Debate:Is it tasteless for Conservapedia to critique the Virginia Tech poem on the Main Page?

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The Poem Criticism on the Main Page...

Really isn't needed. We shouldn't be pushing an agenda when 32 innocent lives were just taken. Wouldn't the space be better spent with prayers, and links to sites which will help students grieve? --Hojimachongtalk 03:10, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

It seems to go to great lengths to read something into the poem that isn't there. It also seems a bit tasteless under the circumstances. Murray 03:20, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

Pathetic ... I would have thought caring christians as the admins claim to be would be above this sort of trash. Jrssr5 03:54, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
  • Sorry, but I respectfully disagree. The "Poem" is an ode to secularism and minimizes their demise by equating their tragic deaths with other causes and tragedies, involving one thousand times the number of people. Such tactics are often used by Holocaust denial groups, and is certainly not worthy of a supposedly great University. --~ Sysop-TK /MyTalk 04:02, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Jesus Christ, now you compare them to holocaust deniers! You and Andy sicken me. Nematocyte 06:24, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
It's a crappy poem, but using it score cheap points is not in good taste.Jaques 07:04, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Personal remark removed You use a poem - admittedly poor, but written from the viewpoint of those writing it - in a feeble attempt to push your own agenda. It's appalling. --Hacker(Write some code) 07:22, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

In the notes in brackets Andy seems to be critiquing the politics of the "poem". The poem is a feeble attempt on the part of VTech's English Department to use the tragedy as a hook to hang their liberal agenda on. Andy's just calling them out on this. --Ed Poor 07:34, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

  • Personal remark removed This is a site on the Web, not a life and death situation. Personal remark removed --Sysop-TK /MyTalk 07:39, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
The poem is a political, self-serving rant by a University that should have taken meaningful steps to prevent this massacre. The English Department that educated this killer should be scrutinized and this poem is the best place to start. Ideas do matter, and unless the mistakes are identified here than the sacrifice of innocent lives will inevitably and needlessly occur again. We owe to the victims and to future students to look critically at the University's role in allowing this massacre to happen.--Aschlafly 09:10, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
And this site's response (plastered all over the front page) isn't also political and self-serving? This smacks of hypocrisy somewhat. The lack of compassion that you're showing here is also rather distasteful. --Jeremiah4-22 12:59, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

So, there is an student at VT english department who mourns his fellow students and decides to write a poem for them. Rest of the department honors the victims by publishing it on their web page. Then there is Conservapedia, which instead of mourning or respecting the feelings of the survivors starts to bash the poem as too liberal and not christian enough. This kinda sickens me. Im not even going to say anything more about the critisism itself, exept what does it matter, even if the writer was an liberal atheist, arent they allowed to mourn and write about their feelings? Do you really think she wrote it to be an political statement? What if others would act the same? If you where one of the survivors, would you like to read some atheist bashing your poem written to the wictims to be too christian or mayby pushing concervative agenda? Timppeli 09:47, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

The "poem" expressed many political opinions and very few feelings. I do not see how it could even be considered poetry, other than the fact that it was formatted as blank verse.
Moreover, not all "feelings" are worthy of unconditional respect and approval. The incident was the "expression" of feelings of rage by a very disturbed individual. Must we "approve" of his expression as an artistic act? Get real, mister. --Ed Poor 09:54, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Please tell me you just didnt try to say that we should criticise the people who don't mourn the way we want, as we would criticise the killers homicidal rampage? Timppeli 10:03, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
I didn't say that. I said that not all "feelings" are worthy of unconditional respect and approval. Suppose someone hates you. Would you feel obliged to "validate" their feelings? --Ed Poor 10:36, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
This is an poem, written by an student who might have been there at the time of the shootings, very least she knew some of the people killed. You take her poem, try to find hidden liberal agenda from it, for example the mentioning of elephants and ivory... Give me a break, you really think she wrote the poem to help the wildlife?, and then without even knowing her religios views you bash her for not mentioning God or including a prayer. And then you justify it by saying that her attempt to show her grief isn't an opinnion worth respecting? That is just outrageous. Timppeli 10:56, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

Andy, re an earlier post on this, you're not entitled to degrade the quality of this site either... but anyways. This is not about how "good" the poem is. This is not about whether or not its "political." What this is about is how it's tacky & tasteless to start bashing VT for what they clearly see as an attempt to express their mourning! I don't care if it's political, or good poetry, but they deserve respect & compassion, not politicization. Criticizing them is another of Andy's attempts to score points off of a tragedy. I'll close by saying that making fun of grieving children is a new low, even for the Schlafly family.-AmesGyo! 11:56, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

Shame on Conservapedia for adding a critique to that poem. Can this Trustworthy Encylopedia sink much lower? Can Christian decency and compassion be denied in a more tasteless manner?
WhatIsG0ing0n 12:02, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Shame on Liberals for politicizing the VTech incident. Can they sink much lower than to exploit a senseless tragedy to score partisan points? --Ed Poor 12:08, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Hello, pot. This is kettle. I wish to discuss with you your hue. On this very site, the day after the massacre, Andy was trying to pin the blame on porn (Apparently it's fine to write non-family friendly gossip, as long as your name is Aschlafly.) If that's not attempting to exploit the event to score political points, I don't know what is. Shame on you for reading subtexts which aren't there in to the acts of students who have recently lost friends in a sudden and brutal manner, and using it to attempt to score a cheap hit on "liberals" --Abrown 23:12, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

Ed, the "liberals" aren't politicizing this! We're explicitly protesting the politicization! Now, Andy, either you pull this poem criticism from the main page, or I'll e-mail Virginia Tech's English department to tell them about your gross insensitivity, ignorance, and baseless hatred.-AmesGyo! 12:18, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

Kind of strange that the very ones who whine and complain about demanding free speech here would attempt to stifle it by protesting a self-serving poem. Karajou 12:29, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

It's obviously legal to be a hateful bigot. I'm not saying it's illegal for Andy to put things like that on the front page. I'm saying that he should exercise his discretion as a compassionate (we hope) human being and limit his legal rights according to general rules of decency. There's a difference that many people misunderstand and apparently, Karajou, you're one of them. Andy, please pull the poem critique, or I will alert VT, and I bet they won't be happy.-AmesGyo! 12:31, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

Wrong answer, AmesG, and I've never been a bigot. From the continued posts I've seen from you over the past few months I cannot tell whether you're a highly educated man or a whining child who refuses to act like one...and now this "pull the poem or I'm going to tell" garbage. Go ahead and notify them. They're already in hot water for giving a lunatic a pass to kill. Karajou 12:36, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Ed, you say that they express political points in their poem? I didn't know it was now overly liberal to mention that millions have died from AIDS, which is easily preventable. Or that those without fresh water could perhaps be given some. -—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Hojimachong (talk)-12:34, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Well, when you put it like that, perhaps I've made a mistake. One of the things I really like about working with you on this project is that you have such a mellow way about you. Your remark just now was like a refreshing drink of cool water, just when I was feeling parched. --Ed Poor 16:05, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

Thanks, Karajou, I think? It's the educated one. I'll give Andy a chance to reply first. I never called you a bigot, I called Andy a bigot.-AmesGyo! 12:37, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

Ames, we don't allow baseless namecalling here. Calling anyone a "bigot" here, particularly when it is baseless, results in blocking of the account. In your case, I've warned you repeatedly about wasting the time of productive editors.
Ideas do matter, and Conservapedia will continue to criticize liberal notions here. The poem on the main page is an example of that. The liberals here protest too much the valid criticism of that political, self-serving poem that is officially posted on the front page of the Virginia Tech website. Virginia Tech officials should hear criticism, and it is not just Conservapedia's main page that is criticism them.
People who threaten to stifle Conservapedia's free speech by threatening it will obviously also find their accounts blocked. Wikipedia will welcome your political correctness with open arms.--Aschlafly 13:04, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Well, AmesG, I'm going to call you a four-letter word, and that word is GONE, as in I want you to pack up and leave this site. I'm fed up with your self-serving rants, your attitude, your high-and-mighty self righteousness, your repeated attempts to force an alien ideology down our throats, and the babyish name-calling when you don't get your way. LEAVE. Karajou 12:44, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

This is disgusting. RDre 12:51, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

This is the most disgusting thing I've seen printed on this site, and that is saying something. The fact that Andy could print something like that is understandable... he has his agenda to push and doesn't care who gets pushed with it. But the fact that "Christians" like Ed Poor, TK, and Karajou would so quickly jump to his defense is nauseating. Have fun with your little hate spewing toy. Myk 12:54, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

This may be news to you, but AmesG, Myk, WhatsGoingOn, and many others have spewed their own brand of hatred, and THAT is wrong. Karajou 13:07, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

And how are your responses here (and your threats of blocking, and erasure of their edits) not hatred? They post something that you disagree with, so you reply with personal attacks and slanders. Or don't you realise that it's wrong for you too? --Jeremiah4-22 13:14, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
First and foremost, I have neither slandered nor attacked anyone. Second, I blocked users who deliberately and willfully harmed or threatened to harn Conservapedia, and I have blocked users who refused to let a debate be a debate and instead allowed it to become hostile. Karajou 13:22, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Namecalling against editors and/or Conservapedia is not allowed here, obviously.--Aschlafly 13:16, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Please cite the examples of my own brand of hatred, explain what was hateful about it and, if justified, I will try to mend my ways.
WhatIsG0ing0n 13:11, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
fair enough...the above line, mocking the "trustworthy encyclopedia". Your own mockery of this site is on about every posting you have made since you got here, and you could very well be taking steps to help make this a better encyclopedia, but you're not, are you? I would call that hatred. If you do not like this site, you are free to edit elsewhere. Karajou 13:25, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Others would call my contributions constructive criticism and welcome them as part of a drive to improve overall encyclopedic quality. WhatIsG0ing0n 13:50, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Simply phrasing something as a question does not mean it is respectful of free speech here. I'm not inclined to block your account like the others, yet, but it's a close call. Name-calling against editors or Conservapedia in an attempt to stifle something will result in blocking.--Aschlafly 13:16, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Wow. I thought you were for free speech, against censorship, and against 'stifling something.'
  1. 13:12, 21 April 2007 Aschlafly (Talk | contribs) blocked "AmesG (contribs)" with an expiry time of 1 week (namecalling ("bigot"), also an attempt to stifle free speech by making a threat)
  2. 13:07, 21 April 2007 Aschlafly (Talk | contribs) blocked "Myk (contribs)" with an expiry time of 1 week (for comment "hate spewing toy"; also may violate 90% talk/10% edit rule)
There is no commandment prohibiting 'namecalling' or 'hate spewing toy comments'. I dont know how your rules are more concise than wikipedia's when you have like five unwritten rules. NickJ10 13:29, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Free speech contains responsibility. Just as you don't claim a right to free speech when you walk into that theater and scream "FIRE" when there is no fire, you don't claim it by name-calling here (or worse) anytime you please. Karajou 13:47, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Dear Aschlafly, have I somehow not been respectful of free speech?
WhatIsG0ing0n 13:37, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
I'm not going to say you've been disrespectful of free speech, but you have been disrespectful of this site. Karajou 13:51, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
In addition to Karajou's observation, the following statement (copied from above) by WhatIsGOingOn was an apparent attempt to censor Conservapedia's criticism of the official Virginia Tech poem: "Shame on Conservapedia for adding a critique to that poem. Can this Trustworthy Encylopedia sink much lower? Can Christian decency and compassion be denied in a more tasteless manner?" WhatIsGOingOn, if you want to censor conservative criticism, then please go to Wikipedia for that. Don't try to censor such speech here. And don't distract productive editors further here. Build some good entries before more talk, talk, talk. Thank you.--Aschlafly 13:56, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
I wasn't trying to censor anything - I was exercising free speech. WhatIsG0ing0n 14:00, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Free speech comes with responsibility. If we here on this site are indeed doing something wrong, then be constructive about it, show us where, and offer suggestions as to improving it...don't be destructive! We most certainly do not come into your house and rant and rave about how your house looks and expect to get away with it under the guise of free speech. Karajou 15:14, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

Can I suggest that someone offer a definition of free speech? I think, from reading this debate that both sides are operating under a very different definition of the term, and I suspect that if it were clear what both sides mean by the term there might be less disagreement. Those criticizing the posting of the poem see the post as an abuse of the free speech of those who posted it and see themselves as using their free speech to correct this wrong, those defending the posting of the poem see the posting of the poem as a use of free speech and the criticism of it as an attempt at censorship and/or an abuse of free speech. (I intend that to be descriptive of the broad positions I am seeing advanced here, not as an attempt at a definition) I hope/believe that if everyone understood what the other side meant by free speech this argument could become a discussion.--Reginod 15:44, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

Darn good request. Our article on Free speech is minty fresh, having only been started yesterday morning. Perhaps it was sparked by this feisty debate, eh? --Ed Poor 16:23, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
If I may say so, Reginod's post was a needed breath of fresh air. Karajou 16:30, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

Let's please not get off-topic.

  1. First of all, on the main page, it is listed as the "official reponse" of the English department. This is plainly not true. This is a poem that Nikki Giovani, an extremely famous poet, said. The English Department just printed it on their webpage, that's all. Take that down.
  2. "Denies accountability" Are you suggesting that the English department might be accountable for the events that transpired? Are you seriously suggesting that?
  3. "Environmentalism" Of course, not wanting Elephants killed for their ivory is indeed environmentalism, but come on, she's not trying to push that killing elephants is bad. I'm not completely sure what she's doing, but it's definitely not pushing liberalism.
  4. "anti-Bush" No. It's not anti-Bush. It's just anti-war. That's all it is, and if it's indirectly criticising Bush because he invaded Iraq, then that's fine, put "anti-war", but don't put "anti-Bush."
  5. "environmentalism" Okay, this is really stretching. Destabalized land is bad, that's fairly standard. I don't think that anyone here is for destabalizing land.

I honestly don't see anything that's agenda-pushing for anything majorly liberal, and they definitely aren't hijacking the shootings like they might have Coretta King's funeral. Not only that, but you have to remember: this is one person. Just one poet. She doesn't represent every liberal in the world, and therefore, if she does something bad (which she hasn't), you can't look at it and say "oh, look what the liberals are doing now." K, i'm done. GofG ||| Talk 14:04, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

GofG, I'm not ignoring you, but I'm here to build an encyclopedia and I hope that's why you're here also. I've reviewed your edits and you seem to violate the 90%/10% rule. Please correct first and then let's talk, talk, talk.--Aschlafly 16:25, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
"This is a debate page, not an article. Opinions are welcome." Apparently not those who are disgusted by the way conservapedia is displaying this poem. Like I said before, it's sad to see people who call themselves good christians acting in such a way. Jrssr5 16:56, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

Have people been blocked because of this discussion? DoonTheWater 23:09, 21 April 2007 (BST)

yes, User:AmesG and User:Myk ... if you scroll up a bit someone posted the block logs. Jrssr5 19:12, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
+ This is simply another move by Mr. Schlafly to capitalize on this tragedy for his own political ends, nothing more, nothing less. It is in poor taste at best and morally bankrupt at worst. We should be ashamed. NothingVentured 19:41, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

I think that it's awfully paranoid to assume some conspiracy theory after a tragedy like this. Virginia Tech did not seek to rid the world of christianity after this event (as proved by the numberous crosses/banners provided by the college) - they were a bit too busy mourning.Iduan 22:17, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

And saying "We did not deserve this tradgedy" was saying that the students weren't responsible - it's pretty low to politicize something like that. And the other remarks are true - regardless of whether your for the war or not - it's a fact that teenagers do have to avoid bombs - bombs thrown by both sides - but it's not the teenagers fault. Elephants are massacred for ivory - but it's not the elephants fault for being an elephant. And boulders are destabilized - it's hardly environmentalism. Iduan 22:19, 25 April 2007 (EDT)
Why don't we get up the full poem - just so everyone can see how biased it is. (By the way - just because god is not mentioned (p.s., he was mentioned by many speakers before this one), doesn't mean it's a secular propoganda machine)Iduan 22:22, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

The Poem

Read for yourself the official response by Virginia Tech's English Department. No mention of God or prayer, but many invocations of unrelated liberal causes:

We are Virginia Tech

We are sad today
We will be sad for quite a while
We are not moving on
We are embracing our mourning

We are Virginia Tech

We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly
We are brave enough to bend to cry
And we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again

We are Virginia Tech
We do not understand this tragedy
We know we did nothing to deserve it [denies accountability]

But neither does a child in Africa
Dying of AIDS

Neither do the Invisible Children
Walking the night away to avoid being captured by a rogue army [globalism]

Neither does the baby elephant watching his community
Be devastated for ivory
Neither does the Mexican child looking
For fresh water

Neither does the Iraqi teenager dodging bombs [anti-Bush]
Neither does the Appalachian infant killed
By a boulder
Because the land was destabilized [environmentalism]

No one deserves a tragedy

We are Virginia Tech
The Hokie Nation embraces
Our own
And reaches out
With open heart and mind
To those who offer their hearts and hands

We are strong
And brave
And innocent
And unafraid

We are better than we think
And not yet quite what we want to be

We are alive to imagination
And open to possibility
We will continue
To invent the future

Through our blood and tears
Through all this sadness

We are the Hokies

We will prevail
We will prevail
We will prevail

We are
Virginia Tech ...

Our prayers continue to go out to the victims' families of the Virginia Tech massacre.

Wow.... Just Wow..... I'm simply amazed... for crying out loud.... Since when is mentioning facts a liberal cause.... Really.... Do you deny that teenagers are dodging bombs in Iraq? And Note, America is not the largest cause of bombs... you may have heard of Islamic Terrorists that seem to be doing a bit of detonating these days. and Please, PLEASE explain to me what Virginia Tech did to cause the tragedy and specifically, How they deny their accountability... By the same Logic, America deserved to be attack on 9/11 and saying that we didn't makes us all liberals.... Also, please tell me how pointing out that children are being abducted and conscripted into armies in Africa is a liberal cause..... Again, using your own logic, conservatives caring about and supporting Isreal is globalism and we're all liberals. SirJim 01:48, 13 July 2007 (EDT)

I think its rdiiculous to criticie the poem on a site like this. The facts stated are real problems, and if you wnat to complain about them do so elsewhere. Saksjn 09:42, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

There is an incorrectness in this poem. Where it says "the iraqi teenager dodging bombs" is incorrect. As the Iraq war is mostly an urban war, the main air support is attack helicopters, and helicopters don't drop bombs they fire missiles and 30mm chainguns, and as these weapons are more precise iraqi teenagers do not doge much as pilots do not deliberately fire on them. --IndigoiMac 13:09, 29 June 2008 (EDT)