I try to allow people of good will to discuss their different ideas here so long as they do it in a civil fashion.

However, I’ve been getting an increasing number of complaints about a few people with atheist beliefs who are posting so often and so redundantly that they are dominating the conversation and hijacking the board.

Public Catholic is a Christian, Catholic blog. The purpose of Public Catholic is to help equip Christians to enter into public defense of our faith in an effective manner. That is one reason why I allow a good bit of discussion that comes from people who disagree with what the rest of us believe. I’m hoping that by practicing your thinking/reasoning/debating skills here in this relatively safe and civil place you will sharpen those skills so that you can do a better job when you engage the world.

However, it seems I have, once again, let it go too far.

I’m going to begin by asking those who are unbelievers to post a bit more judiciously. Start by trying to come up with something more original than just mindlessly repeating that you don’t believe in God, that the Catholic Church is the spawn of satan, and that every trendy form of license, killing or social dissolution is the wave of a glorious future.

If you don’t do this, I will start deleting comments when one person makes essentially the same comment repeatedly and I think that they are stifling other conversation by doing it.

If anyone has ideas about how Public Catholic can do a better job of equipping you to speak for Christ, please feel free to suggest them to me. At the same time, feel free to “practice” on the unbelievers who come here to discuss.

I don’t want to stifle viewpoints. But I can’t allow a few people to use this board for their online therapy sessions to the detriment of the purpose of the blog itself.

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  • Bill S

    I completely understand. I will reign it in a bit and do more listening and less talking.

  • Gia

    Think also how it feels if (and no doubt when) believers do the same thing on sites set up by unbelievers. I don’t suppose it would be taken with unalloyed joy. A bit of the Golden Rule seems to apply here, as well as common courtesy and respect.

  • Bill S


  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com/ Jessica Hoff

    I can understand, Rebecca. I hope that atheists see that they do their own cause no favours by repeating stuff we’ve all heard a hundred times. Reasoned argument is fine – drive by shooting isn’t.

  • pagansister

    If I have offended anyone, I apologize, Rebecca. It is never my intent to do so. “Do as ye will as long as if harms none”. I attempt to hold to that—

    • Bill S

      I don’t presume to speak for Rebecca, but I’m reasonably sure that I am the problem, not you. I think your input is still welcome.

  • Victo

    It’s like your reading my mind Rebecca. I’m sorry if I’m offending anyone here, but some people seems to just want to comment for the sake of winning some invisible debate. At first I didn’t mind. Now it’s slightly making me uncomfortable… I don’t understand how you can come daily on a website and think it’s necessary to leave a comment fueled with frustration. If you have any problem with some Christians in your life, you should probably talk to them directly and stop going here for a while. Same thing for Christians who go on atheist websites. Why do you want to do
    that ? It cannot be a genuine feeling when it’s done with such intensity and anger. If you feel the need to ventilate in every comboxe, there is a problem. The only comparison I can find for this is when someone stay with a boyfriend/girlfriend but can’t stop themselves from being angered by the smallest move of their partner. You can either end the relationship (quit this blog) or admit there is a problem and change your behavior (comment but remember where you are, that’s it’s a public sphere, that the people here have feelings and want to be treated with respect).

  • Bill S

    “Same thing for Christians who go on atheist websites. Why do you want to do
    that ?”


    I’m really sorry my comments had that affect on you. It’s boring exchanging views with atheists because we agree on everything. If I were still a believer, I would have a purpose for getting on atheist websites. I’ll stop hijacking this blog site.

  • http://scpeanutgallery.com Art Chartier

    It’s your blog – block the “bozos” (as defined by you).

  • SteveP

    Rebecca Hamilton: Just as prisoners and expatriates have no say in government, so apostates, as perjurers, have nothing to say to the faithful.

    Sisters and brothers in Christ ought to act as siblings act knowing their mother and Father see.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    Thank you. It was getting so annoying I was thinking of not stopping by.

  • http://prayerplace.wordpress.com/ Deacon Matt

    For people of good will yet different world views to dialog is admirable and to be embraced. It is a difficult path to walk well and perfection is beyond our reach. Still, what you have proposed seems reasonable to me. We are all created with intellect and a desire to know the truth, yet I think for many of us it is only by fearlessly facing our own doubts and interior challenges that this can be pursued. My prayer is that anyone who reads your blog or joins in the conversations here will find themselves challenged a little and brought a bit further along the way of truth and life.

  • http://loopyloo305.com Particia Pledger

    There is always a difference between arguing for the sake of arguing, and those truly trying to make a point and understand. When it gets to the point that they are disruptive, sometimes you just have to let those that do that, go their separate ways.

  • Bill S

    I’m sorry. I really have been arguing for the sake of arguing and to use my iPhone more. I apologize. I will keep reading this blog because the issues are of interest to me but I will stop arguing just for the sake of arguing.

    • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

      Thank you for that Bill. And I’m sorry if I got a little testy with you last week.

  • http://www.thoughtsfromanamericanwoman.wordpress.com Patty

    I have not been reading as often as I would like to but…when I do I appreciate the different opinions. It strengthens my belief and like you said equips me better when I am out and about dealing with non believers. Rebecca I can always go to your site to get accurate information, you and Mike Huckabee are my two sources I turn to because both you are people of reason. Blessings – Patty

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      That’s quite a compliment Patty. Thank you!

      • http://www.thoughtsfromanamericanwoman.wordpress.com Patty

        It is true, in these days it is hard to find someone you can turn to for the truth. God is working through His servants I am just thankful that through the internet we are coming together.

  • http://hiddeninjesus.wordpress.com Jessica Renshaw

    I haven’t been following the comments but as a Christian, I think Bill S. and pagansister have set an example I want to emulate in all my relationships: recognize myself in criticism that may apply to me, respond with humility, and trim my sails accordingly, for the sake of furthering healthy communication and genuine mutual understanding.

    Rebecca, you set an example to me too in the way you handled this. I think I would have just edited out or blocked certain commenters–and have been the poorer for losing their perspectives altogether.

    Would that you three would be allowed to share your wisdom in political exchanges and international relationships!

  • Bill S

    Thank you for the positive feedback to my apologies. I’ve been thinking about why I seem to take the opposite side on every controversy. It may just be that I prefer an argument to no contact at all with the outside world. I work at home alone and miss the conversations around the water cooler. Since Manny, my worst critic, has accepted my apology, I feel a lot better about myself.

    Richard Dawkins has said that although he believes in evolution, he would never want to live in a Darwinian society. I could add that I would not like to live in a world where no one believed in God.

    • Mike

      That’s a VERY important point! We have to get to a point where we can vehemently disagree but still remain civil and personable. Yelling, bigot and hater is starting to wear thin, not only on blogs but out there too. I’ve noticed it, people aren’t buying that “argument” anymore.