Revisiting the Comments Policy, Again…
December 30, 2012 3 Comments
The opinions expressed here (by the author, i.e. Fr Stephen Smuts) and those providing the comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and/or official position of the Traditional Anglican Communion (in South Africa, or greater) or any other organisation for that matter.
The author is not responsible, nor will be held liable, for anything anyone says in the blog comments section. The author reserves the right however to exclude comments that are deemed to be objectionable and/or otherwise inappropriate.
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THIS IS A CHRISTIAN BLOG and will reflect as such.
Now, from the Comments Policy:
Things that are sure to get your comment immediately sent into cyber-oblivion are:
1) Insulting a holy, pure and perfect God (that includes His Son).
3) You are free to disagree with me but please: No vulgarities or offensive personal insults directed towards me or others will be tolerated.
Generally I don’t like to police the comments section but it is helpful to remember that you are a guest here. You will be treated as such. Behave as is befitting a guest.
Right? So, let’s get something else out the way while we are at it. It is pointless writing my Bishop about this blog or involving him. This is not an official mouthpiece of the TAC in Africa or abroad for that matter. He has, in the past, occasionally made certain recommendations to me on of the content and/or direction of the blog, which I always appreciate. He is a wise and godly man, and not uncritical either. Often, I post on matters which I am seeing, like the rest of you, at face value. I’m not privy to any inside information or the inner workings of the TAC. I never ask either because it is not my place. Remember, I am but a Diocesan Priest. That is all. I have no special position or standing. I’m on a need-to-know basis, and most of the time, I don’t need to know! I always ask for his permission first, before posting an Ad Clerum, and let me add that I am most grateful to be able to share them with the rest of the world – they are of the most popular and visited posts on the blog – good and edifying stuff. I have always trusted him and his judgment but he is not one to meddle in the blogs. Prayer is more his thing, and he has, in any event, more than enough to do, visiting all the parishes dotted of over Southern Africa (and that over and above his busy work as Secretary to the College of Bishops).
Also, understand that in South Africa, we have a great constitution and enshrined therein is freedom of speech – a key component. We are not a police or totalitarian state (as was witnessed in our sad past). And neither is this blog. Here, people have the freedom and right to communicate and express their own opinions and ideas, unhindered.
What I guard against is pointed out in the comments policy, hate speech and the like, but generally, this is a forum for debate and discussion (albeit, at times, fervent and zealous discussion). What’s the point of deleting and sending off into cyber-oblivion, every comment that I disagree with (and trust me, there are plenty)?
For example, take Ioannes. There have been calls of late to have him blocked. He has never been rude to me, unlike say Mr John Bruce (the first and only person ever to be blocked here), who, seething with hatred, is vicious and lashes out, insulting whoever he feels like regardless. His inconsequential tablodic little blog, without place for comment, reads as a soap-opera, is useless, and serves only to spew out one-sided venom. Now, while Ioannes is passionate and argues well for his chosen position, many have attempted to counter and contended with him. I mostly ignore of his comments simply because he is not one to be swayed. I don’t know who he is or where he is from (in the world), but should he be censored or banned simply because he rubs us up wrongly or because we disagree, fundamentally? I think not. I do, however, wish we (all) could be a little more respectful of and charitable towards one another.
But again, all this has nothing to do with my Bishop. So please, stop fussing, and don’t bother him with the content or comments of the blog (unless, of course, you find some value (if any) in the work being done here, and wish to express your appreciation). He and I understand one another. I have even on occasion asked him if I should close down the blog (blogging can indeed be spiritually taxing). Had he said ‘yes’, then, and I’m being very honest here, I would have done so. Why? Because I am under authority, I respect his judgment in these matters, and I don’t want to be hindered, tied down, or in any way kept from my primary mission: being a good and faithful Priest. Remember: I am a Priest who blogs, not the other way around! All that I do is (all) because of Jesus Christ… And I exist, simply, to honour Him.