I have read the various posts on several threads about religion and other various subjects that really got people stirred up. This forum has no censorship. I like that. Except in extreme cases where a poster's actions are going to bring the forum down, I hate to but censorship in. However. This is an editorial on what all happened and not meant to be a thread to actually debate an issue but discuss how we can best do it. SUGGESTION ONE: " I don't agree with a word you are saying, but I would fight to the death for your right to say it." That is what my father taught me. He was strong on democracy. Case in point. Nixxy and I don't agree about either pope and we have discussed it at length. Nixxie and I are best of friends. This is a free society. Nixxy doesn't give a shit about what the pope says. Well, which law requires him to give a shit. Which law denies him the free speech to say that he doesn't respect what the pope says. Some might be offended by the way it said it. Sure, bUt the word shit is a word in common usage on this forum. So far I haven't found a word that has been censored by the moderator. So, no, Nixxie you and I don't agree totally on the Pope, but I have grave reservations about the Pope which I will mention later. But we are best of friends. And many soldiers ftrom many nations died in the World War II to save democracy and preserve Nixxie or anyone else's right to free speech. The issue is not whether Nixxy was right or wrong. The issue here is whether Nixxy has the right to say it. And I have the right to say I disagree with someone if that is my wish. And for those who didn't read our discourse, there was never a cross word between us. We discussed it intelligently. He listened and I listened and I got a wonderful memo from him just the other day. Proper etiquite in conversation can never be required. That is censorship. But those of us who want to respect ourselves and want the respect of others should follow it. SUGGESTION TWO: The Bible says, "Eat, drink and be merry for there may not be a tomorrow." That is an exact quote from the Bible. Now let us add eight little words in front of that quote. "For the fool has said in his heart." Now read it. "For the fool has said in his heart, 'Eat, drink and be merry for there may not be a tomorrow." Be careful quoting. We have had several little run ins and some have had to back up. Some have had to say oops. All because we didn't have all our research in hand. I want to commend Carolina. (And I don't agree with his conclusion, but that is not the issue here, the issue is what he did right.) He quoted the part that really concerned him. But he did more. He gave us the web site where we can go and read the WHOLE DOCUMENT for ourselves. I did just that and quite frankly, I am confused. For one, I don't know enough about what is in the official doctrine that one must know in order to correctly intrepret the document and secondly, I don't know what the new Pope meant by certain words. For instance, he condemns violence against gays and lesbians, but he then says not to be surprised if we give rights to them that there will be violence. I am paraphrasing here. I'm not sure exactly what he is saying here. That shit happens and that is God's will that the violence happened or that shit happens and this is just terrible and those doing it should be punished. He appears to me to be saying don't pass laws giving equal rights to gays. But he never says that. And the Letter is written on such a high reading level and was written to Bishops who had all the prior letters and doctrine statements on hand from which to reference it. Bottom line: I am quite confused. By reading it all. I came to a different opinion. But not one totally agaisnt Carolina's, but one of just sheer confusion. SUGGESTION THREE: "When you don't know your head from a hole in the ground, go to experts you respect and get some help." I am wanting Jacinto, our resident theologian and authority on Catholic matters to tell us exactly what the letter meant. How it impacted the church and nations where the Catholic Church has a majority of the population as members. The Letter was written in 1986. I want to know. I realize that I am baffled by it all. So, I want to hear from someone who is knowledgeable. Jacinto has been to seminary. He obviously is brilliant. Much more brilliant then I. That would give me the Pro Catholic view but one that has not been doctored in a way that gives false information. I don't know who to go to for information that tells the side that says there were and are negative ramifications from that letter. By the way, here is the web page for the Letter to the Bishops that the present Pope wrote in 1986. They are his own words. You can't come closer to truth then reading his own words. Caution though one paragraph appears to me to lean one way and the next paragraph leans the other way. If you really want to know, read it all. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congrega...persons_en.html SUGGESTION FOUR: "From what I have read, that conclusion of yours is snake oil. Where in the hell did you draw that conclusion. Tell me" So you read the letter and someone else comes to the opposite view. Find out and ask why they came to a different view instead of insulting it. Read the other person's viewpoint and just where in the hell they came up with it. At least now, you will know why you think they are full of shit and how the shit got there. SUGGESTION FIVE: "Tell the other person to go to hell and make them glad they are going." Sure you want to win your debate. And you know that the persons you are debating are full of shit. However, they may not think that what they are full of is shit. So to start out wiht that statement. "What you say is full of shit," certainly conveys what you believe and it is your right to say it. But you probably will not win the debate starting out with that statement. Oh yes, sometimes you can win the crowd over with that statement if it really is that absurd what the other person is saying. But you probalby won't win that person over. A little tact helps soften up the person to consider your point of view. That is if that is your intention to win that person over to your opiinion in the first place. SUGGESTION SIX: "If you want to win a debate, don't ramble like I have just done, instead look at who is respected and seems to never be wrong or at least challenged." In that case, the award goes without a doubt to Jacinto. His articulation is perfect. His reasoning is sound and written consisely. He has his research right there and tells where he got it. And when he gets through, you feel like you want to call the local priest right now and start proceedings to get into the next confirmation class in the Catholic Church. That is how reading his posts impacts a person. His posts are a model for presenting your case. Only problem is I can never be that good, but at least I can try. IN CONCLUSION: The responses that I am looking for are your suggestions on how to debate and discuss issues. I for one don't want and oppose the draculian approach of CENSORING a certain topic. It is anti-democratic. If I have a flawed sentence in one of my six suggestions by all means point it out. Shucks at the end, we might have a document that we can post as a model for all to look at and consider who are members here for suggestions on how to debate and stay friends. And it might look a lot different than what I posted here today. DEBATE AND STAY FRIENDS. THAT IS WHAT I SO WISH FOR ON THIS SITE. NIXXY AND I DID IT. AND WE ARE AS CLOSE AS EVER. I do have misgivings about the new pope. My church, the United Methodist Church, come out of the Church of England as part of the result the the American Revolution. We share so much history and theology. So I want to know all about this new pope. I am withholding my opinion until someone like Jacinto can explain more and I see what the Pope does. That Letter was written almost 20 years ago. It is possible that his thinking is totally different now.