By Charlie Johnston
The views and opinions expressed in the comments section are those of the commenters and do not necessarily reflect my views. I encourage a wide range of comments here – treat it kind of like an Irish pub where we can sit and reason (and sometimes wrestle) with each other. That said, this is a faithfully orthodox site (despite some of my unusual visitations) and I do not give space to those who try to disparage either the Catholic Church or the Christian faith of others who we count as brethren.
I do not vouch for links in comments. I check those links that I embed in my posts or list on the side. If I find a link leads to a site that is clearly contrary to faith and morals, I will remove it.
Stating some rules that need to be re-stated as we grow, added in late September, 2014 with an influx of new readers:
To new readers, here are a couple of things to be aware of if you want to comment here:
1) No vulgarities or simple ugly name-calling. Period.
2) I am Catholic, so this website has a decidedly Catholic flavor. But I have a deep respect for the profound faith of many of our Protestant and Jewish brethren. In fact, I have been told (as regular readers know) that we are to treat all faithful Protestants and Jews as full partners in the work before us. God, Himself, will see to the unity, which will be one of the great fruits of the Storm. There are no junior partners here.
3) We do not engage in the “Jane, you ignorant slut” style of debate so popular on so many blogs today. If you look back at the archives (and if it is a particular subject or person in the news that interests you, just enter the name in the search feature and it will pull up all articles related to that person or subject) you will see from comments – and even a guest column – that I both encourage and welcome people to offer serious, clearly stated opinions that are different than mine. Properly understood, debate should lead us closer to truth. A sneer is not a substitute for an argument here, so if that is all you can muster, please go somewhere else.
4) We believe that when we are commanded that we should not bear false witness, that does not just mean we should only tell the truth about people we like or agree with – but that we should not bear false witness against anyone, even Hitler or Stalin. If someone has chosen evil their actions will speak for themselves. If we add to it to try to further discredit them, we simply are adopting evil, ourselves. Take the time to make sure your facts are reasonably accurate.
5) I understand that in the modern world, people frequently want to jump into the middle of a debate without seeing what is already said. We treat each other seriously and with respect here. If you want to jump in, use the search feature to at least see what has been said recently on a subject.
6) The comments make up at least half of the best stuff in each article – and in some cases have been meatier and more inspirational than the column itself. You are missing something if you don’t check them out. By doing so, you will also get an idea of the tone here.
7) When making a factual claim that is not common knowledge, please provide a credible reference – preferably a link – to the source so people can assess it. Wikipedia, while a good place to start getting some information, is NOT a reliable reference.
I have waded through several efforts at comments that used scatological descriptions of homosexuals (make your point – do it effectively enough and you do not need ugly descriptors), challenged me to explain how I could defend people like Cardinal Dolan (already explained. Use the search feature. If you want to jump in, it is your job to get up to snuff – not mine to repeat material we have all been through), or simply trying to bash one denomination or another. That is not to say we are nice and don’t say hard things or make tough criticisms – but it must be based in evidence rather than simply emoting feelings – and all is designed to build up the people of God, not to tear each other down.