It might be good to restate the comments policy of this blog, even though I should say how grateful I am that I’ve had to do far, far less unpublishing of comments since I started the new, non-political, non-culture-war blog. Nevertheless, here are some important things to keep in mind:
+ I welcome diverse and contrasting views on the blog entries I post. Seriously. If your post is taken down, it’s not because I’m trying to bigfoot your P.O.V. because I don’t agree with you.

+ What kinds of posts do get taken down? Posts that contain a personal attack on me or some other member of this community. Posts that I judge to be bigoted (admittedly, this is a judgment call; I want to err on the side of more speech, not less speech, so from time to time I allow comments that will strike some as offensive, but which, whether or not I agree with them, seem to me to be tolerable). I also reserve the right to take down comments that in some way discourage a free and civil exchange of ideas. This could be simply a matter of tone; I cannot stand people who hector others.
+ A good rule of thumb: pretend we’re all gathered around a table sharing beer and pizza. If you wouldn’t say it to someone in that kind of face-to-face forum, or you wouldn’t say it in that particular way face-to-face, then you should strongly consider either revising the way you put it, or not saying it at all.
+ The comments software sometimes holds your comments for no apparent reason. Putting a link in your comment makes it much more likely to be held, but sometimes it happens for reasons I have yet to fathom. It even happens to me, and it’s my blog! The thing to remember is that the software rarely lets me know if a comment is being held for my approval. I still haven’t figured out why it signals me for some posts, but not for others. Please do not assume that I’m aware you’ve posted, but am intentionally not posting it. It’s almost always the case that I have no idea. Frequent commenter TTT complained today about my holding a couple of his/her posts; I just went in to the spam folder, and I found several perfectly legitimate posts from longtime posters whose remarks had been flagged by the software.
I can’t explain it, but trust me, as much of a hassle as this is, it’s far, far worse for Beliefnet to turn off the CAPTCHA software. The spam barrage is breathtaking. Anyway, if you find your post held, please email me at rdreher (at) to alert me, and I’ll take care of it as soon as I can. As a general rule, though, if something is over a day old, I won’t free it up, simply because the thread has likely moved on.
I’m proud of the hard work I’ve done, with your help, to make the comboxes on this and the Crunchy Con blog a place of fairly civil discourse among a diverse lot of people. I appreciate your help in this. If you’ve read comboxes on other blogs, you know how rare a space like this is. I intend to keep it that way, but I can’t do it without your help.
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