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Proposed additions to the SOP

Discussion in 'The Lord's Table - Liberal Catholics' started by Tallguy88, May 4, 2017.

  1. Shiloh Raven

    Shiloh Raven Don't let the Muggles get you down.

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    Thank you, Fish. I really appreciate it.

    I think that was very thoughtful of you.
     
  2. tadoflamb

    tadoflamb no identificado

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    In my typical Christian arrogance I'd like to think that we've created a safe place for you here in TLT when in reality you're the one who has created a safe place for us, or at least for me. I'd be long gone from CF if not for this board.

    I guess if we took liberal Catholic in it's broadest sense you would qualify as a liberal Catholic.

    I've been thinking of ways to get agents from the Vatican to secretly confirm you Catholic. If you start seeing unmarked black helicopters around your neighborhood, you've got good reason to be suspicious.

    I think it's sort of silly with so few 4 regular posters to have to redefine our SOP. I think we've established over the past year what we're all about and what we like to get from the forum. At any rate, if the three or four of us Catholic members who regularly post here vote on anything, you can have mine.
     
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  3. tadoflamb

    tadoflamb no identificado

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    Wasn't there some discussion in OBOB on giving you honorary voting status or am I thinking of someone else?
     
  4. Fantine

    Fantine Dona Quixote Supporter

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    It's hard to define "wavelength." In practice, Voices that carry, Paidiske, and some others are on the same wavelength with us almost all the time, and if not, they still have something valuable to contribute.

    On the other hand, there are occasionally Catholics who post (who shall remain unnamed) who make me feel as if a wet blanket has just been thrown on the thread.

    My own clause in the SOP would say, "If you participate in TLT, come with an open heart and leave your Rules and Regulations book at home..." And that's how I would define a "member."
     
  5. Fish and Bread

    Fish and Bread Dona nobis pacem

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    Honestly, I'm not sure. I know for years there was a big debate over whether or not I qualified as a Catholic. It drove me nuts. I think I've repressed a lot of those memories. ;)

    There were some good things about it, too, though, obviously, or I wouldn't be here on TLT today talking to a lot of my favorite people, some of whom are formerly, or are currently (I am honestly not sure how many cross-post as I don't visit OBOB regularly anymore. I know who I see here and that's about it unless something on the side panel grabs my attention and turns out to be from OBOB ;) ), posters on OBOB. Something kept drawing me back to it from time to time. But I had been a year out of it (Voluntary CF sabbatical) when I heard this place had gotten a good group going, and I came back for TLT. My interest in OBOB is minimal these days.

    When I read things like that and am reminded of those times, though, it reminds me of the importance of having a good specific SOP, though, which I'll go into under the next quote here. :)

    I like the thought and the feeling behind that. I think that's the way a lot of liberals and progressives, and people who might not use those titles but who are friendly with us, think in general in life, and it's a beautiful sentiment.

    However, from my experience on Internet forums, which I have literally been posting to for over 20 years in one medium or another, and 12 years on CF (Granted that's not subtracting the time I spent away with my two lengthy sabbaticals, I'm just going 2017-2005=12 :) ), when things are left vague, often things are interpreted in ways people wouldn't like or expect when decisions have to be made.

    When posts are reported, for example, they go to administrators and moderators, who look to the SOP to help them decide on whether posts get removed, threads are locked, users face penalties, etc.. If the SOP isn't written in a clear precise way, that can leave moderators at a loss, forced to make up their own interpretation of the rules and enforce that, which might not always go the way we want it to, through no fault of the people having to figure out what we meant. And it's not just today's moderators- we're talking about any potential moderators from anywhere on the site who might become moderators in the future. Even if we say "Our current group of moderators gets it", the next group may need some guidance in the form of a more specific SOP. :)

    Tad reminded me that my standing on OBOB was periodically under fire as to whether or not I was considered a Catholic per their definition. For like 10 years.

    If we want to get people in, it would be good to get them in explicitly. Paidiske says she doesn't want official membership status, which is fine, but what if we had a clone of her who was like her in every respect, but who wanted membership status? Wouldn't we want to write the rules in such a way that someone like her could have their posts reviewed when reported as if they were full members of the forum and be able to participate in any votes and whatever? Rules and Statements of Purpose aren't always about what is, but some are often about what could be. Obviously, no one would have to consider themselves a member who didn't want to consider themselves a member.

    On the other hand, let's say someone who is a very conservative evangelical from a "bible church" stops by and starts telling us evolution is from the devil and we can't venerate Mary and such. Probably, we'd want mods to step in and remove that person's posts and send them a friendly note reminding them that this is the Liberal Catholic forum and they shouldn't be posting in that fashion here, but in friendly fellowship. But what if that person turns around and says "I was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church, and I consider myself liberal because [weird definition of liberal that really means conservative], so I should be able to say whatever I want."?

    Of course, we don't want to be keeping away Liberal Catholics who just aren't attending church or have become Episcopalians but are still essentially Catholic and Liberals in their hearts either (Where the only things keeping them away from their local RCC parish might be the things liberals generally want to change about the RCC). We also don't want to make everything a litmus test issue.

    So, ideally for me, a SOP would be a very specific series of definitions and whatnot that really get extremely detailed.

    However, all that said, I am not the best at running things. Maybe the things that I think would help the forum in the future would actually inhibit it from being the best forum it can be. That's just what my thought process is- for what it's worth (Maybe not a lot, but opinions were requested, so that's one opinion ;) Value in the eye of the beholder. :) ).

    We don't actually get an official say in the SOP anyway. We're being asked for feedback, which is great. But, in the end, it's not our decision. I'd love to be able to write an SOP and get an up/down vote on it, but that's not the way the system works anymore, and we have to respect that.

    Having said that, I probably should be focusing on other things anyway. I can't really talk about it, but there's something in real life that has really been grabbing my attention the last couple years that is growing to include media, lawyers, local government, etc.. Writing some sort of forum statement of purpose is probably not where my attention should be. ;) On the other hand, it'd be a distraction, which I probably also need. I'd do it if asked. If not, I'll be prepping for my interview with the local newspaper. ;) Yeah, yikes. I'm really a very private person and am not happy about the situation getting this public (Although I'm driving that in some ways because I have to), but there are things going on that can not continue to go on the way they are and I am using every legal means at my disposal to try to affect positive change (They may well backfire. It has in the past- basically every time. I'm going up against people who have significantly more power and standing in the community then I do. But I have no choice but to try. The alternative is worse. I won't be bullied and walked all over and let my life be severely negatively impacted on some [unprintable anatomical adjective here]'s whim forever). I have to be vague about that personal stuff for various reasons- but if anyone has perceived me typing with an underlying tension for the past two years or so, that's probably why. :) My stress level is through the roof.

    FYI Some of my personal issues could have been avoided if we had more specific laws governing the area in which I live. :) Seriously. Some aspects of this involve community understandings that go back at least 50 years across generations but were not specifically and clearly put down in writing as ordinances or laws and are being flouted by someone in a way that is destructive and threatening to people and their quality of life. So, there's an analogy I could make with the SOP thing and why I like specificity (But since I have to be vague about my personal situation, I'm not sure if I'm able to get across why well).

    But I do totally understand that forum rules and legal systems are somewhat different, and a case can be made that having things be vague and open to interpretation can give moderators leeway that may be a positive for the forum. But it really depends on having the right moderators and keeping them.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
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  6. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    Scary thought. I don't know if I'd like her very much.

    I like the idea of voices that carry being grandfathered in.

    F&B is right in one sense. You have to assume that when a report is made, the mod looking at it might never have read a thread in TLT, or have any idea about the general ethos here, and - especially given that any warning might have to stand up on appeal - any action would need to be clearly defensible with reference to the SOP. Vagueness is probably not going to serve you well here.

    On a side note, F&B, I do remember you posting a while ago asking for support, saying that it was important to you to know that you had people somewhere rooting for you, and while we don't know the specifics, I have often kept you in prayer.
     
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  7. bettercallpaul

    bettercallpaul Full- time Catholic

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    Agreed. I thought that is what made TLT unique. That it could avoid legalism. Too many rules and it is just as bad as the ones Pope Francis was pointing the finger at.
     
  8. Fish and Bread

    Fish and Bread Dona nobis pacem

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    Thank you. Whether or not it's good theology, I think with my background, something in my gut is always going to make me feel like the prayers of a priest might carry a little extra weight with God relative to the prayers of a lay person. So, reading that a priest is praying for me is reassuring. Plus, I appreciate the good thoughts from you as a human being I've gotten to know a bit on the forums, independent of your vocation as a priest. :)
     
  9. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    Terrible theology, F&B, but I find one that many folk are susceptible to. ;)

    Do keep us updated (as much as you can) as things unfold.
     
  10. FreeinChrist

    FreeinChrist CF Advisory team Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    Tallguy88 is going to be unavailable for some time, so I looked into this conversation.

    Being too specific limits conversation and will limit the folks who could otherwise post here comfortably. There are those on the site who nitpick at the details and will report the slightest deviation. It is better to be more welcoming and friendly.

    The view of the administration overall is that SOPs needs to be short and sweet. A member glancing through should be able to get the gist of the forum fairly fast. My only thought with the current SOP is that it is a bit wordy. However, it has been working for this forum and we do not see problems with this forum and the only reports come from folks wandering in, often with an agenda. Those folks will do that anyway.
     
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  11. bettercallpaul

    bettercallpaul Full- time Catholic

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    Praise the Lord!
     
  12. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 We shall see the King when he comes! Supporter

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    I'm not sure.

    I'm not sure who all wrote it. It was from the 777 days.

    They were written at different times. This area does allow some dissent, but it has to remain respectful of the official teaching and heiararchs and has to still conform to sitewide rules.

    CAF is not a PAC. It's a lay apostolate that operates with the permission of the Diocese of San Diego. You may not like the term "non negotiable" but the Church certainly considers certain issues to be non negotiable, even if it uses different words to express that idea.

    Thanks.
     
  13. Fantine

    Fantine Dona Quixote Supporter

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    Not sure if you remember, tallguy, but when Catholic Answers tried to put their voters guides on windshields during Masses, some dioceses banned them from doing so.

    And so I concur with F&B that they are far from mainstream if dioceses banned their voters guides.

    Diocesan lawyers ban Catholic voting guides
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  14. Davidnic

    Davidnic Well-Known Member Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    The old SOP was written by Geocajun synthesizing the old wiki discussion mainly from Protinus who lead in the creation of the first TLT.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2017
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  15. Davidnic

    Davidnic Well-Known Member Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    And Boughtwithaprice, as I look over some notes from late July 2007. BWP and Protinus were the TLT founders.
     
  16. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 We shall see the King when he comes! Supporter

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    Part of the reason for the proposed addition (the main reason) is because TLT has something of an identity problem. It's name and intent is clearly to be a home forum for theologically liberal Catholics. But as you see, when I suggest making that clear in the SOP using language from the founders of the forum, we get backlash that it's not inclusive enough. Thing is, if you keep it too broad, it will hamper moderation. If you want non Catholics (and non Christians) included as members, what's to stop protestants or traditionalists from coming in here and debating against the spirit of this forum? The letter of the rules would be hard to prohibit it since the current SOP is very broad on that point and doesn't draw much of a line when it comes to debating.
     
  17. Fantine

    Fantine Dona Quixote Supporter

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    Shouldn't that be a decision of the people who participate in this forum?

    What are you offering us that we couldn't do ourselves by putting troublemakers on "ignore?"

    Since we all have that ability, we might prefer a more flexible structure.

    Someone else posted that there are rarely problems here, so why get heavy handed?
     
  18. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 We shall see the King when he comes! Supporter

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    I'm not seeing how the proposed additions are heavy handed. It's a clarification of existing guidelines taken from the original founders of this forum. It's not some hard line crackdown by outsiders. It's literal word for word written by the liberal Catholics that started this forum.

    It's not decided whether to implement or not. It was just a suggestion. I'm surprised at the push back.
     
  19. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    Tallguy, I'm sure people do appreciate your attempts to get it right with fine-tuning the SOP.

    I suspect that the push back is because these suggested changes are not the ones which people here would most desire; that is, the ability for forum members here to decide where the boundaries are on what is and is not acceptable as "liberal Catholicism." As long as there is frustration from regulars here that they are not allowed to be themselves, as liberal Catholics, then there will be underlying tension in other discussions about changes.

    At least, that's my reading of it; perhaps others might chime in too?
     
  20. Fantine

    Fantine Dona Quixote Supporter

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    I don't remember the other two, but I would never have called geocajun's behavior exceptionally liberal or accepting of liberalism.

    Note this is a reflection on behavior, not the person.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
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