Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Why Bloggers Are Not Backbiters

I do not know the exact situation of SSPX in Tulsa.

I do think Laramie Hirsch knows it well enough to write about it.

Now, when he had done so on his blog, a certain Jason Ferguson seems to have considered him guilty or reasonably suspect of backbiting.

I'll link to the post (though I know not the situation in Tulsa), and then copy three comments from under the post, namely by Ferguson, Hirsch, and myself.

In Ferguson's comment, he did not make the link clickable, I will vary his actual text so it is. My own words start with a quote from the link, in quotation marks and italics.

Blog post concerned
The Hirsch Files : Where's Tulsa's "Fr. Stan Rother"? SSPX Packs Up And Leaves.

Jason Ferguson
September 25, 2017 at 12:08 PM
After reading through your blog, I think you need a remedial lesson in the sins of the tongue.

Since anything written after 1960 would probably be suspect to you, probably try this little gem writen in 1870.

You are getting drawn into the Scylla that has drowned many a traditionalist Catholic while trying to avoid the Charybdis of modernism.

SINS OF THE TONGUE: The Backbiting Tongue
By Father Belet, of the Diocese of Basle

Laramie Hirsch
September 25, 2017 at 12:46 PM
Thank you for your constructive criticism.

Hans Georg Lundahl
September 27, 2017 at 2:54 AM
"This is truly the nature of backbiters. They cannot do physical harm to those who are absent, so they strike at them with their tongue."

Jason Ferguson, if Laramie Hirsch has given SSPX opportunity to respond and is willing to post any response given (with or without critical comments), he is not guilty of backbiting.

In oral speech, words carry only to a few yards.

Even at 20 yards, two men may be talking about a third who hears the word "malade" ("ill") and doesn't know exactly whom they are talking about, him or someone else, even if him is probable.

But writing on the internet (or otherwise in public) is of the nature to carry a lot further, and therefore, one need not be in the same room to have spoken in someone's presence : he can be told, by oneself or by someone else, and therefore react, precisely as if oral words are spoken to someone at arms' length with eye contact.

Sure, the person cannot slap or hit you on the spot, if he thinks you need it, he cannot shout and interrupt you, he cannot make a scene and phone police and psychiatry about your queer behaviour in it, but this kind of threat should not be the normal rationale for keeping quiet about someone's faults in his physical presence.

Therefore, the only way a blogger can be accused of backbiting is, if he is reasonably suspect of not daring to send his posts to the person concerned, and of being sufficiently stupid to believe no one else will do so.

Or if he posts anonymously, hoping no one will know he is the blogger.

Which I think Laramie Hirsch is NOT reasonably suspect of. Any of these scenaria.

So far our words under that blog post.

Now, if for instance someone at St Nicolas de Chardonnet has told his parishioners my blogs commit the sin of backbiting, and they would commit the sin of listening to a backbiter by reading my blogs, that is if so a real case of backbiting. Blogging is not backbiting, and calling a blogger a backbiter behind his back is to backbite him.

I also, when naming a person, try to contact him, I also write under my own name, I sign each longer article, even short articles have at their end the signature HGL, the only time I don't sign is when I am linking, or when I am posting a dialogue, or on a blog where I tend to post dialogues and perhaps also when the comment on a video is implying a dialogue with it, since there I would not be signing the words of the other party. In other words, I am not the extremely cowardly type of blogger who could be, exceptionally, a backbiter. I am the normal kind of blogger, who is not a backbiter.

Attacking an institution is a somewhat different affair, since no person is named whom I am putting blame on, and therefore I have no specific person to contact. Any reader who knows a person implied in such an institution who should be interested is however very welcome to bring my posts to his attention.

Also, some named persons are actually hard to get at : do not have email on their site, or reserve it for members on their forum, you need to sign up on their forum, and also have no FB page. In such a case I do the best I can to contact them.

I also make my blogs widely known, it is not as if I was speaking in a secret corner. I may be writing in a calm corner, but I am not writing for a secret corner. It is not for nothing I have sometimes posted posts with the statistics of my visitors. They are there as a reminder I am actually being read - and I know it.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
Sts Cosmas and Damian

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