Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The new membership numbers will go up on the UUA website soon

But for now, here's the letter that went out to the UUA board. I also have the attached documents and will happily provide them to anyone who is not working or has not worked to reduce UU growth who emails me to request them.

My reading of this is that the UUA shrank by 74 members if you include the CLF and 140 if you do not.

Assuming these numbers are correct and no matter whether you think our denomination of 160,000+ members lost 74 or 140, I absolutely stand by everything I said about Morales at the beginning.

Should you wish to verify this email on your own, write your favorite UUA board member and ask about it. Or heck, write Peter Morales.

Oh, and Rev. Peter Morales's church is down 1.16 percent while the UUA as a whole is down 0.02 percent.

Again, dips in membership happen and I wouldn't care if Morales weren't working to hard to bill himself as the savior of UUism's membership numbers.

CC

Ps. The fact that church NUMBERS went down slightly, but church ATTENDANCE went up as a percentage suggests to me that the people who think that a few churches culled the rolls of non-active members are correct.

____________________________________________________________________________________

The various reports are based on the most recent UUA growth statistics and based on data collected as part of the 2-1-09 certification process. A description of each attached report is noted at the bottom of this email. Each of the six attachments are one-pagers, so it’s not as daunting as it may appear!



Highlights from these reports:


· In the last year, for the first time in many years, adult membership in our Association of Congregations declined by 74 members going from 164,730 to 164,656 or -0.02%. Looking at districts only, membership declined by 140 members, going from 156,403 to 156,223 or -0.1%. Many who have reviewed these numbers speculate that membership rolls were reviewed more carefully this year so that membership more accurately reflects active members.


· In the last year, 8 of our 19 districts increased in membership while 12 declined. (Over the last six years – a better gauge – 12 of our 19 districts increased in membership.)


· In the last year, 42% of our congregations reported adult membership growth while 44% reported declines and 14% reported no change. (Over the last six years 52% of our congregations reported growth while 45% reported declines. 3% reported no change.)


· In the last year, 5,110 members were added to the membership roles of the congregations that grew. Of those congregations that declined, 5,184 members were removed.


· In the last year, average attendance on Sunday morning increased 1.2%.


· Religious Education registration declined by -1.3%.

Also interesting is Tracey Robinson-Harris’ update on various growth experiments going on. It is also attached and is one page.

After the last meeting you requested a copy of the UUAs Growth Plan, the three-page document that has outlined our approach to growth for the past several years. It is attached. Between now and the end of Bill’s administration, we will be creating an update of activities and results arising from this Plan. (Note: It is called a “draft” because it is continually evolving as we learn more.)

I look forward to seeing you all at this week’s Board meeting. If you’d like me or Tracey to join you at the Growth Working Group meeting, just let us know.


Be sure to look at the description of the files attached, below. Most are one-pagers. I will provide hardcopies of all the one-pagers to all members of the UUA Growth Working Group. If anyone wants electronic or hardcopies of the detailed congregational data, I can certainly provide that, as well.

67 comments:

Jess said...

Re: culling the rolls of inactive members -- our church did that this year (partially a budget issue, since we pay our fair share dues to the UUA and to our district, and we're in a bit of a crunch so don't want to pay extra). We also have probably a dozen new folks who have been coming to church and even participating in committees and other activities but who have not officially signed the book for various reasons. So I think the attendance figure is much more important than the official membership numbers if you really want an accurate picture of how vibrant our churches are.

Chalicechick said...

There are quite a few Sundays every year where I don't make it to the first service and spend the second service teaching YRUU. I'm never sure that I've been counted as attending that day.

But that's just an aside. I can see a lot of valid arguments for how we should determine the numbers and how we should determine who is connected enough to be a member and who is merely a friend and what numbers really matter at the end of the day.

I don't feel informed enough about the statistics to know the "right answer" or if there is one.

CC

LinguistFriend said...

That is an impressive burst of energy. You're supposed to be out in the desert studying for exams, not out saving the UUA from itself. I wonder whether St. Anthony of Egypt was actually trying to bone up for his exams at the Univ. of Alexandria when he went into seclusion in the desert for twenty years.

Chalicechick said...

Believe you me, LF, I'm to the point where I physically groan every time I get an email on this topic.

That said, the nastiness of Chuck's and Robin's tones in their responses to my original post impressed some people who knew the initial number I had provided was correct. Said people felt that I had taken an unfair drubbing on the issue and went to the trouble of helping me find official verification. A couple of people were working on it various ways and I finally got official permission to print the email this morning.

So I was happy to post something that verified my original assertion, particularly because several people had worked independently to find it for me and get permission to treat it as public information.

So basically, if Chuck and Robin had phrased things a little more nicely, my taking back the "74" number would have remained the last word on the subject for a little while longer and Peter Morales would have had at least one fewer post pointing out the he should probably work on the numbers in his own church before claiming he can fix the membership problems denomination-wide.

This is one reason why I try to be polite to people I'm arguing with.

CC

patrickmurfin said...

CC—

Challenge a law student to do research and you get research. Impressive. I think you have shown that statistically insignificant decrease has occurred.

A tough economy may produce worse results next year as Congregations trying to reduce Fair Share take even make even more drastic cuts to “official” lists and as members who can no longer keep up a pledge drift away out of embarrassment—a far more significant problem that congregations need to address with sensitivity and a respect for dignity.

More alarming is an undeniable stagnation despite some very high profile initiatives. Those initiatives have had mixed results. Some of the regional marketing campaign have elevated brand awareness, driven visitors to the pews of local congregations and resulted in some actual growth. But the growth peaks and then levels off within a year or two of the campaign. Since we can’t afford to sustain such levels of marketing anywhere over the long haul, some folks now regard all marketing as worthless. I do not, as long as we are aware of its limitations.

The UUA’s fixation on planting fully staffed mega-churches in waiting has been a rat-hole down which far too much money has been spent. And the hypnotic delusion that only large congregations will grow the UUA has alienated, offended, and insulted many small and medium size congregations who feel unsupported.

None of this can be used as an argument for dismissing Peter Morales’s sense of urgency around growth, his analysis of the problem, and his concrete plans to meet the challenge.
Morales and his congregation have developed some of the very best tools on enhancing congregational hospitality and thus recruiting and retaining the many visitors most churches get each year. How do I know? Because my congregation and five other growing congregations in the Central MidWest District have been using them.

More over Morales understands that to grow, Unitarian Universalism must break out of a well meaning cultural ghetto. That means more than just being “welcoming” to racial, ethnic, and linguistic minorities, but listening to their spiritual needs and incorporating their vision with our own. And he is the only candidate that clearly understands class issues—not just class based on income, but on social approbation. Believe me, as one who has been there, being a blue collar UU now often takes a perverse tenacity.

Rev. Hallman seems to be a wonderful woman and an accomplished pastor, but she is so enmeshed in the comfortable expectations of our highly educated, professional identity that her answer to stagnation is to “go deeper” into the tradition that got us here.

I’m a historian. I love history. I love tradition. Hell, I even love deep spirituality. But I want our faith to live for the many thousands of new faces of all colors, backgrounds, and class who could benefit from that tradition.

Which is why I have thrown my enthusiastic support to Peter Morales for President of the UUA.

Diggitt said...

My Westchester County, New York, congregation dropped several people from its membership rolls this year. It was actually a multi-year project; any number of people had to sign off on it. The difference in numbers means two things: a) it means that we are not paying the UUA for people who give us no money, and b) it changes the type of congregation we are classified as being, which has important ramifications in terms of what we are expected to pay in several different categories.

I am a lifelong UU and (finally!) a divinity student, and I believe that responsible congregational management includes having accurate membership figures. One of my aunts was dropped from membership of my hometown church in Ohio about 40 years ago after she had neither attended nor pledged for 11 years!

kim said...

CC - Is it possible that Morales' church went down in membership because he has been out campaigning, and thus not present? Our attendance certainly goes down when our minister is not around.
Just a thought....

Robin Edgar said...

"to anyone who is not working or has not worked to reduce UU growth who emails me to request them."

Who might that be CC? Anyone who uses their brain responsibly can quickly figure out that if the UUA had taken the good advice I have been giving it for over a decade now that it would promote growth of the U*U World. Rev. Christine Robinson pretty much publicly acknowledged that fact recently. If the UUA had dealt responsibly with the problem of obnoxious intolerant fundamentalist atheist "Humanist" U*Us making God believing people anything but genuinely welcome in many U*U "Welcoming Congregations" the UUA would likely have grown significantly over the last decade or two.

So the 74 figure does refer to individual adult members but, in that the UUA regularly pads its overall membership numbers by including RE enrollments maybe it should add whatever loss occurred in that area. Also, that number is probably not all that accurate anyway. Few U*U churches will understate their membership figures, and many have plenty of reason to overstate their membership figures somewhat. I expect that there are still many inactive people who have yet to be culled from U*U church membership rolls and the UUA will lose even more to "attrition" in the coming years as I warned. The only way for the UUA to grow significantly is to attract new members to join U*U churches. If the UUA wants to grow significantly it had better start making God believing American feel more welcome in ALL U*U congregations than has been the case so far. . .

PG said...

I clearly haven't learned from experience, as I thought there was a tiny chance that Robin would acknowledge that you were right and he was wrong.

Bill Baar said...

The 74 seems within the margins of error for this sort of thing.

It would suffice to say we're not growing. I'm guessing the trend confirms that. I haven't paid that close of attention. I don't feel invested in UUA and haven't followed the candidates that much. I hope whomever elected just avoids Sinkford's foot-in-mouth habits.

That said, I suspect Morales comments on growth are a concern. I'm not sure Hallman would contest that. And if we're concerned about growth, we ought to look at what we've done this decade and probably stop doing it... once we figure out what's not working.

I can't imagine an endoresment from me worth much. It probably would damage.

But I have been mulling a post on what an ideal candidate would look like, and for starters it would be someone a decade younger than the two running.

We need a sort of UU Obama for the job. A person without baggage from the 60's and 70's.

more later...

Chuck B. said...

As I said, if CC was right and it was only 74 members then I believed it was a fair cop. So, yes it was a fair cop.

While there were other numbes that seemed to a show a disturbing decrease CC has found a valid claim.


That does not change my criticism of CC's poor cite: because she cited Morales' website and not a source of her claim. Nor does it alter my advice to her as a law student that she has to be more thorough as a matter of habit.

Also, her initial response was hearsay, then after being called on it she got the underlying information. That's not how research is done.

In terms of being nice, considering some of the nasty posts you've made, CC and the provocative passive agressive racist comments you made during the presidential race I think you need to look in the mirror before accuse others of being nasty.

I disagree with Joel & Robin as much as you, but it never gets nasty because for all our heat they keep it civil. You do not.

All that said: You are right that his comment lacked perspective if he got upset over that paltry number. Of course what you have provided is statistics that support your claim. That's not Best Evidence, which would be corroborating or first hand testimony of the hearsay. Still I'll accept you has fulfill the minimal duty of validity.

Robin Edgar said...

PG I have repeatedly acknowledged that I may have misheard Hallman or that she may have misspoken and I said "So the 74 figure does refer to individual adult members" in this thread. How much more acknowledgment do you want? The fact remains that the UUA "lost" a significant number of whole congregations too, over 40 in the last year from what I can see. The writing is on the wall and U*Us would be well advised to rather belatedly heed it. . .

Chuck I have to agree that CC can be more than a tad snarky herself. Indeed she seems to take pride in her snark in much the same way that Peacebang takes pride in being *the* queen bitch of the U*U World. I thought most of my commentary was reasonably civil and hardly "nasty". I think CC gets her back up when people suggest that the content of her blog posts call her lawyering skills into question.

Chalicechick said...

Chuck:

I swear I've had the following conversation at least three times:

Person:Why is this Chuck guy such a dick to you?

Me: Because the thinks I'm a racist.

Person: Why?

Me: Because I said that if Adkisson wanted to be sure of killing the people who put liberals in to power, he should have shot up the Obama campaign office rather than shooting up a UUA church, so he thinks I advocate shooting at Obama's campaign offices.

Person: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Ok, you got me. No, seriously, what's his beef with you?


I explained that carefully enough that not one person who has read it other than you has taken it the same way you did. You're going to believe what you want, regardless of what the truth is.

But please cut it out with the "heresay" garbage. I am not bound by the rules of courtroom evidence on my blog, especially when you can decide I'm a racist based on evidence that people have told you over and over doesn't make sense. Even UUMom, who was on your side in the last argument we had agreed with my interpretation of what I'd written.

And you're expecting me to follow courtroom evidence rules?

And please tell me you help Morales to the same standard and wrote him to ask him where he'd gotten the information that the UUA numbers were down.

If not, why is it that you and he can make up whatever you want and I'm held to this strict standard of evidence?

PG said...

I wonder if Chuck B. thinks you're providing testimony here or if he's aware this is a blog. I'm all for maintaining good standards of evidence, but to import those standards from the FRE to a weblog is beyond ridiculous.

CC, you're a law student! NEVER AGAIN MAY YOU WRITE ABOUT SOMETHING WITHOUT A FIRSTHAND SOURCE! NEVER NEVER!

Thank God I took my blog private once I started practicing. I shudder at the condemnation Chuck would level at me -- only to make me a better lawyer, of course! -- for using links to newspaper articles to make my point about the fact at issue.

Chalicechick said...

Oh, and I don't have my back up at all. I was practically thanking you. If you guys had been more civil to me, I would still think I was wrong to believe the person who said the number was 74, someone who turns out is at least as trustworthy at Peter Morales given that if I'd asked him, he would have exaggerated.

It was only because people were being so rude to me that folks who knew 74 was the closest the UUA had to a correct number started to look for that information.

By being rude, y'all helped me out.

As for being rude about my not being a lawyer yet and not having all the skills one would expect from one, anyone who is learning to do something is a bit insecure about their abilities to do that thing. Duh.

The fact that you guys like to poke at those insecurities says more about you than it does about me. I'm the one saying that I'm learning, you are the ones who keep pointing out that I'm not a lawyer yet, something I've never denied and that is pretty obvious from the "still in law school" bit.

Indeed, I do have a basic idea of the rules of hearsay but I haven't even had an evidence class yet. That happens this summer.

But by all means keep it up, it makes you look like jerks and that makes my points all the more persuasive.

Robin Edgar said...

I am confident that most people who bother to read my comments that you are whining about here will agree that I was hardly being "nasty" with you and even my being "rude" is open to some debate CC. I am also confident that they will see that you were, and still are, being just a tad snarky and rude yourself.

Robin Edgar said...

"By being rude, y'all helped me out."

I don't think that I was *really* all that rude here CC but, for the record, when I am being quite calculatedly rude (usually only playing U*U rudeness right back to U*Us with my U*U World-famous "Eat Your Words Diet") it is with the ultimate goal of helping U*Us out of the sorry predicaments they rather foolishly place themselves in. . . Unfortunately, very few U*Us responsibly take the steps that are necessary to correct the shituations that they create. Au contraire. . .

Chalicechick said...

Kim:

I don't doubt that it's hard on a church when its minister is gone for so long, but if Morales' membership successes in his home church are based on people liking him personally and not seeing enough else of value to stick around when he leaves, then I don't see how he will be able to translate even what successes he has had to a national level.

CC

PG said...

Robin,

'I agree that ChaliceChick would appear to be suffering from yet another Unitarian*Universalist U*U "foot-in-mouth disease" here.'

Again, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by now that you don't think of that as rude.

Chalicechick said...

PG:

((only to make me a better lawyer, of course!)))

That is my least favorite part of the "You're a lawyer and you don't agree with me, so something must be wrong with your logic. Aren't lawyers supposed to have GOOD logic?" and its many snotty brethren arguments.

If you want to insult me, fine, but don't pretend you're trying to help me become a better lawyer. Everybody knows you're just taking a cheap shot at me and adding a nasty twist to make sure it hurts.

I really don't break out the law all that much in arguments, usually only when someone else is using a legal term incorrectly or making a legal argument and doing it wrong. Most of my talking about law is done in the form of just talking about my opinion of something. If I'm using a term or concept from another subject and I make a mistake, I would hope that someone would come along and correct me lest I embarrass myself a second time.

No shortage of minister blogs seem to have the problem of people who expect them to behave like they are in front of congregants and/or available for pastoral counseling at all times, so I guess the problem of "you're a _____ so why aren't you doing what I think _____ should do."


CC

Robin Edgar said...

The phrase Unitarian*Universalist U*U "foot-in-mouth disease" simply refers to cases of U*Us putting their foot rather firmly in their mouths PG. It's moderately snarky but really no worse than some of the very rude (to say nothing of outright defamatory. . .) things that CC and other various U*Us, including U*U clergy, have said about me and/or other people. It's positively restrained compared to Rev. Victoria Weinstein's big fat U*U sodomy fantasy or this anti-Republican "rant" from Lexington KY U*U minister Rev. Cynthia P. Cain. In fact it is a very apt description of their insulting and defamatory language.

PG said...

Robin,

Please link to where CC has said something as rude about you as what I noted you had said about her in an exchange where you couldn't perceive having been rude at all. I couldn't care less what other female UUs have said about you, and I'm puzzled at whatever causes you to conflate all female UUs together when only one's interaction with you is under discussion. Do you also go around talking about how these other black dudes mistreated you in order to justify mistreating a black man whom you just met?

Liz Hill said...

As a prior member of Peter's home church (I have since moved away) I can assure you that the church continued to grow when he was absent for 2 years working at the UUA. So I doubt the tiny loss of membership this year has anything to do with him being gone (only since January, by the way). The growth at his church is not only due to his presence, though that surely helps. It's because the culture of the place is open and welcoming and there is a lot of trust between the congregation and lay leadership. It is a true shared ministry where people feel empowered to make things happen. That's my personal experience of Peter's leadership style.

Chuck B. said...

CC, your comment about Obama's HQ and the gunman was not the only boderline racist thing you have said, but I appreciate your honest in at least bringing that one up. I wish I had the free time to link and post to every comment you've made on your site, on Sean's and other UU sites because I freely admit doing so would provide more credibility to my comment, alas I have a job and a life.

Robin, who I usually disagree with more than agree, is correct in that you are more obnoxious than most when you post.

Again, that said, I did ultimately agreed with your point when you provided actual evidence to your rant. I would also direct you back to your original post which was pretty nasty in and of itself.

PG: If a person is going to go off on someone based entirely on some statistic and then link to a site for attribution, it is not too much to ask that a) the linked site feature the point of the poster, and b) blogger's rant have some underlying connection to an actual event.

In terms of Law, again that was advice. Most successful lawyers I have met make correct citing a second nature, that was advice. Also, since CC's specific post was directed at Morales' inability to correctly interpret facts it seems a little disingenous that CC would then commit the same crime.

Robin Edgar said...

PG I never said that I "couldn't perceive having been rude at all." I said, "I don't think that I was *really* all that rude here CC." There's a significant difference you know. The latter statement actually acknowledges being somewhat rude but not all *that* rude. Perhaps I should have placed the ever so U*U asterisks to emphasis the word *that* rather than the word *really*.

:I couldn't care less what other female UUs have said about you,

I guess that you never bothered to follow the links because, for the most part, those other female U*Us weren't talking about me. In both cases Republican politicians were the targets of their worst rudeness. That being said, why is it that you don't care what other female U*Us have said about me but apparently do care about what CC has said about me.

:and I'm puzzled at whatever causes you to conflate all female UUs together when only one's interaction with you is under discussion.

You're "puzzled" alright PG. ConfU*Used might be a better word. . . I did no such thing. You're have either quite stupidly misunderstood, or quite deliberately misrepresented, what I said. Par for the course for a lot of the lawyers I have the misfortune to know. . . I did not "conflate all female UUs together" at all, I simply pointed out that my own *acknowledged* rudeness was minor compared to the rudeness of a couple of female U*U ministers. I could just as easily have used some rather obnoxious male U*Us ministers to illustrate the rudeness of the U*Us.

:Do you also go around talking about how these other black dudes mistreated you in order to justify mistreating a black man whom you just met?

ROTFLMU*UO! Be assU*Ured that I have not "just met" CC and that she has in fact been repeatedly rude to me in the past. In fact she was quite rude from Day One of "meeting" her in the U*U forums of Beliefnet years ago. . . Come to think of it PG I cannot actually recall having being mistreated by a black man or a black woman in years, with the possible exception of UUA President Bill Sinkford's negligent and effectively response to my complaints about the clergy misconduct of Rev. Ray Drennan and other transgressive U*U ministers. Try another analogy next time PG. . . As a rule, the only people who get mistreated by yours truly are people who mistreated me first. I might add that I usually give them plenty of opportunity to change their ways aka clean up their act before retaliating.

WVC = nonsubi

Robin Edgar said...

"I would also direct you back to your original post which was pretty nasty in and of itself."

Touché Chuck. :-)

Yes, I think we can agree that to paraphrase Canadian folk-rock singer Gordon Lightfoot. . . as U*U bloggers go CC's more obnoxious than most.

Robin Edgar said...

Typo correction - with the possible exception of UUA President Bill Sinkford's negligent and effectively *complicit* response to my complaints about the clergy misconduct

Chalicechick said...

Here is "day one" of my meeting of Robin. Note how he takes a discussion that I started in general terms and makes it entirely about himself. I put aside what I wanted to talk about and talked to Robin about and talked to Robin about his problems instead.

At one point he says "Would that there were more UUs like you!"

So if I've been rude to Robin from day one, his standards for other people's conduct must be tremendous, and much higher than his standards for his own.

Which is something I've always
suspected.

CC

Chalicechick said...

So Chuck, you say I'm a racist because of things I've said other places, but you won't provide a link.

Too bad you're not a law student or someone would come along and make you follow hearsay rules. Here's the link to the discussion at Sean's blog.I invite people to judge for themselves.


(((In terms of Law, again that was advice. Most successful lawyers I have met make correct citing a second nature, that was advice.))))

Most successful people I know do not listen to someone talk and then say "You may think that you believe that for the reason you say, but know, actually, I know better than you. You believe it for the reason I think you do."

Now is me telling you that advice?

I could be passive-aggressive and pretend it is, but no, I respect you enough to suspect that you are somewhat looser in your communication style on the internet and in a professional situation would not be quick to tell a co-worker or a client that they made a decision because they are closet racists. I think you're smart enough to know that different communication styles are appropriate for different media.

You clearly don't respect me enough to think I could understand that and have different communication styles for different places, that's fine. I do wish you'd tell me about it less often.

(((( Also, since CC's specific post was directed at Morales' inability to correctly interpret facts it seems a little disingenous that CC would then commit the same crime.)))

Exactly what fact did I not properly interpret?

And for what it's worth, I don't think Morales interpreted the facts badly at all. I think he knew damn well that the drop in membership was statistically insignificant and I think he knew that the figures wouldn't be formally released for awhile and used those two facts to his advantage by making it sound like the membership drop was big so that people would think we had some sort of emergency that required him.

I think what he did was brilliant as a political move. But I want a minister, not a marketer.

Also, I only committed the "Crime" that anyone who read Morales letter and took him at his word that the membership numbers were down also committed: I believed what someone said about the UUA numbers because they were in a position to know.


CC

PG said...

Robin,

"The latter statement actually acknowledges being somewhat rude but not all *that* rude."

No, it doesn't. If I say, "I don't think that I'm really all that bad at billiards," that doesn't necessarily mean I'm acknowledging being somewhat bad at billiards; it only means I deny being as bad as someone has charged me with being. You have repeatedly disclaimed that you were rude, instead insisting that it is "open to some debate" and you were just "moderately snarky." There has not been a single straightforward acknowledgement that you were rude, just as there was no straightforward acknowledgement that you were wrong about the numbers and CC was right.

"why is it that you don't care what other female U*Us have said about me but apparently do care about what CC has said about me."

Because you justify being "snarky" and "not really all that rude" to CC by claims that she has been very rude to you. How rude other female CCs have been to other men has f*** all to do with this.

Now, please point out where, during that Day One on which you met CC, she said anything to you that was comparable to saying she has "foot in mouth" disease.

Or you can keep going off on tangents about other female CCs who have mistreated other men, if you have as little to back up your claims as I suspect, and we can end the discussion there.

Chuck B.,

"If a person is going to go off on someone based entirely on some statistic"

You evidently have no understanding of CC's concerns about Rev. Morales as a leader for the UUA. Her post was about how Morales seems to think that the denomination is like a product to sell to as many people as possibility. His willingness to treat a 74-member dip in the "consumer base" was used as one item of evidence for his having an attitude that CC evidently deems inappropriate for a denomination leader. And again, she was right, and you and Robin were wrong. I wonder how much of your need to justify being patronizing toward her is due to that little fact.

Anonymous said...

from a legal standpoint, does allowing libelous and defamatory comments to remain on a blog open one up to possible litigation? Or would this apply only to the poster of said comment?


(too chicken to sign my name)

fausto said...

LF: I wonder whether St. Anthony of Egypt was actually trying to bone up for his exams at the Univ. of Alexandria when he went into seclusion in the desert for twenty years.As a lifelong member of a secret society devoted to the memory of the blessed Desert Father (but not so much to his asceticism), I think he probably did it to escape the swine flu. (Not that it helped any.)

CC: Here is "day one" of my meeting of Robin.Ah yes, the good old days! Someday I'll tell this to my grandchildren, as a guest in a UU History RE classroom, and they will gaze at me in wide-eyed awe and they will say, "Wow! You were there when the Chalice Chick first met Robin Edgar? That's even cooler than being Henry David Thoreau's jailer when Emerson came to visit!"

Robin Edgar said...

I was using the term "Day One" somewhat loosely CC to indicate that you were quite rude in your earliest interactions with me. Maybe it was on Day Two or Day Three when your rudeness kicked in. I well recall how you initially displayed a certain amount of concern about my situation but quickly devolved into DIM Thinking mode not long afterwards.

:Note how he takes a discussion that I started in general terms and makes it entirely about himself.

Note how CC specifically asked, "Does it hold true in your city? Whch are you?". . .

:So if I've been rude to Robin from day one, his standards for other people's conduct must be tremendous, and much higher than his standards for his own.

As usual CC chooses snide disingenuousness to try to discredit me. Most people would consider such sarcastic "snark" to be just a tad rude. . . My standards for other people are very clearly stated when I complain about their bad behavior and I usually only complain about quite egregious bad behavior. U*Us would be hard pressed to find much evidence of me being as intolerant, bigoted, and verbally abusive as the U*Us, including U*U clergy, whose unacceptable behavior I am complaining about with the exception of when I put them on the "Eat Your Words Diet".

:Which is something I've always
suspected.

Yes, like many of the *U*Us I know, you always have been quite suspicious minded CC. . .

PG If you cannot understand that when I say -

"I don't think that I was *really* all that rude here CC."

I am acknowledging some comparatively low level rudeness that is your problem not mine.

:You have repeatedly disclaimed that you were rude, instead insisting that it is "open to some debate" and you were just "moderately snarky."

ROTFLMU*UO! Being "moderately snarky" is being moderately rude in my books PG. What planet do you live on? I have by no means disclaimed being rude I have just pointed out that I have not been all *that* rude.

:There has not been a single straightforward acknowledgement that you were rude, just as there was no straightforward acknowledgement that you were wrong about the numbers and CC was right.

I did in fact acknowledge that CC was right PG. Just what part of "So the 74 figure does refer to individual adult members" do you not understand? I have said that I am pretty sure that I heard Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman express serious concern about a loss of congregations, not individual members, during the telephone presidential. There are various numbers being thrown around about how many U*U congregations went AWOL but I just read that "50 congregations failed to certify for GA 2009" on the Florida UUA Trustee's report. Considering that 40 to 50 whole congregations went AWOL according to UUA sources it is not out of the question that Rev. Laurel Hallman might have thought 74 congregations went AWOL. In any case I long ago acknowledged that I might have misheard her and urged CC to check her fact while I checked mine.

:How rude other female CCs have been to other men has f*** all to do with this.

You're too funny PG. How rude other U*Us, male or female or everything in between, have been has everything to do with *how* rude I have been. My point was that however rude I may have been in responding to CC was quite mild compared to the much worse rudeness of U*U clergy. And. . . as Chuck rightly points out. CC's post was rude. Her rudeness in that particular instance was not directed at me but it was none-the-less quite rude.

:Now, please point out where, during that Day One on which you met CC, she said anything to you that was comparable to saying she has "foot in mouth" disease.

See my response to CC above. My point is that CC most certainly has been quite snarky and rude from the earliest stages of our online interaction. That doesn't meant that she is always rude. In fact CC plays a game of coming on "all sweet and innocent like" when she is caught being rude. I have seen her play that game numerous times. I even have some interesting emails that illustrate that game CC plays. For the record U*U "foot in mouth" disease is fairly low end snark in my books, it obviously references the pun ewe-ewes. . . It is simply a humorous play on words that I use when a U*U aka ewe-ewe has put their foot rather firmly in their mouth. I use the "foot in mouth disease" snark on non-U*Us like Richard Dawkins from time to time too.

:Or you can keep going off on tangents about other female CCs who have mistreated other men,

So just who are all these "other female CCs" you keep talking about PG? I thought CC was quite unique.

:if you have as little to back up your claims as I suspect, and we can end the discussion there.

You're too funny PG I have plenty to back up my claims about CC being rude to me, to say nothing of other people. Surely you have heard the saying,

"Be careful what you ask for lest you get it."

Nay I politely suggest that you don't push your luck. Or hers for that matter. . .

Robin Edgar said...

Typo correction - *May* I politely suggest that you don't push your luck. Or hers for that matter. . .

BTW PG I am currently trying to determine how many colors of asshole *you* are. :-)

Robin Edgar said...

Oops! I should have said flavors of asshole. . .

My bad.

PG said...

"Being "moderately snarky" is being moderately rude in my books PG. What planet do you live on?"

Um, the one in which being snarky doesn't always involve being rude? Miss Manners gets snarky sometimes; it's not the same as being rude. Of course, less artful people attempting to snark often do end up being just plain rude.

"So the 74 figure does refer to individual adult members"

does not equal

"CC was right and I was wrong," nor any variant thereof.

How rude other U*Us, male or female or everything in between, have been has everything to do with *how* rude I have been. My point was that however rude I may have been in responding to CC was quite mild compared to the much worse rudeness of U*U clergy.OK, explain why the rudeness of of UU clergy has anything to do with how rude you are to CC, who is not UU clergy.

"Nay I politely suggest that you don't push your luck. Or hers for that matter. . ."

Nicely done! We have moved on from rudeness to threats in less than a dozen comments. It took longer than I expected.

Robin Edgar said...

:Nicely done! We have moved on from rudeness to threats in less than a dozen comments. It took
longer than I expected.

Excuse me PG but you challenged me to produce evidence of CC's rudeness so how does it become a "threat" when I suggest that it might be best for CC not to push your luck in that regard? If you *really* want me to produce evidence of CC's rudeness to me, to say nothing of other people, I can but she will not come out of it looking too good.

"So the 74 figure does refer to individual adult members"

does not equal

"CC was right and I was wrong," nor any variant thereof.

It equals CC was right about the 74 figure referring to individual adult members rather than congregations PG. I think the number of flavors of asshole you are just increased a bit. . . What specifically was I clearly and unequivocally "wrong" about PG? Maybe you should reread what I actually said on CC's Perspective, please, Mr. Morales and get some perspective yourself PG.

Robin Edgar said...

It appears that I managed to overlook a request/demand for some explaining from PG. Apparently PG is a very slow learner because I thought I already explained my point to him and/or her.

:OK, explain why the rudeness of of UU clergy has anything to do with how rude you are to CC, who is not UU clergy.

OK here goes, one more time, r-e-e-e-al slow for PG.

The rudeness of U*U clergy like Rev. Victoria Weinstein and Rev. Cynthia P. Cain, to say nothing of Rev. Ray Drennan and other intolerant and/or bigoted and/or insulting and defamatory and/or otherwise verbally abusive U*U clergy, has to do with *how* rude I am to CC, who thankfully is not yet another obnoxious U*U clergy person, in the following way -

It illustrates that my comparatively moderate if not minimal rudeness towards CC, who is just a tad rude herself to me and other people and thus does not deserve a soft touch in my books, pales in comparison to theirs. . .

Got it now PG or do I need to explain it to you a third or fourth time?

PG said...

Robin,

An incomplete listing of things you said that turned out to be wrong:

"I think that you will find that he was talking about 74 whole *congregations* dropping off the map of the U*U World."

"I doubt either Rev. Morales or Rev. Hallman would be concerned about a decrease of 74 members overall"

"Check your facts CC. It seems like 74 *congregations* not people disappeared off the map of the U*U World in the latest count in February of this year."

"I can't imagine that she or any other top level UUA official would contact 74 individual people to find out why they decided to become XU*Us."

"I am quiet confident that we are not talking about 74 people."

"Whether it's 74 UUA congregations gone AWOL, or "only" 45, the UUA officially "lost" a significant number of congregations, not just individual members, in the most recent official count."

etc. etc.

"It illustrates that my comparatively moderate if not minimal rudeness towards CC, who is just a tad rude herself to me and other people and thus does not deserve a soft touch in my books, pales in comparison to theirs. . ."

Oh, I'm sorry, I'd kept asking because I couldn't believe you would be this absurd. Again, slow learning curve for PG!

You actually believe that it's OK for you to be rude to one person because various third parties -- not the person to whom you are being rude -- are ruder than you are. I mean, gosh, you can't expect people to be polite to anyone in a world where there's any rude people. Let's keep expectations in check here.

I don't think I'd heard this type of argument since my little sister grew out of the "but all the other kids get to, why can't I" stage. Oh, wait, I guess there was something similar at the Supreme Court yesterday when the conservative justices basically said that if other states get to have voting practices with disparate negative impact on minorities, the Southern states should be able to do the same. Good company Robin!

Joel Monka said...

PG, I think Matthew 7:6 applies here.

fausto said...

Also Matthew 10:14, Mark 6:11, Luke 9:5.

Lois said...

Don't forget the lie that CC had been mean to him from the day they met. I read her link she's very kind to him even after he rudely takes over her discussion.

PG said...

Joel, good point. Fausto, that string cite reminds me of why I like the Jefferson edition of the KJV: all the Jesus, less repetitive filling.

Robin Edgar said...

:You actually believe that it's OK for you to be rude to one person because various third parties -- not the person to whom you are being rude -- are ruder than you are. I mean, gosh, you can't expect people to be polite to anyone in a world where there's any rude people. Let's keep expectations in check here.

Once again PG incredibly stupidly misunderstands, or incredibly disingenuously misrepresents. . . what I said. Most likely the latter being a lawyer and all. I said no such thing PG, as should be clear from my previous explanations. I was moderately rude to CC because she is quite regularly rude to me and other people. In fact she has outright defamed me on a number of occasions. Her post about Morales was just a tad rude so I felt no need to be particularly polite to her.

:I don't think I'd heard this type of argument since my little sister grew out of the "but all the other kids get to, why can't I" stage.

Except I didn't make that argument PG. . . I have however made it very clear to U*Us that I can and will be rude to U*Us who are rude to me and other people and CC most certainly is rude to me and a good number of other people.

:Oh, wait, I guess there was something similar at the Supreme Court yesterday when the conservative justices basically said that if other states get to have voting practices with disparate negative impact on minorities, the Southern states should be able to do the same. Good company Robin!

Your analogy is off-base because it's premise is wrong as I have already shown a few times now PG. Actually, the "company" I find myself in is a stunningly hypocritical "religious community" that apparently believes that it is "within the appropriate guidelines of ministerial leadership" for U*U ministers to be far more rude to me and other people than I have been to CC in this instance.

::An incomplete listing of things you said that turned out to be wrong:

"I think that you will find that he was talking about 74 whole *congregations* dropping off the map of the U*U World."

CC was wrong too because Morales never mentioned a specific number of lost members. I have very good grounds to doubt the accuracy of that figure too. I had very reasonable grounds to believe that both Morales and Hallman were more concerned about a loss of a significant number of UUA congregations, as per what was said during the telephone presidential forum. I thought that I heard Rev. Hallman speak about a loss of 74 congregations and I have not been proven wrong on that point. It is entirely possible that she misspoke.

:"I doubt either Rev. Morales or Rev. Hallman would be concerned about a decrease of 74 members overall"

How am I "wrong" in holding to a personal opinion that Rev. Morales and/or Rev. Hallman would not be all *that* concerned about a decrease of 74 members overall, but were rather more likely to be concerned about the loss of whole UUA congregations which now appears to be 50 or so congregations?

:"Check your facts CC. It seems like 74 *congregations* not people disappeared off the map of the U*U World in the latest count in February of this year."

Yup. That's me. Definitely "wrong" for suggesting that CC check her facts while I checked mine. . . What part of the word "seems" do you not understand PG? It is now abundantly clear that 50 or so whole UUA congregations disappeared off the map of the U*U World in the latest count in February of this year.

:"I can't imagine that she or any other top level UUA official would contact 74 individual people to find out why they decided to become XU*Us."

How am I "wrong" for finding it hard to believe that Rev. Laurel Hallman, or any other top level UUA official for that matter, would personally track down and interview 74 individual people to find out why they left the U*U fold? Can you prove beyond a proverbial reasonable doubt that I was "wrong" in this personal belief PG? I don't think so. . . I am still quite sure that Rev. Hallman was talking about UUA congregations, not individual U*Us, when she spoke about contacting the lost sheep of the U*U fold to find out why it was that they were no longer members of the UUA.

:"I am quiet confident that we are not talking about 74 people."

Obviously that is because I was, and still am, very confident that the main concern of Rev. Laurel Hallman and Rev. Peter Morales was a loss of a good number of whole UUA congregations, apparently no less than 40 and as many as 50 or so after my own fact checking endeavors. For the record I am still quite confident that we are not talking about 74 people, it is quite probable that that particular number is "less than accurate".

:"Whether it's 74 UUA congregations gone AWOL, or "only" 45, the UUA officially "lost" a significant number of congregations, not just individual members, in the most recent official count."

ROTFLMU*UO! And just how am I "wrong here" PG when I publicly acknowledge that the UUA may have lost "only" 45 congregations rather than 74 as initially seemed might be the case based upon what I had heard during the telephone presidential forum?

Good thing you didn't provide a complete list of where I was "wrong" eh PG? For the record I am right about the UUA losing at least 40n and as many as 50 or more whole congregations. What do U*Us think that UUA leaders are most concerned about? A loss of 74 individual adult members out of 160,000 or so adult U*Us, or a loss of 40 to 50 whole UUA congregations out of 1050 or so "churches", now bringing UUA congregations below the highly symbolic 1000 mark?

I think Matthew 7:6 does apply here Joel, but not in the way you would like to think. . . In fact my now largely validated pearl of wisdom that the UUA presidential candidates are rather more likely to be seriously concerned by a loss of 40 to 50 whole UUA congregations rather than 74 individual members was indeed trampled upon by CC and other U*Us here. But that is by no means the worst way that U*Us have trampled upon the pearls I have offered them over the years is it Joel? Allow me to remind U and other U*Us what U*Us trampled on by paraphrasing Matthew 7:6 with appropriate embedded hyperlinks -

"Do not give U*Us what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to ewe-ewes. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

Fausto, the day I decide to shake hypocritical U*U dust off my feet and totally abandon the U*U World a whole lot of U*Us are going to choke on that dust. . .

Robin Edgar said...

Lois it was by no means a "lie", i.e. a knowing and willful falsehood, for me to say that CC was quite rude from "Day One", it was simply a somewhat loose use of that phrase. CC was quite rude in our earliest interactions on Beliefnet. As I have already said, maybe it was actually on Day Two or Day Three when CC devolved into the DIM Thinking of quite rudely trying to Deny, Ignore and Minimize the U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy I was talking about. . .

Chalicechick said...

Have been laptopless for 24 hours now, iPhone connection is spotty, will make this quick:


-I provided a link to my first several days of conversation on Bnet with Robin upthread. I invite you to judge for yourself the truthfulness of his new statement that I was rude to him within the first few days of meeting him.

-I never said Morales said the drop was 74 people. Of course he didn't, it would have made the tone of his letter ridiculous had he done so. My guess is he was counting on the actual number not being released for awhile. This blog notwithstanding, the ruse has worked very well.

-Robin is being awfully rude to PG, who hasn't been nearly as rude to him.

-I am skeptical that the "down by 50 congregations" bit is true for reasons I've already explained. But if we are down by 50 congregations and only 75 people then either our other congregations are growing enough to make up thr difference or the former members of the defunt congregations are joining other congregations. This is a good thing. If two 50-member churches unite into one hundred member one we lose two weak congregations and gain a stronger one. Sounds good to me.

Got a plane to catch. See y'all later and thank you to PG especially for the good words.

CC

Robin Edgar said...

"-Robin is being awfully rude to PG, who hasn't been nearly as rude to him."

PG has been a bit of a jerk aka asshole towards me and the most "awfully rude" thing that I have said about him was to speculate as to how many "flavors of asshole" he and/or she might be which, needless to say, is part and parcel of my "Eat *Your* Words Diet" CC. . . I was just demonstrating to PG how rude you can be with that little exercise.

You provided a link to one specific thread CC. There are other Beliefnet threads which demonstrate your rudeness. Maybe I will try to find some but, as you well know CC, many of the old Beliefnet threads were purged from Beliefnet years ago.

Chalicechick said...

Anonymous,

The Electronic Frontier Foundation knows more about this topic than I ever will. I suggest you google "eff blog section 230" or some such. If I weren't posting from my phone (which doesn't have a cut and paste function) I would give you a link. If the next person to read this would like to provide that link, I would be grateful.

The statutory stuff aside, this nonlawyer's impression is that defamation suits are very hard to win and the person who defamed one gets to do it a lot more defaming in the process of putting on their defense.

CC

Chalicechick said...

So you're saying that at the same time we were having that civil conversation, there was another thread where I wax being rude to you? Don't you think you would have mentioned that in the thread that does exist? If nothing else, you gave me a lot of criticism for making an assertion that I couldn't instantly prove. Don't you deserve the same criticism now?

And don't you think calling PG a "slow learner" was rude? There have been many times when I've had to explain a point to you repeatedly and I've never called you that. Why call her that?

CC
Who does not like delayed flights

Robin Edgar said...

:There have been many times when I've had to explain a point to you repeatedly and I've never called you that.

Link to some examples CC. Let's say half a dozen or so since you insist that there have been *many* times. More often than not it's the flip side of that scenario that occurs CC. You have repeatedly either misunderstood or misrepresented things that I say, not unlike your friend PG here.

I called PG a slow learner because, in this particular instance, she is in fact a rather slow learner.

PG said...

Anonymous,

"from a legal standpoint, does allowing libelous and defamatory comments to remain on a blog open one up to possible litigation? Or would this apply only to the poster of said comment?"

This isn't legal advice, but in general if the blog comment section is one without much moderation, basically an open forum, you'll fit easily into the Section 230 provisions that protect service providers.

If you want to see just how extensive Sec. 230's protections are, try reading up on the Auto Admit litigation. The plaintiffs are suing various anonymous commenters to a message board who, for example, claimed that the plaintiffs had STDs and suggested raping them. The person who owns and runs the message board is not a defendant, thanks to Sec. 230 protections, but he has gotten tagged with subpoenas for IP data etc. to help the plaintiffs track down the anonymous defendants.

PG said...

Oops, forgot the URL CC was talking about: http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal/liability/230

patrickmurfin said...

CC and Robin--

Why do you bother circling each other like scorpians under a glass?
It seems a bit compulsive on all sides. This has turned into all heat and no light on the original topic. What a waste of time!

Robin Edgar said...

"The statutory stuff aside, this nonlawyer's impression is that defamation suits are very hard to win and the person who defamed one gets to do it a lot more defaming in the process of putting on their defense."

Or the person who did not actually defame anyone, but simply told some rather unpleasant truths about the plaintiff, gets to do a lot more truth telling about the plaintiff in publicly available sworn testimony in court. . . When U*Us falsely accuse me of defaming them I challenge the hypocrites to sue me but they never do because they know all too well that I am not actually defaming them but telling very well documented and thus highly provable truths about them.

Robin Edgar said...

Patrick I couldn't agree more, but don't leave PG out of that equation. . . Personally I don't mind playing this game with CC and others because U*Us never come out of it looking very good, scorpions indeed. . . which might explain why you prudently suggested we cease and desist. I long ago told U*Us that if they want to engage in virtual mud wrestling with me that I would happily oblige them.

fausto said...

Robin said: Fausto, the day I decide to shake hypocritical U*U dust off my feet and totally abandon the U*U World a whole lot of U*Us are going to choke on that dust. . .
Robin, I was addressing that citation to PG, because I figure you're constitutionally incapable of doing it or you would have done so long ago. But go ahead and try, I dare you.

Robin Edgar said...

Reverse psychology will get you nowhere Fausto. . .

Chalicechick said...

I don't think that's reverse psychology at all. I think Fausto thinks that it would be the best thing in the world for you to shake UUism's dust off your feet and move on. I agree.

But he thinks you're constitutionally incspable of doing so and I also agree with that.

Chalicechick said...

I don't think that's reverse psychology at all. I think Fausto thinks that it would be the best thing in the world for you to shake UUism's dust off your feet and move on. I agree.

But he thinks you're constitutionally incspable of doing so and I also agree with that.

Robin Edgar said...

No kidding CC. . .

I don't doubt that Fausto thinks that it would be the best thing *for* the whole wide U*U World for me to shake The U*U Movement's outrageously hypocritical "dust" off my feet and move on. No doubt a good number of U*Us would be thoroughly relieved if I did just that but I can assure you and other U*Us that if I completely rejected the U*U World that that rejection of U*U World could potentially have a long lasting negative effect on U*Uism. Look what happened to Judaism when Christians took Jesus' advice and kicked up the proverbial dust while saying sayonara to Judaism. I am perfectly constitutionally capable of doing that but I don't think that it would be very good for the U*U World if I did.

Chalicechick said...

I would, perversely perhaps, miss you. But I don't think it would change things for UUism much one way of another.

I do think it would be good for you.

After all, to take the example you chose, had the Christians not moved on from Judaism, they would have lived and died as obscure Jewish heretics who spent their lives criticizing a lot and being ignored by those in power. Moving on was good for them and enabled them to create their own thing rather than spending their lives fighting for change that wasn't going to happen.

I'd suggest you follow the example you suggested and take the Christians' path and take your followers with you and do your own thing.

CC


CC

Robin Edgar said...

What "followers" CC?

I haven't ever tried to recruit "followers".

:Moving on was good for them and enabled them to create their own thing rather than spending their lives fighting for change that wasn't going to happen.

That is a pretty sad indictment of the U*U World if the kind of change I am seeking isn't going to happen CC. . . Are U*Us really always going to allow anti-religious bigots to "shit" all over God believing people in U*U "churches"? Will U*Us always allow their ministers to insult and defame people with complete impunity? Will U*Us always be totally full of shit when they claim to be a religion where "Revelation is not sealed!" and "the word of the prophet still flows"?

WVC = ofendin

Robin Edgar said...

BTW Fausto it occurs to me that over the years I have repeatedly proven beyond any reasonable doubt that a good number of U*Us are constitutionally incapable of actually honoring and upholding U*U principles and ideals haven't I? But go ahead and try U*Us, I dare you. . .

Chalicechick said...

Robin,

You often write about how when you tell people about your issues with UUism, they agree with you, and you've written in the past that a lot of people at UCM who weren't on the board liked and supported creation day, so I assume you have followers in some sense.

I don't see why I have to provide several examples of me having to explain simple things when you can't even produce one to prove your repeated claims that I was rude to you within the first three days of meeting you. Indeed, that I wasn't rude to you in those first three days is in itself something I've had to repeatedly explain and you still don't believe it.

As for your considering it an "indictment" that UUism hasn't created a denomination where people who believe different things don't sometime give each other guff about it, people in power don't sometimes abuse that power and get away with it and new prophets are accepted and investigated at their word, I don't know of any church that's like that.

Again, my suggestion is that if you think you can put together a church like that, start one. I don't think a church like that exists in this world and we could sorely use one.



Patrick,

One can either ban and/or ignore Robin or one can talk about his points with him, see where he is coming from and, yes, sometimes argue with him. I consider which path one takes a personal choice and I chose the second. Certainly I get lots of criticism both from Robin and from people who don't like Robin's tactics for this decision, but it is mine to make.

CC

Robin Edgar said...

I certainly don't criticize your decision to argue with me CC. I only criticize some of the *content* of your arguments.

Chalicechick said...

My point was that at least some bloggers have chosen to either ignore everything you say or to simply remove your comments. You sometimes say a thing or two about people who ignore you, but mostly you move on.

I take your arguments seriously enough to think about them and respond to them and because of that, you've insulted me FAR more often than the people who just ignore you.

It makes sense that since we actually communicate you would of course say more rude things to me than you would to someone who never answers you, but it does mean that I have effectively come under criticism from you also by not taking Patrick's advice and ignoring you.

At the least, I could have spared myself a good deal of insult and criticism by taking you less seriously.

CC

Robin Edgar said...

Insult and criticism is a two way street CC and you have done your fair share of it with me and other people. As a rule I do not insult people who have not insulted me or other people first. But yes, because you have chosen to "engage" with me, sometimes with insult (to say nothing of outright injury to my reputation) you have have quite naturally been on the receiving end of more insults and criticism than those who choose not to engage. OTOH a fair number of U*U bloggers, including some U*U ministers, have chosen to engage with me but have done so in a consistently civil if not quite respectful manner and thus have yet to get the back of my virtual "hand". :-) The U*Us who have done so have earned my respect so I am less likely to return the favor if or when they do inadvertently or worse, knowingly and willfully, insult or defame me. The fact that these U*U bloggers have a proven track record of doing no such thing, or at least of have ceased and desisted from any earlier insulting or otherwise offensive behavior, leads me to expect that I am very unlikely to knowingly and willfully insult them any time soon myself.

I'll tell you what though CC. I will try to give you a clean slate today and refrain from willfully insulting you as long as you refrain from giving me any reason too insult you. That being said it seems that you have been insulted by some things I have said that were not intended as insults but simply quite truthful and accurate descriptions of your own behavior, most notably your ongoing habit of denying, ignoring, and minimizing unethical behavior of various kinds.