Revisiting the Comments Policy, Again…

From the comments and a couple of e-mails now doing the rounds, perhaps it’s time to refresh our memories and revisit the Comments Policy in force here. But first, the disclaimer (again)

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.

The content of this weblog is provided for your personal use.

Links to external websites are provided for your convenience and do not necessarily signify an endorsement of the linked content.

Content, sources, information and links here do change over time.

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).

2)    Hate-speech.

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.



3 thoughts on “Revisiting the Comments Policy, Again…

  1. Dear Fr. Stephen Smuts.

    I’m a bit flattered that you would use me as an example. Maybe that’s the narcissist in me.

    “Many have attempted to counter and contended with him.”

    Many? I’d say just irishanglican and Michael Frost are the ones who are memorable. I didn’t think I was that popular. Also, emphasis on -attempted-. I didn’t read “successfully countered.” So I have a feeling that Fr. Stephen’s rooting for me, but is trying to hide it to maintain his Anglican street cred.

    But, yes, to be frank, it is because Fr. Stephen does not post any anti-Catholic statements insulting the Pope, the Magisterium, and the rest of our claims, is the reason why I have not done anything worth banning. Besides, a lot of us have much in common with each other in this blog. For example, who among you like abortions? How about sodomy? How about Katharine Jefferts Schori? (I know, that’s mean!)

    I suppose if I have a patron saint, it would be St. Jerome. That grumpy old man had enough sense to leave Rome and spend his life in the desert. With a personality so caustic, it’s a wonder he’s a saint at all. (Please refer to his uncharitable letters to Sts. Ambrose and Augustine. And Rufinus.) But there he is. Saint, and all. With a saint like that, I’d like to think there’s hope for myself. (The difference between him and me, is that he translated the Bible into the Vulgate- he’s entitled to be an insufferable genius.)

    What is my claim to fame? “Picked fights with Protestants on the Internet.” On the bright side, I try to be entertaining. How dull is it to have a world where there’s no tension and we’re all comfortable and unchallenged? It doesn’t sound like being alive at all.

  2. I, for one, rather appreciate and like Ioanness’s comments and contributions to your blog. Do I always agree with him? Perhaps not, but I have never seen him degenerate into personal nastiness or the ad hominem. He has his positions, and expresses them well.

    Of course, perhaps I am also be disingenuous because I happen to agree with many of his points!

    1. If I may explain where I’m coming from:

      I’m coming from the “Angry Youth” perspective who feels robbed by generations that won’t live to see what will happen in another 40 years after ruining the last 40.

      There are some exceptions, of course. But we all know they’re all silenced and shamed into agreement. Or the Lord deemed them too good for this Earth and took them away.

      I am 25 years old, and I see no future for my generation- I really can’t; we’re going to be paying for the mistakes of older generations. The best our generation can do is live a parasitical existence and if the government’s teat runs dry, gather somewhere, hold some protester’s sign with idiotic slogans, and make a drum circle with Guy Fawkes’ mask on. (The real Guido Fawkes would be rolling in his grave.) Then dance, as if that will do anything. Or riot. (Because we know anarchy and anarchists are bound to get into the equation somehow.)

      I cannot afford to not be angry- the alternative is to despair and squeak through life, finding happiness in whatever happens, not caring about the Church at all- it’s not like my local church will raise a bunch of theologians and leaders; I was the only one who was at least interested in the priesthood during high school. In my experience with Catholic schools, we only know how to live decently but never understood any deeper meaning or had any answers to “why?”- our school Masses reflect this obscurantism.

      As for the American public schools? HA! My generation understands the meaning of “Comfort” and “Entitlement” but does not understand the meaning of “Struggle” or “Sacrifice.” although we shall when all of the older generations are gone and we’re left with something we really don’t know anything about while the youth are indoctrinated by leftist ideology from aging hippies and the useful idiots of Hollywood.

      I may be just some random anonymous poster in the blog, but at least, I have my thoughts and my words.

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