I am done with Patheos. I will no longer go there - and that includes that train wreck of barking mad leftist tribalism built on calumny and character assassination and judgementalism, CAEI. I stopped going to CAEI on my own some time ago, but would visit when someone sent me a link, or emailed about it, or posted on FB. Given Mark's penchant for banning anyone and everyone who doesn't join in his political hatred of conservatism or stand within his circle of awesome buddies, I guess many saw me as a chance to speak to his blog when Mark had isolated himself from too much overt criticism.
In any event, Patheos is a den of evil and sin and hate. There are, no doubt, some fine people with fine blogs. I think of Dave Armstrong, or Father Longenecker. And I'm sure some of those fine blogs are from people outside of the Christian fold, conservative or otherwise.
But it's too much chaff to sort through to get to the wheat. On the whole, Patheos is a left leaning, secular site that, like most on the Left, favors radical anything over the Christian Faith. Much of the action in the comboxes wavers between the adolescent ravings of a spoiled brat, to outright advocacy of heresies, blasphemies, intrinsic evils and sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance. If all of that didn't align with the basic designs of Patheos in general, I could stomach it. Knowing that the most anti-Christian and pro-radical Leftist comments are in line with Patheos's basic ideals made it all the worse.
I say all this after Mark Shea wrote a grand, Spirit led (his words) post calling for healing, compassion and love, he was still spewing his tribalist bilge on another post. It's like the fundamentalist railing against the evils of alcohol between swigs of Jack Daniel's. And yet, his is far more par for the course at Patheos than a glaring exception, as this fine piece demonstrates. Note the comments, those are important, too. The entire post is based on 'we all know their wretched and evil hearts.'
We're called to avoid the near occasion of sin. Patheos is, in many ways, the worst of the Internet. I'm already becoming convinced that my boys are right, that social media is mostly bad with a few shards of goodness. Like some of the blogs, not all of the commenters who frequent Patheos are bad either. Some, Christian, Conservative, or otherwise, are quite good, mature, thoughtful, and charitable. Even if they have strong opinions contrary to my own beliefs.
Many, however, are the worst of what social media stands produces. So why bother? At best, it does no good. At worst you can find yourself being sucked in. Thanks to Mark, who threw my name out on his blogs to be hashed and trashed by his faithful, I've already taken a beating there. It's easy to want a pound of flesh, or even begin to fall into the sin of judgementalism or arrogance when you scan the many bad examples that define most of the sites and their visitors.
So from now on, if someone sends an email or posts a FB post noting the crazy, the evil, the sin, the blaspheme, the heresy, or whatever else one sees across Patheos on a regular basis (including, but not limited to, what one often sees on CAEI or other similar blogs), I'll respond. But I will no longer follow the link. If I could ban Patheos entirely from my internet, I'd do it. For now, I'm done going there. Life is just too short.