "respected" member of Mudcat, with many friends here.)

There also have been campaigns by email and PMs, where people have recruited people to join in on an attack or defense. In one case this involved a "victim" who was going through quite a lot of medical and psychological difficulties, and the idea seemed to be that he should be driven off the forum. Some of those suggesting the attack or distributing the email about it were regular, generally-respected members. They made the mistake of sending some of this to people who found it outrageous, which is how some folks learned about it.

For a time there also was a regularly-posting anti-wiccan, anti-pagan, VERY rightwing "Christian."

In all of this, a lot of people got hurt-- on both sides.

Some of you who have been posting were here in those years, and many of you were not. It was thought that the BS section would help ease that tension and many other tensions, but religion and anti-religion are still hot-buttons. If you were NOT here before there was a BS section, it's hard to get a realistic idea how messy it got back then!

It remains true that the best way to avoid messes here over religion is to ignore trolling efforts-- posts that are clearly meant to fuel upset. When a thread goes beyond reasoned discussion and responsible posting of opinions, and becomes an anonymous name-calling effort to foment additional uproar, it's time to let it die a natural death. It's the only thing that has ever worked.

These days there is a large contingent of Catters, of all creeds, who have a firm policy of never, ever discussing religion here. It just has not been workable. There is another contingent of Catters, of all creeds, who will say their piece and then see what others say, but who stop discussing when they feel they've said as much as they reasonably can. Some of those threads have been really interesting, even though when they have started being real frank, people have understandably felt pushed at.

Right now, we have all the makings for another Great Mudcat Religion Flamewar. All it takes to end it is to stop feeding the trolls, take the reasonable discussions to the Chat Room or email, and get back to the music. It always looks different in hindsight, you know?

Experienced Former Target