|Harmless Fun With Rabbits, or Courting Damnation?|
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you realize that we will be judged more strictly, 2 for we all fall short in many respects. If anyone does not fall short in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body also. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide their whole bodies. 4 It is the same with ships: even though they are so large and driven by fierce winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination wishes. 5 In the same way the tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions.James 3:1-6 (NABRE)
Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze. 6 The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna.
James may be noteworthy for its percentage consisting of warnings about the tongue, but you can find similar admonitions throughout the Bible. Our Lord said:
21 “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Aside from prophets, who were speaking directly on behalf of God, speaking ill of another is universally condemned.
Yet every day thousands of Catholic bloggers sit down before keyboards and bang out criticism and even ridicule of not just anyone, but priests, bishops, and even the Pope. The more outrageous we can be, the more people like it, it seems. Often, our comboxes are filled with the same.
The Bear wonders about this. Behind every blog is a blogger working out his or her salvation. Are they damaging themselves spiritually by harming the reputation of others and causing scandal?
There are three types of blogs, or blog articles. The Bear will skip straight up reporting. So next would be commentary, which will often characterize the actions and motivations of persons. Then there's agitprop, which is usually not informative, but is designed to encourage and entertain the blogger's audience by an appeal to humor or pathos.
Are there limits to fair comment? To agitprop? Clearly, it would be safest to not blog at all, or keep it non-topically "cozy." The Bear has some ideas about this, that he will share in the future. For now, though, what do you think? How do other bloggers reconcile the moral component of blogging?
The Bear asks just one thing. Don't anticipate what his answers are yet.