Thursday, January 04, 2007

An Apology & Some Ground Rules

Last weekend, we made the decision to "turn comment moderation on" at this site. This function within Blogger allows anyone to submit a comment, but all comments are submitted to the blogmaster, who has the option of "releasing" the comment for publication on the site or deleting it.

The Steering Committee was quite clear that we do not want to stifle or censor disagreement. We do, however, want to be sure that abusive comments are blocked. (For instance, one anonymous commenter had posted a 22-page "comment" to the blog; we found it within minutes and deleted it.)

Unfortunately, I learned only today that I accidentally changed another setting in Blogger. That accident had the effect of blocking all comments – which was neither my intent, nor that of the Steering Committee. We are committed to the Anglican principle of tolerance. As Steering Committee member Tom Woodward stated in a recent thread: "Dissent is welcomed, indeed encouraged on this site; the 'indeed' proves that we are authentic Anglicans."

I have today restored the intended settings; anyone can post a comment. But all comments will be reviewed before being "released" and published on the blog.

We have agreed on two ground rules that will be applied in deciding whether or not to publish comments on this site:

  • First, comments should be related to the topic of the post. Of course, we'll all offer some "asides" and off-topic comments from time to time. Good-natured banter and asides are welcome! In fact, they can help us get to know each other better. But any comment that appears intended to change or derail the focus of the discussion will be deleted.
  • Second, we're going to apply what we've come to call the "Adult Forum Principle." In our parishes, we frequently have disagreements – sometimes quite lively ones – during our adult forum sessions; but those disagreements are carried out with good manners, in good taste, and with Christian charity – mindful of the effect they could have on the real live people around us. If a comment is posted which – if said during one of our parish discussions – would be viewed as a breach of manners and Christian charity, we will not publish that comment. If the comment seems more intended to hurt than to build up the body of Christ, we will not publish it.
I offer my sincere apologies to those who have wished to comment on our postings over the last few days. I think I have now fixed the Blogger settings. Now … let's get back to talking about the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.


Anonymous Dennis said...

Many thanks for the hard work you do keeping this site up.

Now, when can we get this "Adult Forum Principle" applied to the whole church?

1/04/2007 9:27 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Heartfelt thanks, Dennis. You're a valued participant here, as I trust you know.

Ah, yes -- that this rule could be applied across this whole church of ours -- it is a thing most devoutly to be wished! We shall simply try to see that it is observed in our little corner of the blogosphere.

1/04/2007 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Dennis said...

You may not want to approve this for posting. More a question for you.

Are you still adding signatures to the "who we are" list?

Is there room for another member of the laity? I'm a therapist, not a member of the clergy, but I want to do my part to support The Episcopal Majority.

Dennis Roberts, Bremerton, WA, Diocese of Olympia

and thanks for the kind words.

by the way: Have you thought of running a stewardship month on the site, and collecting "pledges"? I know that there will be organizational needs that have to be met over the coming months. Throw a PayPal link up and people can then fulfill their pledge to be a part of saving the Episcopal Church.

1/04/2007 10:51 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Dennis, we don't have a way to contact you personally, so I will post this reply to the blog.

BTW, for you or anyone else: If you want to contact us offline, click on the "Contact Us" link up in the upper-left side of our homepage. Any notes sent there will go to a secure address and enable us to talk one-on-one with you.

Yes, we are still accepting signatories to the "Who We Are" list. We're not actively promoting it (because of technical problems we're having with the website), but are still collecting names and updating the list from time to time.

Dennis, of course there's room for another member of the laity! Most of the folks active in The Episcopal Majority are laypeople. As another layperson, I'm sorry that you even wondered.

Yes, we have indeed thought about doing some fund-raising. There are some things we could do if we had a financial base. Right now, the obstacle to putting up a PayPal or other link is that we need to incorporate as a non-profit corporation, and we're working on that … but slowly … more slowly than some of us wish. And we would not wish to divert any funds from folks' local parish contributions.

For now, we just want to provide the service that we can. All of us working on The Episcopal Majority have other jobs that occupy us during the daylight hours. But I sure am grateful for your support and contributions.

1/05/2007 1:01 AM  

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