For your information let me clarify for you what I mean by a No Fly Zone:
“A no-fly zone (or no-flight zone) is a territory over an area which aircraft are not permitted to fly. Such zones are usually set up in a military context, somewhat like a demilitarized zone in the sky, and usually prohibit military aircraft of a belligerent nation from operating in the region.”
In the upcoming Executive Committee Meeting the review of the minutes taken at the last meeting will reveal unfinished business left over from the former committee for the current one to follow-up on. Since many of the Executive Committee Members are returning, questions regarding previous items are most likely going to be considered with appropriate actions. Or, a draft of some sort of policy concerning “participation” in “social networks” may be added to the Employee Handbook. One item in the minutes involving the business of enacting policy concerning the Forgotten Shepherdess blog and the Left Behind series might become an issue of interest that could trigger a revisit to the uncomfortable previous discussion that took place during the last committee meeting.
During that discussion the end product contained motions that were adopted to formulate an employee policy that would ban ministers and workers from participating in a blog that is not in the interest of the conference. The former leader also suggested in the last Executive Committee Meeting that administration was investigating, through legal means, a discovery process as to who the administrator of the blog might be and to consider disciplinary action against the writer of the Left Behind series. The motions, not the discussions, were entered into the record to be considered at a future time after the gathering of more information.
The wife of the “offended” individual read into the record statements making sure that the conference made certain that there was no connection with the blog’s name and Shepherdess International; and a statement regarding the “offended” concerning the Left Behind series which he felt “demonized” him (although his name was never mentioned). No one from Shepherdess International or from our conference has ever connected the blog with the minister’s wives organization. Also, The Forgotten Shepherdess would have published a rebuttal from the “offended” to the Left-Behind Series if he had written something and sent it in since he identified himself as “Frank”.
When the news of all of this became national, many members in the conference and the North American Division became enraged. They understood the negative implications and impact of a “No Fly Zone” of restricting their freedom of speech—that would squelch their opinions and the right to criticize the destructive political plans of individuals who attempted to hijack the quadrennial election process of our conference. Enactment of proposed legislation would mean a “No Fly Zone” for workers, ministers and members who wish to register an opinion in a public forum of discussion. If you are caught flying in the “No Fly Zone” you could be shot down. This of course means, fired.
Can you imagine how many blogs that ministers and teachers have started or participated in? Especially blogs on creationism, the End-Time, Daniel, Revelation, Old Testament, New Testament, Psychology, health, and the list could grow a mile long or more. The bad news about this is that no one agrees in total on the issues that are discussed on these many subjects. Members in the Adventist church still hold anti-Trinitarian beliefs. Some have mixed the four main schools of prophetic interpretation to produce variations that challenge some of our sacred “pillars”. Are some professors who express something that they believe to be true, fired?
Proposed “No Fly Zone” legislation will threaten our rights as constituents, members, and workers of the constitutional right of free speech. It certainly would contradict the church’s stand on religious liberty and affirm the position of some politicians in our country who believe that our constitution is no longer relevant and should be overhauled. We believe that when our constitution is changed it will bring about laws that might threaten other freedoms, especially the right to worship. It would be laughable to proclaim the belief in the freedom of religion and oppose freedom of speech.
It was unfortunate that many of the ministers on the committee condemned and ostracized the writer(s) of the Left Behind series calling that person or persons, traitor(s), disloyal to the ministry, insubordinate and much more. Some ministers went so far as to misrepresent the blog by admonishing their members not to view or participate in it. They claimed it to be anti conference and suggested to their members to request to be deleted from the blog’s data base—very few made the request.
Some committee members were taunted by the former president’s long remarks attempting to identify them or “flush them out” as contributors through his fixated stares. The former president mentioned in not so well verbally crafted words that the conference’s attorney was being consulted to find out if the administrator could be identified to possibly get email addresses of workers who may have contributed comments. “We already know who some of the workers might be—some who are right here in this room” the former leader stated. The former president even suggested that they would have to consult Risk Management for advice concerning employees and their participation in any blog.
The entire discussion, I am told, went over an hour and demonstrated why, and I repeat why, a commenter should not identify him or herself because of possible reprimands and personal characterization in the most negative way. During the election process, the only people who fit the description of slanderous, thoughtless “characterizations” were those who proved by their “fruits” to be involved in a scheme to politically control and dominate a constituency meeting.
A “No Fly Zone” enacted by conference administration would only create further legal problems for constitution activists who believe in freedom of speech and all the rest of the constitution.
The creation of this blog started with one specific interest—to give members an opportunity to have a voice. Just think about what I just said “To have a voice”. And the power of your voice was heard.
How do you feel?
Should a policy be enacted to restrict your freedom to express your opinion? I’d like to read your comment. Maybe a Frat brother might offer some words of wisdom.
~The Forgotten Shepherdess