Well, I never thought I’d need rules. I probably don’t need rules, because how many people really visit my this site anyway?
Well, enough do, now and then, especially seekers struggling with doubt, or those who’ve left the faith and feel alone in the midst of their bible believing families. It touches me deeply when someone visits and reads through these posts and feels a little better about life knowing that others have traveled the same road.
So to protect the purpose and integrity of the page, here are a couple of ground rules I’m setting so that when the day comes where I need to delete a comment of block a commenter, nobody will be able to say I didn’t warn them first.
And can I add that it thoroughly pisses me off that I even have to say half of this shit? Can I say that among adults I expect better? Is it a good thing or a bad thing that people keep surprising me, especially believers for whom their behavior is so far removed from their holy spiritual claims?
First off, I should say that my default is to approve all comments. I don’t feel I can claim to be a free thinker in open dialogue if I don’t try to encourage discourse that is as open as possible. That said, there are a couple things that can lead to your comment getting popped, or worse.
1.) People everywhere on the belief spectrum are welcome to comment with their point of views. For various reasons, I want to include everyone who wants to dance.
2.) Keep it close to the topic. Talk about the article in question. This should be self-explanatory, and I think a troll through the comment sections will show how well my commenters, both believers and unbelievers, have done so.
3.) For Theists, mainly: NO PROSELYTIZING to my visitors. Period. This is my page that I have set up to explore issues of doubt and unbelief. It’s intended to be a place where these issues are explored rationally, through logical dialogue. This is not your Salvational Happy Hunting Ground. I won’t have believers cherry picking the doubters who show up looking for answers, or at least for some good questions, being harangued about how they just need to “come back to Jesus!” or somesuch. They get enough of that at the church they still go to because their families wouldn’t understand, or worse, because they’re forced. I won’t tolerate it here.
4.) However, if you want to take a run at me personally, go for it. But be prepared to be brought front and center to discuss your comment in rational, logical fashion. As young88apologist found out, I will be more than happy to take the time to address your attempt in detail and spell out exactly what I think. I’ll be plenty respectful, but I will be direct.
5.) Remember that this is my page, my home online away from home. You are my guests. Please conduct yourself as such. It is one thing to provide a spirited defense of your position, or to disagree strongly with something I say. It is quite another to be an insulting and insufferable boor. If you come here to simply call me or other readers names and fling ad homs about like monkey poo, then you’ll lose your commenting privileges. While it would seem that this would be directed more at non-believers, who are somehow thought to be rude, it was inspired by a very poorly behaved Anglican Priest. Doesn’t that figure?
#3 is actually the issue that made me think about setting ground rules. I had a comment I almost deleted because it was full of that sort of schmear. I only let it slide because the commenter did make at least a poor attempt to address a question asked by a struggling doubter.
I’m guessing I’ll never need more rules than this, but I’ll add them if they appear necessary.