I'll get this part of the way right now: As a fiction author, I am not only in favor of Freedom of Speech, I depend on it for my choice of career. Still, there has always been a blurry distinction for many between speaking or writing unfettered and using harmful, derogatory or inflammatory language for the sake of causing harm to others. To borrow from my own experience, my short story "Finally, the Source" which was published in the Pill Hill Press anthology Leather Denim & Silver:Legends of the Monster Hunter deals with issues of religious belief and Biblical claims in a way that would be considered blasphemous by many Christians and Jews alike. One reviewer actually wrote, "Holy Shit! Did they really just do that?" in reaction to the ending.
However, my intent was to extrapolate the Creation Myth and turn it on its ear, not to offend. I was even careful with the wording of the piece because I know how easily one can fall into the shock value for its own sake trap. By contrast, there's a Facebook Page called "At least I'm Honest," which is also moderated by a user bearing that phrase as his screen-name. This person goads the religious as often as possible under the cloak of humor with as many offensive comments and pictures as he can. To be fair, his page contains a disclaimer with the welcoming phrase, "If you are easily offended, this page is not for you." As opposed to, say, the Christians Vs. Atheists page that actually encourages discussion that can often turn hostile, At Least I'm Honest prefers to offer up his views as good-natured humor, claiming those who disagree are somehow tight-asses or just plain stupid.
It's the refuge of the intellectually stunted and the small child, and one often wonders if he might be both in equal measure. He certainly seems to me enjoying himself, nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but his vitriol is so hateful and no transparent that even the simple act of someone clicking "like" on the comments of a person who is responding to his insults by coming back with better ones of their own results in a quick dressing down and a ban from his page. It's not a leap of logic to conclude that this man-child is indulging himself in online masturbation. He isn't the first, nor is he the worst offender, but he made one mistake: He presumptuously decided he would put me in "my place."
Below is his message to me regarding the fact that I enjoyed the insults he was receiving from someone he banned and my reply:
ALIH: "I'm leaving all the comments with her name tagged, I"m guessing nobody can see her comments anymore since I banned her. Christopher, consider if you should be here again. If you like her posts when she's talking shit, I don't know why you are around anymore."
At this point he'd already banned me, but I wrote back:" So in other words, we're only allowed to like what you write because it's so hilarious and insightful or you'll ban us like a little groinless bitch. good to know. crawl back inside your own asshole with the rest of your cum guzzling sychophants. "
Keep in mind this was after he'd repeatedly referred to the women he banned as the "C-word" for pointing out how offensive she found his post. Just in case he didn't see the message, I found his comment on someone else's post and posted it there, too. I also reported him to Facebook for targeting a specific religion, resulting in the following exchange:
Thanks for your recent report of a potential violation on Facebook. After reviewing your report, we were not able to confirm that the specific page you reported violates Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
Learn more about what we do and don't allow by reviewing the Facebook Community Standards: https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards.
My reply: "Wow, so telling religious people to "fuck off" and penalizing them for having differing viewpoints by constant threats of banning while posting offensive pics of Jesus being consumed by zombies among others is difficult to confirm as a violation? I'm not even a Christian and I'm repulsed. Oh, and apparently calling a woman who expresses her religious beliefs a "cunt" is acceptable as well. Nice to know. Now I can create that page I was afraid would be too offensive because apparently anything goes. "
That is why Facebook is an ass!