How to Make Yourself Beloved at St. Blogs

Tip #1: When you suck up the oxygen in my comboxes by importing dumb disputes you have with other people on other blogs and I delete those disputes because I don’t care about your personal spat with somebody, be sure and try to drag the extremely busy Kevin Knight over at New Advent into the discussion by writing him (and cc’ing the target of your righteous ire–in this case, me):

Dear Mr. Knight:
I wanted to express some concern about a link you recently posted to a story on Mark Shea’s blog. The article Mr. Shea wrote made reference to another article by Louis Berlanger, who looked back nearly 30 years and discovered that a group of psychologists and doctors advised that the “visionaries” of Medjugorje have their visions in front of a group of responsible priests “to eliminate any reinforcement of a suggestive type.”

Without taking issue with the article, which I found lacking merit, I simply wanted to make you aware that Mr. Shea did not allow a free flow of conversation in his combox but made a point to immediately remove nearly all the posts that I wrote which offered a critique of his views or those of his readers who expressed views with which he agrees. Mr. Shea is clearly not interested in even correcting the misconceptions regarding Medjugorje that his readers post (I would be happy to provide you with examples of this, which he immediately deleted without offering any explanation). The discussion section of his website is filtered to the point that the readers are left with a carefully constructed and clearly biased viewpoint. Especially targeted for deletion were any comments whose point was to critique Mr. Shea’s article or his comments. I find this behavior to be dishonest and I think it shows a lack of courage on Mr. Shea’s part (it’s ironic that his blog’s subtitle is “Mark Shea’s Blog: So That No Thought of Mine, No Matter How Stupid, Should Ever Go Unpublished Again!”–clearly a misnomer). It also demonstrates that Mr. Shea is not at all interested in getting to the truth regarding Medjugorje but only making sure that he his views are heard without serous critique. A chief concern of his is to ensure that the postings of anyone who expresses sound criticism and well constructed arguments against his views are quickly expunged without explanation. A few of my comments were left intact, however, the vast majority, especially those that took issue with the article, critiques Mr. Shea’s writing or the mistakes and misunderstandings of his readers, were all immediately deleted. I will add that Mr. Shea refused my request to delete a message left by a reader, Elaine Spencer, which would be extremely insulting to the Virgin Mary if she is in fact proven to be appearing in Medjugorje. I did not think you would want to use your own website as a platform for such rude and intellectually dishonest behavior, especially when directed at the Mother of God. Given that you gave Mr. Shea’s article a prime place on your website for two days, I would hope that you would think twice in the future before linking to another article by Mr. Shea, especially one regarding Medjugorje.

Kevin, I am sure, was thrilled to receive this. Nothing gives him more pleasure, I have no doubt, than the demand from a total stranger that he drop everything to adjudicate a complaint by a disgruntled comboxer who believes I owe him a platform. Indeed, everybody in St. Blog’s undoubtedly feels that way and would be thrilled at the opportunity to forsake their busy lives in order to dance attendance on some guy who thinks I am somehow bound by some moral law to let him suck the oxygen out of my comboxes. If you have a crank cause you think I owe you a forum to talk about, please do be sure to CC, not just me, but every Catholic blogger and explain to them, in long (and hopefully repeated) letters, why it is so important that they drop everything and command me to hand the mike to you, the most important person in the world. Just for extra persuasiveness, tell them that the phrase, “So That No Thought of Mine, No Matter How Stupid, Should Ever Go Unpublished Again!” actually means that no thought of *yours* should ever go unpublished again. And ignore them when, like me, they tell you that I don’t owe you a forum and that if you want to bleat ASCII about your personal obsessions, then you should feel free to start your own blog.

Oy!


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