Comment Covenant

The following description of how I pray discourse unfolds on my blog is drawn from Parker Palmer’s Book Healing the Heart of Democracy.  I invite you into conversation that draws upon these instincts and capacities.  If your comments routinely disregard these tenets and blatantly use such language as to cause pain in others then I will ask you to prayerfully reflect on your contributions.  If after a gentle reminder and request to alter your behavior you continue in such a capacity that is contrary to the ethos of this community I will ask you to excuse yourself from the conversation at Coming Out Christian.  If you persist in behavior that falls outside those listed below I will delete all of your comments and ensure you have no further access to this space.

Friends, if you find me lacking in these capacities I hope you will, with tenderness, point out my transgressions so that I might live into the hope for healing that I so ardently carry.

When we choose to engage, not evade, the tension of our differences, we will become better equipped to participate…as we expand some of our key civic capacities:

  • To listen to each other openly and without fear, learning how much we have in common despite our differences
  • To deepen our empathy for the alien “other” as we enter imaginatively into the experiences of people whose lives are radically unlike our own.
  • To hold what we believe and know with conviction and be willing to listen openly to other viewpoints, changing our minds if needed
  • To seek out alternative facts and explanations whenever we find reason to doubt our own truth claims or the claims of others, this becoming better informed
  • TO probe, question, explore and engage in dialogue, developing a fuller, more three-dimensional view of reality in the process
  • To enter the conflicted areas…, able to hold the dynamics of that complex force field in ways that unite the civic community and empower us to hold … [one another accountable]
  • To welcome opportunities to participate in collective problem solving and decision making, generating better solutions and making better decisions as we work with competing ideas
  • To feel more at home on the face of the earth amid differences of many sorts, better able to enjoy the fruits of diversity
~Parker Palmer, Healing the Heart of Democracy, 2011. 14-15
That’s right purdy and kumbaya so let me be exceptionally clear about how this all works. I can and will, at any time, for any reason that I deem worthy, delete comments and ban visitors according to my own discernment.
  • If the best you can do is regurgitate the same old tired, fear-mongering, ignorant and faithless garbage that every Tom, DICK and Fundy has said a million times before – your comment will be deleted, ain’t nobody got time for that.
  • If your comments resort to ad hominem attacks (you know, is ugly, mean, hateful or otherwise oozing with narcissistic shenanigans) –  it will be deleted and you will be banned.
  • If the best you can do is obsessively toss around straw men (look it up sweetie), your comments will be deleted and you will be banned.
  • If you persist at ignoring the specific content of any given post and instead come to MY table to spout generalized statements condemning homosexuality, you will be excused from MY table (that means banned, honey).
  • If your comment is blog-post length, it will be deleted. Start your own blog.
I do not have to, nor will I tolerate abuse of myself or others and I get to determine when and what that looks like. If  you do not like the way I run things, start your own blog.