Thursday, February 08, 2007

On Comments

Caught by the Light has just undergone an overhaul. Along with that, I have been thinking more carefully about the tenor of some of my posts as well as some of the comments I've been receiving.

My recent ham-handed mishandling of comment moderation on a post resulted in hard feelings. I've also removed some posts that, in hindsight, were inappropriate for a public space like a blog.

My sincere apologies to anyone who has been hurt by what has been posted here.

Friends, I know the blogosphere can be an ugly place. There are simply some blogs that I will not visit now because of the vitriol. Tackling controversial questions risks all kinds of reactions, and the blogosphere lends itself, as does e-mail and the internet-in-general, to giving space for nasty things that we would never dream of saying to each other if we were face-to-face. I've witnessed how blogs can be very damaging to real lives and Spirit-filled communities. In my heart, at least, I'm learning the hard way that God-given human dignity is too precious to be treated with such blatant disregard.

So I am now aiming to do better, and I hope you'll see the approach of this blog improve in this regard from here on out.

With this in mind, here are a few words about posting comments on this site:

Please, when you comment here, know that I have adopted Tobias Haller's helpful guidelines:

  • anonymous commenters, please use a pen-name to disambiguate
  • avoid mere contradiction or assertion; if you disagree with something, give a reason
  • stay with the thread of the post

For those out there who need still clearer direction, the following will not be permitted here:

  • ad hominem arguments
    • Please check your facts before you post
    • Comments attempting to undercut an argument with deliberately insulting or demeaning language will not be tolerated
    • This also includes generalizing attacks on the dignity of communities. For example, I rejected one recent comment for conflating, without explanation, recent decisions of the Episcopal Church with the worst of United States foreign policy.
    • In short, I believe it is possible to be critical of differing views while recognizing and honoring the dignity and complexity of the person or community that holds them. This is something, as a recovering snark, I am working on. I invite you to join me in this, at least while you are commenting here.
Thank you, and God's peace.

1 comment:

Jo Ann said...

I was reading some of the messages from this web site and thought they were interesting. The symbolism used describing kites and tangled string reminded me of a poem I wrote years ago. Thought I'd share it with you. Jo Ann

Tangled String

One day my little boy had
his kite up in the sky.
Then, down it came falling,
it would no longer fly.
He began to pull the string,
so quickly and so fast,
he looked down at his feet
and saw string, tangled in a mass.
"Mom!" he cried to me,
with his little eyes filled with tears.
He came sadly in the house,
for me to calm his fears.
He placed the tangled string
gently in my hand,
"Mom," he said, "please fix it,
I know that you can."

Sadly I come to you, Lord,
like my son came to me.
My life is tangled string,
as far as I can see.
I don't know where to start,
I can not see the end.
My tangled life is in Your hand,
on You I must depend.

My life is tangled string,
please, fix it for me Lord.
Who else can I turn to,
I must take you at Your Word.
Patiently I waited,
wondering just what He would do.
He gave me back a life,
not tangled, but BRAND NEW!

I asked Him, "Lord, please tell me,
how can this whole thing be?
I only thought You'd work
problems out for me.
This new life you gave me,
is more than I expected.
How, Lord, did You do it,
to keep me so protected?

He said,"Listen, my little child,
I saw your tangled string.
I knew the knots were in it,
and the sadness they would bring.
All your broken dreams,
sin, and fear and woe.
All of which are plain to Me,
All of them I know.

When that great gust of life
blew you swiftly to the ground,
even though you searched the world,
a solution was not found.
You could not change yourself,
that is very plain to see,
for you know, "all have sinned and come,
short of God's glory."

You needed a "new" life,
pure and clean and free.
This is why My Son died,
for you upon a tree.
The blood that Jesus shed,
was full payment for your sin.
This is why you have forgiveness,
and a new life to begin.

When Jesus rose from the dead,
I made a declaration.
The sin of all mankind's forgiven,
in every land and nation.
He is the only ONE to trust,
all others are not true.
He is the Way, the Truth and Life,
He shows that "I LOVE YOU."