When I read that TomS had been banned from this site I was most disappointed. In post after post he seemed to so often be a lone voice of common sense in a sea of absurdities. In the thread he was banned for posting in, his statement was far less offensive than others seen. The suggestion that women wearing pants is 'cross-dressing' is far more offensive than suggesting a bishop has heterosexual tendencies; considering the number of hierarchs that I could name (but won't), based on good sources, who have been engaged in homosexual activity, such an accusation as TomS gave could actually be considered a complement (infact, following the scandal of a certain Antiochian Bishop for groping a woman in a Casino, I had one person associated with said archdiocese essentially brag to me that at least they can prove they have one heterosexual bishop, essentially saying that it was one more than the Greek archdiocese could prove).
As for the complaint that TomS doesn't stick around to argue his posts, look at the absurdities that preceded his posts, men complaining about the immodesty of women and suggestions that pant-suits are cross-dressing, a reasonable person wouldn't even give them enough credence to argue against them; notice, I said reasonable person, I'll argue against such absurdities from time to time, not because I believe they deserve the time of day, but rather because I love a good heated argument even when unreasonable
(especially one that gets the blood boiling: the true measure of a one's humanity is whether they can overcome their animal insticts and use their reason in the midst of anger and unbridled emotion, or if they are completely taken over by said emotion and brought down to the level of an irrational beast; we have all experienced the latter, and must often work hard to reclaim our humanity, we have only been reasonable animals for a matter of millenia, 100 millenia at the most, not that long compared to the hundreds of millions of years we were irrational animals)
Furthermore, I dont know if anyone actually caught it, but TomS' statements were directed towards the episcopacy in general, not merely towards one person; and considering the history of the Church, it is revisionism to not, at the very least, acknowledge that what he accuses has long been a problem within the Church; and will continue to be as long as there are humans in the Church, or at least until humans evolve beyond their current state of evolution.
However, it seems as though the religious fundamentalists and idealists have got what they wanted, moving the site one step further from mainstream Orthodoxy (and it is already far to the right of mainstream Orthodoxy) towards the cult-like and fundamentalist, 'Internet Orthodoxy.'
And yes, lest I am accused of saying otherwise, of course the owners of this site have every right to do with it as they wish. That is the beauty of the internet, it can accommodate everything from Social Liberatrians and Marxists to Nazis and Moralists; and the great irony of the internet is while everyone is allowed this freedom on their site, to even be on the internet they are forced to participate in one of the highest of ideals, no matter how much they abhor it, that of the absolute and unrestricted freedom of Speech, Thought, and Expression.
However, though you are, of course, free to do as you wish with your site, I presume, since I have seen no rule to the contrary, that I am allowed to criticize poor decisions, at least I dont think that this site has gone to the extreme of prohibiting criticism? And even if I am mistaken, due to the vagueness with which the forum rules are often presented, I can at least say with certainty that I have done nothing illegal; furthermore, I believe that common decency dictates that someone ought to, at the very least, respond on TomS' behalf since he was denied the opportunity to defend himself.
So TomS, thank you for your participation in this site, and thanks for so often being a voice of reason and common sense in a sea of irrationality, fundamentalism, and absurdity.
P.S. Chris, please don't take this personally, first of all, if I had to guess I would say that you probably wern't directly responsible for this decision. Secondly, since I am not privy to the discussions behing the scene, I am only capable of making a general criticism against a Philosophical ideal that some advocate, rather than an attack against any actual person. (Truthfully, that's how I prefer to operate, attack a posistion and imply guilt by association, if you attack a person proper it can often be construed as mud-slinging, and if that rebuttal can be made to stick against your arguments, you tend to lose the debate and then your philosophical arguments are wrong, no matter how right.)