I am going to try one last time to defend myself on this board. Both of my last 2 posts were about communicating science and not about religion or politics. Yet both threads were locked and I was temporarily suspended by a moderator whose interpretation there were board rule infractions in those posts was simply wrong.
I would like someone to tell me where in these rules it forbids a single reference to a political figure that is relevant to a non-political discussion about communication.
Tell me where in my last two posts I invited a political or religious debate? Tell me just how in my last two posts the discussion about communication and about the secondary messages certain word choices convey, that either can be construed as violating the above rules.12. Politics & Religion
Due to the contentious nature of these subjects, forum participants are strongly advised to avoid discussing religious and political issues. Please don't begin or contribute to a topic that's merely going to incite or fuel a flame war.
However, the following exceptions apply:
A) Political impact upon space programs, exploration, and science.
B) Focused, polite discussion of concepts such as creationism and "intelligent design" which bear direct relevance to astronomy and science, for the purposes of conversing about and addressing misconceptions.
C) Focused, polite discussion of the difference between astronomy (including cosmology) and religion
Partisan political debate is unwelcome and should be undertaken elsewhere. The same applies to debates purely religious in nature. Likewise, proselytizing will not be allowed. In short, you are allowed to discuss politics and religion within a very limited scope where they affect space and space exploration, astronomy, and science. Nothing more. If you really really need to talk about these topics with someone, take it to email or to another bulletin board.
I did PM the moderator who had locked the first thread in question but no discussion was allowed. The moderator refused to address the issue and chose to deny me the ability to continue the topic when I offered to remove the single reference to the political figure, (who I referred to, BTW, as a reference for his style of purposeful word choices, something completely separate from his political views and specific to the thread topic.)If you disagree with a moderator action, then PM or email the moderator, a different moderator, or an administrator. We will review the case and take action as needed.
I was then essentially temporarily banned for protesting (in my opinion) because I again posted on the same communication topic. With the second post I used Michael Shermer's paper on word choices made by the religious community as an example of the same point I was making. There was no more about religion in that post than hundreds of posts on ID, on the wedge strategy, and in my previous thread, "ID, We are asking the wrong question".
Try a search for "wedge strategy" and tell me religion and politics both aren't discussed at length. The entire thread, "ID, we are asking the wrong question", which was a closely related topic, didn't raise an eyebrow.
I challenge anyone to look at my couple thousand posts on this board and find I have some pattern of discussing politics. Outside of the board, yes, but I have always respected the rules here. I have had a few conflicts with people here and there. Not many people can say in a couple thousand exchanges they haven't had some conflict with a few people. I am passionate about my beliefs. But I have been posting here long enough that I should have earned enough trust a single reference to a political figure wouldn't be construed as a political discussion.
Well, I am posting on the same topic a third time. I don't care if I get banned. I wasn't treated fairly before and have declined to return since then anyway. If I had broken any rules this would be a non-issue. It happens...
But having a moderator warn me for merely citing a politician as a source and then suspend me for standing up for principle was and still is unacceptable.
I wasn't going to take any further steps until a thread at the JREF forum was started with an opening post which was so clearly what my earlier posts had been about, I am choosing to present this topic a third time from a third perspective and show it is analogous to the same topic of both of my last two posts and it was wrong to take a minor reference in those posts as some major infraction of this board's rules. It contains a link to the previous thread with the political reference. I had posted the same thread on 3 boards and the link is to the JREF board not here. The reference to the previous thread is pertinent to the discussion.
Were this not a critical topic to all of us trying to address the issues of communicating science to a world of people who don't easily get the message, I would have brushed the temporary ban off and moved on. But it is a critical issue. If I cannot post about communication, about marketing techniques, about propaganda as it applies to communicating non-science and the need to recognize it when we see it, or if I have to worry eveytime this subject is discussed that the thread will be locked or I cannot speak freely then it is a waste of time to participate on this board.
If it cannot be clearly explained to me how my 2 posts violated the board rules, and how those two posts had so much religion or politics in them they stand out above the hundreds of other posts which come much closer to violating the rules but were not addressed with warnings and locked, then it's my opinion an apology is in order. Not that I expect one. In fact, what I expect is to be chastised for daring to challenge the moderator, instead of any recognition that principles are sometimes worth standing up for.