Saturday, July 21, 2007


Mad fool that I am, I have ended up becoming a regular contributor to blog discussions which are diasmetrically opposed to everything I believe. The effect has been odd. Most notably in terms of religion. The last three years or so has seen me shift from being a fairly comfortable liberal catholic Anglican, to a position which is sort of post-Christian humanist. Participating in those blogs has undoubtedly had some influence on that shift, simply because of the sort of responses I get there.
Latest development has been a banning from one of those sites. It seems its because my presence shifted the discussions on to me! But that was hardly my doing, but those who always ended up making the discussions 'personal'. It does rather display my own feeling that there isn't very much space for dialogue on either side.
Contributing to a specialist blog like that is a bit strange too, in that all I ever talked about was religion. Correction. Nearly every discussion wound its way round to gay matters, even if it initially had no input from that direction from me. Its as if thats the only part of one's personality and as if one has no other interests or concerns...
Having said that, spending time elsewhere has meant that this blog has itself been sorely neglected, and I think its about time I started taking it a bit more seriously and gave the world the benefits of my musings rather more often (oh, the pomposity of this whole thing.....but I hope those of you who do visit and read enjoy what I have to say, even if you don't always agree!)

On the whole, those who ban tend not to like mavericks, and thats what I am, I shall never fit cosily into a round hole. All power to square pegs everywhere....


Anglicanum said...

Well, I for one hate to see you banned from Stand Firm. I don't agree with much that you say, of course, but I still have a feeling we could share a beer. It didn't seem to me that you made yourself the focus of the conversations ... others did that.

I can't abide loudmouths, no matter how much I agree with them. I hope Greg lets you back in. And I hope you'll come back, if only because you're intelligent and you were one of the only liberal commenters on the site.

TransplantedOkie said...

I enjoyed your comments on SF and am sorry to see that you have been banned.

taomikael said...


Well, now you have proof that you were indeed reaching them and being heard.

Griffith is not stupid. He knows what he is doing, and he is not slow to act when he perceives a threat to his game plan.

Anglicanum said: "It didn't seem to me that you made yourself the focus of the conversations ... others did that." True words, those. The underlying dynamics of SF are fascinating to watch -- the people there have so little clue as to how much they reveal abouth themselves in their writing.

Well, welcome to the Banned From SFiF Club. And check your blog stats from time to time, you'll probably find a sharp upward spike in visitors from the place.


Susan Russell said...

Bless your heart ... thanks for your willingness to rush in where angels fear to tred!

Merseymike said...

Thanks to all of you - yes, therfe is definitely a feeling of siege mentality there. On one level I understand why. But if they want th blog to be a conservative-only space, then they should say so. To my knowledge there was only myself and PadreWayne putting forward a different view ( and I recognise mine to be idiosyncratic!) , and I gather PW won;t be returning. So I guess they will just be talking to each other.

Quite amusingly, someone has commented on the minor flood last night - the result of a blocked grating. Now fully clear and really our fault for not cleaning it out regularly as we should. No doubt thats gods punishment on me for being a poofter, and as for the poor sods down in Herefordshire and Worcestershire who got flooded out of their homes last night - well;, its got to be at least bestiality, yes?

4mrwrdn said...

I'll miss your comments over there, but I'll look forward to reading you here.

As someone posted over there, it's ironic that there is no redemption or forgiveness on their "Christian blog".

Maybe they are just wanting a place where they can cheer each other on and stay informed about the latest. That post didn't seem to be saying anything new or important anyway, and news has been slow, maybe that's why they banned you.

Thanks for this blog, I'm glad I found it.


taomikael said...


At least they're consistent-- they're now doing the same regretful, crocodile-tearful round of hand-wringing about your absence that they did when Griffith zapped me.

And I have to laugh, for they're patting each other on the back for their calm, rational, debating prowess. You suppose it will ever occur to any of them that if such were true, there would have been no need for a banning?


taomikael said...


The story has changed. It wasn't your skill at debate that was too much for Griffith. It wasn't that his own audience kept replying to your posts, thereby showing their interest in what you had to so. Nope, none of that.

Your unforgivable sin was that you had a blog!

Here's the link to the latest lie.

Yep, that was it -- so long as Griffith didn't know you had your own blog, he was willing to put up with your despicable habit of telling the truth. But once he found out, you're history.

But remember -- SFiF only permit whining from the Griffster, all others must refrain. Take warning, you who might think to quote my posts or Susan Russels: Griffith is Not Amused by such. When he bans someone, they're supposed to stay banned forever. (If SFiF'ers want to read, they have to go outside to do so, so that the pure may remain unspoiled...)

You just can't invent this stuff. Nor is there any end to what the sheeple will swallow if Greg Sez!


taomikael said...


Wups, almost forgot. Did you know that you've officially joined the ranks of the "sub-humans," according to that most loving Orthodox Christian, Greg Griffith? (Odd, but I couldn't find anywhere in the Bible where Jesus referred to Sub-Humans, can anyone direct me to the Book, Chapter and Verse?)

"There is a class of subhumans around the web who take perverse delight in posting the word “First!” whenever they’re the first one to comment on a thread. They don’t contribute anything useful to the conversation - supportive, oppositional, or otherwise - they’re just the equivalent of “taggers” - graffiti artists who revel in being able to affix their spray-painted signature to as many moving buses and trains as they can. That’s abusive behavior, plain and simple, and Mike’s behavior amounted to little more than that, especially given the fact that he has his own blog and could engage the conversation just as easily over there as he could over here."

Welcome, visiting SFiF'ers -- aren't you proud of your leader now?


Merseymike said...

That really is bizarre. I have nevcer hidden the fact that I have a blog - really, a quick Google search would have found it - but I thought SFIF was a public discussion board? Where all were welcome to contribute.

No, basically, Greg didn't like what I had to say, and as much as he claims to want those from the 'other side' involved in discussions, the evidence suggests the opposite. He has made himself look very silly in that post you linked to, I wish he would be a bit more honest.

I am sure - indeed, I know - that there are many others on SFIF who also have their own blogs....

Must say, though, I'm heartened by those who I have had serious spats with in the past and disagree with me on everything, but have opposed the ban.

I'm not going to turn this blog into a discussion on Anglicanism, as thats only one interest of mine, but I hope that knowing there are a few more viewers will encourage me to take this one a bit more seriously!

Mike in Texas said...

Congratulations, MerseyMike, I believe Taomikael is correct. Griffith just can't bear to have you actually getting through to some of the people in there.

People like him have no intention to engage in dialogue. They only want to destroy.


Merseymike said...

And when you think about it, if I was contributing too often (though no more than others who support his stance!) all he had to do was inform me, and indeed, the other regular contributors.

And given there are virtually no liberals posting there now, I hardly think my view was overwhelming all others!

taomikael said...

And the game continues!

Ms. Hey has decided that the comments posted here are too much for SFiF's tender eyes to see:

"[comment deleted by Sarah as it quotes Taomikael’s usual narcissism and he was banned from this site]

Susan Russell said;

[comment deleted by Sarah as it is from the queen of comment moderation herself, who is understandably unable to engage with reasserters in blogland]"


So Ms. Sarah is whining about Susan Russell's supposed inability to engage with reasserters as a diversion for SFiF's recent spate of bannings of all who opppose The Leader, the Griffster?

I truly do pity Ms. Sarah, having to put her name to something so totally ridiculous. How she brushes her hair without looking in the mirror must be a challenge.


Pat Kashtock said...

MM -- Just dropped in to say hi, and that while you and I were often on opposing ends of issues, I appreciated your input and the time you took to reply. Losing you from the community there is disheartening. I do not always agree with my brothers, but I would hate to lose any one of them.

His blessings to you, now and always,

Pat Kashtock

Cecilia said...

MM, I'm sorry for your being banned from SFIF. I lurk there and yours was a voice I always welcomed, standing out from the nastiness by your kind and respectful tone.

Pax, C.

Mystical Seeker said...

I don't read that cesspool of a website, so I only found out about the banning second hand, but as far as I am concerned, it ought to be a badge of honor to be banned by the likes of Greg Griffith.

Benedict Farrer said...

Mike - I don't know much about the SF site either, aside from what i gleaned from following that link, but anyone who calls you sub-human and embraces right-wing conservative evangelical arguments and can't cope being disagreed with is a fuckwit as far as I'm concerned. Self-abusing windbag. "Sub-human" is hardly a loving, forgiving Christian thing to say. I wonder if the Holy Spirit approves? I'm so very glad that I'm not a Christian and so am free to say what I think without hypocrisy. Quitting the faith was the best decision I have ever taken.

anglicanum - I'd love to share a pint of bitter with Mike as well, but I think a glass of decent red or a large G'n'T is more the thing. So I hope to share a bottle of red with Mike and his partner very soon. :)

Benedict Farrer said...

BTW, the person who said you weren't a Christian so therefore you know nothing of Christianity is a fuckwit too. A complete and utter one.

The site actually looks very similar to that old site where you, Bonzo and I were the "liberal threesome" and "liberal nazis". LOL. Was it Exalt? Oh, and wasn't I also a "communist extremist" who pretended to be nice but was extremely extreme underneath it all? Stupid plonkers. We both know who the real trolls were, and they were ALL posting as conservatives.

I sincerely hope I am wrong, because the average IQ on that site was very, very low. There were some decent enough people there, though. I wonder what happened to them.

I really ought to look at Bonzo and Hatless's site sometimes, but I have lost the address and forgotten what it is called. I am still in touch with Hatless but have sadly lost touch with Bonzo, which is a shame. Bonzo is a genuinely lovely bloke. Could you let me know if you still have it? Thanks.

Raspberry Rabbit said...

Gee, MM, don't you pretty well get banned from every forum you're on? This must be at least three by now.....that I can think of anyway.

Is there an award somewhere that you can qualify for?


Merseymike said...

Well, I got banned from Ship of fools because I wouldn't bow down to Erin, and thought their claim to be a 'community' was laughable (and said so). Anglican mainstream because i pointed out that exgays are not so very ex and may still lie awake at night dreaming of cock, and now SFIF....seems the one thing they all have in common is didactic owners who don't like to be disagreed with or challenged!

Benedict Farrer said...

Mike - did I tell you that I have now left the ship? I was becoming more and more bored/fed up with it, so I have left.

There are plenty of other sites out there. Who'da thunk?

RFSJ said...

MM -

Seems like congratulations are in order. Getting banned at SF is a real achievement. I didn't even know it had happened until you told us. I have been reading there less and less because the vitriol just seem like it's getting worse and worse. Talk about sauce for the goose....


Lapinbizarre said...

MM, are you familiar with Richard J. Hofstadter's essay "The Paranoid Style in American Politics"? It's more than 40 years old now (1964), but it's still a pivotal document for understanding why the American Right reacts as it does, and why logic has little or no place in confronting it.

The complete essay can be found here:

I would start around the half-way mark, "Why they feel disposessed".

The "Wiki" entry provides some decent background:

Karen said...

Considering how often some of the SFers whine that Elizabeth Kaeton and Susan Russell moderate blog comments in order to keep "orthodox" voices out of their blogs,creating an echo chamber for themselves was just too good to resist. Never mind the hypocrisy and all that, and besides, who cares about being consistent when you have The Truth all to yourself?

Lapinbizarre said...

PS StandFirm AND Ship of Fools - that's pretty impressive.

C.B. said...

Oh MM - Just learned the news that you were banned. Pity. Of late I only read the comments over there if I knew you or PadreWayne were about to provide a much needed palette cleanser and, if a I dared to dip in, would watch my back. But this is more a sign of the times. There is less to be said and less to be learned there. Keep well.

Anonymous said...

I just went on another site to send you a message and see how you are doing, and I found your blog!

Banned from a forum?!? You?!? Never....

I'm sorry to see you get banned, but sometimes the forum needs a voice to continually speak the truth until the truth is thrown out the window.

Bill said...

I am sorry to see you banned from SFIF. Sorry because you often had a lot to say and add to the richness of conversations; not totally sad because you are quite right, your comments often ended up focussed on you and had little to do with the thread of the comments, which was not necessarily your fault. The fault works both ways.

I guess I'm one of those 'bottom feeders' that folks like Lisa Fox talk about and you are 'sub-humans' although I personally have never heard that expression used.

I do know that comments on SFIF sometimes get carried away and occasionally become nasty, sarcastic and unproductive but for the most part I, as a 'bottom feeder', have learned a great deal and find the discussions challenging and helpful.

I think Tao that your comment : "...At least they're consistent-- they're now doing the same regretful, crocodile-tearful round of hand-wringing about your absence..." Had little to do with crocodile tears but genuine mixed feelings to see Mike banned. Tao, I read few of your comments there (unlike Mike's) but I'm sorry you sound so bitter, Tao.

We are down to one now (that I know of). Padre Wayne still comments and I enjoy reading his ripostes to the comments there. But again, I'm sorry you were banned.

God bless you and I'll stop in now and then,


Bill C

Aghaveagh said...

I read StandFirm to see what's going on and to get different viewpoints. It will not be the same without your input. Once again, that quote by Donne about "Europe is the lesser" comes to mind...

Anyhoo, the one great thing about it, if one looks for the silver lining, is that there are some really great people who have posted here in support, from all points on the continuum, and Greg has pretty much assured you a larger audience!

(Do you have a stat counter? I bet it will show a big spike!)

All the best.

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

Good on you. I've now entered into the blog world at I often comment on Thinking Anglicans but it gets diverted by a poster called NP who is pure cracked record, and so all the threads converge. Trouble is, the topics are news driven and we don't get across varieties of theology (why not a liberal version of the misnamed Anglican Mainstream boards?) and as they get longer I tend to get lost where I last wrote what I did.

The days of the confident big tent seem to be over, and everyone seems to be getting into little tents and going out to burn other little tents.

One day there might be a Church where you can practice spiritality without either lay or clerical being hit over the head. I suppose a model for me might be the short lived Free Catholics of the 1920s, something that allows meaning to filter through and be developed rather than via the rule book and via discrimination.