Just In Case The Christian News Network Won’t Allow My Comment…

I really don’t like it when I type a comment on a site, submit it, and it falls into a black hole. Now, it could be simply that it will be approved in due time… but just in case, this is what I said:

If chaplains provide tangible benefits regarding the earthly needs of members of the Armed Forces (which they do–confidential counseling, unlike therapist visits which are part of the official record, is just one example), House Republicans have just voted not just against the best interest of atheist servicemen and women, but also against the best interest of the military in general.

Apparently, it is more important to define the word “chaplain” as narrowly as possible than it is to see to the needs of Armed Forces.

It is true that only a small percentage of the military self-identify as atheists (however, there are many stories of atheists asking for “atheist” tags and being issued “no religious preference” instead, so the numbers of official atheists must be considered the low end of a range, rather than an accurate count), but that number is greater than the number of Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim troops combined. Each of those groups has their own chaplains–implying that the military knows that A) having chaplains with your own world view is important, and B) it is not simply that there are not enough atheists to warrant similar treatment.

The faith communities of the chaplains are not at all a good match for the faith communities of the people they serve. Some Christian sects are under-represented, while others are vastly over-represented. The current kerfuffle looks like nothing so much as a power struggle, with a handful of denominations trying to consolidate the power they have accrued, against the force of a rising tide of change.


  1. F [is for failure to emerge] says

    If they want to construe it narrowly, then a chaplain better be in charge of a chapel, which also completely limits the religion involved to western branches of christianity. (Of course, they’d like that.)

  2. left0ver1under says

    I really don’t like it when I type a comment on a site, submit it, and it falls into a black hole. Now, it could be simply that it will be approved in due time…

    Sites that “moderate” comments (read: preventing them from appearing until “approved”) are bad enough. The last thing “moderators” are is moderate – all people are biased and have agendas.

    Cowardly sites that “allow” comments and then remove them, like CNN, are worse. They want the delusion of “open discussion” without allowing it. Comments are often removed not because what was said was “offensive”, but because it did not agree with the approved narrative or because they report facts that contradict the “story”.

  3. Cuttlefish says

    Actually, although I don’t *like* it, the truth is, it’s their site and their policy, and I have my own place I can and do (and did) say what I want.

    As for CNN, I can’t speak to that, not having seen what you describe. Again, I do write about CNN stuff here, so they don’t have the ability to shut me up.

  4. left0ver1under says

    Let me give you a recent example. Mark Kessler of Pennsylvania, a nutbag working as a police chief in a small town, made a video where he fired automatic weapons indiscriminately and hurled insults and threats of violence against “libtards” and John Kerry. The inevitable rightwing defenders said “freedom of speech” and that he should not lose his job.


    On one site (not the Huffington Compost, but elsewhere) a few posters pointed out that Kessler was involved in a bar brawl where he shot his own hand. He was drunk and carrying a weapon off duty, and deliberately or accidentally it went off. (Was he attempting to shoot someone the man he was arguing with? That is unclear.)


    Posts linking to the 2011 news story were deleted by the moderators for being “inappropriate”. I do not see how factual reporting of similar behaviour and poor gun handling is “inappropriate”.

  5. johngreg says

    Litmus test time.

    Digital Cuttlefish said:

    I really don’t like it when I type a comment on a site, submit it, and it falls into a black hole. Now, it could be simply that it will be approved in due time…

    I will point out the delicious irony in this comment appearing on an FTB blog. The top, meaning most visited, most active blogs here at FTB (Pharyngula; LousyCanuck; Butterflies and Wheels; Almost Diamonds; The Crommunist Manifesto; Richard Carrier Blogs; Greta Christina’s Blog) are all perfect and prime examples of blogs that moderate, edit, and delete comments, and ban commenters. Cripes, Myers even bans people from his blog before they even comment for simply posting on blogs he doesn’t like. He even used to have a post stating his explicit intent to pre-emptively ban anyone who comments at the Slymepit even if they have not posted on his blog.

    So, while it may be the case that Digital Cuttlefish does not practice the habit, though this post might be, as I noted earlier, a litmus test of sorts, it is still richly ironic to have such a comment appear on this blog network.

    I have been moderated, edited, deleted, and banned on more than 10 FTB blogs for, in most cases, nothing more than stating opinions that the blog hosts did not like, and in more than one instance, for the sole reason that I comment on the Slymepit.

    Irony abounds.

  6. Cuttlefish says

    Thank you for illustrating that irony. As I said in my earlier comment, it’s their blog, their policy. As for the rest… I’ve written about false equivalence here often enough that I don’t need to repeat myself.

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