June 21, 2008

Shark Fin Soup

As a homeschooling parent, I am part of several groups online through email.  I probably delete 90% of the messages I receive because they are not interesting/relevant to me, but it's nice to have access to the information being disseminated, on a daily basis.  One of the local groups I am part of is secular and the other is not.  I've noticed that there are many more "flame wars" on the non-secular group.  There was an uproar over The Golden Compass movie.  They've gotten their panties in a wad over a virtual academy, (distance learning) vs. "real" homeschooling.  And the latest was today, over sharks.  

A couple of weeks ago, one member posted that she would be leaving Yahoo groups because of their investments in  companies that market shark fins.

Yahoo is a 40% shareholder with the largest online marketer of shark fins in the world. Over 100 million sharks are killed a year for their fins alone.  It's time to let companies like Yahoo know that it does matter where you invest your money, it's time to leave Yahoo!

Today, she sent her final goodbye with another message about the reasons why, and back came a reply about a "repeat performance".  She responded that her original message said she was going to be leaving on June 20th and she was just saying farewell.  Then there was another reply about her messages being spam and therefore not read.  These replies were intentionally rude and for no good reason.  Is there ever a good reason to be rude?  The response could have been respectful, expressing the opinion that this was off-topic.  Or they could have gone to the moderator in private, but instead they chose to flame out on the list.  The moderator did put the offender on moderated status but not before they could tell the entire group how they *really* felt.  Sheesh!  I don't know if this person is a "Christian" or not, but nothing this snarky has ever been said on the secular list. 

I was struck by how differently the two groups handled these emails.   The first message inspired a dialogue on the secular group, but was ignored on the other loop.   The owner of the secular list even created a group through Google.   Anyone who wants to leave Yahoo can still get homeschooling support without losing their connections, and several of the members have joined the Google list.  After the second email, only warm goodbyes were given on the secular group.  Not so much on the "Christian" loop.   

So I left this particular loop tonight.  While I can't make a clear connection between religion and this latest issue, I can see that I have no use for a group that prides itself on being "Christian" but has many more arguments than I've ever seen among the "heathens."   Not to mention the general lack of respect shown to anyone willing to take a stand about an issue that ultimately affects us all, the destruction of our planet.  

Sometimes I wonder what is worse, the public school system and all of it's problems, or intolerant homeschooling parents who are raising their children in much the same way.

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