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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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First headline banned from site
Jonathan Pait
May 8, 2003

This morning I checked in on The Common Voice and found one headline in the reader submitted headline area. The headlines I list below are approximate recreations of the original headlines.
Mr. Rogers is burning in Hell!

I removed the submittal from the site. Upon checking back on the site a few moments later, I saw the headline once again.

Mr. Rogers is burning in Hell!
Click before it is banned again!

Once again, I removed the link. I figured it was just the beginning so I kept my eye on the site waiting for it to appear once more. Sure enough. . .

BJU alumni says Rogers burning in hell!
Where did learn to hate

The link was removed for the last time. It may show up again sometime today, I don’t know. However, it is only right that I explain why the link was removed.

First, I delete all submittals that do not follow the proper format for headlines. Sometimes people put up headlines incorrectly on purpose and sometimes by accident. Either way, they get deleted. Had the poster listed the headline as follows, he just might have gotten past me. All the above listings are not consistent with the proper posting parameters.

Preacher says Mr. Rogers is burning in Hell

However, this leads us to the second reason why the headline was removed. The site is highly offensive. Yes, that is a judgement call on the part of the editor. Links to “headlines” on sites such as porno sites, off color humor sites, etc. would also be deleted. You may not like it, but that is just the way it is.

Finally, I’d like to answer the specific charge of this person who wanted to make his point using the headline feature and not the discussion area. Mr. Fred Phelps is NOT an alumnus of Bob Jones University. He has picketed the University because he felt the institution was too soft on homosexuality! Records at the school indicate that a Fred Phelps did take a class for a short period of time without finishing the course. He has gone on to claim that he is a graduate.

God loves homosexuals just as much as He loves this sinner named Jonathan Pait. Jesus Christ came to die for all of us – even the gluttons (that one was for Andy). We do not know the condition of Mr. Rogers' soul at the time he died (for that matter, do we even know if he was homosexual?). Regardless anyone who would make such a spectacle of something so serious is sick.

This is the first time that The Common Voice has removed a headline from the site because of the content of the site. The vast majority of the submitted headlines have been properly submitted and from legitimate news sources. The option has been a great addition to the site and I trust the patrons of The Common Voice have enjoyed it.

I cringe anytime as editor I edit anything (curse words, etc.) because I do not want to ever be accused of stifling debate. However, there is a line. If you want to discuss Mr. Phelps, then link to a news article that reports on some of his shenanigans and go for it. As a matter of fact, this article was written to give you that opportunity and to show that we don’t ban a site because we wish to avoid discussing ideas espoused by the site.

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