Thursday, January 28, 2010

About comments

Please remember that the reader's comments are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the contributors to The Continuum Blog. Personally, when it is I who moderate comments, I do not like to reject comments because I do not want to be like the censors at Stand Firm. I tend to approve almost anything, because I assume the readers are grown up enough to recognize that the price of Free Speech is hearing ideas with which they disagree (I reject only for rudeness or mere repetition of controverted points without acknowledging the earlier rebuttal-which is both boring and rude). But, if someone writes in to take us to task, or even to take me to task, I want to see substance, a position stated with some reasoning behind it. For example, "Fr. Hart, you are mistaken because..." is fine (of course, I am likely to answer). But, "you dirty no good son of a ..." is not a substantial disagreement representing a thought out opinion. Neither is, "I am praying for you that you become a Christian." Frankly, if I had to choose between those last two, I prefer being called a "no good son of a ..." Furthermore, people who write to tell us that we, the contributors to the blog, are horrible men because of something a reader said in a comment need to be referred to the top of this post, that is, to the opening line. I do not censor people simply for their tone. If a reader's comment annoys you, do not assume that we accept responsibility for that reader's thoughts or mode of expression. Give us a break; we did not write it.

Also, FYI, it is impossible to edit comments in the combox. otherwise, I would fix your typos when I see them; but, the blogspot program makes that impossible. For further advice, see this.


Fr. John said...


Thanks for not censoring the comments. I know when someone starts with the personal insults that they have lost the argument. Your leaving the personal attacks in leaves no doubt that that the poster has nothing more constructive to contribute to the conversation, and also puts the lie to the charge that someone is "content to remain ignorant" for being able to give a juicy, as well as a compelling rebuttal.

Allen Lewis said...

Fr. Hart -
Being a co-owner of a Yahoo discussion group, I can sympathize with your comment moderation policy.

We are all adults here - with maybe some exceptions - so we should be able to take responsibility for our own commenting shortcomings.

I have never held any of The Continuum contributors reponsible for the shortcomings of any of the comments I have read on this weblog.

Peace and blessings to all of you who contribute and maintain this most useful Anglican resource!

Canon Tallis said...

I would say a very strong "Ditto" to the comments of Father John. We are supposed to be adults. I remember a story about the great economist, Thomas Sowell who took a friend along to an interview he had with the faculty of a West Coast university. The exchange between the faculty and Dr Sowell was extremely rough and spirited and Swoell's friend was horrified. When they were leaving, she told him so. His reply was that she was mistaken and that the heat of the exchange was a sign of their respect for him and his ideas and assured him that he would be able to work there.

We have to be the same way because there are so few other places where these extremely important ideas for the future health of the Continuum and Anglicaniism in general can be aired. Fortunately for all of us, Fathers Hart and Kirby seem more than capable of handling the beasts, especially me. And for that I am extremely thankful.

Mark VA said...

From the Catholic perspective:

Good manners, treating the opponent humanely and with good natured humor, admitting mistakes, holding one’s short temper in check – these produce the soil on which authentic Catholic culture can grow.

I think Hilaire Belloc put it well:

"Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s always laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino! "

And who can say the same, but with music, better than Mozart?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Mark VA:

While we are all in such a merry mood, I must point out to you that our Anglican position is "from the Catholic perspective," certainly no less than your point of view.

Mark VA said...

From the Roman Catholic perspective:

Father Hart:

No polemical point of any kind was intended on my part. Allow us all Catholics, Roman, Anglican, or platypus, be in a merry mood for a while.

By the way, do you like Mozart?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Like Pope Benedict I play Mozart on my piano for recreation, as well as Bach, Chopin, some jazz, even some Lennon and McCartney for relaxation, and complicated pieces of my own composition (the last fugue writer in captivity). And, I play it all from the Catholic perspective.

Mark VA said...

Thank you Father Hart for sharing this.

What shall one think about this fugue like sturm und drung piece from Mozart:

RC Cola said...

I like the way you moderate. We have a free exchange of ideas. We can make good points and bad points. We can delight or offend, forgive and be forgiven. In the end, there's always something to think about and always something to learn.