Your mother was a hamster etc

Last night I was tired and fractious. I had spotted a very unpleasant ad hominem involving myself and my daughter. I blog because it’s my therapy, I like to let off steam and if others are entertained or interested by it, that’s an added benefit.

I was extremely hacked off about what appeared to me to be a relentless stream of anti-Catholic rhetoric. Same old “homophobia”, describing the NT as fables, telling me that I had no idea as to Christ’s sexuality yadda yadda.

So I blogged about it, I vented in order to share a touch of frustration, with others who I thought would share my exasperation.

No-one was named, no aspersions were cast on any individual characters, the site, which is publicly accessible by a google search was not named, I simply copied some of the comments that had got to me. I checked the T&Cs of the site and no such prohibitions were listed.

Cue a slew of outrage. How dare you use these comments which were to be used on a specific website (one which has major corporate sponsors) out of context and without asking permission of those who wrote them. The T&Cs and privacy policy is explicitly clear. Users are warned about submitting personal details and photographs and that if photographs are reproduced elsewhere, the site will do its best to ensure these are taken down, but that it couldn’t guarantee that this would happen. Users are also warned that the site cannot be held liable for any libel or defamation suits that might occur as a result of what is said.

Now, had I said “look Joe Bloggs of 13 Acacia Avenue is a right old so and so, look what he said, I can’t believe it”, now I can understand why folk might get upset. Had I used the comments to attack individuals then I can see people would object. However I did none of these things. I didn’t use the comments to identify anybody individually, I didn’t use them to hold individuals up to ridicule or attack their personal character or professional judgement, I simply highlighted the comments as they were and said “sheesh, take a look at this lot, it’s no wonder I have the ache”.

Had I linked to said thread, complete with user names and photos of people and their children, then yes I can see why people would have been irritated, although not in breach of the site’s T&Cs. I have not even named the site itself.

There are  comments that I have not approved, whereby the site and individuals are named. I have not approved them, precisely to keep within the T&Cs of the site and to preserve anonymity. I have defamed no-one.

I have someone quoting the Digital Management Copyright Act at me in a comment and asking all affected to contact him in order that he can assist in filing a DMCA notice to wordpress. He also mentions the site itself and says if someone from their legal department wishes to contact him to get in touch, they may do so and instructing me to remove infringing content immediately.

Interestingly no-one from the site itself has contacted me to tell me that I am in breach of any of their T&Cs, because I have not actually breached any of their guidelines or policies.

Other people are threatening to publicly libel and defame me simply because I have taken some comments that they made about me, including a desperately hurtful one about my daughter and her “illegitimacy” and made them public.

I am not unhinged, I was annoyed and having a rant to an audience who would be sympathetic to some of my frustration and hurt. It seems that the vitriol here is a little misplaced. There are those who are irritated that I took their comments from a parenting debate forum and posted them here which they didn’t expect. Alright I understand that, but admittedly no-one was named and shamed. Then there are those who simply wish to go on a personal attack and are threatening to make even more personal allegations about me and my family for no other reason than just to show that we are not perfect. Here’s the rub, we don’t claim to be. You show me one person who is without fault, without sin, without stain and I shall fall down on my knees and pray. In the public square, there is room for debate about what are the right, ideal ways to live, what is best for individuals and society as a whole, what are the principles we try to live our lives by and why these are. Very often we fall short. All anyone can do is try their best, but no-one in my family, not me, my husband, my children, our siblings, our parents, none of us claim to be perfect, without fault or flaw, all we do, is try to live our lives in the way we think best and explain why when challenged on issues such as NFP.

I can’t quite see what the point in that would be, other than to cause enormous personal hurt and distress to a family with 2 young children and a baby on the way, just to be spiteful.

I reiterate. I was upset, I vented my spleen, job done. I didn’t link to the site which had names and photos, I published a series of personal comments and ad hominem attacks which understandably enough had hurt me. I used my space to exercise my right of reply.

I suspect the anger is not only that people did not expect their comments to be published on here, but also that I wrote this post and showed up some of the comments for what they are. Why is it alright for people to say these things to me in the context of a publicly available website, with commercial sponsors which may be found on google, but I am not allowed to anonymously reference them on my personal blogsite. Should I have linked to the thread in its entirety complete with identifiable user-names and photos? Or should I have emailed various people anonymously and said “coo, look at her, what a nasty piece of work she is”. That would have been infinitely more underhand.

I think the answer given by those frothing at the mouth is that I should not have written said post. Probably not. It probably should have been one of my private crosses. I am not perfect and I don’t claim to be. But I haven’t gone out of my way to cause personal hurt and anguish to anyone. To the one person whose comment I misinterpreted, I apologise profusely, I have explained how easy it was for that to be misunderstood, coming as it did in the middle of a tirade about the perils of the Catechism.

When you accuse somebody of selfishly making their child illegitimate in order to save moral face, when you accuse them of being an extremist and make all kinds of outrageous allegations about their God and Saviour, without being even being prepared to listen to any counter-argument, then it incurs my wrath. I am not a saint, I never claim to be one, but if you don’t like seeing your words which you posted on a commercial website with thousands of visitors, held up to scrutiny on a much smaller scale and indeed anonymously, then perhaps you ought to choose them more carefully.

I have defamed and slandered no-one. That needs to be remembered.

I think we all need to calm down and move on.

19 thoughts on “Your mother was a hamster etc

  1. Too little too late. You really think people are going to want to debate with you now after realising that everything they say is going to be taken out of context and plastered all over your blog?

    Talk about a breach of trust.

    1. I think the point is more do I want to debate with people are not interested in listening and instead wish to insult me, my faith and my daughter? Hence my taking the decision to take some time out.

  2. the only one insulting your daughter was YOU! You were the only one upholding the word of the catholic church and therefore faced its wrath by default. You are a sinner by your own standards and no one elses. no one else gave a toss!

    That was exactly everyones point, its not ok to judge people like that, but its you who judges yourself and others like that.

    1. Eh what? You make no sense whatsoever. I know I’m a sinner, I never said otherwise. You C&Ped the bit about divorce from the Catechism and someone else used it to tell me what a terrible sinner I am! I do uphold the word of the Catholic Church and I abide by it. Hence why I received the annulment, in accordance with its precepts.

      I never insulted my daughter, don’t be so ridiculous.

      1. don’t talk rubbish, I didn’t even know you were divorced, you told everyone you weren’t and to be honest I couldn’t give a sh*t either way as I am not religious!

        If you are going to tell the truth then I copied the entire section about SINNING. which INCLUDED divorce (and masturbation does that apply too?!?)

      2. I did not tell everyone I was not divorced. It is a matter of public record I am. And this just proves how you are being personal. Now go away and make pancakes.

  3. Morag Peers can’t issue dire threats about copyright – a concept she clearly doesn’t understand – on the one hand and then moan about her comments being taken out of context on the other. Well she can of course but if she is foolish enough to do so, she excludes herself from rational debate.

    elusivekudos badly needs to get herself some remedial English lessons.

    What. A. Shower.

    Still, it provides some mild amusement of a cruel sort, I suppose.

    1. It wasn’t Morag who made the “dire threats about copyright”, it was me. I understand it perfectly well, thank you, certainly better than Caro appears to.

      Whether anyone was named or not, whether anyone was defamed or not, Caro has breached the copyright of the commenters she lifted that content from, and they would be well within their rights to issue a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, as would the website in question.

  4. My goodness you do all this when you are 33 weeks pregnant! Crumbs my brain gave up working way before then (which is worrying as the first time I was still teaching and riding my motorbike to work).

    I hope all goes well when baby does arrive. Here is a quote I like about God:
    I know that the Immovable comes down
    I know that the Invisible appears to me
    I know that he who is far outside the whole creation
    Takes me within himself and hides me in his arms
    And then I find myself outside the whole world
    I, a frail, small mortal in the world,
    Behold the Creator of the World, all of him within myself,
    And I know that I shall not die, for I am within the Life
    I have the whole of Life springing up as a fountain within me
    He is in my heart and He is in heaven:
    Both there and here he shows himself to me with equal glory.

    Simon the New Theologian.

  5. maybe the whole thread was all part of our ‘gay agenda’?! :-p

    How to make friend and influence people.

  6. Calm down and move on?…when you are doing your very best to inflame things over on Twitter, calling a witch hunt with your followers suggesting you burn down someone’s house? Telling people that that person has gone so far as to call your child a bastard?

    Anyone would think you were enjoying the attention…

    1. Tracey, if my blog upsets you so much, stop reading it. You have spent the majority of the past 12 hours commenting here. You do not follow me on Twitter to the best of my knowledge, if I am wrong, please inform me of your username and I shall block you forthwith.

      As you are scanning my stream, please inform me where I have called a witch-hunt, or incited violence against anyone? I have however received a comment calling my child a bastard, from a poster, whose username and IP address have been logged and reported.

      I am not responsible for the tweets of my followers and clearly someone feels very passionately on my child’s behalf. I would refer you to the Paul J Chambers twitter joke trial.

      I haven’t got the time or inclination to read or respond to many more of these sniping comments, as from tomorrow my energies will be elsewhere so I fear you may be wasting your energy. I would respectfully suggest that you stop niggling away here. I am sure people have more constructive things to do than trawl my twitter feed waiting to pounce.

      1. caroline I just wanted to say I don’t judge you or anyone else by those standards which is what the whole debate was about in the first place – the critical eye of the catholic church.

        I think people should be able to live their lives without being called sinners, immoral or depraved. It seems you have been on the receiving end of your own judgements and don’t like it so maybe you should re-evaluate.

        I do sincerely hope the comments about you inciting hatred on twitter weren’t true.

      2. Right, firstly the Catholic Church does not call individuals sinners or depraved, it is simply acts, as I have stressed repeatedly.

        We are all sinners, there is no special box reserved for certain types. However we all believe in God’s mercy, part of that entailing that we accept those things we have done wrong. This is a matter for individuals when they examine their own conscience prior to confession. We are not in the business of examining other people and casting judgement upon them as you suggest. In order to make a thorough examination of conscience, one has to hold it up against a set of principles. If one doesn’t subscribe to those principles/morals, whatever, then that is pointless. It is equally un-Christian to cast out people on the premise that they do not share your faith or conviction. We believe in a merciful God, however His mercy requires acceptance of sin & repentance. This acceptance comes from within and cannot be forced, hence why it is pointless attempting to impose it. As Christians we are called to reach out and explain, however this is only possible when people are genuinely interested in listening.

        It seems to me that many come at me with a very negative attitude towards me, my faith, my Church and are seeking re-affirmation of that instead of being open-minded. Every single word is twisted, for example the word “helpful”, was misinterpreted as “you’re implying gay people need help”, instead of looking and understanding the entire thrust of the argument.

        The comments I quoted were actually indicative of the attitude of the posters concerned. I have not tarred everyone with the same brush, simply highlighted some exasperating statements. My comments were absolutely reasonable, logical and factual, at times tinged with anger, but actually, given the nature and tone of what was said, there was some justification. I am happy to reproduce them and am not ashamed of anything I said.

        Now when it comes to twitter, I have not incited hatred or asked anyone to commit acts of violence. I have received an unpleasant email calling my daughter a “dirty bastard who will probably end up a prostitute due to your twisted attitudes”. I didn’t tweet all of that, simply the first part. A protective chap suggested that an appointment with mr starting handle should be made or I should set the house on fire. He may have been serious, but no-one knew the commuter’s personal details although their IP address has been reported. Even if I had known I would not have divulged who it was.

        I am as entitled as everyone else to express my personal opinion and shock horror, have a bit of a relax and a giggle on Twitter. I had someone stalking my feed and highlighting the fact that *gasps, clutches pearls* a “Catholic” had talked about her pregnant breasts and jokingly implied all the bitterness was breast envy! Psychologically I need to find the humour in this situation.

        Now people obviously have personal issues and hurt of their own which is why they feel the need to constantly niggle away at me, watch my twitter feed like a hawk, just to find some evidence that I’m not perfect. Hint I’m not. I don’t claim to be either. Catholicism isn’t Puritanism either. We don’t all have to publicly and ostentatiously go around physically declaring and manifesting signs of our personal virtue. Despite what is claimed I don’t set myself up as a paragon of virtue. Over the big issues like NFP, I comply and explain the rationale. That’s not me “bigging myself up”, far from it. There are things I wouldn’t do, but plenty of others that I shouldn’t do, but go ahead and do anyway. That’s concupiscence for you.

        Problem seems to be that tolerance seems to be confused with approval. I accept that people have abortions, I accept that people commit sexual sins and can still be friends with those people regardless of whether or not they are repentant. Members of my family have aborted babies. I still love them whilst being terribly sad. I cannot say “that was a good thing you did however”. This is what causes so much angst coming way. Tolerance is confused with endorsement.

        Not once have I made ad hominems or incited violence or hatred. I have expressed my displeasure as is my right. If people want to scan my feed looking for offence then they will be blocked, for their own good as much as mine.

        I do not wish to enter into further discourse on this topic, I don’t think it is helping anyone.

  7. Everyone who is being mean to Caroline should go away until they have learned some manners. If you do not like orthodox Catholicism, do not read a blog by an orthodox Catholic.

    Caroline – *hugs*. If I were you, I’d close comments on these posts and have nothing more to do with this issue.

  8. I don’t know the circumstances of the birth of Caro’s daughter, but I would point out that a child born of a putative marriage is not illegitimate, even if that marriage is subsequently annulled. And please bear in mind that, although a civil divorce is required first, an annulment acknowledges that there was never a true marriage, but only after a lengthy and detailed process which is traumatic for all concerned. A member of our family has just been through this process and if anyone thinks it’s divorce for Catholics (ie a cop-out) they delude themselves.

    1. I want to make it clear that no one on the site caroline is referring to said anything about divorce being wrong and EVERY SINGLE person (when asked by caroline herself) said that no child should be called illegitimate and that its not a term they would use.

      Caroline whoever said that about your daughter was out of order, and it is a vile insult. But you know none of us said anything like that in the original debate nor do we think it.

      1. I want to make it clear that Elusive Kudos picked out a random passage from the Catechism pertaining to divorce, when in fact the topic of debate at hand was a book written about homosexuality, in order to demonstrate, how, in her eyes, the Catholic Church’s attitude was despicable.

        Someone else picked up on that particular passage and used it to tell me that by having an annulment I didn’t have the moral courage to face a divorce and have therefore made my daughter illegitmate which is “terribly sad”. The quote referred to is entirely correct.

        The general consensus was that this was an outdated and offensive term, however it WAS used by a poster on that thread and the way she used it allegedly to illuminate my moral hypocrisy was endorsed, as indeed you endorsed it in a previous comment EK. You accused me of insulting my own daughter, if we refer back to your first comment on this topic.

        So which is it? You think my daughter is illegitimate and I am a hypocrite for receiving a sacramental annulment? Or you think that technically my daughter is illegitimate but it doesn’t bother you and I am a hypocrite because shock horror, I submitted my situation to the judgement of the Church to see if any previous valid bond existed and they ruled it didn’t?

        Or do you want to just illustrate that I am a sinner by previously attempting to enter into a valid sacramental marriage bond? I don’t dispute that, I made an error of judgement, one that did have a beautiful consequence nonetheless. OK, I made an error of judgement and I was able to rectify it, but you have to remember that the Church was not compelled to grant me an annulment and had they not, I would have had to accept that I was still sacramentally married and try to use that situation positively.

        If you want me to wear sackcloth and ashes, you’ve picked the right day, however I do make regular confession and this is a matter that has long since been dealt with. One of the beauties of confession is that you ask for God’s forgiveness and it is granted to you. Clean slate time. You are not supposed to carry the burden of guilt and shame for a lifetime. It’s finished and forgotten with.

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