Anastasios summarised well, I think, the circumstances that led to my comment, but I will respond myself since it is my remark that you have a problem with (although, to be honest, since I thought it was obvious that it was all in humour, I didn't think I'd have to defend myself about it, and am more prone to saying "Give me a break!" as well and leaving it at that).
I’ve been a casual reader of this web site for several months and never felt the need to register until I read the post “Hey Hey, Holy Cow”. Personally I am disturbed by this post given that it all started out with a subject like baseball, of all things, and eventually degenerated into a mockery of a, “once”, well respected Bishop of the ROCOR church, Metropolitan Vitaly (i.e., “VITALIBAN?!?! HAHAHAHA!!!”). I could see such off-color, “cute” comments like these coming from your average subscriber but coming from an “Administrator” from a website that requires numerous etiquette requirements for new registrants is particularly disappointing (i.e., You agree, through your use of this forum, that you will not post any material which is false, defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise in violation of ANY law). I’d recommend adding “posts in bad taste” to the list as well.
First off, if you have indeed been reading this forum for several months, then I think you know that it is not my habit to ridicule bishops. If you have instances of this in my posts, I would appreciate being alerted to them, so I can either defend what I wrote or reform myself. But if you will acknowledge that ridiculing bishops is not something I do (I certainly cannot remember such instances), then it would be better not to assume that this is one such instance, but to ask me about what I've written.
Second, as you can see in the thread, I did not come up with the term Vitaliban. Prior to that thread, I'd never even heard of such a term. As Anastasios remarked earlier, the context in which that term was ultimately used was humourous, and I thought the term itself was humourous. If this is a term that has been in use elsewhere for some time, I do not know about it.
Furthermore, the thread was in Free For All. Free For All is un-moderated, and we try to keep it that way unless things get really
ugly. I did not think that anything in that thread required moderation.
Regarding your last point, the problem with adding "posts in bad taste" is that it is too general. What is in bad taste? What if you think something is in bad taste, but I don't, or vice versa? This places the burden on the administrators to determine what is good taste and what is bad taste. Moreover, I think a good enough response to the question "what is in bad taste?" is implied by the very statement you quote: "false, defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise in violation of ANY law". I could theoretically see how you might see "Vitaliban" as falling under one of these, but only if you completely disregard the context in which the term was used, and the fact that, to my knowledge, no one seriously accepts the validity of this term as an accurate description of anything.
To those that believe I’m overreacting let me point out the following;
1. The term “TALIBAN” is generally associated by the Western World as evil and associated with terrorism and Osama Bin Laden (not exactly a stand up kind of guy in a lot of people’s eyes). So when people use the term “VITALIBAN” I’m assuming it is not used as a term of endearment or a compliment.
My friend, I'm Indian, and I live in the New York metropolitan area. I assure you, I don't need, and never will need, to be reminded of any of this.
2. According to the ROCOR it is the “schismatic” ROCE who is responsible for the “destruction of the good name of Metropolitan Vitaly” and clearly believe that Metropolitan Vitaly is “ill” and “senile” see In Defense of the Good Name of Metropolitan Vitaly--January 2002 by Bishop Evtikhy http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/english/pages/news/vzaterrificu.html
Does anyone really believe that anyone within ROCE coined the term “VITALIBAN” to refer to themselves? Why is it that people outside of ROCE, including ROCOR, seem to get such satisfaction and joy over using such an offensive, disrespectful moniker? And if ROCOR truly does believe that Metropolitan Vitaly cannot be held for his own actions due to his “incapacitated” state why then do members of its own flock and other outsiders give into and perpetuate such an offense term and insult the very man it claims to defend!!! (I am not referring to anyone on this board since I do not know you or which church you are a member). Obviously Bishop Evitkhy did not foresee the use of this term when he ends his letter with “Even if Vladyka Vitaly does not manage to extricate himself from the clutches of the schismatics before his death, his name will remain bright and good in the history of the Church of Christ.”
Has anyone given any thought to the sad events that unfolded approximately 2 short years ago regarding the so-called “schismatics”? Let us, for a moment, put aside our personal interpretations or “facts” about the intentions of the ROCOR founders, church doctrine, politics and various personal attacks both sides encountered over the past 2 years. The ROCE church was founded based on the principal that the ROCOR church had intentions of uniting with MP (see http://www.russianorthodoxchurchinexile.com/ukasenov8.html
). At that time of this so-called accusation ROCOR vehemently denied such intentions and accused certain ROCE members of having other, ‘less than pious’ intentions. We now find ourselves two short years later with an overwhelming number of reports concerning the possible unification of ROCOR and MP. Even now it is reported as being welcomed and embraced by some leaders of ROCOR. Even now, members outside of ROCE continue to slander and try to discredit Metropolitan Vitaly and the flock of ROCE with offensive terms like “VITALYBAN”.
Perhaps I am mistaken because it is 2am and I'm tired, but the sense I get from all this is that you are with ROCE, and because of this you are offended by the term. You'll have to take that up with whoever coined it. I only heard it here in that thread, and thought it sounded funny. I am an outsider looking in on the Russian ecclesiastical situation, and do not know all the ins and outs, and to be honest, it isn't my biggest concern. I don't even find it all that interesting beyond a certain point. Of course, I pray for its swift resolution, as I pray for the swift resolution of all of the major issues affecting the Orthodox throughout the world. But I simply don't see this term as one of those issues. It was a joke in the context of jokes, and to my knowledge hasn't been used even once outside that context.