This is a guest post by Stuart
The blogging world has been ablaze in recent days relating to the revelation that the Anglican Vicar Stephen Sizer involved the police in an online dispute with a young messianic Christian blogger (Seismic Shock).
Stephen Sizer is a public figure and a renowned anti-Zionist and Seismic Shock analysed his written work and lectures, on his blog. It would seem that Seismic Shock has himself become the victim of an intimidation campaign as a result of this activity.
Although the blogging world has been buzzing with this news (now referred to as SizerGate), the Anglican Church seems to have been remarkably silent, I imagine that perhaps this news has passed them by unnoticed, or perhaps there are other reasons. There were however, some notable exceptions:-
Here are a couple of Christians who also covered this:-
As for me, I had decided to blog no further on this issue, as it had reached the mainstream media from the blogging world, for example:-
I haven’t blogged much over the last couple of days and the simple reason is, that I have been unnerved and a little shocked by accusational emails, sent to me from a certain quarter of the conservative evangelical Anglican church. I have been advised today that an Anglican group wishes to sever ties with me and no longer want me to work with them, on an upcoming project, on a voluntary basis. I can only assume this is because I haven’t toed the party line.
It has become very apparent to me that Stephen Sizer is heavily involved in, and very influential within, this Anglican group. I’m not going to name them, but it is fairly easy to deduce Stephen Sizer’s Anglican connections online. Every comment I have received has been done privately, through email and never publicly. Here is one example:-
I have discovered from your site that you have been instrumental in what I can only regard as a hate campaign. I was horrified to read the list of people who have taken up this war cry.
My comments on another blog have even been noted and an email sent to me, to warn me off.
So far I have been accused of: organising a lynch mob, witch hunt, hate campaign, making a song and dance, making things awkward for an Anglican group affiliated with Sizer, of being culpable of terrorising, of dishing out persecution, of consorting with the ‘wrong types’, and told that I should ‘draw a veil’ over any of Sizer’s theology that I may have an issue with, and so on. I think you get the picture.
The issue of theology is to me now moot, as my main concern is freedom of speech and the involvement of the strong arm of the law in an attempt to intimidate and censor a blogger.
I’m posting this now, to bring this in to the open. There would certainly appear to me, to be some who would wish to censor me on this issue and I am tired of private emails of an Ad Hominem nature, that simply attack me and do not even address the issues and facts at hand.
I have been advised to Google Sizer and find out for myself that Sizer is an ‘expert’ on Israel and has actually visited the country a number of times and has even produced a number of books. This advice came with the admittance that this is a topic on which they know very little!
I have even been accused of being partly responsible for the very reason that the police were called in on this issue in the first place, even though the incident happened last November and I only blogged about this for the first time, over the last few days.
Christians must not attempt to censor one another, or attempt to censor the non-Christian world, as this only causes further exposure and an inevitable backlash. Please do check out the Streisand effect.
We cannot (and should not) demand a platform for freedom of speech for ourselves and then attempt to silence our critics.
Here are a couple of links relating to this issue and freedom of speech online.