Questionable Motives

May 18, 2012

What’s with all the censoring at religious blogs?

Filed under: belief,blogs,censorship,commentary,Criticism,Religion — tildeb @ 11:44 am

So here’s the motivating story:

Hannah Luce, daughter of Teen Mania founder Ron Luce, is continuing to improve as she recovers from a plane crash last Friday. She was the sole survivor among the five on board.

“The fact that Hannah is here with us is a miracle, and while I am overjoyed and so thankful to God that she’s here, I am also deeply saddened at the loss of Austin, Stephen, Garrett and Luke,” Ron Luce wrote Tuesday on his blog. “I can’t even begin to understand the pain their parents are feeling right now.”

And here’s the lovely poem (written originally about a case in which a man survived a fall from a skyscraper, with only 10 broken bones -both legs, right arm, multiple ribs, vertebrae. His brother was killed in the accident.) that was posted to in response to the notion of this plane crash ‘miracle’:

I always found it rather odd
When people think to credit God;
The doctors helped, at least a bit,
The rescue workers didn’t quit,
The strangers there, who saw him fall
And made the first responder call
So many people did so much
But still we see His Holy Touch–
You see, it seems the signs are there
That show this man has seen God’s care:
The shattered ankle, broken shin
The shards of bone that pierce through skin
The massive bleeding in his gut–
Yes, every fracture, every cut–
This is the way that God Above
Displays His omnipresent Love.
And just in case He’s still denied
Remember, this man’s brother died.
Such agony makes Man aware
Of just how precious is God’s care
And when Humanity forgets,
God has a way to hedge His bets:
He’ll find a patsy, just some guy,
Like this Moreno, way up high–
When disbelievers start to scoff
God simply pushes this guy off;
With bleeding, pain, and broken bone,
God shows us that we’re not alone,
With just a little Godly shove,
He gets a chance to prove His Love.

Apparently, the comment was deleted (or so I read over at Digital Cuttlefish).

I am always disappointed that so many ‘christian’ blogs seem to be so willing and even eager to moderate and censor even the most gentle criticism of any kind… assuming they even allow for any comments at all. They are not alone, of course; I’ve been censored at non religious sites, too (usually by perpetual moderation or a sudden disappearance of a comment – I’m looking at YOU, Chris Mooney at The Intersection, and YOU Sabio Lantz at Triangulations), but it is almost unusual not to be moderated at religious ones.  So my hat is off to anyone willing to submit their religious ideas and beliefs and commentary to public scrutiny and allow criticism; they seem to be few and far between. My latest forays include Tough Questions Answered, The Berean Observer, No Apologies Allowed, Rachel Evans, and The Search for Truth.

So my question is, do you have any you favour? If so, give them a shout out here – good, bad, or even ugly ones – and feel free to share any stories about your experiences.


  1. […] was directed to No Apologies Allowed by tildeb at Questionable Motives. No Apologies Allowed posts “weekly apologetics cartoons for the faithful, the faithless, and […]

    Pingback by Atheist Cartoons — May 19, 2012 @ 8:54 am | Reply

  2. The worst is deffo Wintery Knight. He deletes and bans at the drop of the hat. He’s a strange individual too. Posts about how one should be on guard when looking for a potential wife for feminists who won’t have sex on demand. When I asked him to elaborate he compared it to a man not turning up for work and still expecting to get paid. This from a self-professing virgin.

    Comment by Andrew Ryan — May 19, 2012 @ 11:56 am | Reply

    • Yeah, my experience exactly. He likes to post disinformation about atheists and atheism in particular and then creates a commentary that only echoes the sentiment.

      Comment by tildeb — May 19, 2012 @ 3:49 pm | Reply

      • I’ve read examples online of him going further than censoring posts – he’s deleted the original text of someone’s post, and replaced it with his own paraphrase that often betrays his misunderstanding of the actual point bring made. And he won’t reveal that he’s done that -casual readers will assume they’re reading the poster’s actual words.

        I had a similar experience with apologist Neil Mammen on Frank Turek’s site, where he’d delete my post, then post himself saying “Andrew said x”, when I’d not really quite said that. So I’d post a correction, which he’d delete and follow with a post saying “Andrew now says he’s changed his mind”. When I posted again saying my position hadn’t changed at all, I got permanently blocked.

        Comment by Andrew Ryan — May 19, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

      • More obnoxious still from Neil, I’d been posting under a pseudonym, for similar reasons to your own. After I told him my real name via email, Neil began calling me ‘Nathan/Andrew’, despite me repeatedly politely requesting him not to. Very rude. Not very Christian.

        Comment by Andrew Ryan — May 19, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

      • I am not familiar with Mammen or Turek but I am with this kind of administrator misrepresentation (although not so bad as your experience). Defendtheword liked to hold my comment in moderation while formulating a reply inserted into my comment. This really bothered me because my important meanings are often revealed only at the end of an unbroken paragraph. Intervening at each point made with his comment dismantled the cohesion of my point, which made it next to impossible for the reader to follow what I was trying to express. I guess what surprises me the most is the level of immediate distrust shown by imposed and often heavy-handed moderation… if one believes as I used to do in the advertised notion that the moderate and liberal religious folk are welcoming and open. That has not been my experience, although there are exceptions. I have found the opposite to be the norm, even from well known liberals like John Shore… a popular writer who seems more determined to guard his flock from those who challenge religious truth claims made on his blog about reality than enjoy the robust discussions that usually follow. I was banned after a couple of months even though a least a dozen of the long term commentators asked him to reconsider.

        Comment by tildeb — May 19, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

  3. I posted this early this morning and forgot to send you the link:
    Thank you for introducing me to No Apologies Allowed and its cartoons:

    Comment by Veronica Abbass — May 19, 2012 @ 9:26 pm | Reply

  4. It is really surprising though that reality is censored at christain blogs? The internet is where religions come to die, as Thunderf00t said, because once exposed to rational inquiry they all necessarily fall apart.

    Fomenting debate sharpens the mind and brings greater clarity to issues and allows for a greater defence, or acknowledgement of error in the final analysis. The problem is that when it comes to religious discussions, one side does not have the freedom to be wrong, for if they admit error then the whole magical story that has been created for them goes to poo. I’d be censoring like mad if I had that weighty responsibility on my shoulders.

    Fortunately, I do not. Take our exchanges on both of our blogs, we agree on a few issues and disagree completely on others. Using reason (rhetoric? :>) and logic we have it out, but neither of us have ever claimed infallibility.

    Comment by The Arbourist — May 26, 2012 @ 2:26 pm | Reply

  5. Censorship (or the lack of) is the reason I comment here and no longer on religious blogs. I have had similar experiences to you all.

    “He who controls the past, controls the future” Orwell.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — June 9, 2012 @ 4:34 am | Reply

  6. Cool!

    Comment by SocietyVs — July 4, 2012 @ 5:06 pm | Reply

  7. I have commented on the Ratio Christi and Tough Questions Answered blogs. I voluntarily agreed to be banned at TQA after Bill Pratt threatened to do so after I challenged him. I was so personally attacked on the RC blog that I essentially banned myself there also. They folks do not want to have open discussion, they only wish to preach to the choir.

    Comment by Tom Rafferty — August 20, 2012 @ 4:36 pm | Reply

    • This is my experience, too, Tom; criticisms of misrepresentations (atheism, atheists, and evolution remaining the primary ones) are usually met with accusations of hostility, intolerance, and my personal favorite, militancy! Bill Pratt is particularly susceptible to identifying attention drawn to the stated intentions of someone misrepresenting one of these three with ad hominem attacks. He has great difficulty understanding the difference and seems a little too willing to err on the side of those doing the misrepresenting by banning the commentators who point it out.

      Comment by tildeb — August 20, 2012 @ 4:55 pm | Reply

      • You are on the money, tildeb.

        Comment by Tom Rafferty — August 20, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

      • I knew it was too good to last: an honest exchange of ideas and discussion. And sure enough I’ve been banned for doing exactly this. What’s true in fact is just too darn offensive if it stands contrary to what people want to believe is true. It’s fine to claim, for example, that evolution is an atheist plot to promote mass murder but not okay to quote the stated intention of apologists to misrepresent science for the sake of promoting piousness. And this lopsided approach is answering tough questions? Bullshit. It reveals Bill Pratt to be just another religious hypocrite unwilling to walk the walk.

        Comment by tildeb — March 29, 2013 @ 10:18 am

  8. My comment on the doubtfully named “The Case for Christianity in 15 Minutes (or less)” thread has mysteriously vanished at “J.W. Wartick Always have a Reason”.

    Good thing I make a habit of keeping copies. 😉

    (The poor devil has been accepted to Biola University to work towards a Master’s Degree in Christian Apologetics.)

    Really? Why is it, then, that we have literally dozens of peer-reviewed philosophy articles debating its premises?

    It doesn’t rescue the argument. Look it up on the internet. It’s very old and very discredited.

    Why is it that we have both atheists and Christians discussing it on a high academic level…

    The same can be said for Pascal’s Wager too. It doesn’t wash. You can’t recycle a Muslim argument, slap a new label on it and then call it an arguement for your [Insert Brand Name] god.

    Really? So the god Baal is capable of being the source of objective morality? Odin? Please show me one place in the literature of these pagan religions where they claim this.

    Does it matter? Why are you assuming that Baal exists in the first place?

    Your parody is fine, but you have to show how Sky Woman/Odin/Baal, etc. are all capable of being omnibenevolent…

    No, you are not getting it. There’s this thing called the burden of proof. There’s no evidence that Sky Woman/Odin/Baal/[Insert Brand Name Here] exists.

    It’s called a header, not an argument.

    Then it’s not an argument. We can dispense with it.

    The Gospels are reliable. It’s a header. Let’s not be disingenuous.

    Then it’s not an argument and we can dispense with it.

    History does not…

    Woah, slow down there. What happened to archaeology?

    Certainly, if all we relied upon were the Scriptures themselves, we’d have little reason other than faith to take the miraculous accounts seriously. But in light of the evidence from archaeology…

    Nope. Archaeology does not provide evidence of miracles.

    “..historicity of the Resurrection…

    Nope. History does not provide evidence for miracles.

    Speaking of arguments that are largely rejected in academia…

    No, handwaving is a poor substitute for evidence. Either you have evidence or you don’t.

    “No extra-biblical evidence for Jesus…”

    Hello, Jesus myther. Meet actual historiography.

    I’d rather meet actual evidence if it’s all the same to you. I read your link. There’s nothing there. It’s just more smoke and mirrors. Here’s the money shot from your link. Dreadful stuff.

    “Finally, there is the question of the burden of historical proof. The burden of proof is upon the one making the claim, and in this case, people claim that Jesus was a legend. That is a positive claim in need of evidence.”

    Why try to shift the burden of proof? It’s unreasonable. People don’t do it with real claims in real history.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Posted by Cedric Katesby | August 21, 2012, 11:35 AM

    Take My Burden of Proof Please! – The Atheist Experience #747

    Comment by Cedric Katesby — August 22, 2012 @ 2:07 am | Reply

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