The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience

From: K. Paul Johnson <>
Subject: Re: fw Juan Cole  [bahai-faith] mutilation theology (further)
Date: Thursday, September 10, 1998 7:06 PM
Richard Schaut ( wrote:
: FG wrote in message <6t9c1d$>...
: >For the umpteenth time, I'm not the moderator, I'm not
: >the moderator, I'm not the moderator!!!
: What does this have to do with forwarding messages from makelist?  Why
: forward any messages at all?
Stepping up to bat here: you asked what was different about Fred
selectively forwarding posts that espouse only his own POV and
the srb moderators selectively rejecting posts that espouse
opposing POVs.  The difference is that they are *moderators*.
They have *power* to determine what gets expressed and what doesn't.
They have a policy that requires them *not* to reject posts simply
because they don't like or agree with them or their authors.  This
policy has been ignored or twisted, as I and many others have experienced.
Fred has no such power to keep people's views from being expressed.
You are accusing him of a sin of *omission*-- not forwarding
things you think he ought.  He, and I, and others accuse the srb
moderators of a sin of *commission*-- rejecting posts, harassing
authors, etc. because of ideological factors.  That's far more
No individual has a responsibility to forward willy-nilly all
kinds of posts that espouse all points of view.  It's presumed
that as individuals people have their own axes to grind and won't
grind others' for them.  But as *moderators* the folks running
srb have a much higher responsibility.  They are *not* supposed
to be active partisans for a particular viewpoint, discriminating
against others.  They are supposed to be fair and impartial
because they are acting not as individuals but as moderators.
: >I forward what I want, none too consistently, and
: >shan't accept criticism lightly for it.
: None too consistently?  Why, then, are the forwarded items consistently
: those that attack the Baha'i Faith and consistently not items that present
: opposing views on the issues discussed in the messages you forward?
Well, um, might that be due to human nature?  You seem to be
accusing Fred of some specific wrongdoing.  In fact, have you
ever seen *anyone* consistently argue for both sides of a
controversial issue in the religious domain?  Or forward posts
other than those that support his/her own views?
Rick, I must say that you in my observation have been every bit
as consistent in defending the Baha'i administration and its
supporters and attacking its critics as Fred has been the
reverse.  Pot, kettle.