A Bit of Housekeeping: a Side Note on Comments
This won't be a long post, just a little housekeeping. :)
Today I realized that I need to let my readers know that I keep a filter on comments here, and that I plan to do so for as long as I blog. There are many places on the internet where people call each other names and try to hurt others with their words, but my blog isn't going to be one of those.
While a hearty discussion between people of different belief systems can be profoundly beneficial, abusive firestorms begin when verbal hostility takes over, and these accomplish nothing but the purposes of hell.
My blog is a place to talk about ideas and seek Jesus. It's not a free-for-all where strangers are allowed to be mean to strangers. I never mind disagreement, but all comments that you offer to other readers must be civil, patient, and kind or else I won't push them through to the public eye.
Basically, I don't allow anything said here that I wouldn't allow to be said over my dinner table. If my children were sitting in a room while an adult was flying off the handle, I would ask that adult to leave my home. I'm applying that policy to my blog as well.
If you disagree with me or someone else and want to talk about an issue publicly here, take some time to do the following before commenting.
- Ask a humble and sincere question for clarification before making angry assumptions.
- Remove all name calling, insults, and unfair associations in your post. Stick with the issue instead of trying to hurt people.
If you just need to vent at me, you can do that. But when I can tell a reader is letting his/her temper lead, flying off the handle unfairly, I usually just read a sentence or two and then mark the post as "spam" without finishing it. That sort of label means all future messages from that IP address go directly to the trash, and I won't even see them.
Hateful comments make me feel empathy about the trauma or relational lack that leads a person to adopt a hostile style of communication, but they don't hurt me. They evoke mercy, but they are too pitiful to actually sting. At least they haven't yet.
Thankfully we live in a free country where aggressive and rude folks have other venues for their anger. I'm just not going to host them here.
This post doesn't apply to 99% of you. Of the tens of thousands of hits I got on a post this week, I only had two rude comments attempt to make it through. That's pretty stunning, if you think about it. But it's still loving to define some ground rules for a community now and then, and these are the rules for Thistle and Toad.
Oh, one more thing. I sometimes hold off on comments that make claims about public figures. That's not because the writers are trying to be rude but because I need some sort of validation before helping spread information that might hurt someone else's reputation. If you have something in such a category to share, please just provide external reference material that allows me to validate your claim.
Alright, gotta get back to some things here. I'll be back in I Corinthians tomorrow!