censorship – is Luther worthy of love?


I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about censorship in the land of blogging, and I’m not entirely sure why. I even feel a bit prickly about comment policies and ban threats. Although I do understand that sometimes extremely nasty things are said that shouldn’t be displayed in public, I find it odd when a simple difference of opinion can lead to comments being trashed and conversations being denied.

Today I had an uncomfortable 20 minutes trapped on the toilet with my phone for distraction (a detail no-one really needs to hear about) and I was desperate enough to bother clicking on the link to Prayson Daniel‘s latest post about Martin Luther. Now usually I avoid reading Prayson’s posts, even though I’m subscribed, because I find them painfully dry and boring. This post is about how much he loves a new piece of software that helps him dedicate his life to reading more of the words of Martin Luther:

I love Luther. I believe you would too when you get a chance to know more about him through his own works. Together with St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and John Calvin, Luther is among my top four Christian theologians who keep me up awake throughout many nights studying their works. …  Since I am in love with Luther (do not tell my wife), I have also priorities his works in my Logos Library.

Fair enough. Everyone has a favourite writer, someone who inspires them and seems to have insight into what they believe life is about.

BUT, there was a long comment underneath the post when I read it on the toilet several hours ago, and when I came back to re-read the comment just now, it was gone. The comment said the post was disgusting. The comment quoted from a treatise that Luther had written about Jews, On the Jews and Their Lies, calling Jews “base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth”. The comment seemed to question how anyone could declare love for a man whose writings were a chief inspiration for anti-semitism in Nazi Germany.

Fair enough. So what was Prayson’s response? Nothing. Well, nothing on the subject. He issued a short paragraph threatening to delete the comment for being … I can’t remember what … rude?  Did he say rude? Is it rude for someone to question another’s declaration of adoration for someone whose words were used to justify killing millions?

Censorship annoys me. On so many occasions it reveals the inability of people to face the truth. It reveals people’s desires to live closeted lives accepting only information they want to hear. It’s a denial of truth and debate, and makes us all more ignorant.

Prayson, you appear to have deleted both comments now, so that anyone reading your post will be left with the impression that John Luther was a man worthy of blinkered adoration. History tells us he was not – your attitude reveals your love of censored ignorance, if nothing else.