Friday, March 15, 2013

Non-comment policy

I don't have a comment policy. I do allow comments. I always appreciate the blogs that allow comments. It feels vertiginous to read something really interesting or provoking in one way or another but not be allowed to satisfy the urge to reply. So I allow comments.

I don't go in for a complicated comment policy. It's a blog, my blog, and I'm the boss. That means as a publisher and editor of a writing production, I can choose to make my own editorial decisions. I would hope that readers understand that as a former professional writer and print journalist, I have a method and a sense of fairness as to what comments to allow and disallow. For the most part, I use common sense.

However, I do feel I owe readership an explanation for some things. It is a relationship after all. Once in a while I make an explanation of when or if I edit a comment. I only edit a comment rarely. I do that when the comment is excellent and I feel contributes to a discussion, but has attached to it a link that either does not glorify God in its content or is of low web trust according to the rating system of the WOT add-on I use (I won't send readers to a dangerous website filled with spam unbenownst to them). In the rare cases I do edit a comment for those reasons, I say so. I have only had to do this a mere five times or so in the last four years.

Once in a great while I close comments for a blog entry. I have the option to do this for individual essays and don't have to do it for the whole blog. I have only had to do this for a few blog entries, such as the Jentezen Franklin piece, and recently for the Catholic essays I've written.

Blastr comment policy
I'm not so popular that I get swamped with comments, lol. But recently the comments have become more pitched as the spiritual battle rages. The piece I did on the History Channel's series "The Bible" earned five-digit readership in a short time, and I was flabbergasted. The essays on the Catholic false religious system has a high reader interest, too, and has garnered a lot of comments.

For two of the Catholic essays, I closed comments. One reader said it was "strange" that I did that. They made an accusation as to when they sent "proof" that Catholicism was a true religion, I closed comments. Someone will always feel put out when that happens, and there is no avoiding that. I'm sorry if you didn't get to comment or feel cheated of your chance to reply. Here is my reasoning for closing comments on those two pieces-
"It's not strange at all. Quite the contrary. First, there is no "proof" that Catholicism is biblical. Second, comments were turning pointless because no matter how often the bible is referred to, the people supporting the false Catholic system refuted it illogically and extra-biblically. Third, there have been numerous comments that never even made it past the moderation stage, which were ad hominem attacks on personalities. I get tired of moderating those. The comments that are simply "you're a bid stoopid poopiehead" or "you are a sham and a disgrace" are a waste of everyone's time and are certainly not Christ-like. They are personal and not doctrinal. Comments like those edify no one, except perhaps, satan.

Enough ink has been spilled on each side for people to have expressed their position, and to illuminate any reader who comes along. As an editor I decide that at a certain point, there is no point in going further. Discussions have been fleshed out and the argument (an intellectual process whereby a collective series of statements to establish a proposition is laid out) turns into contradiction (an automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says). So when the intellectual portion of the discussion ends and the conversation turns into "(RCC is false. No it isn't. Yes it is. No it isn't...)" I choose to end it.

I will likely close comments on the other essays that discuss the false and satanic Catholic system, too, for the same reason. Even if you personally have not had a chance to comment, likely your thought in some form is already reflected in the comment stream and would be a repeat. That means it's time to close comments. Good day to you all."



Ultimately, it is my blog and I am the decider. I am the boss of what is said here. If the comment adds something to the discussion, great. If it provokes thinking in new ways or in a new direction, great. If it is encouraging or uplifting or supportive of the piece's main point or a reader's comment, great. If it is incisive and biblical, using verses appropriately, great. Even if it opposes the main thesis of the piece, I respect it if it is respectful and makes a point in a civil way. If it doesn't, it does not get through.

I'm sorry that not all my decisions please, but though all attempts will be made to remain cordial on behalf of myself and the readers, my ultimate goal is to please the Lord. Sometimes I will close comments and that's just the way it is. I envision doing that more as the battle rages and hearts darken. Profanity and accusations are more common now than they were even four years ago when I started. Not everyone who reads religion blogs are saved by grace of Jesus and they will behave badly. Blastr made the statement on their comment policy page that sometimes 'nerd rage' will creep in and a fury will develop over the most innocuous of topics, like favorite movies. LOL. Nerds behaving badly... funny. Well, at least now you know my reasoning.

I like what John MacArthur has on his blog above the comment box: "Proverbs 17:9 Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends." (ESV)

And there, wouldn't you know. The bible has the best comment policy of all.

5 comments:

  1. Good for you, Elizabeth. I agree 100%. The Epistles of Paul especially give precise instructions on how to deal with disagreements, endless discussions, arguments, opinions and how to conduct ourselves with others with love, respect and decency. If they don´t, to me, that means that they haven´t read the instruction manual and if they have and decide they will behave in such a manner as what you have describe, I will stop and leave them with their monologues. I will not discuss with people who are not interested in learning, knowing and growing in the truth and whose arguments don´t rest on a coherent, rational, biblical basis and I am talking about so called Christians.
    God bless you.

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  2. I agree wholeheartedly.

    I see it as a privilege to come here or any blog. The Lord has given us such great tools to share the truth in hopes that someone will come to Christ..



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  3. I really enjoy reading your blog. I find many of the posts insightful, inspired, funny (you seem to have a great sense of humor), and uplifting. As a Catholic, naturally I disagree very strongly with the conclusions you've drawn about the RCC, and I've expressed as much in comments on other posts. I agree entirely with your post above, though; this is a blog, after all, not a forum. Your posts are full of great conviction, and I admire your work ethic. We will probably never see eye-to-eye in regards to Catholicism, however, on many other matters of great import we are in violent agreement. Good luck with your blog and may you continue to deepen others' relationship with Christ.

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