Dear SoJo Commenters: "This Aggression Will Not Stand, Man."
Of course, it's phrased in gushy language. Here's a bit from a letter they say was one reason for this move.
"I'm a 'refugee from conservative fundamentalism' who was initially pleased to discover Sojourners, your website and your blogs, and a social gospel — justice with a spiritual basis. I was also encouraged to see your blog comment posting policy. After reading a few excellent and thought-provoking blog entries, I was then very disturbed to read your comment streams and find out that despite your policy, they are in fact nastier than many of the non-Christian blogs out there... If I wanted to argue with conservative fundamentalists, I could have stayed in that church. I'd like this to be a site where those of us committed to a social gospel can talk about it and not have to engage in the same nasty culture wars that are happening everywhere else.
First, I have to wonder how a group so committed to the uncivility and outright lawlessness of the Occupy Wherever brats has any leg to stand on criticizing others for being to their minds uncivil.
Second, let's see now, what is ok at Sojourners now...
The mocking of a great piece of sacred music that is sung by men who engage in open sexual immorality, singing the work while dressed as nuns? Check.
Posting a video of 'jesus' calling a presidential primary candidate an a--hole? Check.
Ill-informed hit pieces against Republican president primary contenders? Check.
Posts in honor on the death of the bastion of political corruption and moral sliminess, Ted Kennedy? Check.
Making false claims that Conservatives have a war on the poor or however they want to phrase it, but deny the cultural war on Christmas? Check.
Decrying violence while heaping praise upon the violent movie "Red State"? Check.
In other words, a site filled with hate and loathing for those who disagree with it and what it thinks God wants in politics? That's Sojo to the core.
And now, those who disagree are to be denied their voice there.
Odd, that just last week I wrote a bit about blogs that essentially become echo chambers, where only those who sound just like each other are heard. Were I a betting man, I'd bet that this is what Sojo is trying to become, a place where people can come to not debate with those nasty conservatives, and where they only have to hear and read what they want to hear and read.
In other words, I think I may be hearing the bells tolling the coming slow death of Sojourners. Probably not quickly, no doubt there will be small life there for a long time, but it seems almost a truism that when sites like that try to purge opposing voices, they actualy only hurt themselves.
And I'll be over here, nodding my head in agreement to the bells, hoping it happens sooner rather than later.