1. No names will be used, this isn't about one particular person, but a mindset.
2. I hold no animosity. I'm hurt and I'm upset about the situation, but that doesn't mean that I hold ill will. I don't. I think they do though...and that is part of what I'm going to address...regardless, I wanted to get that out there...
A little backstory...
I came across a Catholic website in mid 2004. I lurked it for awhile and eventually thought I would join, so I did. I quickly gained a reputation for being both orthodox and a straight shooter. I didn't mince words and I didn't wax poetic. It wasn't/isn't my style and waxing poetic didn't/doesn't make much sense either. As time passed, I eventually was "tagged" a Church Scholar on this site, based upon my knowledge and my education. I took the role very seriously and I was honored that I was trusted with a "tag."
After about 3 years and 6500 posts on this site, I decided I needed a break. I was moving back to Iowa and I was also making a transition in my understanding of Catholic thought. I was moving from a mainstream Catholic to a traditional Catholic. That matured over the next 4 years and eventually I made the move to being a full time "traddy."
Also during that time I lost touch with a very dear and close friend of mine who was also part of the site. He and I went into this together with the understanding that we would be trying to promote and support Catholicism, each in our own way. He is more "charismatic" and I am more "conservative." Very recently, he and I made amends and our friendship is back on track.
Fast forward to January 2011. I decide that it is a good time to come back to the site. There is no reason why I shouldn't and I since I really enjoyed being there I thought I would enjoy coming back. My interwebz friends would be there and maybe I'd make some new ones...alas....
When I came back, I came back with a sense of honesty and openness about the fact that I had made the move to "tradition." This was not received well and I was immediately labelled a "radtrad," which was incorrect. I have some sympathies which lie with the SSPX, going so far as planning to assist at their Masses while I was in Chicago. That never really materialized, so I returned to Iowa and I started assisting at the diocesan TLM again. But it was too late.
The label stuck and eventually it boiled over to chat on the site one night with a MOD. I wasn't expecting that, as she and I had been interwebz friends from the beginning, but I pressed on. Again, those of you who know me, know that I can be a little stubborn. It came out in this instance. But I have never nor have I even thought of speaking ill about Holy Mother Church or her teachings, yet I lost my "tag" because I was sympathetic to the SSPX.
In an effort not to bore anyone, I went through a series of "bannings; "a month here, a week there...eventually I decided to try to really make amends after two things happened...one I was very sarcastic toward the board over a weekend, but I was hurt over the way I was being treated and two, I had the heartfelt reconciliation with the friend explained above.
This finally boiled over a couple of days ago and here is the thread which brought all of this to a head. My handle is Cam42.
I will now include the email string as it played out...
Andy, at this point, I think it's safe to assume that you and I both know that your suspensions have more to do with your attitude and disruptive behavior than anything else. We don't have to pretend it's about rules anymore. I was not involved with these latest suspensions as I've been busy with other things this past week, but I trust my mods to do the right thing.My response was this:
The bottom line is this... You can either choose to be a positive, constructive, presence at phatmass, and build up the website --or-- you can continue to be disruptive and negative force, and tear down the website. The choice is yours.
All of the mods agree that we should permanently ban you forever and be done with it. I would like to leave the choice up to you. If you continue your current behavior (please don't play dumb, you know exactly what you're doing--you're a smart guy) I will be left
with no choice. If it's between you and all my mods quitting on me, I'm gonna side with keeping my mods.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
The email back was:
I get it that [this MOD] doesn't like me. I get it that I have prolly offended her somehow, but I really don't appreciate her jumping on me at every turn.
I'm trying really hard to rebuild and correct some of the things that have gone wrong....but if I'm going to be blasted for the majority of the positions I hold and the observations I make, I can't operate that way effectively.
Can you please back her off...it is doing nobody any good...and I believe it to be an abuse of her power as a MOD. She's not moderating me, she's trolling me...that ain't kewl...
Thanks. I appreciate it.
Anyway, a lot of people don't like you Andy. 90% of the phorum doesn't like you. I thought that upon your return you were going to make every attempt to fix that. I have to be honest and say that I'm a bit disappointed in your efforts to do this.To which I responded:
To be blunt, your lack of charity is destroying the community. I made a lot of people upset by giving you another chance and took a lot of heat for it. I think I've been very fair. You haven't really given people much reason to trust that I made the right decision, and I must say, have made me regret putting so much trust myself in [my friend's] judgement and recommendation.
I'm sorry if this is harsh. You yourself are an advocate for telling it how it is, so I hope you understand.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
That's fine [admin], I appreciate your honesty....I will now simply back away from [the site]. I think that it's in the best intrest of everyone...you can go ahead an permaban me..you can give whatever reason you like....I won't be returning...Here is the last word from the site about me (well, not the REAL last word, there are still about 4 threads going on about me or based upon my views or hatred of my views):
You can delete me from any group that you think I might be part of which has anything to do with phatmass, because I don't want to cause you any more trouble....
I thought maybe I'd be given a fair shake, but the reality is that we both knew it probably wouldn't work...there was too much stacked against me and with little or no outward support from TPTB, I didn't stand a chance....
Thanks for the opportunity though. I'll pray for you.
Now, this would seem to be a great way to send me off and it sounds all nice and charitable, but the reality is, the Admin only told the site half of the story. He made it seem as if I stormed off and that there was nothing good that could be done except banning me. And he implied by that post that this is what he did. As you can see, clearly...THAT IS NOT THE CASE!!!! I asked to be removed from the forum, so that I would not be tempted to cause anymore strife there. It was made clear to me that I was not welcome, so I backed away. As it is, it was presented that I was beamed into another galaxy.
Where is the Charity in that? See, for the site, Charity is what the MODs and the Admin want it to be, not what it really is. I will post on true Christian Charity in the near future, but this ain't it. This is simply a case of we want our ball and you have it, so give it back...I did and now they are saying I never had it.
I am sorry that this turned out the way it did. I really loved posting there at one point. But going forward, I will be a very strong opponent of www.phatmass.com. They, as a site, are self serving and have no clear view on what is and what is not Catholic. Everything there is based upon subjectiveness and emotion. And if you are not part of the "in-crowd," then you will be flamebaited and made to seem un-Catholic.
Everything I've posted here, I would post there...and have posted some of it...my final words are these:
I will pray for the souls at www.phatmass.com. I will pray unceasingly. I wish them no animosity, but rather I hope they come to see the error of application when it comes to Christian Charity. Thanks for listening/reading....now back to our regularly scheduled posts...LOL!!!