Skip to comments.CAUCUS THREADS AND THE RULE OF LAW
Posted on 07/12/2010 3:01:35 PM PDT by the_conscience
Recently I was reading a particular denominations Caucus thread and noticed that a particular FReepers posts were being removed. As I read the comments to the removed posts I came to realize that this FReeper was raised and spent some time in their adulthood in that particular denomination. At the same time I noticed that a self proclaimed Hindu was posting on that thread without recrimination.
One of the great accomplishments of Western Civilization is the concept of the rule of law. The Magna Carta was perhaps the first document in early European Civilization to elucidate the concept:
No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we (the King) proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.
The rules on the Religion Forum are set, no doubt, to provide some order to the discussions between members of different denominations. So lets review the guidelines for Caucus threads:
Caucus threads are closed to any poster who is not a member of the caucus. For instance, if it says Catholic Caucus and you are not Catholic, do not post to the thread. However, if the poster of the caucus invites you, I will not boot you from the thread. The caucus article and posts must not compare beliefs or speak in behalf of a belief outside the caucus.
As I researched this further I found this website, http://www.uiowa.edu/ifdebook/faq/Rule_of_Law.shtml, that gave a list of the elements of the rule of law:
1. Laws must exist and those laws should be obeyed by all, including government officials.
2. Laws must be published.
3. Laws must be prospective in nature so that the effect of the law may only take place after the law has been passed. For example, the court cannot convict a person of a crime committed before a criminal statute prohibiting the conduct was passed.
4. Laws should be written with reasonable clarity to avoid unfair enforcement.
5. Law must avoid contradictions.
6. Law must not command the impossible.
7. Law must stay constant through time to allow the formalization of rules; however, law also must allow for timely revision when the underlying social and political circumstances have changed.
8. Official action should be consistent with the declared rule.
The rule covering the Caucus threads on the Religion Forum would be considered the law of the land. As we see above the law must contain certain elements before it can be considered to fall under the rule of law. The question at hand is how is one defined as a member of the caucus. It seems to me that membership is determined by each denominations definition of membership. So long as the rule is enforced according to a particular denominations criteria for membership then that rule would be following the rule of law. If the rule is enforced arbitrarily and Freepers are denied their liberty to post to those threads despite falling under the denominations own definition of membership then that law has failed to meet the criteria of the rule of law. So back to our case study. Heres the relevant thread: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2549830/posts
As one reads through the thread one first notices that a self proclaimed and well known Hindu was posting to the thread who had not been invited per the guidelines set by the Religion Moderator. In fact, while the former member was being discriminated against the Hindu was able to post freely. One FReeper, seemingly oblivious, asks the Hindu if the FReeper whose posts were removed was a member of that particular denomination.
Whats even more interesting is that this particular denominations dogma claims that a person who has gone through what they describe as their Sacraments of initiation will forever be a member of that sect. Its my understanding that these include: Baptism, Confirmation, Confession, and Communion. This doctrine in this sect goes by the name: Semel Catholicus Semper Catholicus
One leader of this denomination describes it as thus:
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, anyone who has ever been a legitimate member of the Catholic Church can never truly leave. Oh, he or she can become a non-practicing Catholic, a bad Catholic, or even an excommunicated Catholic, but never a non-Catholic or an ex-Catholic. http://salinadiocese.org/vicar-general/1297-once-a-catholic-always-a-catholic
The irony is rich in that a thread about a Professor who is being deprived of his rights and livelihood by a University who is violating the rule of law is used to deprive Freepers of their liberty to post their views to that thread. It seems to me that the Caucus label is meant to provide a forum for a particular denomination to discuss theological issues within that denomination not as a means to deny other Freepers their liberty. The article posted does not meet that criteria.
As we all know the Left in this country is set upon destroying the rule of law. They wish that only a few elites self chosen be able to make decisions against the will of the people and outside the laws of the land. It seems to me that if we are to reverse this course we must first police those who proclaim to be conservative on Western values.
If we look at the elements of the rule of law as put forth above, we can clearly see that these have been violated in the case at hand. If this particular denomination has determined that all who have gone through the Sacraments of initiation are forever a member of said denomination, they cannot then deny those people the liberty to post on their caucus. To do so is a clear contradiction and violates the rule of law.
This forum is an important tool to help reverse the destruction of the rule of law and to do so it must lead by example. The spirit of the Caucus label has been violated in this case. The rule was arbitrarily applied to some and not others, the members contradicted their own dogma to deny a Freeper their liberty, and the Caucus label was applied outside the spirit of the rule.
For your consideration.
Caucus and other protected threads are cowardly, in my opinion.
If you can’t stand criticism, send a dang email or something.
Your input is appreciated.
What do you think?
That’s why there are open threads. If you want the subject discussed on an open thread — wait for a while and post it as an open thread.
Now who is the coward?
“but my understanding is that any zotting has to do with being frictional or disruptive, not merely participating in a thread caucus relating to a faith one does not ascribe to.”
If you read some of the replies to the deleted posts you will see that some of those replies are actually in agreement with what the poster apparently wrote. It’s my impression from that that the poster was not being frictional or disruptive but rather some others had an axe to grind with said poster.
Folks who post threads under the "caucus" protection.
I thought I was quite clear.
Adding a word to the title prohibits folks fom disagreeing?
Pretty darn cowardly, I'd say.
That pretty well sums up why argumentative postings from that individual were removed. I'm guessing that the Hindu was not being argumentative but was being inquisitive.
The cyber-world being what it is, one needs to look at the Religion Moderator's illustration of a caucus thread as being like unto a group being in their own church setting. A disruptive person, member or non-member, is going to be found out of bounds.
Its my impression from that that the poster was not being frictional or disruptive but rather some others had an axe to grind with said poster.The poster has not been in the past generous toward the Catholic faith. She came on to the thread to get it moved to News/Activism so that people would not have to talk via the Catholic Caucus rules. Her remarks when asked whether she was Catholic or not were immediately stricken by the Religion Moderator. They were not Christian in nature. The thread anyway was within minutes placed on a News/Activism post, which many then went to and posted. You were free to do the same.
And I believe that Catholics are doing it more and more because of the intemperant anti-Catholicism and almost outright persecution that is beginning to exist.
I ...... agree.....
Agreed. All threads should be open, over the top abuse should be smacked down, but disagreements should not be squashed.
The content of the posts was not inflammatory, controversial, or disruptive. They were in support of said professor and there were no negative connotations towards Catholicism in any of the removed posts on that thread.
The link is in the thread, to see if you’re thinking of the same one.
It appears you are questioning whether the Religion Moderator had cause to delete posts, however asking it of people who may not, and now can not, see the words of those posts.
In my occasional wanderings into Religion forums, I have NEVER been booted simply because I was not a member of the correct religion when posting in a Caucus thread. While the rules are clear that the caucus threads are for people who adhere to that faith, the PURPOSE of the rules are to allow people within a faith to discuss among themselves differences of interpretation of something in their faith, without having to deal with arguments about their faith vs other faiths.
Most caucus threads seem to invite people outside the faith who merely want to learn about the faith, just as a church might; while they reject the idea of people coming into their caucus threads to argue with them about their religion, something I’m sure they get enough of in the real world, and which they’d rather not have to put up with every single place they turn.
If the religion moderator deleted posts, I have no trouble believing it was because those posts made people feel unwelcome in their caucus thread.
The Caucus rules for religion threads are NOT rules that are to be adhered to “by the letter”. The Caucus rules themselves make this clear, noting that attempts to circumvent the spirit of the rules by applying legalistic interpretations of the literal words of the rules will not be tolerated.
That would most certainly include anybody claiming the right to post in a caucus thread because they were once members of the faith, and therefore while they have “seen the light”, by the tenets of that faith are “always” of that faith. It appeared your discussion above was suggesting that such an argument would have merit for participating in a caucus, and I reject that notion.
There have been times I thought a caucus was being overly protective by posting real news stories as caucus items. But if I cared, I’d just post the same news story as a regular thread, so the rest of us could say what we wanted about it. It’s not like people are limited to posting an article only one time here. :-)
Considering that that particular thread was about a legal, Constitutional issue, there was no need for it to be made a caucus thread.
Granted it involved a Catholic man, but it was NOT about Catholic theology or doctrine, or any other Church related issue. It could have happened to a Protestant or Jew or Hindu and it would still be as wrong.
I suppose next time, someone could just post the exact same link in News/Activism and just put up with the whining about it being a dupe.
You just can’t win with some people.
my my. The poor poster can check out but can never leave? Why kind of hell (or purgatory) is that? If that is the official dogma, then the poster has a right to post on said thread, it’s similar to a family reunion, if you don’t like one branch of the tree, eat at separate picnic tables but you can’t exclude them from the softball game
None of the deleted comments were argumentative.
If you read through the thread and look at posts which responded to the removed ones, you’ll see that.
Besides, I saved a screen shot of the first 50 posts. I just had this feeling.....
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