For the most part, the following blog is directed to two otherwise unknown people, identified only as "Lia Hanna" and "Audiatur et altera pars," who have taken great exception to several of my recent blogs, and have filled the comments section with vast snippets of comments from both the editorial pages of an unidentified newspaper (the "SPT"), and their own thoughts as well. Neither posted either an email address, or a web site; for, if they had, I could direct this to them privately. As this is not an option, I choose to do so here.
First, let's say a bit about courtesy in the blogosphere. Personally, I find it difficult to read comments broken up over page after page after page, when each page is designed to be limited to 1000 characters. As I said in my reply to the first set of comments by "Audiatur," The user should put up their own blog, and link/trackback here. The same is true for you, "Lia Hanna" -- please don't go throwing up 12 pages of comments. If you can't make your point succinctly, start a blog, post your comments, and link/trackback here. That's why the trackback feature is provided, for goodness' sake! If you don't know how to use that feature, just ask!
Now, "Audiatur," as to your objection to my response to the reprinting of the SPT editorial as a "screed" -- don't take it personally. No, I don't expect that every comment made here be laudatory, or in agreement with what I have said. If you've read the comments here, you'll see that this rarely happens anyway! I don't expect everyone to agree with me. I do hope ("expect" would be too strong) that there be some courtesy here. When you take ten pages in a comments section to "make your point," you've done it wrong -- at least, in my opinion. You also objected to my request for assistance in blocking such extended comments as you have posted. Yes, I'd like to block anonymous comments, especially when these are excessive in length. I am not in any way opposed to dialog; but, as I've said before, start your own blog; leave a brief comment with a link; and send a trackback. I guarantee you, unless I'm out of town or ill, I'll swing on over to your site, and join the conversation.
But most of all, I want you folks -- that is, "Audiatur" and "Lia Hanna" and anyone else who hasn't figured this out yet -- to hear this: Just because I have stated my opposition to the candidacy of Sen. John Kerry, I have not endorsed the re-election of President George Bush. (But this isn't the first time I've said this... That's why this is titled, "Can't You People Read?") Your argument isn't with me, unless you think you can convince me that I should support the Kerry candidacy. On this, you cannot: his position on abortion alone is enough to make him unsupportable for me as an Orthodox Christian. I disagree with his policies on the defense of this country; I disagree with his policies on taxation and government spending; and I disagree with his stand on other moral issues as well. At the gut level, as I have watched him during the debates, in news interviews, and on the campaign trail, I do not trust him. As I have said a number of times, I find myself in quite a dilemma, not knowing which other candidate, if any, should receive my vote; and yet I am not able to simply say that I will not vote, as I believe we, as citizens, have a responsibility to fulfill in these elections.
Quite frankly, I am not interested in any new debates on the topic of the candidates for President of the United States. I was asked by some friends, and by some parishioners, to share my thoughts, and the blogs you've been seeing here on that topic are the thoughts I've been working through in trying to reach my decision. You don't have to agree with me; and you don't have to like my position. But please use a little common sense and courtesy when using my blog -- MY BLOG -- as your soapbox.
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