a community of practitioners
I'm with The Rev on this point:
I am posting this separately from the previous discussions on here that have deteriorated into the most vile insulting and mudslinging bunch of crap I have ever seen in my life.
Sadly, there has been more vile insulting and mudslinging bunches of crap. One need only take a look at the archives found at http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/bodywork_politics/ .
I'm glad you have led a gentle life Laura, and haven't experience this kind of debate before (BTW Laura, I read and enjoy your blog, certainly one of the more useful sources of information pertaining to the issues in the massage industry).
It is ironic that the most heated discussion in the thread came on Valentine's Day, as noted by Ezekiel O'Brien. I have been at National conventions where this type of exchange occurred in an AGM (not in the States). After the meeting I spoke with the president and said what a shame it was that kind of exchange occurred. He disagreed and said that these exchanges are necessary. There needs to be an airing of views and opinions. There is harm in not discussing these issues merely because the outcome might be unseemly. As Christopher pointed out:
civility is of little value if it is not accompanied by integrity, logic, and tolerance.
I found the 'Why Are We Following? America Should Be Leading!!!' thread fascinating. Completely riveting in fact, then again, I wasn't being personally attacked. I started reading it yesterday evening and at 1.30 am I finally got to the end of it. Only a few punches pulled too. There are, however, a number of odd and perplexing statements in the thread, but that wouldn't be surprising as the conversation lurched all over the place from personal slurs to alluding to previous threats of violence to cogent comments on the state of the massage industry.
I'm disappointed that the thread was closed as there are many unanswered questions. There are also statements that need more rigorous inquiry. Before that can take place, I think all participants need to observe a rule of debating:
Attack the idea not the person.
Avoid bickering, quarrelling, and wrangling.