It’s admittedly a bit ridiculous to post comment guidelines before there are any posts on which to comment, and before there are even any readers of the blog. I’ve seen many a combox degenerate into terribly disappointing behavior, though, and I would like to make sure that we (and I do mean we, not just you [still mythical, for now] readers) set a good tone for things from the outset.
Charity: Grant each other the benefit of the doubt; assume the best about others’ meaning and intentions.
Part of exercising charity toward others is to refrain from deliberately stirring up strife among others. I will try never to write anything strictly for the sake of provoking others, and I ask that you do the same as well. Unless you’re actually willing to face your wife’s wrath by telling her that her dress makes her look fat, please don’t pretend that you’re being “loving” when you’re simply being rude. That doesn’t mean you can’t tell me I’m wrong when I’m wrong; but there are courteous ways to do it. Do your best, and I will too. :-)
Humility: If there’s a misunderstanding, remember that the problem might be with you, or with me, or with the other guy, or with all of us.
If you don’t know the answer to some question, it’s better to say so (and then, if you can, to educate yourself) than to pretend otherwise. The truth doesn’t depend upon whether you or I have all the answers, and the goal here is to know and love the truth and the Truth, not to score points. I’m not interested in debates and “victories.”
I do not know you, and you do not know me. So much the more true is it that I do not know your heart, and vice versa. Consequently we need to avoid attributing motives to each other.
Courtesy: This is nothing less than the Golden Rule (Luke 6:27-31) in action. No personal attacks, no abusive language, no ad hominems.
Special rule for Protestants, if any happen to come here: I consider “papist,” “popish,” “Romish,” “popery,” “Romanist,” and the like to be offensive. Please do not use them here. We call ourselves Catholics, the Church is the Catholic Church, and the adjective is “Catholic.” I ask for your courtesy in respecting this rule if for no other reason than that this is my blog, and similarly you would not want someone else to come to your own blog and inject language to which you personally object. Again, this is not about scoring points; this is about courtesy. Thank you.
I will do my best to administer these guidelines as fairly as possible, but in the end they are just that: guidelines, and not actual rules. Feel free to point out any inequities you may see. I will try to take all such complaints very seriously, but in the end it’s my blog, and not yours, and sometimes you may just have to live with my decisions. Sorry. :-)