From the moderators
On this blog, two people who disagree about many aspects of Mormonism engage honestly and directly while maintaining personal respect for each other. As a result, a healthy and much-needed conversation about Mormon life, culture, and belief keeps moving forward.
Readers are asked to consider the comment section an extension of this approach. Every comment should have two goals: expressing your thoughts, and maintaining a civil space for productive conversation.
This can be challenging. Many of the issues raised here touch on deeply personal opinion and experience. That’s no less true for John and Patrick, of course.
Commenters are asked to refrain from personal attacks. Disagree with an idea without insulting the person. “That makes no sense to me” is fine; “you are an idiot” is not. Grant a point when you can. Say “I may be wrong” and “I think” when you can.
Assume the best of another. Ask for clarification. Avoid questioning motivation or honesty. Speak to others as you like to be spoken to. When an impasse is reached, agree to disagree. Thank others for productive engagement. And if things begin to heat up, even if someone else is wrong and rude, be the one who de-escalates.
If all else fails, and you think a comment violates the kind of discussion we’re trying to engender, please flag it. We’ll take a look.
Please note: all comment threads for this blog close automatically after one week.
From the bloggers
One of the provisions that we made with our editor at Patheos when we agreed to do this blog is that we would not actively respond to all comments — not to be rude or to avoid engaging in spirited and stimulating exchanges, but because our time is limited, and doing this weekly blog is already stretching two full calendars. Please know that we appreciate the comments, because it shows that people are engaged. Even if we don’t respond directly, we’re paying attention and taking notes, and your good suggestions and questions (and even some of the bad ones) will provide fodder for future posts.
We also hope, as several commenters have already expressed, that the tone and spirit of the comments section matches what we are trying to model in our own exchange: honest, vigorous, and even challenging dialogue that is always respectful of other people, their views, and their life experiences.
Patrick Mason and John Dehlin