Right of reply

I was alerted that the same poster who had called my daughter illegitimate, had copied my blog post about Kate Middleton’s confirmation, quoted it verbatim and used it to spark a discussion thread on the commercial parenting website Babyworld.

Though I am no longer engaging, it seems rather futile, I pointed out my displeasure. The problem with quoting me out of context or not providing a link was that it seemed to confuse some posters, who thought that perhaps Kate was being confirmed into the Catholic Church. The thread was titled, ” Is it fair to make Kate Middleton public property?” and copied my post word for word to justify the rhetorical question.

I am rather sore that my response has been removed. To recap, I left said forum because I was very upset that a thread regarding homosexuality degenerated into an attack on me, my Catholic faith and indeed my personal circumstances. I have yet to receive any sort of apology that this comment was misconceived or acknowledgement that certain comments could be considered offensive and perhaps deliberately provocative. I don’t expect one. The people who made these remarks have been very clear that they feel they were justified. In condemning divorce, my Church obviously makes it clear my daughter is illegitimate, it is not them who are saying it, but the Catechism allegedly…

I deserve the right of reply. So here is my response, which the moderators saw fit to remove. 

“Firstly, I have not made Kate Middleton public property, she was a public figure already. So quite why the OP needed to quote my blog word for word is unclear. Was she trying to have a sly dig? Why not be upfront about it. I am intrigued as to why someone, who seems to have personal difficulty with me, feels the need to read my blog, if her mind is made up as to the type of person she believes I am.
Secondly, the thread where my daughter was called illegitimate has been viewed by my local priest and a few others because I was genuinely very distressed and needed some pastoral advice. My conduct or motives have not been called into question, indeed it was felt that I was being deliberately baited or taunted, as again this thread has been viewed as a deliberate attempt at provocation. I have had someone keeping an eye on DDD for me for a while and I was advised not to look on here, because apparently, in the aftermath there was some deliberate provocation.

To call my daughter illegitimate and me a hypocrite for having an annulled marriage has been viewed as unkind, ignorant and irrelevant particularly in the context of the debate. Some of the accusations made about the Christian faith and Jesus as a whole have been seen as deliberately inflammatory and provocative. I defended my faith and indeed my knowledge of it vigorously as I am called to do.

There was much wilful misunderstanding and deliberate distortion and misinterpretation. A lot of fellow Christians were equally upset and offended on my behalf, at all times I remained polite and civil and yet I had a lot of absolute bile thrown my way.

I needed to vent frustration and I did just that. If you and BW would like I shall link to the entire thread, to put it all in context. I have been advised to do that by several people, however I consider the matter closed. Several people did not conduct themselves well, in the heat of the moment, perhaps I should not have blogged, but actually I felt the need to vent amongst those who have experienced similar and would understand. The level of abuse I received afterwards was unprecedented and uncalled for.

It is particularly telling that a moderator publicly told me I was insane, I should be ashamed and was unwelcome. I did nothing wrong, I quoted some highly offensive and publicly visible insults against me and my faith to explain why I was upset. They weren’t out of context either. Quite what my daughter has to do with the Catholic position on homosexuality is beyond me.

Westboro Baptist Church have been under immense scrutiny this month for some of their hateful actions which must be condemned. The burning of the Koran is seen as deliberately provocative, offensive and hate-filled. I think members who post what seem to be deliberately inflammatory statements such as calling me a hypocrite on the basis of a doctrine they don’t understand or even want to understand (by all means disagree but if you understood you wouldn’t call me a hypocrite nor tell me I had damaged my child in some way), members who use emotive phraseology such as “who the hell are you to tell me xyz”, tell me I am not a ‘normal’ Catholic, tell me that they have a deep-rooted faith and I don’t, and who trawl through a text they haven’t studied, in an attempt to prove how hateful and awful it is and reinforce and spread prejudice about THEIR view of Catholicism, can expect some verbal criticism.

Though I would never wish to deny anyone their right of free speech, I am glad we live in a society where you can say these things and insult me all you like, it needs to be acknowledged that I have the same freedom to criticise those posters and their words. It’s a 2-way street. It’s funny, the burning of the Koran has been justly condemned for being provocative, I was provoked in an identical fashion, what was said to me was every bit as insulting and what did I do, vent a bit of verbal spleen at what I perceived was ignorant attitudes and all of a sudden I am the villain. For what? Saying these remarks have desperately upset me and I think those who made them rather silly? And yes, I think anyone who calls my daughter illegitimate or implies the Catholic Church does or attempts to imply that I have been hypocritical and not lived my faith by having an annulled marriage, despite my repeated attempts to explain, displays misunderstanding at the very least.

I suspect the main problem was that people did not like being called ignorant or my highlighting what had been said. I remind everyone that BW is a public site, you do not need to be a member to view threads. Had I linked to thread, there would have been a similar outcry.

I have no problem with Rosi linking to my blog or reading it if she chooses to. It just seems bizarre to have C&Ped my blogpost in this fashion. What was the point? To critique that I had talked about Kate Middleton? Well she’s a public figure and this issue IS of interest to Christians. Every year my husband led packed adult confirmation classes.

If the point was to talk about Kate being in the public eye, there are plenty more articles from far more prolific sources than me. Why not highlight one of the ubiquitous articles about her outfits, weight, appearance? If it was to talk about her confirmation then why not link to a news report?

If it was to link to a critique/discussion, in which I expressed surprise and disappointment re her apparent keeping of her faith a secret, then again there are other sources. It seems that she wanted to critique my attitude and attempt to get a thread going about those mean old Christians again. Or maybe she wanted to resurrect this whole debacle?

All I ask is that if you want to debate/discuss/critique/dissect my blog posts, you are honest about that. To many and certainly to the person who highlighted this to me, it just seemed like a piece of playground bullying and an attempt to drag me back.

I will shortly be posting a copyright notice on my blog, I am sure other bloggers or those who might write for a living (I don’t) would also share my concern at chunks of their blog being lifted and C&Ped verbatim, without a link/acknowledgement.

For those who might claim that I did just that to them, I would firstly apologise if they feel their privacy was breached, however BW is a public site. What I should have done is link to the entire thread. In terms of reaction, I would have had the same response, both from posters on here and from horrified Christians alike.

I apologise for the length of post and wish Christians a blessed Holy Week and everyone on Babyworld, regardless of faith, a Happy and Blessed Easter, whatever your plans might be.

Caroline “

5 thoughts on “Right of reply

  1. Caroline, no one said your child was illegitimate, that was your own standards, judgements and words, stop playing the victim.

    You constantly think people are judging your choices by the ideals you have set and judge others by, when in fact most people don’t think like that nor do they care about divorce or wedlock or homosexuality in the way you do, they just want an easy and happy life, not a debate about whos a sinner.

    With the greatest of respect I think you need help, guidance and support. You are clearly very unhappy.

    Your faith should not be a burden to you and it is clear that it is.

    1. EK, you know perfectly well,Rosie said my child was illegitimate. I quote Rosie’s response to the catechism passage on marriage and divorce, which YOU copied and pasted, in order that you might display your outrage and disgust.

      “So you sinned during your first marriage then? Not trying to get personal here but it is very difficult when you proudly proclaim you live by these values (and you have listed some pretty life enveloping ideals to conform to lets not pretend otherwise) and then have a marriage annulled rather than face a divorce so you can save moral face. The sad thing is in doing so you have also made your child illegitimate. I totally understand why you may choose to ignore this paragraph but you have to see that from where I am sitting I find it difficult not to question your moral integrity when you offer yourself open to exactly that.”

      Please stop patronising and incessantly attempting to labour your non existent point.

      You are the one who has issues with religion NOT me. The above statement is desperately insulting not only to me but actually to every single Catholic who has been or is going through an annulment process, particularly if they have children. I don’t think others are judging me, I can see, with comments like yours and Rosie’s, that they are.

      Incidentally other Catholics have no issue with my annulment. Nor do other Christians. It is YOU and Rosie. My faith is a great comfort to me, but clearly a source of bafflement to you. It causes you difficulty because it does not accord with your viewpoint. I have no problem living according to the precepts of my faith, sometimes it can be challenging, but the fact that something might be difficult, such as making a confession for example, does not mean it is flawed. Doing what is right is not the same as doing what is easy.

      I will not approve any more of your comments, this is clearly unconstructive.

  2. but you think you have the right to tell me what I do and don’t have a problem with?! ridiculous.
    As I have said many times, if you are looking for people to be cruel and judgemental of a marriage/divorce you are looking at the WRONG person because I do not care.

    1. And you think you have a right to define what my faith means without first making an attempt to understand it, on the basis of having wikki-ed the Catechism. You also think you have a right to tell me that I am “unhappy and need help and guidance”, simply because you cannot fathom why anyone might have any religious faith.

      If you don’t care then PLEASE GO AWAY and stop attempting to define what I think. And stop justifying that utterly contemptible comment and pretending it was not made, or that I made it.

      Don’t come here with your false assertions about me, my faith and my values.

      Now run along.

  3. Furthermore EK, my own standards categorically do not judge either my children or anyone’s children as illegitimate. Unlike Rosie who said that it was “sad” that I had made my daughter illegitimate, I do not care about whether children are born in or out of wedlock. Children are children and to imply that their status is somehow diminished by the circumstances of their birth is disgraceful snobbery of the worst kind. What on earth is “sad” about a child born outside of marriage? That is total ignorance and an attitude that you have endorsed on previous occasions. The Church does not judge anyone on their social status.

    I believe that everyone is of equal dignity and worth as a human being.

    I question the intelligence of someone who tries to attribute a hurtful statement about my moral integrity and my daughter’s status as being a result of values which neither I, nor the Catholic Church hold.

    I have to assume that you fundamentally misunderstand, despite the fact that Catholic annulments have been repeatedly explained to you, because frankly, to continue to hound and pester a woman, who is days away from birth (as you well know) displays a shocking lack of charity and compassion and says more about you, than it does me.

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