"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Monday, January 2, 2012

Grace under Siege 42: Under color of authority

     A member of our church has attempted to comment on this blog twice and we have chosen not to publish his comments. But I'll quote from his latest one because you may be wondering the same thing he is.
     He wrote ". . . I see that you are only publishing the comments which support you and your quest for defaming Lou and the elders. I again, gently, remind you that what you put on this blog is in the public domain and what you are saying is defamation and slander. . . . . I tried to report your posts to Blogger, but they will not close the site down. . ."
     We answered this person directly but we'll share our reasons with you so you'll know why we continue to put these facts into the "public domain."
     Lou is a public figure. He has hurt a lot of people over a lot of years under color of authority. We are only beginning to find out how many. In fact just this morning another woman, deeply hurt by Lou years ago, contacted us and poured out her heart. It is appropriate to make these offenses public since they are still happening. Lou is in a position of great influence and authority.
     To our knowledge he has not recanted his intention (Glimpses-of-Grace#4, "Turning a big ship slowly," Nov. 27, 2011) to divert our church from its original teachings, nor has he acknowledged and repented for the division and confusion he has caused and asked forgiveness of the many he has wounded over the years. We have given you some firsthand accounts from the recent past. We hope to share some of those from two decades ago, when Lou first came, to show that there has been a continued pattern of mistreatment of the flock since the beginning.
     In response to this member's claim that telling about these abuses is "defamation and slander," we remind you that slander is "the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another's reputation." If firsthand accounts about Lou and some of the elders damage their reputations, it is not because they are false but because they are true.
     As to why we don't publish criticism, we wrote this young man, "We appreciate how strongly you feel but if we publish your comments we will just be providing one more mouthpiece for the party line. You have many outlets [Grace-under-Siege#34 "The Silencers," Dec. 27, 2011]. If all of you who support Lou had your way, we would have none - you have tried to silence us in every way possible and you even admit that you personally have tried to close down this blog!"

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting that saying bad things about public people on a public forum is all of a sudden "defamation and slander" and on a blog of all things. There are hundreds of blogs, hundreds of message boards, and hundreds of websites that say nice/nasty things about all kinds of people. That's what freedom of speech is all about.