The recent spark I started with the Pullman quote was not intended to cause
anyone to come unhinged.  I was genuinely shocked, despite Eleanor's unfounded
accusations about my motives in posting the quote, that it would unleash such
rage.  I did not think everyone would agree with what he said, but why do we
always have to agree?  I get impassioned about what I think, too, but I expect
differing opinions from others with passions just as strong, and welcome the
opportunity for further discussion.  

For some reason, I thought that any discussion resulting from my posting would
still relate to Pullman and his writing, as have prior GO discussions about his
views, his atheism, and his attacks on organized religion.  Now that I have
seen the aftermath, I realize that my thinking was extremely naive, to say the

Since we had talked about Pullman and his writing within the context of his
atheism, and his attacks on organized religion at length here before, I really
did not give enough thought to what I was doing in posting that quote.  I did
not consider that it would create so many problems, although I only recall a
few negative comments, mostly from one or two people, at least that I saw.

All of the books that we all like to read and discuss here, or any other books,
 are written by people who live/d and work/ed, like everyone else,  in some
sort of contexts, personal and societal.  I don't think too many ideas,
literary or otherwise, occur in a vacuum.  To me it is much more interesting to
discuss this genre within those contexts  This might mean that sometimes things
will veer into the realm of the controversial.  So what if we are not always in
agreement?  In my opinion, we should be able to react to things like adults
(and most of us can), and agree to disagree, ultimately, while keeping the
discussion civil.

However, I can accept the limitations imposed here, regarding suitable topics,
now that they have been updated and clarified.  After all, since the moderators
do all of the list-maintenance work, they get to call the shots about what is
allowed and what is not allowed.  I can't begrudge them that.  Cooperation with
their rules is a small price to pay for their considerable efforts in keeping
things going.

As for that Pullman quote discussion (or fist fight), if that is the one in
question, "cluttering up mailboxes", I must have missed much of the discussion.
 I only saw maybe 10 messages that related to that issue, and all but a handful
of them (that I saw) were sent to me personally, not through the list.  

I am also pleased to say that every message that I received personally was very
positive, which was comforting. 


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