Did anyone else notice that AIG removed the ability to see


Comments on their Facebook page unless you are logged in?

It was always interesting to watch the comments sections over the course of a day or two after a new post. A comment would show up with a logical, respectful and well-thought out argument against the AIG position, along with multiple other comments telling Ken how smart and wonderful he is. Going back a little while later, the anti-AIG post would be gone and the others would remain. It was fascinating, but sad.

It is amazing to me how a group that positions itself as dedicated to science, theology and history is so completely committed to shutting down ANY kind of reasonable discussion.

God is truth and will always prevail, with or without our help. This desire to remain in control of entire scholarly topics and monitor other people’s thoughts doesn’t seem to point people to trust in God. It seems to point to man as the arbitrator of truth.

Does this kind of censorship ever lead to truth?

(Casper Hesp) #2

I think it depends on the way one views the Facebook channel. If it is meant as some kind of PR tool, I can imagine that they want to avoid internet debates. Facebook comments can make readers prejudiced towards the content, which is obviously not a desirable consequence for Ken and co.

Jehovah’s Witnesses even have some kind of rule against engaging in debates via the internet. They believe that real personal interaction is the appropriate vehicle of truth.

(Brad Kramer) #3

After being an online moderator for almost two years, I actually have increasing sympathy for a closed comment policy. It’s easily to turn these things into “truth vs. censorship”, but there are just so many trolls out there, and it does look weird when there’s lots of very negative comments below an organization’s posts.

However, I do think that AiG’s policy of deleting literally any negative comment is excessive and does suggest a certain mindset about their perspective.


I completely understand what you are getting at. However, what I had noticed from popping in about once a week for the past maybe 6 months, is that they would leave the comments by obvious trolls. It was the moderate, honest discourse people that often were deleted. Often, the vitriolic responses were not deleted. It was very odd. It seemed as though they were happy to leave the mean-spirited and spiteful comments so that people could see how awful their opponents are.

I hope that wasn’t an intentional strategy because, being a ministry, that kind of manipulation would be hard to justify.

From a ministry marketing perspective (which holds to slightly different principles than a traditional business model), it would make sense only if ALL opposing viewpoints were quashed consistently.

Moderators do have a challenging job because there is a fine line between fostering healthy discussion and unproductive pontificating, lol. And the Internet gives people enough anonymity that they often say things they would not say directly to someone’s face. You all do an excellent job, and your work is much appreciated:-)


That is an interesting point about the JWs. I didn’t know that, but it does shed light on why they maintain their door to door ministry in a time when door to door anything has become somewhat obsolete. Thanks for sharing that.

(Brad Kramer) #6

That’s a pretty good one-sentence summary for Answers in Genesis. At least, in my less charitable moments.



(Christy Hemphill) #8

I have noticed that in more conservative circles there is this very odd idea that the only books you should read, websites you should look at, sermons you should hear, etc, are ones that you can 100% place yourself under the authority of and accept wholesale everything they say. It’s like the “Be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear” mantra applied to grown-ups. Some people are teachers and everyone else is a follower who is expected to swallow what the approved authorities dish out. (I won’t get started on how sick I am of hearing about “authority” in the context of church and leadership these days.)

There are all these websites that have lists of approved and “dangerous” authors and the idea is that you should never even read a book by an author you might disagree with because such a person should not be allowed to teach you anything and giving them that “authority” is in itself almost a sin or something.

A long time ago, a friend of mine started a book club at a church and ran into problems with the leadership with some of her proposed selections, because the leadership at the time felt that if the church sponsored a book club, that meant that every thing the book said had to be endorsed by the church, because people were going to be “taught” by the book. It took some dialogue, but the woman finally convinced them that the nature of a book club is to think about and discuss and evaluate ideas and potentially learn things, but not passively “be taught.” It was like this big revelation for a certain person that some people read books they know they are probably going to disagree with parts of and still manage to find the experience valuable.

I think the deletion of comments that people might learn something from is a symptom of this subculture. It’s the same reason they never actually link to the sources they are criticizing and supposedly citing in their articles (following the normal internet journalism conventions the rest of the world follows) because even providing access is somehow construed as a tacit endorsement or encouragement to go be taught by a false teacher. It is very weird. Not to mention condescending and paternalistic.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #9

“Sanitation” is the name of the game, which means staying (and keeping your audience) on message. It’s probably come up here before, but I really enjoyed Loewen’s books on “Lies my teacher told me” which brought attention on how sanitized our history books have been. God forbid we should discover that Lincoln or some other earlier American great were human and had some serious faults. We don’t deal well with that. Witness the recent kerfuffle over the fictional character Atticus and his “fall from grace”. Apparently it’s not supposed to be possible for somebody with racist attitudes to on some occasions be a hero. Nor does any hero, apparently, ever have a racist opinion.

That makes the apostle Paul interesting. But we have a category for him. He was once a sinner, but then in his life 2.0 that was all behind him. If anybody would ever discover somehow that he had continued serious sin in his life (other than the vague sort that can be generically and piously confessed) it would rock our evangelical world. Have you ever noticed how we tend to only give and welcome testimonies about God’s work in our lives if we have the “happy ending” already in hand to share? “…and with God’s help, I really kicked that drug habit!” brings the cheers and amens. “…I’m getting better about indulging less … but to be honest I’ll probably do some more again tonight …” – That doesn’t fly, and won’t be brought up in church so much as it might be in a 12-step program.

Which is all too bad. Because it is really keeping the formal church farther over into la-la land with the real world safely quarantined away. And I’m part of the problem since I like sanitation as much as the next guy. Nobody wants everybody else’s dirty laundry hanging out in view when we go to church. But the result is we have an extremely wimpy “stink” tolerance.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #10

Speaking of a small huddled church that has the much larger world around it “safely in quarantine” --I can’t leave this without a joke.

So there was a curmudgeonly, doctrinaire old man for whom there was only one way to do things --his way; the right way, of course, and nobody could every completely please him. Well, he died and went to Heaven. While sitting down at the banquet table, he noticed across the way that there seemed to be quite the large party over in Hell. People seemed to be feasting and having a good time. Meanwhile God came over to the table with some hot dogs warmed up in the microwave. The old man spoke up: “God, I don’t mean to question your hospitality here, but is this all we’re having? I couldn’t help but notice that it seems like a lot more is going on over there!” God replied, “yeah I know, It’s just that it’s hard to get into cooking just for the two of us.”

(Martin Mayberry) #11

How ever let me insert this thought if you do not mind,I was looking at an atheist web site the other day and they were discussing how they do not have a “dogma” and then going on to say that religion is evil because it has a dogma one must follow and how that dogma has been dangerous in the history of the world. But then the thought occurred to me, that atheist have and follow a dogma as well, And that dogma is:that no God exist. Have you ever attempted to convince an atheist that God is??? Why wont they believe in God? because their dogma that they believe tells them not to because in their mind there is not one. So to me there is no way around it they do have a dogma{system of beliefs} even though they deny it. Just a thought from my personal observations to stick in there.:relaxed:

(Martin Mayberry) #12

However Bio logos bumped me off as well when I said I do not think God used evolution to create anything because no evidence exist for it. I went on to say i believe that God spoke and it happened as Genesis claimed me and Christy went round and round about it. I do understand the Bio Genesis has it’s faults in this way as well. when two people who have differing opinions can not agree about an issue they must then just agree to disagree. and let that be that :relaxed:

(Christy Hemphill) #13

I know you don’t seem to believe us, but the issue was your tone and the way you were interacting with people, not the fact that we disagree with your biblical literalism. You will notice that since you stopped calling people who disagree with you evil and stopped using all caps and multiple exclamation points, and stopped inserting off-topic rants that yelled and preached at people who see things differently, your comments have not been deleted. :smile_cat:

(Martin Mayberry) #14

Yes and I thank you for that too.screaming and yelling and sarcasm is not the way to live, you are correct :relaxed:

(Mervin Bitikofer) #15

no screaming


no yelling

Preach it brother!

no sarcasm

well … let’s not get too carried away here! :smirk:

(Martin Mayberry) #16

In my view it is much more Important to get your philosophy and theology correct than to worry about if screaming is taking place or not.Because even if someone is whispering in the lowest of voices if their theology and philosophy is wrong,they are still telling you a LIE.:smiling_imp:

(James McKay) #17

Such as, claiming that Jesus quoted from Genesis 1-11 more often than all the rest of the Old Testament put together when a search of the Gospels clearly reveals that He didn’t?

(Mervin Bitikofer) #18

The truth is most important – you are right. Packaging is of secondary importance, but still important! It can cause the truth contained inside it to be rejected or maybe not even considered. 1 Corinthians 13:1. But in the end, truth is indispensable.

(Martin Mayberry) #19

He did quote from Genesis “a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife” so that must mean the story in Genesis was true. and remember he did not have to prove Genesis was true ,the people of that time were smarter than we are today and just believed it.:relaxed:

(James McKay) #20

I think you’re missing the point here. I’m not questioning what Jesus believed about Genesis, nor am I claiming that He never quoted Genesis at all, I’m just pointing out that the YEC organisations are exaggerating the doctrinal importance of their particular interpretation of Genesis.

Jesus is recorded as quoting Genesis 1-11 three times in Matthew’s Gospel. On each occasion, He quoted a single verse; He did so in reference to a completely different subject; and He never discussed either the mechanisms or the timescale of creation. These were: Matt. 19:4-5, Matt. 23:35, and Matt. 24:37-39. The subjects concerned were marriage; persecution of the prophets; and the Second Coming.

The one thing we need to ask about all three verses is what they say about the very practical, down-to-earth, day-to-day matter of how we should live our lives. And that’s how we need to read and understand Genesis as a whole. The question we should be asking is not, “What does this tell me about the past?” but “What does this tell me about today? Specifically, what does it tell me about how I should relate to God, and how should I live my life in response?”