First a couple of disclaimers:
1. Please be aware that if you follow my link over to Camille’s blog, and Camille can figure out that you did, she will block your IP address. Use a proxy. If you don’t know how to do that and really want to read all of it, contact me and I will explain it.
2. After several miscarriages and a still-birth, Camille had two little boys. I unequivocally take her position regarding spanking, although not for her reasons. I simply don’t think that big people should use force against (hit) little people, and I do not care what the Bible says or doesn’t say, or how it’s interpreted. So, in this argument, I basically side with Camille philosophically. I do not side with her behavior.
Back to your regularly scheduled website page. . .
Come with me now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, as we veer off track a little here and visit Camille K. Lewis’ blog, circa 2008.
She explains to us a bit first about how, in July of 2006, she was at home with her kids, and had joined a group called “Gentle Christian Mothers.” And how they talked about the infamous Michael and Debi Pearl and their less-than-delightful child-rearing methods. And how somebody challenged them to speak out against the Pearls if they ever saw anyone advocate for them. And how Camille realized that the “Holy Spirit” wanted her to do just that.
We join her blog article, in progress, as she’s describing how she just happened to land on the Sharper Iron forum website. You know, just out of the blue. She was just noodling around on the net, and wham, there she was.
She explains to us that she joined the damn forum for the express purpose of straightening everyone out about Michael Pearl, because you know, it was all an accident that she landed there and the Holy Spirit must have done it and Jesus.
She’s an expert at internet communications. She’s so damn good at it, so she’s not going to have any problem, not with the Holy Spirit on her side. And Jesus.
It’s really better if you can do this anonymously, because then you don’t have to face the consequences of stating your opinions on everything under the sun. Oh, wait, she didn’t say all that, but you get the idea.
But it was all just a total accident.
It was a “blood bath.” Just awful. Poor Camille. They did ad hominem attacks on her. It was so bad she never went back. And all she tried to do was keep them on task. ‘Cause you know, the Holy Spirit told her to do this.
In case you’re really feeling all frisky and want to read all this stuff, here are the links that Camille provided (dear sweet Flying Spaghetti Monster, she provided links).
This, from another entry in Camille’s blog (dated February 18, 2008), is basically what she was arguing.
And that would be fine—only she took that opinion, which contradicts everything I was ever taught as a fundamentalist, into a fundamentalist forum and tried to wage war over it. I’m not sure what she expected. That forum has a statement of faith that people have to sign before they can even register to participate. There is an expectation that the people there largely agree on doctrine.
Of course, Camille is entitled to believe anything she likes, but she is not entitled to expect everyone to agree with her just because some words flow out of her keyboard.
I have read the whole “blood bath,” all four links.
To start with, somebody raised the Pearls as a topic, and got only one response. Got that? One response. Clearly not a topic most people were terribly interested in. It went for about 24 hours like that, and then Camille came riding in on
a white horse, er, the Holy Spirit, totally by accident, to start a war.
This is the beginning of message #39. Up this this point, nobody had suggested a word about Camille either spanking or not spanking. The conversation had centered around the Pearl’s book, their theology, and generally what role parenting books should play. There is nothing in context that suggests that this person was targeting Camille.
I couldn’t figure out what she meant by “another.” There wasn’t another one. This was the opening salvo. In schoolyard parlance, Camille started it.
The discussion morphed into four different threads in part because Sharper Iron has a thread-length limit. The above question comes early in the second one.
Camille dodges the question and Matt asks it yet again.
She responds with this:
I don’t even pretend to know what she’s talking about in the first part, but she’s quite certain there’s another ad hominem, which I fail to see. Matt is trying to nail her to a wall, and she’s being Jello.
At this point, one of the moderators posts a short message telling everyone that at least two of the participants in the conversation belong to the group “Gentle Christian Mothers.” This same note was repeated a couple of times during the threads which followed.
At this point, I counted at least four people from GCM, and perhaps there were more. All of them, including Camille, joined Sharper Iron for the sole purpose of participating in this particular discussion.
So she knows what she’s saying is controversial. She came to the forum purposely to start this discussion. She then went and enlisted aid from her buddies at GCM. And everyone is engaging in ad hominems.
Only they aren’t. Somebody please find one for me.
And the moderator here is entirely correct. Camille and her buddies were trolling. They came to the forum, not for the purpose of engaging in community, but for the purpose of having that one conversation, period. When it was over, they all left, never to return. But notice that he didn’t stop it. Even though he knew what she was doing, he allowed it to continue. Does this sound like a “blood bath”?
Ultimately the admin at BJU got wind of this and asked Camille to please cease-and-desist offering up opinions that differed from the views of the university on social media. She declined to cooperate and this was one of the sticking points that led to her and Grant leaving their employ in the summer of 2007, a year later.
But we aren’t done yet with our little detour. We’re going to move up in time a wee bit, though. . .