The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the supression of ideas. -- Carl Sagan, The Demon Haunted World
It used to be that my favorite baal teshuva blog BeyondBT would let some of my comments in, assuming I wasn't actively arguing for atheism, etc. Now they won't even do that.
In response to Tuesday's post in which a guest contributor asked the question How Can The Average Orthodox Jew Achieve Kiddush HaShem and Reduce Chillul Hashem? I posted the following comment (paraphrased from memory) which could not be less objectionable:
One of my favorite quotes from a rabbi:"I wanted to change the world, but I realized it was too large of a task for one person, so I tried to change my community. That was also too hard, so I tried to change my family. That was also too hard, so I decided to try and change myself. And though it was very hard, I finally changed myself. And once I changed myself, I discovered my family changed, the community changed, and the entire world changed." - R' Israel Lipkin Salanter
(The quote has long been one of my favorites. Googling for the exact quote, I found it on blog-friend Ezzie's blog!)
It a quote from a rabbi, directly on point and not remotely subversive. I figured it would probably get through the moderators.
But no. I received a polite email saying that the comment was appreciated, but could I please change my name and remove the link to my blog? I wrote back saying that this is the name I respond to blogs with and the link is a link to my blog and I wasn't comfortable changing either one. They wrote back "ok" and then deleted the comment.
Blogs for people joining Orthodox Judaism hide opposing points of view from their readers. Blogs for people leaving Orthodox Judaism link to both supporting and opposing points of view. We think our arguments can hold up if allowed to compete. They think it's better to hide.
That's been pretty much my experience in the real world, too. Skeptics are excited to debate (when they're not afraid of repercussions for "outing" themselves.) Believers tend to become uncomfortable and defensive if you even hint that something they believe might not be true. Skeptics devour arguments from both sides. Most believers stick to arguments for conclusions they prefer. (They call this "chizuk," or "strengthening," as if "strengthening" a belief is a good thing.)