Time For Change - Moderator

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To all,

For personal reasons, I am leaving my position as Moderator. I appreciate all those who have offered me their kind words and support in the past. I especially would like to thank Paul M. It has been a great pleasure working with him.

I do not plan to leave Paul in a bind. Owing to his very busy schedule, I will remain as Moderator until Aug. 31/04, if need be, to allow him time to select a replacement. For the balance of my time as Moderator to minimize disruption, I will only remove those posts for which I receive formal complaints and, for which I also agree should be removed.

May the Lord watch over this forum for many more years to come.

-- Ed (catholic4444@yahoo.ca), June 13, 2004

Answers

Bump.

-- Ed (catholic4444@yahoo.ca), June 13, 2004.

Ed,

Ah, don't give up on it yet, you're doing a great job. Like I've said a dozen times or so, there are always people who are going to complain about everything, and some of them are more persistent than the Devil. That's just how it goes. This place NEEDS someone watching over it, and yes, that person will take heat for it from the very flock they are guarding, just like the Jews kept railing at Moses, but that's how it goes. Please rethink your decision!

Frank

-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents,.cam), June 13, 2004.


You should not give up.

No such thing as 'change'. We need good people...

-- Andrew (andyhbk6@hotmail.com), June 13, 2004.


+

Thanks, Ed.
You have made the right decision. Please do not be tempted by anyone or by anything to "re-think" it.

That is, please do not be tempted by anger (at reading this message of mine) that you need to change your mind, so that you can be around to punish me ...
and please do not be tempted by complimentary (or flattering) messages from folks who approve of your work. You know your shortcomings, while they wrongly think that you have none.

Within days of your starting as moderator, you announced that you were quitting. You allowed others to persuade you to change your mind. Now you realize that you should have followed your initial decision, which (I am certain) was based on the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Today, the promptings are there again, and you are doing the right thing to decide wisely and (this time) to persevere in the decision.

I think that you realize that a moderator must be a person with skills and temperament that are different from yours. Notice that I didn't say "a better human being" than you, but someone who acts and reacts differently.

Ed, Frank was a great moderator in 2001. He kept the place cleaned up, did the tremendous job of establishing "category folders," and posted meaningful messages. But for some reason (perhaps physiological), his judgment began to go bad in 2002 (when he failed to ban various trouble-makers), and it has gotten progressively worse. He cannot be trusted to advise you. He wants you to stay because he approves of your practice of subjective deletions. Why? Because he is the only other moderator this forum has had who has done the same thing -- and it seems to gratify him to see you imitating him.

As you may recall, Frank went on an incredibly draconian deletion rampage in the first two months of 2003 -- even driving away Eugene Chavez, not to mention myself and some other folks. As "punishment" for just one word in just one post that troubled Frank (because it was not friendly enough), he would delete ALL of the person's posts of the same day! Within one week, he deleted about 20 of my messages -- a bunch of them on each of three days -- simply because he subjectively disliked three of my sentences (one on each day). He did similar things to all of Eugene's posts and those of other people. Hours of work down the toilet! This will help you to see why I have been absolutely adamant in opposing your subjective deletions. It is horrible to experience bad historical events repeating themselves.

It was only through a sad personal misfortune (which caused Frank to give up the moderatorship) that the forum was permitted to be returned to a kind of normalcy.

Ed, as long as there is a moderator here who deletes messages subjectively -- something that lends itself to gross injustice -- this assuages Frank's conscience, which (I think) would otherwise feel guilty for what he did in 2003.

Please do not be fooled by his incessantly [not just 12 times] repeated mantra -- "there are always people who are going to complain about everything, and some of them are more persistent than the Devil." Think about who the real "persistent" one is -- Frank harrassing the heck out of me, Frank tempting you to stay, Frank trying to justify wrong things done by himself and others, etc.. What Frank doesn't understand is that you are not leaving because "there are ... people who are ... complain[ing] about everything," but because you know that it is the right thing to do.

Well, that's enough. I hope that you have the courage not to delete this message. I look forward to your return as an ordinary contributor to the forum after the end of August. You know that I enjoyed reading almost every one of your messages in the "old days."

God bless you.
John

-- ("jfgecik@hotmail.com), June 13, 2004.


Ed,

I think you are making the correct decesion. In my opinion you don't have the right kind of personality to be a good Moderator. It does take a 'special' kind of personality to do this job. I am not saying this to be disrespectful because I know I couldn't be a 'good Moderator' either. God made us all different and we are all good at different things.

You do post great information on Catholicism, so hopefully you will stick around and do that after you leave the job.

May God bless you.

-- - (David@excite.com), June 13, 2004.



Ed,

I think you did excellent too. I hope that you don't leave as moderator, because we will miss you. I'm sure that somewhere deep down inside even those who say you should leave will miss you as moderator.

Even though I came in pretty new here, and knew of no other moderator, why would we want another when the best one for the job is allready here. You handled the "troll" well and that was a pretty difficult situation. Even though I was one of those accidently taken out of this forum, I don't care. I needed to take a break anyway, because sometimes I spend too much time on the computer itself. What matters is it was worked it out, quickly in my opinion, and now it is taken care of. You didn't do it on purpose and it was a learning situation for all of us. And I want to thank everyone, Emily, David and John too-sorry for not thanking you before, for helping to handle the situan. It was all a silly misunderstanding and everyone knows that. I don't think that it even compares to how well you handled the troll situation. What other moderator will come in and not make any mistakes? What other moderator would apologize publicly? I know that some of us here who make mistakes as contributers probably don't even apologize as quickly or at all when realizing they made a mistake. That is the past. What matters is now. I know a lot of us here could not do any better. Some may think that they can, but it is a lot different when actually doing the job.

Another thing you are doing well is that now you are trying to find a way to keep this forum running. You are doing what is right by preserving this forum so that everyone who contributed here will not have to lose their posts. All this knowledge from so many will not be lost.

Not only that, you are a good communicator and encourage us to go to you if there is a suggestion we have or a problem. You are humble in that you admit you don't have all the answers. Who does? That way you are open to what God's will is for this forum. That makes me feel confident that we have a wonderful leader here. You and Paul are so great as leaders. I have a lot of great things to say that are from my observations and from what I learned from you two that are good about both of you, but for right now since you are the one leaving, I want to tell you that Paul will have a hard time finding someone else.

I think that you are very good at what you do and God does use you as the moderator for this forum. That's why you were moderator in the first place, because you answered His call. You do have what it takes. A lot of us see that.

John and David, I'm sure have to admit that you do a lot things well as moderator. I know I see it. I am not trying to flatter you to make you come back, but to show you that I see that you are doing well. Every problem I ever had about anything in this forum, you always solved promptly through private email.

If you stay with your decision though I just wanted to say that I only hope that God helps find us another moderator as special as you. Everyone here, I consider my brothers and sisters, and you are a very responsible and hard working brother who I'd hate to see leave as moderator. God bless you.

-- Sonya (johnsonya2003@hotmail.com), June 13, 2004.


Ed,

I do hope that the sole reason for your resigning is not this recent incident with David's IP address. We all know that it was simply a misunderstanding, and I believe that you handled it quite well. I will second everything that Sonya said and agree that whenever I have had a problem, you have always handled it right away. I think that overall, you have done an excellent job.

As for subjective deletion standards, I have not always agreed with your reasoning behind deleting something, but neither have I always agreed with your reasoning for letting something stand (some things that I thought were offensive were allowed to stay, and some things that I thought were inoffensive were deleted). However, I figure that every moderator will have their own personal style. People have different areas of sensitivity, but I don't see it as my place to bother the moderator every time I see a minor problem. If there is something major of course I will say something. But there will always be some level of subjectivity in the role of moderator, no matter how "objective" we try to make it.

I myself would prefer a forum in which everyone speaks charitably to one another and personal insults are not tolerated, as opposed to what was occuring recently (and occured a lot in the archives of this forum, as I have seen) with some people using insults toward others. Ed cleared up this problem by explaining that the transition period was being terminated, with the same standards now applying to everyone. I myself was glad to hear about this new development and I think that Ed has done a great job. Unfortunately, I have not been here long enough to have been under any other moderator. But as I read this today I was thinking it over, and I don't know if we're going to be able to find a new moderator to replace Ed who did such a tough job as he had and did it well.

Ed, I respect whatever you decide to do. You will be in my prayers, as I know that it must be a difficult job that you have and a tough decision to make. God bless,

-- Emily ("jesusfollower7@yahoo.com), June 13, 2004.


I find it rather sad that people would attack Ed's character on this thread. John and David, I wonder how you would have fared as moderator in Ed's place. It's not a glamourous position. It takes patience, hard work, dedication. I believe Ed's as good a moderator as you're going to find. He has had to deal with so much negative stuff for the sake of this forum. I wonder in the midst of all of it, how many of you actually prayed selflessly for Him, rather than focusing on your own individual pursuits.

I have observed with utter disgust, appalling behaviour through name calling and ad-hominem attacks among people in this forum. From a visiting non-catholic's perspective, it seriously makes me wonder how many people here actually fear God. It's one thing to have a barrage of attacks from the outside like we had recently with the scripts and pictures in here, but in my opinion, it is far worse when you have Catholic/Non Catholic Christians tearing each other to pieces. Now just imagine in the midst of it all, trying to keep everything under control as moderator without offending anyone, yet still maintaining things to a proper standard.

Ed's done an outstanding job. Rather than kicking him to the kurb, you should pray for him. The center of this forum is not you, or I. It is Christ Himself. May the Lord Jesus Christ have mercy and grace upon us all, that we may drop our offenses and give true worship to Him. May He find the glory and honour that belongs to Him from each and every one of us.

-- Oliver Fischer (spicenut@excite.com), June 13, 2004.


Ed,

Emily, Sonya, and Oliver said well and said true. I'll try to not repeat the things they have already said...Here's why you should continue doing what you've been doing so well:

You are devoted. You not only explain what you delete, you give ample warning. You put time into posting despite the amount you already put into moderating.

Concerning the recent issue. I've seen more than a few AOL-IP incidents. AOL is a problem. There are workarounds, though. Most moderator don't worry about it - ban one and all. Still, David did not ask to be unbanned. You've been generous. You did it while getting slammed and if I'm not mistaken, you received the opposite of gratitude for it. Take pride in charity, Ed.

You have support. Having been to other forums, I know that you are doing a fine job. Who doesn't agree who doesn't have a personal beef with you? No glam no glitter, but you do have friends.

That's why you should continue to moderate with Paul M.

God bless, Ed.

-- Vincent (love@noemail.net), June 14, 2004.


Ed, I hope most sincerely that my criticism of some of your decisions played no part in your decision to leave. Please don't leave. I think you have exactly the right "personality" for the job. This forum was going down the toilet until you began properly enforcing the rules recently. If you are really leaving due only to a change in your personal circumstances I understand, but please don't leave because of criticism by people like us who have less wisdom than you.

-- Joker (joker@cybernet.com), June 14, 2004.


Thank you, each and everyone of you, for telling me what is in your heart. That is all a person can ask for. Your kind words have gone a long way to making my decision more palatable. But as Iíve said in the title of this thread - itís a time for change. When I entitled the thread I was thinking more of myself than about the forum. Itís a time for change - for me.

I wonít be changing my mind. There are issues in my life that have grown more serious of late and will require more attention from me in the future. The job of Moderator requires a great deal of time and effort if its to be done properly, something I just wonít have in the future.

Your warm words of encouragement are uplifting and I thank you all.

-- Ed (catholic4444@yahoo.ca), June 14, 2004.


Jmj

Hello, Sonya, Oliver, and others who supported Ed since David and I left our messages.

I was getting ready to respond to quite a few of your comments in detail, but then I read Ed's closing words and realized that it would not be necessary. I will instead confine myself to two topics.

Sonya, you wrote: "John and David, I'm sure, have to admit that you [Ed] do a lot of things well as moderator."

Absolutely, Sonya! Every past and present moderator of this forum has "do[ne] a lot of things well," including Ed. But it takes more than that to be an acceptable moderator. Besides "doing a lot of things well," a moderator also has to avoid doing seriously improper things. For example, he must avoid deleting messages according to unfixed [changing-from-time-to-time], subjective standards that cannot be specifically encoded in written rules. He cannot delete according to "feelings" or "opinions" that vary. Only a person who is willing to follow objective, specific, coded rules can do a good overall job as a moderator.

A moderator needs to follow the example of the Church herself, who maintains discipline by having objective, specific, written liturgical regulations and a Code of Canon Law. He/she needs to follow the example of a bishop, who has permission to penalize people for doing things that violate the written law, but who is not permitted to penalize members of his flock for doing things that subjectively rub him the wrong way.

And think about it ... a bishop has God-given authority, yet must still remain within the bounds of the written law. How much more so must a simple moderator remain within written bounds, since he/she has only powers -- and no actual authority! Authority can come only through election by those governed or by divine appointment -- neither of which is the case with this forum's moderators.

The moderator of a forum just has a volunteer job -- that of a "facilitator" for the rest of us, all of whom are his equals and who share equal authority with him. That is why the moderatorship is not right for someone with a "super-authoritarian" personality -- e.g., someone who is a "controlling micro-manager" or someone who is intolerant of lively debates and the kind of "tough-love language" that is such a big part of the Catholic tradition.

A Catholic forum should not be watered down to the point of containing only the weak language of breezy little small-talk chats. It has to be able to accept the strong language used by so many saints and popes of the past two millennia. It must be "meat-and-potatoes," not just "milk-and-Pablum" -- to paraphrase St. Paul. If someone just wants to toss around pleasantries and feather-pillows, a Catholic discussion forum is not the right place for him/her. "Soft" messages and threads are good sometimes, but they cannot be the only kind of messages and threads.

Unfortunately, I was never able to get Ed to accept these facts, so he persisted in penalizing me and others through subjective judgments leading to deletions. That is why I have opposed him, and that is why I am pleased that he has made the present decision.

Oliver, you wrote: "I find it rather sad that people would attack Ed's character on this thread."

My friend, you are apparently reading without comprehension today -- or you like Ed so much that you have managed to post only an emotional, unreasoned response. I suggest that you re-read the statements made in support of Ed's resignation. Not only did we NOT "attack Ed's character," but we said some nice things about him and expressed the hope that he would stick around. If we objected to his "character," we would want him to leave the forum totally.

Oliver, my objections are to Ed's judgments and actions (especially his deletion of messages), not to his "character." And when David spoke of Ed's "personality," that too was not an attack on his "character."

God bless you.
John

-- ("jfgecik@hotmail.com), June 14, 2004.


Hi, Vincent

"..I've seen more than a few AOL-IP icident. AOL is a problem."

He already apologised and I forgave him. Stop kicking a dead horse!

"..Most Moderators don't worry about it-ban one and all."

How do you know what "most Moderator" worry about? I challenge you to show me what site where 38 people were banned for using AOL?

"..Still David did not ask to be unbanned."

It is not right for a Moderator to pick one person and ban them for using the word "hate". Obviously I am not ther only that thinks this way. Go back and read what a Non-Catholic and Catholic said about it... Do you think you are helping Ed?

I don't think being a Moderator would be good for Ed's health. He started a thread so obviously he knew different people would post in the thread. I have not been disrespectful to the man at all in this thread. I gave an honest opinion which you are entitled to disagree with , but if you bring up my name then please have your facts in order.

Hi, Olly

I know you couldn't of been talking to me when you asked, "..if we are God fearing men" because you just told me the other night that you know I am a " God fearing Catholic" and that you hated to see me treated so harshly"

And please read my post again. I didn't "kick anyone to the kurb". I was very respectful and truthful with Ed.

God bless you both

-- - (David@excite.com), June 14, 2004.


Dear Ed;

You raised the bar of this forum to a level of Christian civility and unity that has made it a worthy place for serious conversation, even for visitors. You have a gift for understanding the ďspirit of the lawĒ without falling into the trap of the Pharisees. You will be missed. And, I imagine some of us will not be returning after your departure.

Peace.

-- Robert Fretz (pastorfretz@oldstonechurchonline.org), June 14, 2004.


Mr. Fretz

To Ed.."...and, I imagine some of us will not be returning after your departure..."

God is so great Mr. Fretz! And Ed gave Paul(if needed), and the forum a few months notice to take care of bussiness.

If only people like you would give those poor(babies) souls a chance? God doesn't even judge us to we die, but you preach abortion rights in this Catholic forum and judge those children to be aborted?

I for one hope you leave and don't return until the Holy Spirit opens up your eyes to the evil of abortion.

God have mercy on you.

-- - (David@excite.com), June 14, 2004.



David,

I wrote to support Ed and describe his qualities according to my readings and because I had hoped Ed would reconsider, not to spite you. Of other moderators, I also write from experience. Of AOL's problems, key-word searches will suffice. Otherwise, I have been wanting to post to other threads I have been involved in but have not been able to due to limited time. Sorry David, I am just not interested in debating what "helping Ed" entails. To what end it serves now, I do not know.

Ed,

If you will be busy doing other things, then may you do them well also! I still look forward to reading more of your posts, though.

God Bless,

-- Vincent (love@noemail.net), June 15, 2004.


May Jesus Christ bless you and your family Vincent!

-- - (David@excite.com), June 15, 2004.

What irony. I commented to the thread of "Warm Fuzzies" that I admired Ed most because of the way he comments and edits this forum.

Then only a few threads away was this posting about Ed leaving. Well, I stand firm in my admiration for Ed's style and the decisions he has to make daily.

May God Bless all your endeavors, Ed. Let the Holy Spirit keep leading you.

-- Jennifer (jrabs@jrabs.com), June 15, 2004.


See ya Ed. It was nice change while it lasted. At the same time, in a wierd sort of way, I kind of missed John Gecik and his writing style. And I have so very much to share with him about my case.

-- Pat Delaney (pat@patdelaney.net), June 16, 2004.

Well Just wondering Paul and Ed.

Do we have a new Moderator now?

-- - (David@excite.com), August 26, 2004.


Ed will be finishing up his service as moderator at the end of this month, as was his stated intention. His services will be greatly missed by those who participate in the forum, and particularly by myself. His constant vigilance has enabled the forum to run smoothly most of the time, and during the occasional storm that has come our way his prompt action has minimized the damage and allowed us to quickly get back to normal functioning. I say "his services" will be missed rather than "he" will be missed because hopefully Ed will still be participating in the forum!

So far I do not have someone to take up where he leaves off. Frankly I have not had the time to pursue this very aggressively, though I have approached a few people about it. In the meantime I will continue to check the forum several times a day, and deal with any obvious problems I see. And I will continue to seek someone who can share the responsibility. Any input on this matter is welcome. Just use my email address given below.

-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), August 26, 2004.


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