I’ve been writing this little blog for a while with no comment policy because I never thought I’d need one. To my dismay, I had to ban someone this week– something I’ve never done and never thought I would do. After going through the headache of figuring out: A.) How to ban someone and B.) How to tell said person that they’ve been banned without sounding like a total jerk, I realized something very important:
I NEVER WANT TO BAN ANOTHER COMMENTER.
Because this blog is getting more popular, and because there should be clear rules of engagement in places where being “banned” is a possibility, and because I’d like to reduce the likelihood of ever banning another commenter, I’ve come up with the following (very simple) comment policy.
1. It’s Not What You Say. It’s How You Say It. Honestly, I know that I share some rather inflammatory opinions on this blog. In fact, I’m sure that I tick people off on a fairly regular basis. Whether you love what I’ve written, hate what I’ve written, think I’m the most brilliant thinker since the other C.S. Lewis (see what I did there), or believe I have the IQ of a turnip– I don’t mind reading your opinion. But speak to me and the other commenters on my blog with respect. Say what you want, but play nice.
2. Personal Attacks and Hate Speech Will Not Be Tolerated. There’s a commenter who regularly posts long responses to my posts and is suspicious of organized religions in general. In fact, I suspect that he hates mainstream Christianity (and Islam and Hinduism for that matter) with an unbridled passion, but I love that he’s here. He’s honest about the way he feels and I love him for it. I grow every time I read his thoughtful comments and I’m sure others do, too. He’s able to state a negative opinion about a faith tradition without being condescending to the religion’s followers. There have also been some pretty smart theologians who have offered very important corrections to my posts. I’ve APPRECIATED their contributions. I’m here to learn, too, and I’m not above correction– so I appreciate receiving correction when it is presented with class and humility. Again, I’ll never ban you for voicing a dissenting opinion (in fact, I’ll engage you because I WANT to have these conversations)– but if you’re disrespectful to someone, if you post racist, sexist, gender-oppressive, homophobic or similar comments, and if your comments are trollesque or mean just for the sake of being mean, then you’re probably not a fit for the conversation space I’m trying to create here.
3. You’ll Get One Warning. If you’re in violation of my comment policy, then I’ll probably (depending on the situation) assume you’re just unaware of it and ask you very nicely to adjust your behavior and/or tone. If you continue your antics, I’ll send you to the big old IP Address Farm in the sky.
So please, y’all: Say what you want to me and others.. Think what you want (I certainly do)… And keep it real, but don’t be an Internet jerk. There are enough of those out there. Take care.
Date Written: April 5, 2012
Last Update: May 19, 2013