I started this blog with no comments, and still feel a bit uncertain about them. The “bottom half” of the internet is so full of yelling, selling, and depersonalizing rebuttals, that I honestly don’t read comments on most of the blogs I follow anymore. This is especially true where the topics are deeply held and personal — like spirituality, church, theology. But, some of you have prevailed on me to try comments out. So, in an effort to build community, here we go.
Here are a few simple rules. This is my site. It’s my intention that this be a safe place for people to ask questions. I will generally allow your comment, but I reserve the right to moderate it if my sense is that your comment in any way violates the sense of safety that I care about preserving here.
So here are the guidelines. If your post disappeared, you probably violated one of these. By posting on my blog, you agree to the following:
- You may comment without registering. It’s your choice.
- You may post anonymously, but I don’t prefer it. Anonymous posting allows people to say things without accountability, and that’s just bad for relationships. If you have something constructive to add to the conversation, have the courage to attach your real name to it. If I deem that an anonymous poster is baiting people, making personal attacks, or otherwise lowering the value of the neighborhood, I will delete the comments.
- You should post follow-up questions. If you have a question, chances are you are not alone. Others are likely thinking similarly. Therefore, I would rather receive your comments on my blog than via email. It is a better use of my time to address everyone at once rather than answer several similar emails.
- You may disagree with me. That’s OK. I’m learning, growing and my perceptions are evolving. However, I ask that if you disagree with me—or anyone else, for that matter—do so in a way that is respectful. It seems to me that if you yell or name-call or denigrate the person you’re talking to, than your comment is more about you and less about moving the conversation forward.
- You may (of course) disagree with my theology, however… I’m not inviting you to correct or teach me in this space. Tell me I’m wrong. Tell me you disagree. Suggest a book I should read or point me to your own blog post where you write on the subject. That’s fine. But long comments, with extensive scripture, that seem meant only to correct me are simply going to be deleted. I’m not opposed to learning — I read voraciously, I study scripture constantly, I attend conferences, I study under pastors, professors and writers. My theology has been growing and maturing my whole life, and I expect that to continue. I just don’t find long back-and-forths to be productive for you, for me, or for readers. Oh, and if you post a long diatribe and you post it anonymously, I will delete it immediately.
- I reserve the right to delete your comments. This is my blog. I don’t have an obligation to publish your comments. The First Amendment gives you the right to express your opinions on your blog, twitter stream, Facebook page and bathroom mirror, but it doesn’t compel me to publish your thoughts here. Specifically, I will delete your comments if you post something that is, in my sole opinion, (a) snarky; (b) off-topic; (c) libelous, defamatory, abusive, harassing, threatening, profane, pornographic, offensive, false, misleading, or which otherwise violates or encourages others to violate my sense of decorum and civility or any law, including intellectual property laws; or (d) “spam,” i.e., an attempt to advertise, solicit, or otherwise promote goods and services or (e) any other reason I deem necessary at the time. If you have a lengthy, rebuttal or challenge to a post of mine, please post a link to your own blog post.
- You retain ownership of your comments. I do not own your comments and I expressly disclaim any and all liability that may result from them. By commenting on my site, you agree that you retain all ownership rights in what you post here and that you will relieve me from any and all liability that may result from those postings.
- You grant me a license to post your comments. This license is worldwide, irrevocable, non-exclusive, and royalty-free. You grant me the right to store, use, transmit, display, publish, reproduce, and distribute your comments in any format, including but not limited to a blog, in a book, a video, or presentation.
If we can have interesting conversations with caring, honest, and respectful people, then I’m all for comments. I believe this simple comments policy will facilitate this.