"Beware of false prophets, which have come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves." Matthew 7:15
I've noticed a pattern as I spent a great deal of time on the Religion boards over the weekend for the first time, reading and watching and sometimes talking -- maybe when I shouldn't have.
The pattern runs like this: A small group of extremists show up here at the same time or roughly the same time and cause quite a bit of chaos making claims that are designed to incite a riot.
These extremists seem to come from two diametrically opposed camps: "Christian" and "anti-Christian."
I'm not claiming, by the way, that everyone who is not a Christian or who has problems with Christianity is an "anti-Christian;" these boards should and do attract a diverse population with equally diverse beliefs and histories, so oppositions are normal and healthy.
What I have in mind, and I will not have to name names for anyone who has posted here for awhile, are a couple of "Christians" whose versions of "Christianity" are 1) obnoxious and aggressive and 2) filled with claims that anyone who knows the least bit about Church history sees clearly are more parodies of traditional Church beliefs and doctrines than an accurate representation.
These people look like a stand-up act pretending to do an imitation of the worst televangelist one has ever been forced to watch.
Simultaneously, there are people, no names again, who take the other extreme and present an equally satirical-seeming persona as "Satanists" or what have you. I'm sure the real Anton LaVey-wanna-be thing is hanging out here, but I'm not sure most of the posts by such are by the real thing.
Theory: These personas are all one person playing both sides against the middle, destroying any hope for reasonable conversation on these topics. One set of personas riles up the pitchfork and torch-waving elements on the Christian side; the other riles up the angry non-believing elements. All towards bringing out the worst in both.
Perhaps this is overly paranoid.
Perhaps this is overly optimistic, too -- maybe there is a horde of distinct individuals who truly believe this stuff active on these boards.
What do you think? And how, as a community, should these folks be addressed? Or should they?
are you serious?
if you are, i think you need to name names, because i have no idea who you are talking about. you seriously think one person is creating fake acounts to fight with themselves with the intention of disrupting HubPages?
i wish you would name names so we can examine their posts...if you are asking us to make that judgment call, we need more to go by.
I'm not naming names either because I never thought that they were doin it for that purpose. I am me and no one else but I think that some are doing it to help keep a conversation goin. And also for back up, It would help if someone agreed with me once in a while. I know I'll invint someone.
I'll quit posting if the only ones that agree with me is my other 2 or 3 selves.
Best is to ignore those posts as irrelevant and respond only to anyone who wants a real conversation. They take up a lot of space but you can work around it.
i wrote a hub about this last week called 'Christianity and Hubpages'. these forums are ridiculous - i agree with TMinut - no one actually wants to have a conversation its just about winning or making witty arguments. dislike.
It is a good thing to see two different and opposite opinions.
The truth can sometimes be found someplace toward the middle.
It is also a good thing when we have good examples as to what not to do, if we are aware.
I largely agree. But the really divisive stuff just looks like sabotage of the boards -- on purpose or by accident, I can't tell which.
There is a tit-for-tat mentality by some but I doubt the serious debaters are one in the same. I argue from my point of view and if everyone is beating a dead horse then I just have some fun mess'in with them. I haven't seen one person change their position on an arguement yet. Everything seems to boil down to politics. The ones that are pro-socialist tend to be less Christian and those with stonger religious convictions tend to be conservative. The sad part is that we can't agree with each other so how on God's green earth do we believe we can agree with even more radical people in other countries!
Quite an interesting post, for a few reasons:
The teachings of Christ (and of most prophet figures) tend to be more socialist than capitalist in nature, so why do you think it is that latter-day conservatives are more Christian?
And the other point I'd mention is the bit about different countries - unless someone says where they come from, or otherwise gives it away, I never assume they are American. To me, the best freedom the Internet offers is virtual travel.
The resurrection of the word 'socialist' has done a lot to harm real dialogue in the U.S. I think that is the point of it though--to stop talk and start fights. This tactic is heavily financed by corporate lobbies.
I think there are actually many liberal Christians. They tend to spend a lot of time working in the community for free. I think they just don't hang out in internet forums so we get the impression Christians are conservative. I'm not saying that to be nasty, I mean it practically--you know, progressive Christians are busy out in the community. They do that instead of this.
After working in U.S. call centers for 8 years I can also tell you for sure that the notion that the *real* Americans are rural, white, conservative, and Christian is way off the mark. Ironically, the U.S. is more of a melting pot that ever--Indians, Arabs, Hispanics, Chinese, Africans--these are all people I spoke with daily and there are LOTS of them here--I'd say at least half the people I spoke with every day were recent immigrants. This polarized dialogue has to freak them out.
The nationality mix is probably not much different from here in the Gulf, in fact, except that no-one gets citizenship here. Sooner or later, all immigrant workers have to go home.
Wonder if there's any mileage in promoting Christian socialism as a conservative value, as in looking after the poor and needy, supporting the meek, the peacemakers...
The louder people shout, the more I think it reveals their own emptiness while they try to fill it up with *something.* I think there's a lot of emptiness and insecurity on both sides. I don't know that shouting and rudeness and harshness, and calling it love (in some cases) is useful or healthy.
Opposing opinions can be healthy but not screaming little two-year old demons posing a tempest in a tea cup.
That's my take on it.
expression of views are healthy.
Debate is for a stage.
In debate no one wants to learn, they want to win,
and get a better grade.
I've always just kind of assumed that the most vocal and unreasonable people are the ones most likely to be spewing stuff on places like forums. The less extreme people either stay off the forum altogether or at least generally ignore those threads.
Having said that, nothing would surprise me. There's a whole lot of baloney, foolishness, and nutty behavior that goes on online; so I don't think your "theory" is all that paranoid either.
I'm unsure -- I'm a reasonably intelligent person, I think (I've been accused of it and they gave me degrees as my booby prizes); but I'll admit to being naive concerning how some of these discussions seem to go.
I'm not naming names, not because I fear retaliation, but because a) I wanted to see if anyone had the same experience of the boards looking at them as I was with fresh eyes and b) it's a bit rude, especially if I'm wrong.
I'm not claiming it's widespread -- if it's happeneing at all, there is probably no more than one person involved and about 2 to 3 personas.
One of the reasons (probably the only reason) I even decided to ask these questions aloud was, I went to one of the "Christian" extremist's off site webpage and it, stylistically, reads just like one of the "anti-Christian's" prose, first off;secondly, it sounds nothing like any sort of Christianity I've ever heard of -- a very idiosyncratic mish-mash, more of a running commentary on the Christian Church written by someone who doesn't really like Christianity -- except is claiming to be a Christian.
Very strange. But stranger things have happened than self-loathing, so it is possible these people are distinct individuals.
I just find it ironic that 2 or 3 people who should be furthest apart and absolutely immistakable, actually sound exactly like one another and use the same tactics in their rants or attacks.
That may have something to do with a leveling and homogenization of style and intellect on the net. Again, I'm not sure. It has literally been 10 years since I participated in a discussion board for any length of time. I'm still getting my bearings.
I think I a have solved it.
Tantrum and Quietnessandtrust
are the same guy ???
Quietness is a friend, despite our differences and we e-mail each other. He's intelligent enough as to appreciate the human being behind the so called 'attacks'.I can't care less about hubbers beliefs, but I find it funny to 'attack sometimes some of you. Anyway I'm not borhered if you think I'm him.
I find it rather hard to believe that someone would use manufactured religious conflict to disrupt genuine debate.
thesis, antithesis, synthesis (check how conspirators work even in US Civil War)
we are all paranoid
Most likely: All of the above.
i totally agree. this is one of the stranger rumors i have seen recently
I have no guesses about whether it goes on, and I wouldn't think it was necessarily widespread; but in the several months (maybe a year or so) since I've been on the forums, after seeing a few of the bizarre things people sometimes do (for one reason or another) nothing would really surprise me.
Oh, I admitted at the outset that it was possibly a paranoid observation. I'm not really much given to conspiracy theories outside fiction, so I must come off like a nut case for even having made this post. But how many of these discussions run seem to involve, at least, the *pattern* I've mentioned -- it could very well be that these are two or three people who "constellate" one another: When one speaks the other has to show up and throw in their own two cent's worth and both are fairly aggressive in their claims -- and this leads to a verbal fist fight between everyone in the discussion.
Maybe what I'm aiming at is this: It's unproductive. It would be best to ignore these people completely and not respond to them at all. I think this is going to be my own strategy -- I think I'm searching for a strategy for dealing with the phenomenon *more* than trying to identify who is behind it, one person or several.
It's not as if I'd favor them being censored, one way or another. They have as much right to speak here as I or anyone else. But the nature of a discussion board is that it is partially self-governing -- the tone of the discussions is set by the participants and what they will or won't tolerate or encourage.
Whatever the motives of the people I have in my own mind, I see the effects, which are divisive and inspire overly emotional reactions. For that matter, my own posting of this discussion topic may have been just that -- an overly emotional reaction to seeing people set one another up to fight.
well actually you do have a point there, especially going by forum events during the past 24 hours
I happen to know tantrum pretty well, the other one has a history as someone else.
congrats earnest Australia won again (cricket).
Enjoy it now. West Indies will be back on top in about 5 to 7 years.
"Wonder if there's any mileage in promoting Christian socialism as a conservative value, as in looking after the poor and needy, supporting the meek, the peacemakers..."
It's weird that you said that. I've been thinking about that a lot lately. I actually have a rather intense Christian background but I get called a socialist (that's one of the nicer things I get called) at HP all the time, and I when I wrote a hub on my view of the Gospels a conservative here whom I respect and like said it really bothers him when people who are not Christian read and try to interpret Christian texts.
I mean, he just assumed that because I'm not just like him I'm not Christian and have no right to write about the Gospels.
I spend most of my young adulthood traveling around the midwest with an evangelical singing troupe run by my Dad. It wasn't exactly low-key. I mean, it was a weird, extreme upbringing. But that group's focus was almost exclusively on the poor, the sick... service and peace issues.
I hesitate to speak out from that perspective but I have done it on occasion. I don't think anyone ever really changes their mind about anything so I'm not sure it really helps.
One part of resolution is easy: Shoot the Moose!!
However, there are some here who THINK they can identify the personal beliefs of people (& dogs) and Assume they are right!
I wonder if EYEAM4ANARCHY would like "Anarchy" in their bedroom when trying to sleep?
wait a minute....doesn't tantrum have a diverse collection of smileys?
Cosette if these two are the same, then I am a monkey's uncle! ...wait a minute, I think I've been called that!
Do you have any family photos of that?
haha just kidding
i do like that shark avatar by the way. i know i shouldn't laugh but it cracks me up
The seal is actually getting away I think....have you blown it up?
no. i just think that shark is funny looking for some reason
p.s. i don't see how you guys could be the same. it would be impossible to log on and log off and post as two different people.
Tantrum needs to come and defend himself....
hold on let me go to the other browser and get him.
I use Linux / Ubuntu Op Sys....extremely powerful and can run 5 diff browsers at same time and be chatting in 4 diff rooms and have music and video running and have 30 tabs open and bla bla bla..........have 3 diff Face Books going too.
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