Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Passionate responses and disagreements are to be expected on a blog discussing faith, reproduction, parents, children, disability and medicine. Healthy and helpful discussions will only happen if people feel safe to comment honestly, without fear of being attacked or silenced. Strong opinions and debate are welcomed, but negativity is not.
- way off topic (though I welcome comments that suggest a related topic to address in future posts);
- libelous, defamatory, abusive, harassing, threatening, profane, pornographic, offensive to most reasonable people, or blatantly false or misleading; or
- attempts to advertise goods or services (though I welcome comments that point readers to additional resources related to the topic being discussed, such as other blogs, news articles or Web sites).
In addition, I may delete comments that use more subtle forms of negativity, such as sarcasm, condescension, and blanket dismissal or judgment of either a particular person or entire groups of people. I reserve the right to delete any comment or block any commenter who violates my comment policy in any way, or who, more broadly, fails to honor the spirit of open and respectful conversation. I will, for example, block people who technically adhere to my comment policy here, but who have behaved badly toward me or others in other online settings. While I do not delete comments or block commenters lightly (and do it very rarely), it comes down to this: Would I welcome this person into my home to be part of a productive conversation, even if we have very different opinions? If the answer is “no” for any reason, then their comments are not welcome here.
- The commenter speaks on God’s behalf. It is fine to say something like, “Based on my reading of X scripture, I believe God’s message or intent to be….” It is not okay to say, “God hates such and such or so and so.” Nor is it okay to imply or state outright that a commenter whose opinion you disagree with is in cahoots with Satan.
- The commenter refers to me, other commenters, or people about whom I write using insulting language.
- The commenter is a “one-trick pony” who uses any and all blog posts as an excuse to write about his/her preferred topic. If you are so passionate about a topic that you feel compelled to write about it at all times, start your own blog. This here blog is mine.
- The commenter hijacks a comment thread by making incendiary or provocative statements, and/or by commenting so frequently that it becomes difficult or intimidating for other people to participate.
In short, be polite, treat other people with respect even if you disagree vehemently with them, don’t overdo it, and read your comment over before posting it to seek out and delete any unintended snark.