Everything that follows is merely personal opinion. No representation is made that the material below is anything more than opinion. I fully believe every word of it is true, but it’s nothing more than commentary that expert legalists will tell you is protected by the First Amendment. You’ll have to check out the links below and determine for yourself whether my opinion, that said legalists are the hypocritical spawn of Satan, matches the opinion you form for yourself.
I was excited to receive a Christian Newswire press release last week that said the stupid Christian Research Network Apprising Ministries site had been pulled down by its ISP because Christian author Richard Abanes had complained about the content of the site.
But my excitement was short-lived. It took me several days to get around to trying to visit the site and by that time it was back up. I would have gotten so much pleasure in getting an Internet Explorer message that the site could not be found.
Christian Newswire is pretty much a joke. They’ll send out anything submitted by anyone who has a hundred bucks to spare. A few respectable folks use it, but most of the pap they send out is nonsense cooked up by people like “Pastor Ken Silva,” or in this case “Pastor Dustin Segers,” who apparently co-leads a Calvinist hotel church in Greensboro, NC. (http://sfofgso.org/)
In classic Christian Research Nutwork style, the Reverend Segers bases his case on a frightening prospect, in this case the specter of censorship.
Under the headline Blog Shut Down by 'Christian' Apologist's Threat, Segers writes: “How safe are our blogs? That question was raised again when on the evening of July 26, 2008, a popular religious blog was shut down by an Internet service provider. A complaint filed by Christian author and apologist, Richard Abanes, claiming that one article on the religious opinion site, Apprising.org, had slandered him, caused the web host, IPower, to send its publisher, Ken Silva, a 48-hour warning to remove the offending piece or be taken down. In that the piece was not believed to be slander at all, but rather religious and theological opinion, he refused to be forced into censoring his site by Richard Abanes. The site went down.”
No details. No explanation of what Silva’s offending words were? Nothing about Abanes’ complaint? Why the quotes around the word Christian? Are aspersions being cast on the authenticity of Abanes’ faith? And what threat?
Legalists like those at the Nutwork assume people will take them at their word. They are arrogantly estimate their own insight superior to everyone else’s. They treat the rest of us like simpletons who do not deserve explanation - and would not understand it if it was offered.
Segers goes on to say: “There are serious implications here for all bloggers, regardless of what sort of blog they publish. Anyone who has a complaint about your views can claim that you have engaged in slander and the ISP Terms of Service usually allow for the companies to remove your website if you don't take the material in question down. The First Amendment means nothing in these cases. ISP's cannot and will not explore the claims of slander and simply notify bloggers to remove whatever is causing the problem.”
ISPs cannot explore the claims? Will not explore the claims? Why not? Who says? What evidence is there to support those allegations? Perhaps what actually happened was the ISP looked at the page Mr. Abanes was complaining about and decided he was telling the truth. A court wouldn't have to look five minutes at the hogwash on the Nutwork to see that it all is "a falsehood wrapped in a fallacy inside a slander." I love that phrase.
The legalists are described perfectly by 1 Timothy 6:4b-5a: “Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words. This stirs up arguments ending in jealousy, fighting, slander, and evil suspicions. These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they don’t tell the truth.” (NLT)
The post linked above goes on to say legalists “‘don’t tell the truth’ -- that strikes to the heart of the legalists’ apostasy. ... They use half-truth, misrepresentation, innuendo, name-calling, fear of conspiracy, and guilt by association to mislead trusting souls and make them twice as fit for hell as they are. (Matthew 23:15)”
You couldn’t be more spot on about the legalists’ hypocrisy. But the blog's author is mistaken about one thing. Slander is verbally communicated; only when it's published is it libel. The Holy Reverend Ken Silva did not slander Mr. Abanes. If Ken Silva published something illegal on his site, he libeled Mr. Abanes.
For a blog post to be considered libel, it would have to be proven that the blogger made the false charge with malicious intent and knew full well the statement was false. Personal opinion is protected under the First Amendment.
It’s hilarious to see Ken Silva standing in First Amendment solidarity with pornographers like Larry Flynt and liberals like the New York Times, using the Constitution to cover their naked arrogance and their lust for control over others.
Ken Silva tries to make a name for himself by unfairly criticizing successful Christian leaders. Once in a while he throws in a criticism of a real heretic to make the rest of his nonsense more plausible. Perhaps more of the people he unfairly criticizes will now follow Mr. Abanes' righteous example and drive that shriveled spirit into the cyber-darkness where he belongs.
At least, that's my opinion.
If you have the stomach for it, you can read the Christian Research Nutwork posts that mention Mr. Abanes by clicking here. Mr. Abanes' blog is here.