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Final commentary on StreetProphets September 15, 2006

Posted by Administrator in Blogging, Cultural Pessimism, Liberal Hypocrisy.

Very interesting, very interesting indeed.

I posted one diary one this site, and it was to announce why I was not planning on coming back. Among other reasons:

Street Prophets is the online forum that mobilizes progressive people of faith to name, discuss and take action on critical political and religious issues. An offspring of Daily Kos, the largest political blog on the Internet, Street Prophets seeks to change the “moral values” conversation by fostering community; promoting informed opinion and moving its members to action.

This certainly sounds ambitious, but I have found and seen the notion of “informed opinion” as being more than sadly lacking: contrary opinion is repeatedly stifled, mocked, derided and in the end dismissed by the heavier hitters on the site, most notably Pastor Dan and the Werewolf Project.  This is rather ironic, in that the “progressive” movement prides itself on being “open-minded”.

Because make no mistake: we are people who live and vote our values. We are believers in “justice, freedom, compassion and love,” in the words of Rita Nakashima Brock. We are progressive, Democratic-leaning and vitally concerned with those whom Jesus called “the least of these.” We are the faithful for whom the religious right emphatically does not speak.  Again, this sounds very good. . .until one begins to seriously explore the meaning of the phrase, “the least of these”, followed by a tendentious slam at the “religious right.”  This does not denote informed debate.  This denotes partisanship.  And that partisanship  has been proven, over and over.

So come on in and make yourself at home. We believe that most, if not all topics touching on faith and politics are appropriate on Street Prophets. While this forum represents people of widely differing (and often directly conflicting) theologies, our goal here is to focus on forwarding the progressive political discussion that our shared values make possible.  I guess I’ve already spoken to this above.  “Make yourself at home, so long as you already agree with our political agenda.”

Now, i have been slammed for commentary on this place before. From “PastorDan” the godfather of SP:

At this point, I doubt very much that you’re interested in debating the merits of anything.

At the moment, you trying to get people sidetracked onto a different conversation, and crying “foul” because you didn’t get a friendly reception. As a rule, I have discovered that when people react to my not meeting some expectation of “being a model” for my flock, they invariably have another agenda.

From “the Werewolf Project”:

Bullshit. You’re confusing your right to freedom of expression with your self-centered presumption that we ought to leave your IDEAS go un-opposed. Some ideas have merit and value, others suck. Prove yours don’t suck, instead of demanding we bow to yours just because they are yours. Ideas are like assholes – everybody’s got one, but some are smellier than others.

Normally no problem, save for two things:

  1. This site claims to represent Progressive Christianity
  2. Both of the offenders listed as examples above pretty much RUN the site.

So I made my post and essentially said later days.

The post rather quickly gathered 25 comments, which is unusual given their typical, daily diary averages.

Now, i may have shot myself in the foot, as I was frankly expecting a whole bunch more vitriol.  Consequently, I stayed away for a week, as I feared what I might do in losing my temper while responding to mad screeds in a”Christian” site.

With some very few exceptions, I was DEAD wrong.  Sadly, those few exceptions are terminal.

First, the positive:

-I certainly offer my invitation to stay.

-Everyone should feel welcome. I’m sorry you felt like you haven’t been accepted here.

-Why not just lurk for a while and pay attention to  the personalities of everyone. These online places are microcosms of the larger world without the expression.

Give us a chance..


-I mean this in the least confrontational way possible…but, if you don’t like the way the dialogue goes- Change it!  I say that as an exhortation, not a challege- I would LOVE to hear what you have to say.

It takes a lot of patience.  I have been here a long time and I often can’t get on to post which is annoying, but it is worth stopping by for some peace and comfort even if very few people ever respond to my thoughts.

These are good people here. They share their lives and their stories.

I have to say that people here are awfully busy and can’t spend much time.

A lot of good people have gone missing, too, which I regret.  To keep the community alive it takes us all…whenever we can speak and whatever we can share.

Blessings on you as you get to know us better.

-While “drop bomb and leave” is certainly, as Wolfie points out, this guys style after the “hidden thread” – I have a choice to see this as two things: another bomb or reaching out for reconciliation. I (and others) will act like it is the latter

-A thoughtful diary.
– I would encourage you to reconsider your swan song.

Well, crow don’t taste so bad. It’s kind of like chicken.

Then there was some commentary on why I “drop bombs and leave.”  I did not see them as bombs, but after seeing them treated as such, I visited rarely, fearful again for my temper.

But then, PastorDan signed on with this:

He’s banned now. (none / 1)

Came back to find him accusing me of changing posts to make myself look better in a thread with him. He’s not interested in any real conversation, so he’s gone.

(Sighs).  Oh well.  There was some hope, but it went glimmering, because -near as I can tell- PastorDan has a serious childish streak and is VERY quick to condemn my ideas.

StreetProphets, ladies and gentlemen.  The Face of Progressive Christianity.  It might actually have gone somewhere. . .but it seems to be nowhere now as it appears to be run by an overgrown child.



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