So as many of you know, I've been out of the MUD scene for awhile now, mainly due to the hostility, anger, and hideously offensive stance other administrators have taken against those who disagree with them politically or are not atheists. Bringing up your belief in Christ is a sure fire way to instantly turn people who you thought were your friends and supporters against you, no matter how benign you may be about it. The hatred is nothing surprising of course, it's just another symptom of a widespread problem in the US and the world - intolerant atheists who refuse to stand for Freedom of Religion being expressed.
Now imagine my surprise when I get an email from someone who still frequents the MUD scene and they wanted to know what I thought about Icculus "suddenly becoming a tyrant" on The Mud Connector. Yes, this is one of those people who stood by while the slavering troll squad drove me from my own site back in the day, so I already had ideas floating around. Was it some new moderation policy? Did Icculus finally have enough? Did one of the uber-trolls like Cratylus finally get banned?
Not quite. It's far more innocent than that. You see, all Icculus did was add a banner to his site rotation which pointed to the jesusdiedforusall.com
website. A page Icculus himself put together to convey his love for Jesus Christ to any who would come and read the message. Nothing offensive about it, nothing sinister, nothing intolerant. Just a simple website with a simple message for good. One that, in Icculus' own words, is "a message everyone needs to see".
So why all the fuss? If you've followed the MUD community at all in recent years you probably already know. There's an aggressively vocal minority of people in the community who will savage anyone of religious or right-wing political persuasion with no rational basis for it. This was no different. The usual accusations flew, "homophobe", "bigot", "tyrant", etc. Delivered by the usual suspects - Cratylus, Drizzt, Kuros, Dentin, Scandum, and a few others who joined in just for the fun of it. They drove what should have been an open and shut topic
into an 11 page tirade of hatred, bigotry, and intolerance (oh, the irony). As you might guess, I failed utterly to be surprised by this. The usual "admins can't speak their mind on their own forums" attitude all over again.
It gets better though. The usual suspects are now threatening to leave the site - partly because of this thread (which got deleted, then resurrected and locked) and partly because of this rather innocent set of additions to the site rules which are LONG overdue:
TMC Golden-Rule posting policy:We realize that disagreements and conflict may arise during discussions on TMC. Please be courteous and respectful when disagreeing with others' viewpoints. While we encourage healthy debate on differing opinions personal attacks against other users is expressly prohibited: These types of behaviors are not permitted in TMC discussions: Flaming - posts created to personally attack or insult another user. Trolling - derogatory posts that attempt to bait other users into respondingAny behavior that is offensive by nature are prohibited.
Apparently one of them has already been banned for violating this rather simple policy. Of course, given the involved parties, that was not unexpected since they can't discuss a topic like this without being hateful and bigoted.
Anyway, for what it's worth, I think this is a long overdue breath of fresh air for TMC. Something that should have been done years ago to set the proper example. I for one am glad to see this happen, be it an epiphany after finding Christ or just because it was the right and proper thing to do. As far as the banner, who cares what the troll squad thinks. Keep it up, Icculus. It's your site and they have no right to dictate what you can and can't say on it.