30 December 2017

Of Christianity, cakes, and comments

Yesterday afternoon I read this posting on Church Militant about the "Sweet Cakes by Melissa" case here in Oregon, in which Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein refused to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding.  The lesbian couple sued, and the Kleins were ordered to pay $135,000 for emotional damage and mental distress.  That's as far as Church Militant's reporting went, and its devout readership was duly outraged, as the attached comment thread shows.  I happen to know, however, that there's a bit more to the story than that -- and perhaps unwisely, I wrote a comment there to inform the readers of what the main story had left out (and give them a different perspective on the issue).  Here's the comment I wrote:

The lesbian couple filed the lawsuit because the Kleins posted documents related to the initial discrimination complaint on Facebook, including the lesbian couple's home address, which led to them receiving death threats. This was the basis of the emotional damage and mental distress.


As for the initial discrimination complaint, a case like this is no different than the cases half a century ago when some lunch counter owners declined to serve black customers. Businesses open to the public cannot legally discriminate on the basis of things like race or sexual orientation. It doesn't matter that in some cases the desire to discriminate is motivated by a religious taboo. Some segregationists in the old South also claimed that their racism had a Biblical basis.

The comment went to moderation and as of now, about 24 hours later, still hasn't been posted.  Even I on this blog almost always get to comments in moderation quite a bit faster than that, and Church Militant is a fairly big news site, not just a one-man show.  So I can only conclude that they judge the comment inappropriate.

I don't dispute, of course, that the site owners have every right to reject any comment they wish, for any reason or for no reason.  It's their site.  Still, it's interesting that they apparently don't want their readers to see a piece of information on the case under discussion that their original posting omitted, and which would perhaps cool their outrage about a ruling they judged unjust without knowing the real reason for it.


Blogger Daniel Wilcox said...

Mods on various sites often do delete or ban commenters because the particular comment disagrees with one of the Mods' or the owner's own beliefs. I realize that they have that right as you say because it's their site.

But I wonder why they have the blog then if they don't wish to hear courteous responses from their readers.

On the same site they allow demeaning attacks on public figures, the use of constant obscenities, and harsh discourtesy.

It, basically, seems then that such sites don't want dialog, but only to hear confirmation of all of their own views-- like a 'rah-rah' rally.

For instance, this last month I was threatened with a ban by a Christian site because I disagreed with one point of their views of sexuality, and was banned by an atheist site because I brought up Enlightenment leaders such as Thomas Paine, and politely corrected an error of historical fact.

I wonder if the Christian site you are referring to also has that perspective: sort of a tribal mentality; please don't confuse us with differing views or the facts?

30 December, 2017 22:35  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I'm pretty strict about comments myself, but it's still pretty rare that I actually reject one. If it was a matter of a pertinent fact I'd left out, I'd probably at least address it in a reply or by updating the post.

Church Militant and similar right-wing "news" sites seem to exist largely for the purpose of keeping their readers outraged so they can be easily mobilized to attack when needed, and to that end, they will leave out elements of a news item which would show that the real situation is not, in fact, as outrageous as they're suggesting. Breitbart is especially notable for that.

31 December, 2017 01:33  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Withholding facts to clarify a report is the sort of petty censorship right wingers indugle in all the time. They've been doing it for years on right wing blogs. And the man they support for POTUS is their standard bearer where it relates to petulant grievances, half-truths, and just plain lies.

They are awful people.

31 December, 2017 11:58  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Shaw: As of now (Monday morning) they still haven't posted it. Oddly enough, six months ago they did let a couple from Green Eagle post here.

01 January, 2018 07:20  

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