I am by nature a libertarian, not a nazi, in my personal life as well as my political opinions. Basically, I don't care what adults do to or with each other as long as it doesn't involve force or fraud.
But as I've grown older, I'm starting to see chinks in that philosophy. Or maybe, I'm just now defining "force" a bit more broadly. I'm tired of being "forced" to read the name-calling and feces-throwing by people who should know better.
I would hope you as Masons wouldn't go into a lodgeroom and disagree with someone by saying "You're full of shit," as "Jean" did here recently. I've written about this on private forums, and now I'm saying it publicly.
It has been said that during the American War Between the States, Freemasons from both sides of the conflict lay down their weapons and attended lodge together, in a civil manner. Today, it seems, brothers can't even share the same Internet.
I'd expect this sort of talk on a site that featured comments about politics, or even religion. I know, even in Freemasonry, tempers can run high. But this has turned into a "my Grand Lodge is better than your Grand Lodge, therefore you're full of shit" mudslinging contest. Not here, not any longer.
The days of Unlimited Free Speech at the Burning Taper are over. I will no longer tolerate ad hominem attacks on each other, or comments that use scatological words to demean another person. Disagree with each other all you want — I like to see that — but please do so in an intelligent and socially-acceptable manner. Debate and argue about each other's ideas, not about the contents of each other's bowels. If you can't argue intelligently, you have no argument.
If your comment disappears, you know why. There will be no warnings. There will be no more requests. Subdue those passions, ladies and gentlemen. Respect each other as brothers.
Image: Larry Thomas as Yev Kasem, the Soup Nazi
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