First, no personal attacks. I will not stand for blatant name calling or attacks against other commenters or myself. If you can’t make your argument without attacking, then your argument isn’t worth hearing. I have very little tolerance for it.
Stay on topic. If I write about something, try to keep the comments related to that topic, for the sake of others. There are other forums out there for you to go off on the topic of your choice; this blog, however, is not that place.
Avoid hate speech or hateful rhetoric. This one is a little amorphous, I know, but I know it when I see it, and if I see it, it will be deleted.
Please be patient with me. I am committed to responding to as many comments as possible, and to any personal messages I get. But I have two jobs, two kids, a wife, and all the other trappings of a personal life. I will respond, but you need to be patient with me. It could take me as much as a week to respond. I’m not ignoring you; I just want to respect the time you took to sit down and write to me by also sitting down and crafting something thoughtful in return.
Don’t be a troll. This encompasses a lot of the points I’ve already made, but if I see, hear or smell a troll, you will be gone. Again, this is at my discretion; I’ll be fair, but not overly lenient. Nobody likes a troll.
Address ideas, not motivations. Just because someone disagrees with you, doesn’t mean they are evil or corrupt or bad. They just disagree. Respect your fellow commenters (and your lowly blogger) by giving the benefit of the doubt.
Be Generous. Be generous with me, and with your fellow commenters. None of us have this all figured out, have all the answers, or are always going to get things right. Me least of all. This is a public space where I am working out ideas and sharing thoughts in process. I’m gonna change my mind and evolve; I’m inviting you along on that journey with me. So give me the benefit of the doubt, and understand I’m still figuring it all out.
All in all: comment with a spirit of grace and respect. If you do that, this will be very easy, and very fun.
Remember, this is my blog. I really love people coming here to comment and be a part of a budding community; that’s what I’ve always wanted. But I am the one who writes and reads all the comments and responds to as many as possible, and moderates. I set the rules, and I reserve the right to change them as needed. This is not an uncontrolled free speech zone; I will be using my discretion to ensure civility. I won’t be unfair or arbitrary, but I do want to enforce a standard of decorum, in the interests of fostering a positive and healthy conversation.
Of course, I’m always open to criticism or feedback. If you think I’m moderating unfairly, send me a message and let me know.
Again, I really appreciate all of you, and I want this to be a space where people of all views can respond to me and each other in an open and constructive way. Let’s value that and not abuse it.
Thanks so much, and I look forward to interacting with you all.
Grace and peace