Patheos the Pathetic

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Dave Griffey, a Patheos survivor, at Daffey Thoughts, describes why Patheos is the platform where rational thought goes to die:

I am done with Patheos.  I will no longer go there – and that includes that train wreck of barking mad leftist tribalism built on calumny and character assassination and judgementalism, CAEI.   I stopped going to CAEI on my own some time ago, but would visit when someone sent me a  link, or emailed about it, or posted on FB.  Given Mark’s penchant for banning anyone and everyone who doesn’t join in his political hatred of conservatism or stand within his circle of awesome buddies, I guess many saw me as a chance to speak to his blog when Mark had isolated himself from too much overt criticism.

In any event, Patheos is a den of evil and sin and hate.  There are, no doubt, some fine people with fine blogs.  I think of Dave Armstrong, or Father Longenecker.  And I’m sure some of those fine blogs are from people outside of the Christian fold, conservative or otherwise.

But it’s too much chaff to sort through to get to the wheat.  On the whole, Patheos is a left leaning, secular site that, like most on the Left, favors radical anything over the Christian Faith.  Much of the action in the comboxes wavers between the adolescent ravings of a spoiled brat, to outright advocacy of heresies, blasphemies, intrinsic evils and sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance.  If all of that didn’t align with the basic designs of Patheos in general, I could stomach it.  Knowing that the most anti-Christian and pro-radical Leftist comments are in line with Patheos’s basic ideals made it all the worse.

I say all this after Mark Shea wrote a grand, Spirit led (his words) post calling for healing, compassion and love, he was still spewing his tribalist bilge on another post.  It’s like the fundamentalist railing against the evils of alcohol between swigs of Jack Daniels.  And yet, his is far more par for the course at Patheos than a glaring exception, as this fine piece demonstrates.   Note the comments, those are important, too.  The entire post is based on ‘we all know their wretched and evil hearts.’ 

We’re called to avoid the near occasion of sin.  Patheos is, in many ways, the worst of the Internet.  I’m already becoming convinced that my boys are right, that social media is mostly bad with a few shards of goodness.  Like some of the blogs, not all of the commenters who frequent Patheos are bad either.  Some, Christian, Conservative, or otherwise, are quite good, mature, thoughtful, and charitable.  Even if they have strong opinions contrary to my own beliefs.

Many, however, are the worst of what social media stands produces.  So why bother?  At best, it does no good.  At worst you can find yourself being sucked in.  Thanks to Mark, who threw my name out on his blogs to be hashed and trashed by his faithful, I’ve already taken a beating there.  It’s easy to want a pound of flesh, or even begin to fall into the sin of judgementalism or arrogance when you scan the many bad examples that define most of the sites and their visitors.

So from now on, if someone sends an email or posts a FB post noting the crazy, the evil, the sin, the blaspheme, the heresy, or whatever else one sees across Patheos on a regular basis (including, but not limited to, what one often sees on CAEI or other similar blogs), I’ll respond.  But I will no longer follow the link.  If I could ban Patheos entirely from my internet, I’d do it.  For now, I’m done going there.  Life is just too short.

Go here to comment.  The unofficial anthem of Patheos:

 

 

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13 Comments

  1. I made the mistake of commenting on a Patheos Facebook page. I at least did shut them up–but it was a waste of time.

  2. “all his leftist commie ilk.”

    A rather minor quibble, but “Ilk” is an adjective, meaning “same,” as in the poem,

    “The cap he wore was crimson red,
    And of that ilk his morning gown.”

    Or in Matt 25:6, “He wha had gotten the five talents gaed, an’ coft an’ trocked wi’ that ilk.”

    Moncrieff of that ilk = Moncrieff of that same (Moncrieff of Moncrieff) and is used to distinguish the branch of the Moncrieff family living on the lands of Moncrieff.

    It does not mean “sort” or “kind.”

  3. I’m not sure I understand the point of his rant. Patheos isn’t run by Catholic apologists. It’s an aggregation of columnists assembled by people who (it’s a reasonable wager) have only vague ideas about content selection. Just ignore the junk and read the columnists you know are sound (among the Catholic segment) and at least engaging (among the other segments).

  4. Art, as I said, I see it as too much chaff to sort through to get to the wheat. There are good blogs there, but it’s outweighed not just by the bad, but the fact that the bad is preferred by the powers that be. If Patheos itself was neutral, it wouldn’t be so bad. But knowing that the official preference is for that ‘junk’, I see no reason to patronize it. There are other places where the preference isn’t weighed against those things I value and hold dear.

  5. rt, as I said, I see it as too much chaff to sort through to get to the wheat. There are good blogs there, but it’s outweighed not just by the bad, but the fact that the bad is preferred by the powers that be.

    You don’t have to sort though anything Dave. Just scroll down. Takes a few seconds. .

    It is overrun by leftist trolls Art. The comments are the most toxic I have read.

    Then don’t read them.

    If you don’t think there’s enough of interest in Gregory Popcak’s column to read it, that’s fine. There’s no point in pretending it’s too arduous a task to locate it. If Patheos is where he’s posting, your alternative is to forego the column. You can make the decision to forego the column because you think his content isn’t worth your time or you can forego it because you don’t care for the author listed next to him on the list. One decision is better than the other.

    A more salient problem with Patheos is that they use a Disqus commenting platform. Earlier this year, Disqus required a loyalty oath to post comments and now requires one even to read them. No clue why anyone continues to use the platform on their blog.

    Interestingly, one author they made a point of bouncing off their site was Warren Throckmorton, a sketchy character on the faculty of Grove City College. Throckmorton’s something of a self-appointed hall monitor in the evangelical world and his votaries complained that Beliefnet was truckling to TPTB in the evangelical establishment by tossing him over the side. (I doubt that’s the reason). No clue what there selection criteria are, but if you can tell us who is not welcome at Patheos, we can get an idea.

  6. Art, I know how it works, I was a contributor there for a year. I would strongly suggest to those who are not part of the Patheos spirit that there are other platforms out there. But that’s up to them. . My point is, why patronize something like Patheos, which is not neutral about its content? Just like you think there is a problem with Disqus, merely because of a loyalty oath. Personally something like that doesn’t bother me, obviously it bothers you. To each I suppose.

  7. “Then don’t read them.”

    Not possible, at least for me, as was the case during Daffey Thoughts’ sojourn on Patheos where the most ignorant and belligerent trolls would attempt to dominate all discussions in an obvious attempt to drive from Patheos someone who was to the right of Stalin. I always read comments on posts, and posts that do not allow for comments I tend to avoid. The give and take in the comboxes is for me the main advantage of reading, or writing, posts on the internet. When the comboxes go to the Devil, as they usually do on Patheos, I take my readership elsewhere.

  8. Why would anyone browse “Patheos”? That sounds to me like browsing “Blogspot” or even “Facebook”. I could see browsing, say, the National Catholic Register, even though Shea is an occasional contributor there (I learned a decade ago to avoid him), but that’s because the National Catholic Register has editors rather than just “community standards”. More often, though, I choose blogs based on the author and the topic being discussed in THAT PARTICULAR POST. Some authors I skip altogether, some I read with some reluctance, or only when I see (usually from newadvent.org or bigpulpit.com) that they are discussing a topic I find very interesting, and a few I read whenever and whatever they post. Do you have a different strategy?

  9. Well, that would have been amusing, except that it feels wrong to chuckle at mental instability and bad catechesis. I hope you can get the help you so clearly need.

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