Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Homeschool Blog Awards

I wasn't going to mention these awards here, but Candy is nominated for one of the categories and put in a plug for it tonight, so I suppose it deserves mention.

My own criteria for voting for blogs is here. I've also blogged about some neat finds here.

I went through the blogs in the Best Homemaking category one by one and here is my analysis.

My Source of Inspiration seems like a pleasant little blog. There is no search function, but I could not find anything that was anti-Catholic on it and there are some good links.

Brandy's Variety Blog is pleasant and she has a nice template. She has left supportive comments on Candy's blog in the past.

Camelot Homestead
Cute blog, no search function. Couldn't find anything overtly anti-Catholic on it.

Crafts and recipes for Young Ladies
has a fun template. No search function, but I could not find anything objectionable or anti-Catholic on it.

Shades of Pink gave me column envy! I really like her set up. No search function though and I could not find anything anti-Catholic on it.

Simple folks is a visual treat. Lots of good stuff in the side bars. No search function though. (Don't these bloggers want to be able to find their own stuff? I could not find anything anti-Catholic or objectionable.

Candy's Welcome to Keeping the Home. Blatantly anti-Catholic and the reason this blog exists. It is currently in fourth place with 11% of the vote (approximately 7 votes).

There's no Place Like Home - charming. Search utility and nothing anti-Catholic.

Mrs. Happy Housewife has a lot of good information. I wish you didn't have to have a password and user name to log into her blog because it just makes it more complicated. Still she is not anti-Catholic and in fact is very supportive of some Catholic ideas and cultural traditions.

Tammy's recipes is currently in first place. A clean, crisp, well-organized site. The only thing she says about Catholicism at all is: ... it. Also the word Christmas is actually derived from the Catholic Church and means Christ's Mass, but I don't know. All churches try to ... from pagans. I suppose originating from the Roman Catholic church would be just as bad, to some. ;) I just find it intresting .. And she doesn't "do" Christmas. I respect her right to do so, but she lost my vote for that.

I have been very busy over the past couple of days with a new account I took on for work, but I wanted to drop a quick note about the Homeschool Blog Awards that are going on.

It did seem to me that Candy's blog was breaking their guidelines, i.e.

Family friendly (G-rated) blogs only. Do not nominate a blog that has cussing (no potty mouth), photographic nudity (I’m not talking about one image of some sculpture from the 1500’s in an art post), sexual content, or hostility toward other bloggers.

I received a very nice note back from the folks at HSB awards. Here is an excerpt; emphasis mine:

I read the first link there that you sent and a few of the other ladies on my team looked through all of them and we have all discussed this together. From viewing the site, it does have things that I can see might "ruffle feathers" - especially Catholics' feathers. However, the harshest thing I saw her say was " large counterfeit Christian religion". She may not allow alternative viewpoints because she is seeking to ban argument from her blog, and that is her right. The point is, from our standpoint, she isn't being hateful to another blogger personally (and that is the point of our rule on hostility - to prevent harassment/hateful comments about bloggers) - she's just trying to persuade people to believe what she believes. Catholics may view her as hateful because she speaks against the same type of Christianity that they practice. I think that is the same thing as me saying why I don't follow Islam (to a Muslim it would seem like blaspheme).

I want you to know that I am sorry that you are offended by her blog. I haven't ever read it before, personally... and I do not discuss religious doctrines on my blog because I feel that they divide rather than unify - which is Christ's purpose for His church. I do not agree with her that all Catholic people are counterfeit and going to hell myself.

I would hope that despite this blogger's beliefs about doctrinal issues, you would forgive her. Jesus said on the cross, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do". It would be wrong of me to disqualify her because she has truly not broken HSBA guidelines.

I did not see any foul language, I did not see any bashing of other persons/bloggers, and she kept her discussion clean for the most part. Making remarks about religious beliefs is not part of our rules... and all of us at the HSBA do not want to be blog police. I hope you will understand.

Here is the gist of my response:

I truly appreciate the time and effort that you put into my request.

Candy has made it her mission to bash Catholics and the Catholic faiths. You may have noted how difficult it is to get to her archives. She did that on purpose because so many Catholics were pulling up those old articles to question her about them and to correct her errors.

Understandably, you probably missed statements like this one found

Q Have you ever attended a Catholic mass? -Sue

A Yes. It was so sad and gut wrenching that it almost brought me to tears. I was the only one attending, that I could see, that brought a Bible, and even bothered looking up scriptures. The Bible ignorance in that crowd was astounding me as well. Most of them don't seem to read their Bible, they just follow what "the church" teaches them. Everyone there looked to me like they were wearing masks with no eyes. :-( I suspect that there might have been more true reverence (as opposed to ritual) in a black mass (however they'd be worshiping the wrong guy, of course). I also found it quite disturbing how everyone was basically handed a "script" as they walked in the door. - Kneel at this time, say this with the congregation at this time, sing this at that time, kneel again at this time, say such and such prayer at that time, repeat this phrase three times, etc. Where is the worship of God in that? No, I'd much prefer to follow the worship manual - The Bible.

This seems a little bit more inflammatory than simply trying to persuade readers of the validity of her own perspective. And while I totally agree with you that it is her right to disallow debates and arguments on her own blog, I do wonder at the wisdom and even the morality of posting inflammatory, hurtful, erroneous and cruel things and then not allowing comment and discussion.

I can and do forgive Candy's offensive behavior, but I do not believe that forgiveness equates to tolerating that behavior. Jesus forgave sinners, but he did not tolerate sin. If Candy was speaking out against African Americans, or the mentally ill, or the handicapped, or the obese, homosexuals etc., I don't think anyone would tolerate her rhetoric. But speaking as a Catholic, it does seem as though it is still acceptable in this culture to bash and degrade Catholicism.

While I am very disappointed with your decision, I totally respect your position and I thank you for all of the hard work that you have done on keeping the blog awards going. Thanks again for taking the time out of your busy homeschooling day for looking into this for me.

My main point is this: When we allowing bigotry and hatred to happen without speaking out against it when we see it, if we allow our faith to be denigrated, misrepresented, lied about etc., then things will never change, and it will remain perfectly acceptable behavior to refer to the pope as devil, and Catholics as Pagans, etc. So while I wasn't able to get this particular blog knocked out of the competition, at least the HSB administration is more aware of our anti-Catholic concerns, and perhaps the awards regulations will change in the future.

There are some fine Catholic blogs that have won in other categories in the past. But I think it would be shameful for many reasons if any blog of this nature would win in any category.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

Hi there! :)

Just to clarify, the quote you have from my website was left in a comment by one of my blog readers, and was not part of our original post. The italics in your commentary make it sound (at least to me!) as though I wrote that, but I didn't. :)

However, you are correct that we don't celebrate Christmas. :)