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Statements on channels

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Posted by Fraegis on 10/15

Recently, a player stated on chat that homosexuals should be treated according to the bible, meaning they should be stoned to death.

I wrote Zandy, and reported what I thought was an illegal statement, that made me quite angry. I do not like to see statements claiming that a certain group of people should be killed because of whom they love. In my opinion, it is no different than claiming people should die because of their religion.

His reply came the other day, and I just checked with him if he was serious. He was.

I quote : "The chat in question was done in good taste." This was the reply from the head of admin, as "he didn't want to dictate politics, emotion or beliefs, people are entitled to their opinion". Agreed, they are entitled to their opinion. But they are not entitled to express such views on public channels on a family mud!

Done in good taste...That one boggled me. I fail to see any good taste in statements that claims others must die due to their sexuality.

The plans for holocaust were written in a very clinical language, never mentioning torture, gas chambers or genocide with one single word. That didn't make the idea or statement more pleasant.

I might take it too far, I agree to that, but I would never support a mud that allows such statements. As long as this decision stands, I am out of here.

A know people who are homosexuals, and seeing statements like the above turns my mind to the middle ages and to germany in the 1930's/1940's. It has no place here, I hope, nor would any statement expressing extremist views about the deaths of other people due to their beliefs or sexual orientation.

Another thing that boggles me is that I have asked other imms if I interpreted the rules correctly. And, according to the 7 I asked, I did. They all said "Such statements are not allowed here, and they will never be". These imms included at least one other admin. Since the rules seem to be very unclear, I would like to ask what the players think? Should views as the above be allowed on channels? Is it ok to say that people should be killed for whom they love? And yes, laugh and think "heh, talk about overreacting" if you wish. That is what 98% of the world thought in 1931 when Hitler started his campaign to become leader of Germany.

Fraegis' player.

From: Starbiter Monday, October 04, 01:57PM

With out knowing what the statement exactly was or if it was your interpitation of the (obviously ignorant) person, I can't agree with you. Playing starbiter is always troublesome cause I have to tread a thin line about wha tis acceptable behavior and what isn't. I know however I have never pulled punches on people that play strong christians. I say thicasue if we as players and immorts start saying that this is not alright the we pull alot away from RP. And stopping someone from saying something ( and let me reiterrate, ignorant) like what that person says has the same effect. Now I see that this seems like an ooc issue with this particular person, but one should remember that in their eyes they can't see why anyone else could think any diffrently. I think the deeper issue here should be personal consideration for other players and imms.

ah well

star "dang I gotta learn to type when I'm tired" biter

From: Teleri Monday, October 04, 05:45PM

You went to so much trouble to quote Zandy's response, is there some reason you can't quote the original statement you found so offensive? It's hard to judge without that context really. Did the player just say they believe in that part of the Bible, or were they openly making death threats? While I don't necessarily agree with either, the two are significantly different in terms of appropriateness and taste. Just asking for a little more information here, please.

From: Conspiracy Monday, October 04, 06:30PM

I'm tired of listening to you whine, your always whining about this, or that..

second, people are entitled to their opinions, I find your opinion on this matter to be pure ignorance. We all have racism in us, in one fashion or another, how we choose to express (or not) it is up to us ourselves.

I guess what I'm saying is this, if you don't LIKE me, BITE me.

-Cons - amazingly the one who DIDN'T say that on chat.

From: Oxalis Monday, October 04, 09:10PM

I note in the rules that 'racist or sexual slurs or slurs against any group are not premissible'. If the comment Fraegis described was said ooc, it is equivlant to saying that blacks should be lynched, Jews should be burnt in ovens or Christians should be tortured and shot. I do believe in free speech, but I would also think that any of the above are not only distasteful, but against that particular rule. I can't really see any way to show good taste in expressing such opinions, but if it was on a private conference rather than a public channel I guess I would be more convinced by the freedom of speech argument. On public channels, however, people should not have to see religious bigotry, sociopathic aggression and other hateful things like this.

Conspiracy I am personally sick of your endless whining, for you to call somebody else a whiner is hilarious.


From: Ariel Monday, October 04, 09:41PM

Objecting to bigotry and stupidity is called whining now?

And sure, Conspiracy, probably everyone is prejudiced at some level.

However, give some of us a little credit for trying not to be. Damn, do you really want to stick up for the racists and homophobes?

Just because free speech is a right doesn't mean people can be stupid whenever they want.

From: Fraegis Tuesday, October 05, 01:05PM

The statement in question was along the lines of "All homosexuals should be treated like the bible says". And as homosexuals are only listed one place in the bible, namely where it says they should be stoned to death, there isn't much room for free interpretation. Despite I was asked a few times by Zandy if I would like to see the log, it seems it has disappeared.

I thought it fell under racial slur too, but according to Zandy, it wasn't slur, as the term homosexuals is commonly accepted.

And I agree with Starbiter, it would matter whether it was an ic or ooc statement. It was quite ooc. If it is Ic, I don't mind people stating whatever they feel like. But it would be a shame to see LegendMud turned to RedneckMud, because such statements were allowed.

And Conspiracy, how you choose to express it is definetl up to you, -as long as- you don't harass others by it. I hope you have the courtesy to act that way RL, and you should have the courtesy to do so here on Legend.


From: Chocorua Tuesday, October 05, 02:47PM

I think this discussion has been pretty heatedly debated among peers and friends in the imm staff aswell as outside. I would rather not s because of the discussions that ARE inappropriate that could easily be spa err.. spawned from this little flame. aso realize i am not saying to stop discussing it but that we might take a look at what cold come from this and see if its really worth the debate to bring the bigots into the light.

now that aside and while everyone is confused here is my opinion of the situation and why i think it was handled well.

first the statement in itself is not in any way CLOSE to being illegal according to our rules.

it was an expression of opinion and therefore allowed because it wasn't presented in such a way that was offensive or caused any outrage immediate. The person did not start a riot.

now realize that the person who makes this statement believes it and very believe themselves a bad person for their opinion. They are pointing to the bible afterall which most people accept as good reading at some point in their lives.

now had the person called for action or prolonged the debate into somethin less tactful then they would likely have been warned but not for that fir .. err first sentence NOR for having the opinion.

we DO NOT rule peoples opinions, only the way in which they are presented. Now you can take that and blow it out of proportion and say that we advocate such statements but you would be showing your own ignorance and your own radical viewpoint

now if this is at all readable(lag is HORRIBLE) remember the rules are there to make legend a better place, not to change the way people think.


From: Blackthorne Tuesday, October 05, 04:05PM

Freedom of speach is somewhat limited on Legend. What is ok and not ok basically is determined by the imms. Personally I totally agree that the statement was wrong. But it wasnt said in such a way that Zandy could take action. If the statement was so blatant as to be put"Golly all gays should be stoned," then im positive that the person responable for such a statement would be subject to disipline. But it wasnt, so ther wasnt anything Zandy could have done.

If he did punish the party in question, Zandy would have been imposing his or her personal beliefes on another.

From: Conspiracy Tuesday, October 05, 05:19PM

hey, Freakus, newsflash...



From: Llewellyn Wednesday, October 06, 01:00AM

"I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to my death your right to say it."
-Francois Marie Arouet aka Voltaire

In response to the survey at the end of Fraegis' post ...

"Should views as the above be allowed on all channels?" In a word, YES.

"Is it okay to say that people should be killed for whom they love?" YES. You just aren't allowed to actually kill them.

Fraegis, and his very vocal supporters here on Legend, seem to be under the mistaken belief that they have some fundamental right not to be offended in any way. They hold the belief that free speech is all well and good as long as NOTHING is said that "offends" them (i.e. any statement that endorses an ideology contrary to their own). And since the majority of their views are held by the power structure here they have experienced much success in having their ideologies endorsed as "official" and have come to believe that their ideology is "right" and any sentiments to the contrary must be censored. These people, by virtue of their actions and of the ideas they espoused, are CENSORS, and a threat to democracy on LegendMud.

"There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance."

Censorship is a cancer that eats away at democracy. Censorship is a malignant tumor that grows daily with each objection of "that's not in goo taste" and "that statement offends me!" Only through the FREE, OPEN, and UNRESTRICTED exchange of ideas can the democratic institution hope to flourish. To restrict the free exchange of ideas by abritrary standards of "good taste" is perpetuate IGNORANCE and imply that your own ideas will not stand up to the litmus test of open and objective discourse.

"What experience and history teach us is this - that people and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it."
-Georg Hegel

In his haste to enlist anti-facist sentiments, Fraegis fails to realize that he is espousing EXTREMELY facist attitudes. Essential to Hitler's regime, and other oppressive regimes that mar human history, is a highly effective propaganda machine. A propaganda machine which employs CENSORSHIP in all of its hideous guises (e.g. censorship of language, of content, of media, and by restricting what can and can not be debated). Every time you endorse or support the supression of language (profanity), content, or the restrictions of means of communication no matter how idiotic or repugnant the idea behind it you are perpetuating FACISM and CENSORSHIP.

"Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains."br> -Jean Jacques Rousseau

You can continue to hide and hope that your views will continue to be the ones enforced by the establishment. You can continue to make comments abo ut the maturity of those who use "profanity", although a much more empahtic statement is made about your own maturity be allowing yourself to be so deeply affected by mere words. You can continue to call for the censorship of words and ideas offensive to you. And in doing so, you will enslave yourself to a corrupt system with chains of your own complacency. The next time you are about to call for censorship, question your motives. Is it because you are insecure in your beliefs? Do you lack the courage of your convictions? Are you afraid that your ideas will not stand up to honest discourse? As long as the immmortal class continues to ask for player input and elect from the playerbase, Legend is a democratic institution. Don't allow it to decay from within. STAMP OUT FACISM.

Disclaimer: To this point I have attempted to maintain neutrality in order to make my message more palatable. I am now going to exercise my right of free speech and its corrollary, right to expression.

"As long as this decision stands, I am out of here."


And you can take all of your goosestepping facist speech bigots with you. I don't need your arbritary standards. I don't need your "good taste." I need DEMOCRACY and open DISCOURSE unfettered by your bigotism and prejudice. BTW Oxalis, you either believe in free speech or you don't. If you wish to apply a bunch of restrictions to it, you don't believe in it. And yes, Ariel, the right to free speech DOES mean you can espouse whatever ignorant and repugnant ideas you like.

The above falls well within my rights, and it follows that you can respond in kind. You can call me Spew-ellyn, or refer to me as an ultra left wing socialist ninny. And you know what? I will fight with every fiber of my being to DEFEND YOUR RIGHT TO DO SO.

-Llewellyn, who warms his hands upon the flames of the flag as he recalls our downfall and the censorship that burned us ALL.

From: Llewellyn Wednesday, October 06, 01:54AM

Oh yeah ...

As far as Fraegis finding other immortals to support his view ...

Welcome to the wide world of HYPOCRISY and the uneven application of rules by the immortal class. Some of us have been dealing with it for a long time.

-Llewellyn, fist in the air in the land of hypocrisy

From: Brew Wednesday, October 06, 01:56AM

Go LLewellyn, I agree -wave Fraegis-

I somehow doubt that Legend is playable by people who are not old enough to have already developed some ideas of the world around them. People my act like they are 10, but these people are probably in their Nervous Breakdown stage.

Anyway, I was not offended in any way by that homosexuality statement. It's not my opinion, so why should I care if someone else thinks so. I don't think anyone should have black lipstick, so lets kill all the Goth-ics, shall we? :P

Get a clue.

Where was I going with this anyway?

Llewellyn made all the points I was going to and in a much better manner then I could have at 2:30 am in the middle of the week.

So reread her/his? post y'all. I'm going to bed. -snore-

From: Danar Wednesday, October 06, 02:14AM

Good old Voltaire.

"Your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose."
-- Voltie

Very Republican, Llewellyn. But you can have discussions without offending people. What's more important, you can have discussions without INTENTIONALLY offending people. It's that which I take objection to, and it's that (in my opinion) which is being discussed here.

"Remember...that your native language is the language of Shakespeare and Milton and the Bible; and don't sit there crooning like a bilious pigeon."
--Henry Higgins, "Pygmalion"

The beautiful thing about verbal communication and its weak sister written communication is that it allows us nearly unlimited freedom of expression. At the same time, to communicate effectively with others, we must limit ourselves according to their standards and ours. With such a range of linguistic constructions available to us, it is possible to talk without being offensive.

"If you want to reach the people, you have to be where the people are."
--Jesus Christ, "The Illuminatus Trilogy"

I am agnostic, and so have no problem with profanity. I watch American television, and so obscenity and scatological terms also have no effect on me. There ARE things that can offend me, though, and if you say one of these things, odds are I will ignore you. Even if I do not ignore you, I will examine your input with a jaundiced eye, because I am convinced (by experience, among other things) that nobody who says one of these things can possibly contribute usefully to a discussion. Prejudice breeds prejudice.

"All animals are equal - but some are more equal than others."
--"Animal Farm"

Your ukase regarding fascism (<-- spell it like this in future, if you please. misspellings offend me.) was well thought out, if hysterical to McCarthyesque levels. It is true that the Nazis relied to a large extent on the power of censorship. However, even more important to their crusade was hate. Hate, and a need to find a scapegoat, a minority upon whose shoulders the problems of an entire society can be piled. Sound familiar, Mr. Buchanan? (By the way, if you don't agree that the Religious Reich-- I'm sorry, Religious Right--tends to blame societal pains on disenfranchised minorities, check out the website of the Westboro Baptist Church. Good taste prevents me from giving you the URL. use a search engine.)

"But as for me, I am a worm, and no man; a very scorn of men, and the out- cast of the people."
--Prayer Book

I do not object to the statement because I am insecure in my beliefs. I know what I believe. I am not afraid of discussion. I object because I know people who would be hurt by the statement, and having endured a year of unrequited love, a week of kidney stones, and two-and-a-half semesters of physical education, I feel qualified to say "Pain sucks."

"Only mediocre writers refuse to rewrite. Unacceptable. Begin again."
--Albert Camus

Rather than hear these sentiments broadcast, I would call for censorship. I believe in going to whatever lengths necessary to prevent another person from suffering.

"Let justice be done, though the heavens fall."
--the Earl of Mansfield


From: Ron Wednesday, October 06, 03:14AM

Llew, outspoken as always. Same for Danar. But lay off on the goddamn quotes, it just makes you look like your hiding behind other people's opinions most of the time.

Now, to the real matter of this. Yes, censorship is a form of facism, of making someone silence their beliefs. And putting down a concrete definition of good taste is just more of the same. Then again, what do you expect on a mud? Basically, logging on is like visiting some foreign country. Despite the blue ribbon on the home page, 'THE RULES ARE THE RULE Damn linespacing, that should be RULES'. And basically, if you dont like them, leave.

Which many people are doing. So much is sacrificed for a 'family' atmosphere. The rules toss out common sense, basic intelligence, kindness, and fun, in the favor of a 'family' theme.

Of course, with rules, comes flood of hypocrisy. And since the rules are only concrete when they've been used as bricks to throw, youve got a lot of different definitions for each person in power. But even with the solid rules, you'll have imms playing favourites. In the process, becoming great hypocrites. And thats never healthy for a good atmosphere.

Hypocrisy is the greatest poison here, it leads to bitterness and arguing among people. If your going to bust one person for someone, grow some spin and bust your friend when he does the same.

From: Ariel Wednesday, October 06, 03:17AM

I'm starting to remember why I don't log on as much as I used to.

Beyond all the free speech rhetoric, beyond all the quoting, there remains one simple fact. Legend is a private community. We are all of us, every last one, here by the permission of the owners of that community, the imm staff. Just like any other private community, Legend has rules which we're expected to follow. A couple of those rules concern offensive speech. Namely, it's not allowed. I can't say whether or not the statement that started this whole thing was offensive or not, I wasn't here. But the rule remains.

As for censorship in the general community, I'm wholeheartedly against it. I agree that in public discourse, censorship will always come around to bite you in the ass, no matter what the original intention was.

However, like I said, this is not the general community. It always amuses me when people say something incredibly stupid and get offended when other people call them stupid for saying it.

"It's a free country, I have the right to my opinion!" That's right, and I have the right to think bigotry is moronic, to think bigots are jackasses, to say so whenever I can, and to fight the problems which come from it.


From: Deathangel Wednesday, October 06, 06:44AM

well I could try to write a long dramatic post but I won't.. I'll be as choppy as I always am...

I don't personally agree with the statement that caused this, but that did have the right to say it if, and I do mean if, it was a general statement and not a specific attack on a person.. if it was an attack on one specific person ic or ooc it's a diferent issue

as to people being hypocrites for thinking people shouldn't say it..

those who spout thatare in the same hypocritical class they are trying to label the ones who don't like it... people can believe whatever they want and can say whatever they want about their beliefs.. if you disallow that, then you are still taking away free speech in a selective manner

so whatever imm's support fraegis views can say so, just like the imm's who allow the original statement to be permissible(note I don't say sopport it) can do so as well without either one being 'hypocrites' that's why there are several imm's with discussions making decisions.. if all of them agree that something is detrimental to the mud they can decide to stop it.. after all this isn't a democracy, this is a creation mantained by a group of people, and when it comes to running it they have absolute power.. if they stopped everything that individuals didn't like, we'd all be sitting here twiddling our thumbs doing nothing since every idea or action in the known world has someone who doesn't like it or think it's wrong

From: Fraegis Wednesday, October 06, 09:19AM

Quite a bashing, it seems. A few people (poke Llew and Danar), seems to think I object to the freedom of speech. I don't. I object to the freedom of speech -IF- what is being said means offense to others, or if it is plain hateful. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, as long as those who has it use it with responsability. And saying that people should die because of what they believe or whom they love doesn't exactly show responsability. All I would like to see, all I expect to see, is common courtesy. If you believe all homosexuals should be treated like the bible says, believe it. It does not matter to me. If you believe all Jews should be gassed, and that the Endloesung was a great solution, fine. Believe it if you will. But why stick that belief in the face of other people? Do you really feel the need to hurt others, so you just have to fling out statements to show how hateful you are? Why not use a civilized tone, and keep opinions that hurts/implies hurting others to yourself?

And Conspiracy : Whee, I am glad you found out this isn't RL. But that was not the issue, nor did I claim this mud is RL. I simply asked people to show a little more politeness here, as I would suppose they also do RL.

Llew and a few others seem to confuse fascism with simple polite behaviour. It is a shame.


From: Pallas Wednesday, October 06, 09:38AM

Unfortunately Fraegis, you seem to misunderstand the word 'freedom' for what you believe in is freedom of speech on your terms, not complete freedom of speech. You are offended, it seems that someone expressed a belief that you do not agree with but that many people do, many people have been raised to believe in and never question the bible, to them a genuine source of divine knowledge. If you say that they can not express this belief, then no more can you express your anger at it, for to someone who believes so strongly, I'm sure it may be offensive that someone such as you would question the word of their god.

It seems in today's society you can't say anything without someone being offended. Perhaps everyone needs to take a step back, see that words are only words, and not get so upset. I'd venture a guess that whoever said that on chat was really hoping to get somebody very upset, was basically baiting you into the reaction they wanted. It's just like someone like Howard Stern, who will continually try to be more shocking, more repulsive than he has been before, solely because it will offend people, people will make a big deal out of it, and more and more people will turn to his show. So relax, don't fall into their trap, don't get so easily upset by words that were not targeted at you, and should not offend you. Worse, don't attack someone else's beliefs and their right to express them. Yes this is a private community with standards more strict than the public, but if a person can't express a religious belief, then, despite my fervent atheism, I will be the first one gone. You push 'decency' too far, Fraegis, and take words too seriously. My advice, again, is: relax.

From: Wraith Wednesday, October 06, 09:53AM

Three shocking truths about Legend. ;)

A) This is real life. I know I exist and I'm pretty sure the rest of you do as well...

B) Legend is not now, nor has it ever been, a democracy...

C) You do not have the right to unrestricted free speech...

- Wraith

From: Oxalis Wednesday, October 06, 09:51AM

In response to Llewellyn:

It has been said (by immortals and implementors) time and time again that Legend is not, and never will be, a democracy.

To the best of my knowledge nobody has any right to free speech on a private mud except within thebounds that the implementors choose to set. Inviting somebody onto a mud is much like inviting them to your house. You can set whatever conditions you wish as you have no obligation to invite them at all.

If somebody who is racist or a bigot wants to come to a party at my house, I have a right to set the condition that they don't spoil the party by making derogatory comments about groups to which my other guests may belong, even if these comments reflect their sincere beliefs. If they don't agree to that condition, they don't have to come. If they first agree to the condition (by accepting the invitation) and then violate it, I have the right to tell them to either shut up or leave. Their rights are not violated, since they had no right to be there in the first place.

The implementors can set any conditions on the use of channels and other features of the mud that they want. They could, for example, say that no ooc opinions of any kind can be expressed on chat, but only RP. One of the reasons I chose to play here is that they choose to allow and protect freedom of speech aside from specified limits (ie no game info, profanity, harassment, giving alts on channels).

If you truly believe that any restrictions on the use of public channels in a private game violates your right to freedom of speech then you must believe that your rights are continually violated and have been ever since you logged on. Not being able to give out other player's alts, real life info about other players, quest solutions, item stats, or swear on channels are all restrictions on freedom of speech. According to you anyone who accepts these restrictions does not believe in freedom of speech.

You might say that the above are not opinions, and only restriction of opinions is wrong. But then there could be no rules against harassment whatsoever, since extreme rudeness directed at another player may reflect sincerely held opinions. Not being able to give out alts and real life info about other players is censoring the transmission of knowledge etc.

There has been a rule against public harassment, rudeness and ooc aggression directed towards individuals and groups for a long time. If there is such a rule, every effort should be made to enforce it without bias or favoritism. Restriction based on whether an immortal agrees or disagrees with a statement would be wrong. However, restriction based on whether a statement constitutes a violation of the rules against harassing individuals or groups is appropriate.

Both are technically a violation of an absolute right to free speech, but one does not have such a right on a private mud anyway. Only the former constitutes an attempt to 'change the way people think' or interfere with their beliefs. The statement being an opinion, the decision should not rest on whether or not one agrees or disagrees with the opinion, but only on whether or not it is considered to violate the rules. The rules for use of a public channel or board are stricter than those applying to private conversation, or in some cases conferences.

Incidentally, frequent use of grandiose quotations does not constitute argument but rather an 'appeal to authority' (just look at all the famous and important people who agree with me!). For some reason this device seems to be popular with libertarians -;).


From: Rufus Wednesday, October 06, 10:09AM

My take...

I will first say that no, you do not have right to unrestricted free speech on this mud. That doesn't mean that we limit speech to the point of being ridiculous either.

Second, there's a definite gap in definitions we're missing. Insult, assult and battery. If you've ever taken any classes on law, you'd understand the distinct differences between these. Insults are merely offensive, assults are directed, coherent, clear threats of violent (or non-violent but harmful) actions, and battery is the actual actions that result in harm to another person or group.

The statement made was a one-off. From what I gather from testimony, quotes from numerous people and several explanations by various sources, the statement was made, and the conversation was then guided in a direction that did not dwell on the particularly offensive comment, no further threats were made by said player, it came, it left, and the fact that this thread has likely drawn much more attention to the comment than it ever really deserved is just, in my opinion, frightening.

Now had said person gone on to say that he was going to exterminate all homosexuals on the mud, bad-talk them, perma all their clanned chars, target specific ones for harassing comments... yes, it would have deserved a warning. The fact that the conversation itself was guided away from something that could have been harmful into something that was at least more mild if not productive and/or entertaining, I think justifies the fact that there was no warning given in this case... which that is what this is all about... the person didn't get a warning.

Each case is a judgement call. I think, though I do not agree with the view, that said person expressed their opinion in a way that is at least acceptable within the manners of good taste. It's borderline, but I dont think the statement, taken at face value, was worth a warning or as much lip service as we've given it here. Had it been explicit, had it contained a threat -- rather than a mere opinion -- I think it would have warranted much more than it got.

This, btw, is my opinion, and not a reflection of the official position of the imm staff on this matter. I think the statement fell into the realm of bad taste, but not harmful speech. And I think the course of action taken at the time and in the days(weeks) post-incident were the proper steps to take in resolving this.


From: Spencer Wednesday, October 06, 01:47PM

I'd like to stone everyone on Legend!

-Spencer hands you a 'special' brownie-

From: Llewellyn Wednesday, October 06, 01:33PM

I have to admit that after my first reading of Danar's post, I was a littl confused. Why all the references to the religious right? Why all the references to Pat Buchanan? Why did he go out of his way to quote the bible? Especially considering the fact that the moral majority in this country actively support censorship in all of its forms in order to enforce their ideology on the public. Then it dawned on me.

Evidently Danar, and probably others as well, have infered from my anti- censorship stance that I detest homosexuality, and my arguments are motivated by bigotry. I did not think I had to say this, since I never stated that I agree with the comment made, but here goes ...

1) I do not hate homosexuals. I am completely ambivalent to homosexuality Our sexuality is an extremely private matter, and anyone's sexual orientation is their business, and no one else's. Whatever people want to do in their bedrooms, or in public or on the seat next to me on the bus for that matter is fine with me.

2) My political beliefs fall somewhere to the left of the Democratic Party in the American political spectrum

3) I do, however, feel that people should be allowed to say whatever they wish about homosexuals. I feel this way because I am convinced that the outrage and revulsion their ideas will face will quickly disabuse them of these notions.

If I sound sensational or "McCarthyesque" when I write about censorship, it is because I feel -very- strongly about the topic. I think that censorship is wrong on a very fundamental level. In accordance with my beliefs, I will continue to speak out against censorship in all of its forms, in all forums, on campus, in the workplace, in the media, in an online environment, public or private. If people are hurt by ideas, the answer lies not in censoring ideas, but in making people understand that in and of themselves ideas are not "evil." Evil lies in the application of the ideas. We, as a society, on the mud or in "real life", should not tolerate the restriction and subsequent destruction of ideas. If we are to accept the justification of censorship in -any- forum, it makes it that much easier to accept censorship in other aspects of our lives.

Those who bring up the argument that we have no right to free speech in a privately owned forum are completely correct. Our Bill of Rights only protects our free speech from infringement by the government. But the idea behind the First Amendment is that freedom of speech and expression are fundamental human rights. If you refuse to accept someone else's arbitrary standards, if you refuse to believe that the regulation of ideas in any way is at all acceptable or desirable, it is your duty to vocally oppose censorship in all aspects of your lives.

Online communication presents unprecedented possibilities with regards to the open exchange of ideas without regards to racial, political and cultural boundaries. Yet the government has succeeded in a massive privitization of the internet, stripping you of your rights to freedom of speech and expression in this wonderful, exciting new environment.

Oppose censoship in all of its forms, regardless of who is in charge or what the rules are.

-Llewellyn, it's who you GAG not who you SHAG

From: Jubilee Wednesday, October 06, 09:53PM

The spirit of freedom of speech in the bill of rights is to protect citizens from punishment by the government, when they speak out against the government. There are many exceptions to a complete freedom of speech. Therefore, our freedom of speech in a mud should not allow us to say whatever we want, but should give us the ability to state our opinions concerning the imms and the administration without concern for repercussions. Moreover, statements of hatred and bigotry require immediate attention and discipline, despite a concern over one's right to voice such opinions. Anyone capable of clearly expression opinion s such as the rumored one, is evidently at an immature stage of ethical development. We are not born with ethics--it is the duty of the parents, and where the parents fail--the community, to teach our young how to behav e. If this mud is a community, it is our duty to discipline offenders and persuade them to a better way of thinking. (No, my own opinions are not al always right. But opinions that call for the death or torture of groups of humans are always wrong.)

From: Danar Thursday, October 07, 12:49AM

Well, I recall one reference to the RR and one to Pat Buchanan. But that's not the point.

I did not, and do not, feel that your comments were motivated by homophobia. If I got a little heated when I reached the Animal Farm quote, it's because I've had this religious argument more times than I care to have, and I suppose I fell into old tracks. And I agree that in an ideal society censorship would not be necessary because people wouldn't be hurt by idle words. But this isn't an ideal society.

(I didn't go out of my way to quote the Bible, either. I have a Bible next to the computer, because it's full of great quotes should I ever need one. ;) )

Anyway. Chances are, somebody who says that they "should do to homosexuals what it says in the Bible" probably doesn't know what the Bible says about them, so...

Also, I think my post must have been unclear, because Fraegis thought I was attacking him. I warn't.


From: Oxalis Thursday, October 07, 10:03AM

Essential to all oppressive regimes is the restriction of means of communication.

Some people here advocate restriction of means of communication.

Therefore, these people are perpetuating fascism.

Essential to fundamentalist Islam is a belief in god.

Pat Buchanan belives in god.

Therefore, Pat Buchanan is espousing and perpetuating Islamic fundamentalism.

Essential to all cockroaches is the use of antannae.

My television uses antennae.

Therefore, my television is perpetuating cockroaches.

This is truly a frightening prospect.....


From: Fraegis Thursday, October 07, 02:42PM

-laugh- Well spoken, Oxalis! Fraegis

From: Gondar Tuesday, October 12, 10:05AM

And here it comes, Gondars $.02

First off, -cheer- to Llewellyn, for censorship in -any- form is an evil, terrible thing. . .

Everyone has opinions, and the basic human right to express them Thanks to the extreme measures used by the Church to extinguish free transport of opinions and knowledge, we have lost 800 years of social and technological development (the dark ages). Imagine where we, as humans, might be now, had that 800 years of bookburning, torture, and executions not occurred?

Admitted, that is an extreme example, yet it -did- occur

Now, as for a few comments there were regarding "homophobia." -alert--alert- Just because someone dislikes homosexuals, or feels (as I do) that it is a sick, unnatural choice for one to make, it does -not- mean they are afraid or phobic as far as homosexuality goes.

As an example, lets pretend that someone on this mud made public the fact that they were a 40-ish man who was into 8 year old girls?

Is that a normal sexual orientation? Of course it isn't, just as it is not normal for males to be sexually oriented towards other males, or females to females.

Yet, in our society (I speak of the US here, not knowing how such things are dealt with in other countries) one type of sexual deviancy is condoned, and even protected by law, and the other isn't.

And we all know that the hypothetical 40-ish man would be given the blunt end of the opinions of those who feel his "sexual orientation" is wrong. So, I ask you, does that make everyone who is against that orientation "Pedophobes?" to be reviled as those who are labelled as homophobes are?

Of course it does! Or should I say, in the case of "homophobes" it is a mislabelling by those who are in denial that homosexuality is an illness, just as bi-polar (manic/depressive), schitzophrenia, or paranoia is Are there those who are then "paraphobes" or "schitzophobes?" Should they, too, be reviled?

I have most likely digressed here, it is 8:30am and I have been up all night, so it is likely that I have tangentalized. . .

The long and short of it is, we all have different views, and different opinions, and for someone to get all bent out of shape because a body's opinion differs from theirs, shows a definite lack of intelligence, and a mind completely closed to gaining wisdom, or becoming socially mature.

My $.02

Gondar -or should I say, his player-

From: Fraegis Tuesday, October 12, 01:41PM

-blink- -rereads Gondar's post- -blinks again-

Err, first of all : There -is- a main difference between homosexuality and pedophilia...One part involves 2 adult people, who loves each other, the other example includes abuse of children who are not yet old enough to really comprehend what they do, or are abused which is too often the case. I can't see how you can view love between 2 people as sick and unnatural, but that might just be me. The real issue here wasn't those opinions either, it was common courtesy. Censorship is bad, yes, but common courtesy isn't. You dislike homosexuals, fine.

But why slam other people in the face with that opinion?

I like your example with the church (regarding book-burnings etc), and I do agree to a certain extent. But think a little further.

Imagine where we would be now if we had not wasted the last 2000 or more years hating people due to their race/beliefs/sexual orientations. Think of all the conflicts that could have been avoided if people weren't scared of what was a little different. It does seem to me that you forget that aspect completely.


From: Gondar Tuesday, October 12, 05:02PM

I used that as an example to show how people are when' it comes to their opinion.

My opinion is homosexuality is an illness, like any other sexual deviancy. Your opinion is it is normal, yes?

There, we have 2 different opinions. My opinion is that someone who chases little girls is also sick and twisted.

I would never say kill them all, deviants of -either- kind, although there are those of that opinion too, and though we may not agree with -any- of these outlooks, everyone has the right to their own opinion, and whether we like -that- or not, they are within their rights to express those opinions, and, as humans, we should, as LLlewellyn pointed out, defend their right to do so.

My point in that was, and is, is that if someone disagrees with our outlook on -any- aspect of life, does that make them -phobic, and someone to be reviled as such?

To do so is exactly the same as those who are hating people due to their race/beliefs/sexual orientations.

Again, my $.02 -gee, almost a whole nickel spent on this subject-


From: Fraegis Wednesday, October 13, 01:04PM

You miss my point a bit, Gondar. I can't for my death understand -WHY- people insist on wanting to throw comments here that has no other effect than to hurt others. And statements like those we talk about does very little else.


From: Gondar Friday, October 15, 05:36AM

I don't miss the point. . . I understand that some people are simply friggin morons, who's goal in life is to cause problems for others. . . But as long as it was not a personal attack, "you queer, you should be done with as in the bible," its just an opinion and as such, just one of them things ya hear every so often that ya dont like to hear, but it happened, you disagree, dont dwell on it and go on with yer life, cause it aint gonna change yer outlook or mine or anyone elses. . .

Another $.02 (gee, now I got more than a nickel)



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