Rossweisse RIP Rossweisse, HellHost and long-time Shipmate.

Robert Armin RIP Robert Armin, Shipmate of long-standing.

"Catholic Answers Forum (Board wars & why we don't do them)" [Title edited to reflect Ship policies]

Sad SackSad Sack Shipmate Posts: 30
edited June 24 in Hell
I spent some time posting on the Catholic Answers Forums (CAF). My time on the forums was brought to an end when they suspended my account for 1,000 years. I must say, there is something pleasingly biblical about being suspended for 1,000 years. You will be wondering for what crime I incurred such a penalty. In the end, the reason for my epic suspension was that I disputed a decision by the forum moderator, which apparently gets you what is effectively a lifetime ban. However, what originally got me into trouble with the moderator was a post I made endorsing relationships and sex education (RSE) in schools. The moderator explained to me that a post I made had been deleted because I endorsed RSE, which is apparently contrary to Catholic teaching. There was only one problem with this: the RSE that I had endorsed in the offending post was none other than the RSE that has received approval from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales! This does not entirely surprise me, as a recurring theme on CAF is that the Catholic bishops are, generally speaking, fairly unorthodox, and the Catholic bishops of England and Wales are apparently worse than most.

I got my revenge. Despite a 1,000-year suspension, there was nothing to prevent my creating a new account with a different email address. I posted a question which has unfortunately been vaporised, but I'll summarise: I am a young woman who has spent much of my life as a prostitute. Recently, however, I have fallen in love with a young man from a good family who can see past my former way of life. I am currently living with him at his family's country house. However, I have just been visited by my boyfriend's father, who insists that I must end our relationship, as his daughter is engaged to a young man from a very respectable family, and he will break off the engagement if her brother continues to live with a former prostitute. I received a series of very earnest replies until I pointed out that my question was the plot of La Dame aux Camélias, and I was banned again for 1,000 years.

Now for a list of my complaints about the content of CAF. It should be said, these are not the views of everyone on the site, but they are representative of a large proportion, which becomes an even larger proportion once you eliminate forum members who are actually Protestants, Jews, or atheists.
  • Generally hostile towards ecumenism. They are more concerned with explaining why other denominations are wrong than they are with finding common ground. They are especially intolerant of Anglicans (too liberal) and Baptists (with no sense of irony, too intolerant). And don't even get them started on the can of worms that is the question of whether Christians, Jews, and Muslims all worship the same God. They really don't like Muslims. Don't mention John Paul II kissing the Quran! There are a quite a few anti-Semites on there, promoting canards about Jews controlling finance/the media/entertainment as well as being the chief architects of international Bolshevism.
  • Very conservative, i.e., "convinced that anything to the left of the US Republican Party is socialism or worse, and hence forbidden for Catholics". Small government, low taxation (or possibly no taxation), low public spending, free market capitalism, sometimes intersecting with the Tenther movement, i.e. the role of the federal government is restricted to those responsibilities enumerated in the Tenth Amendment. Obviously they are staunchly opposed to "socialised healthcare" and state schools (public schools for Americans) ("the tenth plank of the Communist Manifesto!"). Some of them are actually opposed to all schools.
  • Keen on populists such as Trump, Putin, Bolsonaro, Duterte, and Orbán. Franco, Salazar, and Pinochet are also pretty popular. The justification is always that they were good Catholics and they kept the communists out of power.
  • Somewhat given to wild exaggerations and/or conspiracy theories. Not a few times have I seen "cultural Marxism" mentioned on CAF. It is literally a Nazi conspiracy theory. They are also keen on promoting the blatant lie that Hitler/the Nazis were socialists/far left.
  • Frequently cited sources include Breitbart, RedState, LifeSiteNews, Washington Examiner, The Stream, The American Conservative, and The Federalist. They are strongly opposed to the BBC on the grounds that it is anti-religion. (The same BBC that brings us the Daily Service, Sunday Worship, Choral Evensong, Songs of Praise, Bells on Sunday, Thought for the Day, the annual Lent Talks, The Moral Maze, Beyond Belief, Pilgrimage, live broadcasts of papal inaugurations, papal funerals, the installation of the archbishop of Westminster.) Oh, and remember when RedState published nude photos of Katie Hill? The folks on CAF thought that was great!
  • Strong support for climate change denial.
  • Strong support, though, to be fair, in smaller numbers, for the anti-vaccine movement.
  • Strong support for Second Amendment rights.
  • Strangely, given the absolutely unambiguous teaching of the Catholic Church, the people on CAF are pretty much split down the middle on capital punishment. Many of them are convinced that the pope is wrong on this one. There's one chap on the forums who posts about almost nothing but capital punishment and why it's not contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church, even though it says so in the Catechism and the pope and the bishops' conferences say so also. Some people on there actually argue that the death penalty should be used more widely, i.e. not just against murderers.
  • In fact, many Catholics on there seem to be fairly sceptical about the orthodoxy of the Catholic Church in general. There was a lot of hysteria about the Amazon synod and the so-called "Pachamama idol". They also tend to think that most Catholic universities and schools are unorthodox. Some think that the Jesuits should be banned.
  • There is a pretty tough line on immigration, always justified using the argument that they aren't against immigration, just illegal immigration, which tends to mean the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of teeming shores, the homeless, the tempest-tost, etc. If you mention the Holy Family, somebody will swiftly point out that they were merely exercising their lawful right to travel between provinces of the Roman Empire!
  • Abortion is the only election issue that really matters. Possibly same-sex marriage. These are much more important than anything like social justice, healthcare, education, and all the other things Christians usually care about.
  • Obviously Donald Trump is rated very highly and Joe Biden much maligned (a rapist, corrupt, suffering from dementia, etc).
  • A peculiar obsession with the Crusades, how great they were, and how unfairly the Catholic Church has been maligned by historians, most notably Sir Steven Runciman.
  • Saul Alinsky and Howard Zinn are frequently mentioned boogeymen.
  • "All lives matter" seems to be popular right now, but, to be fair, the actual racists are in a minority. The Confederacy is surprisingly popular, and it really wasn't at all racist, it had nothing to do with slavery, and the Union was the aggressor.
  • In general, there is a belief that western civilisation itself is under threat from leftism, liberalism, progressivism, globalism, secularism, modernism, relativism, feminism, the homosexual agenda, gender ideology, the sexual revolution, political correctness, liberals in academia and the media, the European project, Freemasonry, and probably much more besides.
  • Possibly the answer is nothing less than a return to the Middle Ages: absolute monarchy, aristocracy, feudalism, integration of Church and state.
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Comments

  • Please note, we do not look kindly on board wars.

    Alan
    Ship of Fools Admin
  • Sad SackSad Sack Shipmate Posts: 30
    Please note, we do not look kindly on board wars.

    Alan
    Ship of Fools Admin

    Apologies. I had never heard the term "board wars", let alone did I know that it was against forum rules. One of my reasons for joining the Ship was because I had had such a negative experience with Catholic Answers.
  • The term describes attempts to pick fights with other discussion boards. We've had our experiences over the years of having people trash talk us elsewhere, we don't like it when it happens to us, we don't like people here doing the same.

    You are more than welcome to start discussions of anything you want, we're different people from those on Catholic Answers, and our views will differ. We don't have any forum rules about what are, or are not, approved views on any topic - providing they're expressed within the limits of our 10 Commandments (without personal attacks on those who disagree, etc).
  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited June 24
    Sad Sack wrote: »
    I had never heard the term "board wars", let alone did I know that it was against forum rules. One of my reasons for joining the Ship was because I had had such a negative experience with Catholic Answers.

    You are welcome here, and are welcome to start or join discussions on pretty much any topic. The experience of the ship has been that "wars" against other forums aren't constructive, and don't end well for anyone. The same goes for "pond wars" (originally Brits saying that the US sucks and vice versa, generically expanded to include all stupid arguments along the lines of "my country makes this arbitrary choice that is obviously correct, your country makes a different arbitrary choice and it's obviously stupid. You suck!").

    If you want to discuss what things should and shouldn't be included in RSE in schools, Purgatory is probably the best place for it. If you want to discuss French literature, Heaven is probably the right place. If some well-known conservative Catholic public figure says something you find stupid, go ahead and rant about it here in Hell.

    I'll note in passing that pretending that the plot of a novel is a real contemporary situation in order to get a rise out of people is obvious trolling. The admins here wouldn't look favourably on that either.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    Sad Sack wrote: »
    Now for a list of my complaints about the content of CAF.

    Why should we care?
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host
    Until 30 minutes ago, I was entirely unacquainted with Catholic Answers Forum. And I was blissful in my ignorance of that site.

    The idea of a 1,000-year suspension is curiously pleasing, however.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Ruth wrote: »
    Sad Sack wrote: »
    Now for a list of my complaints about the content of CAF.

    Why should we care?
    And particularly, why should we care enough to read a wall of text of over 1,200 words?

  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    Until 30 minutes ago, I was entirely unacquainted with Catholic Answers Forum. And I was blissful in my ignorance of that site.

    The idea of a 1,000-year suspension is curiously pleasing, however.

    A 999-year, 364-day suspension is curiously pleasing. 1000 years is just too plebeian.
  • Sad SackSad Sack Shipmate Posts: 30
    I'll note in passing that pretending that the plot of a novel is a real contemporary situation in order to get a rise out of people is obvious trolling. The admins here wouldn't look favourably on that either.

    Very true, and it was probably rather a silly way of getting a little revenge upon the moderator of that forum. However, it really did seem completely unreasonable to ban somebody from a Catholic forum for stating the official position of the Catholic Church in the country in which I live, while at the same time tolerating numerous posts that are racist or antisemitic or openly contradict Church teaching.
    Ruth wrote: »
    Why should we care?

    You don't have to care, but I am curious to know why you would take the trouble to comment at all.

    I find the intersection of Christianity and the alt-right, especially in the United States, an interesting phenomenon. I am also interested in the more extreme forms of Catholic traditionalism, of which antisemitism is sadly a common feature. I therefore regard CAF as something of a case study with regard to some of the more unusual theological and political views at that end of the spectrum. I thought that if others had visited the same site, which seems not unlikely, they would possibly have some useful or interesting comments to make.

    You do not have to be interested in, or care about, everything. However, it does seem unnecessary, and somewhat confrontational towards a new member, to respond in this manner.
  • Sad SackSad Sack Shipmate Posts: 30
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    And particularly, why should we care enough to read a wall of text of over 1,200 words?

    Nobody is making you read it. If there is one thing that I'll say in CAF's favour, it is that they do have a policy of expecting charity towards other forum members. That charity is not always observed, but it is an expectation. I am new to this forum, and I am not yet familiar with how things are done. To be quite honest, if this degree of hostility, especially towards new members, is the norm, I am not sure that I want to stay.
  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    You're posting on a board which new posters really should avoid and which people probably shouldn't post on until they've been here quite a long time and learned what this board is for - it plays a particular role in helping the other boards run smoothly and it's specifically not where to look for charity or a welcome. You're getting a less than friendly welcome because it's like a learner driver who's trying to drive the wrong way up a one way street wondering why everyone is honking at you and being so unwelcoming.

    Could you maybe go look at the other boards and join in where things interest you? It's not a good idea to start by posting on the Hell board.
  • I don't think that's hostility. It's more indifference.

    I wish I'd done something terrible enough to earn a 1000 year ban, and frankly I'd have that as a badge of honour. But you can shake your sandals free of their dust and pay them nevernomind from now on. No point in dragging that baggage with you - you're free!
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    Sad Sack wrote: »
    To be quite honest, if this degree of hostility, especially towards new members, is the norm, I am not sure that I want to stay.

    The hilarious part (for me) is that this is us being nicer-than-usual (in Hell) because of your low post count. You absolutely should flee before The Denizens really get to know you.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Louise wrote: »
    You're posting on a board which new posters really should avoid and which people probably shouldn't post on until they've been here quite a long time and learned what this board is for - it plays a particular role in helping the other boards run smoothly and it's specifically not where to look for charity or a welcome. You're getting a less than friendly welcome because it's like a learner driver who's trying to drive the wrong way up a one way street wondering why everyone is honking at you and being so unwelcoming.

    Could you maybe go look at the other boards and join in where things interest you? It's not a good idea to start by posting on the Hell board.

    And just to crystalize the point made above...

    Sad Sack, when you post something in Hell, even something fairly innocuous, there is a pretty good chance that you will be mocked and insulted.

    As for your OP, it's a little long-winded, and I think you could probably just have said that Catholic Answers leans toward typical right-wing opinions of the American variety, with maybe a few examples to illustrate the temdency. Most of us know what conservative opinion is like these days, and could probably extrapolate the site's content from a brief summation.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    Until 30 minutes ago, I was entirely unacquainted with Catholic Answers Forum. And I was blissful in my ignorance of that site.

    The idea of a 1,000-year suspension is curiously pleasing, however.

    I have read one book by Karl Keating, Catholicism And Fundamentalism, a takedown of the latter's arguments against the former. It was okay, generally well-argued, though some of his points seemed a little legalistic.

    While he does hint in a few places that he has conservative views on abortion, there's nothing else to indicate that he would be generally far-right. Not entirely unsurprising that he is, I suppose.


  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited June 25
    Sad Sack wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    And particularly, why should we care enough to read a wall of text of over 1,200 words?
    Nobody is making you read it.
    Of course no one is making me read it. But presumably you want people to read it and respond to it, and it’s often the case that the longer the post gets, the more readers may choose to skip it. You’re asking a lot of people when you post something that long.

    No hostility was intended, despite this being Hell, and I apologize if hostility was conveyed. But I do encourage you to spend some time getting your footing on the Ship. As others have said, Hell probably isn’t the best board for your second thread. And I think as you do spend some time exploring the Ship, you’ll find that such long posts aren’t too common, in part because they often inhibit rather than foster discussion.

  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Sad Sack--

    Welcome. Sorry you had such a bad experience at the other place.

    Ditto pretty much what other said above. PLEASE do yourself a favor and leave this thread alone for maybe a few days. That'll give you a chance to relax and unwind, and to lurk on threads to see how we do things, and read the rules for each board. There are links at the top of each board's main page. Each board has its own style and purpose. Some of the gentler ones are Heaven, Circus, and All Saints.

    Oh, and that whole "secretly sign up again to the forum as a sock-puppet" thing you did over there? Don't do it here. *Especially* if you get into trouble here. The Ship's had to deal with that in the past. Did you ever see the Grail scene in "Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade"? "He chose...poorly." Spare yourself that fate.

    Good luck! :)

  • 1000 years. Does the phrase feature in any hymns? 10,000 does: Amazing Grace. Does the suspension for 1000 years get Grace but not the Amazing upgrade?

  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    1000 years. Does the phrase feature in any hymns? 10,000 does: Amazing Grace. Does the suspension for 1000 years get Grace but not the Amazing upgrade?

    [TANGENT ALERT] I hereby nominate your phrase "the Amazing upgrade" for inclusion . . . somewhere . . . in Ship guidelines.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    In Sad Sack's list of dictators beloved for their Catholicism by the CA community, I'm surprised to see Duterte on the list. He's pretty much the most openly anti-Catholic leader in the world today, saying things about the RCC and even God which, if said by a Democrat in the USA, would have right-wing Catholics screaming about how the next step will be concentration camps for Catholics.

    Then again, people who venerate strongman politicians often have little understanding of what their policies actually are, besides one or two crowd-pleasing issues, and the general macho image they project.

    (Putin doesn't really belong on the list of Catholic superstars either, for the simple fact that he's not Catholic. But his positive attitude toward Orthodoxy is pretty close to how Catholic conservatives think governments should treat their faith.)
  • ArethosemyfeetArethosemyfeet Shipmate
    edited June 25
    .
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    Until 30 minutes ago, I was entirely unacquainted with Catholic Answers Forum. And I was blissful in my ignorance of that site.

    The idea of a 1,000-year suspension is curiously pleasing, however.

    :lol:
  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    Until 30 minutes ago, I was entirely unacquainted with Catholic Answers Forum. And I was blissful in my ignorance of that site.

    The idea of a 1,000-year suspension is curiously pleasing, however.

    :lol:
    Like @mousethief a 1,000-year suspension is plebian. Something more imaginative could be considered. Maybe I should make a play upstairs to change or ban policy to a Methuselahan Suspension (969 years).
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    The idea of a 1,000-year suspension is curiously pleasing, however.

    As is the idea of rolling up in 3020 and posting 'I'm back!'
  • EutychusEutychus Shipmate
    How about introducing a suspension for "time, times, and half a time"? That could mean anything from a mere 1,260 actual days to the entire Church age, depending on whether the admins were in a literalistic mood or not. The latitude it would offer is quite appealing.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    edited June 25
    The OP has been useful to me. I have been over there when looking for an answer to something or other harmless and I can't remember the outcome, but the collection of negatives I had not seen but have recently become familiar. This may reveal a possible source for stuff I have heard from someone I don't want to hear it from.
    Suspension for a millenium? What on earth gave them that idea? It's mad! (And I can understand the urge to get back in and send them up, however wrong it is.)
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Understandable perhaps, but not a good look. Like talking to someone at a party and finding they just want to bitch about their ex - whom you've never met.
  • @Sad Sack, welcome to the Ship. I enjoyed your opening post, but would repeat what others have said: Hell is not a good place for newcomers. Even those of us who've been around for a while can get very bruised here. The rest of the Ship is gentler.

    I also enjoyed the thousand year suspension. Would banning someone for 666 years underline what CAF thought of your views?
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Firenze wrote: »
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    The idea of a 1,000-year suspension is curiously pleasing, however.

    As is the idea of rolling up in 3020 and posting 'I'm back!'

    rofl
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    @Sad Sack welcome aboard, from one disaffected Catholic to another!
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Welcome aboard @Sad Sack

    Jumping into Hell is not really a great idea. How about joining an All Saints thread and getting to know folks?
  • @Sad%20Sack

    I'd like to welcome you too. Hell is 'robust' as all the bullies feel the gloves are off and anyone is fair game. Just tell 'em to sod off! :)

    Agreeing with others, several problems with your initial post:

    1. too long, by a lot
    2. board wars issues (not allowed here)
    3. too much about how they trated you

    A lot of what you say (but reduced to under 50%) could make a fair thread in Purgatory as a summary of the people and attitudes you found on 'another board' (mentioning by name in passing but excluding how they treated you). Ask questions about whether on a Christian board you should expect such un-Jesus-like attitudes to be allowed to the exclusion of any other views and how much overlap there is between Christians and right-wing politics .
  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    I thought the OP was interesting and gave me some understanding of how the RCC faithful, albeit probably a minority, comport themselves, although none of it was particularly new to me.

    The welcome, however, was quite inappropriate. It increasingly seems to be the case that the Ship would prefer to have no new members join and old posters go away so that the same 10 posters can have the same conversation endlessly.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    ECraigR wrote: »
    The welcome, however, was quite inappropriate. It increasingly seems to be the case that the Ship would prefer to have no new members join and old posters go away so that the same 10 posters can have the same conversation endlessly.

    Oh, for crying out loud. It's Hell. Read the header and the guidelines.
  • @Sad Sack - hopefully, you're on a useful learning curve here, steep though it might be!

    FWIW, your Purgatory thread on unwelcome 'church plants' was a good start, and has generated interest, and discussion, as per wot it sez on the tin...

    ...but come over to The Dark Side All Saints sometime - we have cookies! And CAKE!
    :wink:
  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    Ruth wrote: »
    ECraigR wrote: »
    The welcome, however, was quite inappropriate. It increasingly seems to be the case that the Ship would prefer to have no new members join and old posters go away so that the same 10 posters can have the same conversation endlessly.

    Oh, for crying out loud. It's Hell. Read the header and the guidelines.

    Does Hell mean it’s where all the posters go to vent on new people? Come on.
  • Er...quite a few of the posts on this thread (despite it being Hell) are welcoming and affirming towards @Sad Sack.

    Or am I missing something?

    (Yes, the OP was TL/DR, but one has to start somewhere...).
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    Oh come on ECraigR, this is quite the friendliest, most welcoming thread I've ever seen in hell, not counting the Cancer Sucks one.
  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    I must have been mistaken in my perceptions.
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    ECraigR wrote: »
    I must have been mistaken in my perceptions.

    Or you're just generally an idiot. It's how I interpret most of your posts, to distill some sense out of them.
  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    Yes, Rook, you're an insecure bully with all the intelligence of a gnat. Perhaps try being less shrill about it.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    That's the spirit!
  • teddybearteddybear Shipmate Posts: 16
    CAF is not really Catholic nor does it give any decent answers. Rather, it is filled with much superstition, questionable theology and questionable moral advice. Were it not for the poor innocents going there for answers, I would find it more amusing than I do.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    1000 years. Does the phrase feature in any hymns? 10,000 does: Amazing Grace. Does the suspension for 1000 years get Grace but not the Amazing upgrade?

    It's milligrace.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    How about introducing a suspension for "time, times, and half a time"? That could mean anything from a mere 1,260 actual days to the entire Church age, depending on whether the admins were in a literalistic mood or not. The latitude it would offer is quite appealing.

    Nice.
    ECraigR wrote: »
    I thought the OP was interesting and gave me some understanding of how the RCC faithful, albeit probably a minority, comport themselves,

    Oh please. You can find a tiny minority of ANY group who are thoroughgoing sons of bitches. (or daughters). This says NOTHING at ALL about Catholics.
    ECraigR wrote: »
    Does Hell mean it’s where all the posters go to vent on new people? Come on.

    Have you never read the Hell guidelines? You post in Hell, you draw a bullseye on your back. You post something assholic, that bullseye is going to get a workout.

    Oh, and re. RooK's intelligence, having met him several times in person, I can say he ranks far above a gnat. At least housefly. Maybe larger.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    If either a gnat or housefly, he'll need to watch out for Simon Toad.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Like @mousethief a 1,000-year suspension is plebian.

    Thanks. </deadpan>
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Takes a thousand years to read the OP.
  • Yes, but the OP was interesting.
  • Indeed, but a tad too long for Bears of Little Brain, which is why so many peeps have traipsed onto this thread (despite the heat IRL) in order to offer welcome and advice to the OPer.
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