Critics and the Hate-blogging mentality

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. – Matthew 5:10-12

 

And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake; For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you. – 3 Nephi 12:10-12

Persecution is a very real experience for many Latter-day Saints. This can be subtle remarks, or outlandish erroneous claims. Depending on the nature of the criticism, such persecution is mild and easily dealt with. Many times, Latter-day Saint Christians are advised to avoid all forms of contention. Yet, despite our best efforts to avoid contentious individuals, we are drawn into the conversation in an attempt to reason, defend, and expound upon correcting misinformation.

Now, with the advancement of social media networking and the online interactions we are asked to engage in about what it is we believe, teach, and even understand about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, there is a different form of persecution some will inevitably experience. We label it with a variety of forms: Cyberbullying, Harassment, Hate, Religious Intolerance, et, al. In most cases, this type of interaction is accomplished through sock puppet accounts and individuals who become internet trolls. Most of the time, we can deal with them by preventing their commentary being posted. Remove and monitor any potential sock puppet accounts that may come up; even reporting potential fake profiles on certain social media networking sites. However, despite our best efforts, there are those so-called Christians who decide to take it to the next level by publishing what is called Hate Blogs and promote their vitriolic sentiments about specific individuals, or a specific individual, through a highly biased and prejudicial lens.

Jessica Grose and Adrian Chen published a blog article titled The Terrible, Fascinating World of Hate-Blogs The article is more-or-less an interview discussion between Grose and Chen. Another blogger on Tumblr published her thoughts, and personal experience, about hate-blogging and hate bloggers. Both articles provide the framework to understand those who claim to “love Mormons” but in reality do nothing short of encouraging, honor, respect, or remain in any way, shape or form, civil in their approach and communication. Instead, many of these internet critics that claim to love Latter-day Saints do more abusive harm than good. While they may claim to follow Christ, their online behavior is very un-Christian and non-Christlike. They engage in fear-mongering, intimidation, harassment, and even creating blog articles that target particular individuals. One particular blogger took aim at me personally by digging up past internet communities I used to participate in.

His attempt to “Expose”  me, possess a sense of disdain and contempt for any civility or respect. The overall objective of this particular hate-blogger is to vilify and justify his reasons to hate. All one has to do is mix some semblance of truth (in this case, resurrected up some past online interactions prior to my return to the LDS Church) and then mix it with intentional misrepresentations and spin-doctoring to appear that what the individual is establishing is somewhat truthful. In fact, many have asked me about the article, about my writing of erotica and whether Grindeal’s (his online moniker) article is correct. Others have taken it with a grain of salt. Still, some have come to my defense and posted comments that the author refuses to publish.

Despite this, at the end of the day – it comes down to one simple truth – we either allow these types of hate mongers and religious intolerant bigots to perpetuate their venomous lies, or we dismiss them and not feed into their taunting childish and immature ways. The reality is that we are not going to stop the proliferation of sock puppets, trolls, and those critics of our faith from publishing distorted lies about the Church, about our leaders, about the founding and early leaders of our faith, and even those of us who are vocal defenders of the faith. It is through understanding what they represent, and the false information they regurgitate helps many of us LDS Apologist provide the framework and structure to openly discuss what it is Mormons actually believe and respond too many of their criticism. This includes not allowing their rants and hate filled postings take away our testimony of the truth.

As Latter-day Saints utilize the technological advances to engage in conversation, there are going to be countless times one will face their critics, will feel the sting of their harsh words, and the condescending attitude and flat out persecution from anonymous posters. It is par for the course and knowing where we stand, the truth of our faith, it should not instill fear in us or prevent us from further sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who actually want to hear what we have to say. In the end, our critics (including the many apostates) have already made up their minds. They will eventually have to give an account for their words, their actions, and their hate-filled and contentious spirit. All we can do is pray for them and continue to press forward in the work of the Gospel by sharing what we know and understand to any and all who are willing to listen.

4 thoughts on “Critics and the Hate-blogging mentality

  1. It is quite apparent that this particular article penetrated many critics who enjoy making personal attacks, insults and make unsubstantiated claims about me – to include someone using a Sock Puppet profile to instigate the fury of insults and bullying. This is the example my article here discusses. It is sad that many people would engage in this type of behavior. Even more saddening, it is from people who claim to be “Christians” and justify their actions as what Christ and the Apostles would do to someone like me. For some reason, I cannot picture Christ calling someone “coward” or “Fat” or an “evil” person without specific justification. This is not to say that Christ has done so to those who were religious leaders and Christ, being the Son of God, also knew the hearts of men.

    Psalm 1:1-3 says this:

    1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

    2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

    3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

    One of the fathers of the Protestant Reformation – John Calvin – says this in respect to the particular passage cited above:

    1. Blessed is the man. The meaning of the Psalmist, as I have stated above, is, that it shall be always well with God’s devout servants, whose constant endeavor it is to make progress in the study of his law. The greater part of mankind being accustomed to deride the conduct of the saints as mere simplicity, and to regard their labor as entirely thrown away, it was of importance that the righteous should be confirmed in the way of holiness, by the consideration of the miserable condition of all men without the blessing of God, and the conviction that God is favorable to none but those who zealously devote themselves to the study of divine truth. Moreover, as corruption has always prevailed in the world, to such a degree, that the general character of men’s lives is nothing else but a continual departure from the law of God, the Psalmist, before asserting the blessedness of the students of the divine law, admonishes them to beware of being carried away by the ungodliness of the multitude around them. Commencing with a declaration of his abhorrence of the wicked, he teaches us how impossible it is for any one to apply his mind to meditation upon God’s laws who has not first withdrawn and separated himself from the society of the ungodly. A needful admonition surely; for we see how thoughtlessly men will throw themselves into the snares of Satan; at least, how few comparatively there are who guard against the enticements of sin. That we may be fully apprised of our danger, it is necessary to remember that the world is fraught with deadly corruption, and that the first step to living well is to renounce the company of the ungodly, otherwise it is sure to infect us with its own pollution.

    Again, it saddens me that many so-called Christians claim to Follow Christ, but engage in these types of behaviors that are not only un-Christlike, but that goes against acceptable social norms of respect and civility – and is observable bullying, harassment and simply pathetic.

  2. So you don’t believe in freedom of speech? If we don’t believe in allowing speech we despise, we don’t believe in freedom of speech at all. To flag all comments, posts, and pages that you disagree with as “hate speech” is also cyber-bullying. You must also remember that disagreement is not the same thing as “hate”.

    1. CD5100 said: So you don’t believe in freedom of speech?

      My response: Freedom of speech is a privilege. With that privilege comes responsibility. To ask such a question would presume that I do not respect or believe in free speech. That is false and it takes away from the content and context of the article. Of course, we have the ability and right to speak freely. However, would you walk up to someone who is of African American and call them a pejorative name? It is free speech after all right? Would you walk up to someone who identifies themselves as gay and call them a pejorative name? You have the right to speak freely right? This includes hate speech (which the two pejorative comments to an African American and someone who is Gay is considered HATE SPEECH). Most decent individuals would say that it is not only inappropriate to speak in such a manner, but many recognize that kind of speech uncouth.

      cd5100 said: If we don’t believe in allowing speech we despise, we don’t believe in freedom of speech at all.

      My response: This is a logical fallacy. If someone does not want to allow any form of hate speech to continue, they are not against free speech. To insinuate this is to undermine proper and appropriate speech and recognize hate speech. Again, as previously stated, one is free to speak however, whenever, and in whatever aspects they feel that they have the right. However, it does not mean others have to accept it. If you want to convince yourself that hate speech should not be censored, and should not be removed, then that is your perception. The reality is that there is a fine line of demarcation where appropriate speech is okay, and where hate speech is unwelcome and strongly discouraged. It has nothing to do with denying someone the freedom to speak.

      cd5100 said: To flag all comments, posts, and pages that you disagree with as “hate speech” is also cyberbullying.

      My response: Not exactly sure what you are talking about here or insinuating – why bring this up? What does it have to do with the content and context of the article? It has nothing to do with it. However, the error in your thinking is that if something is recognized as hate speech by what society and laws have put into place, then those comments should be flagged and removed. For instance, if a comment says that Faggots should be burned is posted somewhere, should it be flagged for hate speech? According to you, to do so would mean that you are censoring, and denying that person the freedom to make such a statement and therefore are participating in cyberbullying. It is a false justification. Now, if a comment is made “I do not agree with the homosexual lifestyle and find it a sin” that is not hate speech. Notice the difference. It is the tone and content and context of the statement and how it is worded.

      cd5100 said: You must also remember that disagreement is not the same thing as “hate”.

      My response: I do know the difference between what is a statement of disagreement and what is a statement of hate. It is unfortunate that many of our critics cannot distinguish the difference and attempt to justify their “loving remarks” as something other than hate speech.

  3. Under the U.S. constitution, first ammendment, citizens of this great nation have the right to express their opinions, disdain, critique etc. Why we may not enjoy it or like it, it is a fundamental right of American citizens. To silence those who speak out against our faith is not the answer. The answer is to pray for them and to love them. I am incredibly grateful to live in a nation that allows for critique. Anything less than that is not freedom, but censorship. I believe that even if the critique is against our faith, we should allow that person to have their free agency and allow them to speak. Silencing someone is not respecting their will or their agency and is contrary to the teachings of God. We must tolerate those who disagree with us, as painful as that may be. Just my thoughts,

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