Copy of a message posted to the apolotalk discussion list:
From: “Anton Hein”
Date: Fri Sep 3, 2004 6:04 pm
Subject: Heads up regarding Religion News Blog
Several decades ago, I wrote a satirical piece about David who, having
just finished writing Psalm 150, enthousiastically shows it to his
neighbor. But instead of rejoicing with David, the neighbor complains
about the inclusion of the trumpet. The next neighbor doesn’t like the
harp, and his wife can’t stand the tambourine. Their friends have
theological problems with the clash of cymbals, and so on.
At first, David accomodates them, until all that is left of the Psalm is
the phrase, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.” Then
someone yells “SSSSSST!” and David comes to his sense.
I was reminded of that story by the AR-Talk and Forum Policy Change posted
to AR-talk today. While the vast majority of AR-talk subscribers who use
Religion News Blog have provided me with positive feedback, the
intolerance and short-sightedness of a small minority means that certain
topics simply can not be addressed on the list.
As Steve and Rich write, that is unfortunate:
We need to focus more clearly on apologetics. By this I do not mean that
those topics have no apologetic value or connection. We, the moderators,
are of the opinion that this list can no longer bear the weight of further
unfruitful discussion related to these topics. This is unfortunate.
However, in the interest of progress, we must narrow the focus of this list
to prevent continued counterproductive traffic being added to the archive
and our Inboxes.”
While the policy change is understandable, I think it is a sad
development. Janet and I believe that apologetics divorced from
practical, real-life application is worthless.
Anyway, when it comes to Religion News Blog and its headlines newsletter,
I won’t be cutting out any trumpets, tambourines or clashing cymbals. For
that reason – while many AR-talk subscribers have commented favorably on
the usefulness of Religion News Blog – the ReligionNewsBlog.com’s
headlines will no longer be posted to AR-talk. I refuse to edit out those
items, topics or comments that might upset the sensibilities of a few
people who are not mature enough to take what they like and ignore the
That said, I am planning to set up an opt-in mailing list specifically for
the ReligionNewsBlog.com headline mailings. Until that is done, the
ReligionNewsBlog.com headlines will be posted to apolotalk. (Mind you, as
of this weekend Janet and I will be taking a two-week break… We’ll be
back at the grindstone on September 20th).