On Tom Sawyer, Pirates, Blogging and Church Picnics

tom-sawyerhuck-finn-and-joe-harper“Who goes there?”

“Tom Sawyer, the Black Avenger of the Spanish Main. Name your names.”

“Huck Finn the Red-Handed, and Joe Harper the Terror of the Seas.” Tom had furnished these titles, from his favorite literature.

“’Tis well. Give the countersign.”

Two hoarse whispers delivered the same awful word simultaneously to the brooding night: “BLOOD!” (Tom Sawyer).

From Anthony Esolen: We could learn a lot from Tom Sawyer, that masterly inspirer of his fellows in truancy and mischief. Boys … invent timurgies, dramas of honor. Note that Tom’s entry into the life of the pirate entailed an impressive change of name: Tom the ordinary became the Black Avenger of the Spanish Main. Mark Twain (and, interestingly enough, that too was a jaunty nautical pseudonym) wants us to smile at Tom’s foolery, but he also admires it, feels at one with the boyish aspirations of his hero, and instructs us to despise Tom’s safe, sluggish, goody-goody brother Sid, who never gets into trouble and therefore is of no interest whatsoever.

Errol-FlynnFor boys are those strange creatures who fail at the simplistic and the frivolous, and succeed at the seemingly impossible. Set the bar low, and many of them will fail to come up to it; set it high, and many of them, often the very same, will clear it. They who cannot pass a tedious geometry test can take apart and reassemble a motorcycle. Tom, asked to name Jesus’ first two disciples, blurts out “David and Goliath!” No surprise that those are the names he should think of. For this same lad fairly lives in the adventures of his reading, and turns to them when he renames himself and his friends, now Avenger and Red-Handed and Terror. Sons of Thunder, he might have added, or the Rock.

To embrace the danger means to encourage fortitude and all its related virtues: high-spiritedness, daring, steadfastness, and magnanimity.  … There is no sensed danger at a picnic…

From Joan of Argghh!:  Ladies, you married a Pirate, I guarantee it. Not that fey, foppish Johnny Depp kind, either. Errol Flynn derring-do is what he’s all about; sails and water and freedom. Be sure to remember that when the hustle of obligations and things get up around his soul. Men are the true romantics. And they never, ever out-live it.  Never doubt it.

__________________________________________________

For better or worse, we’re in soul searching mode here on the blog, so I’d like to address one of the other founder’s assertions here, even though it was stated privately. I think it’s a good thing to discuss.

Between the newspaper front page of the guy who kicked someone so hard… and [the video] with language warning I can see GFC’s complaint. When we started out we agreed to maintain a level of civility appropriate for us to have no qualms about other family members (including kids) and friends viewing it. We’ve strayed from that ideal. I’m no innocent here. It’s not easy to transition from the locker room (Weasel Zippers) to the church picnic (4GFC). We have to decide which one we want to be known as.

I agree with part of this, but not the part about how we’ve ‘strayed.’  We wanted this blog to be family friendly rather than a “locker room.” But we’ve never been able to agree on what that means, exactly, just as different people have different views about what a church picnic ‘should’ look like.  Lord knows there are plenty of disastrous church picnics.

I don’t know what happens at other people’s church picnics, but at mine, there are little boys running around saying ‘inappropriate’ things, like joking about being kicked in the balls.  Also, there are occasionally groups of men, huddled up, out aways, talking about work, using ‘inappropriate’ language. They give warning (non-verbally) by moving off by themselves where the women and children can’t hear them before they talk about the good stuff. The women do the same thing, BTW, but it’s not always so obvious. They’re more subtle.

So, what do you think happens when little Sally runs up to Mom and squeals on Dad? “Mom, guess what bad word I heard Dad use with those men over there!”

“Sally! You stop listening to those men. Your hair might catch on fire!”

“Well, aren’t you going to stop them?”

“They’re just being men, honey. Pay them no mind.”

Mom knows that attempting to stop her husband from being a man around other men is a very unwise thing to do. If she fails to figure this out at some point, her attempts to suppress what is natural and good in her husband could very well kill her marriage. But more than that, it’s the wrong thing to do. And almost every grizzled old mother knows that trying to beat the mischief completely out of young boys is a futile, pointless and destructive path.

You see where I’m going with this? That post about the dude who kicked a terrorist in the balls belongs on this blog just like the little boys joking about such things belong at a church picnic. The profane video Zophiel posted a few days ago – with a warning – belongs on our blog occasionally, just like those people at church picnics whispering about real life off in a corner belong at those gatherings.  To surgically remove them would be to make the gatherings less real.  Some people might approve of such an ideal and sterile gathering.  But ideal to whom?  Ideal to little old ladies who don’t want their tea disturbed or their trays of cucumber sandwiches overturned by rough play?  Certainly not to God, whose Son has been known to get rough and flip tables at Temple every now and then.

I do not think that this blog should be like a church picnic, but even if I could tolerate such a thing, I can’t see anyone EVER tolerating a little old lady running around the grounds policing all the little boys and eavesdropping on conversations to make sure nothing ‘inappropriate’ gets said.  Perhaps she would watch out for groups of men gathered together off in the grass who look like they might be discussing something unsavory.  Then her first move would be to march over to those men and tell them that their rough talk doesn’t belong at a family event.  It doesn’t matter to her that she is exactly the kind of person that they were explicitly guarding their conversation from.  It doesn’t matter to her that she couldn’t hear their words until after she’d violated their boundaries.  It doesn’t matter that they had thoughtfully isolated themselves from the children.  She would say that she was ‘obliged’ to monitor such things and might even say that she has to “answer to her Maker” if she fails to do so.  Crazy, I know.  But some people have weird ideas about what they are obliged to do to keep the Just God from condemning them to Hell.  That seems to me to demonstrate a severe lack of faith, but what do I know?  The Parable of the Talents comes to mind.

Such things can kill a church community, and it often does.  Such things break up families.  It can certainly kill a blog.  How many such picnics would you attend before you head, screaming, for the exits?  I think that most people can tolerate less than half of one.  I suspect that’s why most people don’t go to church.  I was just building fence with a neighbor who told me that just last week.  He said he would go to church, but he couldn’t tolerate the people.  It’s not Christ’s message that’s keeping people away, it’s us.  We are the problem.  Now that sounds, to me, like something that should make us tremble before our Maker.

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About GruntOfMonteCristo

Fearless and Devout Catholic Christian First, Loving Husband and Father Second, Pissed-Off Patriot Third, Rocket Engineer Dork Last.
This entry was posted in Blogospheria, Family, General Religiousness. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to On Tom Sawyer, Pirates, Blogging and Church Picnics

  1. barnslayer says:

    I get everything you’re saying. The big difference is the format. In a real-life picnic different things are happening at the same time. Some are private and go unnoticed by those not directly involved. Conversations occur and are remembered to varying degrees by witnesses. Memories are selective and each brings away their unique take on the day. Unless it’s all documented on film it drifts into the past. A blog is in itself an archive available for all to see. No privacy, no sweeping under the rug or foggy memories. To take it further, I’m sure I’ve posted enough stuff
    at Weasel Zippers to guarantee I could never run for office.
    As an option, I’ve been to forums with different categories in the main menu (pistols, rifles, black powder etc) and each is meant to stay on the general topic. Some even have a section reserved for those who have donated money to the site.

    • I suggested something like that once, about a year ago, and that caused the 2nd-to-last crisis. Not going there again.

      So you’re saying that we should forget about blogging because it’s too incriminating and stick to living around real people in real life? Sold. Ima do that.

      • barnslayer says:

        What I meant was the standards that work in one realm may not work in another… or at least not as easily. No worries sketching an idea on paper with a pencil. Get some granite, chisel and hammer….. better get it right the first time.
        Freedoms we enjoy while nobody’s keeping a record may not look so pretty under permanent scrutiny.

        • I get you. And I think you have a good point, but it may not be relevant to the case at hand. In the case of the 5 or 6 of us trying to decide what to do, it only matters what’s right in the eyes of God, regardless of how well our actions are recorded. Perfectly or imperfectly, it matters not. It’s figuring out what’s right that’s the hard part, apparently. Other people might worry about perception, but I think it’s accurate to say that’s not the case here, right?

          • barnslayer says:

            God knows our heart regardless of how open or covert we are. It’s really more a matter of what level of decorum we wish to adhere on this blog. As I said before, my phraseology is, let’s say, more colorful at WZ. I know it and God knows it so far be it for me to judge. My original comments were intended to be analysis, nothing more.
            OT… I posted gun pictures on the open thread.

  2. Aussie says:

    or you could end up being banned, not even anyone taking notice when you give tips, because you call someone a Chump or Chimp because certain people behave just like Chimps who keep yabbering and jibbering and making lots of noises :),,,, and you know what blog I mean… and you know the guilty party :). Plus, I should add, now that the pair, without that nasty Nat are back in the news, the behaviour is all the more extreme and they are still behaving just like a pair of chimpanzees.

  3. freedom1781 says:

    I’m late to the party, so I don’t know what’s going on, I’ve never had a problem with anything that’s ever been posted. If I’ve ever posted anything that caused anyone to get upset, I truly apologize.

  4. Aloha To all Fellow GFC’ers.

    First of all I want to make it clear that I am not angry with anybody. While I must answer and make some of my thoughts clear I am in no way attacking anyone or their beliefs. I have taken some time to pray for Wisdom that I may see what I should and share what I should in a way that is non-threatening for that would defeat the intent to do good or to be an asset to my fellow Christians.

    I also wanted to thank all of you who have been praying about this situation and for your inputs. I believe communication is very important especially for a continued healthy family of bloggers seeking what 4GFC has to offer.

    Let me make this very clear. This is not about any one person or what they have posted. While we may cover some of them it is not about the poster or an attack on them. This is mainly about what we as Christians are about and how we want to be seen by God first and then by each other. For nothing is more important than how (we think) God sees it. The only way we can do that is by and through His words and the Wisdom passed on to us by those who loved God before us. I.E. our Spiritual Fathers of our Faith and even our Founding Fathers of this once great country of ours as well as many others. . We can also “test” the Spirits (See 1 John 4:1-6).

    “If your heart comes to feel a natural hatred for sin, it has defeated the causes of sin and freed itself of them.” – St Isaiah of Gaza year 370.

    For the record, 4GFC was first created by our brother RP who was inspired (imho) to create a safe haven for those of us who had been ostracized and outcast because of our beliefs! Yes IMO it comes down to our beliefs. For myself I saw some of my fellow Christians under attack by someone who had gone out of his way to portray himself as a God-fearing righteous Christian. Just look at the chapel and how the whole set up is or was. For me (I only speak for myself in this) this was very offensive. Yes some of the people posting nothing but Truth were under attack and that really had me upset but what I called him out on was that he was being a great hypocrite calling himself, or at least in appearance, a Christian and was being anything but a Christian treating the very best bloggers like trash. Actually worst than trash. This is what really ticked me off. How can you USE God’s name or lay claim to it and treat your fellow Christians like they were the devil? Well there is only one way for that fruit to bear (show) itself and by that fruit is how you will know them. We all know that we can only judge any person or institution by the fruit that they bear. I use the word “judge” here as a way to “know” them for ultimately God is the one who judges. “By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit, and the evil tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that brings not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.” Matthew 7:16-20

    Looking back on The Treehouse and what my fellow bloggers and I went through, I was inspired to write a post about Christ the messenger. I wanted to link to it here as it may bear some significance http://gfcinthatorder.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/why-do-we-have-to-kill-the-messenger/ in the fact that as Christians we all are God’s messengers. As His messengers it can be expected to suffer or share in the suffering of Christ. It is also another reason why as Christians we must bear a good message. What makes the Treehouse so bad isn’t just the fact of the way they treated us but more importantly it was being done as wolves in sheep’s clothing claiming to be Christian or at least appearing to be so which is devious. As I said before they have no right or claim to have any association with the same God I know while killing off His own people who took a higher road. This leads me back to the formation of 4GFC and how, in a microcosm sort of way, we can reflect on the same “Spirit” that helped form this Country. We wanted something that would be for God, Family and Country with shared values among all of us to protect us from the same kind of illness that happened at the Treehouse.

    For me personally I had already accepted that I would quit blogging because I was not willing to fight with a bunch of bloggers with no home and no “like mindedness” of a group. But what RP did inspired me to continue so here I am. I must be honest and say they were several times I wanted to just disappear because there was/is so much on my plate personally with running a large family, being part of a larger community and running two businesses that were young and needed more time spent in them. But the Spirit inside of me kept driving me on so I had to listen.

    So now here we are going over a topic that we went through before some time ago. Although what was posted in Tom Sawyer, Pirates, Blogging and Church Picnics may be fine from a humanistic POV however I must completely separate myself from this viewpoint as a Christian.

    In reference to: “Between the newspaper front page of the guy who kicked someone so hard… and [the video] with language warning I can see GFC’s complaint. When we started out we agreed to maintain a level of civility appropriate for us to have no qualms about other family members (including kids) and friends viewing it. We’ve strayed from that ideal. I’m no innocent here. It’s not easy to transition from the locker room (Weasel Zippers) to the church picnic (4GFC). We have to decide which one we want to be known as.” The morning thread was not upsetting in the slightest. When men are at war what do you expect? War brings out a lot of things and who can blame them. I expect very colorful language from any man who has experiences in the “killing” department. It goes against the nature in man to kill. Although there is a time and a place for killing as well. I believe most of us know the lines we should keep when dealing with such things. In my opinion maybe it could have been in a different spot other than the opening thread but that is trivial, really. What I pulled a flag on was the video that was posted that was suppose to be funny. When we post something we are promoting it. I was unhappy about “promoting” this kind of humor that as a Christian I feel was not appropriate. It seems to me that my flag has brought out some things that I was not aware of and that kind of caught me off guard.

    “I agree with part of this, but not the part about how we’ve ‘strayed.’ We wanted this blog to be family friendly rather than a “locker room.” But we’ve never been able to agree on what that means, exactly, just as different people have different views about what a church picnic ‘should’ look like. Lord knows there are plenty of disastrous church picnics.” I thought we agreed on being a blogsite that was for God, Family and Country. Nothing disastrous about that nor is it a church picnic.

    “I don’t know what happens at other people’s church picnics, but at mine, there are little boys running around saying ‘inappropriate’ things, like joking about being kicked in the balls. Also, there are occasionally groups of men, huddled up, out aways, talking about work, using ‘inappropriate’ language. They give warning (non-verbally) by moving off by themselves where the women and children can’t hear them before they talk about the good stuff. The women do the same thing, BTW, but it’s not always so obvious. They’re more subtle.” Christians should not be running around saying inappropriate things in the first place. And if they are in good company and their behavior continues, their fellow Christians will take them aside and let them know that what they are doing is wrong. Furthermore, it could be said that if they did not correct them then they were not in good company in the first place. “Be you therefore perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” Matthew 5:48. It is understandable that the men move off to a little place of their own so as not to disturb the women with their talks of hunting, fishing, killing, sports, guns and other subjects that are just good clean “guy stuff”. And the women don’t want to disturb their menfolk with their good clean talk about their subjects. “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile” 1 Peter 3:10. Just because they do the things that was mentioned doesn’t make them right! There can be no gray and it cannot be used as an excuse to sin. It is wrong. Does this suggest that God is okay with us sinning once in awhile? No we have failures that we must try to change. Truth attends His Word!

    “They’re just being men, honey. Pay them no mind.” Although this woman is right in what she says what kind of Men are we and shouldn’t we continually strive to be better?

    “Mom knows that attempting to stop her husband from being a man around other men is a very unwise thing to do. If she fails to figure this out at some point, her attempts to suppress what is natural and good in her husband could very well kill her marriage. But more than that, it’s the wrong thing to do. And almost every grizzled old mother knows that trying to beat the mischief completely out of young boys is a futile, pointless and destructive path.” A very good point in public. A woman should never confront her man especially around other men. It is useless to try and “beat” it out of her young boys. This is not the right way to tend to the situation. But a wise mother or wife will talk to her man in private and if the man is wise he will listen for he is of good will and Loves God and does not want to offend Him or his wife. As far as the child goes “spare the rod and spoil the child” but definitely not in public or in front of his peers. That would not be wise at all. Just ask my 10 children.

    “You see where I’m going with this? That post about the dude who kicked a terrorist in the balls belongs on this blog just like the little boys joking about such things belong at a church picnic. The profane video Zophiel posted a few days ago – with a warning – belongs on our blog occasionally, just like those people at church picnics whispering about real life off in a corner belong at those gatherings. To surgically remove them would be to make the gatherings less real. Some people might approve of such an ideal and sterile gathering. But ideal to whom? Ideal to little old ladies who don’t want their tea disturbed or their trays of cucumber sandwiches overturned by rough play? Certainly not to God, whose Son has been known to get rough and flip tables at Temple every now and then.” I have to say that this statement is not conservative at all. The video is a bad video and does not belong on any blog who lays claim to being “Christian”. It is wrong. This is not some sort of “Church Picnic” or what ever you have labeled to be. This is our lives as “Christians” and we should behave as one and when we routinely don’t then we should take that person at hand and open their eyes to their behavior. I don’t understand how anybody can agree with “part time” Christianity? I also don’t think it is boring to be a Christian and does not mean we can’t have fun? Or do we need a “green door” for those dark times when we just have to sin? I do take offense to the “…sterile gathering. But ideal to whom?.” How about God? Does He count? Why is cleanliness considered sterile? In all the good books of wisdom I have ever read it gives warning to the kind of company you keep and how it will eventually affect you. Play with dirt and you eventually get dirty. Wisdom teaches us to guard our intellect by what we allow through our senses. “The light of thy body is thy eye. If thy eye be single, thy whole body shall be lightsome. But if thy eye be evil thy whole body shall be darksome. If then the light that is in thee, be darkness: the darkness itself how great shall it be!” Matthew 6:22-23. I will not even go into Christ flipping tables as it is not quoted appropriately. Apples and oranges.

    “I do not think that this blog should be like a church picnic, but even if I could tolerate such a thing, I can’t see anyone EVER tolerating a little old lady running around the grounds policing all the little boys and eavesdropping on conversations to make sure nothing ‘inappropriate’ gets said. Perhaps she would watch out for groups of men gathered together off in the grass who look like they might be discussing something unsavory. Then her first move would be to march over to those men and tell them that their rough talk doesn’t belong at a family event. It doesn’t matter to her that she is exactly the kind of person that they were explicitly guarding their conversation from. It doesn’t matter to her that she couldn’t hear their words until after she’d violated their boundaries. It doesn’t matter that they had thoughtfully isolated themselves from the children. She would say that she was ‘obliged’ to monitor such things and might even say that she has to “answer to her Maker” if she fails to do so. Crazy, I know. But some people have weird ideas about what they are obliged to do to keep the Just God from condemning them to Hell. That seems to me to demonstrate a severe lack of faith, but what do I know? The Parable of the Talents comes to mind.” I am not a “little old lady” running around pointing fingers and I am sorry if anyone sees it that way. I believe in true Christianity and the preserving of it. The points that are stated here (imo) are the same ones that have led our Country into the mess it is in today. We have not guarded our treasures and they have been taken from us. As a whole our churches are in a mess, our country is in a mess and our Christians are also. We allow sin to come in, blind us, and take the Light from us, because we have not been vigilant and because of very poor leaders. I for one want a safe place for all of us here! It is a safe place to be knowing that my fellow Christians will watch my backside, come together all around the world to pray for our sick, be there when we are getting married, when we are having a bad day, when we are facing death, when we are truly sad when you are sad and truly happy when you are happy. Share with us news and commentary from our fellow brothers and sisters we can confide in. Teach us about our rights, about our guns and safety. Teach us about the horrors of war. Visit our sick even from great distances. Let a person have a bad day without tearing him apart (I remember my friend Grunt saving me form literally going to jail as I sat in a bar ready to lay into this guy and he talked sense to me). A place where my children can come without warning and be safe and can learn from others here. Yes that is the kind of “picnic” I see with people who are dedicated to the Truth and want good for one another.

    “It’s not Christ’s message that’s keeping people away, it’s us. We are the problem. Now that sounds, to me, like something that should make us tremble before our Maker.” I agree it is not Christ message that keeps them away. It is certainly the people! The men who claim to be Christians and act nothing like one. The gossiping lips. The churchgoers are certainly the problem and they don’t demand enough from their leaders either. Sound familiar America?

    Yes this is the blog that should keep us together. The kind of blog that the Spirit brought together for a reason. I believe in the goodness of all here. As Grunt said, “In the case of the 5 or 6 of us trying to decide what to do, it only matters what’s right in the eyes of God.” So let us strive to continue to rise above the rest and make this a blog fit for God, Family and Country!

    • Thank you for responding here, Buddy. This was a good response. I haven’t had time to go through it all, but it’s clear that we are still like-minded on all the things we were before, and still thoroughly disagree on the few things we did before. Again, no budge, not a millimeter. We have just managed to restate our points another time.

      Let me just ask one question before I have to go back into the office.

      You say that Zoph’s video is ‘bad,’ and has no place even being linked or posted for discussion on a family blog. So we can’t even talk about it, or discuss why it’s bad. For example, we can’t even consider that it’s not blasphemous or coercive toward evil in any way (which WOULD make it bad), since it could be summed up as just a bunch of Boston toughs telling the devil that he’s an f’in’ idiot. For laughs. Oh, and there are a few girls doing an Irish river dance with bare tummies. Not sure if that’s ‘bad’ or not.

      But back to the question. Suppose that I told you that I would no longer approve of anyone posting pictures of guns or articles about guns or any mention at all of guns on this blog because guns don’t, in my opinion, belong in a safe, family environment, and they do not promote God, Family and Country.

      What would you say? Would you just say that I’m an idiot? I would be. But why? Could it be that guns are just tools and cannot, in themselves, be bad or good?

      But it doesn’t matter, because I’m not going to allow you to even talk any sense into me about it. The very word ‘gun’ *shiver* is bad and I don’t want it to even be discussed here. Would you call me an “old lady” for that? You probably would. And you’d be right.

      Just so you know, when I first saw the Boston video, I turned up my nose at it, too. But my response was to NOT GO THERE. Why did YOU go there? You didn’t have to. What made you? You knew that there would be rough language. Her warning made it quite clear that we were NOT promoting the video in ANY way. It was posted for the info or entertainment of those who might get the joke. Why is it that I could pass it by (until you forced me to review it) but you could not?

      • You know I won’t give quarter on what is good and what is bad for us. Remember we are talking about a video and we should keep that in mind. This is why I didn’t want to make this about individual issues but about how we want to be seen overall and what we are accoutable for on the most important subject of our Christian lives. What we post is seen by people around the world. That is the nature of it. That really makes us “teachers” or “preachers” whether we like it or not. I guess that is why I have thought about quitting many times. Becuase what I say and do will have a consequence on other peoples lives. That is not a small thing. If I lead someone astray that is not a small thing to me. If I make a difference in one souls life, for the better, then my presence here has been fruitful. I know you know this I just have to state it anyway. The video is not the end of the world. Good grief. And as a Christian I can’t go off and run away cause the logs of accountability to God for my actions will always be there. Two wrongs never make a right. There is a higher road. I wish our Leaders would have taken up the watch better. I wish the followers would watch better and demand more from the leaders. O! Here we are and it is a start to watch and demand the Truth and try and gain what we have lost. Grunt if you run off and leave us then I will take this very personally. As a friend you know I Will! You are a great asset here and I believe in you and your good will. Just pray that we all come to (me included) a determination to seek God’s Will out here and not our own. With Love Brother I leave this for you.

        • Then listen to me and search your heart, Brother. You know I’m not advocating for sinning. I’m telling you that you need to discern BETTER what is the greater sin. You know that when you react badly to a small sin, you can easily commit a much larger one yourself. As a father, like me, you know you have done that many times. I know I have.

          I think you are committing a much worse sin here by poisoning the well. If you cannot see that, then we have not so much in common after all. This is all about how you are badly judging “what is good and what is bad for us.” I would not ask you to give quarter against what is good. This is about judgment. I think yours is abysmal. And you never answered my question. How would you deal with it if I told you I disapproved of any mention of ‘guns’ on the blog?

          • “Let me just ask one question before I have to go back into the office.

            You say that Zoph’s video is ‘bad,’ and has no place even being linked or posted for discussion on a family blog. So we can’t even talk about it, or discuss why it’s bad. For example, we can’t even consider that it’s not blasphemous or coercive toward evil in any way (which WOULD make it bad), since it could be summed up as just a bunch of Boston toughs telling the devil that he’s an f’in’ idiot. For laughs. Oh, and there are a few girls doing an Irish river dance with bare tummies. Not sure if that’s ‘bad’ or not.”

            I must attempt to satisfy the questions that you demanded an answer to, before I make a statement of my own and ask you a question as well.

            “But back to the question. Suppose that I told you that I would no longer approve of anyone posting pictures of guns or articles about guns or any mention at all of guns on this blog because guns don’t, in my opinion, belong in a safe, family environment, and they do not promote God, Family and Country.

            What would you say? Would you just say that I’m an idiot? I would be. But why? Could it be that guns are just tools and cannot, in themselves, be bad or good?

            But it doesn’t matter, because I’m not going to allow you to even talk any sense into me about it. The very word ‘gun’ *shiver* is bad and I don’t want it to even be discussed here. Would you call me an “old lady” for that? You probably would. And you’d be right.

            Just so you know, when I first saw the Boston video, I turned up my nose at it, too. But my response was to NOT GO THERE. Why did YOU go there? You didn’t have to. What made you? You knew that there would be rough language. Her warning made it quite clear that we were NOT promoting the video in ANY way. It was posted for the info or entertainment of those who might get the joke. Why is it that I could pass it by (until you forced me to review it) but you could not?”

            Grunt, I still think you are looking at this in the wrong way. Guns are tools of sorts. No different than a truck. Both can be used for good and evil. But it is always the user that chooses to use any specific tool or subject for good or evil. It is also good to remember that any tool must be used wisely for in recklessness or carelessness souls could be harmed. Isn’t that why we teach gun safety and that speed kills? If you were not willing to discuss guns (I loathe hypothetical questions when knowing the person at hand) then I would think your thinking was due to some childhood misalignment or tragedy. But you know these things already. Can’t go there Grunt because this blog was formed knowing differently. I know a lot of “little old ladies” who carry loaded sticks and don’t shiver.

            Thank you for being honest here, about the video, and letting me know that you “turned your nose up at it”. I wonder what made you do that? I don’t have any idea how one could do that without seeing it in the first place? But this is not important. Your real question of why did I go there even though there was a warning posted and I could not pass it? Thank you for the question and here is my reason:

            You have a founders powers to look at all my post and comments from the very beginning of 4GFC. I have stated clearly and joyfully, about what our new site should be like, at our exit from the Treehouse and into the formation of 4GFC. I have been an integral part of 4GFC. A part that I believe the Spirit led me to, of creating an atmosphere of a new beginning. A new beginning for not only Christians but anybody who was seeking a wholeness and freshness not offered by the likes of a couple of houses we had previously been to. It is because of this that I have tried to keep the “gray” out and offenses to God out. I believe that firmly. I have made it clear in many post, comments and clarifications as to why I do what I do. I didn’t pick on any one individual, I didn’t speak anything but the Truth! I tried to carry by example a higher road that we as Christians should take to provide a “safe place” for all. If I have lied, if I have distorted the Truth, if I have misquoted any of our Lords words please bear witness to it. If there is anything that I am guilty of it would be the lack of wisdom in how I may have handled some of these issues. But if you and I believe in one another’s good will then only good can come from that. But we must all answer to the Truth.
            4GFC has been a pretty tight family. We’ve done some very good things in our short time here. Our doors have always been open to all who would like to be a part of us. A blogsite that is not isolated but attractive to those good people out there while being unattractive to the multitude of evil. Our home provides a safe haven to those who have been through the muck on “other sites.” We protect those who come to our shores seeking to refresh themselves. This is the reason why I seek to protect our dignity here as Christians! I believe 4GFC has accomplished this thus far.

            Grunt you have had a huge impact here. Something nobody else could have done but you. As you yourself said, you have worked the hardest and put the most effort into all that you have done here. Why is it your choice to scrub off your fingerprints here? You know very well that 4GFC will never be the same without you here! Your asset here has been written in the logbooks! You are everywhere here! Must you choose to go? I am not you, you are not Barn, he is not RP, and RP is not me. Each person here has great assets! I could never do what you have done here. It is a family that you are choosing to break apart because you say you cannot live like this. What is the real problem here? This is our house and our home. It will never be the same without you, without me and without all who are here now. For example, just look at how all of us get so concerned when we don’t hear from Shalini for awhile? Because there is not one of us who “doesn’t care” for one another. Even those who are in the quiet and waiting to see where this is all going. We could argue all day as to whether the video was good or bad and the only thing I am asking is that we don’t bring this kind of “stuff” into our home. I watched part of the vid, only part cause I could not stomach any more than part. Okay it is mocking the Devil and is suppose to be funny (to some) but that type of funny belongs in the bar or at Boston College with the tuffies. Can’t we agree on that? And since this has been so public we can make a good thing out of it and be an example for those to come. I must be honest here and tell the Truth openly that I am upset that this is coming from my fellow followers of Christ to boot. This is why I come down so hard on it. I understand all the personalities and excuses we make for ourselves but in the end it does not make it right. There can be no gray as I have always said. We have to get past the smoke to see the fire. Can we finally come to terms about our house? This place we call our home? We can move forward and grow from this? This could make all of us that much more resolved and stronger. Maybe just maybe Christ is calling us to a higher road to pave a way for something greater than ourselves. Build our foundation to make it a formidable strength.
            Grunt, if you leave us you will have destroyed OUR home. You know that, I know you do. And now my question: Do you think that is the right thing to do for the sake of all?

            • freedom1781 says:

              This whole things makes me cry. I have tears in my eyes right now. I don’t have any words…(I’m not really good at expressing my feelings in words..) I’m just so heartbroken and sad. We are a family. We have made a difference, both big and small, whether we realize it or not. Because of this blog, I have started regularly attending church after a 20+ year absence. I have loved reading all of the religious posts. Even though I’m Baptist, I have enjoyed learning about the Catholic faith. A lot of the questions that I have always had have been answered because of all the wonderful posts here. I just want to say thanks.

              I am shocked at all that has publicly transpired on this blog these past few days. Grunt, I echo what GFC has said about you having such a large impact here. You have put so much into this blog so I can understand the hurt you feel right now. I think you “de-Gruntifying” the blog was a little rash and childish. You took away so much, but I understand. Still, it’s very disappointing. I enjoyed all that you posted, I have learned a lot from you. I hope that you don’t leave, this place will not be the same without you.

              I can understand why GFC believes that this blog has strayed from its original beginnings. Personally, I don’t think it has that much. Sure, we can get a little crass sometimes, but we all feel comfortable around each other to do so. Maybe it’s a good thing, maybe it’s a bad thing. I don’t think we go too far like so many other blogs out there. I feel safe here voicing my opinions. Maybe we should use more discretion but not to the point where we are constantly self-censoring and not able to post an opinion.

              I have not watched the video that Zoph posted. It had a warning so I was not interested in watching it. I can’t imagine what Zoph is feeling right now. She meant no harm whatsoever but it seems like the knives have come out for her and Grunt. At least this is how I see it right now. I’m not behind-the-scenes so I don’t know what’s going on privately.

              I understand both sides of this issue but I think this whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

              The wounds are too deep and painful right now for everyone. I pray that things can be worked out.

              • Thank you, Freedom. I’m so sorry. But please read GFC’s manifesto above, and then read this summary of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birth Mark” and you will see that this is an obsession that disregards the damage already done, and the damage yet to be.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Birth-Mark

                Then ask yourself if you can really ask me to go along with that yet again. Especially since it’s utterly misguided. This world is not perfect for reasons beyond our control. Attempting to force perfection without regard for the ones crushed underfoot is a fool’s errand. Did GFC contact Solaratov and everyone shocked by his being ostracized for posting a photo of a cute girl with an AK-47 last year? No, but I did, and that still wasn’t enough to prevent it from suppressing all posting since then. When was the last time you saw Sol post a lot of material? Did GFC call up ZMalfoy after he yelled at her for posting the Boston video? No, but I did, and that still wasn’t enough to keep her from abandoning our site forever. What’s the point here, GFC? Is God really behind this? Because I seem to remember that he hesitated to have weeds (sinners) pulled up in the parable of the seed to prevent the roots of the people from being pulled up with them. Or do you know better than God?

                Freedom, I laughed when I read what you said about me being childish for deGruntifying things. Because I know you’re right – just a little bit. But I followed through with it for a good reason. Four out of five of the founders agree with GFC’s vision. In that situation, I have no business writing the “About” page for the blog or decorating things with my own photographs. The majority needs to do that. Don’t you agree? I’ve touched nothing else.

                And when it comes to “working things out,” keep in mind that I surrendered my reservations last year to his vision of making the blog ‘perfect.’ Against my better judgment. He now demands that we double down on that vision, against every objection I have, and enforce absolute compliance. Did you see how enthusiastically he spoke about busting our chops in the future for using unapproved word choice because we should know better? He got me to go against my conscience, once. Don’t you do that to me, too.

                I’ll pray, like you. I’m not going anywhere. You know where to find me. You also know who you need to convince to turn things around, and it ain’t me.

  5. zmalfoy says:

    As it has now been a week since my Epic Fail, I suppose now is as good a time as ever for me to break my silence on this issue.

    I must confess that this whole thing has left me more than a little bewildered. While I can certainly understand and appreciate that others found my posting disagreeable — a thing for which I am always prepared — the precise nature of the response is what has confused me. Why the yelling?

    I get that my sense of humor is . . . well. . . *sigh*. So I get that the things I find hilarious on many levels (including the theological), other people won’t find so funny. Such is life. I’m used to being weird like that. But it would be nice if, somewhere where it was easy to see, there could be a little guide that served as a reminder to what other people don’t find funny, amusing, or acceptable Maybe it’s language. Maybe it’s anything dealing with the Devil. Maybe its the idea of the Devil being a Yankee’s fan. .. (Because, if it is the language, then I’m in trouble, because I work for the military and have best friends who are Southies, which means that my language-line is in a faaaar different place than other people’s. . .)

    So, a guide of some sorts, so I (or others) don’t do something like this again.

    Because right now, pictures of stars are the only thing I really feel comfortable sharing.

    • barnslayer says:

      If we all clam up we’re done for. There is no guide. We each have our own moral compass derived from the same source. Yet we’ve found a way to focus on our differences. We are not clones but I don’t think anyone wants to make another member uncomfortable or embarrassed to be connected with this blog. Some may need to reel it in a bit and others may need to be slow to anger.

      • “If we all clam up we’re done for.”

        Exactly. That’s just what has happened now, twice. How many more times do we need to fix this? And how can it be fixed if nobody will admit to the problem? And if we’re done for, then the 1050 posts I’ve sweated over for the last 2 years are a colossal waste of time. But nobody thinks I have any right to be even marginally angry that the blog has been killed. I’m supposed to just play nice and keep doing my ‘job.’ I’m only willing to do one of those things. I’ll play nice, but I have no desire to keep doing this job. The blog has been killed. I’ve already had a week to mourn over it, and I’m ok. What are you guys gonna do?

        • barnslayer says:

          I can understand you being frustrated. The only way the blog is dead is if you guys refuse to talk. I never complained about the Catholic-based content because I figured it’s important to you guys and nobody was trying to change me so it’s all good. Likewise there are other areas of discussion where we don’t all see eye to eye. But a bunch of you have the benefit of having actually met each other face to face. Did that suck? Did you have to walk on eggshells? If not how about getting on the horn and reconnecting? I haven’t been on an airplane since the TSA crap started but I swear I’ll fly out to wherever and bang your collective heads together if you don’t work this out.

          • Actually, I’m just down the coast a ways. Don’t even need an airplane. You want to go get a beer? 😉

            And GFC and me and our families get along really well in person. Outstandingly well. But even the closest families can disagree on principle. It happens.

            • barnslayer says:

              I’m just coming off vacation so I can’t leave town but I’d be happy to meet up around here.

              • That’d be great! I was only half-serious, though. I’d like to come visit, but it should take a couple hours and I’m still stuck on a military facility preparing for a big presentation tomorrow. No can do. Maybe later.

  6. I was reading the “Verse of the day” along with all that has transpired over the last couple of weeks. As I had mentioned before I have been praying for guidance and humility and strength. There are a few things (Thank you Grunt) that I have been reflecting on that I was not even aware of. I want to address some of these things.

    First I believe that I owe a public apology to Sol. Sol I was not wise in how I dealt with a previous post . I also was never aware that I had offended you and want you to know that my intentions was never to offend anyone just to bring everyone an awareness of what I was trying to do here on 4GFC. I am sorry if I offended you and how I dealt with the subject. Please forgive me?

    Barn I have come down hard on some of the things you have posted. I believe these things could have been handled in a much better way with more humility involved. This of course is hindsight but please forgive me anyway?

    I also owe ZMalfoy a public apology in the way I handled this latest episode for the video that she posted. I am truly sorry ZMalfoy for my actions in how I mishandled me being upset about the video being posted. Although I never intended this to be taken personally by any one person (I specifically mentioned this many times) I am wrong because it is/was dealt that way and I was foolish enough to think it wouldn’t be taken personally. Please forgive my actions? I am truly sorry. I really like what you bring to 4GFC and what you have to offer as well.

    Grunt I have been most upset about you. I can’t imagine what you have been going through having put so much into 4GFC. As you said yourself you have done the most and are probably the most upset as well. I am sorry for the way I handled all of this. I have to be honest and say that I was not aware of how upset you were for the incidences in the past and that which we all just went through. Although we don’t see eye to eye on this subject I have no business in asking my will or seeking my vision here. You have put in the most and as I have said there is nobody who could replace you here especially if it cause you to divorce us! Your leaving must have been a tumultuous battle within and I am very sorry for having put you through that. This was and continues to never be what my intentions were or are. Your leaving has been extremely difficult and caught me completely off guard. This is your site and you have put in the most of all for the benefit of all. I am truly sorry for not just offending you but for all the hurt it has caused to all who are here.

    Now I must make some changes so that this does not happen again. I will no longer keep anybody “in check” or “watch” any behavior on 4GFC and I formally concede what I believe my position was here. I cannot be nor did I ever intend to carry the posting on this blog. I agree with Grunt that this blog is dead or killed and I must except the fault as Grunt is not here because of my actions. I am asking publically for my Administration privileges to be removed as I don’t think I can remove them myself. Please remove me. It is very difficult for me to ask this but it makes no sense at all for Grunt not to be here because of me. So please Grunt, Barn or RP please make the changes for me.

    ” Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”
    I ask for forgiveness from all? This blog has obviously been inspirational to many and should continue to be with Grunt’s return. Please consider this Grunt for everybody else’s sake?

    Thank you. I will continue to pray for a healing of this family.

    • tessa50 says:

      Meant to reply to you here, messed up, it is below.

    • Just seeing this now, GFC. Thanks for the amazing humility and the good words. Of course you are forgiven for your stubbornness and I ask you to forgive me for mine. We are both stubborn men who disagree, but in humility, perhaps we can at least remain friends. That is certainly how I would like it. Thank you for wanting it, too.

      I am very sorry for my harsh words and for my weakness in growing discouraged with the way things are going. Please forgive me?

      As for your proposals, I thank you for suggesting that you cease your role of watchdog, since we have no clear standards that we have agreed on that would make such a role legitimate, or at least until we can do so later. This is exactly the kind of constructive concession I was looking for. Thank you. An example of one thing we need to resolve is that I thought we were in agreement that it was sufficient to warn people of bad language when posting a link or video. Apparently I was mistaken. We need to figure that out.

      On the other point, it makes no sense for you to be removed from a blog that was literally named after you and your convictions. I do not ask for that, and I do not want it. It would change nothing, so let’s not consider that. Please.

      As for the other questions, we’ll have to talk about those later. Maybe we need to have a pow-wow to figure out where we want to go with this blog. I’m not sure that would change things for me, since I think we seem stalemated on a few key things. But maybe we can reach some kind of agreement. We can certainly stay on speaking terms. I got no problem with that.

  7. tessa50 says:

    GFCinthatorder, you have been an inspiration to me and I am sure many others. What you wrote here just shows once again what kind of man you are. God bless you.

    • Thank you for the encouraging words Tessa50. If I have been an inspiration to you then we have much to thank God for. It is He that encourages us and we each other in His name. Bless you too!

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