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I am doubtful about the possibility of healing so long as folks continue to stoop to name-calling. (I can't believe some of the names being thrown around, and I suspect I'm fortunate not to know what the "Al Haig" reference is about.)

"Snakes in the grass?"

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Here's praying for a smooth transition. Peace and grace to all sides of that process.

I am only worried that this transition will be problematic for the CAFKANFaSDBG, as we have run out of room on our T-shirts for initials.

As per productive chats yesterday, Peter, I am confident that we will be able to transition well and get our footing in the next iteration. I know some aren't sold on the idea that virtual interaction can produce something that approximates real-time community. But responses here and elsewhere seem to indicate that A&F is not your average forum.

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And as I've said before: If anyone has an issue with me, email me privately and lets try and work on our friendship and any hurts that have occurred on a one-on-one basis, instead of inspiring more and more misunderstandings and misinterpretations. I'm investing time here to try to lend a hand. If I'm paid with a name-calling and insinuation, I'll take that as a sign my help isn't welcome, I'll stick to the circles where my help is sought out and welcomed.

Christian, if you have any issue with me, please do let me know... I'm eager to clear the air and talk with you.

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I have always valued my (limited) participation in the film and religion discussions here at A&F. We have at least tried to hold ourselves to a higher standard of discussion, and to get to the heart of questions which are constantly roiling our Christian communities W/R/T art and media's relationship to the larger world of faithful life.

I have spent so much time here (more, frankly, than I should have -- I totally feel Greg's POV which he expressed on Facebook re: the possibility of overindulging) that there will be a gap once it is gone -- whether that be now or later down the road. It has to happen sometime, but I'd rather see it happen another day.

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If this is true, then why not kill the snake rather than quarantine the whole city and issue decrees that nobody can go outside for fear of snakebite, upon penalty of death?

I'm serious. If you really believe this, then the solution is to kill the snake, which I suppose, non-metaphorically, means prohibiting the "snake" from posting. Why wouldn't this be preferable to shutting down the board? I've seen faithful NA attenders banned from meetings. People have been told, "You may be an addict, but you're not welcome here." It's essentially a death sentence, and it's the most serious and most troublesome statement that can be made, but I've seen it happen. If one individual is so disruptive and toxic to the welfare of the group, then it's appropriate for that individual to be asked to leave. Surely this is better than pulling the plug on the whole enterprise.

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I am so confused. And sad.

Dale

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See?

teamtshirt.jpg

Well spoke Mr. Leary, well spoken.

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I can only say that it wounds me to the quick to see words so steeped in poison, in bitterness and hardness, from someone I care about.

I know Jesus called his enemies a brood of vipers. He also wept over Jerusalem. And while I admit the glibness of this point as a general retort, take it FWIW: We are not Jesus.

Soul to soul: This thing that you are doing, this is not the way.

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I don't know what happened and I'm glad I don't.In my corner of the board (read: music), I've experienced nothing but affirmation, love, and support. This board has become a valuable and important part of my life. I'd hate to see that change.
Amen to that. To the peeps who hang primarily in the music 'hood, i say thanks. I guess we have squabbles too from time to time (not that any come to mind), but it is by and large a very warm, welcoming place and for that i'm grateful.

When i first came here, five years ago, that part of a&f was not nearly as spacious as it is today. Josh, Andy, Jason and others have really helped build that sucker up. Thanks for the years of positive input guys. Heading back to the Music cave....

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Christian, if you have any issue with me, please do let me know... I'm eager to clear the air and talk with you.

I don't really have an issue. I just felt a certain whiplash, reading A. comments, then yours, and wondering who was saying what to whom, and why some people were privy to negotiations while others weren't. I thought you were speaking for the board. Then Al. posted "it might not be who you think," or something like that, and I couldn't tell if he was directing that to you, or to someone else.

At bottom, I think you're trying to be a peacemaker, and I appreciate that. I just find all the partial hints confusing.

Cards on the table: I did PM A. last week about a post I was going to make, but didn't end up posting. A revised version of those thoughts WAS posted Sunday night, after not hearing from A. on my earlier PM (he's been busy, obviously) until after I'd posted the revision, which was then quoted by another user -- making it difficult to delete the original. Now I'm thinking I'm one of the "snakes" A. referred to. I don't know what's going on.

Edited by Guest

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The "wounds" I claimed are completely inconsequential, being my own, and being (so I hope) clean, healthy cuts rather than festering sores.

What does concern me, truly, is what (as I see it) festers in your recent posts, which I'm not at all convinced "pales in comparison" to whatever was suffered by people who were offended/aggravated/hurt and went elsewhere.

On the contrary, I hope that most of them are by now over it, and that whatever wounds they received are by now clean and healed, or at least healing. If they think about it at all, which perhaps they don't, I hope they are able to do so without dehumanizing images like "snakes in the #(*$*@ grass."

If my hopes are in fact unrealized and wounds fester elsewhere, I am indeed concerned about that, though I can't claim to be "as" concerned as I am for you, for the entirely circumstantial reason that I happen to be closer to you and to care more about you than about other parties in question.

Be that as it may, we might differ on the proposed treatment in any case. Wounds are often inflicted at the whim of the wounder. Festering or not is in the hand of the wounded party, and his Healer.

Edited by Guest

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The word "snake" obviously implies a level of maliciousness and deception, an intent to deliberately hurt others. It implies much more than "this person is having a bad day" or "I thoroughly disagree with this person" or even "this person is a jerk." Most of us have been there, but would stop short of labeling others as "snakes." I would caution you from using the word. It may be true. I don't know. I haven't seen it, but I haven't been privy to the behind-the-scenes discussions you've had with others. Even if it is true, I would encourage you (really; I'm trying to encourage, not blame) to hold off on using the word. When I am angry, when I am misunderstood, when I have been burned, it's all too easy to act out of those valid but incendiary emotions. They pour gasoline on the fire. Unfortunately, I stoke the flames too frequently. But time often provides perspective. If in, say, a week you still believe that the "snake" is slithering, then you you might want to act on those beliefs.

One other thing: it's a slow turning, to quote John Hiatt. God continues to use jerks for his Kingdom, a fact for which I am personally thankful. God hasn't given up on me, but in the meantime it must be a bitch for those who have to live with me and interact with me. I don't know and can't know the heart of the person(s) with whom you have such a profound disagreement. I just think it's possible that he or she or they may be jerks, and that God isn't through with them yet. This is a different animal than a snake.

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Nardis: I don't share your perspective at all, but I don't think I can say much here likely to be helpful, with the possible exception of noting that in my judgment there is more wisdom in Andy's latest post than in a lot of what has been said here.

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I wonder if anything I can say at this point would help. Probably not. I'm not immune to petty arguments--and have been involved in many enough.

I wonder if it would be helpful to ask for folks to sit on their posts for 15 minutes before you hit "add reply". (my card on the table, I didn't wait 15 minutes, but I did read this twice).

Its easier than going back and hitting "edit" or "delete".

So, this week's threads have brought a lot of issues to the surface, at least for several members. A.'s looking to offload this board to new management, which is mainly happening (as it should, I submit) without a lot of transparent involvement of the rest of us.

Moving forward, a key concern is how this board handles offense (intended or not). How does it negotiate the friendships of some members with the fractious relationships of others? When does the leadership of the board exert its authority to give posters a temporary or permanent hiatus? As with any personal relationship, how do we handle the different styles of the posters? How do posters complain about each other? Clearly, a complaint to the moderator is an option, but i think it is an unfair one for the moderator who has to deal with these complaints.

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Betrayal-- real or perceived-- can trigger incredibly powerful emotions.

Please email me right away with all the pertinent details of what's going on... so i can better know how to pray, moving forward.

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This will be my last word in this thread, at least until and unless it should take a radically different direction.

The grievances of those who harbor grievances, of whatever sort, should be heard and addressed as best as the community can contrive to do.

How this may be done going forward, along with the future of this community, appears to be undetermined.

In the meantime, I cannot help but find the manner in which grievances have been expressed in this thread to be unhealthy for those expressing them.

I am grieved for them.

I am not aggrieved. I have no grievance with anyone. Of any who may have any grievance against me, I beg forgiveness.

If that is not enough, and reparation is needed, please contact me. As God is my judge, and He is, I will do my best to see my way clear by His grace to repent of whatever I may have to repent.

I have nothing more to say.

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Assuming that I am not the snake - which, I don't know? - and even though I am not eager to know all the details of this blow-up, I'd be willing to serve as a pastoral mediator if it is desired. My sense is that it is not universally desired, and my sense is that I might not be an acceptable mediator to all parties concerned. I won't be offended if I'm not the person for the job. In fact, I'd be relieved. But I love this forum, and the people involved in it, and am willing to do what I need to in order for healing to occur.

Just not tonight, when I'm watching the Star Trek movie.

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I'm taking my cue from Steven, from whom I've learned so much about grace:

This will be my last word in this thread, at least until and unless it should take a radically different direction.

I suppose I should follow this good example too.

The grievances of those who harbor grievances, of whatever sort, should be heard and addressed as best as the community can contrive to do.

I agree, even though we're all weary of this.

How this may be done going forward, along with the future of this community, appears to be undetermined.

Yep. I suspect it would be a whole lot easier if we weren't lashing out from the safety of our keyboards, but were sitting around a table. Or better, sitting in a circle at the beach. Oh, and if Jesus could be there too? Wouldn't that be something. (Of course, he *is* here.)

In the meantime, I cannot help but find the manner in which grievances have been expressed in this thread to be unhealthy for those expressing them.

Mmm hmmm.

I am grieved for them.

Mmm hmmm.

I am not aggrieved. I have no grievance with anyone. Of any who may have any grievance against me, I beg forgiveness.

Likewise. Call me. If you don't have my phone number, email me and I'll give it to you. Reconciliation happens best in person, but when that's not possible, better phone than text.

Fuller disclosure: I did send a letter about my semi-withdrawal from the board, and I did say that I was finding I didn't have the time or energy to argue with one certain person. (This had as much to do with being overworked and stressed by other things as it had to do with stuff here at A&F.) But I also said that the person in question is still my friend, and that I was just weary of the resources it required to be involved at this point. I meant no condemnation. I did not request any disciplinary action or condemnation. (In fact, I specifically said that I did not think action should be taken against anyone.) I did not call anybody names. I merely said that I was having a hard time, and needed to remove myself from that situation for now.

In retrospect, I was unwise to send that letter. I fear it contributed to the frenzy of the last few days. I'm sure I could have written a more productive letter, or perhaps been wiser not to say anything at all. We test each other's patience here. I'm probably testing someone's right now, like it or not.

I have not changed my mind about any of what I wrote ... although, out of concern for the tone of this discussion, I have felt obliged to get involved and invest time and resources in trying to help things get better here.

In fact, through all of this, I'm in conversation with the person who frustrated me, and we're getting along. For that, I'm grateful. In fact, he's been pretty gracious about it.

I feel like a frustrated Edward Scissorhands -- I realy want to put my arms around people -- everyone, whatever name they have been called -- and somehow end up contributing to the hurt. I can only raise these hands to heaven and say, "Lord, I can't fix this. You'll have to fix this."

If that is not enough, and reparation is needed, please contact me. As God is my judge, and He is, I will do my best to see my way clear by His grace to repent of whatever I may have to repent.

Likewise. But not on the board. Not in public, because there's so much misinterpretation here, any "digital repentance" would probably be misunderstood and make things worse.

I have nothing more to say.

I have more to say... but to my friends, as individuals, not in the public square where it feels like there are forces at work trying hard to divide us.

If I'm to believe the scriptures, then I believe the Enemy would love to see this community torn to shreds. By grace and patience and forgiveness and repentance, let's kick him out. (And by Enemy, I mean the Prince and Power of the Air, not anyone in this community.)

If I've grieved you, call me.

Edited by Guest

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I have a question for everyone: Can anyone just leave stuff alone? Is anyone able to see someone lashing out in frustration and pain and just let the words fall to the floor and stay there?

This has been a long time coming. Maybe I am to blame almost completely, but I doubt it. If there have been snakes in the grass here, the emphasis is on the plural. I have been involved in many of the worst blowups behind the scenes. I will give no details here. It would be pointless. However, by my recollection every single one of them. every. one. of. them. has happened because of NOT ONE PERSON, BUT AT LEAST TWO pouring flammables on the confrontation. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

I was sometimes involved tangentially because it seemed easy to blame one person or another, but only one. I found that unacceptable and pushed for other solutions. That's my story. If anyone has issue with the results of that single decision reapplied at various times, I understand. You are welcome to have it out with me privately. Feel free. Anything anyone now brings up in emails or PMs will be nothing compared with the actual battles back in the day, particularly among the mods. I must say that I actually caused one or two and tried to correct those. But it took more than just me to blow up the one or two I may have caused.

Pettiness. Every one had pettiness at it's base. And self absorbtion. Every one. Leave A. alone. He's trying to resolve this as best he can. Let it ride. Please. If you, any of you, feel at all responsible. Say something in a PM while they still exist to the one(s) who need you to reach out. Everyone will get prickly once in a while, some more than that. Let that happen and don't pick at the prickliness. Inevitably, you will get pricked if you do.

Again, if anyone has issue with me. Feel free to tell me. I welcome any and all opportunities to work on restoration. Restoration is of primary importance in any relationship, particularly on the cusp of possible breech. It is really no big deal. We mods have had some epic battles, but we have resolved things and kept a healthy respect for each other. But we did it behind the scenes. It is crucial that any of this be behind the scenes. Please keep it that way from now on. No excuses. If there is lashing out, parry the blow. The next iteration will be easy if we all try that!

His, Rich

Edited by Guest

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nardis,

Would you be open to a short telephone chat? If so, email me at joverstreet@gmail.com and let me know how I might contact you.

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The board software has just completed deleting or vacating about 11,000 of my posts. Several hundred must remain, although emptied of content, as they are the initial posts in topics to which you'd substantially added your own content. After I post this I will delete this account and be done. You will see a name change.

I must reserve an admin account here, just in case, but will be turning that over ASAP, along with everything else. I have disabled the "report post" function; I will not be monitoring the board or responding to abuses or any messages. If the site goes down and I notice for some reason, I will work to get it back up. I may be involved in the pending software upgrade, as I promised to provide support in good faith to the new owner.

The announcement from the new owner will probably happen very soon. It should take no longer than the end of next month to do the considerable technical and administrative work necessary. I don't yet know where the Top100 will come out in all of this, other than not being mine.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to this community, as a whole. May God bless and preserve you, and keep you from harm. Goodbye.

-- Alan

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