Patheos is a great place to blog.
The primary reasons I say that are that (1) I can write anything I want, and (2) I can set the rules for my blog. Every blogger here at Patheos has those freedoms.
What that means is that there are a variety of ways that we deal with the conversations that arise in the com boxes. Deacon Greg Kandra doesn’t allow comments at all. Other bloggers allow any and all comments, no matter what they say. Some, such as Frank Weathers (who is another of my heroes, by the way) allow comments, but only those that advance the Kingdom. Frank also shuts down comments on posts from time to time.
Then there’s me.
I’ve taken an entirely different way with the comments question. I allow all sorts of viewpoints and ideas, but I do not allow insults, hectoring, bad language or bigoted attacks on groups of people. I also do not allow twenty comments all saying the same thing. In those cases, I allow a few and delete the rest. I will not allow people with an anti-Christian agenda to take over this blog and use the discussion to promote that agenda.
Also, unlike some of the other bloggers here at Patheos, I sometimes join in the commenting myself.
I’ve chosen this path because I think it serves the purpose of the blog. I blog at the intersection of private belief and public expression of belief, and I do it entirely from a Christian viewpoint. The whole purpose of Public Catholic is to equip people to take their faith out of the realm of private piety and speak about it, stand up for it and live it in the public sphere. It’s no accident of cutesy phrasing that led me to name this blog Public Catholic. Being Catholic in a public way, and doing it well, is what this blog is about.
I reassess where Public Catholic is going every so often and take a look at the question: Is it actually fulfilling its purpose?
I’m writing this post to let you chime in here and tell me if Public Catholic has helped you in your faith walk. Has reading this blog made you more likely to take a stand for Christ? Has it given you information and understanding that makes you more confident about living your faith in a post Christian society?
Do the combox discussions sharpen your ability to answer attacks on the faith, or do they simply demoralize you?
Are you a better Christian, do you feel closer to Jesus, because of this blog?
I want feedback here. What challenges do you face when you try to take a stand for Jesus on your job, with your family or in your clubs and associations? What ways can this blog inform, inspire and strengthen you in your faith?
Our society is unwinding. We are destroying our community building blocks. Public discourse has become anything but discourse. We the people are leaderless, unless you honestly think that manipulation, propaganda and lies are leadership.
This is all symptomatic of the fact that we are living in a post Christian society. At the same time, it is a society in which the vast majority of people believe in Jesus Christ.
The problem is, Christians are just lying on the mat, ko’d by the various assaults against them and their faith. We’ve gotta get up off that mat people. How can Public Catholic help that happen?