scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: Speech freedom on issues
Peter Farnham (pfarnham@ASBMB.FASEB.ORG
Thu Apr 13 2000 - 11:06:12 CDT
I think Black Eagle puts it very nicely. The sort of confrontational
mindset he describes is one of the reasons I never participate in
rec.scouting.issues, and why I like this list, which is usually pretty
even-tempered and civil. I have absolutely no desire to get involved in
unending discussions with hardcore zealots about issues such as the 3 G's
and if it starts here, I'm gone like a cool breeze (Chuck Berry).
Reminds me of a chap who was on this list for a short while five or so
years ago, when I first joined it. He famously accused Jon of being
"Stalinist" because Jon wouldn't let him rant on about gays and how
provincial we Americans were (the guy, from Britain as I recall, had a
perpetually angry tone in his e-mails, regardless of topic). I had to
laugh when he noted that he'd been booted off rec.scouting (!), and they
were therefore Stalinist too (demonstrating with this assertion that he
understood neither BSA nor Stalin). The guy finally left the list,
voluntarily or otherwise, I don't know (I suspect Jon booted him off).
Freedom of speech doesn't mean that the owner of a forum for speech can't
control what is published in the forum. Jon's decision to limit discussion
to certain topics is akin to a newspaper declining to publish every letter
to the editor it receives, or a radio talk show host declining to allow
every caller on the air, or a magazine with a particular focus--such as
Backpacker-- not publishing articles on topics unrelated to its focus.
If someone really wants to publish his own rants/opinions and can't find
another forum, hey--he can set up his own website, or self-publish in some
other way. That's what free speech means.
SM, Troop 113