The Emerson Avenger

The Emerson Avenger is a "memory hole" free blog where censorship is scorned. This blog will "guard the right to know" about any injustices and abuses that corrupt Unitarian Universalism. Posters may speak and argue freely, according to conscience, about any injustices and abuses, or indeed hypocrisy, that they may know about so that the Avenger, in the form of justice and redress, may come surely and swiftly. . . "Slowly, slowly the Avenger comes, but comes surely." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

In 1992 I underwent a profound revelatory experience of God which revealed that the total solar eclipse "Eye of God" is a "Sign in the Heavens" that symbolizes God's divine omniscience. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan of the Unitarian Church of Montreal contemptuously dismissed as my "psychotic experience" here: http://revelationisnotsealed.homestead.com - This revelatory religious experience inspired me to propose an inter-religious celebration of Creation that would take place whenever a total solar eclipse took place over our planet. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan and other leading members of the Unitarian Church of Montreal falsely and maliciously labeled as a "cult" here: http://creationday.homestead.com - I am now an excommunicated Unitarian whose "alternative spiritual practice" includes publicly exposing and denouncing Unitarian*Universalist injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy. The Emerson Avenger blog will serve that purpose for me and hopefully others will share their concerns here. Dee Miller's term DIM Thinking is used frequently and appropriately on this blog. You may read more about what DIM Thinking is here - http://www.takecourage.org/defining.htm

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt Errs On The Side Of Censorship. . .

UUA Trustee Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt seems to have issues with a couple of the comments that I posted to her Trustee Talk blog recently. I had successfully posted a comment to her initial post in which I inquired about what UUA Trustees plan to do about dealing responsibly with clergy misconduct. When I posted a second comment to her post Fort Lauderdale GA Has Issues it became clear that Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt had set her TypePad's antispam filter to censor posts submitted by yours truly. She has since "memory-holed" the first comment that I posted to her initial blog post as well. This is most ironic considering the content of my second comment to her blog that you may read below with appropriate embedded links -

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There is something even more squirrelly about the thought of the religious community that once published The Pentagon Papers going to extreme lengths to censor and suppress whistleblowers who dare to expose and denounce internal U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy. The Unitarian Church of Montreal lends a whole new meaning to the term "police harassment" by repeatedly calling the Montreal police force and demanding that they force an end to my peaceful public protest against U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy almost every time I show up. I have been falsely arrested on trumped up criminal charges of which I was rightly acquitted. I have received several questionable fines and have even had my picket signs seized and destroyed by overzealous Montreal police officers. I am currently in the process of challenging its new minister's deeply misguided attempt to obtain a restraining order against me on the highly questionable grounds that she has "reasonable grounds" to fear that I will commit a "serious personal injury offence" against her. I fully expect to deal with further unnecessary police interventions and possible further abuses of police power caused by Montreal U*Us harassing the Montreal police by repeatedly calling in many spurious complaints about my protest.

Those U*U ministers who have been preaching about the slippery slope of American civil liberties, and indeed UUA Trustees, might do well to turn their eyes northwards to see how Montreal Unitarians including U*U ministers, quite possibly with the encouragement and approval of top level UUA administrators. . . are making a total mockery of all seven U*U principles and giving the lie to U*U claims to be great defenders of civil rights and liberties and to be "opposed to censorship by state, church or any other institution." Montreal Unitarians have now repeatedly misused and abused the Canadian Criminal Code, and Montreal municipal bylaws, in their deeply misguided and outrageously hypocritical efforts to censor and suppress my peaceful public protest. Montreal Unitarians have are unquestionably guilty of attempting to use Canadian state laws to impose U*U church censorship on my legitimate protest.

I have very good reason to believe that former UUA President Rev. Dr. John A. Beuhrens actively encouraged, if not outright "pressured", Montreal Unitarians to use what he called "the secular authorities" to censor and suppress my protest. It is not out of the question that current UUA President Bill Sinkford, and other UUA officials, have followed in President Beuhrens' highly authoritarian if not outright totalitarian footsteps. I find it hard to believe that Rev. Diane Rollert, an American U*U minister from Massachusetts, would seek a court ordered restraining order intended to force an end to my protest without first seeking the approval of the UUA's department of ministry or indeed President Bill Sinkford himself.

If you care about the erosion of civil liberties I suggest that you should be every bit as concerned by what U*Us, including at least two U*U ministers, are doing to undermine Canadian civil rights and freedoms in Montreal; to say nothing about the UUA itself which most certainly engages in censorship of the media that it has control over, such as the UU World magazine and UUA web sites and internet list serves etc. There is no question that the UUA fails to live up to U*U claims to be "opposed to censorship by state, church or any other institution.

Quite frankly I wouldn't be surprised that some UUA administrators are quite happy to have the security zone in Fort Lauderdale since I have made it clear that I will bring my protest against U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy to future UUA GAs if the UUA continues to condone the injustices and abuses that have been perpetrated against me and other people by U*U clergy and perpetuated by the UUA's negligent and effectively complicit responses to clergy misconduct of all kinds.

Two hours from now I should be once again engaging in my ongoing "alternative spiritual practice" of publicly protesting against U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal. I fully expect squirrelly Montreal Unitarians to once again prove that the rumours of U*Us being great defenders of civil liberties are greatly exaggerated. . .

Here is the full text of my first comment to Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt's Trustee Talk blog that she has consigned to the burgeoning U*U "memory*hole" -

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The UUA's negligent and effectively complicit response to clergy misconduct of various kinds, including but by no means limited too, clergy sexual misconduct, concerns me. So just what does the UUA's Board of Trustees intend to do about what UUA President Bill Sinkford once referred to as my "obviously deep concerns"? I have yet to receive an even remotely satisfactory response to my previous communications with the Board of Trustees.

Posted by: Robin Edgar December 14, 2007 at 12:52 AM

6 Comments:

Anonymous Kim Hampton said...

I know you're probably not going to want to hear this Robin, but I don't think the reason that your comment was not posted had anything to do with censorship. I think it might have had something to do with the fact that you are not in her District (Metro NY).

I also believe that is why my comment was also not posted on her blog.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008 3:08:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freedom of Speech means you can have your own blog, which you obviously do. It does not guarantee you the right to post on other people's blogs or media.

You demean the freedom with your mischaracterization.

Monday, January 21, 2008 2:00:00 am  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

I disagree. If people don`t want other people to post comments on their blog they should not enable a comments function. If someone posts a comment to a blog that has a comments function enabled and the blog owner removes the comment that is by definition an act of censorship. Likewise, if a blog owner has a blog with a comments function enabled, but set to "moderate" all comments submitted to the blog, that too fits the dictionary definition of censorship. In my case I successfully submitted two different comments to two different posts on Rev. Bray McNatt`s blog and she permanently removed both of them. That is censorship. I think that it also says a lot about Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, and UUA Trustees more generally, that the comments that she removed were asking about UUA Trustees intended to do to respond to the UUA`s failure to provide genuine restorative justice to victims of clergy misconductor. Apparently this is an issue that neither Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, nor any other UUA Trustee cares to deal with all that much.

Monday, January 21, 2008 8:00:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If a newspaper publishes some letters to the editor, but does not publish all of them, is that censorship because they have a Letters to the Editor page? I think not.

The comments section of a blog is the same.

He or she who owns a particular blog has the right to control what is presented on it. Freedom of Speech means you have the right to have your own blog without someone saying what you can and can not say on it.

Your interpretation is simply wrong... but as Francis David once said I will defend to the death your right to be wrong.

Monday, January 21, 2008 11:50:00 am  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:If a newspaper publishes some letters to the editor, but does not publish all of them, is that censorship because they have a Letters to the Editor page? I think not.

That is a somewhat valid point but I am not sure that it applies well to blogs that have comment functions. As I recall the Montreal Gazette only published five representative letters to the editor of the approximately fifty letters to the editor that it received from Gazette readers who were appalled by Rev. Ray Drennan's intolerant and offensive attack on former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau's Roman Catholic state funeral. In the case of letters to the editor of newspapers there is only a limited amount of space available to publish letters so they can only publish representative samplings. Still newspapers can and do exercise a certain amount of censorship when it comes to deciding which letters to publish.

:The comments section of a blog is the same.

I disagree. Indeed the comments section of a newspaper's web site is not the same as the letters to the editor sectuion of the print version. Limited space available is no longer a consideration and that is why one can read many more comments on a newspaper article online than in the print version. You can read 93 comments on the Chicago Tribune's recent article about the UUA's national marketing campaign here. There is little or no censorship involved, although newspapers do expressly reserve the right to censor comments posted to their web sites.

:He or she who owns a particular blog has the right to control what is presented on it.

That may be so however I believe that most people will agree that "moderating" a blog is a form of censorship, especially when the blog owner is a U*U minister and UUA Trustee deletes posts that raise serious questions about UUA handling of clergy misconduct. . .

:Freedom of Speech means you have the right to have your own blog without someone saying what you can and can not say on it.

I am not telling Rev. Bray-McNatt what she can or cannot say on her blog. I am simply criticising her for not allowing me to say a thing or two in her comments section.

:Your interpretation is simply wrong...

I would suggest that you look up the definition of the word censorship in any good dictionary or thesaurus for that matter. . .

:but as Francis David once said I will defend to the death your right to be wrong.

That's wonderful, especially since I am not really wrong. Gotta love U*Us who defend people's right to be wrong. I seem to recall that U*Us fell all over themselves to defend Rev. Ray Drennan's right to be wrong to say nothing of other U*U ministers' right to be wrong. . . Look where that got them.

Monday, January 21, 2008 12:22:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:Freedom of Speech means you have the right to have your own blog without someone saying what you can and can not say on it.

Come to think of it that is not really true in any case. Freedom of Speech means that I and other people most certainly do have the right to criticize what someone else is saying, or indeed not saying. . . on their blog. I seem to recall having done exactly that a while back.

Monday, January 21, 2008 12:31:00 pm  

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