New Blog Rules, Effective NOW

I am changing Public Catholic’s board rules to the following language:

I want Public Catholic to be a welcoming place. As my mother would say, be polite. What that means is use courtesy and civility. It also means do not attempt to hijack the board with your personal agendas. Public Catholic is a Catholic, Christian blog. I created it to empower Christians to stand for Jesus in today’s world. Reptitive, harassing attacks against the faith, Jesus or the Church are not welcome here. Address others with respect and refer to public figures in the same way. No name calling. No cursing. No hitting. No spitting.

These new blog rules will be up in the next day or so. In the meantime, I ask that people who post here abide by them, beginning now.

My reason for changing the language is that some of the posters here seem focused on repetitive posts that are so argumentative and frequent that they are taking over the conversations on Public Catholic and focusing it on the poster’s agenda. I do not want Public Catholic hijacked. I want its focus to stay with what I created it to be in the first place. I also do not want other people to stop commenting here because they feel driven out by a large number of repetitive and destructive comments from people who are pushing their private, anti-Christian agenda.

I created Public Catholic as a response to this exact sort of thing which is being directed at Christians everywhere in our larger society. While I welcome intelligent discussion, what I’m seeing here has devolved to hectoring. As I said, it is also repetitive. We get it: You are atheists. You don’t need to tell us over and over again.

Also, this is a Christian blog. It is a Catholic blog. It is not the appropriate place for repeated attacks on the faith and Christian belief. Each one of the people who have been making these posts has their own blog. I think that is a more appropriate place for them to further their personal agendas.

I do not and will not come on their blogs just to argue with them about their beliefs. While I do not share their beliefs, I have too much respect for their right to hold them to do that. They are free to believe whatever they want. They are also free, within reason, to say what they believe here. But somewhere between the first and the 50th time they tell Public Catholic commenters that there is no god is enough said.

I don’t want to delete comments and deny people the opportunity to post here. If you will just follow this rule change, I won’t have to.

  • Bob Seidensticker

    Rebecca:

    It’s your blog, and I respect your rules. I don’t think I’ve made more than a few comments here, so I don’t imagine that I’m a big part of the problem, but let me know if I cross the line.

    That said, you do cover a lot of territory. If your blog were simply ideas and comments on ways to be a better Catholic, I’d find nothing to comment on. But you do get into my turf a fair amount, and I occasionally feel compelled to respond. Provocative topics invite response.

    Again, you call the shots. I’d simply like to point out that, in the extreme, you become an echo chamber with little more than “You go, girl!” as comments.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Bob, you’re not who I am talking about.

  • http://theshepherdspresence.wordpress.com Karyl Entner

    I understand. I started a blog due to wanting to avoid controversy on fb. I wonder why anyone would actually want to follow a blog in order to be disagreeable????? Yet, I see that happening repeatedly on political sites. It seems there is so much bitterness swirling around these days and frankly, it frightens me If folks like you and me cannot have the freedom on a blog to invite others to experience joy and contentment found only in Jesus, it is a sad sad sad day. The name, “Public Catholic” says, “come here for spiritual information” and if people don’t want that, they shouldn’t visit, much more, spew vitrolic comments. I think, “You go, girl” is appropriate! Love you, Rebecca! Appreciate your stand even though you and I are of different denominations, we sure do agree in many areas.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Karyl!

  • Ted Seeber

    I’m a veteran of the old Usenet flame wars on sociology and religion, so I know what you are facing. Good luck with the new rules- and keep fighting the good fight for Christ!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks Ted.

  • Indy

    Rebecca – what are we told to avoid in public conversation? Politics and religion! And you post these incredibly awesome thought provoking blogs that challenge us to think about God and politics. By the very nature of the discussion there may be disagreements. For me – its not that we disagree but how we disagree that can be the issue. Respectful discussion that isn’t vulgar or attacking can be enlightening for all that are involved. It helps me to hear what atheists are saying as it enables me to more carefully choose my words and my approach to bringing God’s Word to the world. I have appreciated just how civil the discussions on your blogs have been – possibly from your moderation and deleting inappropriate comments – I’m not sure. What I pray for most of all is that you not get discouraged about writing your blog – it has been a source of inspiration (the Breathe of God) into my life and I look forward to each new post. I have just begun a study of the book of Isaiah and he had some very harsh truths to tell Israel. Its not easy being the truth teller in a world that prefers fantasy and strife. Thank you for being a voice for God and do not allow those who speak against Him to discourage you.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Indy. I have no problems with disagreements, per se. That is a natural function of two people talking.

      My reason for doing this is that I want to use Public Catholic to build an online community of believers in Christ so that we can empower one another to stand up for Jesus in our daily lives and our politics and do it intelligently and effectively. That is why I am doing this blog. Anything that keeps believers in Christ from feeling comfortable and safe on this blog interferes with that objective. People with other beliefs are always welcome here, but not at the expense of the overall reason for the blog existing in the first place. If something keeps Public Catholic from achieving its objective, then it must go.

      As for me quitting, no way. Not unless I feel that I’m called to quit by the One Who called me to start in the first place. If that happens, I’m outa here. But not before.

      Thank you again for your comment. I can’t think of any higher compliment than the one you gave me. You have made my week.

  • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com neenergyobserver

    I’ve noticed the commenters that Rebecca refers to here, and she right, they are distracting and obnoxious. As well as writing my own, I comment on many blogs and this is one of the best. I have never found Rebecca’s rules oppressive, and I have often disagreed with her here, on her old blog, on mine, and on others, she has always been open to other opinions provided they were stated politely, and concisely. You know like in polite society. Surely you can act like an intelligent adult that long, can’t you?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you my friend.

  • http://fpb.livejournal.com/ Fabio P.Barbieri

    I have a suspicion I may be one of the persons who are suspected of hijacking this blog. I think I always posted in defence of the Church and of Our Lord (should He need any defence), but if I have crossed any line I regret it and will try to take any issue I have to my own blog in future.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Fabio, I am NOT talking about you! Your comments are most welcome here.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00805469860229478026 Irksome1

    Can I hijack this comments section if I promise to restrict my hijacking to a World of Warcraft criticism?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Only if you don’t tell my youngest son. :-)

  • http://biltrix.wordpress.com Biltrix

    I just want to voice my support. Love your blog! You are doing a great job. There are many great Catholic blogs on this portal, and across the blogosphere. But Public Catholic is one of a kind! Best wishes and God bless your work here and in your political career.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you, and back at you! Your blog is great.

  • http://Heartfulmemories@wordpress.com Janice oliver

    Amen. Thank you Rebecca.

  • http://ackans.com Mr. V.

    On a side, and hopefully humorous note…

    I wonder about the word ‘hector’, meaning to harass or intimidate others with an aggressive, bullying, swaggering manner. I’ve used the word many times, and I understand its meaning and usage, but I wonder how it came to hold that meaning. After all, the word comes from the name of the Trojan prince and hero, Hector. But, if the word and its popular usage were to hold true to the original namesake, then ‘hector’ would mean to challenge someone in some way and then get ripped to shreds in the ensuing contest, whether verbal or physical. Hectoring would then be a bad thing for the person doing it, and not so much for the others.

    A passage using the word would then read along the lines of this:

    “Ronald won’t quit hectoring people. Doesn’t he get tired of being embarrassed? Everyone he disagrees with tears his arguments to shreds.”

  • http://paulinesthoughts.com Pauline

    I appreciate you taking a stand on this. I’m not Catholic, but I do adhere to a Christian worldview.

    I enjoy hearing your thoughts on politics from a Christian standpoint. As one who is not involved in politics past the point where you stated in a previous blog, that your friends weren’t allowed to enter when you were being sworn in, this is a good place to hear the truth – since I don’t think it will come out otherwise very often.

    Free speech does not give one a right to use it in a way that will hurt others. Even if you do not adhere to that view, if one does not speak respectfully to someone who disagrees with him/her, the person isn’t going to listen or change his/her mind, and one is wasting his/her time unless it is purely for “entertainment” value.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      You’ve said it well. Thank you Pauline. It’s great to see you here, btw!

  • FW Ken

    I regard myself as Rebecca’s guest and Mama would whip me up one side and down the other were I to be rude. So I do try to be nice and on-topic.

    Seriously, I’ve been a Catholic for a lot of years, but just started back reading Catholic blogs and have been amazed at the number of atheists that read these blogs, and how many of them – not all by a longshot – are just trolling. I read some Anglican blogs, and wouldn’t think of pushing the Catholic Faith on those folks. We sometimes engage, but as friends in Christ. Most of the time. Best wishes here, Rebecca and thank you.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Ken.

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com/ Jessica Hoff

    Good rules Rebecca, and nothing there any Christian would object to. This is a great blog, and it us important to keep it the way it is :)

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Jessica.


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