First off, let me thank Catholic Answers Forums for generally being (what I perceive to be) tolerant and responsible. I have been a member here for a little over 10 years, and I have hardly had any trouble with my threads and posts.
However, recently I got BANNED from a Catholic Facebook group. And NO, it’s not because I’m not orthodox. I consider myself the typical orthodox Catholic — as well as respectful. Anyway, I don’t want to get into the details. But I do want to say this:
The experience of being BANNED from an online religious group can REALLY have profound effects on how you associate that experience with the religion more generally. I have to admit, being banned caused me to have feelings of disgust and irritation. Even at the Catholic world more generally.
I can only imagine what such an experience would be like for someone who is already on the fringe. Who is contemplating leaving the Church. Or for someone who is not Catholic. Such negative online experience will often just confirm their biases against Catholics and leave a bad taste in their mouth.
Anyway, I didn’t mean to start a rant. But I think it was a good wake-up call in how we deal with fellow Christians and others online. We never know what message we are sending.
Does anyone have a similar experience? How did it make you feel about the greater association? For example, if you were banned from a religious group, did it make you feel uncomfortable with that religion more generally?