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I am not a good person - don't expect me to be

I certainly try to be good, and I try to be nice and when I can't be I try to do and say nothing, but I don't always succeed. Anyone who thinks that I'm going to be reasonable and nice and easy to talk to in all circumstances is going to be disappointed.

I think differences between the Catholic and Protestant theologies changes our expectations of people, depending on which faith tradition is more a part of how we believe. As I understand it, from the Protestant perspective, one's acts proves how "Christian" one is. If you don't act the part, you aren't a Christian. I think this relates also to the idea of once saved, always saved. If you fall, it just means that you were never saved in the first place, so calling into question a person's Christianity is essentially saying that they not saved.

The Catholic perspective is different, however.  Salvation can be lost by what we do and how we think. We believe any person can be tempted to do evil if the temptation is strong enough, and that any person can consequently lose their salvation, and regained again through Confession.  We pray for the ability to resist temptation, knowing that the grace will be given, however also being aware that our wills and our ability to love are both weak, that our pride is always present, and therefore failure is inevitable, even when we convince ourselves that we are doing the right things at the time.

I definitely have failed this week.

I don't regret linking to Peter Aranyi's post. Obviously reading it is going to be painful for some of the subjects of the post as it's impossible to separate the people from the events, I do get that.  I do also ask though, that I be allowed to

I'm always going to have my own interpretation of what happened this week due to my own experiences, and they will influence the way I look at the issues, that can't be helped. I will try, however, to attribute purer motives to everyone involved, despite what my more paranoid side conjures up for me.

As I have said before, I don't respond well to what I consider to be emotional manipulation.  It's a real button pusher for me, something that is likely to set me off when I think it's being done.  

Hence, I don't like the practice of labeling someone "evil".  A person can do evil acts, or acts which aren't necessarily evil, but have evil consequences, but they themselves cannot be "evil", they can only act in an evil manner.

To move forward, I would like to direct everyone to another one of Peter Aranyi's posts, on the ‘wider factors to consider’ in recent online gagging order, where he links to an article by Steven Price, who points out that the harassment case that is the subject of this post is ‘a radical judgement that bypasses defamation law’. Not being a lawyer, just a mere blogger, I found it instructive.


  1. Hey sin is forgiven by sacramental confession AND also by perfect contrition.

  2. So does this mean that you're going to delete all your public speculation that the defamatory comments about your Sister in Christ might have some merit?

    Are you going to delete your agreement with the false statements about someone having an affair?

    My money is no. Since you don't get that linking to a page containing fresh defamation about the same woman was wrong.

  3. Scalia,

    First paragraph: Your interpretation.

    Second paragraph: No idea what you are talking about.

    Third paragraph: Fresh defamation - oh please.

  4. JG,

    I thought it was either/or, with the or being very hard to know if it's perfect, hence sacramental confession is the only way to be sure.

  5. Hi LM,

    just taking it in a different direction (if I may). As a protestant (and my sister is a Catholic) I found it interesting that you implied that Protestants don't believe that someone can loose your salvation. I think the Scripture is fairly clear that someone can, hence I believe the same.

    The relevant passage is in Hebrews 6, but it comes with the condition that once you 'lose you salvation' (i.e. meet all the criteria in Hebrews 6) you cannot regain it.

    I'd be interested in a discussion about this, because for sure I am under no illusion that we will solve this tricky one in a few blog comments.


  6. Hi Matthew,

    It would be an interesting discussion. I once researched it and found a comparison of the beliefs that highlighted this issue. It was a couple of years ago now, so I'd have to re-research it.

    It was a bit of an aha moment for me, it made me realise quite a few things about the way people reacted in certain circumstances. I was going to post about it, but it got too hard. I think I was right into homeschooling at the time as well.

    Oh my goodness, I was just thinking Shameless Popery would probably have handled this sort of thing, and it's the latest post : "Once Saved, Always Saved" and Three Cups of Tea: Cup 1.

    So, your sister's a Catholic huh? I have a brother who is a Protestant! :)

  7. "To move forward, I would like to direct everyone to another one of Peter Aranyi's posts..."

    Gee, you'e game, Lucia Maria!
    Let me know how that works out ... :-) .


  8. Gah! a typo! — YOU"RE game.

  9. Hi Peter,

    I think the dust has settled. I'm no longer being pressured to explain, retract or apologise. All private communications have stopped. Online alliances have shifted, I've been struck off blog lists I didn't know existed.

    This happens every once in a while, and I'm cool with it.

    It does make me wonder how journalists cope, though. There must be stories where they know that if they publish, they will offend people. So after a while, you are either very limited in what you can talk about or have few friends, or you have to stop altogether.

    That could be part of the reason that bloggers don't tend to last that long. I'm probably past my time! :)

  10. "Online alliances have shifted, I've been struck off blog lists I didn't know existed."


    re Journalists, yes, that's true. But the brilliant Steve Braunias put it so well I quoted him:

    "You can't be frightened of people. You're not in journalism to make friends."

    It's worth reading/listening to what Steve has to say about his own reaction to getting into 'close quarters' with some of the subjects so he could imitate their voice for his 'wretch of the week' columns.

    I remember when I was covering local politics for NewstalkZB in Wellington. At a council meeting one night, one particular councillor went off on a rant about poor people. I don't recall the details but at the time it was pretty offensive ... and I had a choice: Should I report it or not? Hmm.

    After the meeting I interviewed her and gave her a chance to clarify or ameliorate her stance — she merely repeated the rant in bite-sized pieces into my tape recorder.

    Right, I thought. So it wasn't a slip of the tongue — This is what she actually thinks.

    So I put her on the radio news the next morning, in news stories that were tight, fair & square, with clips of her voice actually saying the (pretty dodgy) statements, thinking: Well, I've exposed her for all to see.

    A day or two later, I ran into her at the Town Hall and she THANKED ME: 'Oh Peter, I've never had so many supportive phone callsbefore. Thank you, I'm thrilled.'

    And she wasn't kidding. Go figure.

    - P

  11. The victims do not like Peter Aranyi and Lucia Maria's statements and appear to be deeply upset by content of each's material and the actions of each.

    The offender, Jackie Sperling, serial cyber bully with 6 court applications for harassment of others to her name, has publicly stated support for both bloggers and their actions (in breach of the order).

    Says it all if she thinks you are helping her don't you think?

  12. @ anonymous Scalia.
    I disagree with what you are attempting to do and also how you are trying to do it.

    Rather than 'pollute' Lucia Maria's comment stream with vexation, I've addressed the issue of what I see as your own moral deficiencies here:
    A sock-puppet called Scalia. A deceitful viper bearing false witness.

    - Peter 1/7/13
    * I hope this is acceptable to you Lucia Maria. Let me know.

  13. Hi Peter,

    Totally acceptable. :)


    You need to find a new hobby. This is more than a little obsessive, and personally, if I were a "victim", I would tell you that your efforts on the victim's part are making them look bad. I'd also tell you in no uncertain terms to cease and desist, unless of course your role in all of this is just to inflame both sides and sit back and watch the carnage.


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