Comment Policy REPOST: The Beatings Will Continue until Morale Improves
[A note from certain SF Bloggers: this blog policy has been a constant now for six months. We also remind people of the policy—with a link to this page—at the bottom of each and every post, and include these words: “No over-the-top profanity, no racial or ethnic slurs, and no threats real or implied of physical violence.”
Now that we have offered repeated reminders and warnings over a six month period, if there is sufficient offense, we will simply proceed to banning, based on the fact that now everybody knows in detail all the comment policies. Please therefore, read and heed this comment policy below.]
Folks, it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to keep up with all the comments on this site. But lately I’ve had to pay more attention to them, as our commenatrix emails me anything she thinks need my attention, and my inbox is more full than ever. While she and the Special Subcommittee debate whether we’re seeing a full-blown funk, or just a temporary bad mojo, let me sum up what I’d like everyone to know:
Beginning… oh… yesterday, we’re going to be seeing more and more visitors to this site, as the news cycle for Tanzania ramps up. Afterwards, we’ll almost certainly be the beneficiaries of a larger audience, as people stick around to see what happens over the subsequent months. I’d like for this place to be more welcoming to newcomers, especially new commenters.
As most around here know, we don’t tolerate “elves.” We don’t have the time or the desire to edit individual comments. The commenatrix and I use much more ERRRRRR—decisive methods.
Therefore, I’d like to see no more:
1. Charges that anyone who leaves the Episcopal Church is a quitter, a coward, etc.
2. Charges that anyone who stays in the Episcopal Church is wasting their time, a heretic by association, etc.
3. Demands that we all fold up our tents and become Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox/LCMS/Presbyterian or whatever; and charges that those of us who prefer not to are idiots.
Our unofficial policy on staying or leaving is this: Go where God calls you, and go with our blessings, but don’t belittle someone who has received different orders.
Three more things I’d like to see no more of:
1. Sniping on a personal level. Example:
Commenter #1: “I think it is time for the orthodox to leave the Episcopal Church and join CANA or the AMiA.”
Commenter #2: (bad): “That’s because you are a crypto-baptist with no understanding of Anglican ecclesiology.”
Commenter #2: (good): “I disagree. I do not think that our ecclesiology allows for such action. Here’s why…”
2. Attempts to derail discussion with off-topic remarks, or crazed obsession with a single topic. Example:
Commenter #1: “My love for the Anglican Communion has so far kept me waiting - I hope so much that the Primates will establish discipline.”
Commenter #2 (off-topic… bad): “HAH! You say you love the Anglican Communion. Where is your love for true catholicity—which should be in the arms of the Roman Catholic church, where unity in Christ is *visible*, not the invisible claptrap that you folks pretend to care about. Answer my questions—are you truly catholic? Then why do you continue as Protestants? Please explain to me why you have not joined the true church?”
Commenter #2 (on-topic… good): “I have to admit it - I am a Baptist, and congregationalist in my outlook - so I don’t understand why this love for the Anglican Communion. Why is it so important to Anglicans to be in a communion? Why not have a good local congregation with a preacher who teaches the Word? Aren’t all Christians really already unified in Jesus Christ? That’s the unity that I am concerned about.”
3. Sneering references to our Worthy Opponents.
For example, I know Bishop Robinson’s real name is indeed “Vicki Imogene,” but I never refer to him by that in the context of opposing his episcopacy or his theology, because it’s obviously intended as a slam against him personally. It’s a juvenile, playground taunt that doesn’t belong here. Go to Google and learn why he’s named that, and my guess is that you’ll understand why it’s inappropriate in the extreme to use it. Same goes for calling Susan Russell things such as “arch-lesbian.” I know she embraces the term, but it’s like the “n” word - it’s not okay for us to use it. When she uses it, it’s funny and self-effacing; when we use it, it’s petty and derisive. To everyone’s credit, we see very little of that kind of thing here, but even a little is too much. For the best thoughts on our Worthy Opponents, read Sarah’s essay. This is not to say that you can’t call a heretic a heretic, just make sure you (respectfully) make the case for their heresy.
Mainly, though - just get out of your funk. Remember that no matter what happens to the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion, your little brown church in the vale… or even organized religion, for that matter… God is in charge. He will reform His church as He sees fit, and if we are faithful, we will emerge from this mess into His Truth - whatever, whenever, and wherever He decides that will be.
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